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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix P90


Nikon P90 Review

Review Date: Apr 13, 2009

Category: Beginner Amateur

Nikon Coolpix P90


This Nikon P90 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

Grass Blowing in the Wind

The Nikon Coolpix P90 is an ultra zoom digital camera capable of capturing good shots with point-and-shoot ease. Its major attraction is its 24x optical zoom: a 26mm wide-angle for large group and wide landscape shots and a 624mm tele to bring far scenes up real close. Sensor-shift image stabilization helps eliminate camera shake when using long focal lengths.

This camera is packed with features that should appeal to the beginner amateur photographer. It has very good build and construction, and excellent handling. An extra large 3.0 in. Vari-angle LCD has 230K dots resolution and makes it super easy to take shots above the head or low to the ground. The LCD "gains up" in low-light.

Image quality is good at ISO 64. As with most compact digital cameras, higher ISOs tend to suffer from noise and image detail loss.

Startup is fast. Autofocus is fast and precise in good lighting, even at long focal lengths (with usual slight AF lag). In low-light, locking AF depends a lot on how contrasty your subject is.

The availability of PASM modes should prove attractive to learning beginner amateur photographers allowing them to graduate from point-and-shoot photography to being more in control of the camera settings.

More advanced photographers will miss RAW file format, hot shoe, and Live Histogram.

What I like about the Nikon P90:

  • Good image quality at low ISO (ISO 64) in good lighting, especially when Optimize Image is set to Vivid
  • Wide-angle 24x optical zoom lens (26-624mm, 35mm equivalent)
  • Effective CCD-shift image stabilization
  • A tilting LCD for close-to-the-ground shooting
  • Very good handling and build
  • Full exposure flexibility
  • Very good metering
  • Area AF with 99 positions for easy off-center focus
  • Fast startup time
  • Accurate AF in good light, even at long focal lengths

Improvements wish list:

  • Reduce CA in everyday shots (purple fringing)
  • Improve low light AF (inconsistent for low contrast subjects)
  • Increase LCD refresh rate (grainy image)
  • Improve AWB in natural light (only accurate in sunny conditions)
  • Fix Infinity focus mode (does not work as expected)

See if you fit the Nikon P90 User Profile below:

Nikon P90
User Profile
Desire a 12.1MP resolution digital camera with good image quality (at low ISOs).
Desire effective image stabilization.
Want a long zoom. Want a long zoom. Want a long zoom.
Want a full-featured digital camera.
Want eveything a beginner amateur photographer needs to learn, experiment and grow in digital photography.
Want more exposure flexibility than provided by a point-and-shoot digital camera.
Want a tilting LCD.

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