Updated (September 2010): Compare the Nikon D3 vs Nikon D7000

Nikon D3 vs Nikon D90

Winner
Nikon D3

91

Nikon D90

68

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,290 ISO
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.70x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Rapid fire
Continuous shooting
9 fps
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D90

Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.63x
Badge
Built-in focus motor
Autofocuses with more lenses

Items often bought with the D3 or D90

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D90.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3

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Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
2,290 ISO vs 977 ISO
Help
The D3 has excellent image quality: 1.2 f-stops higher ISO than the D90
Battery life
Much longer battery life
4300 shots vs 850 shots
Help
More than 5x more shots per battery charge
Overall image quality
Better image quality
81.0 vs 73.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
9 fps vs 4.5 fps
Help
2x faster continuous shooting
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
88 ms vs 208 ms
Help
2.4x less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.70x vs 0.63x
Help
More than 20% larger viewfinder
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 22.7 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.8 more bits of color
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Viewfinder coverage
Significantly better viewfinder coverage
100% vs 96%
Help
Almost the same
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D3's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Fastest shutter speed
Much faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The D3's boost ISO is 4 f-stops better
Nikon D3 Learn more about
the Nikon D3

Advantages of the Nikon D90

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Movie format
Shoots movies
720p @ 24fps vs None
Help
Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Size
Much smaller
132×103×77 mm vs 160×157×88 mm
Help
2.1x smaller
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 171 lenses
Help
More than 30% more lenses available
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$755.00 vs $4,999.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $4,244 cheaper (6.6x less)
Weight
Much lighter
703 g vs 1,300 g
Help
Around 50% lighter
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.5 EV vs 12.2 EV
Help
Almost the same
Thickness
Much thinner
3" vs 3.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Nikon D90 Learn more about
the Nikon D90
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3 Nikon D3 91
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        68 Nikon D90 Nikon D90
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              300 ms startup delay
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Built-in focus motor Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Autofocuses with more lenses
              Common Weaknesses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D312.1 MP
              D9012.2 MP
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D3None
              D90720p @ 24fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D36,400 ISO
              D903,200 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              3"

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $968 - $1,097 body only

              $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $720 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $713 - $797 body only

              $948 - $1,097 with 18-140mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,585 - $1,997 body only

              $2,125 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,174 - $1,497 body only

              $1,649 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3S

              Nikon D3S

              Pro DSLR

              $4,995 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Nikon D4

              Nikon D4

              Pro DSLR

              $3,789 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D800

              Nikon D800

              Pro DSLR

              $2,285 body only

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Battery life Much shorter battery life
              Continuous shooting Shoots much slower

              Nikon D90 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $647 body only

              $549 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Viewfinder size Smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder
              Nikon D5500

              Nikon D5500

              Entry-level DSLR

              $561 - $747 body only

              $689 - $847 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Viewfinder size Significantly smaller viewfinder
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a pentaprism viewfinder

              appearance

              Nikon D3 Nikon D90
              Nikon D3 Nikon D90
              Nikon D3 Nikon D90

              discussion

              Nikon D3
              D3
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D90
              D90
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              Ehsann Sharif (11:35 AM, September 16, 2011)
              that was very much helpful.
              I'm so glad I found this site...
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:10 AM, August 30, 2010)
              Thanks for pointing that out, sometimes the system matches a camera accessory instead of the camera itself, we'll get this fixed asap.
               
              Lunatic (8:17 AM, August 29, 2010)
              I believe you've got the wrong price for the D90. If you find one for 136€ that is working, BUY IT!