This is a review guide covering the Canon EOS 90D.
Table of Contents
In a hurry? Here’s the quick summary
If you are looking for an advanced camera for still photography, we strongly recommend the EOS 90D. This is an excellent camera for sports, wildlife, and fast-action photography.
Yes, the only grey area is the video shooting. I don’t like the lack of cinematic 24p video frame rate and the absence of 4K oversampling which could have added a lot of detail to the videos.
But then you get a very high still resolution, excellent weather-sealed body design, and an overall value for money package I don’t think there should be too much of a complaint.
Pros and Cons Canon EOS 90D
My Pros With This Camera:
- Lightweight prosumer camera with a high resolution
- Effective sensor resolution of 32.5-megapixel.
- Built-in digital image stabilization
- Built-in stereo microphones
- Option to plug in an external microphone
- 45 AF points. All cross-type
- Dual Pixel CMOS autofocusing technology
- Decently weather sealed.
My Cons With This Camera:
- Built-in image stabilization works for video only. Not for stills.
- APS-C sensor. The effective focal length of 35mm lenses will change.
- 4K video is a bit soft compared to peers.
- The lowest video frame rate is 25p
Canon EOS 90D Intro
The Canon EOS 90D is the latest in a long line of prosumer level DSLR cameras that started way back in February of 2003 when the first camera in this line-up the EOS 10D was announced.
It replaced the EOS D60. The EOS 90D is the latest and the greatest in this long line.
It was announced in August 2019.
Canon EOS 90D Specs
Every time you pick up a camera and look at its spec sheet one detail always tends to grab the attention. And that is the resolution of the sensor.
Though the resolution is not always that important. Because most of the time we upload our photos to social media only.
The images are viewed on tiny smartphone screens which at the best offer only QHD display resolution and for that and for that a large amount of resolution is not necessary.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a display resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels and a pixel density of 516 PPI (Pixels Per Inch).
The EOS 90D is capable of recording 4K/UHD videos at 30p and full-HD videos at 120p. built-in stereo mic ensures beautiful crisp audio along with the video that you capture.
That said, there is an option to plug in an external mic if you so wish. An external mic port allows you to use the professional quality mic for better audio input.
The 45-point all-cross-type autofocusing system makes for a wonderful tool to work with. Cross-type AF points are doubly sensitive.
They can see differences in contrast in two axes compared to one axis (as in normal line sensors). Subject tracking is easier as the number of AF points is much more than the entry-level Rebel cameras.
The Rebel EOS T7 that we reviewed recently has 9 AF points. Continuous shooting speed on the EOS 90D is 10 fps.
That is a lot of frames and should benefit someone looking to photograph sports, fast action, and wildlife. But beware of the buffer of the camera.
Unlike the top-end professional cameras, the EOS 90D does not have a deep buffer. So, pressing down the shutter button will result in the buffer filling up quickly and slowing down the performance of the camera.
This Canon 90D review would be incomplete without a mention of the autofocusing system of the camera. The EOS 90D boasts of a 5481-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.
Canon’s dual pixel CMOS autofocusing system is designed to assist focusing when shooting in live view mode. This feature is particularly important when shooting videos but you will find this equally useful when shooting stills.
The effect of this autofocusing technology is that the focus acquirement is very smooth. Unlike in the case of ultra-sonic motor-operated autofocusing mechanism where focusing is a bit jerky, in this system autofocusing performance is a bit slower but very smooth.
If you have used a camcorder to record videos you will find the autofocusing performance to be similar.
Canon EOS 90D Design
Speaking of the Canon 90D specs the first thing is the design of the camera that strikes you when you pick it up. it is bigger than the EOS Rebel T7 that we recently reviewed.
The larger real estate means buttons and dials are a bit further apart. For someone who has larger hands, everything will fall in place.
An interesting sort of thing you will notice at the back of the camera is the multi-selector joystick. This makes the selection of menu items faster and more efficient.
Beats the multi-way button system that older cameras came with.
The back of the camera is dominated by a large 3-inch articulating touchscreen. This one is a better choice than the fixed screens that we have seen in the entry-level cameras.
Plus, you touch functions which comes in handy in several situations.
Personally, however, I am not a big fan of touchscreen on a DSLR. I feel these are pure dust and smudge magnets.
And they require a lot of effort to keep clean. If you are the type of pf photographer who trusts in the rear LCD screen you will find it annoying with all that smudge and fingerprints.
Articulating touchscreen gives you a lot of options when you are shooting videos. You can use crazy angles like shooting from the waist or shooting from above the headline without ever missing the shot.
The articulating screen allows you to keep the subject in the frame all through.
Canon EOS 90D Image Quality
32.5 effective megapixels produce large fine JPEGs and RAW image files with a lot of detail.
The greatest advantage of so much megapixel is that you can shoot wide and then crop in post without having to worry too much about the loss of resolution.
Colors straight out of the camera using the in-camera image processor is good. The only cause of worry is the high ISO performance.
Especially in the areas of dynamic range.
As with most DSLRs that either don’t have back-side Illuminated technology built-in or have dual-gain ISO technology, pushing the ISO number too high can result in loss of dynamic range and a large amount of noise.
The EOS 90D is no different in that regard.
The 45-point (all cross-type) autofocusing mechanism is fast in real life. It also dominates the Canon 90D specs.
Subject tracking is decent. This camera performs well in all kinds of fast-action genres.
If you are a wildlife photographer, you will love to wield this camera.
First because of the decent frame rate and a large number of cross-type AF points, and second because the crop factor extends the effective focal length of existing lenses.
Canon EOS 90D Video Quality
Let’s take a look at the video quality of the EOS 90D. The EOS 90D is loaded with features that ensure that it is capable of producing decent video footage.
We had expected that the 4K video feature would be crisper than what it turned out to be.
First thing is that the 4K feature utilizes the whole sensor resolution. Not that it then crops it, in which case it would have been oversampled and expectedly sharper.
Instead, the footage looks a bit softer when compared with the footage from other cameras.
The second odd thing that we noticed that you don’t have a 24p option for shooting 4K/full-HD videos.
The lowest that you can shoot at is 25p. that’s a shame. Of course, there are the faster frame rates of 60p and 120p and those are available when you are shooting in full HD.
Plus in full HD mode at a higher frame rate, you don’t get autofocusing or audio input.
Autofocusing performance is reliable for standing subjects and so is the subject tracking for moving subjects.
Plus, you get a stereo mic and the option to plug in an external mic if you wish to. the articulating touch screen helps in the video-making process.
However, as there is no image built-in optical image stabilization you lose out on the resolution of the video to stabilize things electronically.
Canon EOS 90D Overall Performance
Please note this is an APS-C sensor and therefore the crop factor aspect will creep in every time you mount a lens.
Canon’s APS-C sensor has a crop factor of 1.6x.
So, if you mount a 50mm prime lens onto an EOS 90D, the effective focal length will become 80mm.
We hope you enjoyed this review guide on the Canon EOS 90D.
Consider everything we’ve reviewed as to whether this is the right camera for you!
Also, check out the full list of best lenses for Canon EOS 90D.
Have fun, good luck, and keep photographing!
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Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. The first time he ever clicked an image was with an Agfa Click IV back in 1984. A medium format film camera. From that auspicious introduction to photography, he has remained hooked to this art form. He loves to test and review new photography gear. Rajib travels quite a lot, loves driving on Indian roads, playing fetch with his Labrador retriever, and loves photography. And yes, he still proudly owns that Agfa Click IV!