Nikon D90 SLR Review
By Mike Flacy
Features & Controls (cont.)
Located on the top of the right-hand side grip is the monochrome data LCD which displays all of the most important camera settings at a glance. At the top you can see the shutter release with the main power switch mounted around it. The symbol on the power switch turns on the LCD's backlight when needed. The button is for setting the exposure compensation and the button is for selecting the desired metering mode. Along the right side of the data LCD are the drive mode and AF mode buttons.
The D90 Data LCD display:
1 - Shutter speed/Exposure comp. value, Flash comp. value, White balance fine-tuning, White balance color temperature, White balance preset #, Number of shots in bracketing sequence
15 - Flash comp. indicator
The mode dial has the usual positions for AUTO, AUTO No Flash, 'P'rogram AE, 'S'hutter speed priority, 'A'perture priority and 'M'anual exposure modes as well as the Advanced Scene modes for Portrait, Landscape, Closeup, Sports, Night Portrait.
The D90's Advanced Scene modes automatically optimize white balance, sharpening, tone (contrast), color, saturation and hue for optimal results according to the type of Scene you're photographing. For example, select Portrait mode and the camera will automatically enhance the image with soft, natural looking skin tones as well as soften the background; depending on distance from subject.
Located on the front below the shutter release is the sub command dial, it's mostly used to change the aperture value and its function can be swapped with the main command dial on the back by using a Custom function setting.
Controls on the back: Starting at the top left moving down, The delete button for erasing files, the Play button enters review or playback mode, Menu calls up the onscreen menu system, the White balance button changes the WB mode and also acts as the Help and Lock function when browsing the Menu or in playback mode. Next is the ISO button which allows you to change the sensitivity in record mode, and acts as the index or zoom-out control in playback. The Quality button give you quick access to the image quality and size settings, and also serves as the zoom-in/magnify option during image review.
On the right hand side of the viewfinder you can see the AF-L/AE-L button, and main control dial. Next is the Live View button to use the LCD to frame pictures or record movies. The 4-way selector is used to select images and display image data in review mode and change the active focus area in capture mode. Pressing the OK button in the center accepts selections. The Focus selector lock disables the 4-way selector to protect against accidental changes. Lastly, we have the info button, which brings up the information and quick settings displays.
Secure Digital Storage
The D90 is equipped with a Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot and is compatible with any capacity SD or SDHC card. Shown here with OCZ's High-speed (Class 6) 4GB SDHC card.
Approx. Storage 2GB SD Card
The I/O ports are on the left side, on the top is the the DC-IN port for the optional EH-5 AC Adapter. Next is the USB 2.0 (high-speed) port for transferring image data to the host computer. The AV OUT port is user-selectable (NTSC or PAL) for output to a TV monitor. The D90 also feature HDMI video output using optional HDMI 'mini' cable. At the bottom, you can also see the i/o port for connecting the optional GP-1 GPS Unit, which allows you to Geotag your images.
The D90 uses the same Nikon EN-EL3e 7.4V 1500mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery pack that was used on the D80. It is recharged with the supplied MH-18a Quick Charger. Nikon claims the battery life is sufficient for capturing from 850 frames using CIPA Standard testing methods or up to 4200 shots using Nikon Standard testing methods.
The optional MB-D80 Multi-Power Battery pack allows you to use either one or two EN-EL3e batteries or six AA-size batteries. The pack also features an additional command dial and alternative buttons for shutter release and AE-Lock/AF-Lock that make vertical shooting more comfortable. Nikon claims that using two EN-EL3e batteries will double the number of frames you can capture noted above, while using six AA-size batteries will allow you to capture up to 600 frames using CIPA Standard testing methods or up to 1900 shots using Nikon Standard testing methods.
Here you can see an illistration showing the different battery combinations you can use with the MB-D80 Multi-Power Power Battery pack.
The Nikon GP-1 GPS unit allows you to add Geotag (latitude/longitude) information to images captured with the Nikon D90, D200, D3, D700, D300 or D3X. Correlation between pictures and maps is supported by the GPS function in conjunction with ViewNX version 1.2 software (no-charge download) and Nikon's my Picturetown.
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