Nikon D90 Reviews and Resources

The Nikon D90 was announced on August 26, 2008. It is a breakthrough of sorts in the DSLR genre, featuring not only cutting edge still photography specifications, but also the ability to record HD video.

The Nikon D90 is announced with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens for a retail price of $1299.99.

The Nikon D90 is available from the following trusted retailers:


B&H Photo:

Ritz Camera:

Nikon D90 Key Features

  • 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-6400
  • HD720p video capture (w/ audio)
  • Face Detection System
  • 3″ LCD 920,000 pixel resolution
  • 11-point AF
  • 96% viewfinder coverage
  • HDMI output

Nikon D90 Video and Image Samples

Photography Bay

Nikon D90 Reviews

Photography Review

In just about every situation the D90 was able to keep up with, if not exceed the performance of my D200. On more than one occasion I even left the D200 in the bag and shot my editorial work with the D90.


The D90 is a genuinely well-crafted DSLR from Nikon that covers all of the bases that a mid-range unit should, as well as providing a host of additional features and controls that are well and truly pushing the D90 towards semi-professional territory.


It’s a great combination building on Nikon’s excellent photo quality with the addition of High Definition video and some very well thought out photographic features.

Trusted Reviews

It has the creative versatility, performance and quality to appeal to semi-professionals and advanced hobbyists, while the scene modes, live view and the video mode will appeal to gadget lovers and the more casual user who wants a good all-rounder.

Think Camera

The D90 is a trophy of a middleweight camera, with the D-movie HD video mode tagging on an extra medal or two.

Let’s Go Digital

The image quality is steady as a rock. Excellent color reproduction and superb dynamic range combined with Nikon’s 3D Matrix metering ensure an outstanding DSLR.

Thom Hogan

Bottom line: the D90 a great consumer camera. It doesn’t really have the cajones to be a professional’s working camera, though it equals the D300’s image quality.

Camcorder Info

Despite its problems, plenty of people will enjoy capturing video with the Nikon D90. Its 24 fps frame rate produces a slow, dreamy image that can be very attractive. Colors generally looked outstanding.

Digital Camera Info

Setting video aside, though, there’s an awful lot to like about this camera, from its fast burst mode to its fine low-light performance for flash-free photos and a Live View mode that’s still not perfect, but does prove comfortable and convenient in certain shooting situations.


The Nikon D90 is a difficult camera to rate. When viewed as a ‘traditional’ SLR, it is simply an excellent camera that I very much enjoyed using. All the frequently used functions have direct controls assigned to them, be it aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed, file quality, drive mode, AF mode, AE Lock – you name it.

DP Review

We described the D80 as a photographer’s camera and, despite the addition of video, the D90 appears to share that same ethos. On a purely specification level, it’s a highly competitive piece of kit, but it’s the way the features have been chosen and put together that make it the camera that it is.


As a still camera, the D90 continues Nikon’s strong record in the midrange. While its videomaking is more than a little clunky, it’s the first (and, for now, the least expensive) DSLR with this capability. It’s a very worthy follow-up to the D80, and stacks up well against similarly priced cameras.

DC Resource

Photo quality was excellent. The D90 took well-exposed photos with pleasing, accurate colors. Images have the smooth look that is a D-SLR trademark, though plenty of detail is still captured. The D90 really impressed me at high ISOs.

Think Camera

The D90 is a trophy of a middleweight camera, with the D-movie HD video mode tagging on an extra medal or two. No other DSLR in the world has a video feature to match; which no doubt opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Chase Jarvis (advance testing)

We worked the cameras hard during my piggy-backed commercial shoot for more than a week. We shot them constantly, me–along with the D3–and the crew just with the fleet of D90’s. And funny how this happens, but go figure…our work with the D90 on location soon bled into shooting over dinner, then drinks, and then into the night, then into the next week, and so on. And the more we beat on ’em, the more the crew liked ’em.

DP Review (hands-on preview)

A lot of the core photographic spec is the same as or very similar to the D80, though there is a new shutter and an implementation of the 3D tracking AF seen on the D3/D300.

Nikon D90 Official Resources D90 Mini-Site

Nikon D90 Brochure

Nikon D90 Press Release

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of its newest DX-format digital SLR, the D90. More than just a new camera, the D90 represents a new era of digital SLR fun and creativity.

