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I am having trouble deciding between the D7200 and the D610. I am upgrading from the D3200, so both camera would make a great difference.

At the moment, I have four lenses. The 70-200mm f2.8 (tamron) and 50mm f1.8G. The other two are for dx and I don't use them anymore.

Next year, I will be the photographer for sports at my local college. Which are ice hockey, football, soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I also want to shoot music shows and open a little studio to do headshots at home.

I would like to go full frame for everything other than sports, but I feel like the D7200 would be better for sports than the D610.

What do you think would be better?
Could the D610 be enough for sports?

I am really having hard time choosing.

Edit: The two other lenses are: 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 and the 55-200f4-5.6 (both for DX) Ialso do not plan on selling my D3200, I will use it as a backup/second camera

  • It's related to one aspect of this question, but i don't think it is a duplicate. – Michael C Apr 3 '17 at 3:50
  • Could you confirm whether you're talking about ice hockey or field hockey? – Philip Kendall Apr 3 '17 at 9:18
  • What are the hangups, e.g. FPS, DR, Noise of your existing camera that makes you want to upgrade? (rather than I just want a new camera because better) – Crazy Dino Apr 3 '17 at 11:12
  • The main issue was low light, I went in my local arena to photograph ice hockey and was limited by the camera FPS and could not go higher than 1600iso. I did not end up with keepers beacause they were to dark. I was using a F5.6 lens at the time, this is why i got my 70-200. – Shadow311 Apr 3 '17 at 11:57
  • Not to add to the confusion: but the D7200 isn't enough of an upgrade over the D7100 that I would rule the D7100 out. Also what are the two DX lenses that you don't / wouldn't use on the DX D7200? – AthomSfere Apr 3 '17 at 12:11
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Both cameras have strengths and weaknesses for the various shooting scenarios you have mentioned. It's up to you to decide which features are more important and thus work better for you.

From personal experience I can tell you that 200mm on a FF camera is not long enough for everything you'll want to do with football or hockey, much less soccer. Even with a DX body you'll be cropping a lot with a 200mm maximum focal length. You'll also need something with a wider FoV than 50mm (in either sensor format) for some of what you'll want to do with basketball and volleyball.

Fast glass is paramount for shooting indoor and night sports. Ditto for concerts and theatrical work. Anything slower than f/2.8 is marginal, although at wider angles of view you can sometimes get away with f/4. Fast, reliable AF is also important. The older Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro has a reputation as a slow focuser. The newer Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 SP Di VC USD lenses (both the original and the new version 2) are much better in this respect.

If one camera you're considering has a "flicker reduction" feature that times the shutter release with the peak in the light cycle of flickering stadium and gym lighting and the other doesn't, that would probably be the tipping point for me. It makes a huge difference! Nikon is now offering such a feature with their top tier bodies, but I'm not sure if either the D610 or D7200 have it. The D750 & D500 both have it. The D610 has a feature in movie recording modes named "flicker reduction", but it doesn't appear to be the same thing.

  • I bought the VC lens, for the faster auto-focus. You mentioned exactly where I am having trouble deciding. I feel like 200mm on FX will be a little short. And as you said it will also be on DX. Either way I will have to be creative to get pictures. – Shadow311 Apr 3 '17 at 12:06
  • Also, I will look into the flickering mode I did not know about it. – Shadow311 Apr 3 '17 at 12:34
  • The D500 is only a couple of hundred more than the D610. Other than not being full frame, it's a lot of camera for that amount. – Michael C Apr 3 '17 at 15:06
  • I agree with that, I would have to save up a bit more for it though. Thanks for your answer – Shadow311 Apr 3 '17 at 15:31
  • Doesn't your college issue gear from the photography department for those covering the sports teams? My nephew currently attends a small college and at a basketball game I attended back in early November there were like 5 student photographers running around with identical Canon 5D Mark III bodies and nice glass (70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II, 24-70mm f/2.8 L II, etc.) hanging on them. All of their gear had "property of xxx* inventory bar code stickers on it. – Michael C Apr 3 '17 at 15:39
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I am not sure how are you shooting sports, but when I am shooting actions, I am doing quite much shots for every action continuously holding camera. Later I am choosing the best images. It means you need camera with great continuous FPS. Both nikons have 6 fps, so at this point there is no clear winner.

Here are good technical comparison pages:

Do not look at overall assessment as you need to shoot sport.

The other parameter I would consider is weight. You will stay with camera prepare for capturing images around one hour (effective). So the lighter camera the better. Also lenses for full frame cameras are usually heavier.

The next is max shutter speed. Hockey is played in the very good lighting conditions in comparison to concerts, so you will be able to reach very high shutter speed, I cannot tell if you will for sure shot 1/8000, but it could be.

So for sport I would get D7200, this one is also cheaper, so when you destroy it somewhat, you will less cry :-).

The problem is that you mentioned as well concerts. This is completely opposite lighting situation to hockey. Poor lighting is really bad for smaller sensors. The parameter here is called low light ISO or effective ISO. So for the concerts I would choose D610.

Now is your turn. Check how many concerts per year you will attend and how many sports events, then decide on one or the other camera. The feeling I have from your description is that you will attend more often sports events. But you need to check it with your college activities plan.

BTW. Buy additional accu and as fast as possible memory card(s) - it will pay off.

Not related to details of your question, but have a look at comparison 10 Recommended Cameras for Sports, Wildlife, and Action Photography

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    "Hockey is played in the very good lighting conditions" No, it's not. "I cannot tell if you will for sure shot 1/8000" You don't need 1/8000s to shoot hockey - 1/2000s at the very fastest. – Philip Kendall Apr 3 '17 at 7:42
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    I guess it depends on the definition of "hockey". In some countries hockey is played indoors on ice, in others it's played outdoors on a field. – Rene Apr 3 '17 at 8:41
  • @PhilipKendall I had improved the statement :-). – Seweryn Habdank-Wojewódzki Apr 3 '17 at 8:45
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    Thanks for the information, I will take a look at the link you've add. I will propably attend more sports event, but I'll have to check – Shadow311 Apr 3 '17 at 12:39

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