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Nikon D90 vs Olympus E-M1X

The Nikon D90 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2008 and January 2019. The D90 is a DSLR, while the E-M1X is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D90) and a Four Thirds (E-M1X) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 20.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D90 VS Olympus E-M1X
Nikon D90 Olympus E-M1X
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
720/24p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-3200 (200-6400) ISO 200-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
4.5 shutter flaps per second 18 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
850 shots per battery charge870 shots per battery charge
132 x 103 x 77 mm, 703 g 144 x 147 x 75 mm, 997 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D90 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X? 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 Nikon D90 and the Olympus E-M1X 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.

The E-M1X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D90 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D90 vs Olympus E-M1X
Compare D90 versus E-M1X top
Comparison D90 or E-M1X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M1X is considerably larger (56 percent) than the Nikon D90. Moreover, the E-M1X is substantially heavier (42 percent) than the D90. It is noteworthy in this context that the E-M1X is splash and dust-proof, 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 will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D90) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M1X). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-M1X, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D90 gets 850 shots out of its EN-EL3e battery, while the E-M1X can take 870 images on a single charge of its BLH-1 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the E-M1X has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D90, Nikon provides the MB-D80 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay). The power pack in the E-M1X can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D90» 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 n Aug 2008 1,299iNikon D90
 
Olympus E-M1X« 5.7 in 5.8 in 3.0 in 35.2 oz 870 Y Jan 2019 2,999 iOlympus E-M1X
 
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499iNikon D7000
 
Nikon D3100« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599iNikon D3100
 
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799iNikon D300S
 
Nikon D3000« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599iNikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000« » 5.0 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 20.8 oz 510 n Apr 2009 749iNikon D5000
 
Nikon D60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 n Jan 2008 629iNikon D60
 
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729iNikon D40X
 
Nikon D300« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 2.9 in 32.6 oz 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D80« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999iNikon D80
 
Olympus E-M1 III« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 20.5 oz 420 Y Feb 2020 1,799 iOlympus E-M1 III
 
Olympus E-M5 III« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.6 oz 310 Y Oct 2019 1,199 iOlympus E-M5 III
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999iOlympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic S1« » 5.9 in 4.3 in 3.8 in 35.9 oz 400 Y Feb 2019 2,499 iPanasonic S1
 
Panasonic G90« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.0 in 18.9 oz 290 Y Apr 2019 999 iPanasonic G90
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D90 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 57 percent) than the E-M1X, 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D90 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-M1X a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M1X is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D90 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M1X offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Nikon D90 and Olympus E-M1X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-M1X offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the D90. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 5.53μm for the D90). However, it should be noted that the E-M1X is much more recent (by 10 years and 4 months) than the D90, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M1X has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-M1X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-M1X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 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 E-M1X has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

Unlike the D90, the E-M1X has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (80MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

The Nikon D90 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 200-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M1X are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600.

D90 versus E-M1X MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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 D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-M1X Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Olympus E-M1X
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967Nikon D300
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461Nikon D80
 
Olympus E-M1 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Olympus E-M1 III
 
Olympus E-M5 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884k/24p........Olympus E-M5 III
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic S1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/60p25.214.5333395Panasonic S1
 
Panasonic G90 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Panasonic G90

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-M1X provides a better video resolution than the D90. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 720/24p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M1X has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D90 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the E-M1X 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 E-M1X has a higher magnification (0.83x vs 0.63x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D90 and Olympus E-M1X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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 D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-M1X2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1X
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D300
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D80
 
Olympus E-M1 III2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 III
 
Olympus E-M5 III2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 III
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic S15760 Y 3.2 2100 full-flex Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y Panasonic S1
 
Panasonic G902360 n 3.0 1240 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G90

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D90 has one, while the E-M1X does not. While the built-in flash of the D90 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The E-M1X has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D90 does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the E-M1X is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Olympus E-M1X 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 D90 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-M1X uses SDXC cards. The E-M1X features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D90 only has one slot. The E-M1X supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the D90 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Nikon D90 and Olympus OM-D E-M1X 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-M1XYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y-YOlympus E-M1X
 
Canon 40DYnonenone--none2.0---Canon 40D
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D7000
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D300S
 
Nikon D3000Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D5000
 
Nikon D60Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D60
 
Nikon D40XYnonenone--none2.0---Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D300Ynonenone--mini2.0---Nikon D300
 
Nikon D80Ynonenone--none2.0---Nikon D80
 
Olympus E-M1 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YOlympus E-M1 III
 
Olympus E-M5 IIIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YOlympus E-M5 III
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic S1YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic S1
 
Panasonic G90YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y-YPanasonic G90

It is notable that the E-M1X offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D90 does not offer wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-M1X (unlike the D90) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the E-M1X has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

The E-M1X is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. 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 and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D90 or the Olympus E-M1X – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Nikon D90:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • More compact: Is smaller (132x103mm vs 144x147mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 294g or 29 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (57 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2008).

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Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/24p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • 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 framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • 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 (0.83x vs 0.63x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (18 vs 4.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • 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 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 on both slots.
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D90 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-M1X is the clear winner of the contest (30 : 8 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 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.

D90 08:30 E-M1X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D90 and the Olympus E-M1X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 D90 or the E-M1X. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

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 (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
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D90+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299iNikon D90
 
Olympus E-M1Xo..4.5/55/5.. Jan 2019 2,999 iOlympus E-M1X
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299iCanon 40D
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499iNikon D7000
 
Nikon D3100+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599iNikon D3100
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799iNikon D300S
 
Nikon D3000+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599iNikon D3000
 
Nikon D5000+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749iNikon D5000
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629iNikon D60
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729iNikon D40X
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799iNikon D300
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999iNikon D80
 
Olympus E-M1 III....4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2020 1,799 iOlympus E-M1 III
 
Olympus E-M5 III+82/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Oct 2019 1,199 iOlympus E-M5 III
 
Olympus E-M1 II+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999iOlympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic S1+ +88/1004.5/5..4/5 Feb 2019 2,499 iPanasonic S1
 
Panasonic G90+83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2019 999 iPanasonic G90
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D90:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-M1X:
Check Amazon price

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D90 vs Olympus E-M1X

    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 D90 Olympus E-M1X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2008 January 2019
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 2999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D90 Olympus E-M1X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.53 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 3.28 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/24p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-3200 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 200-6400 ISO 64-25600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED Dual TruePic VIII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 73 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.7 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 977 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon D90 Olympus E-M1X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x 0.83x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D90 Olympus E-M1X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/8000/s
    Continuous Shooting 4.5 shutter flaps/s 18 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/32000s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support no Dual UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D90 Olympus E-M1X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D90 Olympus E-M1X
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL3e BLH-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)850 shots per charge870 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 132 x 103 x 77 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    144 x 147 x 75 mm
    (5.7 x 5.8 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 703 g (24.8 oz) 997 g (35.2 oz)

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