Nikon D90 - Review / Test Report - Technical Analysis
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs

Resolution

Below is a chart which compares the Nikon D90 to the Canon EOS 50D, the 450D and the Panasonic DMC-L10 (based on RAW files, transformed to DNG and converted to JPG using the same Adobe Camera RAW version).

The maximum resolution of the Nikon D90 is comparable to the Canon EOS 450D. You may notice an obvious difference between the Nikon D90 and the competitor Canon EOS 50D, but the increased resolution of Canon's 15mp sensor shows up naturally comparing to the 12mp sensor of the Nikon D90 and is not worth mentioning.

Let's check the impact on the ISO of the 23.6 x 15.8mm CMOS sensor.

ISO noise

The Nikon D90 is a great performer throughout the ISO range. There are no problems at ISO 100,200,400 and ISO 800 and 1600 are also perfectly fine for most scenes. However, at ISO 3200 the noise level is starting to spoil the game, but it's still usable in some situations while ISO 6400 is definitely out of race.

The chart below shows the results based on a RAW-file analysis:

If you move your mouse cursor over the image you can switch the the corresponding JPEG results

These are the lab results but I guess you're also interested in some samples taken in the real world. The first image series should give you an idea of the color noise at the specific settings.

If you move your mouse cursor over the image you can switch the the corresponding JPEG results

... and another series with a more detailed subject.

If you move your mouse cursor over the image you can switch the the corresponding JPEG results

Verdict:

low ISO noise (ISO 100-200):
mid ISO noise (ISO 400-800):
high ISO noise (ISO 1600-3200):



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