Fast forward - well, not that fast, maybe a week or two, and Nikon introduces the D610 - the full-frame replacement for the D600. They didn't say it - but everyone else did - to deal with the backlash. The new camera is $100 cheaper, but also sports a new shutter mechanism that delivers 6 fps - that's a whopping (he says facetiously) half frame faster than the original. I reviewed the specs line for line. These were the only two differences. They had an opportunity to make some other improvements, but blew it.
Next thing I know, they're introducing the D5300 APS-C (cropped) sensor DSLR - or as we like to say these days, HD-SLR, to denote the camera's ability to shoot hi-def video. I read the press release, and I have to say, interesting little camera with a not so little price tag. Back in the day of film cameras, something like this would have run you maybe $300, give or take. The D5300 is more than twice that, at around $800 MSRP. But, hey, progress, the times we live in, the cost of living - they go hand-in-hand.
Point is, just looking at the specs, this is an impressive bit of photo tech. One feature that I can really appreciate (which is why I carry my little Sony DSC-HX20V around) is the built-in GPS. The other I'm still on the fence about and that is built-in Wi-Fi. Still, nice to have, whether it works or not.
Also impressive is the 24.2 MP resolution. Like the D610/D600, plenty of real estate for cropping. And at 5 fps, plenty of steam to capture driving action.
Many of you will likely be excited by the camera's HD video recording. I'm not a big HD video buff, but the numbers are certainly there, with HD at up to 60 fps and a vari-angle LCD monitor as icing on the cake. My biggest complaint regarding HD-SLRs is that they still fall short of a dedicated video camera in many respects. One more important piece of information: at HD resolution, you can only shoot for 20 minutes non-stop. So what do you do at minute 21? Tell competing skiers to take a break, tell the Bar Mizvah boy to go and count his blessings (code for moola)?
Still, you have to admit that today's digital SLR is mind-blowing when you think about everything it offers. And the Nikon D5300 is up there with the best of them in that price class. As least on paper. Haven't gotten my hands on one yet to come to any verifiable conclusions. And I'm just hoping that Nikon has gotten that sensor splatter out of its system - or, more to the point, its DSLR systems.