Great Semi-Pro DSLR

Jul 17, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Built in AF motor
Large LCD screen 
Lots of options for fine tuning

Cons:Video is practically useless
Live view AF is slow
High ISO quality not very good

The Bottom Line: If you are looking to upgrade but not ready to go pro, the D90 is an excellent option.


After having my Nikon D40 for over 2 years, I decided it was time to upgrade. I looked at several different Nikon models, but eventually settled on the D90 because of the more advanced features it possessed. The biggest selling point for me was the built in auto-focus motor, which allows the use of older AF Nikon lenses while still maintaining auto-focus capabilities. 

The D90 also offers many in-camera editing tools, as well as other useful and fun features to play around with.

Another very useful feature is the aperture adjustment dial located right in front of the shutter release button. I almost exclusively shoot in full Manual mode and find this innovation extremely helpful.

Some have reported that the D90 does extremely well in low light due to high ISO capabilities, but I found that anything over 200 ISO is just too grainy, at least for larger prints or professional work - unless of grainy is part of your shooting style.

The camera menu can be a bit complicated due to the myriad of adjustable settings, but most of the important settings are relatively easy to find and manipulate. 

As the first DSLR with video capability, the D90 was an important step in camera technology... however, that said, the video is pretty much useless since there is no auto-focus in video mode. If you are really good at manual focus or are taping a static subject, it may work just fine - but what is the point of video other than to capture non-static, moving objects? I must say though, that the video audio does appear to be quite decent for a built in camera mic.

Every time I let someone else use my cameras, they are always confused by the fact that you have to actually look through a viewfinder; with the D90 however, live view is an option - but not a very practical one. The reason it is not quite up to par is the amount of time it takes the focus to lock. By the time that little focus indicator turns green you have probably lost your subject. But at least you have the option I guess.

Okay, well I feel as if I have listed enough negative things about the D90. It is not my intention to discourage anyone from buying it - it is quite a nice camera with a lot of high end technology that you probably are not going to find in that little point-and-shoot. My goal here is to present the facts about the product, and then let the consumer decide for themselves. 

For me the D90 really was the best option when it came time for a camera upgrade. It gave me room to expand my knowledge of, and experience with DSLR's, at a price that didn't break the bank.

All in all I have been pleased with my choice of the D90. Pretty much if you want anything better, you might as well start looking at the pro cameras - and be prepared to live on cheese and crackers for the next several decades! 

Well, that's about it for my thoughts - oh, but just one more thing: I have read Pro's bemoaning the D90's plastic body, but mine took a fall from 3-4 feet onto solid pavement with no apparent damage, either in function or cosmetics. So while it is plastic, it still seems quite solid.


Recommend this product?

Read all comments (1)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!