The real problem we all face when coming over from the film or point-and-shoot world is a simple thing:

We do not know WHAT we do not know.

There is so much to learn when coming from the camera-does-it-all world, or the film world. White balance, RAW vs JPEG, postprocessing, workflow, Color spaces, histograms, software, etc. In the beginning, we know that we don't know, but we don't know WHAT we don't know. The only way to know what we don't know, is to be exposed to something new and realize we didn't know that. Only then do we know we didn't know that before. This may sound silly, but it's actually quite profound.

When I first started learning about the video standards in HD-SLR cameras, I had no idea what I didn't know, so I bought an extremely complex book for a lot of money so I could peer into what I don't know and figure out where to start. Once I did that, I started learning what I needed to learn right away, and added to it new things as I went along. Learning WHAT I didn't know, by looking through a book, helped me tremendously. The bottom line, if one has no idea something even exists, then one doesn't know WHAT one doesn't know.

Never be ashamed to hang it all out there in front of experienced people. They will look upon your plight with understanding, remembering the time that they didn't know WHAT they didn't know. Make mistakes, screw it up good. Post your errors. Only then  will you learn WHAT you need to learn.

Once you've learned the new things you must now learn, you will be way ahead of the game.  All of us went through this. No matter our backgrounds, we all haven't the foggiest idea of what we need to learn first, until someone helps us. If you are in a position to help a newbie. Do it! Someone helped you, you weren't born with the knowledge you have now. You know WHAT the new shooter doesn't know. Help ease the transition!

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young

The Nikon® D600 is a D7000-style, advanced-enthusiast camera, on steroids. It’s the next step for an especially enthusiastic enthusiast who simply must have a full-frame sensor and needs the 24 megapixels for larger image size. It is not only an amazing still camera, but like its big sister the Nikon D800, can stream uncompressed, clean video, with no camera overlays, from its HDMI port to an external recording device, such as an Atomos Ninja-2.

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For the photographer who has always desired a full-frame (FX) HD-SLR but couldn’t afford the extra cost, the Nikon D600 changes everything. For only US$2099.95, you can acquire an FX camera with image quality like the very expensive Nikon D3X (at lower ISOs). All those Nikkor prime lenses you’ve been collecting and the new FX Nikkor lenses you’ve desired can now be used to their full advantage.

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Briefly, let’s look at the most important specs of the camera:

  • Available September 18, 2012 for US$2099.95 (or US$2699.95 with AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-5.6G lens )
  • 24.3-megapixel FX-Format CMOS sensor (35.9 x 24mm) 
  • EXPEED 3 image processing engine
  • 100% Viewfinder coverage with glass prism
  • 3.2" LCD Monitor with 921K dots and ambient-light auto brightness control
  • Uncompressed, clean HDMI output (no overlays)
  • Weather-sealing on most critical points
  • ISO range: 100-6400 (extended to: Lo-1 or ISO 50 and Hi-2 or ISO 25,600)
  • 39 point AF system with new MultiCAM 4800FX AF Module
  • Nine cross-type sensors, with seven AF points active to f/8
  • 2,016-pixel RGB sensor for exposure
  • AF modes: Single point, Continuous AF, Dynamic AF, and 3D tracking
  • EN-EL15 Li-ion battery (Same as D800 and D7000)
  • 5.5 fps shooting speed at full FX resolution
  • Shutter tested to 150,000 shooting cycles
  • Maximum shutter speed of 1/4000s
  • Flash sync speed of 1/200s
  • Locking Mode dial to prevent accidental adjustments while shooting
  • Two SD card slots with latest SDXC and UHS-I2 high-speed standards
  • Built-in flash (guide number of approximately 12/39 m/ft, ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
  • U1 and U2 User settings like on the D7000
  • Several SCENE modes
  • Auto DX crop mode
  • One-touch access to Picture Controls (new dedicated button)
  • Built in Time-lapse function
  • Built-in HDR mode
  • Built-in Speedlight Commander Mode for Nikon CLS control
  • New MB-D14 battery grip
  • Built-in AF motor 
  • H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Video compression
  • Full HD (1080p) with 30p, 25p, 24p, HD with 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p
  • 29 minutes and 59 seconds (or 20 minutes Full HD) movie segment length
  • Headphone Jack for monitoring sound
  • Live view photography and Movie live view modes
  • Measures approximately 141.0 x 113.0 x 82.0 mm (W x H x D) and weighs approximately 760 g
  • Ready to shooting in 0.13 seconds with a 0.052 second shutter release
  • WU-1b Wireless Adapter is available (50 foot range)


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Positioned between the Nikon D7000 and the Nikon D800, the D600 fills a gap that has needed filling for several years. Before now, the only way to own a DSLR having an FX sensor and an affordable price was to buy a used 12-megapixel Nikon D700 or save your pennies for the 36-megapixel Nikon D800. 

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Now you have a real choice! There is no need to settle for an older model, when a brand new Nikon D600 provides all the new features expected in a modern HD-SLR camera, at a price that the everyday photographer can afford. Sure, this is not Coolpix pricing, but you are not a Coolpix shooter, you are an advanced enthusiast.

Keep on capturing time…

Darrell Young

Download Nikon D600 Brochure here: 

http://chsvimg.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d600/pdf/d600_20p.pdf


<<<>>>


Here’s the official press release:

PERFORMANCE THAT FUELS THE PASSION: THE NEW NIKON D600 PUTS FX-FORMAT IN FOCUS FOR PHOTO ENTHUSIASTS

As Nikon’s Smallest, Lightest and Most Affordable Full-Frame HD-SLR, the D600 Packs in Powerful, Pro-Grade Photo and Video Features with Wireless Sharing and Capture Capabilities

MELVILLE, N.Y. (September 13, 2012) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the 24.3-megapixel (MP) D600, a camera that is designed to deliver the image quality and performance benefits of a full frame FX-format sensor to the enthusiast looking to take their dedication to the next level. The Nikon D600 offers a remarkable value, merging the perfect combination of a lightweight, compact form factor and superior image quality, making the leap into FX-format photography more attractive than ever. 

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Whether shooting stills or Full HD video, advanced features and Nikon technologies like the newly developed high resolution CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 image processing engine are designed to meet the needs of the most demanding creative vision. Additionally, Nikon’s new optional WU-1b wireless adapter allows users to shoot high quality HD-SLR images and transfer them to their mobile device, making it easier to stay connected, without the need for wires.

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“For many, image making is so much more than a hobby; it is a way of life that changes the way the world is perceived. The Nikon D600 represents a new category of camera for this user and demonstrates Nikon’s devotion to the passionate photographer who is always looking for new ways to express their creativity through their photos and HD videos,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “By offering users the advanced FX-format and key features inherited from our professional cameras, along with new functions like optional wireless capabilities, Nikon is inspiring photographers by providing an imaging experience that satisfies like never before.“

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Superior Image Quality

Nikon’s FX-format offers photographers exciting image quality possibilities, from dazzling dynamic range and exacting detail to stellar low-light ability. The D600 employs Nikon’s newly developed, large 24.3 MP FX-format CMOS Sensor (35.9 x 24mm) to offer photographers a versatile camera that provides amazing image quality and sharpness, with ample resolution to tackle almost any project. Because the needs of the advanced amateur varies widely, the new CMOS sensor provides a wide ISO range from 100-6400 (expandable from 50-25,600) to give photographers maximum low-light flexibility yielding clean images with minimal noise and accurate color. The full ISO range can also be used while capturing HD video in challenging light. Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED 3 image processing engine interprets the massive amount of image data flowing from the sensor to quickly process images and HD video. The result is striking images and impressive HD video that exhibits faithful color reproduction and tonal range throughout the frame.

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Precision Technology Engineered for the Enthusiast

Enthusiasts of all types demand the best from their gear, and the Nikon D600 is a camera engineered with intuitive features that give photographers an edge in the field. Whether shooting lush landscapes, action sports or the elusive animals of the Serengeti, Nikon’s Scene Recognition System and 2,016 pixel RGB sensor excels in any situation. By recognizing the scene prior to capture, the system meticulously analyzes factors such as color and brightness with extraordinary precision and compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. The result is enhanced AF performance and flattering exposures.

