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Nikon D5500 and Nikon 300 F4 VR PF Lens Hands On from CES 2015

Jared Polin January 9, 2015 Comments Off on Nikon D5500 and Nikon 300 F4 VR PF Lens Hands On from CES 2015

I got my first hands on with withe Nikon D5500 and Nikon 300 F4 VR PF lens at CES 2015.

The Nikon D5500 Hands On was pretty surprising as I did not expect it to be as light as it was. It was almost as if it did not have a battery in it but it did. Like I said in the preview of that camera one of the only major changes was the addition of a 3.2 in. touch screen.

What I can tell you about the screen is that it was extremely responsive. I did not expect it to feel like a regular screen that I can simply touch. There was no lag from the time I touched it to scrolled it or anything along those lines.

But if you think it will allow you to do better touch focus for video it’s not as good as the Canon’s that let you do so. For the preview of the D5500 please click here.
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Nikon D5500 Preview

Jared Polin January 5, 2015 Comments Off on Nikon D5500 Preview

Nikon has announced the D5500 which is replacing the D5300 that was initially announced on October 17th 2013. The life cycle for these cameras keeps shrinking time and time again.

You may be asking yourself why didn’t they name it the D5400? From what I have been told is that the number 4 is considered bad luck in certain cultures. But what about the D4 and D4s, did someone think that wasn’t bad luck? I think it has to do with consumers and not pros. Pros know the number 4 in the camera probably won’t effect anything but consumers are a different animal.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 3.01.20 PM

So what sets the D5500 apart from the D5300? The answer is honestly not that much. It has the same size sensor at 24.2 but the difference is the D5500 does not have an OLPF. This means images should be sharper and more vibrant right out of the camera.

The ISO range is now 100-25,600 Natively. No longer will you find an H1 or H2 setting which were considered not recommended but they were there.

You still shoot at 5FPS and have 39 AF points with 9 of them being cross type.

One of the largest changes has to do with the LCD screen, it’s officially Nikon’s first touch screen. They are far from the first company to do so with Canon, Sony and a few others doing this for years. Is a touch screen a major deal when it comes to a DSLR, not exactly. But it can play a part during Video if you can touch where you want it to focus and the camera responds well. Time will tell if this touch screen is something that will find it’s way into other models.
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Nikon VS Canon Which To Buy: The ULTIMATE Battle:

Jared Polin December 27, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon VS Canon Which To Buy: The ULTIMATE Battle:

Nikon VS Canon the Ultimate battle to decide which one you should buy. This is always the question that fills my inbox, “Which camera is better, Nikon or Canon?”. I decided to put together a video that discusses all the FULL Frame models against their counterparts on both sides.

I want to point out that this time around it’s just Nikon and Canon and in the future there will be other brands added to the battle.

The goal with this video is to put the cameras head to head and give you the pros and cons of each. It is up to you to decide which one is for you or not for you. I know this is not an easy decision so I hope this video helps you decide.

When you take a look at the current lineups as of Dec 2nd 2014 when this video was recorded you will notice that Nikon’s is fresh and updated whereas Canon’s is a little long in the tooth. That is not saying that one is better it’s simply saying Nikon has updated their lineup more recently than Canon. Keep in mind this is a never ending cycle that one company will have newer cameras before the other.
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Which Nikon FX Full Frame Camera should you buy and why: D4s, D810, D750, D610, Df

Jared Polin November 19, 2014 Comments Off on Which Nikon FX Full Frame Camera should you buy and why: D4s, D810, D750, D610, Df

With so many Nikon Full Frame (FX) camera now on the market the big question is which one should you buy and why. I wanted to dive deeper into the current options to help anyone decide which of the cameras is for them. As a side note I honestly forgot about the Df and will fit that one into the discussion below.

So you are deciding on picking up a new full frame camera where should you start, what questions should you be asking?

Is this your first full frame camera or are you upgrading from a current fx camera?
What is your budget?
Do you already have quality glass?
What will you be shooting?
Are you a hobbyist or a professional?
Are you interested in stills, video or both?
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Nikon D750 Real World Review

Jared Polin October 17, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D750 Real World Review

Let me start of by saying this right off the bat, if I was in the market for my first Full Frame DSLR this camera would be it.

Click Here for all 133 FULL RES exported JPEGS
Click Here to download 7 sample DNG RAW Files (192 megs)

Click Here to purchase the Nikon D750 from Allen’s Camera or Amazon.

