D610 vs D800

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tl_davis, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. I am starting to get into wedding photography but I still love to shoot landscapes and portraits as well. I have invested money in my glass
    and feel I have a great selection of glass; however I have been using them on an D90. I have used the D800 in the past and was
    impressed on how it performed. But it wasn't mine. After reading site after site and review after review I still can't decide on the 610 or
    800. Basically I want to know real concrete reasons on why I should invest in the 800 over the 610? Can someone help me please??!
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    We had a thread on essentially the same topic recently: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00cA7z
    And since the D610 is 98, 99% the same camera as the older D600, all previous D800 vs. D600 comparisons also apply to the D610.
    To me, 24MP on the D600/D610 is sufficient. However, the D800 has a better AF system (Multi-CAM 3500 with 15 cross-type AF points, same as the D4 and D7100). The D600/D610, along with the Df, use a lower-grade Multi-CAM 4800 with 9 cross-type AF points, which is still good. If you are going to shoot weddings, I would make sure that you are happy with the AF on your new camera.
  3. I briefly owned a D600 but was concerned about oil on the sensor so I returned it to the store and bought a D800. The thing I noticed about the D800 was much more detail in the photograph, the extra pixels really bring it out.
  4. I've been shooting weddings for the past year & half. I use a D7100 and my clients are perfectly happy with the results. They won't pay me more if I used a D800. However, I have used one for one wedding that was practically lit by candlelight! IF I were a full time wedding shooter, I would probably buy two D800. I would not go with a d600 because the AF will not always be up to the task 100% of the time, and that extra res on the D800 can really come in handy. However, I will also say that I'd rather have two D7100 than just one D800 if i were doing weddings. In my own experience, the order of importance is a pro quality mid range zoom (such as 24-70mm f2.8 or Nikon 17-55mm f2.8) and a pro quality longer zoom such as Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR. I do think the VR is important. Second importantance is a really good lighting system for the formals. As a minimum I'd say three monolights with lightstands, modifiers, and maybe a battery pack for locations. Also add two SB-910 flash (one is back up.) I'd put the camera last.
    If you are going full time, or if you know you'll be shooting a lot in very dark churches or outdoors at night, a pair of D800 will make sense. If you are just doing weddings part time like me, neither a D610 or D800 really makes much economic sense considering how good the D7100 is. You will not be paid more because of the camera you use. Lenses can make a big difference, and lighting can make a huge difference.
    Kent in SD
  5. The auto focus on the D600 / D610 is not an issue. I strongly suggest any Wedding photographer should be using back focus button with the single centre focus point. This set up allows you to focus on whatever you want your camera to focus on and not the closest point to the camera, puts you in control - not the camera. With Wedding Photography you need to be ready to capture creative shots on the spot with no time to alter focus points. Back Focus allows you to always be ready to capture that shallow depth of field shot with just the exact point of interest in focus every time.

    The D600 is my camera of choice for wedding's having shot over 100 weddings Sample's the older weddings in my gallery were shot with a D90. The D800 file size I believe is just way to large. The D600 file size is more than large enough for all of my clients. The Dynamic range and ISO quality in low light between the D600 / D610 and the D800 / D800E is nothing.
  6. If you computer can handle it and you don't need higher FPS, two card slots, lighter body, etc etc....you'll know what to do. I've looked at the specs since I'm personally thinking of the D610 (when price drops). To me the AF does v. little since I usually use manual. The 2 slots or the extra buffer, nor the price or other advantages/disadvantages are overall pretty minor. But, in your case, I'd arm myself with some good optics, since they will play more critical role.
  7. I have invested money in my glass and feel I have a great selection of glass​
    Is any of it DX glass that would mean you have to sell and buy new if going the FX D610/D800 route?
  8. Investing in glass is like buying shares of Dupont. Buying lenses is another thing ;-)

    Since I assume the wedding part is a business, the first question is really what Kent already mentioned: is this business investment going to have any return on investment, or not? Plus, if you're seriously getting into the wedding business, do you have backups of all the important parts of your system? If the D90 is going to stay as a backup camera, is it inconvenient or not to have a split DX/FX system? Is the price difference for a D800 going to max out your budget, and if yes, wouldn't that extra money over the D610 not be better spent on 2 SB910s?
    A last and important thing to check for yourself: the grip and button layout between D800 and D610 are somewhat different; the D800 being larger may feel heavier in the hand than the D90/D610 (and it is heavier) - when shooting an entire day, you feel the difference. Check in a store which body you find handling easier and nicer, possibly rent them for a job to see how they work for real in your hands.
  9. If you shoot weddings, you need to have at least one backup body in case your primary stops working. Two D610s might
    be the more economical decision. 24 MP is more than enough resolution for this type of photography. Most wedding
    shooters use 12-22 MP cameras.
  10. Thanks for the input. I am looking to do this full time so that is why I was looking at the 610 and 800. I currently have 2 DX
    lenses that I very rarely use anymore on my D90. I have in my bag 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, 105mm macro, 14-24mm 2.8,
    70-200mm 2.8, and in the process of purchasing the 24-70mm. So I think I am covered for now. However I do want a
    20mm prime for my real estate photography. They are all Nikon lenses. I also have 1 SB-700 flash and want to get or
    upgrade to the SB-910.