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For precise AF performance in a wide variety of shooting conditions, the D600 features a 39 point AF system with the new MultiCAM 4800FX AF module. This AF array is well suited to a wide variety of shooting styles and disciplines, offering AF modes to let users select a single point, continuous AF, Dynamic AF or use 3D tracking to keep pace with a moving subject throughout the frame. Additionally, the system features nine cross type sensors for maximum accuracy, while seven AF points are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8 for extreme telephoto applications.

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To keep up with action sports, active wildlife or the photo opportunity that unexpectedly arises, the D600 is ready to shoot in 0.13 seconds, with a 0.052 second shutter release.  The camera emphasizes speed and performance, from overall operation and image processing, helped in part by the exceptional EXPEED 3 processing engine. The camera is also capable of bursts of images at 5.5 frames per second (fps) at full resolution with full AF, to capture decisive moments. To further enhance speed and workflow, images and video can also be rapidly transferred to dual SD card slots that are compatible with the latest SDXC and UHS-1 high speed standards.

Enthusiasts will also appreciate other thoughtful features made to appeal to more advanced photographers, such as the 100% frame coverage seen through optical viewfinder. The wide and bright view makes it easy to compose in a variety of conditions, and affords the ability to enjoy shooting for hours on end with minimal eye fatigue. Additionally, the D600 features several scene modes and features to enhance creativity, including one-touch access to Picture Control functions through a new dedicated button. Photographers can also shoot images in High Dynamic (HDR) mode for amazing highlights, and create awe-inspiring time lapses with ease.

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Experience Full HD

The Nikon D600 has advanced video features that are ideal for those ready to embrace the world of HD-SLR video, as well as those already enjoying its benefits such as manual control, depth of field, low-light ability and lensing options. This camera gives users the ability to record Full HD at varying frame rates and resolutions including 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24p, and 720p video at 60, 50 and 30p. When shooting HD video at the highest quality setting, up to 20 minutes can be recorded, or up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds in normal quality for added convenience when shooting static shots such as interviews and events. The large 3.2-inch 921K dot LCD screen makes it easy to preview images or video captured, navigate the menu system or confirm critical HD focus, while automatic brightness control adapts seamlessly to changing lighting conditions.

Sophisticated video features help to increase the production value on any project, including full manual control of exposure, and the ability to switch between FX and DX-format (1.5X) at Full HD for a telephoto boost and alter depth of field. Users can opt to focus manually or can take advantage of the full-time AF while recording to help ensure faces are in focus or track a moving subject. Additionally, videographers have the ability to capture audio with the onboard microphone or record stereo audio externally using the mic input. Audio can be monitored through the headphone jack and levels can be displayed on the LCD with peaking. 

In addition to the ability to play back HD video and images through the HDMI terminal, users are also able to experience pro-grade video features in the Nikon D600. For monitoring and streaming applications, the image can be displayed on the LCD screen while simultaneously shown on another monitor through the HDMI, with or without shooting data. What’s more, the D600 adds the ability to transfer uncompressed video via the HDMI connection, which can then be routed to a digital recorder or similar device.  


Remote Sharing and Capture

Photography is a form of expression, which can now be shared more ways than ever before through social networks and online communities. To accompany the D600, Nikon has also announced the optional WU-1b Wireless Adapter that allows users to connect wirelessly to the camera. A companion Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application for Android™ based mobile devices is also available at no additional cost. 1 Furthermore, an application for the iPhone® and iPad® mobile digital devices will be available on September 15, 2012.  

When connected, users are able to share their images taken with the D600 through their mobile device to their social circles, as well as send and download images from their camera to a compatible device.3 The adapter also allows users to remotely fire the D600’s shutter from up to 50 feet from the camera, which is ideal for capturing photos from unique vantage points.

 

NIKKOR, Speedlight and System Compatibility

Supporting the D600 is Nikon’s heritage in optical excellence, more than 70 NIKKOR AF and AF-S compatible lenses for maximum versatility. Those with DX-format lenses will also be happy to know that these lenses can also be used on the camera as well as the ability to set DX crop for stills or video to extend the reach of telephoto or telephoto zoom lenses.

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The new Nikon HD-SLR is also a gateway to Nikon’s renowned Creative Lighting System (CLS) which illuminates a whole new world of creative image making using multiple Speedlights. A built-in Speedlight commander can control multiple Speedlights such as Nikon’s SB-700, SB-910 or Wireless Close Up Speedlight System, and the camera can also control up to two individual speedlight groups for further creative control.

 

Constructed to Inspire

Built to withstand the wide variety of shooting conditions enthusiasts face, the body of the D600 is sealed and gasketed against dirt and moisture. The camera uses magnesium alloy top and rear construction to provide a lightweight camera with maximum durability. The shutter has been tested for 150,000 cycles, and sensor cleaning is also employed. The battery is rated for approximately 900 shots, affording photographers the ability to shoot all day. Additionally, the optional MB-D14 Multi Power Battery Pack extends the grip for comfort and can effectively double the battery capacity when using two batteries.

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The D600 is also built with an emphasis on handling with thoughtful ergonomics and button placement, in a body that is compact enough to carry comfortably on any excursion. The hand grip has been improved for comfort, while the overall impression from using the camera is reassuringly solid. To avoid accidental engagement, the shutter button has been recessed, while the Mode Dial can be locked.

 

Price and Availability

The Nikon D600 will be available on September 18, 2012 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,099.95*, for body only, or with the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR for the SRP of $2,699.95*. The WU-1b will be also available on September 18, 2012 for an SRP of $59.95*. The MB-D14 Multi Power Battery Pack will be available in late September for an SRP of $322.00*. For more information on the new Nikon D600 and other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

 

About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the new Nikon 1 advanced camera with interchangeable lens system. In 2012, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 70 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon's heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/nikon and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following @NikonUSA.

 

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1 Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.

2 iPad ,iPhone and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

3The Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility Application must be installed on the smart device before it can be used with the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter connected to the Nikon D600. The application can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play™. for use with an Android platform smartphone (2.3 series or later) and tablet (3.0 series or later). For the iOS mobile platform, the application can be downloaded free of charge from iTunes® online store on September 15, 2012 for use with iOS version 5.1 or 5.1.1.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.


EXPECTATIONS SURPASSED: THE 36.3-MEGAPIXEL NIKON D800 IS THE MULTIMEDIA HD-SLR THAT SHATTERS CONVENTIONAL RESOLUTION BARRIERS FOR MAXIMUM FIDELITY

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) –  Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers.  A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.
Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for today’s creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality

The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.
For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions.  Internal sensor design, an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute to a sensor capable of excellent low light ability despite the extreme resolution.  Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create astounding tonal gradation and true colors, whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are also able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as 5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2X crop for a slight telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for more lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4-megapixel (4800x3200) resolution.




Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps professionals create images and HD video with amazing resolution, color and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color, rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency, affording the ability to shoot longer.
The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor now has the ability to detect human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed scene analysis for more accurate autofocus (AF), Auto exposure (AE), i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Color Matrix Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.


Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system that more accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture, and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s Active D-lighting for balanced exposure. Another new feature is direct access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters on the fly, such as sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience

The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more efficient workflow. The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video capability with minimal noise, letting filmmakers capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Users are also able to have full manual control of exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in live view for an accurate representation of the depth of field in a scene.  Whether shooting for depth of field in FX-format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain full 1080p HD resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene. Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle.


For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. This image can also be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality, such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30 steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to be activated through the shutter button, opening a world of remote applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy

Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced 51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and algorithms to significantly improve low light acquisition, for precise focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also places an emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes nine cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths (single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits or static subjects, users are also able to select multiple AF modes, including normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking to best suit the scene.



The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.12 seconds, and is ready to capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (fps) in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery. Further enhancing the speed of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.0 standard for ultra fast transfer speeds.

Construction and Operability

The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage.  For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and video to the other. For high speed recording and transfer, data can be recorded to recent UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also employs sensor cleaning. The D800 also features a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.