When I got the call from Nikon that they were about to announce another NEW Full frame camera I was a little shocked. They already had the D610 and the D810 so where would a new camera fit in the lineup and what would it be called.

You might think the new camera would be called the D710 but no, Nikon opted for the next best choice, the D750. Many people have been waiting for a replacement to the Nikon D700 which packs the top of the line sensor and pro features, but is this the answer?

I am not going to run down all the specs of the Nikon D750 again as I did a preview of the camera right here. What I will do is go into how I tested the camera and why. First off my style is to use cameras opposed to “test” cameras in the lab. Sure certain “lab” tests may garner interesting results but I want to know how the camera actually handles in the real world.

For the Nikon D750 review I chose to go back to High School and shoot a Thursday night football game under the lights. When I say under the lights what I really mean are the four polls with things on top of them that kind of illuminate the playing field.

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This is not the ideal lighting situation for shooting but this camera is said to have the best low light focusing of any Nikon camera (-3 ev), even better than the D4s. On top of that what better way to test the ISO than to do it in a situation that is not ideal. Any camera going back to the early DSLR’s can shine in good light but what separates the winners from the losers is their lowlight capability.
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Nikon D810 Real World Review

Jared Polin October 10, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D810 Real World Review

For the FULL RES exported images please click here. Click Here to Download Four RAW Files from the Nikon D810.

When Nikon announced the D810 many people thought it was simply a minor update to the D800. The truth of the matter is that it was a very nice evolution of an already nice camera.
It’s added more FPS, better focus, refined buttons, higher and lower ISO and much more.

Personally I was not a fan of the original D800. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice camera but it had some issues for me. First I thought the files were to large because of the 36 Mega Pixels. Each 14 bit RAW Uncompressed file was 75 megs on my card. To be honest even if they did offer me the RAW S I would not have used it at the time.

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One of the main issues I had with the D800 was the fact that the ISO topped out at 6400. At the time it seemed like even lesser cameras could shoot in lower light situations. I think one of the main reasons behind this was the fact that Nikon saw this as a studio type camera. But in this day and age you really want an all around great cameras wether it’s in the studio or on location in low light.

I’ve never really had a tough time deciding on what gear to take with me when I head out on a trip. It’s generally my Nikon D4s with the hebrew trinity and I am all set for anything that comes my way. But when we were getting ready to head to Poland and Germany I was having an internal fight with myself. I wanted to take my D4s because I was comfortable with and I had not touched the D810 yet.

The day before leaving I decided to challenge myself to take the D810 and leave the D4s sitting in it’s bag at home. I still took the hebrew trinity as my lenses of choice but the only body would be the D810.

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A lot went into my decision to take only the D810. Sure it’s smaller and lighter than my D4s but it was more about button layout and consistency of design Nikon has across the board with their cameras. You can pick up pretty much any Nikon camera from the D3300 to the D4s and feel comfortable with it in your hands because the button layouts and placements are very similar.

If you would like to purchase a Nikon D810 you can do so right here at Allen’s Camera or Amazon.
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Nikon D750 Preview

Jared Polin September 12, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D750 Preview


This is my preview of the Nikon D750, I have not held, used, sniffed or done anything with this camera. This is a preview which means I run down the specs and give you my thoughts on what this camera has or does not have.

Based on the specs and price of the camera I think this may be one of the BEST DSLR’s
Nikon has ever made. This camera has a great price point, amazing specs, solid photo capabilities and even more solid video ones.

Let’s take a look at what I think are the most important specs of the Nikon D750.

D750_24_120_front34l

Price: $2299.95

This is a very interesting price point considering its roughly $300-$400 more than the D610 depending on what deals and specials are being ran. The question people are going to have to ask themselves is, should I spend the extra few hundred on glass or a more well rounded body. I will get into comparing this camera with the Nikon D610 down below.

24.3 Megapixel “Newly Designed” CMOS Sensor

This sensor size puts this camera in the same league as the D610. I did ask Nikon if this is the same sensor that is in the D610 but they did not have a concrete answer to give. If I had to guess I would think it’s similar but with some tweaks, thus the “Newly Designed” moniker.

Generally speaking this is going to create a very solid nicely sized image. For those who like to crop you will have a lot of wiggle room to play with when doing so. But like I always say try to fill the frame as much as possible to give you the best quality images.