The first thing that will amaze photographers about the D90 is its stunning image quality, which takes its inspiration from Nikon’s flagship DX-format digital SLR, the D300. The D90’s image sensor and 12.3 effective megapixels combine with Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED image processing to deliver outstanding images featuring fine details, smooth tones, rich colors and low noise across a wide ISO sensitivity range.

The D90 is the world’s first* digital SLR camera with a movie shooting function that delivers genuinely cinematic results, enhanced by the creatively shallow depth of field made possible by the DX-format sensor. This is further refined by the optical quality and broad selection of NIKKOR lenses — the same lenses relied upon by professional photographers the world over. Thanks to the D90’s large image sensor, D-Movie images exhibit less noise than those of a typical camcorder, most notably in low-light situations.

. . . .

(Read the full press release)



  1. says

    Thanks for the brief write-up. The D80/70/50/40 forum over at DPReview has seen plenty of speculation on a possible D80 or D90. I myself am waiting for it to come out, and you are right, with the specs you list, a D80x or D90 would truly land a good blow against the Canon 40D… as long as it costs less. I think Nikon can pull it off. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will.

    In fact, I’d rather it say at 10MP and not go up to 12. I figure a nice 10MP with the new EXPEED processor, the better High ISO performance of the D40/D40x (or the D300), a simple dust removal system, and even one of the basic Liveview modes that the D300 has would be a fantastic upgrade. If they can throw in true mirror lock-up… wonderful! If they can add a bit of weather sealing… glorious. But at that point we would be cannibalizing D300 sales.

    So, this config:

    EXPEED Image Processor
    Self-Cleaning Sensor
    14bit AD-Conversion
    4 FPS
    Some form of LiveView
    ISO display in Viewfinder
    High ISO performance of D40
    15 Segment Auto Focus (and improved metering)

    All for about $1,000 (body only) would be fine with me. I think they could know it out of the park if they took their 18-70mm AF-S added VR and included it as kit lens ($1250)… : ) I know, I’m dreaming.

    Thanks again!

  2. mark says

    Nacho you mix canon with nikon, get some sleep dude. nikon’s metering isn’t 15 segment and will never be. they use 420 segment or 1005.


    Aqui en la Argentina estamos esperando por razones $$$ la hermana menor de la D 300, esperamos ansiosos la D90 con 12,3 MP y mayor ISO, QUE NIKON SE ACUERDE LO MAS PRONTO POSIBLE DE NOSOTROS

  4. says

    Nikon will be later this year after July or even September with the D-90 I think. I also think to skip 2008 and hold off with the purchas for the 2009 model and see if Jpeg XR is included.

    Since I have the D-80 it replaces the D-200 I will hold out for the Jpeg XR colors. The D-300 is a bet better on colors. But the Jpeg XR will be soon as it is about 3,000 colors rater than 420 Jpeg Standard. This give or will give better Dynamic range. I assume within 1 year just 12-14 more months we will all be at 16-18MP with Jpeg XR.

  5. Joe says

    Release the d80 replacement already nikon, going over the 16months trend is just stupid actually

  6. Billy says

    hiren > There is no D80 replacement model yet, possibly called the D90(?). Nikon is likely jamming some of the D300 components into the next model and place the D90 in a “prosumer” point like the D70/D80 models.

    I don’t agree with the person above that said there won’t be a D80 replacement because I think Nikon wants to maintain the four levels of DSLR with Entry, Midrange, Highend, and Pro. Canon has the four levels, so I imagine Nikon wants to maintain competition in the same areas or they risk losing sales to Canon in the midrange with their 40D.

    I could be wrong though, since the D60 is a very nice Entry model except for the tiny size, which I don’t like. The D80 is more logically sized for many users in the midrange class, and a D90 would have to be about the same size with higher performance than the D60.
    YMMV…so we’ll have to wait and see what Nikon does.

  7. says

    I’m waiting for this supposed “D90″ myself. It really is odd Nikon is letting the D80 run this long without announcing the next thing. I was going to get a D80 for a grad present until I realized it was already 2 year old technology. One would think Nikon would want to turn the profits a bit and release it sooner, or fan the flames of rumour a bit more and release a bit here and there on the internet. I do see the EXPEED CPU, and self cleaning system & liveview incorporated into it though (how could they not include them atm?) I’m really hoping though for a more weatherproof beast like the D700…..

