Nikon has added two new DSLRs — one mid-level and the other an advanced enthusiast level fullframe camera — as well as a versatile fixed-focal-length lens to its lineup. Both cameras offer innovative Wi-Fi connectivity, making it possible for photographers to share images quickly and easily. The new lens rounds out a collection of acclaimed NIKKOR f/1.8 lenses.

Nikon D5300 DSLR

Nikon D5300 DSLR

Nikon D5300 DSLR

“Our engineers packed a lot of great technology into this model,” says Mark Soares, Technical Marketing Manager for Nikon, Inc. This compact DSLR has an enhanced 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, which enables photographers to capture high-quality still photos and HD video. According to Soares, the omission of an optical low pass filter (OLPF) allows for greater clarity and detail. “You can get more sharpness from your NIKKOR glass than before,” he explains.

The D5300 is Nikon’s first DSLR to feature built-in Wi-Fi, allowing users to share photos on smart devices. It also has a fully articulating 3.2-inch LCD monitor, which is helpful for photographers who want to shoot above a crowd or get down low to capture details in nature. You can even take “selfie” portraits more easily with this feature. “For video, it’s especially useful,” Soares adds. “We’re finding that more photographers are shooting video today, and they like the D5300 because of the versatility of its screen.” This camera offers full HD 1080p video capture at 60p, with built-in stereo and full-time Auto Focus. “You’d be hard pressed to find video capability at 1080 x 60p in any DSLR, especially at this price point,” Soares observes. “It’s a great multimedia tool.”

The D5300 is lightweight and compact at 16.9 ounces — and, thanks to a redesigned, slimmer grip, it’s more comfortable to hold than its predecessors. “There’s more distance between the lens and the grip,” Soares notes. You can shoot five frames per second when using either Live View or the optical viewfinder. The D5300 offers great low-light shooting capabilities with a wide ISO range of 100 to 12,800 natively, expandable to 25,600 in very low light. “These improvements are made possible by a new processor called the Expeed 4,” Soares states.

While the D5300 is a mid-level DSLR, it’s also a great backup camera for more advanced shooters. The D5300 camera body only is available at $799.95, in a kit with an 18-55mm lens at $899.95 and in a kit with an 18-40mm lens for $1099.95.

Nikon D610 DSLR

Nikon D610 DSLR

Nikon D610 DSLR

“I would put this camera up against any FX (Nikon’s full-frame sensor) DSLR out there,” Soares says. He reports that photographers have rated its low-light performance, sharpness and image quality exceptionally high. “For both stills and video, the D610 is a really great choice.”

The D610 has the ability to shoot six frames per second, perfect for sports and action, and it has a quiet continuous shutter mode — ideal for photographing weddings or other events where sound could be disruptive. It offers full HD 1080p video in a variety of frame rates, including 24p and 30p. Soares explains that you can output uncompressed video via HDMI to an external device like a monitor or recorder, a feature that’s available in several Nikon DSLRs. Also, a stereo microphone and headphones can be connected via input jacks for capturing and monitoring audio.

The camera has a 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a wide ISO range — from 100 to 6400 (expandable to 25,600 in very low light). It also boasts a 39-point Auto Focus system and an improved Auto White Balance setting for rendering true color balance from a variety of light sources. This camera is constructed ruggedly, with dust and moisture resistance similar to a Nikon D800.

The D610 is Wi-Fi compatible and can be used with Nikon’s optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter. “Just plug it into the side of the camera, and you can share your images with a compatible smart device like a phone or tablet,” Soares says. “You can also fire the camera remotely. For example, you can set it up next to a bird feeder, and, from the comfort of your home, press the shutter from your smart phone.”

This camera is compatible with a wide variety of NIKKOR lenses and Speedlight flash units. The D610 camera body only is available at $1,999.95 or as a kit with a 24-85mm lens at $2,299.95.

AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens

According to Soares, many photographers have requested a prime lens like this one to round out Nikon’s collection of f/1.8 lenses in varying focal lengths. When the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2014, people were pleased because it’s lighter than the AF-S 35mm f/1.4G. “Optically, the quality is what you would expect from a NIKKOR,” Soares adds. “It’s been a very popular product — everyone wants to try it.” Another reason that photographers clamored for this lens, he says, is because of its form factor — “they wanted a lighter alternative to use with a full-frame camera.”

This lens is ideal for ambient-light portraiture and landscape and travel photography. With its wide maximum aperture, it can produce images with a soft, shallow depth of field. The 35mm f/1.8G lens is the equivalent of a 52.5mm lens when used with a Nikon DX (APS size sensor) camera, like the D7100; and the equivalent of a 35mm lens when used with a full-frame sensor camera, like the D610. It incorporates NIKKOR’s proprietary ED glass to combat lens flare, and a Silent Wave Motor for quiet AF operation.

Soares points out, “It’s a solidly constructed lens, targeted towards the more advanced photographer — one who understands the benefits of a prime lens, such as greater image sharpness.” The AFS DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens is available at $599.95.

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