January 26, 2010

Nikon D90

Nikon D90 digital SLR camera test : The D90 as a possible successor to the D80 was a consistent rumor in the air. Yet two years would pass by before the Nikon D90 was actually here. The moment we held the Nikon D90 in our hands for the first time, we had to search for the differences in the design, though. Minor adjustments of the design with neater and clearer curves, confirm it is indeed the new Nikon DSLR. Naturally, the main changes are found inside the camera. Here, Nikon has altered many things to enable the Nikon D90 to connect to the line of new DSLR cameras such as the D300, D700 and D3.

10.2 Megapixel Nikon D90 SLR camera
First, there is the different image sensor. Whereas the Nikon D80 was equipped with a 10.2 Megapixel CCD sensor, the Nikon D90 features the newly developed 12.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor. This is an important fact, since Nikon claims that in combination with Nikon's EXPEED processor, this sensor is able to deliver a high ISO performance that will lift the camera to the level of the D300. In addition, the monitor on the back has been renewed. Where it was already a vast improvement to have a 3 inch instead of a 2.4 inch monitor, the enhanced resolution to VGA quality will considerably improve the reproduction of the monitor.

Live View integrated in the Nikon D90
Naturally, Live View is available, a feature that until recently was unthinkable for a DSLR camera, and has now become almost a 'must'. Nikon has stepped ahead with the integration of Live View, and has implemented a mode that might become a 'standard' on future generations of digital SLR cameras; Video mode. For the purists, this is like swearing in church, however, there's no stopping the innovative process. It makes the Nikon D90 the first DSLR camera in the world offering the possibility to capture videos in 720p HDTV quality. This scoop lasted only for a very short time; Canon followed quickly with the EOS 5D Mark II.

Nikon D90 review including a DIWA Lab test
Resuming; the Nikon D90 is equipped with the latest technique, combined with innovations coming from Nikon's higher segment. Yet the D90 does not aim at the semipro market, instead it aims at the amateur market. The operation of the Nikon D90 is therefore kept as simple as possible, in order to ensure that the beginning, not so experienced photographer will be able to work with the menu of the camera fast and effortlessly. We were given the opportunity to use and test the camera in practice and in addition, the Nikon D90 was extensively technically tested in our DIWA Lab. Both tests resulted in this full Nikon D90 review.

Key Features :
- Newly designed Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with wide ISO sensitivity range with low noise
- EXPEED for smooth tones, rich colors and fine details
- Innovative D-SLR movie function: D-Movie
- Scene Recognition System integrated with Face Detection System
- Easy-to-use Live View mode
- Picture Control System: Customize the visual style of your images
- Active D-Lighting for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast lighting
- Versatile practical 11-point AF system
- Bright pentaprism viewfinder featuring frame coverage of approx. 96%
- Advanced Scene Modes for superior image quality
- Extensive palette of in-camera Retouch Menus
- Engineered for precision and durability

Specifications :


Type of Camera Single-lens reflex digital camera
Effective Pixels 12.3 million
Image Sensor Nikon DX format (23.6 x 15.8 mm) CMOS sensor
Image Size (Pixels) 4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]; D-movie: 1240 x 720 / 24fps, 640 x 424 / 24fps, 320 x 216 / 24fps
Sensitivity ISO 200 to 3,200 in steps of 1/3 EV, plus HI-0.3, HI-0.5, HI-0.7, HI-1 (ISO 6400); sensitivity decreases approx. LO-0.3, LO-0.5, LO-0.7 and LO-1 (ISO 100)
File Format NEF (12 bit compressed RAW); JPEG (Baseline-compliant); AVI (Motion JPEG compression format with monaural sound)
Storage Media SD memory card (SDHC compliant)
Shooting Modes 1) Single frame shooting mode, 2) Continous low shooting mode, 3) Continous high shooting mode, 4) Self-timer mode, 5) Delay remote mode, 6) Quick-response remote mode 7) D-Movie
White Balance Auto (TTL white-balance with 420-pixel RGB sensor), 12 manual modes with fine-tuning; color temperature setting; preset white balance; white balance bracketing
LCD Monitor 3.0", 920,000-dot low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD, allows up to 170-degree wide viewing angle
Playback Function 1) Full frame, 2) Thumbnail (4, 9, 72 and calendar), 3) Magnifying playback, 4) movie playback, 5) Pictmotion, 6) Slide show, 7) Histogram indication, 8) Highlights point display, 8) Auto image rotation, 9) Image comment
Delete Function 1) Card format, 2) All frames delete, 3) Selected frames delete
Interface USB 2.0 (High-speed): Mass Storage and MTP/PTP selectable, GP-1 (GPS Unit)
Picture Angle (in 35mm [135] format equivalent) Approx. 1.5x lens focal length
Viewfinder Fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2 to +1 m-1)
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark II screen
Viewfinder Frame Coverage/Magnification (with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1) Approx. 96%/ Approx. 0.94x
Autofocus TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with AF-assist (range approx. 0.5-3m/1ft 8 in. - 9ft 10 in.); Detection range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at (ISO 100 at 20°C/68°F)
Focus Modes 1) Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continous-servo AF (AF-C); Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), 2) Manual focus (M) can be selected from 11 focus area
Exposure Metering System 1) 3D-Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses) performed by 420-segment RGB sensor, 2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8 or 10mm circle in center of frame, 3) Spot: Meters 3.5mm circle (approx. 2% of frame) centered on active focus area
Exposure Metering Range (at normal temperature [68°F/20°C], ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens) 1) 0 to 20 EV (3D-Color Matrix or Center-weighted metering), 2) 2 to 20 EV (Spot metering)
Exposure Control 1) Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Auto [Flash Off], Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Close Up, Night Portrait), 2) Programmed Auto [P], 3) Shutter-Priority Auto [S], 4) Aperture Priority Auto [A], 5) Manual [M]
Auto Exposure Bracketing 2 to 3 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 steps to (+-) 1.0 EV
Maximum Shutter 1/4000
Minimum Shutter 30
Shutter Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter, 30 to 1/4000sec in steps of 1/3 EV plus bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/200 sec
Flash Control 1)TTL flash control with 420-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill flash available with SB-900, 800, 600 or 400, 2) Auto aperture available with SB-900, 800 and CPU lens 3) Non-TTL auto available with SB-900, 800, 28, 27 or 22s 4) Range-priority manual available with SB-900, 800.
Flash Sync Modes 1) Auto, 2) Fill-in flash, 3) Red-eye reduction, 4) Red-eye reduction with Slow sync, 5) Slow sync, 6) Rear-curtain sync, 7) Off
Self-Timer Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2, 5, 10 or 20 s.
Depth of Field Preview Button Yes
Remote Control Via Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 (optional)
GPS via GP-1 GPS Unit (optional)
Supported Languages Total of 17 languages: Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Power Requirements Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, AC Adapter EH-5a (optional)
Battery Life (on a fully charged battery) Approx 1,000 shots
Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (ISO1222)
Dimensions Approx. 132 x 103 x 77mm
Weight (without battery, memory card or body cap) Approx. 620g
Supplied Accessories (may differ by country or area) Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, USB Cable UC-E4, Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-DC1, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, LCD Monitor Cover BM-10, Software Suite CD-ROM
Other Features Retouch menu, Info Display on LCD monitor, Intergrated Dust Reductions System, Live view (with face-priority AF), D-Movie

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