Nikon D-SLR

the Best Camera in the World ..

.. will be the one where the camera manufacturers allow me some input into the matter.  If only Nikon and Canon (and Pentax and Fuji and everyone else) would just gather around a table and listen to me.  If only …

When I get to handle a new camera, I often wonder why the manufacturers designed a camera the specific way they did.  It might be the strange placement of a button or control; or the omission of a feature, or even the deliberate hampering of features in the non-pro bodies.  Sometimes I just wish they would bring in a feature that I love on another camera.

Here are the gear-head musings on what I would insist the Best Camera in the World would be like, if I had any say in it.  (Sorry, but that means this posting will have a lot of words and no images this time around.)

Firstly, the Best Camera in the World would have to be a modern full-frame digital SLR camera (D-SLR)  for the combination of accessibility, versatility and image quality.

I recently moved from using Canon 1D mkIII bodies to using Nikon D3 bodies.  Personally, I think the Nikon D3 is the best camera that has ever been made to date.   But there are a number of pros and cons, and not everything falls in favor of the Nikon D3.  Therefore most of this post is a comparison between these two cameras, and which things from either camera I would want to see in the Best Camera in the World.

But before we even get there, I have to touch on something – Exposure Modes.  Both these cameras fall down sorely when it comes to how the exposure modes are accessed.  Pentax’s ingenuity here towers over them in this regard.

Learn more inside…

{ 48 comments }

camera settings: Nikon D3

December 31, 2008

Nikon D3 camera settings – custom settings

The Nikon D3 brought incredible image quality to the usual reliability of their cameras and unbeatable optical quality of their lenses.  The multitude of settings make the D3 a high-precision camera that can be configured in a personal way, depending on shooting style.

When my D3 first arrived, it was with huge excitement that I unpacked it, fired off a few frames just for the thrill of hearing the shutter whir by in continuous high-speed drive … and then proceeded to change the settings to my preferences with Nikon cameras.  So here is an overview of my preferences for the D3, and the settings that I changed immediately upon getting the camera out of the box:

Learn more inside…

{ 5 comments }

camera settings: Nikon D700

December 31, 2008

Nikon D700 camera settings – custom settings

The Nikon D700 has the same remarkable image quality that the Nikon D3 has, but in a smaller more affordable camera.  This makes sit an excellent alternative to the top-rated Nikon D3.  And of course the multitude of camera settings and custom settings make the D700 a camera which can be configured in a highly personal way, depending on your shooting style and needs.

Here is an overview of my preferences for the D700, and the settings that I changed immediately upon getting the camera out of the box.

Learn more inside…

{ 36 comments }

Nikon D700 : preview

July 25, 2008

hands-on preview: Nikon D700

Nikon D700 ..-. 1/125th @ f3.5 @ 32oo ISO.
[ click on the image to see a 100% crop ]

The Nikon D700 camera (B&H) and Nikon SB-900 speedlight (B&H), were released today, to my great anticipation. I expected to see D3 quality images in a body about the size of the D300, and accessibly priced for what it delivers.

This evening I drove in to Manhattan so I could roam around Times Square to test the low-light capabilities of this camera. This after all is what the D3 is renowned for, and the D700 promises to deliver the same image quality.  Outside Toys’R’Us, there was a line of Star Wars fans waiting for a pre-release party of the new Star Wars movie to start, and a few of them graciously posed for me – most impressively of all, a Darth Maul look-alike.  (I composed the photograph so that the ferris-wheel inside the shop radiates outward behind him to make for an even more striking portrait.)

The image you see there was taken with only the available light in Times Square.  And fair enough, the place is flooded at night with light from the numerous billboards – but I was able to get this image at 1/125th @ f3.5 .. which are ‘easy’ settings to use, but this was at an incredible 3200 ISO.  Click on the image to see a 100% crop of the area around his eyes to see the high-ISO noise performance.  This is from the straight-out-of-camera JPG.  I am impressed!

{ 16 comments }

Nikon D300 custom settings

The Nikon D300 (which superseded the highly-regarded D200), offers great image quality and offering many of the same features of the Nikon D3, but at a more affordable price – all of which will make the D300 a camera that many professional photographers will chose as their main camera.

Many of the custom settings of the D300 are the same as for the D200, but there are a few differences.  (eg, Auto ISO is now set in the Shooting Menu.)

Here are my preferences for the Custom Settings .. and why.

(And here’s the link if you’d like to order the D300 from Amazon.)

Learn more inside…

{ 84 comments }

Nikon D80 custom settings

January 23, 2007

Nikon D80 custom settings

The D80 has 32 custom settings which allows this little camera to be set to your own preferences and needs – and this makes it a very flexible little beast.

This page details my preferences .. and why.

Learn more inside…

{ 33 comments }

Nikon D200 custom settings

The Nikon D200 has been described as the ‘D2x Lite’, because it has most of the best features of the awesome D2x and added a few new features into the mix. Therefore this page is similar to the page on the D2x custom settings.

Here are my preferences for the Custom Settings .. and why.

Learn more inside…

{ 11 comments }

Nikon D2x custom settings

If the Nikon D2H was an awesome camera, then the bigger brother, the Nikon D2x is simply stunning, offering amazing picture quality. The controls and functions between the two cameras are virtually the same, and the D2x offers the same myriad of options that the photographer can set according to their own style and needs.
Here are my preferences for the D2x Custom Settings .. and why.

Learn more inside…

{ 26 comments }

Nikon D70 custom settings

December 23, 2004

Nikon D70 custom settings

The 25 custom settings on the Nikon D70 enable this great little camera to be adapted to the photographer’s specific needs – which may change from situation to situation.

This page details my preferences .. and why.

Learn more inside…

{ 28 comments }

Nikon D2H custom settings

The D2H is an immediately impressive camera – extremely flexible, and offering a myriad of options that the photographer can set according to their own style and needs.

Here are my preferences for the Custom Settings .. and why.

Learn more inside…

{ 3 comments }