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  • Nikon D810 Launch Party - Friday, July 25th

    Nikon D810 Launch Party at Green Mountain Camera

    Nikon recently announced an exciting new release, the D810. The Nikon D810 is the direct replacement for both the extremely popular D800 and D800e.

    As Vermont's largest independently owned Nikon dealer, and the area's only Nikon Professional Dealer, Green Mountain Camera is excited to host a Nikon D810 launch party on Friday, July 25th.

    A representative from Nikon will be on-hand with the all-new Nikon D810. You'll be be one of the first people to try out the new flagship Nikon camera! The launch party will be held at Green Mountain Camera's retail location in Staples Plaza, South Burlington from 4-7PM.

    We hope to see you there!

  • Nikon Df Is Now In-Stock!

    Nikon Df Digital SLR Camera

     

    We recently wrote about the Nikon Df being announced in a previous post. That was at the beginning of November. It seems like ages since then, but we are happy to report that the Nikon Df is now in stock!

    We have the Nikon Df in four different configurations. They are all in stock at the time of this writing, but we anticipate selling out of them quickly. Nikon was unable deliver all of the cameras we ordered, so we still have some backordered, which usually means Nikon is not going to be able to keep up with demand. The silver Nikon Dfs seem to be in tighter supply than the blacks, and the silver body only configuration in tighter supply than all the others.

    Here's what we've got: Nikon Df body only in silver, Nikon Df body only in black, Nikon Df with special edition 50mm f/1.8G in silver, and Nikon Df with special edition 50mm f/1.8G in black.

    If you live local to one of our retail stores in Waterbury Center or South Burlington, VT, please stop on by and check out the Nikon Df. We have the black with special edition lens on display and for demonstration at both stores.

    The Nikon Df takes Secure Digital (SD) cards, so, if you don't have one and you are ordering this camera, make sure to pick one up at the same time. The Nikon Df does not shoot video, but it is still recommended to have a high-speed card for transferring the large files this camera produces, and for if/when the camera is used in continuous shooting mode (it can shoot up to 5.5 frames/second).

  • Nikon Celebrates 80 Years of NIKKOR Lenses

    80 Years of NIKKOR Lenses

    80 Years and 80 Million Lenses--That's a lot of Glass

    We recently received an email with a link to a very interesting infographic about the history of NIKKOR lenses. Apparently this year marks the 80th anniversary of the NIKKOR brand. In addition to it being 80 years of producing NIKKOR lenses, Nikon recently manufactured their 80 millionth lens. When you figure it out, on average, Nikon has produced 1 million lenses a year. Break that down even further, that averages out to 2,739 lenses a day. Yep, a day. That number seems pretty impressive, and quite unbelievable. Keep in mind too that that's an average, spread out over the last 80 years. I'm sure in the early years of Nikon lens production it was much more difficult to produce lenses in mass quantities, so the output now must be much greater.

    Nikon Aero-NIKKOR Lens Example of Aero-NIKKOR Lens

    In 1933, Nikon marketed its first camera lenses under the NIKKOR brand name. The first lenses were Aero-NIKKOR, for aerial photography. The first orders came from the Japanese Army Air Force for the 70cm F5 (700mm), as well as for the 18cm F4.5 (180mm) NIKKOR lens for small-scale aerial photography. The lenses were also exhibited at an exposition held that year, and sale of the lenses began.

    The NIKKOR brand of lenses became famous in the 1950s by David Douglas Duncan whose photography appeared in LIFE magazine. Duncan used a NIKKOR lens attached to a Leica camera body, and this brought the brand a lot of recognition. The legend goes that a Japanese photographer showed Duncan some photographs that he had taken using a NIKKOR lens. The photographs had come out clearly despite the fact that they had been taken indoors, in poor light. Duncan was impressed, so he went out and bought two NIKKOR lenses the very next day.

