Nikon D90 Officially Announced

by on August 26, 2008

in News,Nikon


As expected, Nikon announced their new prosumer Nikon D90 digital SLR. The D90 features some very impressive specifications. The most significant feature in the new Nikon D90 is the ability to record HD video thought camera.

The camera is available with the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens at a kit price of $1299.99.

The Nikon D90 is available for pre-order from Amazon.com:

For the latest news and coming reviews on the Nikon D90, be sure to check out Photography Bay’s Nikon D90 Reviews and Resources page.

Nikon D90 Press Release

Stunning 12.3-megapixel image quality, broad control and the world’s first* digital SLR movie function combine to deliver unsurpassed creative freedom in a D-SLR.

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.

The D90 also provides remarkable performance and operability, featuring Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System that advances precision in auto focus, auto exposure, and auto white balance in diverse shooting situations. Live View mode allows shooting while confirming the subject on the large 3-in., approx. 920k-dot high-density color LCD and offers three contrast-detect AF modes to allow photographers to focus on any point in the frame, enabling a greater variety of composition. In addition to wide and normal area AF, the D90 offers face priority AF in Live View mode for even sharper pictures of people.

All of these powerful features and more are housed in a compact, comfortable-to-hold body, with intuitive controls. In other words, the D90 is a camera that will satisfy the requirements of passionate photographers who demand superior image quality and crave exciting new photographic possibilities.

*As of August 27, 2008, according to research conducted by Nikon Corporation

Nikon D90 Feature Highlights

Newly designed Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with wide ISO sensitivity range with low noise

D90’s 12.3 effective megapixels provides outstanding resolution, delivering images with extraordinarily defined detail and expanded enlargement capacity. The extremely wide sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 3200 delivers incredibly low-noise characteristics throughout. Furthermore, sensitivity can be increased to Hi 1 (ISO 6400 equivalent) and decreased to Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent) to expand shooting versatility. The camera also employs the Image Sensor Cleaning function that works to free image-degrading dust particles from the sensor’s optical low-pass filter.

EXPEED for smooth tones, rich colors and fine details

Nikon’s comprehensive digital image-processing EXPEED technology is optimized for the D90 to realize the high-quality, high-speed image processing capability. EXPEED also contributes to the outstanding performance of other powerful features such as Live View and the new Face Detection System.

D-Movie: the world’s first* D-SLR movie mode

In a world first* for D-SLRs, the D90 offers a movie function, allowing you to shoot 320 x 216 pixels, 640 x 424 pixels or HD720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) movies at the professional smoothness of 24 frames per second in motion JPEG format. The D90’s sensor, which is much larger than the sensor of a typical camcorder, ensures higher image quality and exceptional low-noise, high ISO sensitivity performance, even during movie shooting. Capturing creative movie clips or the drama of life’s moving moments is further enhanced by the wide selection of incredibly sharp NIKKOR interchangeable lenses that are available, from fisheye to wide-angle to super-telephoto. And Micro NIKKOR lenses bring the magic of extreme close-up imagery to movie making.

*As of August 27, 2008, according to research conducted by Nikon Corporation
Note: Autofocus and some other functions are not available when recording movies.

Scene Recognition System integrated with Face Detection System

The D90 precisely reads the color and brightness information of each scene from the 420-pixel RGB sensor, and applies this to auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance. The D90 also recognizes human faces using the new Face Detection System, data which is incorporated during calculation, resulting in faces with newfound definition and accuracy as well as enabling face priority AF in Live View mode and immediate zoom into people’s faces in playback zoom.

Easy-to-use Live View mode

One press of the Live View button activates the D90’s Live View mode, delivering a bright, crisp image to the 3-in., approx. 920k-dot color LCD and allowing comfortable shooting without looking through the viewfinder. There are three contrast-detect AF modes that let you focus on any point in the frame: Face priority AF automatically detects up to five faces and focuses on that calculated to be the closest. Wide area AF offers a large AF area suitable for handheld shooting, and normal area AF provides focus with pinpoint accuracy when using a tripod. And when Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses are in use, photographers will enjoy the benefit of a VR-smoothed image, even in Live View mode.

Picture Control System: Customize the visual style of your images

Nikon’s Picture Control System enables users to customize the look and mood of images. Six original setting options are available — Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape — for easy customization of image preferences.

Active D-Lighting for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast lighting

The D90’s Active D-Lighting accurately restores details in the shadows and highlighted areas, which are often lost in high-contrast lighting situations, by localizing tone control while shooting. There are four levels, including the new “Extra High.” Active D-Lighting can be used manually or set to Auto mode. It is also possible to bracket your pictures, allowing the capture of one image with Active D-Lighting and one without.

Versatile, practical 11-point AF system

Thanks to the Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module, the D90’s 11-point AF system offers fast and precise autofocus coverage across the frame with the most sensitive AF sensor operating from the center. In addition, the D90 features versatile AF-area modes to handle most shooting situations: Single-point AF is recommended for stationary subjects, dynamic-area AF for moving subjects, auto-area AF for spontaneous shooting and 3D-tracking (11 points) AF for when you want to change the composition after focusing on your subject.

