Every photographer views new products in personal terms: How will this camera, lens or accessory help me to achieve my photographic goals? When you’ve worked in the business as long as I have, each new photographic tool is also evaluated in the context of its predecessors and, to a lesser extent, the possibilities of the future. That is, how does this equipment meet, advance or disrupt the technological trends?
Great Catch. A river otter enjoys a catfish among the cattails edging a lake in Central Oregon. To capture this portrait from the opposite shore with the EOS 90D, Lepp used an EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens with an Extender EF 2x III (1200mm), achieving an angle of view of 1920mm with the 1.6x crop factor of the camera’s APS-C sensor. Exposure: 1/250 sec., ƒ/11, ISO 1600.
When it comes to camera bodies, whether DSLR or mirrorless, our current expectations are that new models will offer improved sensitivity, accuracy and speed along with high-resolution video capture and in-camera functions such as focus and exposure bracketing. How does Canon’s new mid-range DSLR, the EOS 90D, stack up to its predecessors and the standards of the moment?
While Canon places the EOS 90D as the linear successor to the 80D, it might also be seen as an upgrade to the professional-level EOS 7D Mark II, which I purchased when it was introduced in late 2014. Fast, at 10 fps, and with an improved autofocus system, the 7D Mark II also captures video in full HD at 60 fps. The 20.2 megapixel APS-C sensor offers a useful 1.6x crop factor, but it’s relatively small, so not as capable at higher ISOs. In 2016, I transitioned to the high-end, 20.2-megapixel full-frame EOS-1D X Mark II, with superb high ISO quality, but I missed the 7D Mark II’s crop factor for when I really needed telephoto reach.
Am I ever satisfied? No, but I’ve hoped for another APS-C camera that improves on the EOS 7D Mark II. In the EOS 90D, Canon combined and upgraded the best features of the 7D Mark II and the 80D, then added 4K video capability, 120 fps full HD video and in-camera focus bracketing. The EOS 90D promises excellent image quality at 1600 ISO, and the APS-C sensor has 32.5 megapixels of resolution.