    In 1971, NIKKOR lenses and Nikon cameras went up with the Apollo 15 space mission. NIKKOR lenses have been going into space ever since, and have been subjected to some rough physical conditions. Space walks will subject these lenses to temperatures of negative 150 degrees Celsius or less.

    Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Lens Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Lens

    There are currently over 80 types of lenses still in production today (I guess everything has to be 80 for Nikon this year). Included in this count are 17 DX format (crop sensor) lenses, and 62 FX format (full frame sensor) lenses. The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Lens has the most lens elements. Most people would probably assume that something like the heaviest lens (600mm f/4), or the longest lens (800mm f/5.6) would have the most elements. But, no, the 70-200mm has 21 lens elements in 16 groups.

    Nikon's NIKKOR brand is now also being used with the Nikon 1 camera system. In addition, Coolpix cameras feature built-in (not interchangeable) NIKKOR lenses. Nikon has been producing great NIKKOR lenses for 80 years now. It will be interesting to see what the next 80 years will hold.

     

  • Nikon D5300 vs. D5200: What’s the difference?

    We take a closer look at the differences of the Nikon D5300 and D5200

    Customers are constantly asking us, “what’s the difference”? There are a lot of great products out there, and product features often overlap. Is one brand better than the other? Is one product better than another? The answer is not often an easy, definitive “this one’s better”. There are many aspects and features of a product that will require taking a closer look. In addition, each individual person has different requirements, so not all products are the same to each person.

    The issue gets especially blurred when new products are made. And beyond that, camera makers now have the tendency of keeping older products around for longer. When a new product comes out, the old product is discounted, and kept in the line-up. The tendency used to be to completely discontinue a product, and take it off the shelves, so there was less confusion when making a choice. Newer was better, and that was all you could get. Now, newer may be better, but the older model may be good enough, and the lower price tag is always attractive.

    The new Nikon D5300 and the now older D5200 are perfect examples of this problem at large. We know the D5200 is going to be cheaper, and the D5300 should be better, but “what’s the difference”? It’s not until we take a closer look at the main differences that we can make an informed decision. So let’s take a closer look.

    Image Sensor

    24.2 Megapixels (D5300) vs. 24.1 Megapixels (D5200)

    For a digital camera, the image sensor is a huge part of the equation when making a purchasing decision. Unlike a roll of Kodak Gold 200 film that would be the same from camera to camera, image sensors and the quality of the picture produced by that sensor differ in almost every incarnation of a model line. The easiest difference to spot is megapixel count. In the case of the Nikon D5300 and D5200 they’re essentially the same. Unfortunately, that information alone is not helpful, but let’s take a closer look.

    The D5300 is missing the Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) that is typically placed in front of the image sensor. The D5200 still has the OLPF in tact. We first saw Nikon removing the OLPF from the D800E. The Nikon D800 actually has the OLPF, but the D800E does not. This is true with the D5300 and the D5200 too. What is an OLPF, and what is the big deal anyway?

    The OLPF is used to slightly soften an image. You would think that with a high-resolution image sensor you’d want to keep things sharp. To avoid issues with moire, however, camera makers place a filter in front of the image sensor to ever so slightly blur the image. Moire is an effect caused when the pattern in a subject is overlapped with the pattern of an image sensor’s pixels, and you get a strange, additional patterned effect. Well, with high-resolution image sensors, you certainly would like to keep things sharp, so Nikon has started to remove the OLPF. There are really not many situations where moire will be an issue, and with modern software, this issue can often be resolved post-processing. The benefit is ever-so-sharper images.

    If you take pictures of intricate textiles or patterns of colors and shapes, the absence of an OLPF will be a definite downside. For most other situations, the D5300 is going to be a sharper choice.

    OLPF Moire Effect Comparison This image was taken directly from Nikon's website. Here you can see how intricate patterns can create a moire effect when with the absence of an OLPF.

