Sunday, 6 April 2014

Starting with a Nikon DSLR…

Recently there have been changes of taste regarding digital imaging. Point and shoot cameras are losing out next to the incredible imaging powers of D-SLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras, as DSLR prices became more reasonable in last few years. In fact, it’s about time you stop daydreaming and get one to actually know, what the fuss is all about. This two part article will guide you to choose the best Nikon DSLR camera to start with, considering your budget.



When it’s about D-SLR cameras, Nikon and Canon are the two most prominent brands which come to one’s mind; both being market leaders and having a huge fan following all over the world. The competition is so stiff that all the latest models and lenses of these two are now available in stores at competitive price range.
Here we will walk you through most popular Nikon models very briefly with their specifications, price, user types etc. Probably by now it might be popping in your head, “Why the heck Nikon?” I will not go into the debate of Nikon Vs Canon (legendary debate of all time) right now.  Let me just say why Nikon is  my favorite: mostly for the greater dynamic range, better color depth (truer color), noticeably better ISO/Noise performance, better lenses and larger lens compatibility compared to Canon models at same price range. True be told: both brands produce great cameras and it’s really up to the user to select one, depending on their taste, usage type, budget etc.
Nikon provides fewer models in different ranges, which I think is a plus point: it enables user to pick from a narrow pool of devices hence one can choose right camera easily. Just adding few features and increasing megapixels to create a newer model can be confusing for an amateur photographer. So, before deciding on a model, don’t JUST look at megapixel alone. There are lots of other factors which will create huge impact on the quality of your images. Remember, a good photograph is not an end result of a good camera body. It’s a combination of camera body, lenses, technique, composition, etc and also the creative mindset of the camera-holder. So when the snaps are not as you expected, don’t shout at your poor camera, it might have something to do with you as well. A good photographer can produce amazing images with even the lowest priced model available. Higher end models will give the touch professionalism and will help you to achieve more accuracy, depth, flexibility etc. Enough jibberjabber, now let’s quickly go through what Nikon has to offer to its worldwide users.
DSLRs can be classified primarily by the size of its image sensor. The original 35mm film equivalent sensor size is called Full Frame sensor (for Nikon models/lenses have “FX” on them). But producing such a sensor is really costly. Therefore, camera manufacturers developed smaller/cropped image sensor cameras (for Nikon it’s called DX) for producing wonderful images at a lower cost. Both FX and DX have its merits and demerits. We will come to know those later on. But first let’s look at the models below.

Format (Megapixel, continuous frame per second, ISO Range, Video quality)
Professional Models (Full frame/FX models)
* D4S (Flag ship Product): 16.2 MP, 11 FPS, ISO 100-25600, 1080P @ 60P
* Df: 16.2 MP, 5.5 FPS, ISO 100-12800, NO VIDEO!
* D4: 16.2 MP, 10/11 FPS, ISO 100-12,800, 1080P @ 30P
* D3X: 24.5 MP, 5fps, ISO 100-1600, NO VIDEO!
* D800 (Best choice product): 36.3 MP!, 4 FPS, ISO 100-6400, 1080P @ 30p
* D800 E(Slightly sharper):  Same as D800
* D610: 24.3 MP, 6 FPs, ISO 100-6400, 1080P@ 30p
* D600 (will be discontinued): Almost same as D610!
Semi-Professional Models (Crop frame/ DX models)
* D7100 (Flagship product): 24.1 MP, 6 FPS, ISO 100-6400, 1080 @ 60i
* D7000: 16.2 MP, 6 FPS, ISO 100-6400, 1080p @ 24p
* D300S (rare now): 12.3 MP, 7 FPS, ISO 200-3200, 720p @ 24p
* D90 (still stunning): 12.3 MP, 4.5 fps, ISO 200-3200, 720p @ 24p
Entry Level Models (Crop frame/ DX models without focus motor):
* D5300 (Flagship): 24.2 MP, 5 fps, ISO 100-12800, 1080p @ 60i,
* D5200: 24.1 MP, 5 FPS, ISO 100-6400, 1080p @30,
* D5100: 16.2 MP, 4 FPS, ISO 100-6400, 1080p @ 30p
* D3300 (newest one):    24.2 MP, 5 fps, ISO 100-12800, 1080p @60p
* D3200: 24.2 MP, 4 FPS,ISO 100-6400, 1080p @ 60p
So, quite a few models as you can see. But we are more focused on to DX models for beginner as FX cameras are insanely high priced and not at all recommended for beginners or semi-pro photographers. Nikon recently introduced their 24 megapixel sensor in almost every new model at different prices slabs. So there is no issue of Megapixel anymore!
(To be continued…..)
The writer is Chief Photographer and Founder of Adroit Production and a Nikon fan who stays busy shooting pictures of his baby daughter.

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