Friday, September 19, 2014

The Nikon D810 vs D750 vs D610 vs D700


With the introduction of the D750, Nikon has three full frame D-SLRs currently, other than the D3/D4 series - the D610 (almost similar to the D600), the D810 (upgrade of the D800/800E) and the D750. Many hope that the D750 is the worthy upgrade of the much loved D700 so this comparison done by gives the specs side by side.

Interestingly, the 8 FPS speed of the D700 is not there in any of the newer models! Its a hard choice remain with the D700 or move to any of the newer D-SLRs?

What do you plan to do?

Sensor Resolution24.3 MP12.0 MP36.3 MP24.3 MP
Sensor Size35.9 x 24 mm36 x 24 mm35.9 x 24 mm35.9 x 24 mm
Sensor TypeFull FrameFull FrameFull FrameFull Frame
AA FilterYesYesNoYes
Image Size6016 x 4016
4256 x 28327360 x 4912
6016 x 4016
Image ProcessorExpeed 4AExpeedExpeed 4Expeed 3
Viewfinder TypeOptical (pentaprism)Optical (pentaprism)Optical (tunnel)Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Coverage100%95%100%100%
Viewfinder Magnification0.7x0.72x0.7x0.7x
Storage MediaSD/SDHC/SDXC x 2 slotsCompact FlashSD/SDHC/SDXC, CompactFlashSD/SDHC/SDXC x 2 slots
Continuous Shooting Speed6.5 FPS8 FPS5 FPS6 FPS
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 sec1/8000 to 30 sec1/8000 to 30 sec1/4000 to 30 sec
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-12,800ISO 200-6,400ISO 64-12,800ISO 100-6,400
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 50, ISO 51,200ISO 100, ISO 25,600ISO 32, ISO 51,200ISO 50, ISO 25,600
Autofocus System51 points51 points51 points39 points
Video OutputH.264, MPEG-4-H.264, MPEG-4H.264, MPEG-4
Video Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)-1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p)1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps)
LCD Size3.2″ Tilting TFT-LCD3.0″ Fixed TFT-LCD3.2″ Fixed TFT-LCD3.2″ Fixed TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution1,229,000 dots922,000 dots1,229,000 dots921,000 dots
Exposure Compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing(2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)(2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)(2, 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2-9 exposures in 1, 2, or 3EV increments)YesYes (2-9 frames in steps of 1, 2, or 3)Yes (2 or 3 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3 mired)
Timelapse recordingYesYesYesYes
Built-in Wi-FiYesNoNoNo
Built-in FlashYesYesYesYes
Battery Life1,230 shots (CIPA)1,000 shots (CIPA)1,200 shots (CIPA)900 shots (CIPA)
USB Version3.
Dimensions141 x 113 x 78 mm147 x 123 x 77 mm146 x 123 x 82 mm141 x 113 x 82 mm
MSRP Price$2,297

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nikon D750

Rumours are abuzz that Nikon is introducing a new full frame DSLR the Nikon D750 in a few days.

Hard core Nikon users of the legendary D700 have been reluctant to give up this camera and either move up to the D800 or move down to the D600/610! 

It is possible that the D750 is the long awaited upgrade of the D700 which users have been waiting for!

The leaked specs of the camera is here:

  • Nikon D750 FX 24.3 MP full frame sensor features compact, lightweight, energy efficient design, built-in flash double SD card slot
  • Tiltable 3.2-inch RGB monitor with approximately 1.2 million pixels
  • Robust design and sealing against weather influences
  • New, improved mirror / shutter mechanism
  • AF system with 51 focus areas
  • RGB sensor with approx 91,000 pixels and light-weighted metering option
  • Burst rate of 6.5 frames/s
  • 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor
  • Image processor EXPEED 4
  • ISO 100-12,800 (expandable to 50-51200)
  • Effects Modes
  • Improved Picture Control
  • Full-HD video with 1080p at 24/25/30/50 / 60p
  • Improved functionality while filming
  • Integrated stereo microphone
  • Exposure preview and aperture control in Live View mode
  • Built-in Wi-Fi Professional Wireless communication via UT-1 and WT-5
Stay tuned for the launch on 12th September 2014!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Nikon F4 zooms for Full Frame D-SLRs

This trio of Nikon F4 lenses for full frame DSLRs are lighter, more compact and at a lower price point than their F2.8 counterparts.  They also have the advantage of having VR, which means that it is possible to shoot at slower shutter speeds and avoid camera shake. 

Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, USD 1256; 680 grams

This wide angle zoom is extremely sharp and covers five popular focal lengths - 16, 20, 24, 28 and 35. It has a fixed F4 aperture with VR making it ideal for low light photography in cramped interiors. On the flip side compared to the primes it is a heavy lens., but much more versatile.  For a review of this lens do visit

Nikon 24-120 f4 VR, USD 1296; 710 grams

This is the standard normal zoom lens covering a range from wide angle to short telephoto. It is often used as a walk around zoom lens. Weighing 710g it is lighter than the 24-70 f2.8 and possibly more versatile. For a review of this lens please visit

Nikon 70-200 F4 VR, USD 1396; 830 grams

This standard telephoto zoom boasts a fixed F4 aperture throughout the zoom range. At 830g, it is much lighter than it's bigger brother 70-200 F2.8 VRII. An ideal lens to supplement the 16-35 f4, it is optically superb and mechanically perfect. It is a good choice for those shooters who don't need F2.8. For a review please visit

So should you buy an F2.8 lens or an F4 lens?

