D90 and D7000 Spec Differences

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This thread is modeled on Mike Buckley's D80 and D7000 Spec Differences thread. I thank Mike for his positive contribution in willing to share his thorough research with D80 owners and now D90 owners. This thread is seeded by taking his voluminous list and removing those items that only apply between the D80 and the D7000. It has started with about 51 items, and this will grow as users contribute to it.

This is a list of features in the specs of the D7000 that are not included in the D90. When the D90 has a similar feature but not as complete, I've put that in parentheses.

Please feel free to add to it, correct it or discuss it. I will edit the list as comments are made.

My objective is to maintain consistency of format with the D80-D7000 thread. Perhaps someone else would be willing to create a D7000-D300s list -- though that one would be more difficult because there are both additions and subtractions.

Currently three items on the list have question marks -- I'm still trying to figure out if there is a difference.

Start-up Time
  • 0.13 ms (D90: 0.15 ms) (based on Nikon press releases)

Sensor
  • 16.2 effective megapixels (D90: 12.3)
  • 16.9 total megapixels (D90: 12.9)
  • Crop factor 1.53 (D90: 1.50)
  • 14-bit A/D converter (D90: 12-bit A/D converter)

Image Processing Engine
  • Expeed 2 (D90: Expeed)

Files (General)
  • Default "DSC" in the file name can be replaced with any three letters
  • Copyright information can be configured for Artist up to 36 characters, and Copyright up to 54 characters -- information is written to files unless the feature is toggled off without wiping out the configured information

JPEG Files
  • Supports both size priority and optimal quality JPEG compression (D90: only 1 unspecified compression is used)

RAW Files
  • 12 bit, lossless compressed RAW
  • 14 bit, compressed RAW
  • 14 bit, lossless compressed RAW
  • (D90 has only 12 bit, compressed RAW, which the D7000 also supports)

Exposure
  • 2 programmable exposure modes
  • Metering system 2016 pixels (D90: 403 pixels)
  • 9 programmed AI - manual focus - lenses will be metered

Focusing
  • Lens fine tuning
  • 39 auto focus points (D90: 11)
  • 9 cross-sensor focus points (D90: 1)
  • 3 Dynamic Area AF modes (D90: 1 mode -- 11 focus points):
  • 9-point dynamic area AF (e.g. for subjects moving predictably like runners on a track)
  • 21-point dynamic area AF (e.g. for subjects moving unpredictably like football players)
  • 39-point dynamic area AF (e.g. for subjects moving quickly and not easily framed, like birds)
  • Subject Tracking AF
  • Continuous focusing (AF-C, or "continuous servo AF") can be configured for focus priority (captures the image only if it is in focus) as well as release priority (the image is captured even if the subject is not in focus) (D90: only release priority is available, so there is no selectable setting)
  • AF-S or "single servo AF" can be configured for focus priority (captures the image only if it is in focus) as well as release priority (the image is captured even if the subject is not in focus) (D90: only focus priority is available, so there is no selectable setting)
  • "Focus Tracking with Lock-On": controls how autofocus adjusts to sudden large changes in the distance to the subject when AF-C is selected or continuous servo autofocus is selected when the camera is in AF-A mode for viewfinder photography -- off or 1-5 "wait time" use cases include an object passing between you and the subject
  • Can set "Number of Focus points" for manual focus confirmation -- 11 or 39 --this controls how many and which AF points are used for the "green dot" confirmation of focus while manually focusing
  • In-focus beep has three audible volume levels and two pitch levels (D90: only one volume/pitch when beep is audible)

Shutter
  • Fastest minimum speed when configuring Auto ISO: 1/4000 second (D90: 1/2000)
  • Flash synch 1/250 (D90: 1/200)
  • Flash synch at less than full flash range: 1/251 to 1/320 second
  • Shutter speed 6 fps (D90: 4.5 fps)
  • Fastest shutter speed 1/8000 second (D90: 1/4000)
  • Timed intervals in between shutter release
  • Optional quiet shutter
  • Shutter lag: 50 ms (D90: 65 ms)
  • Tested to 150,000 cycles (D90: 100,000)

Memory Cards
  • 2 memory card slots (D90: 1 slot)
  • SDXC-compatible (D90: SD and SDHC, which the D7000 supports as well)

Modes
  • 2 programmable exposure modes
  • More scene modes

ISO
  • Standard low ISO 100 (D90: 200)
  • Standard high ISO 6400 (D90: 3200)
  • Extended high ISO 25,600 (D90: 6400)
  • The D90 has an extended low ISO of ISO 100; the D7000 does not have an extended low ISO.
  • ISO can be set in 1/3 or 1/2 increments (D90: 1/3 only)
  • Maximum sensitivity when Auto ISO is enabled: ISO 25,600 (D90: ISO 3200 and Hi 1)

Viewfinder Display
  • 100% viewfinder (D90: 96%)
  • AF-C, AF-S or AF-A
  • Active D-Lighting Amount
  • Tilt Indicator
  • Viewfinder focus indicator with arrows and dot (D90: only has the dot)
    O :Subject in focus
    > :Focus point is in front of subject
    < :Focus point is behind subject
    > < :[Blink] Camera unable to focus using autofocus
  • Exposure compensation display can be configured to display minus values or positive values on the left. (D90: Only the positive values are displayed on the left.)