D800E - Maximum Resolution Unleashed

In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.
Price and Availability

The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95 The D800E version will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95. For more information about these models, NIKKOR lenses and other D-SLR cameras please visit www.nikonusa.com. 

Nikon D800E, a camera with no low-pass filter for maximum sharpness

About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the new Nikon 1 advanced camera with interchangeable lens system. In 2011, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 65 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics.  For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nikon and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following @Nikon_USA.
 
 

There are two types of new photographers: those satisfied with their low-cost point-and-shoot cameras, and those more enthusiastic photographers who recognize the limitations of low-cost equipment and want to improve their pictures. No longer satisfied with simple snapshots, the enthusiast moves up to a more complex digital camera—one with interchangeable lenses and manual controls—to satisfy their artistic urge.

BPS_600px.jpg
Preorder from Amazon.com here

Assuming little to no knowledge of photographic terms, techniques, or technology, Beyond Point-And-Shoot is intended to help smooth the transition from photographic newbie to “real” photographer who is experienced, in-control, and passionate about their craft. Author Darrell Young explores various types of interchangeable-lens cameras, focusing on those with larger imaging sensors, such as digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.

Learn how to get the most out of your camera’s automatic and semi-automatic exposure modes, as well as how to move beyond those modes and take full, manual control of your camera. Watch your photography improve as you discover how to apply important photographic principles, such as depth of field, white balance, and metering. With this newfound knowledge you’ll move beyond point-and-shoot and begin taking truly great photographs.

Other topics include:

  •     Camera types and categories
  •     Choosing a camera system: DSLR vs. ILC
  •     Lens types, focal length, angle of view, and filters
  •     Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity
  •     Controlling exposure, depth of field, and subject motion
  •     Using scene, auto, semi-auto, and manual exposure modes
  •     Understanding image formats: JPEG, TIFF, and RAW
  •     Using the powerful histogram for better pictures
  •     White balance, color space, and RGB bit-depth

My newest book is planned for release in May 2012. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Nikon books here:
http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp



This article is an excerpt from Mastering The Nikon D7000, published by Rocky Nook and NikoniansPress.


Many of us have purchased or received new cameras recently. The Nikon D7000 is certainly one of Nikon's most popular cameras at this time. This article describes the care and feeding of the lithium-ion battery and how to use it in the camera. However, since all Nikon DSLRs use lithium-ion batteries and have similar chargers, menus, and insertion methods, the principles in this article can be applied to virtually any modern Nikon.

If you’re like me, you’ll open your camera’s box, attach the lens, insert the battery, and take your first picture. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to wait an hour to charge the battery, and only then take the first picture? Sure it would, but I’ve never done that, and I bet you won’t either. Nikon knows this and doesn’t send out new cameras with dead batteries.

Most of the time the battery is not fully charged, but it has enough power to set the time and date, then take and review a few pictures. Think about it. How would you test a brand new battery? You’d charge it and see if it will hold a charge. Do you think Nikon is in the habit of sending out batteries that are untested? No! So most of the time, you can play with your new camera for at least a few minutes before charging the battery. I’ve purchased nearly every DSLR Nikon has made since 2002, and not one of them has come with a dead battery.

When my latest camera arrived, the battery was about 68 percent charged. I used the camera for an hour or two before I charged the battery. However, let me mention one important thing. If you insert the battery and its charge is very low, such as below 25 percent, it might be a good idea to go ahead and charge it before shooting and reviewing lots of pictures. You may be able to set the time and date, and test the camera a time or two, but go no further with a seriously low battery.

Included in the box with the camera is the Nikon Battery Charger MH-25. The battery will only fit on the charger in one direction, as shown in figure 1.1. An orange indicator light on the charger will blink until the battery is fully charged. When the blinking stops and the light stays orange, the battery is ready for use.

Figure 1.1 – Charging the camera’s battery with the MH-25 charger

The D7000 uses a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack. While this type of battery doesn’t develop the memory effects of the old Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries from years past, there can be a problem if you let them get too low. A Li-ion battery should not be used to complete exhaustion. It has a special protection circuit that will disable the battery if one of the cells goes below a certain key voltage. You’d probably have to run it all the way down and then store it in the camera for a few weeks to actually cause the battery to disable itself. However, a good rule of thumb is this: When your camera’s Li-ion battery gets down to the 25 percent level, please recharge it. I don’t let mine go below 50 percent for any extended use.

If you can hold yourself back from turning on the camera until after the battery is charged, that would be the optimum situation. 

Figure 1.2 – Examining and inserting the battery

Figure 1.2 shows how to insert the battery into your camera. On the left side of the image you can see the battery from the top and bottom. Notice that you insert the battery with the rounded side up and the flat side down. Below the word “Nikon” on the battery’s top is a small, faint arrowhead. Insert the battery in the direction of the little arrow, as shown in figure 1.2.

In the picture, the little door on the bottom of the camera’s grip is open and the battery is partially inserted in the correct orientation. Push it all the way in until the yellow battery-retention clip snaps into place, and close the Battery-chamber cover (battery door).

The yellow battery-retention clip holds the battery in place even when the Battery-chamber cover is open. To remove the battery you will need to open the Battery-chamber cover and push the retaining clip toward the door hinge. The battery will pop out when you have done it correctly.

Figure 1.3 – Battery info screen

Please use only a Nikon brand EN-EL15 battery pack in your camera. This particular battery has a special circuit that talks to the camera and enables the 0–4 Battery age scale shown on the Battery info screen (see figure 1.3). It tells you when a battery has outlived its usefulness and should be disposed of—going beyond just telling you when it’s low on power.

In figure 1.3, image 2, you can see a picture of the Battery info screen. Notice that it shows the Bat. meter, which gives you the amount of voltage charge or power the battery has left as a percent value. The Pic. meter shows the number of images taken since this battery was last charged and inserted. Finally, the Battery age scale tells about the life of the battery and whether it needs to be replaced. It uses a scale of 0 – 4, or five steps of life. The Battery age scale has nothing to do with the amount of power that the battery currently contains. It shows how much useful life the battery has left until you need to recycle it and buy a new one.

My Recommendation: A genuine, new Nikon EN-EL15 battery for the D7000 is usually less than $60 USD when purchased online. Why buy a cheap aftermarket battery made who-knows-where and use it to power the circuits of your expensive camera? How can you be sure that a cheap non-Nikon battery even has the correct circuit for Battery info communication? How can you know that the cheap cells won’t short-circuit and burn your camera to a cinder? Li-ion cells are somewhat finicky and require careful manufacture and charging control. Personally, I’ll only trust the real thing—a Nikon brand EN-EL15 battery—to power my expensive camera.

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Nikon books here:
http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp 




Nikon has released a brand new Speedlight flash unit, the SB-910. Here is their official press announcement:

MELVILLE, N.Y. (November 29, 2011) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of a new flagship speedlight, the powerful and capable SB-910 speedlight. Building on the versatility of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), the SB-910 incorporates an enhanced intuitive operating system and graphic user interface (GUI). The SB-910 speedlight comes equipped with a wide zoom range covering the most popular focal lengths as well as FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the camera body. This new speedlight also provides more efficient battery usage as well as an enhanced Thermal Cut-Out function. [End Press Release]

The new Nikon SB-910 Flash Unit 

The new SB-910 is an accessory-shoe mounted Speedlight made for both FX and DX format Nikon DSLR cameras. It will work with the COOLPIX P7000 camera also. It has both wireless remote commander and slave unit capabilities with up to four channel (1–4) operation. When used in Commander mode it can control up to three groups (A, B, and C) of an unlimited number of other Nikon speedlight units. It can control remote Speedlights of the following types when used as a commander:

  • SB-910
  • SB-900
  • SB-700
  • SB-R200

Any particular group can have any number or mixture of the speedlights in the list. Nikon does not specifically list the SB-800 Speedlight in its specifications, but since the SB-800 is fully CLS compatible, you should expect that the SB-910 can control it too. Nikon calls this "system integration." I call it cool!

It uses Nikon iTTL (intelligent through-the-lens) metering when used on-camera or in a group of remote slave flashes. This allows the flash to share exposure information with any Nikon camera compatible with Nikon CLS (creative lighting system). It has manual mode with "Power Ratio", three illumination patterns to allow for specific lighting arrangements, and a wide zoom range (17–200mm).

