Nikon has also officially announced the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter to team up with the new Nikon D3200 DSLR body. The somewhat surprising news is that the WU-1a will provide the ability to control your D3200 remotely and transmit and share images wirelessly only to Android smart devices initially. That is a disappointment to the Apple fans who expected to use it in conjunction with their iPhones and iPads. Don’t fret Apple fans, all is not lost, the device is expected to be iOS compatible later this fall.
Today Nikon announced the new Nikon D3200 DSLR camera, a traditional update to the existing Nikon D3100 (read the review) that was released about a year ago. This new entry-level Nikon DSLR shows few cosmetic changes – the most noticeable one is the new red stripe on the hand grip, already seen on D5100, D800 and D4. However, there is a number of important internal changes present to make this camera more up-to-date than its predecessor.
With lots of people waiting for the 24.3 MP Nikon D3200 announcement, lets not forget the great entry-level D3100 camera. With only a fraction of the expected resolution of its upcoming successor, the D3100 still offers great Full HD video and ISO performance at a low price. Its 14.2 MP sensor is also more than enough for most users, and user-friendly interface and ergonomics are sure to help you get better and develop stronger photography skills!
Not everyone needs super high resolution, and while, naturally, the D3200 is expected to be technically better, the D3100 remains just as good as it was a year ago. You can order it through B&H for $546.95 (D3100 + AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR DX kit lens; with $100 instant savings applied). If you haven’t heard about this camera yet, Nasim has a review written – I’m sure you will find it very informative!
Don’t forget about the current instant rebates with up to $300 in savings.
I have been super busy working on a couple of big projects lately and this weekend I helped out Lola with her bridal work. While setting up the lights, I decided to try out and shoot with three different cameras – the Nikon D800 (see the recently published review of the Nikon D800), the Canon 5D Mark III (a full review is coming up in a couple of weeks) and the Fuji X-Pro 1 (also coming up for a review soon).
The Nikon and the Canon experience was very similar, both were stellar in terms of color, sharpness and autofocus accuracy. The Fuji X-Pro 1 produced beautiful images with great-looking skin tones, but was rather disappointing in terms of autofocus – it just could not seem to lock well to my subject in indoors environment. I will be writing about my overall impressions of the Fuji X-Pro 1 soon, but to give you a short version, I am rather disappointed by it. To be honest, I was more excited about the Fuji X-Pro 1 than I was with the Canon and Nikon cameras, because I was really hoping for a mirrorless camera that could be a great alternative to the higher-end APS-C sensor DSLRs. The Fuji X-Pro 1 just seemed to have so much potential… I guess it will be a while until we see something that good. Perhaps the second or third generation of the X-Pro? Or the upcoming Canon mirrorless?
Here is a fun game for you – all three of the below images were shot with either the Nikon D800, the Canon 5D Mark III or the Fuji X-Pro 1. Care to guess which one is which?
I decided to post a couple of iPad 3 (a.k.a. the “New iPad” or just “the iPad”) wallpapers taken by the Nikon D800 while I am working on the upcoming Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens review. I am hoping to publish it within the next few days, so that I could start working on reviewing the Canon 5D Mark III and some high-end Canon lenses. These images were requested by our readers in higher resolution and since the new iPad has a whopping 2048×1536 pixel retina display, I thought it would be better to extract them in a bigger size. They should also work as wallpapers for the original iPad and iPad 2, but obviously the images are not going to be as detailed…
Many of our readers have been asking me to provide some information on how the new Nikon D800 (see our review) compares to the Nikon D700 (see our review) in terms of speed (“fps” or “frames per second”) and camera buffer. In the below video, I show the performance of both cameras side by side when shooting 14-bit Lossless Compressed RAW images with very fast SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB compact flash memory:
As you can see, the Nikon D800 is slower than the Nikon D700 with its 4 fps speed versus 5 fps on the D700. It also lasts about half a second shorter than the D700 before its buffer gets full at around the 4 second mark. Nikon’s estimates for the D800 and D700 are 17 images for the D800 and 20 images for the D700 before memory buffer gets full and fps slows down. My tests are a little off, because the D800 should be a little faster according to Nikon – 17 / 4 fps is 4.25 and 20 / 5 fps is 4. Interestingly, the same thing happens when both cameras are set to 12-bit RAW – the D700 still lasts longer. Note how much longer it takes for the D800 to complete its write from the camera buffer into the memory card – now that’s one huge buffer! I bet it is at least 4 times larger than the one on the D700. Lastly, note that the D800 shutter sounds very different than the one on the D700.
