Canon EOS 90D Review

The Canon EOS 80D was one of the greatest cameras available a few years ago for anyone who desired a mid-range snapper that could go beyond basic photography without adding pro-level complexity. It was one of the best cameras around.

In point of fact, it is still a perfectly robust DSLR even to this day; nevertheless, in order to make the series relevant in the age of mirrorless cameras, Canon has constructed something more current to replace the huge shoes that it left behind. This is the Canon EOS 90D, which is rumored to be the very last enthusiast-level DSLR camera that the firm will ever produce.

The Canon EOS 90D is a full-frame DSLR that was released at the same time as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II. It builds on the typical characteristics of DSLRs, such as superb handling and long battery life, and it adds some rather cutting-edge specifications. This incorporates Canon’s most recent imaging engine as well as a brand new sensor that provides a significant increase in megapixels in comparison to the 80D (32.5MP as opposed to 24.2MP), which is useful for cropping photographs.

The new camera is user-friendly, much like its predecessor, and it comes with a price tag that is similarly pocket-friendly — it can be purchased for $1,199 / £1,210 / AU$1,959 (depending on where you live) (matching the launch price of the 80D in the US). Because of this, it is an enticing option for ambitious novices as well as seasoned enthusiasts who are looking for a camera that is capable of handling a range of shooting circumstances.

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In a nutshell, Canon has demonstrated with the release of the 90D that DSLRs aren’t quite ready to pass away just yet. In addition to being regarded as one of the top DSLR cameras, the 90D is also still regarded as one of the best Canon cameras now on the market.

At first look, there does not appear to be a significant change in terms of the appearance of the EOS 80D and its subsequent model. The guts of the device, on the other hand, are completely redesigned, and a 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor takes center stage.

The sensor resolution of the majority of APS-C cameras has traditionally peaked at around 24 megapixels, which means that the Canon EOS 90D (and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II with the same sensor) provide the greatest resolution available in the crop-sensor class of cameras.

The benefit of having a resolution of this sort is that you will be able to catch more details, as well as have the freedom to crop a picture during post-processing, which enables you to zoom in closer to your subject without sacrificing the quality of the image.

When compared to cameras with the same sensor class but with lesser resolutions, the higher resolution might cause more noise in photographs shot at higher ISOs. This is despite the fact that the higher resolution is a welcome gain. This is a result of the fact that individual pixels have to be scaled down in order to pack a greater number of them into a given area.

However, in comparison to the 80D and its Digic 6 engine, the performance of the 90D is much-improved thanks to Canon’s most recent image processor, the Digic 8. The 80D could only record video at a maximum quality of 1080p (also known as Full HD), but the new camera is capable of recording at a far higher 4K resolution thanks to a new CPU that has not yet been surpassed in 2019.

And in contrast to all other Canon cameras, including the brand new EOS R and EOS RP, the sensor of the 90D is used for video capture throughout its whole width, which is a first for the business and one that has been eagerly anticipated.

The videos themselves are recorded in MP4 files using either a 4K Ultra High Definition (3840 x 2160) quality to a maximum of 30 frames per second, in Full HD (1920 x 1080) at up to 60 frames per second, or in Standard HD (1280 x 720) at 60 frames per second, and with a maximum duration of 30 minutes.

When it comes to the highest burst speed and native ISO range, the Digic 8 processor likewise pushes the bar higher for the camera.

The former has an increase in frame rate from the 80D’s 7fps to a faster 10fps with continuous autofocus (or 11fps when using Live View), while the 90D has a native ISO range of 100 to 25,600, which can be expanded to 51,200 (in contrast to the 80D, which has a native high ISO of 16,000 and a maximum expansion value of 25,600).

Design And Handling

  • The body is made of aluminum alloy and polycarbonate resin.
  • 8-way AF joystick

Ergonomic grip

The EOS 90D has dimensions of just 140.7 (W) x 104.8 (H) x 76.8 (D) mm. Although it is a smidgen broader than the EOS 80D, which has dimensions of 139 x 105.2 x 78.5 mm, the EOS 90D is both shorter and thinner. The 80D weighs 730 grams, while the new camera comes in at 701 grams (with the battery and the SD card included), making the new model a little bit lighter than its predecessor. It’s quite doubtful that you’ll notice much of a change at all.

