I’ll drool over some new toy I’d love to have from time to time, but I’m not usually one to let my impulses get the best of me in that regard. However, Nikon’s new DSLR camera, the rumored D7000, could be one of those things I just have to get.
However, I’ve found myself approaching the maximum technical capabilities of my current camera. My biggest need right now is more sensor sensitivity (ISO). My D70 tops out at 1600 ISO, which is not bad, but can produce some banding:
18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || NIKON D70 Firenze, Toscana, Italia
The theoretical D7000 goes to ISO 25600, which is 16 times higher and allows for an additional four stops to work with. This is huge. I had to brace myself against a wall to get that photo in Florence, and even then I was still shooting at 1/50. If I were to shoot at ISO 25600, I could have shot it at 1/800. That’s insane.
The other awesome thing is how much better the quality is at a given ISO. Check out these sample images from Ken Rockwell showing the Nikon D70 (which is what I have), the Nikon D3 (which is a Nikon camera that can actually go to ISO 25600, but it probably not very representative of the D7000), and the Nikon D300S (which is probably more similar to the D7000 than the D3). The important thing to note is not the overall quality of these images (they are cropped really small), but the difference in image quality between ISO levels of a particular camera:
Nikon D70 | ISO 200 http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/us.htm
Nikon D70 | ISO 1600 http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/dslr-comparison/us.htm
Nikon D3 | ISO 200 http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm
Nikon D3 | ISO 1600 http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm
Nikon D3 | ISO 25600 http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000/high-iso-comparison.htm
Nikon D300 | ISO 200 http://kenrockwell.com/tech/comparisons/2010-08-03-5d2-7d-5d-d300/
Nikon D300 | ISO 1600 http://kenrockwell.com/tech/comparisons/2010-08-03-5d2-7d-5d-d300/
The other big thing I’m looking forward to do is shoot amazing video montages. Similar to this:
Nikon D90 AF system http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/d90/en/advanced-function/
It will be nice to have more Auto Focus points, hopefully more of my photos will be in focus, but I’d be fine with even 11 points — which is how many the D90 has, and still makes my D70 look paltry by comparison.
The downside is that each image is 2.5 times the file size of my D70, which is going to wreck havoc on my storage. I’ve never really had an issue blowing photos up and currently have a 30″ x 20″ hanging on the wall which looks just spectacular.
Anyway, here are the key differences that I’m interested in:
1080P @ 24FPS
Auto Focus Points
Hopefully, come September 15th, I may actually be able to plunk down some cash for this baby. Anyone interested in a well-loved, well-traveled, well-used Nikon D70? I’m going to go get a mop to wipe up all this drool.
I was going to post this over the weekend, but I ended up writing my paper instead (which I’ll post as a serial soon). I also appologize for the length of this post. It’s a little on the long side, but I packed it with some pictures and graphs for all you ADD kids. So here’s the much belated EDays 2008 post:
I’ve been shooting EDays for about 3 years now and it’s one of my favorite things to shoot. It’s three days of non-stop action with little sleep and lots of variety. Over the three days of shooting, I got about 11 hours of sleep. But I took 1190 photos and only 456 made the decent cut (38% isn’t actually half bad). Of those, I think there’s less then a dozen (about 1%) that I really like (and you’ll see those in a few months when I do my next round of inductions into my portfolio.
But, I still wanted to do something fun and different this year, so I rented a lens. In my current setup, I have a:
I decided that going with a small focal length lens, somewhere on the order of 10-18mm, would be ideal to rent. The first thing I did was find places to rent from. In the greater Denver area, I found Mike’s Camera Store and Camren Photography.
Both those links go to Ken Rockwell’s site. He does what I believe to be the best and most useful review of lenses. When I get an aching to buy a lens, I pretty much always head over to his site and see what he thinks.
Based on data from Wikipedia on viewing angles, I whipped up this graph that shows viewing angle as a function of focal length:
I found it very interesting that relationship isn’t linear, so I opted to go with the smallest focal length to get the most “bang for my buck.” That and I’ve always wanted to shoot with a fisheye.
So I rented the 10.5mm for two days and since Camren Photography isn’t open on the weekends, I got it for four days (for the price of the aforementioned two days).
Here’s a breakdown my day of the lens I used, how many photos I took with each lens, and how many photos with each lens (by day, again) ended up making the cut. Numbers above the zero axis are photos taken, numbers below the zero axis are photos that made the cut.
When I edit photos, I ask myself three things: Do I like it, does it tell a story, and does it move the story along. If it doesn’t meet all three of those criteria and I can’t make it meet those three criteria, then I dump it.
That’s why there is a lot of atrophy on the lasts days pictures. I tend to take a lot of photos of action shots (because you can’t predict everything) and then severely whittle them down to ensure the story continues.
Shooting the fireworks was absolutely amazing this year. Having the wide angle lens allowed me to get all of the fireworks and often times the crowd (at least for the non-aerial shots). Many people thought that this has been the best show since 2004.
The alumni panel was pretty interesting. I wish I could have stayed for the entire thing, but I had to race over to shoot Deanne Bell from Smash Lab. If you’ve ever seen Smash Lab, you know that Deanne is very animated when she talks. I had a blast photographing her while she presented.
She also had a great slide about her life philosophy that I thought was pretty spiffy as well and worth mentioning here:
Surround yourself with people who love what they do and are damn good at it
Don’t get too comfortable
Suck it up sometimes
Be confident and persistent
Imagine the impossible
The concert was also pretty good. The music was okay. I think that I Hate Kate should have headlined instead of Goldfinger (who enjoys listening to 40 year-old emo has-beens?). Learning from last year, I talked with all the bands and CSC before hand to get the rules for this show. All three bands were very fine with me taking picture throughout. Wes, the CSC supervisor, was also very helpful and nice, especially when compared to their performance last year.
Here are some notes I made while editing; mostly for my reference, but you may find some use as well:
Don’t use a flash during concerts (or anywhere else where there is non-white light), it destroys the Look and Feel (LnF).
When nothing is going on (relatively), posed shots always win over bland.