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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

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

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.

15371622218 d5f6ce131e Nikon D750 Real World Review

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

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.

15473356686 f2d30c07ba Nikon D810 Real World Review

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.

15496141702 e3b535b0c0 Nikon D810 Real World Review

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


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 1024x964 Nikon D750 Preview

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

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 front 300x252 Nikon D810 PreviewYou 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 back 300x252 Nikon D810 PreviewWith 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

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

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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Nikon Is Doing Away With RAW in DSLR’s

Jared Polin March 31, 2014 Comments Off

*****UPDATE****** If anyone couldn’t tell this was and April Fools joke that I came up with months ago and filmed in early March. ******UPDATE*****

The other day I received an interesting press release from Nikon. Normally when I get press release or notifications of new products they are accompanied by NDA Agreements. What that means is in order for them to give me information I have to sign a form saying I wont divulge the information before its embargo date.

Well this release was different and I think it came to me by accident. I reached out to Nikon for more information and they did not return my call. So at this point I decided to share this information with you.

Nikon is doing away with RAW in all consumer end DSLR’s in the future. So based on the current lineup the D610 and below would have no option to shoot RAW what so ever. The Nikon D800 and D4s which are the top of the line models would continue to have RAW as an option.

My worry is that in the future Nikon will ship all cameras with the ability to shoot RAW but you will have to pay to unlock it to use it in your cameras. If that day ever comes I am completely done with Nikon.

The quote in the press release coming from Japan “Here at Nikon we feel that the RAW Format is no longer needed. The cameras we are building are so advanced and sophisticated at processing that the resulting jpegs are close to perfect.”

Of course the first thing that comes to mind is that they might as well call this the Ken Rockwell edition camera.

I understand what they are doing, they are trying to take as much control away from amateurs as possible thinking they never will want to shoot RAW.

Well of course I think that is a load of crap and if this release is real and this is something NIKON is thinking of doing I will be the first to trade in all my Nikon gear and go Canon.

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Here is a Nikon D4s RAW File for you to Edit

Jared Polin March 22, 2014 Comments Off

I wanted to share with you a Nikon D4s RAW File. As of now Adobe Lightroom does not let me open the Nikon D4s RAW Files but the beta candidate for Photoshop CC does. Since that allows me to tweak the D4s files I converted the NEF to a DNG which allows me to open it in Lightroom.

I went ahead and saved the DNG as a file that just about any version of Lightroom will recognize so you can download and edit it.

A lot of people like to see how I edit the file so I went ahead and did what I think is an edit I am happy with. Yes I BOOMIFIED it slightly and tweaked a bunch of other settings. Like with any form of art, editing is subjective and subject to personal preference. Some people like softer images, others like them to be more boomey and others are just wrong, jk jk.

CLICK HERE TO download this DNG file. Feel free to edit it and post it on the FroKnowsPhoto Facebook Fan Page. Please be sure not to take ownership of this image and give me full credit when you post it online (Jared Polin FroKnowsPhoto). This image is for personal use only do not try and sell it or pass it off as your own.

As soon as Lightroom allows me to import all my Nikon D4s RAW FILES I will be making more videos about the camera.

13329333024 ab6d2057f1 Here is a Nikon D4s RAW File for you to Edit

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Nikon D4s 33 Frames in 3 Seconds: Testing Group Area AF

Jared Polin March 11, 2014 Comments Off

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One of the issues I had with the Nikon D4 was how it tracked subjects. It sometime had a tendency to back focus or miss focus from where I wanted it thought it should be.

With the introduction of the Nikon D4s, Nikon brought out a mode called Group Area AF. This mode is supposed to help you when shooting in continuos focus to keep the focus from shifting away from the subject.

Canon on the other hand has an entire manual dedicated to just setting up the different auto focus modes. This is something that I think the Canon 1D X does better. Yes there are a million options to set but once you understand them and lock them in you are good to go.

13096752094 896ce553d8 Nikon D4s 33 Frames in 3 Seconds: Testing Group Area AF

Click Here to see the full res jpegs from the camera.

Nikon doesn’t really give you many options to tweak when it comes to customized how long a subject stays in focus vs shifting the focus to something else.

So what could I do to actually test out this new focus mode? Could I sit in a studio and take test shots trying to find it’s “mark” or could I go outside and shoot real world pictures. I chose to venture outside with my neighbor who offered up her dog Corona as our subject.
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