D800 Review – Build and Handling

My current work load has left me very little time to take my D800 out shooting and on top of that I had to deal with the fact that my new Nikkor 24-70 (replacing my DX zoom) turned out to be a bad copy. I have however been checking out the body, getting used to its handling, the buttons (old and new) and overall feel.

The treasure chest...

In this post I’ll share my thoughts on the build and handling, using my Nikon D300 as a reference point, but also comparing it to the D700, from which many of you might be planning to upgrade to a D800. I will not cover all of the options and features, but will mostly focus on the main features and those that have changed compared to the D300/D700. At a later point I hope to add a post on the performance and image quality of the D800. Continue reading

Wintry Willow

By the end of this weekend I’ll have the first part of my Nikon D800 review ready. The review I’m working on is important to me, as it forces myself to get to understand all the options and functions and to be able to fully benefit from all its features.

However, in the mean time I want to share a recent picture (taking with the D800) with you, as I don’t want my blog to become too technique and equipment heavy: After all, trying to create and share captivating images is what it’s really all about for most photographers; whether you’re a professional , enthusiast amateur or just a happy smart phone snapper. Equipment is just one of the many factors in the creative process.

The image below was taken early April. After record highs in March, we suddenly got a late cold snap, including a snow storm (click on the image to enlarge).
It was pretty windy, constantly blowing the willow branch up and down out of the frame. To get a good shot with my macro lens, I used a relatively big aperture (by macro standards anyway) an ISO of 800 to get a sufficiently fast shutter speed. Technically I don’t find the image that great, but the content makes it appealing to me: In this area you won’t often find snow on top of flowering willows.

And since I can’t help myself from being very excited with the performance of the D800, check out this 100% crop of the same image (click on the image to enlarge):

I should mention that I did some basic sharpening and noise reduction, but still: The detail is amazing and that at ISO 800. Before I’ll review the image quality of this camera, I’ll be covering the build and handling of the Nikon D800 first in the next post this weekend.

D800 Review – Coming soon

Lately I’ve had little time to write about what I like to do so much, taking pictures. I’ve been busy at work, busy outside of work and busy getting setup for my new camera: When I ordered the D800, I also started upgrading my computer to be able to deal with the higher processing and storage demands the 75MB images (and video files) the D800 will generate.

Before going back to the core of my hobby (trying to take nice photos), I’ll do a review of my D800, which (surprisingly) arrived within two weeks of ordering. First I’ll go over the build and handling and after that I’ll go into the performance in terms of stills and video.

After that I’ll catch up on some other posts that I’ve been working on, while updating some of the outdated pages a bit. Oh yeah, and in between all of that, I hope to be taking some time to shoot with my new toy… stay tuned for the first part of my D800 review.

D800, D4, 5D Mark III or 1DX: Which one to get?

With the two major DSLR companies (Canon and Nikon) both announcing two new full frame (FX) cameras in the last few months, there has been a lot of buzz and excitement.  With the cameras slowly becoming available, many photographers find themselves debating which one to get.

In this article I’ll briefly discuss the evolution from the previous generation to the new generation (from both a technology and a marketing perspective) and explain why the choice between the new flagship model (Nikon D4/Canon 1DX) and the prosumer model (Nikon D800/Canon EOS 5D Mark III) might not appear to be an easy one to make. Finally I hope to help you a bit in making the right decision (hopefully it will turn out that it isn’t actually that hard to choose).

In order to understand why choosing between the flagship models and the second tier cameras in the FX line up, is more difficult than it was in the previous generation of cameras, let’s first briefly look at the last two generations of Nikon cameras. Continue reading

Cropping

From stitching big to cropping small: Where the images in the panoramas of my previous post featured a multitude of the  MP (Megapixels) found in normal dslr images, today’s image, a female Costa’s Hummingbird, only has a fraction of my D300’s 12.3 MP:

To crop or not to crop
This image is a 22% crop, which means that it’s only 2.7MP. As you can see, even such a significant crop still produces an image that’s usable for web purposes. Some photographers try to convince others that cropping is bad. They think that you should just frame the image right from the start. While I agree that it would be ideal to do so, often it’s not only difficult, but simply impossible. Continue reading