Other Image Editing
  • More optional edits

Flash
  • When using Auto ISO and TTL, the Auto ISO is based on ambient light, not the power of the flash

Remote Use
  • Mirror lockup during capture (D90: exposure delay only, which the D7000 also has)
  • Front and rear IR receivers (D90: front only)
  • Shutter release delay is independent of the setting of the self timer

Movie
  • 1920 x 1080p (24fps)
  • 1280 x 720p (30, 25, 24fps)
  • 640 x 424p (30, 25fps)
  • (D90: 1280 x 720p (24 fps))
  • (D90: 640 x 424p (24 fps))
  • (D90: 320 x 216p (24 fps))
  • Autofocus while recording
  • 4 GB and 20 minute limit (D90: 2 GB and 5 minute limit)
  • Trim video footage
  • Capture image from footage

Playback -- General
  • Copy selected image(s) or folder between cards
  • "After Delete" setting -- configure what happens after an image is deleted: 1) show the next image; 2) show the previous image, or 3) show the next image in the direction the user was last reviewing photos

Playback -- Photo Information Screens
  • File Information screen shows focus point(s), AF Area brackets, and card slot number
  • Highlight screen can be cycled to show blinking highlights for all combined RGB channels and each individual R, G, B channel (D90: only shows combined RGB channel highlights)
  • RGB Histogram screen displays blinking highlights
  • RGB Histogram screen blinking highlights can be cycled between all combined RGB channels and each individual R, G, B channel
  • Fourth Shooting Data screen displaying configured Artist and Copyright info (D90: three Shooting Data screens, no Artist & Copyright info)
  • Overview Data screen displays card slot number

Battery
  • 1,050 shots per charge (D90: 850) (source: Nikon USA website, using CIPA guidelines)
  • Battery latch prevents battery from falling out when battery door is opened.
  • Can't use Nikon battery from any previously released camera
  • When using the grip and two batteries, one battery stays in the body (D90: 1-2 batteries in the grip, only)

LCD Monitor
  • Monitor off delay is separately configurable for playback, menus, information display, image review, and live review (D90: only the defaults have different times, and any manually configured time applies equally to all functions)

Pre-Capture Viewing
  • Virtual horizon

Connections
  • FTP file transfer
  • External microphone

Buttons & Dials
  • Depth-of-field preview button can be customized (one more customizable button than the D90 -- both cameras have customizable FUNC buttons)
  • Command and sub-command dials made of rubber-coated metal (D90: plastic)
  • Release Mode Dial -- selects single frame, continuous-low/high, quiet shutter, self-timer, remote, and mirror-up (D90: uses button + rear command dial)
  • Live View Switch (D90: button)
  • Dedicated Movie-Record button (D90: uses "OK" button to record)
  • Slightly larger buttons for Playback, "MENU", Help/Protect or "WB", thumbnail/playback zoom out or "ISO", playback zoom in or "QUAL"
  • Playback button, delete button, AE-L/AF-L button, and Multi Selector are inset in raised bezels

Menus & Settings
  • Option to restore all shooting menu options to their default values
  • Auto distortion control
  • When "High ISO NR" is set to "Off", noise reduction is only applied at ISO 1600 and higher (D90: the same setting only applies noise reduction at Hi 0.3 (boosted to ISO 4000) and higher
  • All camera settings can be saved to the memory card in Slot #1 in a file that can be uploaded by others and by you if you have to reset your camera

Other Body Features
  • Magnesium alloy top and rear panels
  • Weather sealing
  • Thicker rubber on handgrip (according to several reviewers including DPR)
  • Smaller rubber area in rear (limited to thumbrest area) (D90 has it running down the back) DP Review Photo of the D90, D7000, and D300s
  • White dot to align lenses is raised (not just painted on)
  • Card door is taller to accommodate two cards
  • Speaker located on rear to the left of the Main command dial (D90: under memory card door on side)
  • Swivel eyelets
  • About 2.7 ounces heavier
  • Diopter adjustment -3 to +1 (D90: -2 to +1)
 
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Movie mode differences:
autofocus
4gb and 20 minute limit (vs 2gb and 5 minute limit)
external stereo mike (D90 can't take external mike?)
 
