Nikon has announced the development of their newest flagship DSLR, the Nikon D6. Given the timing of this announcement, and that 2019 marks the 20th year of Nikon single-digit “D” digital cameras (the D1 was released in 1999), I would speculate that we’ll see the D6 available sometime later this fall.
The flagship D-series Nikon DSLRs are geared towards professional sports/action photographers who need the best autofocus, fastest frame rates, and superior low-light performance. These cameras offer superior weather sealing, long battery life, and an integrated vertical grip, ideal for using larger telephoto lenses.
Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8 FL ED SR VR Nikkor
Also announced today was a new fast telephoto zoom lens for sports photographers. The Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR lens will use Nikon’s electronic aperture control for more reliable exposure control, and will incorporate fluorite (FL) elements as well as Nikon’s extra low-dispersion (ED) glass elements. This pro lens will be ideal for sports photographers who work from fixed locations, where having a zoom lens becomes extremely valuable. What’s interesting here is the as of yet undisclosed “SR” designation. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what that one means!
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I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve struggled with photographing birds in flight for years. The number one problem I and others have is focus acquisition. With birds in flight (BIFs), the ideal situation is to lock focus early while the animal is still at distance, track the approaching bird, and then capture a rapid burst of shots when the bird begins to fill the frame.
For me, my struggles have always been two-fold. First, when birds are very far away, it’s often hard for the camera to discern the difference between the subject and the background. Often times the camera will focus on the background instead of the bird. When this happens, you need to quickly re-cycle the focus system (pump the focus). The other challenge is when the bird drops below a background object such as trees or a mountain ridge. Again, the focus system can quickly lose track of the subject unless it’s fairly large in the frame. Continue reading My Go-To Focus Setting For Birds In Flight→
The Nikon D850 DSLR camera not only produces 45-megapixel images perfect for landscapes and studio work, but its fast frame rate makes it potentially appealing for sports and action photographers. In sports and action photography, shutter speed is critical, and that means being able to push the camera ISO well above its base value. I decided to do some Nikon D850 high ISO testing to see how it fares.
The Nikon D850 has a base ISO of 64, but you can expand it up to 25,800. Beyond that, you can push the ISO two full stops (Hi 1 and Hi 2 settings) to get corresponding ISO values of 51,200 and 102,400, respectively. Nikon uses the “Hi” nomenclature to denote sensitivities that are not truly “in-spec” and in accordance with the ISO standard.