The controls on the camera have been "strreamlined" by Nikon for easier operation. They added a dedicated Menu button to make it operate more like Nikon DSLRs when accessing the menu system. Here is a look at the back of the SB-910:

Nikon SB-910 back, showing the streamlined controls

Nikon has "improved" the thermal cutout protection on this flash. If you recall, when the older flagship SB-900 flash was released, there was a great outcry about the flash unit "overheating" and shutting down at inopportune moments. The SB-910 changes how the flash reacts to high-heat situations. Instead of cutting off the flash when it gets hot, the flash merely slows down recycling time to prevent overheating. Sounds like a good idea to me, as long as it is not too overenthusiastic in preventing minor overheating.

Some have complained about Nikon flash filters fading or wearing out. Nikon has solved that issue by creating two "hard" color-correction filters specifically for the SB-910 Speedlight: the SZ-2TN Incandescent Filter and the SZ-2FL Fluorescent Filter. Both snap on like the diffusion dome. They should be easier to use and last longer in high-volume usage environments. Also, here is a look at the new SJ-3 regular filter set for the SB-910 Speedlight:

Nikon SJ-3 Color filter set for the Nikon SB-910 Speedlight

The SJ-3 Color Filter Set allows you to modify the SB-900 Speedlight flash output to match the lighting of the background scene when shooting under fluorescent or incandescent lighting. It includes eight colors: FL-G1 (fluorescent), TN-A2 (incandescent), Blue, Yellow, Red, and Amber. There are a total of 20 filters in the set.

Additional accessories include (see: http://bit.ly/vd0aTm) : 
  • SU-4 Wireless Remote TTL Flash Controller (US$120)
  • SC-28 and SC-29 Coiled Remote Cords (US$81 and US$112)
  • SW-13H Diffusion Dome (US$16.50)
  • AS-21 Speedlight Stand (US$9.50)
  • SZ-2 Color Filter Holder (US$13)
  • WG-AS1, WG-AS2, WG-AS3 Water Guards (US$35.50 each)
  • SS-910 Soft Case (US$36.50)
  • SZ-2TN Incandescent Filter (Snaps on like a diffusion dome for US$11.95)
  • SZ-2FL Fluorescent Filter (Snaps on like a diffusion dome for US$11.95)

Of the above mentioned accessories, these are included in the box with the SB-910:
  • AS-21 Speedlight Stand
  • SW-13H Nikon Diffusion Dome
  • SZ-2FL Fluorescent Filter
  • SZ-2TN Incandescent Filter
  • SS-910 Soft Case

Technical Specifications

Commander Function:  
Yes

Remote Function:  
Yes

Guide Number:
34 m/111.5 ft. (at ISO 100, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F) to 48 m/157.5 ft. (at ISO 200, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F)

Electronic Construction:
Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry

Flash Exposure Control
  • Distance-priority manual flash
  • i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash with CLS compatible cameras
  • Manual Flash (with Nikon Creative Lighting System digital and 35mm SLR cameras) 
Lens Coverage:
  • 8 to 11mm (DX-format, Automatic mode with built-in wide-angle panel deployed)
  • 12 to 17mm (FX-format, Automatic mode with built-in wide-angle panel deployed)
  • 12 to 200mm (DX-format, Automatic mode)
  • 17 to 200mm (FX-format, Automatic mode)
Illumination Pattern:
The light distribution angle is automatically adjusted to the camera's image area in both FX and DX formats:
  • Standard
  • Even
  • Center-weighted
Other Available Functions
  • Test Firing
  • Monitor Pre-flashes
  • AF-assist illumination for multi-point AF
  • Modeling illuminator
Bounce Function (Tilt)
Flash head tilts down to 7° or up to 90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°.

Bounce Function (Rotate)
Flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 75°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°

Minimum Recycling Time
  • 2.3 sec. (approx.) with Ni-MH (2600 mAh) batteries
  • 3.0 sec. (approx.) with Oxyride™ (1.5V) batteries
  • 4.0 sec. (approx.) with Alkaline-manganese (1.5V) batteries
  • 4.5 sec. (approx.) with Lithium (1.5V) batteries
Flash Duration
  • 1/880 sec. at M 1/1 (full) output
  • 1/1100 sec. at M 1/2 output
  • 1/2550 sec. at M 1/4 output
  • 1/5000 sec. at M 1/8 output
  • 1/10000 sec. at M 1/16 output
  • 1/20000 sec. at M 1/32 output
  • 1/35700 sec. at M 1/64 output
  • 1/38500 sec. at M 1/128 output
Required Power Source:
  • Four 1.2V Ni-MH (AA-size) batteries
  • Four 1.5V Alkaline-manganese (AA-size) batteries
  • Four 1.5V Lithium (AA-size) batteries
Optional Power Supplies:
  • SK-6 Power Bracket Unit, SD-9 High-Performance Battery Pack
  • SD-8A High-Performance Battery Pack
Flash-ready Indicator
  • Rear and Front lights blink: Insufficient light for correct exposure (in i-TTL, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL Auto flash, or Distance-priority manual flash operations).
  • Rear lights up and Front blinks: recycled and ready to fire.
Ready Light:  
Front

Flash Compensation:
–3.0 EV to +3.0 EV in increments of 1/3 steps in i-TTL auto flash, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL auto flash and Distance-priority manual flash modes

Custom Settings
  • AF-Assist Illumination
  • Modeling Illuminator
  • Monitor pre-flashes
  • Test firing
Minimum Number of Flashes / Recycling Time
  • 110/4.0 – 30 sec. (1.5V Alkaline-manganese)
  • 125/3.0 –30 sec. (1.5V Oxyride™)
  • 165/2.3–30 sec. (Ni-MH (eneloop))
  • 190/2.3–30 sec. (2600mAh Ni-MH)
  • 230/4.5–120 sec. (1.5V Lithium)
Wireless Flash Modes:
  • Master
  • Master (RPT)
  • Off
  • Remote
  • SU-4

Wireless Communication Channels
Four: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Channels

Wireless Groups
Three: A, B and C

Other Functions

  • Firmware update
  • ISO sensitivity setting
  • Key lock
  • Recalling the underexposure value in the TTL auto flash mode
  • Resetting the settings
  • Improved Thermal Cut-out

Dimensions
3.1 x 5.7 x 4.4 in. (78.5 x 145 x 113mm)

Weight (Approx. without batteries)
14.8 oz. (420g)

Supplied Accessories
  • AS-21 Speedlight Stand
  • SW-13H Nikon Diffusion Dome
  • SZ-2FL Fluorescent Filter
  • SZ-2TN Incandescent Filter
  • SS-910 Soft Case

Summary

The Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Flash Unit is Nikon's new flagship Speedlight Flash Unit. It is going to sell in the US$500+ range, with a suggested retail price of US$549.95.  With Nikon's new minimum pricing structure, I wouldn't expect a lot of discounting. It is currently listed at US$549.00 on Amazon.com, for instance.

The Nikon SB-900 and SB-800 should now drop in price as the market is flooded with older flash units, so those wanting a more powerful flash unit can look into the new SB-910 or find a good used SB-900 or SB-800.  The SB-900 is going to remain available as new stock, at least until stock runs out.

You can view sample photos created with the Nikon SB-910 at the following website (case sensitive): http://bit.ly/tuXbzq

We have an excellent choice of Speedlights available for our Nikons. Now is the time to get a new flash unit for yourself. Check out the new flagship SB-910, or find a less costly unit. Either way, why use anything but a Nikon flash unit on your Nikon camera?

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Nikon books here:
http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp

During the recent PhotoPlus Expo in New York I was privileged to spend three days with Jorg Muhle and Julian Buhler of Germany; and Devon Bell of California. My publishing company, Rocky Nook of California, had a booth at the Expo and I had the privilege of being one of the hosts.