    But I truly want a full frame camera but I am just simply torn between the two. Other than the AF difference and of course
    the MP difference why would I buy a 800? Because I find myself using the manual focus about 50% of the time. My
    processing power of my Macs are not an issue as well. And I find in reviews that the low light sensitivity of both or very
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I bought my D800E in June last year, a few months before the D600 was introduced. 36MP is an overkill most of the time, but computer power is not really an issue. I use a $1000 Dell dekstop with 12G RAM we bought from Costco in 2011, and it is more than sufficient.
    Besides AF, the controls are quite different between the D800 and D600/D610. The D610 is closer to your D90. I prefer the D300/D700/D800 type controls, but I also have a D7000 and D7100, which are similar to the D600/D610. I can switch back and forth without any problems.
    I suggest you handle the D610 in person and make sure that you are happy with the AF and the controls. If you are fine with those, forget about the D800. Both models have dual memory cards and video feature. Dual memory cards is critical for wedding photography.
    If your wedding photo business works out, IMO you need to get a second FX body later on.
  12. The only real advantages the D610 would have over the D800 that I know of are less noise at high ISOs, which is really helpful in a typical lowlight wedding situations, smaller file sizes, which translate into less memory being used per shot and faster processing time per shot when you're processing those several hundred to over one thousand shots typical wedding for a wedding, and lower cost so it's easier to afford two. The question is are these few advantages important to you vs. loosing the better AF and higher resolution of the D800?
    Also, is your computer up to the task of handling these much larger files, both in processing speed and increased hard drive space? If not, then you might need to spend some of your available money on that.
  13. I am happy using my D600 as primary camera even though I have access to a D800 any time. I would want 2 cameras on hand (actually, around neck) as mentioned by Dan for shooting weddings. The refirb D600 price is pretty low right now, thinking of selling my D3 (backup camera) and picking up a 2nd D600.
    Has anybody (real user other than other than KR) compared the D600 and D610? The specifications don''t support the price difference right now. Is the quiet mode on the D610 much quieter? Any difference in Auto WB as claimed by Nikon (D600 has pretty good AWB, I think)?
  14. If you are looking at doing it full time, I would consider two D800, a 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 VR, two SB-900/910, three lightstands/umbrellas/mid sized monolights as the "standard" starting point, along with a back up lens or two, three batteries for each camera, and three sets of AA rechargeable batteries for the flash. You really need to show up with two complete camera bags, each complete enough to get the job done. Having something critical suddenly stop working/get stolen/crash to the floor will really shut you down. They aren't going to stop the wedding while you go to the store to buy a replacement. For this kind of thing you have to think in pairs of units, not singles. The AF on the D800 or D7100 is fast & sure, and will work in lower light than the consumer oriented system on the D600/610. (Personal experience.)
    Kent in SD
  15. I have not had much trouble with D600 AF in low light. Was messing with the camera a couple of weeks ago in a tavern, took some pics of my friends. Had no problem locking focus with a 28-70/2.8AFS at around EV3 (1/15s,f4, ISO3200). I got mostly keepers (I think the weight of the beast 28-70 helped stabilize the camera), AF was not an issue, low light for IQ was. I have the assist lamp turned off. If I could redo the shot, I would have bumped the ISO up and shot at f/3.2, but I was just playing around:
    My thinking is that the D600 AF will work in any available light viable for hand held photos. Am sure the AF would struggle in the dark, I have no doubt that the D800 system is a little better. The flash IR assist beam probably would work well with either camera in very poor lighting.
    Either a D610 or D800 will work well for the OP
    Advantages D800:
    A little more potential IQ in very controlled situations (for the formal bridal portrait, maybe)
    A slightly more "responsive" AF system with a better distribution of points. (D610 AF is very good, though, and seems improved over the D7000 (had one of those)).
    One button 100% zoom (I miss this most of all)
    Advantages D610(D600):
    Quieter, don't think this has been mentioned, but I appreciate the softer sound.
    Faster FPS (this is important to me)
    C1/C2 settings.
    BTW, not sure that a 20mm prime would offer any IQ improvement over your 14-24 at all. Smaller, though!
  16. As you probably know already, but it's worth mentioning... Regardless of the equipment that you choose, your skills and your ability to anticipate and capture moments effectively are the most important things that you'll carry with you into a wedding. Moments happen only once, and you need to be ready to capture them, ready technically, ready creatively, ready empathetically. I don't know anything about your background, but consider taking some workshops and putting in some serious practice if you haven't shot a wedding before and came away with professional looking results. Lots of people buy a fancy camera and think that they're ready to shoot a wedding. I'd hate to be the bride or groom in that case. I wedding photographer needs to be able to work effectively and flatter their subjects in any light and get every shot as it happens. There's no time to figure out where some menu option is or wonder why all of the bridal portraits are tending toward underexposure.
    Back to the two bodies, I have not used a D600 or D610. The D800's autofocus system is not spectacularly fast or accurate, so I would not base the decision on autofocus performance. 36MP files are large even when stored as lossless compressed NEF files, and the resolution is almost pointless for wedding purposes. Two D610s offer a more economical option if startup costs are a concern.
  17. I think you should pick a D800. Judging from the gear you already have and are about to buy the D800 makes most sense. You're picking big, solid, chunky quality gear. If you want the best, you need the D800.
    Sure it may not make sense from a business perspective and the D600 & D610 are in most respects more suitable for weddings.
    However the D600 & D610 are not top of line cameras and if you want the big, solid, rock feel the D800 is your only choice. If you buy something less than that you'll only be disappointed, knowing full well that there is something better out there.
    Also buying the D800 and shooting full time means that you eventually will be eligible for NPS membership. It may or may not be that much of a service but it will give you a warm fuzzy feeling of being a real professional photographer. And self confidence in this business is never a bad thing.
    You also mentioned landscapes and the D800 is undoubtedly the very best 35mm camera for that purpose.
  18. I would say the D610, on the grounds of workflow. Unless you plan to do JPEG -- which the D800 is capable of pulling off if you get the exposure right -- you're going to be buried in data for weddings. A 24MP raw file is much more manageable, with little in the way of penalty in terms of dimensions of the final print as far as a wedding client is concerned.
    Check on Nikon Professional Services equipment eligibility. I see elsewhere in this thread that the D600/610 don't qualify, which as far as I know is not the case; they're on "List 1". This list shows you what you need to re-qualify for NPS; call Nikon to check if this applies for an initial qualification as well. Of course there are some obviously pro lenses that have managed to get on both List 1 and List 2 (the "non-priority" stuff). So, I reiterate, check with Nikon.
  19. it will give you a warm fuzzy feeling of being a real professional photographer.​
    Exactly the last possible reason to choose a camera body.

