Nikon D90

Nikon D90 front

Nikon D90 summary

Nikon D90 is Nikon's Advanced DSLR digital camera originally introduced on October of 2008. It features a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4288 x 2848.

Nikon launched this model to replace the earlier Nikon D80 (Read Full Comparison) and then brought out the updated Nikon D7000 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to update this model.

The D90 is placed #57 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras and overall #424 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please try out our Smart camera finder to get camera listings based on your customized requirements.

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

Nikon D90 history

The Nikon D90 is part of a family of cameras. You can view the full range underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Nikon-D7500 front thumbnailNikon D7500
D90 vs D7500
21MPAPS-C8.0 fps2017
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
D90 vs D500
21MPAPS-C10.0 fps2016
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Nikon-D7200 front thumbnailNikon D7200
D90 vs D7200
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2015
Nikon-D7100 front thumbnailNikon D7100
D90 vs D7100
24MPAPS-C6.0 fps2013
Nikon-D7000 front thumbnailNikon D7000
D90 vs D7000
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2010
Nikon-D300S front thumbnailNikon D300S
D90 vs D300S
12MPAPS-C7.0 fps2009
Photography Glossary
Nikon-D90 front thumbnailNikon D9012MPAPS-C4.5 fps2008
Nikon-D300 front thumbnailNikon D300
D90 vs D300
12MPAPS-C6.0 fps2008
Nikon-D80 front thumbnailNikon D80
D90 vs D80
10MPAPS-C3.0 fps2006
Nikon-D200 front thumbnailNikon D200
D90 vs D200
10MPAPS-C5.0 fps2006
Nikon-D50 front thumbnailNikon D50
D90 vs D50
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
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Nikon-D70s front thumbnailNikon D70s
D90 vs D70s
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2005
Nikon-D70 front thumbnailNikon D70
D90 vs D70
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2004
Nikon-D100 front thumbnailNikon D100
D90 vs D100
6MPAPS-C3.0 fps2002

Nikon D90 Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of good and bad points of the Nikon D90 based on features which are generally regarded as necessary in a digital camera.

built-in flash
builtin Top LCD screen
change lenses (Nikon F mount)
comes with face detect focus
decent sized screen (3 inches)
delivers RAW files
has manual focus
includes HDMI socket
sensor has phase detect auto focus
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
very good screen resolution (920 k dots)
lack of headphone socket
lack of image stabilization
lack of microphone socket
lack of Timelapse mode
low video resolution (1280 x 720 resolution)
no moving screen
painfully slow continuous shooting (4.5 fps)
screen isn't selfie friendly
sensor resolution not great (12 megapixels)
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Nikon D90 Sensor details

The spec of the sensor on the Nikon D90 is 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C). The 373 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 4288 x 2848 pixels and aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 12 megapixels and includes a standard ISO range of 200 to 3200. This ISO can also be extended electronically to a high of 6400. RAW files are saved which means that you have wider margin for error.

The picture underneath illustrates the D90's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The D90 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is displayed in green.

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To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon D90 dimensions

Nikon D90 weighs 1.55 pounds (703g or 24.80 ounces) and the measurement of the camera is 132mm x 103mm x 77mm (5.2" x 4.1" x 3.0"). The weight of average Advanced DSLR camera is 776g and the Nikon D90 is similar compared to other rivals.

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Here is a shot of the Nikon D90 beside a softdrink to help you have a feel for its scale.

Nikon D90 dimensions scale

The top view just below will illustrate the button design on the D90.

Nikon D90 topview buttons dials

Nikon D90 Lens specs

The D90 uses the Nikon F mount and has 315 lenses available on the market. Below is a small number of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the D90.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Tamron-AF-28-80mm-F3.5-5.6-Aspherical-Nikon-F-FX lensTamron AF 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 Aspherical28-80mmf/3.5-5.6 237g
Sigma-18-300-F3.5-6.3-DC-Macro-OS-HSM-Nikon-F-DX lensSigma 18-300 F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM18-300mmf/3.5-6.3 585g
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Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T2.8-15-Nikon-F-FX lensCarl Zeiss Distagon T 2,81515mmf/2.8 730g
Rokinon-85mm-F1.4-Nikon-F-FX lensRokinon 85mm F1.485mmf/1.4 539g
Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-70-200mm-F2.8E-FL-ED-VR lensNikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR70-200mmf/2.8 1430g
Tamron-70-210mm-F4-Di-VC-USD-Nikon-F-FX lensTamron 70-210mm F4 Di VC USD70-210mmf/4 859g
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Sigma-40mm-F1.4-DG-HSM-A-Nikon-F-FX lensSigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM A40mmf/1.40g
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Nikon D90 Connectivity

The D90 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can send images and sometimes change settings without connecting directly to the camera.

