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Nikon D90

*Est. $900 with kit lens
Reviewed
November 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Nikon D90

Pros
  • 720p HD movie mode
  • 3-inch extra sharp LCD
  • Excellent image quality
  • Low-light performance
  • Image-stabilized lens
Cons
  • Video limitations
  • Live view limitations
  • Slower than Nikon D300
  • Extra software needed for editing RAW files
Where to Buy
 

The 12.3-megapixel Nikon D90 incorporates some of the features of the more expensive (and faster) Nikon D300S. The Nikon D90 can take movies (up to five minutes long) -- which are composed in live view on a big, high-resolution LCD. The 720p HD video format is good, but its features are so limited that reviewers say to think of the movie mode as a fun addition -- not as a substitute for a camcorder. In the under-$1,000 class, experts now prefer the newer Nikon D5100 (Est. $480 (with kit lens)).

We found the best comparison tests of the Nikon D90 at five sites and publications aimed at photography enthusiasts. These combine objective lab tests with hands-on use, sample photos and experience comparing many digital SLR cameras. Our top reviews come from Imaging-Resource.com, PopPhoto.com -- and its U.K. counterpart, What Digital Camera -- DPReview.com and DCResource.com. DxOMark.com puts the Nikon D90's sensor through rigorous lab tests, and ConsumerReports.org ranks the D90 in comparison with more than 20 other digital SLRs based on four crucial factors. CNET's review includes useful criticism too.

image
Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $649.95   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Where To Buy
Nikon D90 12.3MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor Zoom Lens

 (777 reviews)
Buy new: $1,199.00 $879.99   58 Used & new from $480.00

In Stock.

 

Our Sources

1. Imaging-Resource.com

Based on hands-on testing and experience with many digital SLR cameras, the review recommends the Nikon D90 as a good upgrade from its predecessor, the Nikon D80. Among other things, it is faster, has a better LCD and offers better chromatic aberration correction.

Review: Nikon D90, Shawn Barnett, Dave Etchells and Zig Weidelich, Oct. 2008

2. PopPhoto.com

Based on a combination of objective lab tests and hands-on use, Philip Ryan calls the video capability of the Nikon D90 "clunky" but useful since you can use a variety of lenses with it. Comparisons are made to other cameras, though most are now discontinued.

Review: Nikon D90: Camera Test, Philip Ryan, Dec. 2008

3. DPReview.com

This detailed review provides almost as vivid an experience as examining the Nikon D90 at a camera store, concluding that "it's hard to think of a better enthusiast-level camera." The highest rating is for features -- chromatic aberration correction as well as video.

Review: Nikon D90 Review, Richard Butler and Simon Joinson, Oct. 2008

4. What Digital Camera

This publication is the U.K. equivalent of PopPhoto.com, with detailed lab tests and reviews. The Nikon D90 is one of eight current digital SLR cameras to earn the top rating, the editors' Gold Award, with praise for the LCD screen, viewfinder, image quality and burst speed. Criticism includes the video limitations and "fiddly access to AF modes."

Review: Nikon D90 Full Report, Matt Golowczynski and Editors of What Digital Camera, 2008

5. DCResource.com

The Nikon D90 is one of three highly recommended digital SLR cameras here in the "over $1,000" price range (the price has since dropped). The full review includes loads of useful details and sample photos, with praise for the camera's battery life, "stunning" LCD and a long list of other advantages. The main drawbacks are the slow and limited live view and the need to buy extra software to edit RAW images well.

Review: DCRP Review: Nikon D90, Jeff Keller, June 2009

6. DXOMark.com

Rigorous, objective lab tests give the Nikon D90's sensor much higher ratings than other digital SLR sensors in its price range, including those by its main competitor, Canon. The sensor even outperforms those of quite a few more expensive cameras. Note, however, that many additional factors affect a camera's performance and image quality.

Review: Tests and Reviews for Nikon D90, Editors of DxOMark.com

7. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org ranks the Nikon D90 in comparison with 23 other digital SLR cameras, based on specific test ratings for image quality, dynamic range, versatility and ease of use. This review includes ratings of each camera's viewfinder, and notes the highest ISO setting that produces "best quality" images.

Review: Digital SLRs, Editors of ConsumerReports.org

8. CNET

CNET gives the Nikon D90 a rating of 4 stars out of a possible 5. The reviewer criticizes the layout of the controls and finds the movie mode inferior to that of most point-and-shoot digital cameras, but she praises the Nikon D90's performance overall.

Review: Nikon D90, Lori Grunin, Oct. 2008

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