The body of the camera is made of aluminum alloy, polycarbonate resin, and glass fiber. Despite the fact that the camera is not totally waterproof (although it is resistant to water and dust), the body has a sturdy feel to it and is incredibly pleasant to use, even for extended periods of time. This is made possible by a grip that has been altered to be deeper and slightly thinner than the one found on Canon’s earlier models of DSLR cameras.

The 90D is simple to manipulate even if your mitts are on the smaller side. When we were shooting, we used the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM, the EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM. Even when we were using the largest and most powerful lens in our arsenal, the camera still seemed well-balanced and natural to use.

If you’ve worked with a Canon DSLR in the past, whether it was the 80D, the 7D Mark II, or even the EOS 6D Mark II, you’ll feel right at home with this new model. You’ll have a sense of comfortable familiarity with it. A new 8-way joystick has been added to the rear of the camera, which is a great feature because it makes it easier to select AF locations.

To enable the autofocus point selection feature of the camera, you must first click the button located on the shoulder of the 90D. This is the default setting. On the other hand, you may relocate this function to the joystick by selecting an option in the customization menu.

Because of the inclusion of the joystick, a few of the buttons have been rearranged in a somewhat different order. In the 80D, the Q button was located where the playback button is now, but on the 90D, the Q button has been relocated to where the playback button was located the 80D. The Q button was used to rapidly access essential camera settings (just above the control dial).

On the 90D, the playback button has been relocated to the location that was formerly held by the bin button, which has moved closer to the lock lever as a result of this change. Despite the fact that some of the controls have been moved about, individuals who are already familiar with Canon’s previous DSLRs will have no trouble learning how to use the 90D.

The optical viewfinder of the Canon 90D is identical to the one found on its predecessor, the Canon 80D. This viewfinder has a magnification of roughly 0.95x and covers almost 100% of the frame, so you won’t be surprised by anything at the margins of the image you’ve captured.

Because it is an optical viewfinder, you won’t be able to see the impacts of the camera settings (such as exposure and white balance) on the picture. However, you will have the choice to show a plethora of other information, such as the active AF point, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO value. There is also a flickering warning that will sound an alarm if the light is seen to be flickering.

Additionally, the 3-inch, fully articulating, 1,040,000-dot back screen found on the 80D is carried over to the 90D. It has a touch screen that is quite sensitive, so you can tap it to focus and shoot, as well as swipe it to examine photographs and zoom in or out.

Auto Focus

The Canon EOS 90D is a DSLR, thus it has two different focusing systems on board. The reflex mode is used while shooting via the viewfinder, and the Dual Pixel AF is used when shooting in Live View. Both of these autofocus systems have been tried and tested by Canon. The former used the exact same 45-point cross-type mechanism as was utilized by the 80D.

Although the autofocus points of the Canon 90D are grouped in the center of the frame, in comparison to newer mirrorless cameras, which have AF points that stretch all the way to the edges of the frame, this level of coverage is sufficient for an APS-C sensor.

The AF micro-adjustment feature that comes standard on the Canon EOS 90D makes it possible to customize the camera’s focus points for any one of 40 different lenses. This is important because the reflex mode utilizes its own specialized sensor rather than the image sensor, which might introduce minute imperfections with some lenses owing to manufacturing tolerances. This makes the implementation of this feature vital. You have the option of making these modifications for each individual lens or setting them to the same amount for all of the lenses.

There are 11 AF point selection modes, including Eye Detection AF, Continuous AF, Face Priority AF, Spot AF, 1-point AF, Zone AF, Large Zone AF, AI Focus, One Shot, AI Servo, Movie Servo AF, and Continuous AF. When shooting in continuous mode, they allow the photographer to instruct the camera on how to track the subject even if it moves, as well as establish the beginning point for the autofocus system.

