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.
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.
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)
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.
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…
Download Nikon D600 Brochure here:
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.
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.
“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.“
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
See my Nikon books here:
This article is an excerpt from Mastering The Nikon D7000, published by Rocky Nook and NikoniansPress.
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...
See my Nikon books here:
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 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:
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 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:
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) :
Of the above mentioned accessories, these are included in the box with the SB-910:
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)
Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Flash Exposure Control:
The light distribution angle is automatically adjusted to the camera's image area in both FX and DX formats:
Other Available Functions:
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:
Required Power Source:
Optional Power Supplies:
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
Minimum Number of Flashes / Recycling Time:
Wireless Flash Modes:
Wireless Communication Channels:
Four: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Channels
Three: A, B and C
3.1 x 5.7 x 4.4 in. (78.5 x 145 x 113mm)
Weight (Approx. without batteries):14.8 oz. (420g)
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...
See my Nikon books here:
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 photographers, Seenby.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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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!
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!
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:
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:
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!
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:
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!
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...
See my Nikon books here:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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...
See my Nikon books here:
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?
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!
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...
See my Nikon books here:
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...
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