Some applications even allow a Liveview and release the shutter if you are not close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it can be hooked up to an external monitor. The majority of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Nikon D90 Video specs

The highest possible video resolution on the Nikon D90 is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is awful by today's standards. You should really strive for at least 1080p resolution for video recording. The camera does not offer a mic and / or headphone port which means you get little control over your audio. It is probably best to take a look at another model if you require decent audio in your videos.

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Nikon D90 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing in the Nikon D90 so you need to be careful in wet and dusty situations.

Nikon D90 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon D90 features a 3" fixed screen supporting a resolution of 920k dots.

Unfortunately the screen isn't a touch screen. The D90 also has a builtin Top LCD screen so that you can instantly checkout camera settings.

Nikon D90 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The View Finder specs regarding Nikon D90 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 96 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.64x

In those sunny outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and challenging to view, viewfinders can be very useful.

Nikon D90 Shutter specs

Nikon D90 continuous shooting rate is 4.5 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/4000s.

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Nikon D90 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Nikon D90 has got both built-in flash plus external flash support. The maximum flash sync is 1/200s.

Nikon D90 Autofocus specs

Nikon D90 has got both Phase Detect Auto Focus and Contrast Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster and exact when compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera features Face detection which can be helpful for people photography.

The AF system features 11 focus points to pick from. Nikon D90 includes manual focus if needed in low light conditions or you require more accurate control on focus.

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Nikon D90 Battery life

The battery life (EN-EL3e) in the Nikon D90 is fashioned to last for 850 photos with respect to the CIPA measurements which is comparable with its competition. The average Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 comes with the best (2260) battery life in this group of cameras.

Listed below is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras with the best battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D780 front thumbnailNikon D780
D90 vs D780
2260 yesnoyes
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
D90 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
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Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
D90 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
D90 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
D90 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Nikon D90 for specific forms of photography

The following bar chart gives a rundown of the Nikon D90 for specific forms of photography. To learn more, browse to the specific section underneath.

Nikon D90 as a Portrait photography camera

The Nikon D90 has a rating of 62 which is very good, and means the camera is a respectable pick to use for portraits. Photographing portraits favors greatly towards sensor size, support for RAW files & potential to utilize off-camera flash.

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manual focus
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
features face detect focus
delivers RAW formats
low megapixels (12MP)

Nikon D90 Street photography highlights

Having a moderate points total of 54, the Nikon D90 is somewhat suited to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera offers a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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sensor size is decent (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
screen is fixed
does not have image stabilization

Sports photography with Nikon D90

A bad sports photography points tally of 45 indicates the Nikon D90 is not appropriate for taking pictures of sports. A camera should have good tracking and continuous shooting for sports photography.

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sensor size is nice (APS-C)
sensor has phase detect AF
slow frames per second (4.5 frames per second)
lack of image stabilization
sensor resolution not great (12MP)

Nikon D90 Travel photography factors

Size is very crucial when selecting a camera for travel. On the whole, the Nikon D90 gets a bad 44 as a travel camera which is not appropriate for your vacations.

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flash built-in
no Time Lapse function
low MP (12 megapixels)
screen isn't selfie friendly

Nikon D90 Landscape photography info

If you are looking to purchase a digital camera for landscape photography, the most significant factor will no doubt be image quality. The Nikon D90 and it's modest grade of 57 for a landscape camera is somewhat adequate among it's competition.

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manual focus
change lenses (Nikon F mount)
screen size is decent (3 inch)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
delivers RAW formats
lack of image stabilization
sensor resolution not great (12MP)
doesn't have Time Lapse mode

Vlogging with Nikon D90

A camera for vlogging really should offer a moving display screen, microphone input and ideally image stabilization. Taking all things in to account, the Nikon D90 is not appropriate as a vlog camera as it gets a bad rating of 21.

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includes face detect focusing
screen is not selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
low video resolution (1280 x 720 resolution)
does not have microphone socket

Nikon D90 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the D90, below is a number of the top placed cameras that fall in to the family of Advanced DSLR.

The diagram below gives you an overview of the D90 vs it's top ranking rivals listed earlier.

These are some more cameras you may check out as alternatives. To review a thorough comparison, visit the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Nikon D90
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.6 x 15.8mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Highest Possible resolution
4288 x 2848
RAW support
Maximum native ISO
Maximum enhanced ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
AF center weighted
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Nikon F
Total lenses
Crop factor
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inches
Resolution of screen
920k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Screen tech
Super Density TFT color LCD with wide-viewing angle
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
96 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Minimum shutter speed
30 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
17.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
1/200 seconds
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
703g (1.55 pounds)
132 x 103 x 77mm (5.2" x 4.1" x 3.0")
Battery life
850 photos
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Card slots
Pricing at release