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April 25, 2017

Will Sony's a9 draw Nikon fans?

SvN-SQ_110.jpgHere are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week: 

Members weigh Sony's a9, Fall ANPAT location announced, getting started in wedding photography - PLUS more...

1- Will Sony's a9 draw Nikon fans?
It's a fair question. Sony has unveiled a camera that features a mirrorless system designed to rival results from high end DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) models out of Canon and Nikon, and the price is competitive.

According to Sony, the a9:
...realizes a totally blackout-free viewfinder while conventional systems can only try to reduce blackout time. A high-speed, vibration-free, silent Anti-Distortion shutter vastly extends the range of shooting situations while a mechanical system can only aim for lower vibration and quieter shutter release sound. α9 provides continuous tracking of moving subjects for foolproof AF/AE while traditional SLRs can only challenge such AF/AE performance improvements. Moreover, α9 allows its viewfinder to show not only images of the subject -- available on conventional systems -- but also the final image of a shot.

Our members have been weighing the specs, and some are not about to jump ship.

Here are some comments:
• I'm thinking this is a game changer. Won't the D5 replacement need to be mirrorless to compete?
• Sony writes a good marketing blurb but the a6500 did not fulfil their promises and my a7rii is woefully deficient to the D750 in so many ways. If Sony is shooting for the Tokyo 2020 then we will probably see some refining in an a9ii. They may also have some Sports lenses by then.
• The specs are impressive. But specs don't make a camera. Sony's interface and ergonomics are pretty awful compared to Nikon.

Are you getting ready to purchase a Sony A9? Join the conversation and share your thoughts.


2- Fall ANPAT 17 now booking
Nikonians founder J. Ramón Palacios (jrp) has announced the location for our next Fall season Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT).

The Fall ANPAT-17 will be taking our members to Acadia and Coastal Maine and for a very limited time, we have an early bird discount.  This location is a photography paradise, with rugged coastlines, iconic lighthouses, and warm tones of the northern light.

The dates are: October 7, 2017 (arrival) to October 14, 2017 (departure).

JRP tells us:
October is the best time to be there; exquisite colors abound, not just on the trees, but also on the ground, thanks to the berry plants characteristic of the northern areas. Nikonians Academy Director Eric Bowles (ericbowles) will be our ANPAT Leader.

Check out the 17th ANPAT in the Fall FAQs and the official Nikonians Academy reservations page for more details. Make sure you take note of the early bird discount on that page (deadline approaching in just one week).


3- Ever lose any equipment?  Gear lost forever? - Maybe not!
Label ALL your gear... BEFORE you go out to shoot!
Each IDmyStuff® label set includes 29 labels, in 3 sizes.  Big enough for a 400mm lens -- small enough for a filter ring.

Three lines of text per label, plus a gift or coding message for each set.  Up to 30 characters per line.  Super weatherproof outdoor vinyl with sign grade adhesive, UV resistant colorfast thermal resin printing, laminated with tough polyester. 7 different colors -- code gear by types, storage locations, or application purposes.

Just $9.95, including shipping in USA. (International: $4.95 flat rate shipping per order.)  20% off orders of 3.  30% off orders of 10 sets or more.  Typical turnaround (order to delivery) is one week or less.


4- Wedding photography - Getting started
Silver member Robert Metheney (bobpilot) has a friend wanting to get into the wedding photography business. His original question concentrated on the gear, but responses from our wedding pro members are quickly adding important precautions.

Here's Bob's question:
A friend asked me what camera I would suggest for him to enable him to photograph weddings. He can't afford a camera with an FX sensor. What DX camera would you suggest?

Replies quickly cautioned against venturing into this line of photography with only one body. We also have great advice on gaining experience.
Here are some examples:

• Having photographed weddings for 37 years I must suggest two (2) D7200 bodies. NEVER take on a paying photo assignment with a single camera body.
• I personally think, the best thing for him to do first, would find a wedding photographer, that would let him go to some weddings with him or her, as their assistant, as there are far more things to being a wedding photographer than people think.
• There is a lot more homework that needs to be done. Choosing the camera body is probably pretty low on the list of decisions for a new wedding photographer.

In all fairness, Bob never mentioned if his friend had already been pulling apprentice duties under an accomplished wedding photographer.  But as the replies start piling up, we invite anyone with hopes of shooting weddings to read the responses. For our wedding photography-experienced members - Do you have additional advice to share? Join the discussion.