Bright pentaprism viewfinder featuring frame coverage of approx. 96%

The D90 has a precise eye-level pentaprism viewfinder with approx. 96% (centered) frame coverage and an easy-to-view 19.5 mm eyepoint (at -1.0 m-1). The built-in 16-frame superimposed grid display can be activated to assist in the creation of better-balanced compositions.

Advanced Scene Modes for superior image quality

The D90 features Advanced Scene Modes: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports and Night Portrait. These modes not only adjust exposure and image processing, but also judge the optimum Active D-Lighting and Picture Control settings to obtain the best results. The D90 also recognizes if VR (Vibration Reduction) is on or off and minimizes noise even in dimly lit scenes.

Extensive palette of in-camera Retouch Menus

The D90’s designers incorporated a wide variety of image editing functions, making it easy for users to enhance images within the camera. The D90 introduces several new retouch options: Distortion Control adjusts lens aberration, Straighten corrects inclination of the image, while Fisheye produces optical effects similar to a fisheye lens.

Engineered for precision and durability

Accurate exposures rely on precise shutters and the D90’s electronically timed shutter mechanism was specifically engineered for long, accurate service. To ensure this, D90 shutters, assembled in D90 bodies, underwent exhaustive 100,000 shutter-release cycle testing.

Nikon D90 Other Features

  • Gives you quick response, with 0.15-second start-up, 65 ms shutter release time lag (CIPA standard) and 4.5 fps continuous shooting.
  • 3-in., approx. 920-k dot high-resolution LCD monitor with wide viewing angle that lets you change composition of the frame during shooting from various angles and easily confirm your image during playback.
  • Built-in flash with 18mm lens coverage, guide number of approx. 17/56 (ISO 200, m/ft., 20°C/68°F) and Nikon’s original i-TTL flash control; works as a commander; controlling up to two groups of remote Speedlights.
  • Highly efficient energy-saving design allows approx. 850 images on a single charge of the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e. (CIPA standard, with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, with 50% of pictures taken with flash)
  • Extensive playback functions offer ample options for viewing and selecting the right shot, including 72-frame playback, calendar playback and histogram display for magnified portion of the image.
  • Versatile Pictmotion menu creates slideshows combining five choices of both background music and image effects.
  • Compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output.
  • Supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System when using the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 Speedlight, or Wireless Close-up Speedlight System R1C1; ensures accurate exposures via i-TTL flash control.
  • Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D80 (Optional, in common with the D80) gives you the choice of using one or two Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries EN-EL3e or six R6/AA-size batteries to extend battery life.
  • New optional Remote Cord MC-DC2 enables shutter release and long time exposures (bulb) remotely.
  • With the new optional GPS Unit GP-1, location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time is automatically recorded to each image’s EXIF data.
  • Included Nikon ViewNX image browsing and editing software lets you organize, label and select images as well as perform RAW (NEF) image editing adjustments and conversions.
  • Optional Capture NX 2 photo-editing software features patented U Point™ technology and powerful tools for quick and easy photo editing including enhanced RAW (NEF) Editing.

