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After that I’ll catch up on some other posts that I’ve been working on, while updating some of the outdated pages a bit.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

Time-lapse Trials

Where I mentioned panorama photography as a very popular type of photography a while ago, time-lapse photography is another type that has become immensely popular with the rise of digital cameras.

With time-lapse photography you take a series of images, usually at a set interval, that are later played back at a much higher frame rate, creating a video. Depending on the interval between the shots, this lets the time that passes during the video be much longer than the duration of the video – hence the name time-lapse.

A few months ago I gave it a first try and was hooked immediately. Unfortunately, it’s rather time-consuming. The shooting itself does not need to be: If you trust that you can leave your camera behind, you can just set it up, start it and come back later (however, often you have to stay with it, to guard it from rain, storm and thieves). After the shoot, you typically have a huge amount of images to process: To create a mere 10 second movie at 24 frames per second, you already need 10 x 24 = 240 images! All these images need to be uploaded, manipulated in a raw converter and then converted into a video.

So although I was hooked, I hadn’t found time to do a second trial. Last weekend however I managed to combine a game of hockey with shooting my second time-lapse. It’s a series of 524 images, played back at 12.5 frames per second. I used Lightroom 3 and LRTimelapse to create the video. Given the relatively long interval, the first bit of the timelapse works better than the actual gameplay, but I thought it was a fun and suitable set for getting some practice with the LR and LRTimelapse workflow, including the (new) smooth crop function the latter now offers.

Once the video was created, I combined it with a FreePlayMusic track in Windows Moviemaker, where I also added a title and credits. Unfortunately I don’t have any better video editing software at the moment. For this basic trial I didn’t need it either, but if you can recommend any freeware, let me know. In the near future I hope to own a DSLR with video options, at which point I will need a bit more serious editing software.

To watch the video click here. Don’t feel silly when you clicked the screenshot several times before, you’re probably not the only one ;).