After I received the Nikon D810 in the morning today, I thought about posting an article on the ISO performance of the camera and how it stacks up against the Nikon D800E. After Adobe announced the release of the Camera RAW 8.6 RC, I thought about using the Adobe converter for the Nikon D810 RAW files instead of Nikon’s software like Capture NX-D or ViewNX. Well, that was a really bad call on my side, because I ended up wasting the whole day trying to figure out why the performance of the D810 was coming out so bad when compared to the D800E. I ran many different tests and each one of them showed the same thing – the D800E was surpassing the D810 at every ISO above 3200. Whether it was with retaining colors and dynamic range, to plain noise – the D800E was just killing the D810 in every case. Although the D810 images were coming out about a stop brighter (with the exact same exposure settings and even custom white balance set at 4700K), I even tried to equalize the brightness both in cameras and post, only to see variations of the same problem. Nothing made sense and I simply could not believe that Nikon would release a camera that was inferior than its predecessor in image quality. That really did not make sense, but that’s what I was seeing!
You must forgive that this is merely the thought process of a hobbyist, rather than a tutorial from an expert. In a world awash with blinding, over-saturated colour photos, plenty has been written on this subject in response, but I felt it might help some readers (especially those just starting out in photography) to elaborate on my decision-making process and reasons for rendering or shooting an image in black and white (B+W). Your rationales may be different, of course, but by articulating mine it might help an understanding of what makes black and white images so appealing.
As my photography and video business has grown, so too has the amount of gear that I bring to client shoots. This is especially true when doing video work. Since I am a ‘solo-shooter’ and never work with a crew, I was finding it more and more cumbersome to load, unload and transfer my gear. I began looking for a cost-effective, flexible solution. When I discovered the Pearstone PSL-3S 3-Step Photographer’s Ladder with Wheels, I knew it was the ideal tool for the job.
After we published our article on 10 bit per channel workflow, our readers requested to provide information on how to calibrate monitors with a built-in Look-Up Table (LUT). Specifically, a number of our readers asked to provide a detailed guide on how to properly calibrate the Dell U2413, U2713H and U3014 monitors, which we have recommended a number of times before due to their affordable price, attractive features and superb color reproduction for photography needs. Historically, true 10-bit and higher monitors with hardware LUT capabilities were extremely expensive, making them only attractive to those with large budgets. With the introduction of sub-$500 monitors featuring professional-grade IPS panels (read our article on best monitors for photography to understand IPS terminology), those with tighter budgets are now seriously considering such monitors for photography work. Unfortunately, many end up even more confused after acquiring such tools due to questions related to proper monitor calibration.
There are times when virtually every photographer or videographer could make use of a small, lightweight, easy-to-use table top tripod. Like that time you were on holidays and missed that spectacular sunset in fading light. Or, that unique angle shot that would have added a lot of production value to a client video, but your regular gear was too big and bulky to get into the tight spot needed to capture it.
Our friends at NeroTrigger, the talented team of engineers that created the multipurpose high speed camera trigger that we had fun reviewing previously, is planning a new and much improved tool that can be controlled by smartphones or tablets. To get this new and exciting product called MIOPS to the market, the company is inviting you to join them on Kickstarter and save a few bucks before it is officially released.
After we’ve published our series on recommended settings for Nikon D600 / D610 and D800 / D800E DSLRs, we received a lot of requests from our readers to provide similar information for Canon and Sony cameras. While using someone else’s camera settings is probably not the best way to achieve the best results in every situation, we understand that many different menu options can be rather overwhelming for those who are just starting out. Therefore, the below information is provided as a guide for those that struggle and just want to get started with a basic understanding of important menu settings.
I am a big supporter of the “get to know your gear” opinion. I strongly believe that the more you use something, the better you learn to take full advantage of the strengths of that particular piece of equipment, and the better you learn to manage its shortcomings without even thinking about it. To a point where they just disappear, in fact, and make the statement that gear does not matter as truthful as it is. Gear does not matter (to an extent), but knowing it and liking it does. This, I think, it the crucial link between equipment and photography itself.
She posed atop a sand dune with wind-gnarled cypress trees clinging to a rocky precipice in the distance. She was nude of course, and sitting on a bedpan. A dead pelican lay at her kelp-entwined feet. In one hand she held a nautilus, in the other the most sensuous bell pepper that had ever grown. As I adjusted my 8×10’s tilts and shifts she gave me that glance – just 1/60th of a second, but in that moment I knew there would be more tilting and shifting later as her aperture and my shutter speed would dance in perfect rhythm. I stopped the lens down to f/64, then…I woke up.
As smaller, lighter gear grows ever more popular – some mirrorless systems, while capable of delivering brilliant results in knowing hands, weigh half as much as DSLR systems – it is only natural for smaller bags to get more popular as well. Already you can see retailers and online stores offering a wide array of “for mirrorless cameras” bags and the selection will only grow wider. Even though I haven’t bought into a mirrorless system (yet), I, too, was on a lookout for a small, unassuming bag. The main requirements were simple: it had to look like anything but a camera bag and thus also work as a simple shoulder bag when needed; it had to be small, yet big enough to fit a mirrorless body with a couple of small lenses and, until such a time arrives, big enough to fit a D700 camera with a 50mm lens attached; and, if at all possible, accommodate my Mamiya RZ67 – not a small camera, mind you – and a roll of film for those quiet evening walks in the old city.