Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

  • APS-C
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 30
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 30 megapixels
  • Canon EF
  • 55
    Overall
  • 34
    Imaging
  • 76
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Semi-Pro DSLR. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Nikon and Canon. Although Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV are both equipped with the same CMOS sensor, they boast of different resolution. Thus, Nikon D90 has a sensor with a resolution of 12.0 MP, while Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has a different resolution of 30.0 MP.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Nikon D90 Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 3200 (Expands to 6400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.5 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 132 x 103 x 77 mm
  • Weight: 703 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D80. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D7000. Compare

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Key Features:

  • 30.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 50 - 102400)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 7.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4096 x 2160 (29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1920 x 1080 (59.94p, 29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1280 x 720 (119.9p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 151 x 116 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 890 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Canon 5D MIII.

Nikon D90 was substituted by Nikon D7000. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D90 vs. D7000
Nikon D7000 vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Nikon D90 substituted Nikon D80. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D90 vs. D80
Nikon D80 vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Why is Nikon D90 a better choice than Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 17 vs No 17 better flash range
Weight 703 g vs 890 g 187 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Canon EOS 5D Mark IV over Nikon D90

NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Gps Built-in vs Optional Has GPS
Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Resolution 30.0 MP vs 12.0 MP 60% more pixels
Sensor Area 864 mm2 vs 372.88 mm2 56.8% larger pixel area
Continuous Shooting 7 fps vs 4.5 fps 2.5 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 61 vs 11 50 more focus points
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 1,620k dots vs 920k dots 43.2% higher resolution screen
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Battery Life 900 shots vs 850 shots 50 more frames with a single charge
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Max Video Resolution 4096 x 2160 vs 1280 x 720 Higher Resolution Video
Microphone Port Yes vs No High quality audio recording option
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port
Dxo Color Depth 24.8 vs 22.7 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.6 vs 12.5 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 2995 vs 977 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.71 vs 0.64 0.07 better magnification

Key PROs of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Screen Size 3″ | 3.2″ Large display
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Battery Life 850 shots | 900 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Continuous Shooting 4.5 fps | 7.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV from the front view.

Nikon D90
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D90
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Nikon D90 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 187g less than the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D90 — 850 shots
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV — 900 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots
Thickness values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D90 — 77 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV — 76 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm
Weight values for Semi-Pro DSLR cameras:
Nikon D90 — 703 g
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV — 890 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Comparing Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D90 features a 12.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor . Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, in its turn, comes with a 30.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D90
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is equipped with a sensor that is 0.4x larger than the one featured in Nikon D90. Compared to the cameras with smaller sensor area, the ones with larger sensors ensure more control on the blurry background and depth of field if you shoot in the same aperture and focal length. Thus, the first model has a significant advantage here.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D90 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Portrait Photography
66%
100%
Street Photography
75%
90%
Sports Photography
70%
97%
Daily Photography
56%
70%
Landscape Photography
85%
99%

Nikon D90 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (30 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D90 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (850 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (132 x 103 x 77 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (900 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (151 x 116 x 76 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D90 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (132 x 103 x 77 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.5 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (977)
  • Small battery life (850 shots)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (61)
  • Big Number of CrossFocus Points (41)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2995)
  • Big size (151 x 116 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (7.0 fps)

Nikon D90 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (703 g)
  • Big size (132 x 103 x 77 mm)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (890 g)
  • Big size (151 x 116 x 76 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Nikon D90 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.5)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (977)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (30 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.6)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2995)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D90 or Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D90. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D90 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
General
Brand Nikon Canon
Model D90 EOS 5D Mark IV
Announced Oct 13, 2008 Aug 25, 2016
Body Type Mid-size SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 23.6 x 15.8 mm 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 864.00 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP 30.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4288 x 2848 6720 x 4480
Max Native ISO 3,200 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 6,400 102,400
Min Native ISO 200 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Canon EF
Number of Lenses 287 256
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 11 61
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a 41
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 920k dots 1,620k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 96% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.64 0.71
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.5 fps 7.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash Yes No
Flash Range 17 0
Flash Modes Auto, Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync no built-in flash
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No Yes
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 73 91
DxO Color Depth 22.7 24.8
DxO Dynamic Range 12.5 13.6
DxO Low Light ISO 977 2995
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps), 320 x 216 (24 fps) 4096 x 2160 (29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1920 x 1080 (59.94p, 29.97p, 24p, 23.98p), 1280 x 720 (119.9p)
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720 4096 x 2160
Video Formats Motion JPEG MPEG-4, Motion JPEG
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 703 g 890 g
Physical Dimensions 132 x 103 x 77 mm 151 x 116 x 76 mm
Battery Life 850 shots 900 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL3e LP-E6
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No Yes
GPS Optional Built-in
Storage Type SD/SDHC CompactFlash + SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I enabled)
Storage Slots 1 2

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