Finally! After a week of waiting, and dealing with the post office (grrr), my new Nikon D610 has arrived… Just in time for storms!! For some history, my past life of Nikon DSLR cameras has went something like this… I got a Nikon D50 from my aunt about 5 years ago with a couple lenses. It was my first real camera, and I became partial and hooked to Nikon! About a year later, I got the D90… Got a bit bolder in late 2013 and got the D7000… Then went nuts and bought a D600 (full frame) and lost all sense of self control and eventually bought a D800.
I love storm photography, landscape, but especially stars! I love shooting the milky way over some sort of great foreground. Time went on and I started a business and began life on my own without the financial support of my parents that I had for so long. What? I’m not afraid to admit it… But now, after selling my company and being well on my feet, I decided it’s time to get back into the world of photography!
I’ve been a big video fan forever. First and foremost, video sells. I always invested good money in video equipment because I saw a return. I never had the money to truly buy stuff for hobby, so I didn’t. I shoot right now with a Panasonic Lumix GH4. It’s truly an amazing camera, that shoots amazing 4K video (which isn’t really mainstream, but just looks incredible when downscaled to 1080p). They are really just incredibly capable cameras, that put a whooping on pretty much any other prosumer camera, regardless if they are $10,000. I’ve been a Lumix fan since Chris Sanner (@chrisssnr) got me hooked on them with the GH2, years ago.. I also have a DMW-MS2 microphone to go with it, because sound quality is just so important to me! I want to HEAR the tornado.. HEAR the rushing water.. HEAR the winds… Not that horrible KRRRRR white noise.
So, why pick the D610? I am far from a professional, so it wouldn’t half surprise me to see someone tell me I made a bad call. First off, I already said I love Nikon. Their sensors (made by Sony) are just great. I’ve never had a problem with the brand either, so why change. There was a snap sale on the D5300 on eBay that I almost bit on, but that is a DX format (crop sensor) camera and I really wanted all the goodies of full frame.. More light in, less noise, etc.. Though the D5300 and D610 share the same amount of pixels… That said, the D610 is weather sealed, carries two memory card slots (would be great to have enough tornadoes in a day to fill both up!), and is just a bigger bodied camera, that fit well into my hands. I’m sure before long I will once again envy the D800 and the extra megapixels, but for now, I’m sitting pretty.. In case you’re interested, here is a comparison between the two cameras (D5300 vs D800).
Camera came, now time for lenses.. I went back to what I knew from before, mainly.. I mentioned I love storm photography and night stuff, so I got the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8.. It’s a great wide angle lens that has epic reviews from some of the pros. After that, I debated really hard the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 or the Nikon 24-85… The 24-85 won this battle, just because I really didn’t want to spend the extra cash on the 24-70.. I had it before, so did my roommate Brett Wright (@wxmstr), but from what I gathered online, the differences were just not substantial enough to worry about at my level.
Value of a nice microphone:
Having a good microphone is critical to a nice video camera. I am a storm chaser.. It’s always windy where I am!! So I need something that gives me great quality audio. Check out the video below.. Note, I was in a hurry and obviously crazy situation, so, like a noob, I was using auto focus… But, that won’t happen anymore.. Focus on the incredible audio captured of the tornado. This using a Panasonic GH3 and DMW-MS2 Microphone
If anyone has questions or wants to know more about either camera, please feel free to drop a comment in below and I’ll do my best to get back with you!