Nikon P90

Nikon Coolpix P90 front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 64 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 640 x 480 video
  • 26-624mm (F2.8-5.0) lens
  • 400g - 114 x 99 x 83mm
  • Launched February 2009
  • Replaced the Nikon P80
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Nikon P90 summary

Nikon P90 is Nikon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera initially introduced on February of 2009. It comes with a 12 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4000 x 3000.

Nikon introduced this model as a way to update the older Nikon P80 (Read Full Comparison)

The P90 is rated #211 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & over all #939 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our collection. You should test our Advanced camera search to see camera ratings based on your customized requirements.

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Here is a chart of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Nikon P90 history

The Nikon P90 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can see the full range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-P950 front thumbnailNikon P950
P90 vs P950
Nikon-Coolpix-P1000 front thumbnailNikon P1000
P90 vs P1000
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Nikon-Coolpix-P900 front thumbnailNikon P900
P90 vs P900
Nikon-Coolpix-P610 front thumbnailNikon P610
P90 vs P610
Nikon-Coolpix-P530 front thumbnailNikon P530
P90 vs P530
Nikon-Coolpix-P600 front thumbnailNikon P600
P90 vs P600
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Nikon-Coolpix-P520 front thumbnailNikon P520
P90 vs P520
Nikon-Coolpix-P510 front thumbnailNikon P510
P90 vs P510
Nikon-Coolpix-P500 front thumbnailNikon P500
P90 vs P500
Nikon-Coolpix-P100 front thumbnailNikon P100
P90 vs P100
Nikon-Coolpix-P90 front thumbnailNikon P9026-624mm
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Nikon-Coolpix-P80 front thumbnailNikon P80
P90 vs P80

Nikon P90 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of pluses and minuses of the Nikon P90 based on aspects that are typically considered important in a digital camera.

above average minimum ISO (64)
decent sized screen (3")
flash built-in
great reach (624mm)
great zoom range (26-624mm 24.0 x zoom)
has a tilting screen
has image stabilization (Optical)
has manual focus
rather wide (26mm)
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
does not have a selfie friendly screen
external flash not possible
lack of phase detect AF
lack of RAW files
low quality video (640 x 480 resolution)
no HDMI socket
no headphone socket
no microphone socket
pixelated screen (230 thousand dots)
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
slow at full zoom (f5.0)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
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Nikon P90 Sensor details

The sensor size on the Nikon P90 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4000 x 3000 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is better than digital stabilization since the latter might lead to cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 12 megapixels and gives a standard ISO range of 64 to 6400. Sadly, RAW format is not saved therefore the user has less margin for error.

The image below displays the P90's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The P90 sensor has a crop factor of 5.9 and is pointed out in green.

Nikon Coolpix P90 sensor size Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon P90 dimensions

Nikon P90 has a weight of 0.88 pounds (400 gr / 14.11 ounces) & the measurement of the camera is 114mm x 99mm x 83mm (4.5" x 3.9" x 3.3"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr and the Nikon P90 is very much the same compared with other rivals.

Photography Glossary

Listed below is a photo of the Nikon P90 alongside a soft drink so you can get a sense of its scale.

Nikon Coolpix P90 dimensions scale

The top view here will show the button design on the P90.

Nikon Coolpix P90 topview buttons dials

Nikon P90 Lens specs

The P90 has a built-in lens featuring a focal range of 26-624mm giving it a 24.0 x zoom which is amazing and would allow you to zoom right in.

At the widest 26mm, it has an aperture of f2.8 and that is kind of slow and not great for low light circumstances and you will probably find it hard to get good bokeh. You will probably also need to raise the ISO giving you noisy images. At the tele end, 624mm is terrific zoom and comes with f5.0 which is very slow and you would need to utilize slower shutter speeds.

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Nikon P90 Connectivity

The P90 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC and Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly via smartphones. You will be able to copy images and oftentimes change settings with no need to connect directly to the camera.