  8. says

    The Nikon D-300 Image is about the same quality at 200ISO as the D-80 at 100ISO. The D-3 and D-700 at ISO 200 has the same quality or resolution as the D-300.

    The D-90 may not be above 12MP and only match the D-300 so it will be very little difference in real quality in the improved image over the D-80 if any at all.

    Nikon is asleep and has got stuck at 12MP and can not seem to go BSI and leave FSI behind. I must assume that 2009 and even 2010 will be not real good years for major Digital Imaging improvements.

    Doug Harper

  9. says

    If the D-90 Nikon can do Video or not is not of any real importance. Nikon tends to be 1-2 years slow on updates. The Canon D-450 Rebel has 12MP and is rumored to be as sharp as the Canon D-5. If so? Then the Canon D-450 Rebel is sharper than the Nikon D-3.

    I must assume the Nikon D-90 is a real baby step by Nikon. In 2010 we may see a new model that is better. Since I have the Nikon D-80 and use Ultra Color I can get cleaner images than any other lab by using their hand done Color correction for 15 cents on the printable images.

    Unless Nikon can produce a 16.7MP Image the 10MP image is outstanding.

    The difference of 10-12MP is nearly ZIP!

    I do not see 2008 or even 2010 as good model years for Nikon, perhaps I will hold off till 2012.

    Every two (2) years Nikon comes out with a Pro-Consumer Camera. In Wedding work you need the control program knob of the D-50 D-80. The D-200 and the D-300 lack this option and are real slow in changing shooting conditions. They are more of a Studio or one location camera not easy to jump from Outside to Reception.

    Think hard before buying the Nikon D-90 camera. It is going to be to close to the D-80 to make much of a real difference.

    Doug Harper

  10. Andre says

    My Nikon D70 recently gave up the ghost and I decided it was time to buy a new camera. Looking around at the Nikon line there is nothing equivalent in terms of features of the Canon 40D, at the same price point. The closest equivalent is the D300, but in Canada it works out to be around $800 more expensive! The D80 and D60 just don’t cut it. I seriously want to stay with Nikon, but unless the D90 gets released soon and doesn’t try competing with the 40D I might just switch to Canon.

  11. Lars Rosenberg says

    “I don’t see 2008 as good….” Need glasses? :-)
    Personally I find this year a good one being more than pleased with the D700 – but again: If yoy wait long enough, you may end up as king of Sweden…

  12. says

    I have studio tested the Nikon D-80 Image and the Nikon D-90 Image and look at the photos of each camera against th Nikon D-300:

    D-90 at 100% is better colors than the D-300. Only a bit!
    The D-80 and D-90 look the Same up to 20×30″.

    Impossible to see any difference in 20×30″

    D-90 is slightly better than D-300 colors only very slight.

  13. says

    The D90 is exceptional. I have been shooting Nikons for a while and own quite a few bodies from D50 to D300. I recently purchased the D90 for its movie making capabilities, weight and compactness. I have done some test shots using various lenses (pro glass) and i can say that the image quality is excellent which was expected since it uses the same sensor as the D300. Can’t really tell the difference in image quality compared to the D300.

    The movie capabilities is quite impressive that i am launching a new website soon specifically for dslr movie makers to post their movies. (

    Get the D90! It is a sweet camera…

  14. Photobug says

    Fantastic camera at a reasonable price. Photo quality is top-notch with vivid colors and sharpness that is second to none. The movies are very good but if you are buying a camera to take movies, there are better available. This is a photographers camera. Partnet it with good glass and you won’t find anything to be sorry about!

    The D90 is definately my goto camera. I actually prefer it to my D300 for several reasons.


  1. […] Nikon D90-re várjak, vagy inkább a D300 legyen a cél? D80-at nem éri meg venni, D60 pedig nekem nagyon pici (nem rossz g;p egyébként…). Fogtam a kezemben, de a D70s után olyan játék gép feeling volt. Lapát kezem volna?! :-) D300 egy álom gép, persze az álom nem olcsó. A D90 rumors oldal alapján nem lesz az se rossz gép, kérdés milyen lesz az ára. Csökken-e várhatóan a D300 ára a közeljövőben? […]