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Nikon D850 vs D90

The Nikon D850 and the Nikon D90 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2017 and August 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (D850) and an APS-C (D90) sensor. The D850 has a resolution of 45.4 megapixels, whereas the D90 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
Nikon D850   Nikon D90
Nikon D850 Nikon D90
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 720/24p Video
ISO 64-25600 (32-102400) ISO 200-3200 (200-6400)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2" LCD, 2359k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Tilting touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
9 shutter flaps per second 4.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
1840 shots per battery charge850 shots per battery charge
146 x 124 x 79 mm, 1005 g 132 x 103 x 77 mm, 703 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D850 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: Nikon D850 vs D90

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D850 and the Nikon D90 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D850 vs Nikon D90
Compare D850 versus D90 top
Comparison D850 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 notably smaller (25 percent) than the Nikon D850. Moreover, the D90 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the D850. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D850 is splash and dust resistant, while the D90 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the D850) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (D90). You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D850 gets 1840 shots out of its EN-EL15a battery, while the D90 can take 850 images on a single charge of its EN-EL3e power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D850» 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D90« 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D90 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 61 percent) than the D850, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D850 vs D90

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 Nikon D850 features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D90 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D90 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the D850 uses a more advanced image processing engine (EXPEED 5) than the D90 (EXPEED), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Nikon D850 and Nikon D90 sensor measures

With 45.4MP, the D850 offers a higher resolution than the D90 (12.2MP), but the D850 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 5.53μm for the D90). However, the D850 is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 10 months) than the D90, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D850 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D850 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D850 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 27.5 inch or 104.9 x 69.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 22 inch or 83.9 x 55.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 18.3 inch or 69.9 x 46.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D90 are 21.4 x 14.2 inch or 54.5 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.2 x 11.4 inch or 43.6 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.3 x 9.5 inch or 36.3 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D850 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 64 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 32-102400. 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.

D850 versus D90 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 review, the D850 provides substantially higher image quality than the D90, with an overall score that is 27 points higher. This advantage is based on 3.7 bits higher color depth, 2.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D850» Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
 
Nikon D90« APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D850 provides a higher video resolution than the D90. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the D90 is limited to 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D850 vs D90

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D850 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 viewfinder in the D850 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D90 (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D850 has a higher magnification (0.75x vs 0.63x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D850, the Nikon D90, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D850»optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n Nikon D850
 
Nikon D90«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« »optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The D850 has a touchscreen, while the D90 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Nikon D850 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D850 writes its imaging data to SDHC or XQD cards, while the D90 uses SDHC cards. The D850 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D90 only has one slot. The D850 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the D90 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D850 vs D90

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 Nikon D850 and Nikon D90 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D850»YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
 
Nikon D90«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D7000« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D80
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II

It is notable that the D850 has a microphone port, which is missing on the D90. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D850 (unlike the D90) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The D850 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the D90 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D90 was succeeded by the Nikon D7000. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.


Review summary: Nikon D850 vs D90

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D850 and the Nikon D90? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D850:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (45.4 vs 12.2MP) with a 93% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (27 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (3.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 5 vs EXPEED).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/24p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.75x vs 0.63x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 4.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1840 versus 850) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D90 launch.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D90:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More compact: Is smaller (132x103mm vs 146x124mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 302g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (61 percent cheaper at launch).
  • 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 D850 is the clear winner of the match-up (29 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D850 29:06 D90

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D850 and the Nikon D90 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D850 or the D90. 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: Nikon D850 vs D90

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D850»+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D90«+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Canon 5DS« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon 40D« »+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D300S« »+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D5000« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749- i Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D80« »++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999- i Nikon D80
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D850:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D90:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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: Nikon D850 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 Nikon D850 Nikon D90
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2017 August 2008
    Launch Price USD 3299 USD 1299
    Sensor Specs Nikon D850 Nikon D90
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 45.4 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 8256 x 5504 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.35 μm 5.53 μm
    Pixel Density 5.30 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 720/24p Video
    ISO Setting 64-25600 ISO 200-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 32-102400 ISO 200-6400 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 100 73
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 26.4 22.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.8 12.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2660 977
    Screen Specs Nikon D850 Nikon D90
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.75x 0.63x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D850 Nikon D90
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 4.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC or XQD cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D850 Nikon D90
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon D850 Nikon D90
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL15a power pack EN-EL3e power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1840 shots per charge850 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 124 x 79 mm
    (5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1 in)
    132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 1005 g (35.5 oz) 703 g (24.8 oz)

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