I have full frame fever; lusting after a D610; did some camera store testing today

Started Mar 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
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I have full frame fever; lusting after a D610; did some camera store testing today
Mar 22, 2014

I shoot with a D5200 with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (been shooting Nikon for 6 years). I think my shots are pretty darn sharp.  Yeah, full frame is gonna beat me at high ISOs and that shallow DOF thing.  But I've been wondering if I would up my game sharpness-wise by going full frame.

I went to a local camera store today and set up a D610 with 24-85 VR as close as I could (you all know how hard that it is to do in a store) with my D5200.  I took both cameras outside and shot side by side.

I was fully expecting to be blown away by the Full Frame goodness.  More detail, sharper everything...but it didn't happen.  Either the 24-85 VR just isn't that good and my Tamron is, or user error was at work although I doubt it.  Either way, I compared jpegs and nefs.  Jpegs, my D5200 was always sharper with more detail.  Always.  Raw--it was pretty much a tie.

I shot shrubbery, I shot flat walls, I shot signs, I shot buildings in the near distance, I shot a ton of stuff.  I'm no newbie to cameras but it's always been DX.  Tell you the truth, based on today's testing, my lust has faded.

I did go inside in a dark area and, as I expected, the D610 had much less noise at ISO 3200 and 6400.  I expected that and it happened.  Outdoors...except for that shallow DOF thing, do you all find FF that much sharper than a camera as competent as my D5200?  (24mp vs 24 mp)

Is the caveat here that one needs to shoot with expensive glass to fully appreciate Full Frame's advantages?  I've heard on this forum (and the Nikon SLR forum) that the 24-85 VR "kit lens" really is quite good.  Well, heck, so is my $380 Tamron.  I dunno, now I'm wondering if it's worth it.

Nikon D5200 Nikon D610
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