    The OP might want to check out a few wedding photography forums. The D800 wasn't too popular with those folks when it first came out.

    I love my D800E, and I take it everywhere. Except events. I just don't feel that it's the best tool for weddings or sports. The autofocus is too unpredictable, and the files are larger than needed. But I'm sure that lots of folks shoot weddings with D800s and make it work. Again, the question to the OP is whether he can afford two of them.
  20. I have the D 610 and wish I had spent the extra money on the D 800. I like a separate button on the back for AF-ON for back button focusing which the D 800 has but the D 610 lacks. It does have the one button on he back that can be programmed for AF-ON. I prefer the controls layout of the D 800 vs the D 610. The D 800 allows you to shoot in two crop modes while the D 610 allows just one crop mode. These two crop modes could be useful to you in that the D 800 has more megapixels than the D 610. I do not like the two SD card slots on the D 610. I am on my third card reader for SD cards. Why top of the line card readers do not always read top of the line SD cards baffles me. I believe the D 800 takes the more robust CF card, but check this out to make sure what card it takes. Joe Smith
  21. I just checked the card specs for the D 800: 1 CF slot and 1 SD slot. This is compared to two SD slots on the D 610. Note that I have simplified the card types. Joe Smith
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    To the OP, I saw you attempted to ask the same question on the Wedding Forum: http://www.photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00cDvi
    I think it is unlikely that you'll get any more useful answer to this question. Either camera can be a fine one for weddings. Again, I suggest you find a store or some friends with those cameras and try them out yourself.
  23. Get two D600s for $1000 each will be the best bang for your purpose. D610 is still pricey, and is 99% the camera as a D600. Since you are asking D610 or D800, I am assuming you cant afford both, but you can certainly afford two D600.
    Save time on switching lenses, plus a backup body, without excessive MP. My wife uses a D600 and D4 for her weddings and she refuse to upgrade to D800 D800E or anything else even I like to buy her one.
    We cannot distinguish our images from D800E D4 D600 at the end of the day, as long as you are not shooting at ISO 10k or something
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Get two D600s for $1000 each will be the best bang for your purpose.​
    Where can you get a D600 for $1000? I assume we are talking about ones that are working, not stolen, not already have 300K shutter actuations ....
  25. Look hard on eBay...a while back I saw many good deals with everyone bashing D600. It's not uncommon to get one for like $1100-1200, if you cant get the 1k ones. At the very least there's refurbished from reputable sellers for $1300 each with warranty. These are all good US units with all boxes accessories and no damages.
    The market does seem to have died down though, as the remaining D600s are consumed and the prices went back up

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