Nikon D90 SLR Review
By Mike Flacy
Menus, Custom Settings
Here you can see the screen when using the Live View function. Icons indicate we are using Manual (M) exposure mode, JPEG Large Fine quality, Auto white balance, Sound on for Movie recording, Evaluative metering, 1/4000 shutter speed, F4.0 aperture, ISO 200, and the AF system has achieved and locked focus (green retangle). You can also see the options available by pressing the play+4-way controller up/down (brightness), Live View button (Exit), and the OK button (Start recording a movie).
The D90 is yet another dSLR that allows you to record motion video. You can shoot at three different resolutions, 1280x720, 640x424 or 320x216, with a frame rate of 24fps. The maximum clip length is up tp 5 minutes or 2GB when using HD mode.
Movie mode options:
Set picture control - Select from Picture Controls to instantly adjust image processing settings
Manage picture control - Save and modify Picture Control combinations, or copy settings to and from the CF card
Image quality - NEF(RAW)+JPEG (Fine/Normal/Basic), NEF (RAW) or JPEG (Fine/Normal/Basic)
Image size - Large (4288x2848; 12.2M), Medium (3216x2136; 6.9M), Small (2144x1424; 3.1M)
White balance - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Choose color temp (2,500-10,000K), Preset manually
ISO sensitivity settings - ISO sensitivity (200 - 3200 in 1/3 EV steps with LO and HI 0.3 - 1EV settings), ISO sensitivity Auto Control (Off/On), Max. sensitivity (400, 800, 1600, 3200, Hi 1), Minimum shutter speed (1/2000 - 1 seconds)
Active D-lighting - Auto (default), Extra High, High, Normal, Low, Off
Color Space - Select sRGB or Adobe RGB
Long exp. NR - Off (default) or On (enabled when shutter speeds are 8 seconds or slower)
High ISO NR - High, Normal (default), Low, Off
Active Folder - Create, rename, or delete the folders in which photographs and movie files are stored on the memory card
Multiple exposure - Create a single image from 2 or 3 exposures
Movie Settings - Choose video settings, see the menu screen above
Custom settings allow you to fine-tune a great number of camera settings and/or button functions to suit your particular needs.
To make it easy to get to the settings you want, the Custom Menu is organized into six color-coded groups:
Custom Menu - Autofocus
a2 Center focus point - Normal zone or Wide zone
a3 Built-in AF-assist illuminator - Enables/disables the built-in AF-assist illuminator
a4 AF Point Illumination - Auto, On or Off; controls whether the active focus areas are highlighted in red in the viewfinder
a5 Focus Point Wrap-Around - Wrap or no wrap; Select whether the focus-point selection 'wrap around'
a6 AE-L/AF-L for MB-D80 - Choose the function assigned to the AE-L/AF-L button on the optional MB-D80 battery pack
a7 Live View Autofocus - Choose the AF mode for Live View; Face priority, Wide area (default) or Normal area
Custom Menu - Metering/Exposure
b2 Easy exposure compensation - On or Off
b3 Center-weighted area - Choose the diameter of the center-weighted metering circle; 6mm, 8mm (default) or 10mm increment in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
b4 Fine Tune Optimal Exposure - Fine tune the exposure for each metering method +/-1EV in 1/6 EV steps
Custom Menu - Timers/AE Lock
c2 Auto meter-off delay - Controls how long the camera continues to meter the exposure when no operations are performed: 4 seconds - 30 minutes
c3 Self-timer delay - Length of self-timer delay: 2, 5, 10, 20s
c4 Monitor off delay - Length of time the color LCD remains on when no operations are performed: 4s - 10m
c5 Remote on duration - 1 - 15 minutes
Custom Menu - Shooting/Display
d2 Viewfinder Grid Display - Turns on grid lines in viewfinder
d3 ISO display and adjustment - Choose Show ISO sensitivity or Show ISO/Easy ISO to display the current ISO sensitivity setting in the frame count displays in the control panel and viewfinder
d3 Viewfinder Warning Display - Enables viewfinder display of low battery, no memory card, or shooting in black warning
d4 Screen tips - Choose On (default) to display tips for items selected in the shooting information display, Off to turn tip display off. This option is available in all shooting modes.
