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Nikon D90 Review

D90 Review

An in-depth analysis on the Nikon D90 digital SLR camera and the accompanying 18-105mm VR kit lens

[ insert photograph of front of the camera ]

Introduction to the Nikon D90

The Nikon D90 digital SLR camera was released as the much anticipated predecessor to Nikon’s successful D80 model. In the model range, it sits between the D60 (replaced by the D5000) and the D300 high-end prosumer model. A lot of the features of the D90 are derived from its more expensive sibling. Despite all the great features (high-end sensor, continuous shooting, etc.) the most prominant highlight of this camera is that it’s Nikon’s first D-SLR that captures high definition video.

Main Features of the D90 include:
* 12.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
* Continuous shooting at 4.5 fps
* Live view with an extra crisp 3 inch LCD display
* Active D-Lighting for improved dynamic range
* Numerous in-camera photo retouching tools
* HDMI output
* Optional GPS for geotagging

The specs are certainly there, and after reading some other reviews such as x, y and z I decided to purchase one and try it out myself. I have been more than happy with the performance of this DSLR. Lets start by opening the box and seeing what is included.

What’s in the box?

[ photo of the box and contents ]

You can either purchase just the body, or the body and the 18-105mm kit lens. You can buy the body-only configuration from x y and z for $foo. Because this is the first digital SLR I’ve purchased, I chose to buy it with the accompanying kit lens. Here is what mine came with.

* The 12.3 effective Megapixel Nikon D90 camera body
* 18-105mm F3.5 DX Nikkor VR AF-S lens
* EN-EL3e lithium-ion rechargable battery
* Battery charger
* Body cap
* LCD cover
* Eyepiece cap
* Shoulder strap
* USB cable
* A/V cable
* CD-ROMs featuring Nikon Software Suite
* User manual

The accompanying 18-105mm VR kit lens is an excellent all-purpose starter lens. For the price range, the versatility and picture quality is amazing. The VR stands for Vibration Reduction (which is otherwise known as stabilization).

If you go the body-only route, you will also have to supply the lens. The D90 is nice because it has a built-in focus motor which allows you to select from almost the entire collection of Nikon F-mount lenses. The D40 and D60 require an AF-S lens in order to use auto focus as they do not have a built in motor. There is a 1.5x focal length conversion ratio with whatever lens you end up using.

There is no memory card in the box, so you’ll need to get one if you don’t already have one. The D90 supports both SD and SDHC memory cards. SD memory has come down a lot in price, and so

[ link to sd memory ]

I’d suggest starting with at least a 4GB card. For SD memory, I would check the pricing at Amazon, and Ritz camera.

The D90 uses the EN-EL3e lithium-ion battery which contains 11.1 Wh of energy which is a really good number. The battery life with “live view” turned off is about 850 shots. This number is quite a bit higher than what the competitive cameras. One of these batteries will run you at least $30, and unless you’re using the optional battery grip, you can’t use any off-the-shelf batteries to get you through the day if your rechargeable dies. Obviously if you’re shooting professionally you’ll be prepared with all the batteries and equipment you’ll need. The optional grip supports 2 of the EN-EL3e lithium-ion batteries, and also has a tray that holds six AA batteries if you’re really in a pinch. The grip also contains extra buttons and dials which can be useful. The battery charges up fully in about 2.25 hours with the included charger.

As with all D-SLR cameras, there is a cornucopia of accessories available for the D90. Here is a list of a few items I’ve used that may be of interest to you. I will be reviewing a lot of these accessories in the near future.

Lenses
The Nikon D90 supports nearly all Nikon F-mount lenses. A few that I have used are:

Nikon 18-105mm kit lens
Nikon 18-200mm (kit lens with my friend’s D300)
Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens

External Flashes
You can select from a wide range of Nikon’s external flashes.
SB-400
SB-600
SB-800
SB-900

This is a wireless control for flashes.
SU-800