As many already know I rented a Nikon D610 to bring along with me to test out in the climate extremes of winter in Yellowstone. If you want to test a piece of equipment for its ability to handle weather and for how well it is sealed, there is no better place in the continental US than right here! Blinding snow showers, howling winds, temps that dropped to minus 30… Yep, this place will push your equipment to the limit.
So exactly why would I want to punish this poor camera like this you might ask? Well this camera has received quite a bit of hype since its release. Nikon claims that it is sealed to the same standards as the Nikon D800. And with its overall specs, the D610 is toughed as the younger brother of the 800 as well.
As an owner of the D800, I regularly try steer people away from the D800 simply because very few photographers actually need a camera like this. With files that can inch their way closer to 100 megs in size, purchasing a d800 usually means purchasing a new computer as well just to be able to handle this files.
The D800 has some serious technology packed into its frame. Photographers looking for MEGA pixels and to print HUGE this is your camera. For videographers looking for a Nikon DSLR that will toe the line with the Canon 5d III, this is your camera. For everyone else, its something you need to this k long and hard about whether you really need something like this.
So I guess if I am going to try and pursued photogs to buy a different camera body, I gotta actually have something to recommend. Over the summer I picked up a D7100 to try out as Nikon was touting it as their flagship DX body and many felt it was the replacement to the D300 workhorse. My opinion of the D7100 however was that is absolutely sucked. With 7fps I was interested. But then the realization that the damn camera only has a 7 frame buffer set in. I took the camera up to the Pryor Mountains with me to photograph horses and after 15 minutes of shooting with it, I tossed it back in my camera bag and never pulled it out again because of the buffer issue and missed shots of Cloud, the most famous wild stallion in the country, reared back fighting with a would be rival.
So enter the D610. With its 24mp sensor and its 30 frame buffer (at 12 bit raw) this looked to be a much better option than the d7100.
With nearly a month of using this lens paired up with my 200-400 vr II and another week to go still, I can already say that this camera blows the D7100 out of the water!!!!
Stay tuned for the full report!