Nikon D4s vs D810 vs D600 for Wildlife Photography

Verm-untitled-Williams-6773

After buying the Nikon D4s and Nikkor 800mm earlier this year I thought I was cured. I made it for months without a single sip of Nikon Rumors. Then I had a relapse. Thank goodness the only news was Nikon was releasing the D810, a camera I clearly had no need for as I like shooting wildlife, not lens charts. But one sip led to another and before I knew it I was on The Photo Website That Dare Not Speak Its Name. The pundit there gushed about the D810’s specs, then declared that nobody really needs a DSLR with such ridiculously high resolution unless they shoot for Arizona Highways. Whew, I just saved 3300 bucks. But hang on a second, I do shoot for Arizona Highways. Oh crap. I needed to check out the D810 to see how it performs in practical situations in the field. While I was at it I’d try my best to compare the 36 MP Nikon D810 side-by-side to the 16 MP Nikon D4s and 24 MP Nikon D600, other Nikon full frame offerings.

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Keeping The DSLR Handy

3 Windermere-Jetty

I have stated in a previous article that I probably will sell all my DSLR gear eventually, so rarely does it ever get used. Virtually all my work now is done with mirrorless m4/3 (Olympus EM-5). But I must admit to being glad that I brought my DSLR along with me to a recent trip to The Lake District and Scotland. And while I used my EM-5 for virtually the entire trip, canoeing on lakes and hiking up hills with it in a small camera bag, I knew the DSLR would be more effective at capturing the night sky. I was hoping at some point the skies would be clear enough for me to capture some stars, possibly even the Milky Way, and since I had my car bringing along extra gear was not an issue.

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When Things Go Wrong…

When Things Go Wrong

From time to time, as photographers many of us face issues with the equipment that we have purchased. It could be a problem with a camera, lens, various types of studio equipment, or with camera accessories. How a manufacturer and the selling dealer address the issue and bring it to resolution, or not…can have a significant impact on our continued patronage of that brand of equipment, and the dealer that sells it.

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Canon 6D Review

Canon EOS 6D

Although the Canon 6D has now been out for almost two years, I never had a chance to review it. Since the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art series lens was initially available only for the Canon mount, I requested the Canon 6D with the lens from our trusted partner B&H Photo Video. My aim was to review both, as I had been planning to review the 6D for a long time now. Ever since I reviewed the Canon 5D Mark III, our readers have been asking us to test out other Canon DSLRs, including the 6D. So this was a good opportunity to catch up, although quite late. Well, better late than never, I guess! Instead of covering everything in much detail though, I will be mostly summing things up based on my three month experience with the camera and feedback from others – I don’t think there is a need to spend a lot of time on this, especially after the camera has been in the market for so long and reviewed by so many people.

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Nikon High ISO Comparison using D600, D800E, Df, D4 and D4s

Nikon D610 vs D800E vs Df vs D4 vs D4s

After I posted my last article comparing the high ISO performance of the Nikon D4s vs D4, a number of our readers requested that I provide a similar comparison with other cameras such as the Nikon D600/D610, D800 and Df. Instead of posting multiple articles that show these comparisons, I decided to put it all into a single article, so that our readers could look at the side by side comparisons, or download the files to their computers for closer examination. Before you start comparing the below images, however, I would like to point out that the images are just provided as a reference, and only represent one side of the camera performance – high ISO in low-light, indoor conditions. Each camera comes with its own set of features, strengths and weaknesses, so please do not draw conclusions from these shots. Please note that ISO performance might vary in different lighting conditions. My recommendation would be to read the comment exchange I had with Brad Hill of Natural Art Images in the previous Nikon D4s vs D4 comparison article, where we discuss the topic of comparing sensor performance in detail.

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A Few Thoughts on Brand Loyalty

Nikon D600

I am sure by now you are all very tired of hearing about the Nikon D600. And I think it is about time we wrapped it up for the last time. This article has been maturing inside my head for a while now and the latest events in the interchangeable lens camera market, along with a couple of scandals that appeared on the news, have only pushed it forward. Only a short while ago I read a comment under the “Nikon D610 Does Not Have a Dust Issue” article left by one of our readers who quoted a response he received from Nikon Europe Support about Nikon D600 dust accumulation problems. Here is the response:

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Recommended Nikon D600 / D610 Settings

Nikon D600

One of our readers recently asked me to provide my settings from the Nikon D600 / D610 cameras that I use for my photography needs. While at first I thought that it was an odd request, it got me into thinking that many photographers probably get lost trying to dig through the many menu options. Since I have been shooting with Nikon for a number of years now, those settings are very easy for me to understand and I apply them over and over again for each camera that I work with. In this article, I want to provide some information on what settings I use and shortly explain what some of the important settings do. Please do keep in mind that while these work for me, it does not mean that everyone else should be shooting with exactly the same settings. The below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle and just want to get started with a basic understanding of menu settings.

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Nikon D600 Service Advisory

Nikon D600

As you may already know, we have covered and complained about the Nikon D600 dust issue quite a bit here at Photography Life, and we were one of the first resources on the Internet to discover the issue, as detailed in our Nikon D600 review. Unfortunately, Nikon failed to take action and issue a recall to fix the shutter problem on the camera, only partially acknowledging the issue and then silently releasing the Nikon D610, without even mentioning a word about why the camera was replaced in the first place. This led to many complaints from existing Nikon D600 owners that felt betrayed and lied to. I have received a number of reports from our readers that had bad experiences with Nikon’s service centers, which despite multiple trips and replacements of parts did not seem to address the ongoing dust issue. Well, some of those frustrated customers did end up taking action and filed a class-action lawsuit against Nikon on February 19th, 2014. It seems like the lawsuit finally did get some traction at Nikon, because today it released a service advisory for all existing Nikon D600 owners. It does not matter if you bought a brand new or a refurbished D600, or if the purchase was made over a year ago and the camera has no warranty – Nikon will repair your camera for free and will pay for all shipping expenses.

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Sony A7 vs Nikon D600 ISO Performance

Sony A7

Thanks to all the camera and lens releases earlier this year, I now have too much gear in my hands and too little time to review it all. Instead of making our readers wait for full, in-depth reviews (which take me a while to put together), I will be publishing some bits and pieces from the reviews with my initial impressions. In this case, I would like to show you the ISO noise performance of the new Sony A7 mirrorless camera and the Nikon D600/D610 DLSRs. I have just received the A7 and A7R cameras along with two Sony lenses (the 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss prime and the 28-70mm Sony zoom), so I have not been able to use them extensively to provide a detailed analysis and opinion. From my two days of using the two, I am pretty impressed by what I see so far.

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Nikon D600 $1679 Deal, Limited Availability

Nikon D600

With the introduction of the Nikon D610 (see our preview and initial reaction) and its lower initial price of $1999, we knew that prices for the remaining Nikon D600 stock would plummet. Looks like Adorama is trying to clean up its shelves to make some space for the upcoming D610, so it has slashed the price of the Nikon D600 by a $420, bringing the price of the Nikon D600 body to $1,679! Previously, we have seen prices drop this low for a refurbished camera, but this one is for a brand new version. Other Nikon D600 kits are also on sale, as shown below.

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