Some applications even give a Liveview and hit the shutter when you are not near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external display. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Nikon P90 Video specs

The max video resolution on the Nikon P90 is 640 x 480 and you can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 480p is terrible for today's standards. You should aim for at least FUll HD resolution for good video. The camera does not have a microphone and headphone jack which means that you have got little control over the sound. It is perhaps a better idea to look into an alternative camera should you need decent sound for your videos.

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Nikon P90 Weather Sealing

Nikon P90 does not include environment sealing so damp conditions may ruin the camera.

Nikon P90 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon P90 comes with a 3 inch tilting display screen supporting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please note that the display has no touch support.

Nikon Coolpix P90 screen and viewfinder Pentax 17 Pre-Orders Outperform Expectations by a Landslide

The View Finder details for Nikon P90 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic

Viewfinders can be very beneficial in bright outdoor situations which may make the camera screen washed out and difficult to see.

Nikon P90 Shutter specs

The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000s.

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Nikon P90 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Nikon P90 has only in-built flash lacking external flash support.

Nikon P90 Autofocus specs

Nikon P90 has just Contrast Based AF & doesn't have Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster & accurate when compared to Contrast Based focusing.

Nikon P90 has got manual focusing in case it is needed in low light occasions or you want more exact control on focusing.

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Nikon P90 Battery life

The usual Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has the maximum (600) battery life in this type of cameras.

Below is a listing of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the strongest battery life:

Nikon P90 for specific categories of photography

The following bar chart provides a rundown of the Nikon P90 for specific categories of photography. To learn more, check out the specific section below.

Nikon P90 Portrait photography factors

The Nikon P90 has a rating of 29 which is bad, and means the camera is simply not appropriate to use for portrait photography. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor size, RAW support plus the option to work with off-camera lighting.

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has manual focus
cannot use external flash
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW files

Nikon P90 Street photography information

Coming in at a average points total of 55, the Nikon P90 is reasonably suitable to use in street photography. A good street photography camera offers a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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tilting screen
image stabilization (Optical)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format

Nikon P90 Sports photography factors

A bad sports photography rating of 37 suggests the Nikon P90 is simply not appropriate for photographing sports. A camera must have very good focusing and shutter speeds for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
long zoom range (26-624mm 24.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
sensor resolution not great (12MP)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
no phase detect auto focus

Nikon P90 Travel photography details

Portability is very critical when picking a camera for travel. All round, the Nikon P90 gets a reasonable 55 as a travel camera which is somewhat appropriate to purchase for your journeys.

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has built in flash
fairly wide (26mm)
long reach (624mm)
megapixel count low (12MP)
does not have a selfie friendly display
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.8)

Nikon P90 Landscape photography info

For anybody who is planning to choose a camera for landscape photos, the most essential aspect is going to be image quality. The Nikon P90 with it's bad grade of 43 as a landscape camera is simply not appropriate compared to it's rivals.

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has manual focus
relatively wide (26mm)
screen size is good (3 inch)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
MP count low (12MP)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
lacks RAW support

Nikon P90 Vlogging info

A camera for vlogging really should posses a moving display, microphone input and if possible image stabilization. Considering all things, the Nikon P90 is simply not appropriate for vlogging as it delivers a bad rating of 24.

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really wide (26mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
does not posses selfie friendly screen
low video resolution (640 x 480 pixels)
no mic support

Nikon P90 Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the P90, below is a range of the top placed cameras that fall within the category of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The chart just below provides you an overview of the P90 versus it's top scoring rivals mentioned earlier.

Following are additional cameras you may see as alternative options. To read through a comprehensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Nikon Coolpix P90
Small Sensor Superzoom
Physical type
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Max resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW files
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
26-624mm (24.0x)
Highest aperture
Macro focusing distance
Crop factor
Type of screen
Screen size
Resolution of screen
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Min shutter speed
Max shutter speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash modes
Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow, Off
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
400 grams (0.88 pounds)
114 x 99 x 83mm (4.5" x 3.9" x 3.3")
Battery ID
Self timer
Time lapse feature
Storage type
SD/SDHC card, Internal
Card slots
Pricing at release