The booth presented Rocky Nook's books for photographersSeenby.com's Fine Art Photography, and c't Digital Photography magazine, which Rocky Nook is co-publishing. Here's a picture of the crew in our booth at the Expo:

Left to right: Darrell Young, Jorg Muhle, Devon Bell (and baby), Julian Buhler 

Since this blog is about both the PhotoPlus Expo and New York, I'd like to discuss a couple of favorite companies of mine in the early part of this blog (part 1) and later show you some pictures from two enthusiastic Nikon photographers—my wife and I—as we experience the fast times of New York with our cameras up to our eye (part 2).


Part 1 – PhotoPlus Expo 2011

There were a lot of people at the Expo and hundreds stopped by our booth to get discount coupons for Rocky Nook books (including mine), Seenby.com's Fine Art Photography, and to see the newly introduce c't Digital Photography Magazine. I had the opportunity to meet several readers of my Mastering the Nikon DSLR books, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Darrell and Brenda Young at the PhotoPlus Expo Booth

Left to right: Brad Berger of Berger-bros.com, Hendric Schneider of Nikonians.org, Jorg Muhle and Julian Buhler of c't Digital Photography Magazine

Darrell Young and Brad Berger of Berger Bros Digital Photography & Video 

I was pleased to meet Hendric Schneider of Nikonians.org and Brad Berger of Berger Bros Digital Photography & Video of Long Island. I have spoken to these friends on the phone but was especially glad to see them in person. I buy all my Nikon cameras and accessoriesfrom Brad Berger, so he made a special trip to meet me when he heard I was going to be at the Expo.

Each morning of the Expo hundreds of people assembled just outside the main entrance. As soon as they dropped the rope the mad rush began:

Attendees waiting patiently for the rope barrier to be removed.

Here they come! See all the new Nikon bags, ready to collect goodies?

The Nikon booth was very popular

People lined up all day long at the Nikon booth to see presentations and experiment with all the current Nikon DSLRs, Nikkor lenses, and the new J1 and V1 ILC cameras. It was gratifying to see all the interest in Nikon.We had a great vantage point being just across the hall from Nikon's huge area.

Nikon didn't release any new DSLRs at the Expo, although I can understand why due to the massive flooding in Thailand and recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Nikon did have up for display their new Nikon 1 (J1 and V1) Interchangeable Lens Cameras (ILC). I recently blogged about this new line here. Although not DSLRs the new Nikons are an exciting addition to the line for Nikon shooters. The cameras are small, high quality, and have interchangeable lenses. They ought to make excellent party and vacation cameras for those times when you don't want to carry a larger DSLR.

Devon Bell and Brenda Young prepare the Nikon bag full of hundreds of entries for the Rocky Nook and c't Digital Photography sweepstakes drawing. Expo attendees wait in hopes they will be the winner. (You didn't have to be present to win.)

Rocky Nook and c't' Digital Photography held a drawing on Saturday at noon for some nice items. Here is the winner announcement from c't' Digital Photography's Facebook page:

"Congratulations to B. Carmine, the winner of the Sigma Corporation of America 50mm lens and Lowepro Pro Runner 200 backpack as well as other goodies from Rocky Nook, Seen.by photography, and c't Digital Photography."

Overall, PhotoPlus Expo 2011 was a great success and a really good time for all involved. I can't wait until next year!

Rocky Nook Publishing Company

Rocky Nook's books are very popular with photographers. They are very high quality in print, and many come in eBook formats too. The authors publishing with Rocky Nook are some of the best and most experienced authors and photographers around.

I've been writing for Rocky Nook since my first book, Mastering the Nikon D300, was released in October 2008. The company is rare in its concern for both authors and readers, in my opinion. The staff at Rocky Nook—including Joan Dixon, Managing Editor; Gerhard Rossbach, Publisher and CEO; and Devon Bell, Sales and Marketing Manager—are all exceptional people.

My experience with the company has been a pleasurable one. If you really want to learn the deep techniques of excellent photography, buy a few Rocky Nook books. Download their 2011 catalog (PDF), and from the subject matter you'll see what I mean:

http://www.rockynook.com/infoservice_catalog.php

The visitors at the Rocky Nook booth were many and varied and, in addition to the Rocky Nook books, seemed especially interested in c't Digital Photography magazine.

Devon Bell discusses c't Digital Photography magazine with an Expo attendee

A local New Yorker examining a c't Digital Photography Magazine.  Many people subscribed on the spot!

c't Digital Photography Magazine

Let me tell you about the new c't Digital Photography magazine. They are a quarterly German magazine brought over to English, new to the USA, and somewhat different from most American magazines. You are familiar with the German attention to detail, I am sure, and the magazine is no different from other fine German creations. It is a physically larger magazine than most, along the size of the photography magazines from the UK. It is also much thicker than most magazines, with extremely in-depth articles. For instance, the article on 3D photography in the 5th issue goes out to 35 pages, with several sections. In fact, the magazine averages about 20 pages per article, which is unheard of in American mags.

When you sit down to read c't' Digital Photography you'll feel more like you are reading a book. That's been my experience, and I'm totally hooked. I am keeping each magazine on a shelf, sort of like a reference book. It costs a little more than many American magazines at US$14.95 per issue, but there is so much more reading material that I would dare say that one issue of c't Digital Photography magazine is equivalent to three or four issues of most American magazines.

Each issue of the magazine comes with a DVD including video tutorials, software, and sample photographs. Here's a PDF file showing the contents of the DVD from issue six, which includes a complete eBook copy of Torsten Andreas Hoffmann's new Rocky Nook book The Art of Black and White Photography, not even released until January 2012 (a US$44.95 value). The DVD by itself is worth the subscription price!


This is no light weight, advertising filled, fluff magazine that is encouraging you to feel good about the latest camera release (buy, buy, buy!). Instead, it is designed to actually teach enthusiast photographers several new things in each issue. In fact, it is billed as an "in-depth quarterly for the photo enthusiast." I heartily agree! I just got an email from Devon Bell about a special subscription offer for the magazine, good until December 31, 2011 (I get no commission). Here's what she wrote:

Subscribe now through December 31st and get a 5th issue free - a savings of over 30% off the newsstand price! 


Please enter Offer Code 1104DD05 in "Comments" field of the online order form to receive your 5th issue. The Comments fields is found at the bottom of the order form here: 

https://www.ct-digiphoto.com/subscription/


Subscriptions are $49.95, with 4 Issues per Year – Offer Expires 12/31/11


Learn more about c't Digital Photography by visiting them at www.ct-digiphoto.com or joining them on Facebook or Twitter:


www.facebook.com/ctdigiphoto
www.twitter.com/ctDigiPhoto

I highly recommend c't Digital Photography Magazine to my enthusiastic photography friends. Its value exceeds the cost of the subscription. You'll prize each issue like a book and keep them for future reference.

Special note: I need your help! I really want to see c't Digital Photography Magazinesurvive and thrive here in the USA. Subscribe, or at least pick up a copy on the newsstand. If you like it (I know you will), please let other photographers know about the magazine. Word of mouth means a lot for the success of a new magazine. Will you help spread the word, please? As photographers with Facebook, Google+, and blog accounts, we are a force to be reckoned with. Please help me take this viral. Thanks!


Part 2 – Touring the Big Apple

Moving on to some experiences with the incredible New York City. My wife, Brenda, and I enjoyed Wednesday October 26th and Sunday, October 30, 2011 in the Big Apple. We traveled around New York on the subway and had some great experiences.

Here is the camera equipment we were carrying for the New York excursion. Brenda packed light, I had a lens in each coat pocket to keep from attracting any attention to myself with a camera bag:

Darrell
  • Nikon D300S body
  • AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens
  • AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens (Read my review of this lens here)
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX lens
  • 32 gig memory card and spares

Brenda 
  • Nikon D7000 body
  • AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens
  • Nikon SB-400 flash unit
  • 32 gig memory card and spares

Our first stop in Manhattan was the World Trade Center site and the new enormous World Trade Center buildings. Here is a picture of them under construction. They are standing in the original locations of the former Trade Center buildings:

World Trade Center Buildings under construction on October 30, 2011

If you want to visit the actual Trade Center Site you must arrive early or schedule in advance. They only allow a limited number of people on the site each day. You can get more information about visiting the World Trade Center site here: http://www.wtc.com/.

