Tag Archives: cameras

Does the D500 lose detail at high ISO?

After my Nikon D500 ISO post yesterday, seems as though people didn’t agree with my assessment that the Nikon D500 handles noise very well through ISO 6400. In particular, several people were pointing out that the D500 obliterates fine details at higher ISOs.

My findings: Not true, Unless you are shooting JPEGs with High-ISO NR enabled, that is. In that case, the in-camera NR is definitely smearing out details. Continue reading Does the D500 lose detail at high ISO?

Nikon D500: Hands-on first impressions

My Nikon D500 arrived today!
Female red-winged blackbird, Fountain, CO. Nikon D500 with 200-500mm f/5.6E VR Nikkor and TC-14EIII teleconverter. 1/2000s f/10 ISO 7200 Effective FL: 1050mm
Female red-winged blackbird, Fountain, CO.
Nikon D500 with 200-500mm f/5.6E VR Nikkor and TC-14EIII teleconverter.
1/2000s f/10 ISO 7200
Effective FL: 1050mm (click to enlarge)

Finally, I get my hands on a true flagship DX body from Nikon. I’ve always had a place in my kit for a DX body, because I appreciate the extra reach when shooting wildlife; especially birds. However, Nikon’s offerings since the D300s haven’t excited me. This camera, however, makes me glad to be a Nikon shooter! Continue reading Nikon D500: Hands-on first impressions

New DSLRs from Nikon and Canon

The new Canon 5DS cameras have 50 megapixel resolution. That ought to up the ante for landscapes and fashion photographers.

There have been a couple new cameras in the news lately. For Canon shooters, the new 5DS and 5DS R models deliver 50-megapixel (8688 x 5792 pixel) full-frame (36x24mm) images. I know many Canon shooters who have been waiting for something to get them over the 20 megapixel barrier, and these two cameras should do the trick. Canon is doing something similar to what Nikon did with the D800/e variants. The “R” model uses a software cancellation trick to eliminate the effect of the optical low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter.  Both models are expected to be shipping by June 2015.

My take: I know many Canon shooters who have switched to the Sony system not necessarily because they wanted a mirrorless camera, but because they wanted to use their L-glass on a 36MP camera. With the aggressive price points of the 5DS (under $4k), the competition just got going again between Nikon and Canon. I’m very interested in seeing how well Canon has done increasing the dynamic range of their sensors, which has been fairly stagnant for the last few years.

Nikon also announced a new D810 variant for astrophotography, the D810A. This camera has the same sensor as the normal D810 (36MP), but offers a different kind of filter over the sensor; one with an Infrared cut filter. The idea here is to allow for better astrophotographic captures of nebulae, as the filter lets these unique wavelengths of light (H-alpha reds) through (see image samples from Nikon). The D810A also offers more flexibility in manual exposure for capturing long exposures (you can set times up to 15 minutes).

My take: This camera is a specialty item, designed for amateur and professional astronomers. The new camera offers great features for astronomy, but it isn’t at all suited for general-purpose work. I think it’s great that Nikon has the resources to release a camera such as this, because it means that they are doing well enough elsewhere to warrant the production of a specialty camera. But man, I still hope to see a 20+MP camera capable of 8fps for my birding work!

Fuji X-T1 News: New body, New Firmware

The Fujifilm X-T1 (Graphite) edition offers some new features that will also be available to original X-T1 owners via a firmware update in December 2014. Image courtesy of Fujifilm.

Fujifilm announced a new color (Graphite) X-T1 body to be released later this year. While it looks really nice, it’s really the same camera as the original (black) X-T1, which I use as my primary travel/family camera. The bigger news, however, was a firmware upgrade coming in December that will match the original (black) X-T1’s features with its silver counterpart. I looked through the firmware features, which you can read here, and the following items caught my eye:

  • Electronic shutter option for fast primes: You will be able to shoot at a shutter speed of up to 1/32,000s with the electronic shutter. That’s perfect for using a fast prime in bright light without having to stop down. The downside is that this feature will only work with the 23 f/1.4, 25 f/1.4 and 56 f/1.2 Fuji prime lenses (I’m scratching my head on that one).
  • Natural Live View Mode: Because the X-T1 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF), the viewfinder displays the scene with in-camera settings applied, like monochrome or “Velvia” mode. What that means is that sometimes the viewfinder image is too contrasty or saturated due to the chosen film emulation mode. Natural mode will display a normal image in the viewfinder, while the captured images will have the film emulation settings applied to them.
  • Linking the focus area to the metering area in spot metering mode: This is something my Nikon’s do, and it’s a feature I find quite useful. Currently, the spot meter uses the center of the frame, meaning you can’t just choose a metering area with the focus points without recomposing the shot.

Sadly, the one feature I really want, ± 2EV bracketing, wasn’t on the list. I hope Fuji reconsiders and adds this feature… it would make HDR capture so much easier!

The X-T1 (Graphite Silver) is available for pre-order from site sponsor B&H photo for $1499 (body only). You can also pick up the original X-T1 (black) in a new bundle with the 18-135mm zoom lens (highly recommended) for $1899.