Nikon D810

An in-depth review of the Nikon D810 DSLR with sample images, high ISO tests and detailed real-life analysis

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… read more »

Nikon D810 Bird Photography (2)

We are continuing our coverage of the Nikon D810 and today we want to talk about the capability of the D810 to photograph wildlife, particularly… read more »

© Tadas Kazakevičius. Children of Silenai (9)

Talking to Tadas Kazakevičius (in case you are having a hard time spelling that, he’s just as well known as Ted Kozak), a young Lithuanian… read more »

Enagement Session #23

Engagement sessions are a big hit with couples and photographers. Almost all couples agree for a session before the wedding, so engagement photography has pretty… read more »

Fuji X-T1

An in-depth review of the Fuji X-T1 mirrorless camera with image samples, specifications and comparisons to other cameras -

Nikon D800 – D700 Replacement … Or Not?

Nikon D800 vs D700

If you haven’t noticed, the internet photography forums are abuzz regarding the question of whether the Nikon D800 should be considered a “true” successor to the D700. Many of these are civil in nature, but there are plenty of examples where passions seem to have gotten the best of some people. While there has been an enormous amount of positive commentary regarding the D800’s features, functionality, and value by many, there are others vehemently denying that the D800 can be considered an upgrade to their beloved D700. To prove their point, they even cite some Nikon representatives that reportedly claim that the D800 is a different kind of camera for a different market and not meant to replace the D700. Nikon’s announcement to continue producing the D700, with a corresponding price reduction to $2,199, has added more fuel to the arguments of those who believe the D700’s successor has yet to arrive. So who is right?

Nikon D800 vs D700

Well … they both are. How can that be? Simple – the D700 user base is not a homogenous group, but consists of users with many varied different photography interests, priorities and budgets. What they all share in common is the need for an entry level, affordable full frame Nikon camera. As such, they are evaluating the D800’s rich feature set next to that of their D700 in light of what they value most. Depending on your priorities, you could view the D800 as the perfect replacement for your D700. Or you could view it as an interesting model, but certainly not the model you have been waiting for.

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Defining Photography

Manipulation Example 2009

Once, I came upon a thought provoking comment on some local online photography community in Lithuania. It was posted under an apparently heavily, yet skillfully manipulated image, and in fact it was done so well that, at first glance, it was rather hard to believe it was a manipulation. The text was posted by an elderly photographer who is known to write very argument-rich comments under many works on that particular website. From what I’ve noticed before, he was usually intrigued by a lot of different images in different styles made by different photographers and he seemed to be very objective with his evaluation, if slightly conservative with his approach to photography as a form of art and expression. Still, given his age, experience and especially taking into account post-soviet influence in understanding of what art is, it was only natural. However, this time the respected online critic (as strange as it may sound to some) was strongly bewildered by the author’s approach to photography and how much digital manipulation (Photoshop in particular) was part of the work. “Where does photography end and digital art begin?”, he wondered. I wondered too.

Manipulation Example

It seems the understanding of what photography is (and art photography in particular) has changed during the last few years. Few? It’s a been over a decade now since we had the launch of Nikon D1, a camera seen by many as the first big step towards the revolution brought by DSLRs. Not only was it usable and offered decent at the time resolution, it was quick and as robust as the film SLR it was largely based on, the Nikon F5. And artists – not only photographers, but all kinds – must have burst with excitement. “New ways to express ourselves”, they’d think. The beginning of the real, readily available digital imaging offered artists new ways to deceive, and trick, and provoke the viewer.

I’m an artist. At least I should be – I study at the faculty of arts, and not the kind you would think of first. We, sadly, don’t talk much about Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams or Salvador Dali – they are too ordinary, as funny as it may sound. Too known. Too legendary and too classic. We do talk about the likes of Leigh Bowery and Marina Abramović, who, while just as known to some, are much less acceptable, at least in a country as conservative as Lithuania. And so it is good – we are taught to be less conservative, to evaluate not purely with emotions, but with our minds. To try and understand before becoming judgmental. We are taught to expand our understanding of art. Not to necessarily like, no – this remains our freedom, but to understand why artists do what they do even when it seems to be the strangest and silliest thing in the world.