5- Profiled--Bird Photography Enthusiast Jack Backs
Moderating Team member Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) has posted her latest chapter in the Nikonians member profile "I am Nikonians" series of articles.
Her subject in this installment is Gold member Jack Backs (jfbacks) from Missouri, USA.

Jacks' photography background goes well back into the days of film, and it was the arrival of the Nikon D100 that enhanced his creative skills in capturing two elusive subjects: children playing sports and birds.

Jack tells us:
It always amazes me how one can blaze away with a DSLR and the sound rarely spooks a bird, but make one sudden movement and they are off in a flash.  My last bit of advice on getting close to birds is to find a conservation area or seldom traveled country road and take images from your car window... A lot of birds are accustomed to traffic and will be much more tolerant than if you were on foot.

Check out the full article for a look at Jack's accomplishments in capturing stunning bird images.


6- Where eagles dare
Moderating Team member John David Hutchison (Kipmm) from British Columbia, Canada shares an awesome series of eagle "fly-by" images captured while searching for an entirely different bird.

John describes the circumstances:
Sitting on a beach waiting for the tide to roll out and hopefully the arrival of an Osprey this Bald Eagle came from nowhere. Actually, there were two of them and this one was chasing the other out.
I never did see the other but I did see the shadow.
This series ended quickly as the Eagle flew right over me...
-- kip

The images were captured with his Nikon D500 and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8 G ED VR II combined with a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II.

If you are a "BIF" fan (Birds In Flight) make sure you jump in on the discussion and check out the other three images in this set.


7- The siren call of better glass
Silver member Dale Williams (Tropidale) from Florida, USA wants to add a new lens to her gear bag and she's seeking advice from our members.

Here's a short excerpt from her question:
I currently shoot with a D7000, primarily animals, birds, flowers, scenic, or whatever strikes me wherever we happen to be. I am a raw and manual shooter primarily, and being a bit of a zoom freak, I currently use a Nikon 18-140 and Tamron 70-300 which have been the best coverage I felt I could get for my budget. I have gotten some pretty good shots out of both, but I keep hearing the message of better glass, over and over, and have the urge to improve my results. But I am just not sure if there is an appreciable improvement to support the investment, especially if it turns out, that I am the limiting factor, not my lenses. I clearly have plenty to learn, and I know I should use my tripod a lot more. I certainly know that nobody can guarantee I will get better results with better glass, not really knowing my knowledge and skill level, but I am just trying to get an idea if an upgrade would be a very noticeable improvement or a more subtle one for image quality.

Along with reaching out to the forum, I am also planning to rent a 24-70 or 70-200 2.8 for a little comparison work. I am sure that will answer my questions as well.

Thanks for any words of wisdom. -- Dale

As you can see, Dale is not just looking for advice on specific lenses. She's also wondering if a new lens purchase is necessary in the first place. Read the full post and check out her sample images. Does she really need new glass?


8- Scooter shooter tips anyone?
Gold member Dale Lundy (stlsailor) from Missouri, USA enjoys hopping on small motorcycles (sometimes scooters) and exploring great photo sites. What he doesn't enjoy is trying to lug his gear safely, stopping at a site, setting it up, and then breaking it down. How would you handle this situation?

Dale asks:
A few days ago, I did a short reconnaissance moto shoot at Kep National Park. By moto shoot I mean I rode the moto until I came to a place I wanted to shoot. Then I'd park the moto, take off my backpack, get my camera out of it, set up and take any shots I wanted, put the camera back in the backpack, put the backpack back on, get on the moto and take off for the next shot.

It was OK the first time. After a few stops it began to be a pain. Does anyone have any tips on making this easier? When I do a walking shoot I have my camera ready, of course, and if I bring an extra lens or two, I carry them in ThinkTank pouches for easy access. But I don't want to have my camera out and risk damaging it while riding the moto, and the pouches I don't think would work well when I'm sitting on the moto.    Thoughts? -- Dale

Are you a moto-shooter? How do you pack your gear for easy access? Share your tips.

That's it for this week. Make sure you grab your favorite camera and capture some images to share with family and friends (especially us at Nikonians). -- Tom Boné (flashdeadline)

Posted by flashdeadline at April 25, 2017 9:37 PM

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