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Tuesday
Oct212008

Nikons dSLR Range of Cameras - Entry Level To Pro

I've been working on the car all day today, so without any new photo's to share, I thought instead I'd write about one of the popular makes of Digital SLR's - Nikon - and go through their current cameras and their basic specifications. A Nikon dSLR is guaranteed to bring out the best in your photography, giving you the artistic freedom that just can't be had in a compact or bridge type digital camera.

 



Nikon D40. The cheapest dSLR on the market today, and if you just look at the specifications, the D40 does appear to be lagging behind the (albeit more expensive) competition.

6.1 Megapixels, no anti-shake / image stabilisation in supplied kit lens, no dust removal system, no auto-focus with older lenses, only three auto-focus points and no auto exposure bracketing. Oh dear.

When we look beyond the figures, the D40 actually is a great piece of kit. The lack of megapixels doesn't actually make much difference unless you're printing poster sized images - plus because they haven't had to cram a load of more pixels in, there's less noise, in fact the base starting ISO is 200. This means that the lack of a VR lens is a moot point, you're going to be using higher shutter speeds anyway.

I just know that if I had £250 in my back pocket, I'd seriously consider a D40 - its small, light, has Nikon's great Exposure system, and hey it's under three hundred pounds!



Nikon D40x. The D40x was Nikons response to the megapixel race that has dominated over the last few years. By increasing the resolution, the d40x seems to compete on more of a level playing field.

A bump up to a shooting speed of 3 frames per second (vs 2.5 fps in the D40) is nice, and at the street price of around £300, I guess you've got to ask yourself whether those extra pixels are worth the difference from the D40, or whether you're better off going for its replacement, the D60.



Nikon D60. Realising that the D40, although a great camera, it was getting a little long in the tooth, Nikon have updated the design to really keep up with the features in the competition.

The D60 has 10.2 megapixels, 3 frames per second, can come with a VR (anti-shake) lens, had dual anti-dust systems, and a revised system for dealing with manual focusing on old Nikon lenses.

With a street price of about £340 (watch out for the cheaper, non-VR kits), the D60 is a better buy than the D40x - keeping the great small form-factor - so it will depend on your budget.



Nikon D80. W're getting into the serious enthusiast cameras now. Although an older model (being replaced by the D90, see below), the D80 is still worth consideration because of the bargain price you can pick them up for.

The D80 has 10.2 Megapixels, 3 frames per second, 11 point auto-focus, Nikon's great metering system, but the kit lens isn't a VR (shake reduction) one, and it doesn't have any dust removal functions.



Nikon D90. The first dSLR on the market that also can shoot HD video, the D90 is a welcome upgrade to the D80. Adding a VR lens and anti-dust systems brings the Nikon up to par with the competition.

12.3 megapixels, 4.5 frames per second, live view, excellent high ISO capability, and really important for those photographers who'll want to get creative with flash, built in master capabilities. With a street price of around £800, the D90 isn't cheap, but if you're going to get really serious about your art, it's a worthy investment.



Nikon D300. Few. Serious cash - £1000 body only, no lens, but we're into the semi-pro cameras here.

The D300 offers ultimate image quality in an DX format sensor - 12.3 megapixels, excellent high ISO performance, will master your Nikon Speed-Lights (flashes), anti-dust, 6 frames per second shooting, live view, and all wrapped up in a water resistant magnesium alloy body (tough).



Nikon D700. Ah. £1600, body only. We're paying for a FX sensor - full, 35mm size, which with 12.1 Megapixels, leads to class-leading high ISO performance (which means you can take photo's in the dark without flash).

5 frames per second, live view, anti-dust, 51-point auto focus, flash master system, moisture and dust resistant magnesium alloy body and fantastic image quality.

The D700 and its big brother, the D3, really shook up the dSLR world with their high-ISO, low-noise performance. This means that in the real world you can take fantastic looking photos without having to use a flash or risk blurring.

The ultimate Nikon? There's only one camera left that can take that crown, the mighty D3.



Nikon D3. Three Grand, body only. Oh my. Built in battery grip, 12.1 Megapixels, 9 frames per second, ultimate high-iso performance, but funnily enough no anti-dust.

The D3 is a monster - big, heavy, incredibly fast and fabulous images - the Nikon Professionals dream camera. Fast enough for any sports or wildlife, with the low-light performance that other manufacturers dream of. One day.



I hope that this quick review of nikon digital cameras has brought you up to speed with the market, and definitely gave me some more cameras for my wish list...

Cheers, Rob.

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