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Nikon D610 vs Nikon D90

bwspotbwspot Member
edited February 2014 in home
I plan to sell my Nikon D90 with all dx lenses and leave only 35mm and 50mm FX lenses and use them with Nikon D610.

What i wonder is if the D610 will give me sharper images compared to d90? Would this be like "OMG" difference or not much? I don't want to upgrade the camera just to get a full frame. I am aware that dynamic range is also better on d610 but does it make huge difference?

When I look at Neils photos I am amazed how sharp they are. Is this mostly thanks to the expensive lenses or his camera or maybe his post processing techniques?

I use lightroom to post process and i wonder maybe i do really need to start using the Photoshop in addition to lightroom. I see Neil does use Photoshop. Again, i don't want to waste money if there is not need. What are your thoughts?



  • NikonguyNikonguy Member
    edited February 2014
    The words "sharper images" is such a loaded and subjective phrase, and is affected by so many things beyond the equipment and software. I don't mean any offense, but some of your questions remind me a little bit of when people say "I love this photo. You must have a great camera." :)

    If you get a D610, the immediate things you're going to notice over your D90: FX vs. DX (bigger viewfinder, wider field of view at focal lengths you're used to, bigger and heavier camera and lenses, etc.). Double the resolution (much larger file sizes, more ability to crop, etc.). Better high ISO capability. More features.

    "Sharper images" is not necessarily going to jump out as a key difference - It really isn't. You can get sharper images with your existing equipment and software by building your own skills as a photographer, figuring out what works / what doesn't, learning more about Lightroom and post-processing techniques, etc.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you from upgrading your camera. But if you do it, I would recommend looking at it as a move from DX circa 2008 technology to FX circa 2013 technology and plan accordingly on how to get the most out of it.
  • I do understand that sharp images depend on many skills and techniques and camera is not a necessary a factor here, but what i am curious is that assuming you know what you are doing and your technique and skill set is good, would d610 give you sharper photos? I assuming that the sensor and other mechanical components might be a factor here.
  • edited February 2014
    All things being equal, the D610 will get you "better" photos....if we define better photos with sharper, more DR, etc. Both cameras left in a priority mode will show the D610 coming out ahead. Gear DOES make a difference so yes, the d610 wins

    Like Nikonguy said, it is 2008 dx vs 2013/2014 fx technology.

    What it (D610) can't do is tell you where to stand to get better light, contrast, better subjects, framing, composition, etc that can and will impact the photo.

    If I shoot the same scene with my 7D and 5D MK III, the 5D MK III photos look better. Same lens, same histogram and so on. The same will be true with the d90 and the d610.

  • edited February 2014
    Sharpness is more a factor of lenses: if your only criterion is sharpness then I wouldn't bother upgrading. Certainly when I consider buying a new body, sharpness doesn't even come into it.

    If your criterion is image quality then, used well, the D610 will show a substantial improvement over a D90, particularly in print.

    Dynamic range, contrast, detail, noise (particularly at high ISOs), colour fidelity, metering - all of these and more are of a higher order with the D610. The fact that you will use longer focal lengths for any given situation will also show in the make-up of the image.

    With that said, if all you want is sharpness, you may find that you can achieve this without buying any new equipment. Focussing technique, higher shutter speeds when hand-holding, processing all come into the equation.

  • I wonder if anyone has actually any examples to show the difference.
  • I care generally about overall improvement in image quality, sharpness being one of them.
  • NikonguyNikonguy Member
    edited February 2014
    As I said before, I have trouble with the word "sharpness" in this context. Is the D610 a better camera than the D90? Yes, of course it is. However, there is so much more that goes into stunning and "sharp" photographs than that. Some random thoughts on technical aspects that you could consider:
    - It might be worth it for you to rent a D610 (or whatever body) and give it a try. It would cost you a few $ but it should answer your questions.
    - You could post some example photos here that you have taken with your D90 that you feel are not sharp enough (please include exif), and perhaps post a link to one of Neil's photos you find particularly sharp.
    - Consider the camera settings for your shots. Is the shutter speed high enough? Do you have the appropriate depth of field for whatever you are shooting? How are you focusing? What about aperture (many lenses, particularly crappy ones, are not very good wide open and need to be stopped down if you're primarily interested in sharpness)? Etc.
    - What lenses are you using specifically? Not to knock third party lenses (I have some) but you can get burned sometimes trying to save some money on lenses.
    - Are you doing everything you can with the images you shoot? When you pull the raw files (you are shooting raw, right?) into Lightroom, they can look kind of dull if you have things on default. I have an import preset I typically apply which gets me to a starting point I prefer (eg. things like applying lens profile corrections, bumping up contrast, clarity, and saturation a little... stuff like that). Be judicious in noise reduction. Nothing kills detail more quickly than pulling the luminance slider too far.

    Good luck.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I would suggest upgrading to the D610 as a matter of course. It is several generations better than the D90 in every respect.

    Now, about the sharp images. Keep in mind that you're looking at web-sized images, and you can't really tell image sharpness from that.

    That said, I really like sharp lenses and sharp images. For my wedding photography, I often let images through which might be softer than I like, if the moment supersedes technical considerations. The moment is most important.

    As for sharpness - I use Nikon lenses. They are crisply sharp.
    My two workhorse lenses - 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 are both as sharp as we can expect zoom lenses to be.

    Also, I think I use higher shutter speeds than most people.
    1/60 is not automatically a hand-holdable shutter speed.


  • thx Neil for chiming in. Once i switch i will use 35mm f/2 and 50mm F/1.2 FX lenses and will probably get 85mm/f/1.8
    I might also get rid of the prime lenses I got and just get the power horse you have and start with 24-700 f/2.8. I definitely can see the difference when i look at your photos. They look crispy sharp. Example this photo is so clean:

    Definitely due to better sensitivity I would be able to use higher iso and higher shutter speed to get better quality photos.

  • So finally i sold me d90 with two lenses 55-200 VR and 18-55.
    I got $600 for all. I guess that's not that bad.
    So now i need to pull the trigger and get d610 either from BH or Adorama.
    I was wondering about cheaper options that are available on line.
    Are those camera same as originals but worse quality material?
    I assume that Nikon schematics for every camera is protected so how come there are cheaper versions?
    Are these based on stolen specifications?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    With cheaper options, check sites like: http://www.resellerratings.com
    to see if they get good ratings.

    There are some horror stories about the online stores based in Brooklyn. One regular trick they use - they list the camera at a very low price, and then when you buy it, you have to buy the camera strap and lens caps, etc too.

    So there are some really good shops other than B&H or Adorama, but you have to do a little bit of homework.
  • thx, i know that BH and Adorama are no brainer, but if i could save some dollars why not.
    I see BH started to sells refurbished d610 so thats another option.
    For amateur photographer d610 is definitely princely camera so any saving is good.
  • Yes, there is a lot of homework to do. I tried to contact few of these sellers and having hard time getting any answers. Seems like there is more risk then benefits for getting it cheaper. Some reviews are good but some are too scary to take a risk and waste time on the fight.
  • bwspotbwspot Member
    Every time I look at Neils photos I am getting excited.
    Great photographer!!!
    It finally inspired me and I pulled the trigger. D610 on the way.
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