After days of leaked news floating around the Internet, Nikon finally released the details of the mid-range DSLR, an upgrade to the D80. Featuring a 12.3-megapixel APS-C sized (DX format) sensor and EXPEED image processing engine, the D90 is also the first DSLR to feature a moving function that can record up to 720P HD (1280×720 pixels) at 24 fps! Considering the much larger sensor in D90 compared to the tiny sensors in typical camcorders, you could imagine the superb image quality you can get. The D90 inherited many advanced features from Nikon’s flagship DX-format DSLR, the D300.

The main features of the D90 include:

  • 12.3M effective pixels.
  • ISO 200-3200, with Lo 1 (100) and Hi 1 (6400) mode
  • Sensor dust cleaning
  • EXPEED processing engine
  • D-Movie with 3 different modes: 320×216 pixels, 640×424 pixels, and 1280×720 (HD720P) at 24fps in MPEG format
  • Scene recognition system integrated with Face Detection System (face priority AF and immediate zoom into people’s faces during playback zoom)
  • 420-pixel RGB sensor for auto exposure, auto focus, and auto white balance
  • Live View with 3 different contrast-detect AF modes: Face priority AF, Wide area AF, normal area AF
  • Picture Control System for customization of the visual style of images: Standard, neutral, vivid, monochrome, portrait, and landscape
  • Active D-Lighting with four levels of adjustments and bracketing capability helps to recover details in high-contrast lighting conditions
  • 11-point AF system (only the center point is cross-type?) with 3D tracing
  • Pentaprism viewfinder with ~96% coverage, 19.5mm eyepoint with on-demand grid display
  • Scene modes: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, and Night Portrait
  • Extensive in-camera photo editing capability, including distortion control, straighten, fish-eye effect
  • 100, 000 shutter-release life expectancy
  • Fast: 0.15-second start-up, 65ms shutter blackout, 4.5fps continuous shooting
  • 3-inch, 920K pixel LCD for playback and liveview shooting
  • Built-in flash (18mm lens coverage and guide number 17m/56f at ISO 200) with i-TTL flash control (can work as commander to control up to two groups of remote Speedlights)
  • 850 shots on a single charge with EN-EL3e Li-ion battery
  • Extensive playback functions
  • Picmotion menu for creating slideshows with 5 different background music and image effects
  • HDMI output
  • Nikon Creative Lighting System support
  • Optional battery grip: MB-D80 (same as D80 grip)
  • Remote cord support (MC_DC2)
  • GPS support (GP-1)

Based on the feature set, it may be more appropriate to compare the Canon 50D with the Nikon D90, rather than the D300, even though both 50D and D300 are the top-of-the-line modes with DX-format sensors. Here is the side-by-side comparison of the three DSLRs.

For a detailed hands-on preview of the D90, please visit DPReview.

Aviability and pricing: End of September. $1,299 for a kit with the new Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.

Posted in: Digital SLR Cameras on August 27th, 2008. Trackback URI
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