The face tracking feature works extremely well, and it is able to lock onto a subject’s face and shoulders. However, if the individual is moving quickly, the eye detection feature can take some time to catch up. However, the system is able to quickly and accurately focus on things that are not moving, and it is also capable of latching onto a moving target in environments with enough illumination.

It does, however, suffer a little bit in low-light settings or when the subject is moving swiftly, as we noticed while tracking a bird in flight under grey skies during our testing period. This was one of the situations in which we put it to the test. This is especially true while looking through the viewfinder; when working in Live View, it is much simpler to keep the subject in focus.


  • 58 JPEG files or 25 raw files can fit in the buffer.
  • Impressive battery

The most remarkable aspect of the Canon EOS 90D is its brand-new 216-zone metering system, which compiles information from an RGB and infrared sensor that has an incredible 220,000 pixels. The exposure of each of the 216 parts is evaluated, which does an excellent job of controlling the level of brightness over the whole frame.

Evaluative is the metering mode that is selected when the camera is first turned on; however, you also have the option of selecting Partial, Centre-weighted, and Spot metering. The evaluative system performs exceptionally well in the vast majority of scenarios, but the other systems are best utilized when photographing subjects that are backlit.

The new metering sensor performs exceptionally well in both bright light and darker settings | Canon EOS 90 with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, 1/160 of a second at f/32.8, ISO 160 (Image credit: Future)

Even while the high-resolution sensor of the Canon EOS 90D and the most recent image processor work together to provide the new camera a stunning performance boost over its predecessor, the camera’s buffer capacity is not quite up to par with that of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

This camera, which is five years old, has the ability to save either 31 RAW files or 1,030 JPEGs to a memory card. On the other hand, the buffer capacity of the Canon EOS 90D is just 58 JPEGs and 25 RAW files.

Having said that, the fact that the 90D has a burst speed of 11 frames per second enables Canon to pitch the camera as a fantastic all-around alternative. Even while it can’t keep up with the new EOS M6 Mark II’s 14 frames per second, the 90D does admirably when it comes to photographing animals and sporting events.

The noise performance of the 90D is good when shooting at the native ISO setting. Around ISO 6400, you’ll start to see a grainier appearance, but rest assured that it’s still under control. Even at an ISO setting of 8000, there is nothing wrong with the image; the slight amount of noise that is visible in the shadows and along the borders can be easily edited away during post-production. However, as you climb higher, the level of noise becomes far more noticeable.

The dynamic range of the Canon 90D is greater than that of the 80D, particularly at higher ISO settings. Although the Canon EOS 90D is able to catch more information in the highlights and shadows as a result of this, underexposure can cause photographs to be noisy, flat, and washed out.

However, the length of time a charge can be maintained is impressive. In spite of the fact that the CIPA rating only allows for 1,300 photos, you will receive many more than that. During the course of our evaluation, we were able to fire around 1,500 photographs while shooting in raw and JPEG formats and alternating between viewfinder and Live View. If you limit yourself to utilizing the viewfinder alone, you should be able to increase that number to somewhere around 1,900.

Image quality

  • Detailed footage at 4K resolution
  • The majority of the stills produced outstanding results.
  • A new upgrade to the device’s firmware has included the 24p video option.

Because of the upgraded sensor, we were anticipating the Canon EOS 90D to generate some outstanding images, and the camera did not disappoint us in this regard. The findings exhibited a great deal of detail in both the highlights and the shadows of the image.

However, due to the increased sensor resolution, you will need to handle the camera with slightly more care than before. This is because even the tiniest movements could be picked up by the camera and become visible in the images; therefore, you may need to use faster shutter speeds in order to achieve the best possible sharpness. When photographing moving subjects, it is helpful to have an electronic shutter that can operate at a speed of 1/16,000 of a second. This enables the use of wider apertures.

