• APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

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Differences

Nikon D90 advantages over Canon 7D

  • Less expensive
    $1300 vs $1699 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.50 vs 4.30 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 22 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Wider angle kit lens
    27 mm vs 45 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • More kit lens zoom
    5.8x vs 3.8x
    Zooming is easier than walking

Canon 7D advantages over Nikon D90

  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • More cross-type AF points
    19 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.13 vs 0.21 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    18.0 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • More AF points
    19 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.0 fps vs 4.5 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    16 vs 10 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    8.0 fps vs 4.1 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Top deck display
    Both provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Both provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Select your focus point more intuitively.
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

  • Excellent 18-megapixel sensor with impressively low noise and superb detail; Very good high ISO performance, especially for 18-megapixel subframe sensor; Rugged construction with magnesium body and weather sealing; Fast autofocus and fast burst rate of 8 fps; Full HD (1920x1080) movies at 30/25/24p, 60/50p at 1280x720.

  • No dedicated AF-assist lamp (flash is used), and AF-assist adjustment is buried in the Flash Settings menu; Kit lens (28-135mm) isn't quite up to the resolving power of the 18-megapixel sensor, odd focal length for subframe DSLR; No continuous autofocus in Movie mode.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 7D Mark II

Nikon D90
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $898
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $1683
  • APS-C
  • GPS
  • On-sensor phase detect
Canon 7D
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Less shutter lag
  • $1683
  • APS-C
  • GPS
  • On-sensor phase detect

Compared to Canon 50D

Nikon D90
Canon 50D
  • $898
  • APS-C
  • Longer battery life
  • Shoots 24p video
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
Canon 7D
Canon 50D
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Longer battery life
  • Shoots 60p video
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Less expensive

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $898
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
Canon 7D
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Shoots 60p video
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Less expensive

Compared to Sony DSLR-A500

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $898
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
Canon 7D
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Shoots 60p video
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Less expensive

Compared to Canon 60D

Nikon D90
Canon 60D
  • $898
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
  • $578
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Longer battery life
Canon 7D
Canon 60D
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $578
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Longer battery life
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