The Nikon D90 comes in a strong metal chassis wrapped with a high-quality plastic body that features some rubberized areas on its surface for grip improvement. As you would expect from a Nikon digital SLR camera, which is well known for having a generally more robust plastic body than digital SLR cameras from other brands, the D90 is also very well assembled. Not only robust, the D90 is also ergonomically and logically designed, it feels comfortable in the hand and its navigation and control layout should immediately be recognizable to anyone who has used a digital SLR camera before. Even if you are completely new to digital SLR cameras, you won’t need a lot of time in learning how to operate the D90.
The Nikon D90’s performance significantly improves upon its predecessor, the Nikon D80. The D90 needs only less than 0.2 second from power on to the first shot and less than 0.5 second between sequential shots. Its shutter lag is also swift at 0.4 second in bright lighting conditions and 0.9 second at dim lighting conditions. The D90’s continuous shooting speed of 4 frames per second is already impressive for an under US$1000 digital SLR camera, if that is still not enough, you can even get a faster continuous shooting speed of 4.5 frames per second by using a faster SDHC memory card. Overall, the D90 is an exceptionally fast and responsive digital SLR camera for its class.
Nikon tried to make the D90’s image quality on par with the company’s higher-end digital SLR cameras. Using the same 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor as the one used by the Nikon D300 but with a lower 12 bit A/D conversion – compared to 14 bit, Nikon promised that the D90’s high-ISO image quality will be as good as that of the D300. As we tested the D90, we found out that it was not an empty promise. The image quality delivered by the D90 is truly excellent, whether at base ISO or higher ISO settings. For some people, the D90’s default output might look not contrasty and sharp enough; however, this problem can easily be solved by doing a few adjustments in the camera settings.