If speed is very important to you and the extra one stop will mean getting the photo, then you need the f2.8 lens. You also need to consider that with a full frame Nikon like D600 or D800 shooting at higher ISOs  like 1600,3200 and even 6400 at a pinch is possible. The one stop gain needs to be weighed against this as well.  However, for  many photographers, including myself, who value weight, portability, value for money and general convenience the F4 zooms would be more than adequate!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Short Treks in the Indian Himalaya

Kangyatse peak on the Markha Valley trek
In today's world there is always a constraint of time. Many of us want to get away to the  mountains  for a trek but getting  leave from office is not always possible. Hence, we continue to sit at our desks with a computer in front of us dreaming of the high Himalaya! So if you don't have the time to go on  a marathon twenty day  hike, here is a list of some of the shorter treks in the Indian Himalaya that are possible. The time given is from road head to road head, you will have to add some days to each trek depending on where you are located. Those of you living in and around Delhi, enjoy a definite advantage!

Rumtse to Tso Kar  4 days
This popular trek crosses some high passes and then comes to Tso Kar lake from where there is a motorable road to Leh. It is also possible to extend this trek further to Tso Moriri by adding three days to the trek. The route  is Rumtse 4325m - Kyamar 4055m- Tisaling 4215m- Ponganagu 4500m-Tso Kar. The best season for this trek is June to August. You should acclimatise in Leh for two days before starting out and you need to carry full camping gear, tents and food.

Spituk to Stok 4 days
This trek, very close to Leh, is often described as a "baby trek" but you cross a 4900m pass! The route is Spituk 3600m- Zingchan -Rumbak-Stok La pass 4900m-Stok. The best season for this trek is June to early October. Like all Ladakh treks, you should acclimatise in Leh for two days before starting out and you need to carry full camping gear, tents and food though some homestays will be available on the way. Check the latest status with any trekking company in Leh before starting out regarding the homestays.

Lamayuru monastery
Lamayuru to Chilling 5 days 
Though this is a five day trek it does cross a number of high passes and good acclimatisation is essential  for this route.  The route is  Lamayuru-Wanla-Hinju 3720m-Sumdo Doksa 4400m- Base of Dung Dung Chan la 4440m- Chlling 3550m. The best season for this trek is June to September. Like all Ladakh treks, you should acclimatise in Leh for two days before starting out and you need to carry full camping gear, tents and food though some homestays will be available on the way.

Indrahar Pass  5 days
This trek starts from Mcleodganj crosses the Indrahar Pass 4300 metres and then ends at Machetar which is a four hour drive from Chamba. The route is Mcleodganj 1650m-Triund 3000m- Lahesh Cave 3600m- Indrahar Pass 4300m- Laka Got 3850m- Chata Kuarsi 2200m-Machetar 1950m. The best season would be April-May and again September to November. You need to carry your own camping gear, tent and food.

Rupin Valley  5 days
The scenic Rupin valley is a very under trekked area which is  a pity as it offers a lot in terms of fast flowing rivers, bird life, mountains and lush forests.  The route is Netwar 1350m- Sewa 2025m- Jakhu 2600m- Camp below Rupin Pass 3500m- Rupin Pass 4540m- Kanda 3425m- Sangla 2675m. The best season would be April-May and again September to November. You should carry camping gear and food.

Kangchendzonga view from Sandakphu
 Sandakphu  & The Singalila Ridge 4 days
Though a jeepable road goes to Sandakphu it still remains a popular trek especially with first timers. It is possible to combine this with Phalut and make it  a seven day trip. There are different route options but the most popular one is Manebanjan- Tumling-Jaubari-Gairibash-Kalapokhri-Bikebhanjan-Sandakphu-Rimbick.  This is one of the few locations which has views of four of the five highest peaks in the world. The best time would be March to May and again October to December. You can stay in the home stays/bungalows on the way so there is no need to carry tents and food.

 Tunganath and Chandrashila 3 days
This is probably the shortest and most popular of all the easy treks in the Garhwal, but, with a great view from the top. The route would be Ukhimath 1300m - Deoria Tal 2100m- Chopta 2900m- visit Tunganath 3685m  and Chandrashila 3900m- Dugalbitta 2347m. 

On the trail to Bhojbasa
 Gangotri to Tapoban 5 days
This is another very popular trek to the source of the Ganga and on to the high altitude meadow of Tapoban with it's spectacular views of the Bhagirathi sisters and  Shivling. The route would be Gangotri 3140m- Bhojbasa 3792m - Gaumukh 3890m- Tapoban 4460m and back the same way. Beware of going up to Tapoban too quickly, a stop at Gaumukh is definitely recommended! You need to camp at Gaumukh and Tapoban. 

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