And then there are lines that, not so long ago by some standards, were not to be crossed. They defined where photography ends and, for example, videography begins. But now, now we have sculpture, but also installations. Now we have theaters and video art, but also performances and video performances. We have conceptual art and art that has yet to be named and defined only to lose the definition in a year, or five, or ten. What does Vik Muniz do? Is he a sculpturer, or a master of installations, or a photographer, or a painter? He’s everything.

And we crossed the lines. Art is becoming just that, art. It’s harder and harder, sometimes, to define it and frame it. But the process of evaluation is no easier because of this, and harder still. Where does photography end? I believe it’s hard to compare such different things. A portrait made by Irving Penn can hardly be compared to a modern photographic manipulation, even though they are or can be both great works. It’s also hard to compare Irving Penn to someone like, say, Magda Berny, although they both do portraits. Too different. Both good, yet different in their purposes and thus incomparable. As long as we keep that in mind and accept photography as a way (or part of it, however small or big) to express ourselves, we should have no problems evaluating different works differently.

Keep an open mind, they teach us at the University. It’s what we all should try to do.

Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Announcement

Canon 600ET-RT Speedlite

One big news that nobody seems to be paying attention to at the moment due to the much-anticipated Canon 5D Mark III release, is the Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite announcement. Why big news? Because it is the first flash unit (speedlite in Canon language, speedlight in Nikon language) that actually has a built-in wireless radio capability. Historically, both Canon and Nikon used flash units that would communicate wirelessly only via infrared signal. While infrared works fine in some environments, it has problems with daylight (sun rays), range and it often requires direct visibility. Because of this problems, many photographers, including myself, have been relying on external radio transmitters and receivers such as PocketWizard for a more enhanced and reliable communication between flash units.

Canon 600ET-RT Speedlite

With the introduction of the Canon 600EX-RT flash unit and the Canon ST-E3-RT transmitter, Canonites no longer have to rely on third party radio triggers for reliable communication between flashes. Now you can use all flash features, including TTL flash and trigger up to 15 wireless flash units at a range of 30 meters, without worrying about potential communication issues. Considering that Nikon has had a lead on the flash technology for many years, it is surprising to see Canon release a radio flash first. The bad news for Nikonians is that Nikon has recently updated its high-end flash line with the Nikon SB-910, so we might not see a Nikon flash with radio capability any time soon…

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Canon 5D Mark III High Resolution Image Samples

Canon 5D Mark III Image Sample (4)

These are the same Canon 5D Mark III image samples as the ones presented on Canon.jp. I am providing these images here just in case Canon websites go down due to too many requests, while serving millions of visitors today and the next few days. All EXIF data is attached to the original images, additional data is provided below.

Please keep in mind that the below images are taken in JPEG format, straight out of the camera. No other editing has been done, including sharpening!

Canon 5D Mark III Image Sample (1)

Link to download the image | Shutter Speed: 8 sec, Aperture: f/2.8, ISO: 800, Lens: EF35mm f/1.4L USM

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Canon 5D Mark III is available for Pre-order!

Canon 5D Mark III

B&H and Adorama have just posted links to pre-order the Canon 5D Mark III! Pre-order yours before they run out!

Please note that neither B&H, nor Adorama will charge your credit card until the camera ships.

Canon 5D Mark III
  1. B&H Photo Video – Canon 5D Mark III for $3,499 (body only)
  2. B&H Photo Video – Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105mm f/4L for $4,299
  3. B&H Photo Video – Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite for $629.00
  4. Adorama – Canon 5D Mark III for $3,499 (body only)
  5. Adorama – Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105mm f/4L for $4,299
  6. Adorama – Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite for $629.00

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

How does the Nikon D800 compare to the newly announced Canon 5D Mark III? In this article, I will show the specifications of both cameras and talk about feature differences, in addition to providing my subjective opinion about each camera. Please keep in mind that the information below is purely based on specifications and available information. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons is provided in my D800 Review.

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

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Canon 5D Mark III vs 5D Mark II

Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 5D Mark II

Now that the Canon 5D Mark III is almost out (see Canon 5D Mark III Specifications), I am sure many photographers will be interested in seeing feature differences between the now obsolete Canon 5D Mark II and the new 5D Mark III. In this Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 5D Mark II comparison, I will write about the specifications of both cameras and talk about their differences. Please keep in mind that the information below is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided once I get a hold of the Canon 5D Mark III.

Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 5D Mark II

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Canon 5D Mark III Specifications

Canon 5D Mark III

Canon is releasing the much anticipated Canon 5D Mark III on March 2nd, a major update to the existing Canon 5D Mark II camera that was released back in 2008. The 5D Mark III is a very interesting and appealing update, because Canon decided to keep the resolution of the camera about the same – 22.3 MP sensor, versus the 21.1 MP sensor on the 5D Mark II. This is a very different move compared to what Nikon did with its D800, which boasts a crazy high resolution of 36.3 MP, versus 12.1 MP on its previous generation Nikon D700. It almost seems like Canon and Nikon are reversing their roles, because Canon has always been pushing for a higher megapixel count, while Nikon has been focusing on better image quality, better autofocus and other important features. The Canon 5D Mark III specifications are indeed very impressive – seems like Canon is finally listening to its large customer base. The AF system went through a complete rework and the camera now has 61 focus points, up to 41 of which are cross-type. The previous 9 focus points and 1 cross-type on the 5D Mark II sound like a joke in comparison. The Nikon D4 and D800 have 51 focus points total, 15 of which are cross-type. So Canon is way ahead in terms of AF specifications (that’s assuming that Canon finally addressed its AF problems). The continuous shooting speed has also increased to 6 fps (compared to 5D Mark II’s 3.9 fps and Nikon D800′s 4 fps) and the viewfinder coverage is now 100%, compared to 98% on the 5D Mark II. There are many other new features to talk about – see the detailed specifications below.

Canon 5D Mark III

Here is a summary of the Canon 5D Mark III specifications:

  1. Sensor: 22.3 MP full frame sensor
  2. Sensor Size: 36 x 24mm
  3. Native ISO Sensitivity: 100-25,600
  4. Boost Low ISO Sensitivity: 50
  5. Boost High ISO Sensitivity: 51,200-102,400
  6. Image Size: 5760 x 3840
  7. Processor: DIGIC 5+
  8. Metering System: iFCL metering with 63-zone dual-layer sensor
  9. Metering Types: Centre-weighted, Spot, Evaluative, Partial
  10. Dust Reduction: Yes
  11. Weather Sealing/Protection: Yes
  12. Body Build: Full Magnesium Alloy
  13. Shutter: Up to 1/8000 and 30 sec exposure
  14. Shutter Durability: 150,000 cycles
  15. Storage: 1x CF slot and 1x SD slot
  16. Viewfinder Type: Optical TTL
  17. Viewfinder Coverage: 100%
  18. Speed: 6 FPS
  19. Built-in Flash: No
  20. Additional Exposure Modes: Silent and low vibration
  21. Autofocus System: Advanced 61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 cross-type points)
  22. LCD Screen: 3.2 inch diagonal Clear View LCD II with 1.04 million dots
  23. Movie Modes: Full 1080p HD with ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 25,600
  24. Movie Exposure Control: Full
  25. Movie Output: AVI, H.264/MPEG-4 in MOV Format (Compressed)
  26. In-Camera HDR Capability: Yes
  27. Live View: Yes
  28. Camera Editing: Lots of in-camera editing options with HDR capabilities
  29. GPS: No
  30. Battery Type: LP-E6
  31. Battery Charger: LC-E6
  32. USB Standard: 2.0
  33. HDMI Port: Yes
  34. Mic Port: Yes
  35. Wireless: No built-in wireless, optional wireless accessory
  36. Physical Dimensions: 152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm
  37. Weight: 860g (body only)
  38. Price: $3,499 MSRP

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Canon 5D Mark III Coverage

Just wanted to let our readers know that I will be covering the Canon 5D Mark III release, similar to how I covered the Nikon D800 launch. So far I have only been covering Nikon and Sony products (more Sony camera and lens reviews on the way), but going forward, I will also be covering Canon DSLRs and lenses. I have been working on some big site-related projects lately and I will be posting some announcements later this month.

Does this Canon 5D Mark III coverage mean that I will be reviewing the upcoming Canon 5D Mark III? You betcha! While my primary focus will still remain Nikon DSLRs and lenses (hey, I am a Nikon shooter after-all!), I decided that I need to expand my scope to the competition. One of the biggest complaints that I get from many of our readers is that I only cover Nikon and it turns out that many of our readers shoot Canon. Hopefully this news will make our Canonite group happy!