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Rear of Camera Controls

The control layout at the rear of the D90 has had a bit of facelift. Most of this is merely cosmetic (the buttons down the left side of the LCD are now round and less recessed, making them easier to press, and the multi-controller is much better), but there are a couple of new buttons. Live view gets its own, as does info (which brings up the new info display panel). The OK button has migrated north to the center of the multicontroller and the lock switch is now a lever.

As before, three of the buttons running down the left side of the LCD monitor are dual-purpose, in shooting mode they allow you to set White balance, ISO sensitivity and Image Quality / Size, in Playback mode they provide other functions. Press and hold the erase and metering (top of camera) buttons, release and repeat to format the SD card.

Buttons (Shooting mode)

  Main command dial (rear) Sub command dial (front)
WB White balance mode

 • Auto
 • Incandescent
 • Fluorescent
 • Direct sunlight
 • Flash
 • Cloudy
 • Shade
 • Color temperature (Kelvin)
 • White balance preset (5 registers)
White balance adjustment

 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Fine tune -3 to +3
 - Temperature 2500 K to 9900 K
ISO

Select sensitivity (ISO equiv.)

 • Auto
 • L1.0 (100 equiv.)
 • L0.7 (125 equiv.)
 • L0.3 (160 equiv.)
 • 200
 • 250
 • 320
 • 400
 • 500
 • 640
 • 800
 • 1000
 • 1250
 • 1600
 • 2000
 • 2500
 • 3200
 • HI 0.3 (4000 equiv.)
 • HI 0.7 (5000 equiv.)
 • HI 1.0 (6400 equiv.)



 - In Auto / Vari-Program mode only
QUAL Image quality

 • RAW
 • Fine JPEG
 • Normal JPEG
 • Basic JPEG
 • RAW + Fine JPEG
 • RAW + Normal JPEG
 • RAW + Basic JPEG

Image size (all except RAW quality)

 • Large (4288 x 2848)
 • Medium (3216 x 2136)
 • Small (2144 x 1424)

OK  • Select center focus point Can be set to Highlight active focus point or turned off via CSM f2.
Lv  • Activate/Exit Live View mode Can be set to Highlight active focus point or turned off via CSM f2.

Single press buttons (Shooting mode)

Button  Description
AE-L
AF-L

Auto Exposure and Auto Focus Lock

Pressing this button locks the current exposure and focus, they remain locked for as long as you hold the button even if you press or release the shutter release button. The exact function of this button can be set via CSM f4.

Playback mode

Enters or exits from Playback mode, pressing this button displays the last image taken (or the last image on the card) in the last used display mode.
MENU Camera menu

Display or cancel the camera menu (detailed later in this review).

Help

Press and hold this button in Auto or one of the Vari-Program modes to display a page of help, this also works in the cameras menu system.

4-way controller

In shooting mode where AF point selection is enabled the 4-way controller is used to choose AF points. In playback mode this control reverts to image navigation / menu movement. Note that this control can be locked to avoid accidentally changing AF area using the lock lever just below it (the lock lever has no effect on menu or playback functionality).
OK

OK Button

By default the OK button is used to select center focus point. Used to start stop movie recording in Live View mode.

Can be set to Highlight active focus point or turned off via CSM f2.

Lv Live View Button

Activate/Exit Live View mode.
info Info Display

Displays the detailed shooting information display

Single press buttons (Playback mode)

Button Description
Delete

When an image is displayed pressing delete will display a "Delete?" prompt, press this button once more to delete the image. This is quicker and more straightforward than the D100 which required confirmation with a different button.
MENU Camera menu

Display or cancel the camera menu (detailed later in this review).
Protect

Protects or un-protects the current image. This places a read-only flag on the image file and stops it from being accidentally deleted or deleted using a 'delete all images' option. It does not protect the image from a card format.

Zoom out / Thumbnail view

If a single image is displayed on the screen pressing this button switches to 2x2, 3x3 and    and then 9x8 thumbnail views and finally a calendar view. In zoom view mode pressing this button steps out of magnification.

Zoom in

If a single image is displayed on the screen pressing this button enters zoom view mode and steps into the first level of magnification, there are 8 levels up to 25x (although it's clear looking at the screen that there's no more detail beyond about 12x). In thumbnail view mode pressing this button steps back towards a single image view.

4-way controller

Press left or right to browse through images, up or down to change display mode (you can select which modes are used via the Playback Menu).
OK Retouching menu

Pressing the OK button in Playback mode displays a pop-up version of the retouching menu.

Front of camera controls

On the left side of the camera front are two unlabelled buttons, the bottom is depth of field preview, press and hold this button to stop the lens down to the selected aperture. The top button is the customizable 'FUNC' button, the exact function of this button can be set via CSM f3, including usefully a NEF+JPEG toggle. On the right side of the camera we have the flash button, bracket mode and just below the lens release, the focus mode lever.

Buttons (combined with a command dial)

  Main command dial (rear) Sub command dial (front)
Flash mode

In P, A, S or M modes:
 • Flash on (normal sync)
 • Red-eye reduction
 • Red-eye reduction with slow sync
 • Slow sync
 • Rear-curtain sync

In Auto / Vari-Program mode:
 • Auto flash
 • Auto with red-eye reduction
 • Flash off
Flash exposure compensation

 • -3.0 EV to +1.0 EV
 • 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps (CSM b1)
BKT Auto Bracketing number shots

 • +3F (+2x, +x, 0)
 • 0F (Off)
 • -2F (-x, 0)
 • +2F (+x, 0)

(Where x = bracketing increment)
Auto Bracketing EV increment

 • 0.3 - 2.0 EV
Auto Bracketing WB increment

 • 1 - 3

Focus mode

AF Auto Focus

Auto focus mode, you can select between AF-A (Automatic selection), AF-S (Single-servo) or AF-C (Continuous-servo) via the AF button on the top of the camera.
M Manual Focus

Focusing is carried out using the focus ring on the lens, the focus indicator on the viewfinder status bar will indicate 'o' when the manually focused subject distance matches that calculated by the camera's AF system.
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