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Fujifilm X10 vs Nikon D90

The Fujifilm X10 and the Nikon D90 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2011 and August 2008. The X10 is a fixed lens compact, while the D90 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X10) and an APS-C (D90) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 12.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Fujifilm X10
versus
Nikon D90
Fujifilm X10   Nikon D90
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
12 MP – Two Thirds sensor 12.2 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/30p Video 720/24p Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800) ISO 200-3,200 (200 - 6,400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.8" LCD – 460k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 4.5 shutter flaps per second
270 shots per battery charge850 shots per battery charge
117 x 70 x 57 mm, 350 g 132 x 103 x 77 mm, 703 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X10 and the Nikon D90? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X10 and the Nikon D90 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D90 is only available in black.

Size Fujifilm X10 vs Nikon D90
Compare X10 versus D90 top
Comparison X10 or D90 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D90 is considerably larger (66 percent) than the Fujifilm X10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X10 nor the D90 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X10 has a lens built in, whereas the D90 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D90 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the X10 gets 270 shots out of its NP-50 battery, while the D90 can take 850 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
7.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D7000 132 mm 105 mm 77 mm 780 g 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X10 was launched at a lower price than the D90, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X10 features a 2/3 sensor and the Nikon D90 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D90 is 543 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 1.5. The sensor in the X10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D90 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Fujifilm X10 and Nikon D90 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the D90 offers a higher resolution than the X10 (12MP), but the D90 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.53μm versus 2.20μm for the X10) due to its larger sensor. However, the X10 is a much more recent model (by 3 years) than the D90, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Fujifilm X10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D90 are ISO 200 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

X10 versus D90 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D90 offers substantially better image quality than the X10 (overall score 23 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.2 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
2.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
5.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
6.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
7.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.411.2-31249
8.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p19.810.8-30343
10.
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/24p23.513.9116780
11.
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
12.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
13.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
14.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
16.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
17.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the X10 provides a higher video resolution than the D90. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The X10 and the D90 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X10 and Nikon D90 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5/s Y n
7.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Nikon D7000optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that is present on the D90, but is missing on the X10 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The X10 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D90 uses SDHC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm X10 and Nikon D90 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
7.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D7000Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D300SYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Both the X10 and the D90 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D90 was replaced by the Nikon D7000, while the X10 was followed by the Fujifilm X20. Further information on the features and operation of the X10 and D90 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X10 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon D90 Manual.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X10 and the Nikon D90? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Fujifilm X10:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/24p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D90 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x70mm vs 132x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D90).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the D90 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D90:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (23 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (850 versus 270) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2008).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D90 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

X10 09:11 D90

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X10 and the Nikon D90 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X10 and the D90 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
7.
 
Fujifilm X304/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6........4/54/5 Sep 2012 699ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D70004/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D300S5/5+ +..82/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
14.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
16.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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: Fujifilm X10 vs Nikon D90

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Fujifilm X10 Nikon D90
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2011 August 2008
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 1,299
    Sensor Specs Fujifilm X10 Nikon D90
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Two Thirds Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 8.8 x 6.6 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 58.08 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 11 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 3.9x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 2.20 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 20.66 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 200 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor EXR Processor II EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 50 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.5 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 245 977
    Screen Specs Fujifilm X10 Nikon D90
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 85% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Fujifilm X10 Nikon D90
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 4.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Fujifilm X10 Nikon D90
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Fujifilm X10 Nikon D90
    Battery Type NP-50 EN-EL3e
    Battery Life (CIPA)270 shots per charge850 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 70 x 57 mm
    (4.6 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
    132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 350 g (12.3 oz) 703 g (24.8 oz)
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    Check D90 offers at
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