Some people have been reporting memory compatibility issues with the D800. I have not seen any issues so far with any of the SanDisk & Lexar cards I have (I have been using SanDisk and Lexar cards for my cameras exclusively), so I believe memory card issues are happening with cheap third party memory cards only. Hopefully we will see a firmware update from Nikon soon – the D800 seems to have occasional slowdowns when writing to and reading from CF and SD memory cards, as reported in my Nikon D800 Review.
While the Nikon D4 is the proper tool for sports and wildlife photography due to its faster speed and extreme ISO capabilities, many photographers are also looking at the Nikon D800 for action photography. First, the high-resolution sensor could give some “reach” opportunities with plenty of options to crop in-camera (DX mode) or in post (I highly recommend to do it in post instead of in-camera). Second, the AF system on the D800 is identical to the one on the D4 (Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX). And lastly, noise characteristics of the D800 are very similar to the D4 when images are down-sampled to 16 MP (down-sampling can also result in increased sharpness). The biggest disadvantage is the slow 4 FPS speed of the D800.
Since many sports and wildlife photographers have been asking me about the D800 AF performance, I decided to share some information on it that I have collected so far. First of all, the f/8 focusing capability is not a myth – it definitely works. I tried the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR with the TC-20E III and focusing worked, even in low-light conditions (although not as accurate as in daylight conditions). Granted the image quality was pretty bad (the 200-400mm just doesn’t couple well with anything but the TC-14E II), AF worked just fine. This means that the Nikon 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4 lenses will also autofocus with the TC-20E III teleconverter and you are not just limited to very bright shooting conditions. I will have to do some more in-depth digging with the TC-20E III and other long lenses, but so far I am impressed by the updated AF system.
What about the TC-17E II that I have been avoiding when shooting with f/4 lenses? Surprisingly, the D800 made my TC-17E II usable again. Take a look at this image, shot with the Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S and TC-17E II:
If you just got a new Nikon flash or a new Nikon camera like the D4 or D800, maybe even a Nikon 1, there’s an app for you. If you are like me, you don’t want to carry a big manual with you everywhere you go but for those rare occasions you need to refer to it, it is nice to know that you can download the manual in pdf form from the Nikon website. To make it simple, Nikon has a free iPhone/iPad app (not available for Android to my knowledge) called Nikon Manual Viewer – it is free and much more convenient than carrying around a manual. Several of Nikon’s product manuals for DSLRs, NIkon 1 and speedlights are available for download and viewing from within the app itself (currently only in English or Japanese).
What is Does
The app is free and easy to use, you go to the Downloads button and select your product from the menu.
I just came back from a trip and wanted to share some of the images that were taken with the Nikon D800. Since I did not have a chance to shoot much with the D800 before the trip, my Nikon D800 Review had very few sample images, some of which were pretty bad for my taste. But as I have already pointed out, I had to publish the review before my trip, because our readers kept on sending me emails on a daily basis, asking when the review will be available. It is still a work in progress, so I will be updating it with more information this week. Check back the review occasionally and you will find more valuable information with plenty of details. Some readers requested me to provide more image samples and comparisons with the 5D Mark III and the D700, so I will do that later this week as well.
Back to the images from another world – the below images were taken with the D800 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, Nikon 24mm f/1.4G and Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lenses, in a remote location of New Mexico, known as “Bisti Badlands”:
36 megapixel Full Frame camera sounds great, doesn’t it? What you get in a D800 is, basically, exceptional high ISO performance, as demonstrated by Nasim in his review, and resolution that, heretics say, can rival some of Medium Format digital backs. One of the best cameras currently on offer, surely. One of the best for several years to come, it is almost a revolution, both in camera market as well as your pocket, as creatively described by Bob Vishneski. Extremely tempting, completely justified again and again in your mind. People would understand, wouldn’t they? Even your wife, with some persuasion, could see reason. And yet something is not quite right, not quite settled. Is it the old-ish D700 poking you at the shoulder? Never too far away, the brother. Always haunting, always showing off its huge sensor, its lower than ever price tag. The D800 shines above it day and night, yes, you see it in your dreams, you see it in the hands of other photographers – calling out to you, always bright, but the older brother is persistent. After all these years, after almost decades it seems now, D700 is still trying to drop a shadow on your face, still trying to be noticed and loved just as it was before the new kid came to town. A desperate pensioner.