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Canon EOS 90D review

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by David Em
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The Canon EOS 90D is an advanced APS-C (crop sensor) DSLR with a shockingly high 32.5 MP resolution. Find out if it’s the right camera for you.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Canon EOS 90D camera.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Our take

Overall rating: 4/5

If you thought APS-C cameras couldn’t have a next-level resolution, think again.

The Canon EOS 90D has a 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which produces excellent images, especially for being less than $1,200.

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It’s a capable and advanced DSLR camera designed to be the perfect pick for general photography.

A mirrorless camera is better when it comes to performance, but for a crop-sensor DSLR, it doesn’t get better than the 90D.

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Pros

  • Excellent image quality and dynamic range with 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor.
  • 10-fps continuous shooting.
  • 4K video without crop.
  • Vari-angle LCD.
  • Optical viewfinder.

Cons

  • Only one memory card slot.
  • No in-camera image stabilization. So, use a lens with image stabilization.
  • Video recording limit is 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
  • 7-fps continuous shooting with live view.
  • No NFC. Only built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Compare prices

The following are the Canon EOS 90D (body only) prices from different sites.

SitePriceDetailsLink
Adorama$1,199Free shipping.Buy from Adorama.
Amazon$1,199Free shipping.Buy from Amazon.
B&H$1,199Free shipping.Buy from B&H.
Best Buy$1,199Purchase or pick up in-store.Buy from Best Buy.
Canon$1,199$15.99 shipping.Buy from Canon.
Walmart$1,298.95Free shipping.Buy from Walmart.

Key features

  • New 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor.
  • 45-point all cross-type phase-detection autofocus system.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF system for videos and live shooting.
  • Uncropped 4K video.
  • 25,600 maximum ISO compared to 16,000 in the previous 80D.
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor compared to DIGIC 6 Image Processor in the 80D.

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Introduction

Canon 90D with its flash up and without a lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

Canon released the EOS 90D in 2019 to replace the 2016 80D.

The 90D has several major improvements, such as a high-resolution 32.5 MP image sensor, 10-fps continuous shooting, DIGIC 8 image processor, 25,600 maximum ISO, and 4K video. The colors and tones are also superb.

By no means is the 90D the best camera on the market. However, it’s one of the best Canon cameras, DSLRs, and certainly at the top of crop-sensor cameras.

The 90D is a mid-range camera with a pro-like resolution. If you’re a hobby, amateur, or semi-professional photographer, you’ll find it incredibly valuable.

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You can use it for all types of photography, as it’s a versatile camera. It’s also weather-sealed, which protects the camera from splashes and dust.

Overall, the 90D is an excellent camera. It sits between the Rebel series and the EOS 7D Mark II.

While you should also consider a mirrorless camera for better performance, you can’t go wrong with the 90D. It’s the best crop-sensor camera you can get right now.

Specifications

The following are the Canon EOS 90D specs:

Camera TypeDSLR
Sensor Type and Size22.3 x 14.8 mm (APS-C) CMOS
Sensor ResolutionActual: 34.4 MP
Effective: 32.5 MP (6960 x 4640)
Lens MountCanon EF-S
BatteryCanon LP-E6N Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1865 mAh (Approx. 1300 Shots)
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.54 by 4.13 by 3.02 inches
Weight (Body Only)1.54 lb / 701 g
Viewfinder TypeOptical (Pentaprism)
Viewfinder Eye Point22 mm
Viewfinder MagnificationApprox. 0.95x
Focus TypeAuto and Manual Focus
Focus ModeContinuous-Servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M), Single-Servo AF (S)
Autofocus PointsPhase Detection: 45 (45 Cross-Type)
Phase Detection: 5481
Continuous ShootingUp to 10 fps at 32.5 MP for up to 25 Frames (Raw) / 58 Frames (JPEG)
Up to 11 fps at 32.5 MP
Up to 7 fps at 32.5 MP
ISO SensitivityAuto, 100 to 25,600 (Extended: 100 to 51,200)
Shutter SpeedMechanical Shutter: 1/8,000 to 30 Second, Bulb Mode
Electronic Shutter: 1/16,000 to 30 Second
Shutter Lifespan120,000 cycles
Image StabilizationDigital (Video Only)
Built-In FlashYes
Flash ModesAuto, Manual
Memory Card Slots and Type1 SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Monitor Size3 inches
Monitor Resolution1,040,000 Dot
Display TypeArticulating Touchscreen LCD
Video Resolution4K
Recording LimitUp to 29 minutes and 59 seconds
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm Headphone, 3.5mm Microphone, HDMI C (Mini), USB Micro-B (USB 2.0)
Working Temperature Range32-104°F/0-40°C
Working Humidity Range85% or less

Body and handling

Canon 90D camera with the LCD flipped out.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

If you’re holding the 80D and switch to the 90D, you’ll notice that they look and feel very similar.

