Welcome to the New and Shiny Photography Life!

Photography Life

We have been working hard during the past couple of weeks on completely redesigning Photography Life and we are happy to announce the new and shiny look that hopefully our readers will appreciate. Over the past few months, we have been gathering feedback from our readers, friends and our team, with the goal to completely revamp the feel of the site, and address some of the design problems of the past. Being a photography site, our number one concern was image size – we just did not want to be limited to showing small images to our readers anymore. So the first thing we did was increase images shown in the site by 50%! In addition, from now on, we will be posting images at much higher 2048 pixel long resolution in our in-depth articles and reviews. For example, most images in our Nikon D810 review and Fuji X-T1 review have very high resolution, which dramatically increases the viewing experience, especially on high-resolution monitors. With the growing popularity of 4K monitors, we will be doubling the resolution of provided images in the future as well.

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Recommended Nikon D810 Settings

Nikon D810

Since I published my Nikon D810 review, a number of our readers requested me to provide an article with the recommended settings for the camera. The Nikon D810 is an advanced camera and comes with many different menus and settings. In this article, I want to provide some information on what I personally use and shortly explain what some of the important settings do. Please do keep in mind that while these work for me, it does not mean that everyone else should be shooting with exactly the same settings. The below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle with the camera and just want to get started with a basic understanding of the camera and its many features.

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Nero Trigger Giveaway!

Nero Trigger

In celebration of the launch of the new MIOPS camera trigger, which we wrote about earlier, our good friends at Nero Trigger want to give away the current version of the trigger ($199 value, read our in-depth review) to one lucky PL reader! To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below with your email address (so that we could contact you) and we will choose a random winner on September 12, 2014. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. Giveaway is open to all countries! Only one entry per person.

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Nikon Group-Area AF Mode

Nikon Dynamic-Area AF

The latest Nikon DSLRs like D810 (see our detailed review) and D4S came with the a new “Group-area Autofocus” mode. When compared to the regular Single-Point AF Mode, Group-area AF activates five focus points to track subjects. This focus mode is great for initial focus acquisition and tracking of subjects when compared to a Single-Point or Dynamic AF, especially when dealing with smaller birds that fly erratically and can be really hard to focus on and track. In such situations, the Group-area AF mode might give better results than Dynamic AF, showing better accuracy and consistency from shot to shot.

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Newly Received D810 Stock Does Not Have the Thermal Issue

Nikon D810

Apparently the new stock of Nikon D810 cameras arriving from Japan to large retailers like B&H Photo Video and Adorama already has the reported thermal issue addressed. We received confirmation from B&H Photo Video that the new stock they received today already has the the black label in the tripod socket, which is the indication of the fix, as shown in the service advisory.

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Nikon Confirms the D810 Thermal Issue and Offers a Solution

Nikon D810

As you may already know, we recently reported the thermal issue with the Nikon D810 when using long shutter speeds and we immediately reported the issue to Nikon, as soon as we confirmed that all camera samples we’ve handled so far had the same problem. Since opening a trouble ticket with Nikon, we have received communication from Nikon USA that Nikon engineers were investigating our image samples and that a follow-up with details would be provided, once available. Looks like Nikon USA has officially confirmed this issue today (here is the original advisory published earlier at Nikon Japan). There are good news – Nikon has issued a service advisory, so every Nikon D810 owner will be able to get it repaired. Nikon will implement a firmware update and adjust the camera sensor to take care of the problem.

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Is Nikon D810 Sharper than D800E?

Nikon D810 vs D800 / D800E

As you may already know, the difference between the Nikon D800E and D800 is their filter stacks – the D800E has the same size stack as the D800, but its third filter reverses the effect of the first one, essentially cancelling out the effect of the optical low pass filter. This is clearly illustrated in the below image, which compares the two filter stacks side by side:

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Moon – Waning Gibbous

Waning Gibbous Moon

Just wanted to share this photo of the Waning Gibbous Moon with our readers, captured with the Nikon D810 and John “Verm” Sherman’s amazing Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E VR monster coupled with the TC-17E II teleconverter. I have not been able to get this much detail from such long focal lengths before, because the shutter vibration on previous generation Nikon DSLRs would shake the camera too much at the beginning of the exposure. We set everything up on a sturdy tripod, then rest the front of the lens on car’s hood, with a soft pillow in between to dampen the crazy vibrations occuring at 1350mm focal length. Set the camera to Manual mode, ISO 800, 1/250s @ f/11, then used camera’s Live View to acquire perfect focus on the moon. With the “Electronic front-curtain shutter” turned ON, we set the camera to Mirror Lock-Up mode, set “Exposure delay mode” to 3 seconds for additional protection, then fired away. Here is the result:

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Nikon D810 and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Performance

Nikon D810 and Sigma 50mm f1 (2)

Some of our readers have been asking about the performance of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens on the Nikon D810, particularly about its autofocus speed and accuracy, especially in low light situations. Lola and I recently shot a wedding with this combo and I had a chance to test out the lens in various conditions – from broad daylight to very dim indoor environments. In this article, I want to talk about my experience with the lens and talk about its pros and cons when using it with the Nikon D810.

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Profoto TTL-N for Nikon Announcement

Profoto Air Remote TTL-N

As you saw from our review of the Profoto B1, we were very impressed by the capabilities of this portable, battery powered flash head. At the time we wrote the review, the Profoto B1 was only compatible with Canon TTL and support for Nikon TTL was supposed to be announced later. Well, the wait is almost over, because Profoto announced the Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon, with expected availability on September 15, 2014.

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