Here are a couple of pictures of the World Trade Center Memorial Center on 20th Avenue with one of the new buildings in the background and inside the memorial center:

The World Trade Center Memorial Preview Site on 20th Avenue in New York with one of the new Trade Center buildings in the background.

Inside the World Trade Center Memorial Preview Site on 20th Avenue

I saw something inside the memorial center that was quite humbling to me. They have a piece of one of the beams from one of the towers that fell.  It is warped and twisted like molding clay from the intense heat and pressure:

A piece of a supporting beam from one of the collapsed World Trade Center buildings. It is warped by the heat and pressure of the collapse. Very humbling when you realize what this beam represents.


New York Subway

My wife and I had never ridden the subway before and it was quite an experience. Sort of like riding on a flat roller coaster with very fast starts and stops that will knock you down if you are not prepared. I now understand why the subway cars have hand rails all over the place. You need them!

11-year old subway dancer makes $200 per day

Here is a young lad that we met on the subway. He waited till the cars were rolling, whipped out a boom box, and proceeded to lay some cool Michael Jackson dance moves on us. Of course, everybody in the vicinity added a dollar bill to his cap afterward. We asked him how much he makes per day and he said, "about $200." Not bad for an 11-year old! My wife asked him about school and he said his mom won't let him subway dance unless he is regular at school. His brother makes about $300 per day doing something similar on the subway. New York natives!

We learned all kinds of cool terminology that New Yorkers must know, such as "Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, what a borough is, and how to figure which subway train to take." We found out that if you stand around looking dumbly at the signs saying A,B,C, 1,2,3 that New Yorkers ignore you soundly but other tourists walk up and ask if you know how to interpret the signs. You can tell the tourists by their open maps and confused faces. After a few trips uptown and downtown, we got the hang of how things worked and lost our fear of being trapped forever on a moving subway train going who knows where. If confused, take the A train, it'll get you somewhere eventually!

Central Park

We next toured Central Park only to find that the snow storm from the night before had done some major damage to the trees. I heard there were over 1000 big limbs down in the park. Trees and branches were down everywhere from the high winds and heavy, wet snow.

Here's a picture of the Maine Monument at the entrance of Central park near West 59th street. This monument was created for 260 mariners that lost their lives in the harbor of Havana, Cuba on February 15, 1898. Their battleship exploded and sank. Spain declared war on the USA in April of 1898:

The Maine Monument. The gold sculpture on top was cast from the metal of the Main battleship that sank in 1898 killing 260 mariners. This monument was built from donations over a period of time, including lots of pennies from school children.
Read the story of the Main Monument and the events surrounding the sinking of the Maine Battleship at this website:

http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/south-end/maine-monument.html

We strolled around the partially snow covered grounds of the park. Here is my wife Brenda, with her trusty Nikon D7000 on the famous Pine Bank Arch cast-iron bridge you see in nearly every TV show and movie shot in Central Park:

Pine Bank Arch cast-iron  bridge in Central Park, notice the tree on the left is down across one end of the bridge. We had to climb through the tree to get on the bridge. Brenda is in the middle for this picture.

Brenda with her Nikon D7000 in Central Park on the famous bridge

Central Park with downed tree limbs all around


Staten Island Ferry

After leaving Central Park, we headed back down the subway (downtown) to take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Here are a few shots of the ferry ride. It was windy and fun!

Entrance to the Staten Island Ferry

Looking back at the end of Manhattan Island from the outside deck of the Staten Island Ferry

One of the Staten Island ferry boats returning on its round trip from the island to Manhattan. Two ships passing at sunset.

The Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry at sunset

Times Square

Next on our tour is the world-renowned Times Square. It's a place of people, noise, movement, and lights; especially at night! As Tennessee hillbillies (Jed Clampett and I are cousins), we just stood around with our mouths hanging open looking at all the lights. People never stop on the square, 24-hours per day. Weather doesn't matter either. New York and Times Square never sleeps! Look at these pictures and a four minute video I shot with my Nikon D300S:

Brenda and her D7000 at Times Square. There is no need for flash here at night, except for a little fill!
Cars and people and bicycle buggies, all night long!

Time Square and New York Never Sleeps!

My Nikon D300S Video of Times Square at night on YouTube (Kindle Touch and Keyboard viewers do not show this video. See it here: http://youtu.be/nf48V82IEVg online instead)


Empire State Building

Our final event before leaving New York was a trip up the Empire State Building. You can go up to the observation deck on the 86th floor at a cost of US$22 adults and US$15 children. For an additional US$15 you can go even higher to a deck on the 102 floor. Brenda and I dutifully paid our US$44 to go see the sights from on high. We were hearded like cattle around and around, back and forth, floor after floor, multiple elevator rides, metal detector, empty your pockets and remove your belt, x-ray machine of your items in baskets, explain the lenses in your coat pocket, and finally to the 86th floor. Whew! However, the trip was worth it once we got there. Here are a few pictures and a video to see what I mean!

The Empire State Building in New York City

Nikon D300S and AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens handheld shot from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building at Night

Chrysler Building, Nikon D300S and AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens handheld shot from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building at Night

My Nikon D300S Video of Manhattan at night on YouTube (Kindle Touch and Keyboard viewers do not show this video. See it here: http://youtu.be/4TgBbMEJpzI online instead)


We greatly enjoyed our trip to New York City and the PhotoPlus Expo and would like to thank Rocky Nook and c't Digital Photography magazine for letting me be a host at the booth. It was fun and exciting to meet so many nice people and even some of my book readers. It was also great to discover what is now my favorite digital photo magazine.

New York was an experience of a lifetime. Everyone should go there at least once. I've never seen anything like it! I can't wait to take my wife and my Nikon back to New York again. Let's hope we can do it again in 2012 at the next Expo. Thanks for reading my blog. I hope I've captured a tiny bit of the flavor of New York and allowed you to take a short trip of your own.

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Nikon books here:
http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp




As Nikon DSLR users we have a choice of many fine accessories for our Nikon cameras. Our Nikons are part of a "system" of lenses and accessories that make our choice in camera brand one of the wisest and most efficient in the world.

When you travel to far off places, it's good to have a GPS unit in your car to find where you are going. Wouldn't it also be nice to have your camera record GPS coordinates to each picture you take so that you can find your way back to a specific spot for future photography? With the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit, your Nikon DSLR can do just that! Let's see how it works.

Nikon GP-1 GPS Unit

I bought a Nikon GP-1 GPS unit a few years back when I wanted to write about it in one of my books. It's a great addition to any Nikon photographers accessory collection. Nikon's GPS takes up little space in any size camera bag and works very well in the field.

Figure 1 – Nikon D7000 with a GP-1 GPS Unit and Accessories

In figure 1 you can see my Nikon D7000 with a GP1-GPS unit mounted in the accessory shoe on top of the camera (where an external flash mounts). The GP-1 GPS comes with a GP1-CA90 cable to interface with Nikons such as the D7000, D90, D5100, D5000, D3100, and D3000. It also includes a GP1-CA10 cable for Nikons with a 10-pin port on the body, such as the D200, D300, D300S, D700, D2X, D3, D3S, and D3X. You can see the GP1-CA90 cable in figure 1 on the right side. I put a cool curl in the wire to make it look sophisticated.

If you'll notice in figure 1, I have a MC-DC2 remote release cable attached to the GP-1 (wire on left side). If you use your Nikon on a tripod and need a remote release for sharp pictures, you'll need to acquire one of these inexpensive MC-DC2 remote releases. The GP-1 GPS unit has a port on its side made for the MC-DC2, as shown. It will allow you to release the shutter on any Nikon through the GP-1 unit, while it is mounted. 

