My Nikon D90 seems to be working fine (it's taking pictures); but I can't preview the pictures in the monitor. It will play the pictures back after I take them, but you used to be able to see them prior to taking the shot. I have read the manual as I suspect that I have turned something off, but can not find a solution. Live view is not the solution I'm looking for. I was able to take a quick look at the monitor and then use the view finder for taking the photos and that is what I would like to do again. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  • 2
    When you would "take a quick look at the monitor" before using the viewfinder, what were you looking at? I think you mean you were looking at the scene, just as looking through the viewfinder, but Live View is the only way to do this. Feb 15, 2012 at 21:02
  • Yes the only two things I know of are LiveView which previews the image, and the INFO button which displays a nice overview of settings like aperture, shutter speed, white balance etc.
    – MikeW
    Feb 15, 2012 at 21:12
  • 1
    I have the same problem. Somehow I turned off the monitor. I can take pictures through the view finder, but can't see them on the monitor anymore before taking the picture like I could before. I don't know if I changed a setting accidentally, but none of the above suggestions worked.
    – user9466
    Apr 19, 2012 at 2:11
  • Dinner, candles, bath salts, and a back rub?
    – Drew
    Aug 27, 2012 at 1:03
  • Same thing happened to my friend's D40. Internet claims it is impossible for that camera to have "live view" but she insists that it used to work.
    – Spikolynn
    Jan 11, 2016 at 16:36

3 Answers 3


Like rumtscho has said, what you are requesting cannot be done on the D90. I own a D90 and I can say that I only have these options (when exposing for images):

  1. Use ViewFinder (LiveView disabled)
  2. Use LiveView (ViewFinder disabled)
  3. Shoot Tethered (ViewFinder/LiveView disabled [though techically is liveview with image capture being presented over USB rather than LCD on back of camera])

I can however do as ahockley suggested and use image review after I have taken an image. The menu also allows you to setup the camera to automatically show the last image taken for x amount of time period after exposure.

If you go into the menu you can reset to the defaults and this should put the camera back to the way when you first purchased it and will restore back to the factory settings (which potentially will not do what you requested due to the physical limitations of this DSLR)

  • OK - I'll try resetting the defaults. Thank you all for all your suggestions.
    – Phyllis
    Feb 16, 2012 at 6:02

If I understand your question, all you need to do is press the "Lv" button at the right top of the screen. Just had the same issue and it was that simple for me. Hope this helps!


Go to the menus and go to the Playback menu - I believe this is the top one, with an icon that looks like a right-facing arrow. The setting that you're looking for is called Image Review. Turn that on and you'll again see the photos immediately after capture.

  • When I said take a quick look at the monitor, yes, I did mean looking at the scene. Both the monitor and the view finder were available. With live view, the viewfinder is not operational. I want to go back to viewing with both the monitor and view finder, not either one or the other. I hope I am making myself clear. And thank you for your replies.
    – Phyllis
    Feb 15, 2012 at 22:00
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    @Phyllis I don't know if you misremember the camera with which this happened, but this is mechanically not possible with the D90, there is a mirror between the lens and the sensor, LiveView changes the position of the mirror so the sensor can "see", but then you can't use the viewfinder any more because the mirror is not in place.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 15, 2012 at 22:10
  • 1
    This was my D90 - it is the only camera I have (other than a little point and shoot) and the rear monitor screen only went blank yesterday after I looked at the menu. I didn't change any settings, but was just looking as a learning experience.
    – Phyllis
    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:24
  • 2
    As rumtscho says, it is physically not possible to have both the viewfinder and live view enabled at the same time. Light enters through the lens, hits a mirror and travels up to the viewfinder. In Live View, the mirror is raised so the light travels straight through the lens onto the sensor, where the results are displayed on the screen. Therefore if Live View is on the viewfinder cannot show an image. Likewise, if the viewfinder has an image, the mirror must be down which precludes Live View. Feb 16, 2012 at 8:47
  • Unless the mirror is partially transparent, as in the Sony SLT cameras.
    – mattdm
    Jan 15, 2013 at 19:58

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