The 90D is slightly wider but thinner and shorter. It’s also a little lighter than the 80D.

However, it doesn’t feel as thin and light as a mirrorless camera. It still has the meaty DSLR feel. Being bulky doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable.

Yes, it has plenty of space for controls and buttons, but the 90D contours smoothly and offers a grippy surface. So, you can hold it comfortably without worrying about it slipping out of your hand.

With the 90D, Canon added an 8-way joystick, which is also called the multi-controller.

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It allows you to control different functions while looking through the optical viewfinder. It’s an excellent addition, as it’s in Canon’s higher-end cameras.

Aside from the joystick, the back of the 90D contains the vari-angle touchscreen LCD and the following buttons:

  • Menu.
  • Info.
  • Photo or video mode along with the start and stop button.
  • Q menu button.
  • AF-ON.
  • Zoom in and out.
  • Playback.
  • Trash.
  • Control lock lever.

While there’s a long list of benefits, there are a few drawbacks. First, the 90D doesn’t have dual-memory card slots. Second, it doesn’t offer USB charging. It has a Micro USB connector with USB 2.0.

Despite the drawbacks, Canon’s 90D is a well-built camera that feels more expensive than it is.

Performance

Top of a Canon 90D camera with a lens.
Photo courtesy of B&H.

The 90D isn’t meant to perform like higher-end cameras, as it’s a mid-range one. However, it’s the best in its class.

Its predecessor, the 80D, held the title for best resolution at 24 MP, but Canon upgraded the 90D by giving it a 32.5 MP sensor.

Aside from the resolution, the 90D performs well. It turns on and gets ready to shoot quickly.

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Through the viewfinder, it offers 10-fps. However, it drops to 7-fps when using the LCD.

When you compare the 90D with the performance of other APS-C cameras, it shines.

Image quality

While the lens you use plays a big role, the overall image quality for the 90D is impressive.

Its new 32.5 MP sensor helps, but it doesn’t make a substantial difference from the 24 MP 80D. Still, it’s better.

The main drawback with image quality is that the noise reduction with a high ISO is mediocre when shooting in JPEG.

Noise will become prevalent, blurring the details. The limit before details start getting blurred is between ISO 800 to 1600.

Aside from the decent high ISO performance, several factors allow the 90D to capture great images.

If you’re shooting in JPEG, the colors are fantastic. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Canon.

When shooting in RAW, the 90D has in-camera RAW image processing. It makes several adjustments, including exposure, sharpness, chromatic aberration, and white balance.

The quality of photos captured by the 90D is very good.

Autofocus

The 90D has up to 45 autofocus points. However, those are cross-type AF points at an aperture of f/5.6 or wider.

There’s a center dual cross-type AF point when using a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 or wider and f/5.6.

Overall, the autofocus performance is fast and accurate. It’s able to track a subject’s face and quickly find the right focus point.

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When you’re using the 90D, you’ll notice that shooting through the viewfinder may result in missing the focus. It’s more accurate and reliable when you’re using the LCD.

The only drawback is that continuous shooting slows from 10-fps to 7-fps.

Video

Canon offers 4K videos at 30p and 24p. While it was a major improvement for the 90D to have uncropped 4K video recording, it’s not as sharp or detailed as other cameras with 4K video.

If you use digital image stabilization, the frame will be cropped. 4K videos with the 90D are good, but not great.

So, it’s not the best camera if you need one for high-quality videos. The main benefit is the video autofocus because it’s accurate and effective.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Canon EOS 90D good for professional photography?

While the Canon EOS 90D is a crop-sensor camera, it can be used for professional photography. It has a high-resolution 32.5 MP image sensor, excellent autofocus tracking, and does well in different lighting situations.

Can the Canon EOS 90D shoot a 4K video at 24p?

Yes, Canon released a firmware update in 2019 that allows the 90D to record 4K videos at 24p.

Is the Canon EOS 90D good for wildlife photography?

Yes, the 90D offers continuous shooting at 10 frames per second (fps). It also has Intelligent Tracking and Recognition, which makes it fast and great for wildlife photography.

Is the Canon EOS 90D for you?

If you’re looking for a DSLR camera that offers high resolution and won’t require a major investment, Canon’s EOS 90D is an excellent choice.

While it has an APS-C sensor, the 32.5 MP resolution is the first and best of its kind. For the price and value the 90D offers, it’s the best camera for a hobby, amateur, or semi-professional photographer.

If you’re looking for a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera with even better resolution, look to a different camera and be ready to pay three to five times as much as the 90D.

If you want a high-quality and well-performing camera without spending thousands of dollars, look no further than the EOS 90D from Canon.

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Featured image courtesy of B&H.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

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