This is not the case with the 90D, in contrast to the 80D and the 7D Mark II, both of which maintained a very low level of noise across their full native ISO range. Noise is kept under control extremely effectively at lower ISO settings; but, if the sensitivity is raised over 8000, it becomes highly noticeable. The luminance noise will now be evident at most viewing sizes from this point on.

During our testing, we took the majority of our photographs using Canon’s Standard picture style. This was sufficient to demonstrate that the 90D carries over the camera manufacturer’s outstanding color reproduction, resulting in photographs with enough saturation.

The Vivid and Landscape settings are also quite good, with the former providing more vibrant colors and the latter doing a remarkable job of not oversaturating the blue of the sky or the green of the landscape, as other cameras have a tendency to do. Both of these settings can be found in the shooting menu.

If you want to take pictures of people but don’t want to spend too much time fiddling with the settings on your camera, the Portrait picture style is an excellent option because it doesn’t make people’s skin tones seem strange.

Focus bracketing is also featured on the Canon EOS 90D, which enables users to take a sequence of shots with small shifts in focus points that can then be combined in post-production to get a greater sense of the depth of field.

When it comes to video recording, the 90D is pretty capable as well. Although colors and details are abundant in all resolutions, the 4K film has an especially stunning level of sharpness. However, you should be aware that the camera has a rolling shutter, which can cause noticeable distortions in some scenarios. These distortions are especially noticeable if you move about a lot while shooting.


The degree of adaptability that a camera offers is the primary determinant of whether or not it is considered an enthusiast-grade model. These latter allow you to shoot in a greater variety of settings, with finer degrees of control, without ever being overly complicated or expensive.

Even if there are speculations circulating that Canon will unveil two new EOS M cameras in the beginning of 2020, the Canon EOS 90D performs a superb job of delivering on that score, just as its predecessor did.

Because of this, the 90D truly plays to the strengths of DSLR cameras, which some photographers prefer over mirrorless cameras for reasons that are understandable. Because it is resistant to water and dust, it is suitable for use in every environment, save for the most severe weather, and it is also comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. It has an excellent metering system that can produce nicely exposed photographs in a broad variety of settings, and its burst speed is enough for the majority of users.

If you don’t need to shoot at high ISO settings, the Canon EOS 90D delivers fantastic images, which is to be anticipated, whether you’re photographing landscapes or attempting to capture the perfect serve during a tennis match. However, this is only the case if you don’t have to. Because of the increase in resolution, anyone who prints their images will discover that the results seem far better on paper in comparison to a print produced by a camera with a lesser resolution.

It also comes in at a very good pricing point, which is something that should appeal to both novices and experts alike in the field. It is also important to highlight the existing vast stable of lenses that can be used with the new camera, particularly for anybody who has already made significant financial investments in Canon’s ecosystem.

If you already use the Canon EOS 80D or the 7D Mark II, the issue of whether or not it is worthwhile to upgrade to the newest model is an important one to consider. The answer to this question will depend on how frequently you shoot videos. It is worth it because it can shoot in uncropped 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 120 fps. In addition, a recent upgrade to the Canon firmware has provided the option of recording in cinema-like 24 fps. The EOS 80D is still being manufactured by Canon for still shooters, and despite its advanced age, it is capable of doing great work at a reduced cost.

Canon EOS 90D Specs

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialAluminum alloy
Max resolution6960 x 4640
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels33 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors34 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDIGIC 8
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100-25600 (expands to 51200)
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Canon CR3, 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points45
Number of cross-type focus points45
Lens mountCanon EF/EF-S
Focal length multiplier1.6×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.95× (0.59× 35mm equiv.)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
Scene modesPortrait, Group Photo, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control, Food, Kids, Candlelight, Panning
Built-in flashYes
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuous lowContinuous highContinuous shooting (panning)Silent single shootingSelf-timer/remote
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpotPartial
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 120 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 120 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 60 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 30 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (Wired , wireless or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLP-E6N lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1300
Weight (inc. batteries)701 g (1.55 lb / 24.73 oz)
Dimensions141 x 105 x 77 mm (5.55 x 4.13 x 3.03″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

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