Expeed 4 Processor

Not much to say here other than this is what processes your photos and videos. You can find more information about this below in the press release.

ISO Range 100-12,800 expandable to H2 51,200

This is a massive ISO range that will be great for studio shooters as well as low light shooters. Having the ability to expand so high but maintain quality allows us to capture images we could never have captured previously.

I expect that the images coming out of this camera are going to be very nice all the way across the ISO range. I will need to test it out to see the results at 6,400 ISO as that tends to be as far as I like to push these type of cameras.

You never know, I could be pleasantly surprised at the results that come off of this sensor at higher ISO’s.

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Nikon D810 Preview

Jared Polin June 26, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D810 Preview

The Nikon D810 has effectively combined and evolved the features of the D800 and D800E. Those two cameras were revolutionary for their time and the Nikon D810 is now evolutionary. As with many mid product cycle updates the D810 takes features from it’s brothers before and builds on them.

D810_24_70_frontYou have a new 36.3 CMOS sensor with no OLPF. The ISO range has been expanded to 64-12800 ISO with a Low 1 of 32 and an H2 of 51,200.
There is now an Expeed 4 processor which process the files 30% faster. That makes way for the 5 FPS in FX and 7 FPS in DX mode.

The Group Area AF mode has been added to this camera which makes it the second Nikon body to do so behind the D4s. This mode has worked out very well for me and should really help photographers who may have had issue with the D800s focusing.

Some people complain about the size of the RAW files and Nikon has finally added a RAW S or Small RAW file to the D810. Canon shooters have had this option for many years and it’s about time Nikon has found a way to do it in theirs.

Highlight Weighted metering may come in handy for some people. This will allow the camera not to be thrown off by the darker spaces away from a spot light situation.

D810_backWith the addition of the Flat Picture control setting you can now shoot your video flat and color grade it later.

You can now capture video at 1080 60 FPS which means better slow motion playback for whatever you are shooting.
Those are some of the highlights that I thought were the most important about this camera. This is a nice step up from the D800. If you have your D800 and love it I don’t see a major reason for you to upgrade. If you need the extra ISO for whatever you are shooting, that could be a great reason to upgrade.

The price is set at $3,299.95 which was the same price of the D800E when it was released a few years ago. I purchase all of my Nikon gear from AllensCamera.com . Be sure to give them a call if you are looking for a D810, ask for the Fro Price.

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Nikon 200-400 F4 VR II Review: Is It Worth $6800?

Jared Polin May 25, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon 200-400 F4 VR II Review: Is It Worth $6800?

Is any lens worth $6800, that’s the question. This is Nikon’s second version of the 200-400 VR that has been a very popular lens. Second generations tend to mean sharper photos, lighter in weight and better VR.

As you know with my reviews I like to actually take the lens out into real world shooting environments. This time around I shot Maria indoors working out in a very low light situation along with Professional Lacrosse, The Philadelphia Flyers and a High School Baseball game.

Let’s start with the boring stuff. How is this lens built? Like any high end professional lens this lens is built extremely well. It feels great in the hands but I highly recommend using a nice and sturdy mono-pod or tri-pod when shooting. This definitely is not a lens you want to hand hold for a long time (7.4 LBS). With that said I did end up hand holding it in pit at the Arcade Fire Show and you can see the results Right Here.

I love Nikon’s top of the line lenses as they have the Nano crystal coating. This coating means sharper images and less lens flair when shooting towards bright light. All of the Hebrew Trinity lenses have Nano coating and I can tell you even when shooting into the sun you will not see any flair.

The truth is when you spend this much money on a lens you can only expect that it is built well and will deliver the results you are looking for.

Thank you to borrowlenses.com for allowing me the time to play with this bad boy.
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Nikon D3300 Users Guide

Jared Polin May 1, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D3300 Users Guide

Here is your FREE Tutorial User’s Guide for the NIkon D3300. What you will find in this 40 Min video is an explanation of what every button does as well as what setting in the menu I recommend.

This is a very powerful camera with a ton of features so I make sure to run down and explain as many of the important features as possible.

The one thing I can not stress enough is the importance of just getting out and shooting. One of the only ways you will become a better photographer is to GET OUT AND SHOOT.

Now I recommend watching this FREE GUIDE first, then going out to explore and capture the world in images.
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