Nikon Digital SLR Camera D90 Specifications

Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mount Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Effective picture angle Approx. 1.5 x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)
Effective pixels 12.3 million
Image sensor 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS sensor
Total pixels 12.9 million
Dust-reduction system Image Sensor Cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 required)
Image size (pixels) 4,288 x 2,848 [L], 3,216 x 2,136 [M], 2,144 x 1,424 [S]
File format • NEF (RAW)
• JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
• NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control System Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; storage for up to nine custom Picture Controls
Media SD memory cards, SDHC compliant
File system DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge
Viewfinder Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverage Approx. 96% horizontal and 96% vertical
Magnification Approx. 0.94 x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 19.5 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Diopter adjustment -2 to +1 m-1
Focusing screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with focus frame (framing grid can be displayed)
Reflex mirror Quick-return type
Depth-of-field preview When depth-of-field preview button is pressed, lens aperture is stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (other modes)
Lens aperture Instant return, electronically controlled
Compatible lenses • DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported
• Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported (PC Micro-Nikkor does not support some functions). IX-Nikkor lenses not supported.
• Other AF Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II. Lenses for F3AF not supported.
• AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II and auto focus.
• Non-CPU: Autofocus not supported. Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function. Electronic rangefinder can be used if lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
Shutter type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed 1/4,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, Bulb
Flash sync speed X = 1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200s or slower
Release modes Single-frame, continuous low speed, continuous high speed, self-timer, delayed remote, quick-response
Frame advance rate Continuous high speed: up to 4.5 fps, continuous low speed: 1-4 fps
Self-timer Can be selected from 2, 5, 10 and 20 s duration
Exposure metering TTL exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor
Exposure method • Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)
• Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6-, 8- or 10-mm circle in center of frame
• Spot: Meters 3.5-mm circle (about 2% of frame) centered on selected focus point
Exposure range (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F) • Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0-20 EV
• Spot metering: 2-20 EV
Exposure meter coupling CPU
Exposure modes Auto modes (auto, auto [flash off]), Advanced Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Close-up, Night Portrait), programmed auto with flexible program (P), shutter-priority auto (S), aperture-priority auto (A), manual (M)
Exposure compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Exposure bracketing 2 or 3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV
Exposure lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) ISO 200 to 3200 in steps of 1/3 EV, can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) below ISO 200, or to approx. 0.3, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent) over ISO 3200, ISO sensitivity auto control available
Active D-Lighting Can be selected from Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low or off
Active D-Lighting bracketing 2 frames
Autofocus Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with TTL phase detection, 11 focus points (including 1 cross-type sensor) and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1 ft. 8 in.-9 ft. 10 in.)
Detection range -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 equivalent, 20°C /68°F)
Lens servo • Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo AF (C), Auto-servo AF (A), Predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in single- and continuous-servo AF
• Manual (M): Electronic rangefinder supported
Focus point Can be selected from 11 focus points
AF-area modes Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, 3D-tracking (11 points) AF
Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Built-in flash Auto, Portrait, Close-up, Night Portrait modes: Auto flash with auto pop-up
P, S, A, M: Manual pop-up with button release
Guide number (m/ft.) at 20°C/68°F • At ISO 200: Approx. 17/56, 18/59 with manual flash
• At ISO 100 equivalent: Approx. 12/39, 13/43 with manual flash
Flash control • TTL: i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR using 420-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-400
• Auto aperture: Available with SB-900, SB-800 and CPU lenses
• Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include SB-900, SB-800, SB-28, SB-27 or SB-22s
• Range-priority manual: Available with SB-900 and SB-800
Flash modes Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, or 1/2 EV
Flash bracketing 2 or 3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when built-in flash or SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, or SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks for 3 s after flash is fired at full output in i-TTL or auto aperture modes
Accessory shoe Standard ISO 518 hot-shoe contact with safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, SB-900, SB-800, or SU-800 as commander and SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units
White balance Auto (TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 420-pixel RGB sensor); 12 manual modes with fine-tuning; color temperature setting; preset manual white balance
White balance bracketing 2 or 3 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3
Live View AF modes Face priority AF, wide area AF, normal area AF
Live View focus Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face priority AF is selected)
Movie image size (pixels) 1,280 x 720/24 fps, 640 x 424/24 fps, 320 x 216/24 fps
Movie file format AVI
Movie compression format Motion-JPEG, with monaural sound
LCD monitor 3-in., approx. 920k-dot (VGA), low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with 170° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and brightness adjustment
Playback function Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, Pictmotion, slide show, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)
USB Hi-Speed USB
Audio video output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL; simultaneous playback from both the audio video output and on the LCD monitor available
HDMI output HDMI Mini connector; camera monitor turns off when HDMI cable is connected
Accessory terminal • Remote Cord MC-DC2 (Optional)
• GPS Unit GP-1 (Optional)
Supported languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Battery One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e
Battery pack Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D80 (optional) with one or two Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e or six R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH, lithium or nickel-manganese batteries (Battery Holder MS-D200 is required when using R6/AA-size batteries.)
AC adapter AC Adapter EH-5a (optional)
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 132 x 103 x 77 mm/5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in.
Weight Approx. 620 g/1 lb. 6 oz. without battery, memory card, body cap or monitor cover
Temperature 0-40°C/32-104°F
Humidity Less than 85% (no condensation)
Supplied accessories (may differ by country or area) Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Rubber Eyecup DK-21, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-DC1, LCD Monitor Cover BM-10, Body Cap, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Software Suite CD-ROM
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{ 1 comment }

1 Doug Harper September 22, 2008 at 6:53 am

The new Nikon D-90 has only 12MP like the D-700. The D-700 is slightly sharper than the D-90 due to being FF. Canon 50D will out shoot the Nikon D-90 but near the Nikon D-700. Sony A-900 at 24MP FF is much better than Nikon D-700.

Nikon follows Canon 1-2 years after Canon product with the about the same. Nikon however is better made than Canon and fails less. Nikon cost 25% more than Canon. Sony will yet grow and amaze us.

Sony is working on BSI to replace FSI and if it can be done they will own the Digital Market. Nikon is at 6th place Canon at 1st place and Sony leads Nikon in sales.

The D-200 Nikon was good at 10MP and can produce easy 300dpi 40×60″ tack sharp prints. The D-80 is about the same with improvements in picture quality over the Nikon D-200. The D-300 is much better than the D-80 in resolution and colors and shadows. The D-90 is a bit better than the D-300. Nikon and Dave Dentry will rush out the D-400 Nikon at 15MP in late 2009. Canon will rush out a new Rebel 500 at 15MP by May 2009.

Full Frame or FF will all but replace APS-C as Sony will lead the adjustment.

Doug Harper
September 22, 2009

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