When I go to the Smoky Mountains to take pictures, or any time I am traveling and would like to be able to remember where I took a certain picture, I have my GP-1 GPS unit mounted on my camera. In figure 2 is a close up picture of the GP-1 unit mounted in my D7000's accessory shoe. You can also see a close up of where the GPS-to-camera GP1-CA90 cable plugs in to the unit:

Figure 2 – Nikon GP-1 GPS Unit Mounted in Accessory Shoe

The GP-1 GPS unit is powered directly by the camera's battery; therefore, you may want to take more than one battery for your camera body if you shoot a lot during the day. The GP-1 unit, like the GPS in your smart phone, pulls extra current. From personal experience with the unit, I suspect it increases the battery drain by as much as 50% over a camera with no GP-1 mounted. If one battery will last all day normally, you will need two batteries to do the same. However, for the cost of extra battery drain, you'll have the convenience of later knowing exactly where each picture was taken. You'll be able to return to that exact spot and shoot new views of the scene–even years later. You can access the GPS coordinates in various applications, such as Nikon View NX2, Nikon Capture NX2, Lightroom, or Photoshop.

While you are shooting pictures with a GP-1 mounted, the camera will display an extra data screen with GPS information, as follows:

Figure 3 – GPS Coordinates screen from a Nikon D5000

The GPS coordinates screen will show on the camera's monitor, overlaying the picture behind it, as shown in a GPS data screen from a Nikon D5000 in figure 3. You can scroll to the GPS coordinates screen with the Multi selector thumb switch when an image has the extra GPS data embedded by the GP-1. It displays the Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, and Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) for each image. The GP-1 does not record compass direction.

When you have a GP-1 mounted the camera will display a small GPS word on the camera's upper control panel and/or on the rear monitor. In figure 4 you can see a screen on the left from a Nikon D7000's upper Control panel LCD. The screen on the right in figure 4 is from a Nikon D5000's Information display on the rear monitor.

Figure 4 – GPS in use indicators on Nikon display screens


Now, let's examine how to use the GP-1 GPS Unit with a Nikon DSLR.  The configuration method is similar for most Nikon DSLR cameras.



Preparing the Camera for GPS Usage

There are several screens used in setting up a Nikon for GPS use. First, a decision should be made about the exposure meter for when a GPS unit is plugged into the camera. While the GPS is connected, the camera’s exposure meter must be active to record GPS data to the image. You’ll have to do one of two things:

  • Set the exposure meter to stay on for the entire time that a GPS is plugged in, which, of course, will increase battery drain, but keeps the GPS locked to the satellites (no seeking time).
  • Press the Shutter-release button halfway down to activate the exposure meter before finishing the exposure. If you just push the Shutter-release button down quickly and the GPS is not active and locked, it won’t record GPS data to the image. The exposure meter must be on before GPS will seek satellites.

You can decide between these two conditions with the following Auto meter off settings:

Auto Meter Off

Figure 5 shows the Setup Menu screens used to set the meter to stay on the entire time the GPS is connected or to shut down after the Auto meter off delay expires:

Figure 5 – Setting Auto meter off to Disable so that your GPS will stay connected

The GPS will only stay connected to satellites when the exposure meter is active. You can select either Enable or Disable, which controls how the exposure meter reacts to a GP-1 GPS unit being mounted on your Nikon. Here’s what each selection does:

  • Enable (default) – The meter turns off after the Auto meter off delay expires (default 6 seconds). GPS data will only be recorded when the exposure meter is active, so allow some time for the GPS unit to re-acquire satellites before taking a picture. This is hard to do when Auto meter off is set to Enable. You just about have to stand around with your finger on the Shutter-release button trying to keep the meter active. I suggest Disable!
  • Disable – The exposure meter stays on the entire time a GPS unit is connected. As long as you have good GPS signal, you will be able to record GPS data at any time. This is the preferred setting for using the GPS for continuous shooting. It does use extra battery life, so you may want to carry more than one battery if you’re going to shoot all day. I keep my Camera's Auto meter off setting set to Disable so that I can depend on a good GPS connection when I am shooting, without constantly checking the unit for connectivity. Turn your camera off between shooting sessions to save battery life.

It sounds a bit weird to use the word Disable to make your GPS unit stay connected. However, remember that you are enabling or disabling Auto meter off (automatic exposure meter shutoff), not the GPS unit itself. When Auto meter off is disabled the exposure meter stays on the entire time the GPS unit is attached.


Note: If you choose to leave Auto meter off enabled, you can control the Auto meter offtime delay with the camera's Custom Setting Menu. I would suggest increasing it from the default 6 seconds to a longer period so that your camera is not constantly having to reconnect to GPS units between shots. That's a time waster! Some Nikons use Custom Setting Menu > c Timers/AE lock > Auto meter-off delay. Other Nikons use Custom Setting Menu > c Timers/AE lock > Auto off timers > Custom > Auto meter-off. Each of those custom settings allow you to configure an "auto-off" time for the exposure meter. The Custom Setting Menu selection differs from the GPS Auto meter off selection in that the Custom Menu selection affects all exposure meter operation timeouts, not just when a GPS is attached.



Using Your Camera with the GP-1 Nikon GPS

If the GPS icon is flashing on the Control panel and/or Information display, it means that the GPS is searching for a signal. If you take a picture with the GPS icon flashing, no GPS data will be recorded. If the GPS icon is not flashing, it means that the D7000 is receiving good GPS data and is ready to record data to a picture. If the camera loses communication with the GPS unit for over two seconds, the GPS icon will disappear. Make sure the icon is displayed, and isn’t flashing, before you take pictures!

The GP-1 GPS unit has a small LCD on its rear side that blinks red when it is acquiring satellites and goes solid green when the unit it ready to use. It takes about a minute to acquire satellites the first time the GPS is used in a particular area. After that initial satellite acquisition, the GPS relocates satellites within a few seconds when turned off and back on.

Other than checking for the flashing GPS or LED light to make sure it is tracking satellites, using the GP-1 GPS is easy and foolproof. Once you mount it on the camera and it acquires satellites, you'll have GPS coordinates for each picture. If you worry about battery drain, just make sure you have an extra battery or two for all day shooting.

The Nikon GP-1 GPS unit mounts either onto the camera’s Accessory shoe or on the camera’s strap, with the included GP1-CL1 strap adapter.

My Recommendation: Get the Nikon GP-1 GPS unit! It’s easy to use, foolproof, and has all the cables you need for using it with the camera. The only other cable you’ll need to buy is the optional MC-DC2 shutter-release cable. I use the tiny Nikon GPS unit constantly when I’m out shooting nature images so I can remember where to return in the future.  Here is a link to the GP-1 GPS and MC-DC2 remote release on Amazon.com:

Nikon GP-1 GPS Unit:  http://amzn.to/t88S7U
Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release:  http://amzn.to/uwkZy9

Once you start using a GPS unit, it will be hard to stop. I rarely leave home without my Nikon and its GP-1 GPS. It costs less than US$200 and is available at most large camera stores and online at places like Amazon.com. Get one for your camera, you'll use it often. I do!

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Nikon books here:
http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp


In early 2005 I was ruminating the purchase of a Nikon D2X. At the time, the camera cost US$5000. That's a hunk of money for anyone to part with! I wrote an article called Ode to the Nikon F5 because I was wondering if I should forget digital and stay with film. I was shooting with a Nikon D100 (6 megapixel) and was unsure if I should get the Nikon D2X pro digital or buy a Nikon F6 and stick with film. I already had a Nikon F5 film camera and was really torn between two worlds. Digital was bright and shiny, but not yet fully developed. Film was proven and faithful, yet on the way out as the mainstream way to shoot for most photographers. As you read this article I wrote seven years ago, see if you can identify with my feelings. Did you ever feel this way?


Flashback...


(Entering 2005)


Ode to the Nikon F5



Here I sit contemplating in East Tennessee, on a cold January night. To my right is my 35mm bag, with my trusty F5 and N80. To my left is my digital bag with my D100 and D70. At my feet is my medium format bag with my RB67 and Agfa Isolette folder. I am surrounded by my camera buddies who've gone so many places with me over the last few years.


I've been reading exciting new ads and reviews for the last several days. The D2X is almost here, the F6 has arrived, and medium format is dying. I want a D2X with its 12+ megapixel image and I want an F6 with its tough smaller body—and I can have both soon for merely $8000 USD! (Gaack!)  I reach down and pick up my F5 and with my other hand grab my D100. These are my familiar friends. Can a hunk of complicated metal parts be a friend? My mind says no, but my heart says yes.