    Processing Engine

    EXPEED 4 (D5300) vs. EXPEED 3 (D5200)

    Along with the image sensor is the image-processing engine. Image processors are small, specialized computers that take all of the information recorded by the camera’s image sensor and turn that into a (hopefully) beautiful picture. Each incarnation of a model line typically has an improved processor. This usually translates into a faster camera, better video, increased low-light (better ISO) performance, etc.. Nikon’s EXPEED 4 is an improvement over the EXPEED 3. One of the biggest benefits includes 1080 60p HD video. The D5200 has 1080 60i HD vdieo.

    Video

    1080 60p HD (D5300) vs. 1080 60i HD (D5200)

    Although the Nikon D5200 is capable of shooting progressive 1080 HD video at lower frame rates, the D5300 expands the video shooting capability of the product line by featuring progressive HD video at 60 frames per second. The D5200 is capable of 60 frames per second too, but the video is interlaced.

    Interlaced video is essentially video with half the resolution, but shown twice to get full resolution. One frame of video is essentially split in two. One frame will feature even lines of a picture, while another frame will feature odds. When the frames are flashed quickly on a screen, one after the other, the human eye perceives the image as having full resolution, not separate frames of alternating lines of resolution. This usually works out fine, until there’s action. When watching fast moving objects you can observe “artifacts” with interlaced video. It will look like the moving object is slightly blurred at the edges and has horizontal lines through it. Progressive video displays every line with each frame, so there is no potential for artifacting. The overall quality will look much better, especially when viewed on bigger TVs or screens.

    Interlaced Video Example of Fast Moving Object This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia. It shows the artifacts of interlaced video, especially for moving objects.

    Wi-Fi

    Built-in (D5300) vs. WU-1a Adapter (D5200)

    The Nikon D5300 and D5200 are both capable of connecting to Wi-Fi, but the D5300 has it built-in. The D5200 requires an adapter, the Nikon WU-1a, which is an additional $60 purchase.

    Wi-Fi in these cameras is really cool, and for at least two reasons. The first is for being able to share images quickly and easily. The smartphone camera has become wildly popular for several reasons, but a big part of it is being able to easily and instantly share images on social networks. The only problem with smartphone cameras is that the quality of the images is still lacking overall. The Wi-Fi capability of the D5300 and D5200 with the optional WU-1a, allows you to connect to your smartphone to share your images instantly like you would with pictures taken by your smartphone. This is a win-win. Instant sharing, plus exceptional image quality.

    Another benefit of Wi-Fi is being able to control these cameras remotely. Although this benefit is used less often, it is pretty cool that you can control the cameras from your smartphone. I know of a customer who set their camera on a tripod near a hummingbird feeder and went around the corner of his house. He was able to capture some amazing pictures of the birds by snapping away from his smartphone, and didn’t have to worry about scaring the birds away.

    In addition to Wi-Fi being built in, the D5300 also features built-in GPS. Again, the D5200 is capable of GPS, but requires a Nikon GP-1A adapter, which is an optional accessory that costs over $200. GPS can be really cool. Each image capture can record and save the GPS coordinates of the location where the image was taken. You’ll never forget where you took a picture again. Using Google Maps or Nikon’s software you can view on a map the locations of each of your recorded shots.

    Build/Construction

    Monocoque design (D5300) vs. More traditional structure (D5200)

    The Nikon D5300 is even smaller and lighter than the already light and compact D5200. This is due to the monocoque design of the D5300. What exactly does this mean? Think of a monocoque structure as like an exoskeleton. Instead of the insides supporting the structure of the outside, the outsides help to give the overall structure support and durability. The D5300 uses some specialized materials and design in its outer coverings to reduce joints and increase the support and durability of the camera, all the while reducing its overall weight and size. The D5200 weighs approximately 555g to the D5300 at 530g.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall there’s no doubt that the D5300 is an improvement over the D5200. In addition to the differences noted above, the D5300 has a bigger, higher resolution LCD screen. It is 3.2” and a 1037k dot resolution screen over the D5200’s 3” and 921k dot resolution screen. The D5300 also added a couple more picture (art) modes, which include Toy Camera Effect and HDR Painting.

