about to pull the trigger and graduate to full frame.... D610

f8nBtheref8nBthere Posts: 5Member
edited February 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Before I go and buy a D610… I thought I would run it by the good folks here for validation.

I have no doubt the improvement over my current gear will be amazing, however I don’t want to set unrealistic expectations and then have remorse that I should have waited for the next generation of camera. I am a 'buy and keep' for a loooong time type of guy.

I currently shoot a D200 and am pushing the camera to its limits. The driver for the new camera is shooting my daughter’s gymnastics competitions – low light, high speed subjects and no flash… triple whammy. It is a pretty tough photography situation to contend with. I am usually in the stands with my 70 - 200 zoom, not on the floor with the hired pros. I don’t print a lot of pictures, but do want to be able to print the odd 8x10 from time to time. Who knows, maybe a poster if one of the girls gets famous…

I have been fighting these conditions for several years. All my glass is 2.8 fixed. Although I only have one FX lens, my 70 – 200 Sigma. The other I use most is a 16 – 50 ATX Tokina (DX). I also have the Tokina 11 – 16 for landscapes – I hear it is awesome to shoot video with as well. I like the DX crop mode on the D610 to utilize my existing glass until I am ready to upgrade the dx lenses.

The gyms we shoot in probably range from EV 7 down to 5… depending on ambient light from windows and time of day/season of year…
With a D200, anything beyond iso 640 is just too noisy to be happy with. I can push to 800 or 1000 but the results aren't up to a standard that I would share with anyone. If I shoot wide open and set my iso at 640 I get 1/60 – 1/125 shutter speeds. I can get ok results occassionally on beam work, but much less so for floor, vault and bars. I need to prefocus, hold a half shutter and time my shots to get a good usable number of frames.

Ideally I would like to stop action and I wouldn’t mind a bit more flexibility with depth of field as well. Is 1/500th at f4 without pushing the iso into a grainy mess possible with a D610 given the amount of light I have to work with? In the real world, how is the noise at iso 6400 – 12,800 using a D610. Usable or not so much? Perhaps 3200 and compensate exposure then use LR to pull it back (trick I stumbled across reading here...)

Curious if anyone else shoots gymnastics events here and if they think the D610 is up to task? My sister shoots a D800, however I can't justify the extra $1000 for what appears to be a small increase in low light sensitivity and I believe the D610 has a better frame rate.



  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    If you borrow your sisters D800 you would get a good sense how a D610 will handle noise.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I think that the D610 is a good move for you and I don't think a mathematical calculation of exposure is required to demonstrate it. My logic is as follows:

    The D610/800 is a vast improvement over your D200 or frankly, any DX camera..
    Using the D4 as a benchmark, the potential additional improvement is minimal compared to the improvement in #1.
    There is much more possible improvement in upgrading from F 2.8 to F 1.4 or F2 using primes (depending on the focal length).
    Further improvements in FX low light ability is running up against technical constraints. There are only so many photons to capture and the current sensors are very efficient at capturing them. Further improvements will likely be in noise processing software which can be anticipated, will take many many years to improve by the same quantum as upgrading from your D200 now. By the time that is achieved, your D610 will not owe you any money.
    As to what exposure you will be able to achieve, the D610 will be almost be the best you can get, you will only be able to improve upon it by spending a lot more money (a D4) or by buying a DF, and the improvement will not be as good as simply buying a faster lens.

    So buy the D610 with no regrets.

  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Solid advice from Henrik and Jeff. Two questions, and they both kind of come down to the same thing:

    You mentioned you're up in the stands -- are you able to at least switch seats as your daughter moves through rotations? You will be wider (FX) but will still have roughly the same pixel density to play with. Is that sufficient at present? If so, well, great, giddy up... you'll actually get a few extra shots in FX mode that might have chopped off a limb before. If not, then you need to weigh a D800 and the extra grand (or extra $500 grey market, or whatever). I am the last guy to beg for extra MP... unless I need them.

    Second, any way to get down on the floor with "the pros", who may not be any better at the craft than you are? Sure, my kit goes out to 400mm, but I wish it never had to. I'm a firm believer that nothing can replace proximity if you can get proximity.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Please do a forum search before starting new threads…..as Ironheart has pointed out…lots of discussion on this topic. Please choose one...
    Msmoto, mod
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