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How much dynamic range does the Nikon D90 offer?

According to measurements carried out by DXO Mark, the sensor in the Nikon D90 provides a maximum of 12.5 EV of dynamic range (DR). DR is defined as the ratio between the highest and lowest brightness a camera can capture. A value of 12 EV or above is considered excellent.

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High dynamic range of a camera sensor is particularly desirable for scenes with a mix of very bright and very dark parts, such as in some landscape photography settings. It helps to avoid that highlights get washed out or that detail in shadows is lost.

Sensor specs and performance

The table below compares the sensor specs of the Nikon D90 to those of several similar cameras. The reported DXO values are indicators of the sensor's imaging quality (higher is better). In addition to dynamic range (DXO Landscape), the listing also covers color depth (DXO Portrait) and high-ISO noise (DXO Sports). Larger sensor cameras tend to outperform cameras of the same generation that are equipped with a smaller imager. On the other hand, larger sensors are more expensive and require bigger and heavier lenses than smaller light receptors.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
2.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
3.
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/24p23.513.9116780
4.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
5.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
6.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
7.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
8.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
9.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
10.
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
11.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
Further information on the sensor in the Nikon D90 and the camera's operation can be found in the camera manual.

In the United States, the D90 was initially launched in August 2008 at a price of $1,299.

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Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon D90
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2008
    Launch Price USD 1 299
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 373 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 288 x 2 848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 3 200 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 6 400 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 977
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type EN-EL3e power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)850 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 703 g (24.8 oz)

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