Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D90

by Enche Tjin on September 16, 2010

Even Nikon D3100 is two years newer than Nikon D90, it does not mean that Nikon D3100 is superior to D90, especially in photographer point of view.

Here are some main reasons why Nikon D90 is better:

  • Better handling, control: D90 has more dials, and dedicated buttons so that you can change setting faster and easier.
  • Nikon D90 performance is faster (start up time, shot to shot, continuous shooting..)
  • Nikon D90 is compatible with all Nikon lenses including old and cheap ones.
  • Bigger and brighter viewfinder
  • Better LCD screen

However, Nikon D3100 also has some advantages over D90

  • Higher resolution video recording (1080p vs 720p)
  • Better auto focus in live view mode
  • Approx. $200 cheaper and smaller
  • More suitable for beginners

Therefore, Nikon D90 is still better as a photographer tools, however, D3100 is a good choice if you are on budget or want to record high quality video.

Nikon D90 Nikon D3100
Image 12 MP / APS-C Sensor 14 MP / APS-C sensor
LCD 3 inch, 910k resolution 3 inch, 230k resolution
Auto Focus 11 AF points, with 3D tracking 11 AF points, with 3D tracking
ISO ISO 100-6400 ISO 100-6400, expandable to 12800
Movie recording HD 720p / 30 fps Full HD 1080i, 24 fps
Continuous shooting 4.5 fps, buffer 23 JPG / 6 RAW 3 fps
Handling/Control SD card, two finger dials, top lcd screen, buttons for ISO, WB SD card, one thumb dial
Body material Plastic Plastic
Price $850 Approx. $650, street
Size/Weight 132 x 103 x 77 mm / 620 g (1.4 lb) 124.46 x 96.52 x 73.66 mm  / 455 g (16 oz)
Viewfinder 95% coverage, penta prism 95% coverage, .80x magnification penta mirror

Related: Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D3000

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Alex November 20, 2010 at 1:50 am

Nice quick comparison. With the D7000 out too I think we’ll see the price of D90 bodies, both new and secondhand, come down quite a bit; making it an excellent buy.

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