Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Nikon D200

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

As I wrote sometime back, I have a Nikon D2x camera that I absolutely adore. It’s very responsive, does great in low light conditions, has extremely fast focusing, and just a delight to work with. However, when traveling on business instead of a photo shoot, it’s awfully bulky.

So when Nikon announced the new D200 a couple of months ago, I was thinking this might be my high end travel camera. I was in New York City on business a few weeks ago, and after much hunting located a D200 kit in stock at Adorama on West 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue (if you go there tell Efraim I sent you). I had also on a previous day purchased a Nikon f/2.8 14mm rectilinear fish eye lens from B&H Photo and Video, although with the smaller sensor of a digital SLR like the D200 or D2x it just becomes a rectilinear 21mm wide angle lens (in 35mm film equivalents). 

Below is a test shot I took at the corner of Broadway and West 45th Street late at night.

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As the above image shows, the camera does brilliantly in low-light conditions – no discernable noise. Mind you, one of my favorite types of photography is natural light and low light, capturing motion as a blur, with static elements in focus.

The D200, while coming in with only about 10 megapixels vs. the D2x’s 12 megapixels of resolution, also weighs in quite a bit less, and most importantly (at least for the reason I bought it), it’s about 30% smaller than the D2x, which makes a world of difference to someone like myself who cannot pack lightly no matter what.

I plan on putting the camera through its paces in the coming two and a half weeks while on vacation all over the place, but so far I’m pretty impressed with it. The D2x will still be my major workhorse on professional shoots, but the D200 is an excellent back-up (and in some cases primary) camera.

Bonaire’s Special Moments – Flamingos

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Rainy season here on Bonaire occurs from approximately November through mid-January. We only get 20 inches or so of rain here a year. So, when it does rain, the water pools in natural “salinas”. And that attracts our native bird species, egrets and flamingos among them.

This morning I remembered to bring my camera with me finally, and on the way back from dropping my kids off at school, spent a bit of time enjoying one of Bonaire’s many special moments, namely our native Caribbean Flamingos.

CES Day 0 – Kodak V570 Camera

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

In addition to a State of the Consumer Electronics Industry address on Day 0 of CES, there was a special press receptions to show dozens of products which the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) had dubbed as innovative through their rather subjective CES Awards process, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

The event was called CES Unveiled, and while I find the qualification process for the CES Awards to be completely lacking in objectivity, it does not diminish the fact that there were definitely some gems to be found at the Unveiled event.

One such gem was the forthcoming Kodak V570 digital still camera (pictured below).

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A common problem which bugs many photographers (myself included) using point and shoot digital cameras is the lack of a decent wide angle capture mode (at least without resorting to often painful multiple image stitching). The cameras that have a reasonable wide angle field of view lack decent zoom ability, and lenses which try to combine both wide angle and zoom are downright lousy because the optical requirements of wide angle vs. zoom are different enough that one lens can’t satisfy both needs well.

The Kodak V570 solves this problem by offering two lenses in the same camera. The first is a wide angle 23mm (in 35mm equivalent) fixed lens, and the other is a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The LCD viewfinder switches seamlessly between the two lenses based on user zoom input.

The new Kodak V570 also has a rather advanced panoramic stitching mode which was demonstrated to me. It uses an onion-skinning type of overlay to show you where you need to take the next picture in a panorama, and then figuers out where all the proper merge points are and creates a reasonable seamless pano image as a result.

The Kodak V570 will ship at the end of January.

This camera is on my wish list, and once I get my hands on one, I will give a first hand review.

Time for a Digital SLR Camera?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

I think I’ve gotten to the point where I want to step up to a digital SLR camera.

My conundrum is this – I have nearly a dozen lenses with a Nikon mount (mostly AF-D lenses) with a fair number of those being wide angle. Nikon doesn’t make a full frame sensor, which means my wide angle lenses (using the 1.5x multiplier for Nikon Digital SLR’s sensors) become non-wideangle.

So, if any of you are knowledgeable about Digital SLRs, here are my questions:

1) Does anyone make an optical converter from Nikon’s AF-D lenses to fill the frame of the new Nikon Digital SLRs?

2) Is there any reason to get a Nikon D100 over a D70? (I’m not ready to spend $5K on a Nikon D2x yet, but do like the 12MP resolution – the 6MP res of the Nikon SLRs seems a bit low, especially in contrast to my Sony F828’s 8MP)

3) Has anyone tried and gotten good results with a Canon full frame sensor and a Nikon->Canon mount converter?

4) Any idea if Nikon’s regular or Canon’s full frame sensors are better that one another, and if so, why?

5) What about Nikon vs. Canon digital SLR cameras in general? And if Canon is better, any model recommendations?

If anyone knows of another place where this all has been answered, please let me know!