Friday, 25 March 2016

Nikon D90 - REVIEW - Still A Good Camera


I recently acquired a Nikon D90 when I purchased a 50mm prime lens from a friend and took it for a low light test shoot last night at Sandown Airport on the Isle of Wight. Quite impressed with the camera build and functionality although the image sharpness dropped off a little when cropped at 100% despite using the lowest native ISO (200) and a long exposure. In good lighting conditions sharpness was good and chromatic aberration was minimal. At 12mp I think it is showing its age a bit next to modern cameras with newer processors and sensors with twice the resolution. This will make an excellent camera to learn with or a decent backup and the body is the same (more or less) as the D7200 so it will be a good practice model until I can afford an upgrade. 

Things I like about this camera are the build quality, the illuminated LCD screen on top of the camera which saves hours of battery life when not using the back screen, and not having to reset the Self Timer for every shot once it is set. I also like that the camera body is the forerunner for the newer D7000 range of Nikon crop sensor cameras and my current DX lenses are all compatible. I bought the camera with a 18-105mm kit lens, battery grip, new strap, remote shutter release, charger and macro reversing ring. All welcome additions to my kit bag.

The D90 focusses well in low light and hunts less than a lot of modern cameras with more focus points and has the full functionality of a modern DSLR. However, the body is not weather sealed so keep it out of the rain.

See sample images below...

Click the images to enlarge.

The first image is the JPEG straight out of the camera with only +5 saturation and minor horizon straightening. The next three night shots tested the camera well in low light and provided good contrast between light and dark. Post processing these images included minor saturation and sharpening only. Most of the saturation was done "in camera" by using a long exposure and setting the camera to "Vivid". The last image is straight-out-of-the-camera (no post processing) and was shot at night in full darkness at ISO800 with a long exposure. As you can see for a 12mp camera creating approximately 4000 x 3000 pixel photographs in low light, the detail and low noise is surprisingly good. All these images and more are licensable on request and will be uploaded as stock eventually.

MY VERDICT : Still a good camera. If you are starting out in photography or you need a low budget backup and you can get your hands on a pre-loved, good condition Nikon D90, you will not be disappointed :)

Copyrights Matt Blythe, 2016.