Do new DSLRs still have a place in a market that’s been overtaken by mirrorless? Michael Topham reviews the new Canon EOS 90D to find out
Canon EOS 90D Review: Verdict
The Canon EOS 90D is a versatile and reliable DSLR, capable of producing excellent images in a multitude of different shooting situations. A lot of talk is centred on the new sensor, which resolves a level of detail exceeding anything we’ve recorded from an APS-C camera in the past. The increase in resolution will be of great benefit to sports, action and wildlife photographers who crop into their images, however to get the best out of the sensor and do it justice you’ll really want to pair it with higher quality lenses than the kit zooms Canon sells it with.
Uncropped 4K video has been long overdue on Canon’s double-digit DSLRs, so it’s good to see it making an appearance, albeit without a 24p setting and a Log gamma option for colour grading. I’d have liked to see Canon add a USB Type C interface with support for USB charging like its EOS R mirrorless range, but unfortunately it goes without. Its saving grace is its large LP-E6N battery, which with its 1300-shot stamina, won’t have you rushing to find mains power to recharge it.
Being able to shoot a continuous burst at 10fps is great to have, however the Canon EOS 7D Mark II still has the edge when it comes to buffer performance, plus it offers dual card slots whereas the 90D only has one. The 90D’s optical viewfinder is big and bright, but the AF system is starting to show its age. To benefit from wider AF coverage, better focus accuracy and focus aids such as Face and Eye Detection, you’ll find yourself engaging Live View and using the rear screen more than you thought you might.
Ergonomically, the 90D feels great. The large handgrip lets you wrap your hand around it to get a secure hold when it’s used with large telephoto lenses and its weather resistance gives you confidence to keep shooting when the weather takes a turn for the worse. In addition, the newly added joystick compliments the intuitive layout of controls and dials across the body, making it quick to setup and shoot with when there’s no time to waste.
Those who are after a camera that’s more compact may be inclined to look at the Canon EOS M6 Mark II, which shares the same sensor/processor combination as the 90D and shoots even faster. Photographers who’ve built up a selection of EF lenses, fancy having a more extensive lens lineup available to them, and still prefer using an optical viewfinder as opposed to an EVF, will be be well served by the 90D.
In today’s world of mirrorless it makes a refreshing change to see a new DSLR emerge. For advancing amateurs and keen enthusiasts alike, the Canon EOS 90D makes a sound choice. Is it the best APS-C enthusiast DSLR Canon has made? Yes it is, but it might also be one of the last if Canon decides to pull the plug on manufacturing DSLR’s and shifts their focus to mirrorless and mirrorless only – something we sense isn’t all that far away.