I typically don’t like pixel peeping and encourage myself to just go take pictures, but I wanted to see how my shooting might be affected by the D90 and if I need to change my post-processing. These shots were all done with AUTO WB in “Program’ mode with no post-processing. Click each comparison for a bigger image.
Quick shot of my home theater system in difficult light. The D90’s white balance is much better and the Active D Lighting brings up shadow detail on the front of the speakers without blowing out the window.
Zooming in at 100% shows some more significant differences. The bigger sensor translates to more detail, but the D90 also includes built-in chromatic abberation correction. In the D70 image, chromatic abberation rears its ugly hard along the roof and on the very right side of the trim. The D90 corrects this with magic.
Wow 100% view of my checkbook! Testing a little low light/high ISO performance here and the difference is just night and day. When the D70 cranks up the ISO its color performance plummets. The D90’s performance here is incredible compared to what I’ve had to live with on the D70. Before I’d be wary of shooting at ISO 1600, now I wouldn’t think twice.
Last little comparison highlights low light performance again with the compact Canon SD700 thrown in for a sense of how different point and shoots and dSLRs are. The SD700 does a good job with white balance, but the noise at just ISO 800 is appalling. The D70 fails miserably on white balance here (indirect sunlight bouncing into the kitchen) and the level of chroma noise further degrades the image. The D90’s sensor handles chroma noise much better which results in a more useable picture.
Just putting the D90 in “Program” with AUTO ISO and AUTO WB (tweaked warmer with A3) results in much more useable shots. In fact, since switching to the D90 I haven’t had to process an image in Photoshop. Now I can import straight into Picasa, crop, make any other quick tweaks and export straight to the web or out for printing.
Amazon has a very competitive price on the D90, but if you order one somewhere else be sure to stay away from the shady Brooklyn photo dealers.