    The biggest features to stand out are the removal of the OLPF and the built-in Wi-Fi. Right now there isn’t really a big difference in price. Actually, the starting prices are the same. The D5200 has been on sale for $100 off, however, and we assume this will only increase. Are these features worth $100 or more? It depends on what you are using the camera for and how these features meet your needs. If you are going to use it, the built-in Wi-Fi saves you $60 for that feature, and the GPS will save you more. If you want the best resolution possible, and are not afraid of some moire at times, the D5300 will be tack sharp. Whatever you decide, both cameras will overall take great pictures.

  • Nikon Df Digital SLR Camera and Limited Edition 50mm f/1.8 Lens Announced

    Nikon Df Digital SLR Camera If you have been paying attention to the Nikon USA website, you've probably noticed the series of videos they have been posting on the homepage. Over several days, and through a series of well-produced teaser videos, Nikon has been strategically revealing what we can now say is the Nikon Df. Nikon's revelation campaign centered around getting back to "Pure Photography", and made it clear that the Df would be a throw-back to a previous chapter of Nikon's history.

    We feel this has been one of Nikon's best marketing efforts for a camera announcement. Product announcements are typically thrown at the public. One day the product is a secret, the next day the whole world knows. The campaign to reveal the Nikon Df created a lot of buzz, and got a lot of people excited...including us.

    If you weren't already aware, used camera equipment is a big part of our business. I don't think there is a time when we don't have a Nikon FM, FM2, or similar type of mechanical 35mm film camera around. We see them all the time, and that is a testament to how popular the older, mechanical Nikon film cameras were. The new Nikon Df digital SLR is a throw-back to that time, and highlights a lot of the manual features that were standard on those analog cameras.

    Nikon Df Manual Features

     

    As you can see, the control dials of the Nikon Df are built for manual control. It's strange to see a mechanical ISO setting dial on a digital camera. The information display on the top has shrunk. Here the display features shutter speed, aperture value, battery charge, and shots left on the memory card. And that's it. This downsized display has made room for a quite large shutter value dial, and also the mode selector dial (manual, aperture value priority, shutter value priority and program mode). For digital cameras these things are typically manipulated by the press of a button.

    Nikon is using the same 16.2 megapixel (MP) full-frame (FX format in Nikon's terminology) image sensor, paired with the Nikon EXPEED 3 image processor, as seen in their flagship Nikon D4. Nikon boasts that the Df is their thinnest and lightest full-frame digital SLR to date. The Nikon Df also features a huge ISO range that is expandable up to 204,800. I'm sure a lot of users will be happy to get some of the performance aspects (image quality) of the D4 for half the price.

    We're really excited that Nikon has developed a lens mount system for this camera that will allow it to work with all modern AF-S, AF-D and AF NIKKOR lenses, in addition to AI and non-AI lenses alike. Owners of old NIKKOR glass will really appreciate that inclusion.

    The camera also features a continuous shooting speed of 5.5 frames per second, and Wi-Fi with the optional Nikon Wu-1a adapter. Of all the features that this camera does include, the Nikon Df does not have video. The Df has no option for capturing video. I guess Nikon's idea of "pure photography" is still capture only.

    The Nikon Df should be available by the end of this month (November, 2013) in both silver and black, and will cost $2749.95 for the body only. Nikon has produced a limited edition AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens with retro styling to match the new Nikon Df. The camera will be sold as a kit with this lens for $2999.95. We'll have the new Nikon Df online and in our stores for demonstration and sale as soon as they come in, and we are currently taking pre-orders. Just give us a call at (802) 244-0883 if you are interested.