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This thread is seeded by taking his voluminous list and removing those items that only apply between the D80 and the D7000.

Bill is kind to mention "my" voluminous list. It had about 20 items when I started it. The Cafe community added so much to it that it now has more than 60 items. No doubt a few more items will be discovered.

Best of luck to everyone contributing to and reviewing Bill's list. I'm sure it will be helpful to people contemplating the possible upgrade from a D90 to a D7000. It will also serve as a great checklist for everyone that upgrades as they take command of their new toy.
 
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My objective is to maintain consistency of format with the D80-D7000 thread.

Bill,

I added a new category: "Memory Cards." Coincidentally, that's because of your contribution about them to the D80 list.

I'll try to keep format changes to a minimum so it's also easier for you to maintain consistency. When I do feel compelled to change the format, I'll let you know.
 
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Movie mode differences:
autofocus
4gb and 20 minute limit (vs 2gb and 5 minute limit)
external stereo mike (D90 can't take external mike?)

Omar,

Thank you for mentioning these. The first one was so obvious I am embarrassed I forgot it! But that won't be the last time as more people contribute.

In trying to be consistent with Mike's diligence, I've confirmed all these in the D90 and D7000 manuals, and also by looking at my D90.
 
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Bill,

I added a new category: "Memory Cards." Coincidentally, that's because of your contribution about them to the D80 list.

I'll try to keep format changes to a minimum so it's also easier for you to maintain consistency. When I do feel compelled to change the format, I'll let you know.

No problem, I've updated this list to keep it consistent.

If more movie editing capabilities come up, I will probably break the movie recording and editing into two separate categories.
 
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For those of us without a D90 or D7000, contemplating either one, it would be nice to see the comparative D90 specs in brackets, if applicable, beside the D7000.

for example

Sensor
16.2 megapixels (12.1 mp)
etc.
 
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For those of us without a D90 or D7000, contemplating either one, it would be nice to see the comparative D90 specs in brackets, if applicable, beside the D7000.

for example

Sensor
16.2 megapixels (12.1 mp)
etc.

I'll think about it. It may make sense to do it with this thread vs. the D80 one because the D90 is still a current model (at least for the next month or so -- I think Nikon is running out the D90 stock and then it's gone).

My concern would be too much clutter in each item.
 
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For those of us without a D90 or D7000, contemplating either one, it would be nice to see the comparative D90 specs in brackets, if applicable, beside the D7000.

for example

Sensor
16.2 megapixels (12.1 mp)
etc.

I agree that would be very helpfull, i'm on the same boat.
 
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Can someone with a D7000 please confirm which knobs and/or buttons of the D7000 are rubberized? The D90 doesn't have any as far as I know (just fiddled with mine). E.g:

- Power dial
- Rear command dial
- Front command dial
- Exposure Mode dial (the one on the left that selects aperture priority, shutter priority, etc.)
- Release Mode dial
- AF mode switch (selects A, M)
 
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I've added this back from Mike's list -- I hadn't understood it initially when I removed it.

"Drive Shutter release mode dial"

However, I've named it to be consistent with what Nikon calls the dial in the manual, and tried to describe what it does as the name itself isn't necessarily informative.

"Release Mode Dial -- selects single frame, continuous-low/high, quiet shutter, self-timer, remote, and mirror-up"
 
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Updated the focusing part to match the D80-D7000 list format. Modified it so that it lists the multiple dynamic area AF modes (the D90 has one, the D7000 has three) and listed the manual's suggestions on what they're good for.

Did not add the D80-D7000 section on Playback because the current features listed there were all on the D90 if I'm understanding them correctly:

Displays up to 72 thumbnails at a time
Displays a calendar indicating when each image was captured
Detects a face (up to 35 faces) when playback is zoomed
 
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Updated:

Added all areas I could think of showing what the corresponding D90 feature (if it exists) is like, as requested.

Added total megapixels in addition to net megapixels.

Added N-bit A/D converter.

Added size priority and optimal quality JPEG compression option, to a new JPEG section above the RAW section.

Added low ISO (100 for the D7000, 200 for the D90).

Added extended low ISO (only the D90 extends, to 100).

Moved 100% viewfinder coverage to viewfinder section

Added thicker rubber, smaller rear rubber area, raised white alignment dot, taller card door to accommodate 2 slots.

Added Live View switch (instead of a button to engage Live View).
 
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Thanks for doing this. Judging by this list it's a no-brainer buying the D7000 over the D90 if you don't have either.

One thing that I didn't list in there is the price -- or the availability. The difference in price will make the decision significantly more complicated for some.
 

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