Should I sell my D100, after all I need a lot of money to buy the new cameras coming down the market. Should I let go of my F5 for a few bucks to offset the cost of a new F6? I consider it! First, I check eBay to see what a nice, well cared for D100 is going for...$$800.00 USD. (Sigh!) I remember like it was yesterday how I called 200 camera stores and gladly plunked down $2,500.00 USD on August 12, 2002 for my D100. What happened?


I also remember the way my Nikon F5 film camera looked up at me in June 2002 as I opened its box and picked up the 35mm wonder camera. I remember how that 8-frames-per-second clickity clickity clickity sound was so enthralling. On eBay, I might get $750.00 USD for it now! (Sigh!)


What am I going to do? Do I need to spend another $8,000.00 just to satisfy my Nikon Acquisition Syndrome (NAS) cravings? What will happen to my photography if I don't upgrade this winter? Spring is coming, after all! Will my photographic skills shrivel up and die if I do not upgrade in 2005? (What a thought!) The bottom line is...do I need to buy more cameras? My NAS screams, "of course, you fool!" My wife says, "why, are your cameras broken?"


My wife...what a sweetheart! Is she the lone voice of reason in a wilderness of magazine ads, D70 slinging rhino shooters, and drooling camera reviewers? Maybe! Me thinks I should listen to her! (I trust her judgement, for you see...she married me.) Therefore, if I listen to my sweetie, where will I be? Where I am now. No change, same cameras. Is that bad? Maybe not! For you see, my D100 still makes a great 11x14, and my F5 still can burn a roll of 36 in 4 seconds. I hear that the F6 is up to three milliseconds faster on autofocus. Uh, wow! That moose sure was moving fast. He almost outran my F5's piddly slow focus...NOT!


Hey, I own an F5, and here before all my friends I proclaim my bond to it. I'm not selling it. It is mine until my kids inherit it in about 30 years. (Film will still be available then, by the way, just a bit more expensive!) I don't need an F6. If I want a small tough body, I'll just use my N80. I want the F5's imposing bulk and balanced shutter to make really sharp pictures. I'd be willing to bet that my F5 will take just as good a picture as the new F6. And...I already own it!


Now, I realize that this flies directly in the face of capitalism and the American way. I am supposed to trade in my car every two years and my camera every three. Well, I won't do it! I come from the "old school" of photography. I made great pictures with a plastic Diana F in 1967. It's not the camera, it's the photographer. When I bought my first Nikon (an FM) back in 1980, it was with the understanding that I could keep right on using it until I was too old to press the shutter release. What changed? Have Nikon cameras suddenly become cheap plastic junk, like other brands? Nope! Not so! My F5 is prepared to take me into my 70's (I'm merely 46 now). The question is, am I prepared to let it? I am inclined!


I'm not saying that you shouldn't go out and buy that nice new F6. Were I starting now, I'd probably want to smell that shiny new baby coming out of its box. But, I already have an F5—why buy an F6? What will I really gain? Not a lot!


I truly think that my NAS will overpower me when I see the D2X in the flesh and I will fall to my knees with slack drooling lips and ask my wife to write the check. (She does have a D70, so she won't complain too much). But, my F5 is mine. I will keep it. I decline to buy an F6. Nikon may not be happy with me over that; however, they'll be okay since I did buy several other Nikons in the last 10 years. And, I think a few more are coming. However, unless my F5 explodes into dust, I'll use it till I do!


Nikon F5.....The Perfect 35mm camera!


(Leaving 2005)


Flash forward...


Not long after this article was written, I sold my F5 and bought the Nikon D2X for US$5800. I had to have one of the first ones in the USA and got # 1500. I had to pay dearly to be one of the first, an additional US$800 above retail. My fickle heart demanded the latest thing out. Well, I still have that D2X and I'll never sell it.  Would you, after spending US$5800? Buying that camera opened up a new world of photography for me. I became a writer for Nikon cameras not soon afterward so I guess it was a good choice for me. I started shooting a lot of stock pictures and today make part of my living from images I shot back then.


Time changes things and technology marches on. It doesn't pay to be too attached to any form of tech since change happens quickly. However, we can look back and remember the days of our younger lives. The tools we used to capture time, years ago. Does your heart yearn for the good old days? Sometimes mine does, until Nikon releases a new DSLR and digital NAS kicks in yet again.


It will be a few months until we see a new DSLR. I think I'll go check eBay. I bet I can get another Nikon F5 for a really good price now. Film is still available. I miss my old friend, the F5. Maybe his cousin is for sale at a good price? An older form of NAS is presenting itself—film camera NAS. I haven't felt you in a while, old friend. Welcome back!


Keep on capturing time...

Darrell Young

See my Nikon books here:

http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp




I've been shooting with Nikon SLR and DSLR cameras for about 32 years now. I've also been buying lenses for those same camera bodies. Looking back in time, I've come to some conclusions about the importance of camera bodies and lenses. Which is more important over time?

While the shapes and sizes of my Nikon camera bodies have changed over the years and the functionality built into each camera body has increased, my lenses have pretty much remained constant.

Nikon FM with AI-s Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Lens

During your photographic journey, camera bodies will come and go, especially in the digital world. Camera bodies are like computers and become obsolete within a few years. You don’t absolutely have to buy a new camera when the new ones come out. I have a nine-year-old DSLR camera body (Nikon D100) that works perfectly.

However, new cameras add more features and may even increase the quality of the image, so you’ll upgrade. Your photographic enthusiasm will insist; even if your partner or spouse does not understand why. One of the reasons photography is so expensive is that—nearly every time you want a new accessory—you will have to buy something new for your partner too. If you buy a new accessory-shoe-mounted GPS unit for your camera, your partner isn’t going to settle for a nice coffee mug! I hope your partner is someone that loves photography too.

AI Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and 200mm f/4 lenses – mid-1970's lenses, still working great on my Nikon DSLRs

A few years ago, I bought my wife a new camera for our anniversary. She likes photography too, thank goodness. Now, when I want a new lens, all I have to do is buy her one too and all is well.

If your partner doesn’t like photography, try to get him or her involved in some expensive hobby. Then when you want a new camera body, you can simply buy an expensive goody for your partner’s hobby too. Learn these lessons well because if you are like most of us, photography can become a passionate endeavor that involves not only the pleasure of a beautiful image, but also the enjoyment of owning quality camera equipment. Go for quality equipment and you’ll get back quality images.

I’ve found that showing extra affection for several weeks before a major camera purchase works wonders. That and new stuff for the partner too. Be careful though; once I bought myself a new lens and a new vacuum cleaner for my wife. I never knew a female of the species had enough upper-body strength to swing a vacuum cleaner like a baseball bat as she chased me from the house. Right after that is when I bought her the new camera. I figured it out! Get it right and you’ll do well.

Camera Levels - Consumer, Enthusiast, Semi-pro, to Pro

Just like there are vaious levels in cameras—from consumer to pro—there are also lens levels. There are lenses made of plastic and good glass that only cost a few bucks and lenses made of metal and exotic glass that cost as much as a new compact car.

In reality (remember this), lenses are much more important than the camera body. Where camera bodies will come and go, lenses last for a very long time—if you buy good ones. I have lenses from the mid 1970s that work perfectly well on my newest DSLR cameras. I bought well-made lenses and they have never worn out on me. I treat them like babies, of course, but the point is—they can last a lifetime. This is why it is so important to choose wisely when selecting a camera brand. You want a manufacturer that has longevity and makes lenses that will last—like Nikon.

AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G and 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lenses

When I look back over the many years since I started shooting with a degree of professionalism, I remember many camera bodies that I used to own and no longer have. I miss some of them, such as my old Nikon F4 body. However, the majority of the lenses I've ever owned are still in my camera bags. They are still mine and will be until I pass them on to my heirs. In my opinion, lenses are the most important items in photography. Camera bodies will come and go, but lenses will stay.

If you aren’t buying lenses that you would be proud to hand down to your heirs, you may need to rethink your lens purchases. Lenses are the crown jewels in the photography world. Don’t skimp on your lenses. Buy the best you can afford and your images will thank you for it.

Keep on capturing time...
Darrell Young
See my Photography books at: 
http://www.photographywriter.com/NikonBooks.asp