    Nikon Df in Black

     

    Nikon Df Back in Black

  • Two New Nikon Lenses: AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED DX VR and AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED FX VR

    Today Nikon introduces two new lenses to their line-up of NIKKOR glass: one for DX (crop sensor) cameras, and the other for FX (full-frame sensor) cameras.

    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

    AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

    The new Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens from Nikon is their longest reach zoom lens ever with an impressive 16.7x zoom range. This new 18-300mm lens is surprisingly compact for its long zoom range, and is designed for DX format cameras. These "crop sensor" cameras include the D3100, D3200, D5100, D7000, etc.. Like any lens mounted on a DX format camera there is an effective 1.5x multiplication to the focal length giving an equivalent 35mm focal length of 27-450mm. The 18-300mm gives the photographer a great amount of versatility, allowing her to shoot wide-angle to super-telephoto, and without having to change lenses. This new lens features VR II technology to keep images sharp, even when zoomed out to the maximum 300mm setting. In addition, this lens has a close-focusing distance of only 1.48 feet at the 300mm setting, allowing for a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.2x.

    The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR will retail for $1000 and is expected to start shipping in late June.

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens

    AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

    The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR is the new standard lens for FX (full-frame) cameras. Full-frame cameras include the D700, D800, D800E, D4, etc.. This new lens will be marketed as an every day, walkabout lens for FX format cameras, especially considering its compact and lightweight design. We wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing full-frame camera kits including this lens. In addition to the VR II technology featured in the 24-85mm, this lens also offers  Auto Tripod detection for specialized VR correction for both still and video shooting. The 24-85mm has a close focusing distance of just 1.25 feet at any focal length. The 24-85mm is compatible with DX format cameras and has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 36-127.5mm.

    The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR will retail for $600 and is expected to start shipping in late June.

  • Nissin Flash Compatibility Chart

    If you haven't heard of Nissin, they are a popular third-party flash manufacturer that manufactures flashes for use with Canon, Nikon, Sony, and more. Nissin offers high-quality alternatives to the original equipment manufacturer's flashes and replicates many of the same functions including TTL, plus Nissin adds some additional features not found in OEM flashes (like a color, auto-rotating display on the 866), and does all this at a discount to the comparable OEM model.

    Not all Nissin flashes are fully compatible with all cameras, however. There may be some limitations depending on your flash and camera combination. Nissin recently sent us an updated compatibility chart, and we thought it would be useful if we published it here:

    Nissin Flash Compatibility Chart

    We offer the full line of Nissin flashes in our retail store. If you have any questions regarding Nissin flashes, or would like to order one, please don't hesitate to contact us at sales@gmcamera.com or (802) 244-0883.

  • Nikon D800/D800E and D4 Firmware Upgrades

    Nikon has released new firmware upgrades for the D800, D800E and the D4. The main issue these firmware upgrades resolve is the "lock up" issue reported by PDN. Here's the full list of modifications this firmware upgrade provides for the D800/D800E:

    • When a still image was captured while viewing existing images in playback mode, the monitor turned off, the memory card access lamp glowed steadily, and, in some rare cases, the camera ceased to respond to operations. This issue has been resolved.
    • When the Wireless Transmitter WT-4 was used with certain settings applied, RAW images were also transferred when Wireless transmitter > Transfer settings > Send file as was set to JPEG only. This issue has been resolved.
    • A dark shadow sometimes appeared at the bottom edge of images captured with Active D-Lighting set to any option other than Off with Image area set to 5:4 (30x24). This issue has been resolved.

    The D4:

    • When a still image was captured while viewing existing images in playback mode, the monitor turned off, the memory card access lamp glowed steadily, and, in some rare cases, the camera ceased to respond to operations. This issue has been resolved.
    • When network functions were used with certain settings applied, RAW images were also transferred when Network > Send file as was set to JPEG only. This issue has been resolved.
    • When an option that utilized the main command dial was selected for Custom Setting f15: Playback zoom, and an image was zoomed in or out with playback with certain settings applied, shooting shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation settings were sometimes changed. This issue has been resolved.

