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A Flash of Brilliance
Smart Photography|September 2020
A Flash of Brilliance
Canon announced the EOS 90D, a replacement to the 80D, with a new and more powerful DIGIC 8 processor worldwide, by mid-2019. However, the roads to the Indian test benches seem to be a challenging one for some devices to traverse. We are glad to finally be able to get our hands on this important upgrade from Canon. Here are our observations.
Sujith Gopinath

Inside the Box

EOS 90D Body

Body cap

Battery Pack LP-E6N

Battery Charger LC-E6N

Instruction booklet

Neck Strap

18-135mm lens (depends on the kit)

Front and back cap

Design & Build Quality

The Canon 90D is built similar to its predecessor, the 80D. The camera has an aluminium alloy chassis along with polycarbonate finishing. It features some weather sealing, though it is not completely weather-sealed. The camera features a fully articulating LCD and controls similar to the 80D, while the 90D gets an additional joystick at the rear, which is adopted from the 7D series. Canon calls it the second multicontroller and it does the same function as the first, though it is optimally positioned for quicker operation. This camera features the central contact on the hot-shoe that allows you to trigger studio strobes. Though the camera has a large form factor, it weighs a comfortable 701g. It is effortless to hold, thanks to the deep and ergonomic grip. All controls are easily accessible. The 90D measures 140.7 x 104.8 x 76.8mm.

Key Features

The 32.5-megapixel EOS 90D uses an APS-C (22.3 x 14.8mm) CMOS sensor and the latest DIGIC 8 processor. The sensor unit features ultrasonic dust removal along with Dust Delete Data appending. Still images are recorded in JPEG or Raw (14-bit Canon Original) format. The camera also includes Compressed Raw (C-Raw) format. It offers a maximum still image dimension of 6960 x 4640 pixels. Videos are recorded in MP4 format with up to 4K, 25p quality with full sensor readout. The camera supports Time-lapse movie recording.

With the viewfinder, the 90D uses phase-detection AF system with a dedicated AF sensor. It provides up to 45 AF points (all Cross-type) with a central Dual Cross-type AF Point responsive at f/2.8 and f/5.6 and all other points responsive at f/5.6. Setting the aperture to f/8 activates 27 AF points including nine Cross-type points. The camera uses the usual focussing modes such as One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF and Manual focus. AF area can be selected between Spot AF, 1-point AF, Zone AF, Large Zone AF and Automatic selection AF (all AF points). AF micro adjustment is supported. Switching to Live View activates Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Face and eye detection AF are available. Movie focus modes available are One-Shot AF, Servo AF, AI Focus AF (with Scene Intelligent Auto), Movie Servo AF and Manual Focus. Drive modes include Single shooting, High and Low-speed continuous, Continuous shooting (panning) and Silent single and continuous shooting. The camera can shoot Raw and JPEG (Large/Fine) images continuously at up to 11 frames per sec. The buffer can store about 35 images in Raw or JPEG Large/Fine, but with a fast memory card, you can shoot almost unlimited images without the camera stopping down completely.

The EOS 90D uses a new 220,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor and supports face priority. The camera employs 216-zone (18 x 12), TTL full-aperture metering method with the dedicated sensor along with 384-zone (24 x 16) metering using image sensor output signals. The camera’s metering modes include Evaluative (all AF points), Partial on the centre part of the viewfinder, Spot and Centre-weighted average.

The camera offers Program AE (shiftable), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual exposure, Bulb and two Custom shooting modes in Creative zones. Basic zone offers Scene Intelligent Auto (Program AE/ non-shiftable), Flash off, Creative auto, Special scene and Creative filters. Special scene modes include Food, Kids, Candlelight, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Group Photo and Panning. Creative Filters available are Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Fish-eye Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Miniature Effect, Water Painting Effect, HDR Art Standard, HDR Art Vivid, HDR Art Bold and HDR Art Embossed.

The camera offers equivalent sensitivity ranging from ISO 100 to 25,600, which can be extended to ISO 51,200. Exposure can be compensated by ±5 stops in 1/3 or 1/2-stop increments. Auto Exposure Bracketing is available. The camera provides HDR mode. The 90D uses a mechanical, vertical-travel, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically controlled along with an electronic Shutter. The mechanical shutter provides a shutter speed range of 30 to 1/8000 sec along with Bulb mode, while the electronic shutter allows 30 to 1/16000 sec. The shutter offers an X-sync speed of 1/250 sec.

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September 2020