Nikon D90 SLR Review

Features & Controls

Nikon-F Mount Lenses

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

The D90 is compatible with about 90% of the F mount Nikkor lenses made. Because its DX format imager is physically smaller than a 35mm film frame you need to use a picture angle conversion factor of 1.5x to determine proper focal length coverage when using 35mm format lenses.

Closeup of the all-metal Nikon-F lens mount. Upper left is the focus-assist illuminator lamp, also used for red-eye reduction flash mode. On the left side of the lens mount is the FUNC. and Depth of Field (DOF) preview buttons, on the right side is the lens release lock button and the focus mode switch.

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

Focus Mode selector switch (AF or Manual). The D90 employs Nikon's High-speed, high precision 11-area AF system with predictive focus tracking and Lock-on to ensure quick response and sharp focus, while an AF-assist illuminator helps ensure performance in low-light situations.

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

When you purchase the body and lens outfit, it includes the new AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens (see more info below.)

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is compatible with all Nikon D-series digital SLRs and is the standard zoom lens in the Nikon D90 digital SLR camera outfit. With an equivalent coverage of 27-157.5mm (approx. 5.8x) in 35mm photography, it employs Nikon's Silent Wave motor (AF-S) for super fast and quiet autofocus, Extra-Low Dispersion glass (ED) for minimized chromatic aberrations, and Nikon's Super Integrated Coating (SIC) which enhances light transmission and offers superior color consistency and reduced flare. Vibration Reduction is engineered specifically for each VR NIKKOR lens and enables handheld shooting at up to 3 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible. This lens also incorporates a reliable metal lens mount for years of durability.

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

The AF-S VR Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF is yet another new lens for Nikon D-series digital SLRs. With an equivalent coverage of 105-450mm in 35mm photography, it employs Nikon's enhanced Vibration Reduction (VRII) technology for steady shots as well as Silent Wave motor (AF-S) for super fast and quiet autofocus, Extra-Low Dispersion glass (ED) for minimized chromatic aberrations, and Internal Focusing (IF) for convenient and balanced handling. Other features include a distance information guide window, a reliable metal lens mount for years of durability, and a M/A mode for seamless switching between autofocus and manual modes.

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

Designed exclusively for use with Nikon digital SLR cameras, DX Nikkor lenses deliver a versatile range of angle-of-view, higher performance, and outstanding center-to-edge-to-corner image quality, while realizing smaller and lighter designs. The current lineup of DX Nikkor lenses includes:

  • AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8G ED

  • AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED

  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

  • AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED

  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

  • AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II

  • AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED

  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

  • AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

  • AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED

  • AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED

  • AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED

i-TTL Flash

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

The built-in speedlight automatically pops-up and fires when using Auto exposure mode only. i-TTL technology improves the accuracy of fill-flash exposure and white balance in a picture, by seamlessly integrating color information from the speedlight's monitor pre-flash with information from the 420-pixel RGB sensor. It has been improved to provide coverage for up to 18mm wide angle lenses.

You can shoot at synchronized speeds up to 1/200 second for great fill effects under bright light conditions, and adjust the flash's power output by -3 to +1 EV in 1/3 EV steps. To manually pop-up the flash, you press the Flash mode button. Holding this button and rotating the control dials on the front and back of the camera allows you to change the flash mode and adjust the output.

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

Nikon SB600

The D90's built-in Speedlight offers a level of performance that is unrivalled in any other digital SLR camera in its class. Designed to be a part of Nikon's growing Creative Lighting System, the built-in Speedlight adopts Nikon's exclusive i-TTL flash control technology. In addition to normal on-camera use, it can be used in Commander Mode to remotely control one group of multiple SB-600 or SB-800 Speedlights wirelessly. An SB-800 can be mounted on the D90 and used as the Master Speedlight to control up to three remote groups of wireless Speedlights, with each group consisting of any number of Nikon SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlight units. (Note: Photo above shows the SB-600 mounted on the Nikon D80)

Nikon SB600

The D90 controls the SB-600 or SB-800's motorized zoom head and makes use of its more powerful AF-assist beam. The output of the flash is controlled precisely thanks to the i-TTL flash exposure control system.


Nikon D90 Digital SLR

The eye-level pentaprism viewfinder shows approximately 96% of the captured frame. It has dioptric adjustment (-2.0 to +1.0m-1) and a comfortable 19.5mm eye relief with a fairly wide viewing angle. It employs a fixed Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with superimposed focus brackets and on-demand grid lines. Nikon also offers the DK-21 replacement rubber eyecup and the DK-21M magnifying eyepiece as well as several DK-20C correction eyepieces.

Nikon D90 Digital SLR

The D90 viewfinder display:

    1 - Framing grid (can be disabled via the custom menu)
    2 - Reference circle for center-weighted metering (can be set to 6, 8 or 10mm via the custom menu)
    3 - Battery level indicator
    4 - Indicates Black and White exposure
    5 - Focus points
    6 - Center focus point (Normal-frame)
    7 - Center focus point (Wide-frame)
    8 - 'No memory card' warning

    9 - Focus indicator
    10 - Flash value (FV) lock
    11 - Shutter speed
    12 - Aperture (f/-number)
    13 - Battery indicator
    14 - White balance bracketing indicator
    15 - Bracketing indicator
    16 - ISO sensitivity
    17 - Number of exposures remaining
    18 - 'K' (appears when memory remains for over 1000 exposures)
    19 - Flash-ready indicator
    20 - Auto Exposure (AE) lock
    21 - Electronic analog exposure display; Exposure comp.
    22 - Flash Comp. indicator
    23 - Exposure Comp. indicator
    24 - Auto ISO indicator
    25 - ISO sensitivity compensation indicator

Please help support our site and visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.