    Click here to download the Nikon D800 firmware upgrade.

    Click here to download the D800E firmware upgrade.

    Click here to download the Nikon D4 firmware upgrade.

  • Great Mother's Day Gift Ideas from Nikon and Green Mountain Camera

    This Mother's Day we've teamed up with Nikon to offer some great gifts for Mom. Two that really shine are Gift Packs that offer an incredible value. The Gift Packs include both a memory card and case, in addition to the Nikon digital camera. These Gift Packs are featured below. If you click on the graphic you can see our full Nikon insert with all our Mother's Day sales on Nikon products.

    Nikon Instant Savings for Mother's Day

    If you're interested in a product and don't see it listed on our website, please make sure to give us a call at (802) 244-0883. Not all specials are shown or available on our site.

  • Nikon D3100, D3200 and D5100 -- What's the difference?

    Nikon D3100, D3200 and D5100 Comparison

    With the recent release of the Nikon D3200 a lot of customers are wondering how it fits into the current lineup of Nikon digital SLR cameras. The first question most customers have are, "Is the Nikon D3100 being replaced?" No. The Nikon D3100 is Nikon's entry level digital SLR at an entry level price tag. Right now, including instant savings, the Nikon D3100 is selling for only $549.95, and that's including an 18-55mm VR lens. The Nikon D3200 is being pegged also as an entry-level camera, but with the horsepower of a higher-resolution 24.2MP image sensor. The current price of the Nikon D3200 is $699.95, including an 18-55mm VR lens.

    Perhaps the bigger mystery surrounds the Nikon D5100. The base price of the Nikon D5100 is higher than the Nikon D3200. The D5100 currently rings up with a base price of $849.95. There is currently an instant savings on the Nikon D5100, however; which puts the D5100 at the same price as the Nikon D3200--$699.95. So, the question we've been receiving is, "If both the Nikon D5100 and D3200 are the same price, what camera should I get?" This is a difficult question to answer with one sweeping response. It depends. Some people will be instantly drawn to the higher-resolution of the Nikon D3200. Others will hesitate and wonder what else is under the hood? For those who are looking for a more detailed comparison, we offer the following information. We hope this helps.

    The Nikon D5100 and D3200 both have:

    • Up to 4 frames-per-second continuous shooting
    • 11 auto-focus points
    • 1080p HD video recording
    • 3" 921,000 dot monitor (D5100 screen can flip out)
    • 1/4,000 to 30 second shutter speeds

    The Nikon D3200 has a ~24MP image sensor with EXPEED 3 processing, and the Nikon D5100 has a ~16MP image sensor with EXPEED 2 processing.

    The Nikon D3200 offers on-screen audio levels as well as the ability to shoot 1280x720 HD video at 60 frames-per-second.

    The Nikon D3200 shoots 12-bit RAW, and has a estimated battery life of 540 shots. The Nikon D5100 shoots 14-bit RAW files, and has an estimated battery life of 660 shots.

    The Nikon D5100 has a more customize-able "Active D-Lighting", whereas the Nikon D3200 is either On or Off.

    The Nikon D5100 has an ISO range that is expandable to 25,600, and the Nikon D3200 is half that at 12,800. The D5100 also offers 1/3 stop ISO increments.

    The Nikon D5100 features a greater range of scene modes as well as "Effects" that can work in both stills and video.

    The Nikon D5100 features the ability to create a multiple exposure image, and also offers in-camera HDR (high dynamic range).

    The Nikon D5100 offers interval timer shooting in-camera, and also features a full Custom Settings menu. The D3200 has some custom settings that may be set in the Setup menu.

    As you can see, the Nikon D5100 features an all-around more advanced experience than the D3200. For the more advanced user who doesn't require the higher resolution of the Nikon D3200, it is likely they'll gravitate towards the D5100.

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