d5 CL Mode Shooting Speed - Determines frame rate in Continuous-low speed mode, choose from values between 1 and 4fps (3fps is the default setting)
d7 File No. Seq. - Sequential file numbering options (On, Off or Reset)
d8 Shooting Info Display - Choose the color settings for the Shooting info display (Auto or Manual)
d9 LCD Illumination - Illuminate data displays only with lamp switch or whenever meter is active.
d10 Exposure Delay Mode - Delay shutter release by about 1 sec to minimize camera shake caused by mirror slap
d11 Flash warning - On or Off, Will display a flash warning when shooting in poor lighting (P/S/A/M modes)
d12 MB-D80 Battery Type - Specify AA battery type installed (LR6, HR6, FR6 or ZR6)
Custom Menu - Bracketing/Flash
e1 Flash shutter speed - Determines slowest shutter speed with flash when in P or A mode: 1/60 to 30s
e2 Flash Control for Built-in Flash - Controls built-in flash mode, TTL, Manual, Repeating flash or Commander mode (controls remote flash units)
e3 Modeling flash - Determines whether the built-in and optional Speedlights emit a modeling flash when DOF button is pressed
e4 Auto Bracketing set - Controls what settings are affected by AE Bracketing: AE & flash, AE only, Flash only, WB bracketing, ADL bracketing
e6 Auto FP - Enables/Disables Auto FP High-Speed Sync with optional flash units that support the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS), which allows the flash to be used at shutter speeds from 1/200 1/4000 sec.
e7 Bracketing Order - Controls the order in which bracketing is performed: MTR>Under>Over, Under>MTR>Over
Custom Menu - Controls
f2 OK button (shooting mode) - Choose the function of this button when in Record mode; Select center focus point, Highlight active focus point, Not used
f3 Assign FUNC. Button - Controls the function performed by the FUNC button; Framing Grid, FV lock, AF-area mode, Matrix metering, Flash off, Access top item in My menu, etc.
f4 Assign AE-L/AF-L Button - Choose the role of the AE-L/AF-L button; AE/AF Lock, AE lock only, AF lock only, AE lock (hold), AF-ON, FV lock
f5 Customize Command dials - Change the rotation direction of command dials, swap the function of main and sub command dials, change functions performed by command dials in playback mode and menu navigation
f6 No Memory Card? - Lock or Enable shutter release if no CF card is present
f7 Reverse Indicators - Change the exposure indicators in the control panel, viewfinder shooting, and shooting information display From positive - negative (+0-) to negative - positive (-0+)
LCD brightness - Adjust LCD back light +3 to -3
Clean Image Sensor - Cleans the Low Pass Filter to remove dust and dirt particles
Lock Mirror up for cleaning - Lock mirror up for cleaning the low-pass filter manually (the EN-EL3 battery has to have greater than 60% charged)
Video mode - Select video output format: NTSC or PAL
HDMI - Select the HDMI format: Auto (camera selects appropriate format), 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i
World Time - Set the date, time, time zone, date format
Language - Select the menu language
Image comment - Enter a comment that will be embedded in the image information
Auto image rotation - Auto rotates portrait mode images for proper video display
USB - Select PTP or Mass Storage USB mode
Image Dust Off ref photo - Capture a photo to be used with Capture NX 2's Dust Off feature
Battery info - Display the battery info screen
GPS - Adjust settings for connection to a GPS unit, like Nikon's GP-1
Firmware Version - Display the camera's current firmware version information
The final option at the bottom of the menus gives access to two different systems; My menu and Recent Settings. Recent settings displays the twenty most recently used settings, while My menu allows you to make a customized set of options tailored for your needs.
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