D600-licious! (I bought a Nikon D600)

Six or seven months ago, rumors began to pop up on various photo blogs concerning a new camera coming up from Nikon. This by itself is nothing special, there are rumors about new cameras all the time. Two things made this rumor more exciting than most, however: it was said to have an FX sensor and be “affordable” (this, of course, was relative). You may or may not know that Nikon sells dSLR camera bodies with 2 different sensor sizes: DX and FX. FX equates to a “Full Frame”, 35mm size sensor. This sensor size has historically only been available in “Pro” level camera bodies, keeping it far out of reach for the majority of us. This is why the rumors of this mysterious new camera body got me so excited!

When I made the switch from using dSLR’s to smaller form factor bodies like micro four thirds and Sony’s NEX line, I knew the only thing that could get me to come back would be an affordable FX body from Nikon. Well, it’s that time! The D600 brought it, and brought it hard! As soon as this body was released I jumped right in asap to purchase. I have to admit that as great as the micro four thirds and NEX cameras are, I always felt I missed looking through a viewfinder and actually seeing through the lens.

It has only been a couple weeks of light use so far, but this camera is really performing well. The feel of a Nikon in my hand again really feels great. The quality and level of features they packed into this camera is extraordinary; from the dual SD card slots, to the little touches like rubber coated command dials. And yes, the command dials are in the right place, unlike Cannon 😉 The image quality this camera produces is staggering. I have never owned a camera that could produce images near this level of quality.

Since I have not owned a Nikon SLR in a number of years, I had no previous lenses. So of course I have to start rebuilding an arsenal. Not that this makes much difference, as all my old lenses were DX lenses anyway. I started off this time around with the super awesome and very solid 50mm f/1.4G. What a beautiful lens this is. Wonderfully sharp, and the fall off at 1.4 is like a dream!

Do I love this camera? Yes
Do I recommend this camera? YES!

Feel free to buy it using these sweet Amazon affiliate links! 😉

Quick Lens Review: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

I recently went on a photo shoot with a friend of mine to the abandoned town of Drawbridge, CA. I needed to rent a lens because I recently sold the majority of my lenses with my old Nikon D40 camera body. This only left me with my Nikon 35mm f/1.8. A fantastic lens for sure, but not quite the right tool for the job. Since a lens like the 24-70mm f/2.8 is upwards of $1600, renting was the way to go for sure. This particular lens is talked about like a god, so I had to see what all the hype was about! I rented it for 3 days for about $50. Not a bad deal at all. The very first thing I noticed about this lens was the weight; it is hefty! It weighs about 2 pounds, compared to my Nikon D90 body that weighs about 1.3 pounds! Having a solid f/2.8 from 24-70mm is fantastic; I found this lens to be very versatile for my shooting. This lens actually stayed on my body the whole day. The autofocus on this particular rented unit felt like it might have been slightly out of whack, but when in manual focus it was pretty damn sharp. I realize this lens is probably better suited for an FX body, but even on my DX D90 it was a wonderful experience. I can see why everyone talks about this lens so much! If you have the almost $2000 to shell out, this lens should be in your bag!

On a side note, if you have a Nikon D90, you know it came with the LCD protective cover. LEAVE IT ON! During this last shoot, my plastic cover got scratched to all hell, not even sure how it happened, but if the cover wasn’t there, my LCD would be wrecked! So if you have it on, keep it on. If you don’t, put it on now! If your particular camera model doesn’t have a protective cover, research to find one that will suit you. You won’t regret it. A new $10 cover is always better than a permanently scratched LCD.


Quick Review: Nikon D90 DSLR.

The Nikon D40 was my very first dSLR camera. A fantastic leap from the point-and-shoot side of the fence! I had the camera for about 4 years, but really only started getting serious about photography a little over a year ago. After shooting with the D40 body and mastering it (the camera, not photography) over the course of a year, I was starting to hit imitations of the camera hardware and it was starting to look like it was time for an upgrade. I really prefer and like the Nikon camera bodies, so I knew I would be upgrading to a new Nikon. I studied all the bodies and reviews for months to find out what would be the best upgrade for me. It came down to the D90 and the D300.

The two seemed to have pretty similar specs minus the video on the D90, although the D300 was touted as more of a “professional” camera. One of the biggest features I wanted was the command and sub-command dials for aperture and shutter speed adjustments.

The video on the D90 leaves a little to be desired. Especially compared to the new D300s that came out a couple months after purchasing the D90. Video is not all that important to me, so it is just a bonus to be able to shoot little video clips with the same camera I already have with me.

I find the build quality of the D90 to be much higher than some of the newer bodies coming out like the D3000. The body feels great in the hand and is a good weight. I like a larger camera body and this is just that. I found the D40 a little annoying to hold due to its small size. I had a battery grip on the D40 simply to make it more comfortable to hold with a longer lens.

The image quality on the D90 is great. A very nice improvement from the D40, although the raw files were a lot harder to work with on my old laptop. The D40 raw files were no problem, but the D90 at twice the size made the computer chug. I have since upgraded to a new MacBook Pro, so it is no longer an issue.

As far as lenses go with this new body, I bought the Nikon 35mm f/1.8. This lens is AMAZING! Super sharp and fast. And for only $200, you have to have this lens in your bag. I also rented the Nikon 18-200mm from Lensrentals.com and I WILL be buying that lens at some point. It was so versatile and handled a full day shoot walking around town without having to stop and swap lenses.

Overall, If you are in the market for a Nikon body upgrade from one of the lower tier bodies I would say this is definitely a camera to look at. If video is more important to you, you may want to look into the D300s instead. For me, stills are where I want to be, and this camera body does not disappoint!


My New Digital SLR Camera

Well I finally bought a DSLR camera. To be more specific I bought a Nikon D40. This is my entry into the world of SLR photography. I still have my Nikon point and shoot, but its a lot more fun taking pictures with the SLR, since you get to control every aspect of the picture. So far it has been a great camera, and it was a great value as well. I purchased 2 lenses with it. I am by all means a beginner at this, but I think I am getting the hang of it quickly. I will add a new section on the page somewhere to show off any of the pictures I take.[rating:4.5]