Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nikon D40 Rumors

Well there are rumors like crazy that there will be a new Nikon DSLR that will be available, and possibly soon. I have heard that it will be revealed next week. It is the Nikon D40. The rumor mill has it as a 6MP camera that will only accept Nikon AF-S lenses (essentially the newer Nikkor lenses). This is obviously a move to get people to upgrade from Point and Shoot cameras into a DSLR.

Other rumored items are 3 focus points, and most likely the pre-programmed settings like Portrait, Night shooting that entry level DSLRs have. All of this is to help the transition from the P&S. The projected price is $499 with a kit lens. WOW!! Take that Canon... Let's see how this pans out.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Nikon Rebates are now available

Nikon USA has announced rebates for their lenses and you can double or triple the rebate based on the number of items you purchase. So you could pickup the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras plus the Nikon D200 and get $150 off the total or just get the lens alone and get $75 off the lens.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Just how large can I print from a digital camera?

This is a question many people new to digital photography ask. How big can I print, well the answer may actually surprise you. Lets look at the current crop of digital cameras. The "smallest" megapixel (MP) cameras are in the 5MP range some are smaller but pretty tough to find. For example the Canon PowerShot A530 5MP Digital Camera. The image sensor is 2592 pixels wide by 1944 pixels tall. Generally accepted printing for images is 300dpi (dots per inch) in general we can think each pixel as a dot that will be printed so we take the 2592 divide that by 300 and we get 8.64 inches (about 22cm) and 1944 pixels will get us 6.48 inches (16.5cm). So this little guy right will produce nice prints for the typical person like a 4x6 or 5x7 that most people will print.

Can you print larger? Yes you can but you either have to invent the dots (interpolation) to upsize or use a lower DPI in order to print larger. One can safely drop down to 200 or even 150 dpi So we could get a 13x17 inch print out of this camera at 150dpi. Something this size would most likely be placed high and viewed from a further distance so the lower DPI would not affect quality of the print. If you were to get a few inches away you would notice it though.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Canon Rebates are out

Well it's the Oct 15th and the Canon USA rebates are out now and for you folks in Canada too. And they appear to be pretty good $300US ($350CAN) off for the Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP and if you buy 2 or more qualifying products the rebates double. hmmm I may just have to get one hehehe Maybe.

Digital Triage

With the advent of digital photography I find that a lot of people in the field photographic triage. Imagine all the pics that we thought were "bad" and promptly deleted forever. Some of the greatest pictures were "snapshots" that today would probably have been deleted because the photographer thought they were "bad" I think this really illustrates that possibly some of the greatest shots will be deleted in the future just because...

A lot of the great images of the 20th century were spontaneous and not thought out, and in the end did not come out "technically perfect." When Joe Rosenthal took his famous image of the raising of the American flag over Iwo Jima he did not initially like the image. His intention was to have all the Marines looking at him. He looked up and they were already raising the flag and the guys were not looking at him when he took the photo. If it had been done with a digital camera, he could have made the decision in the field that the second image was better and forwarded that one to the editor, and deleted the now famous image. I know that there are times I have done a shot that I thought was horrid, only to have people tell me that it was a GREAT shot. I did not see what they were seeing and I do delete images in the field.

I have great respect for Joe Rosenthal's work. It's not easy to be a photographer in that type of situation, so any image is an accomplishment, and an amazing image such as the raising of the flag is a greater feat. Basically, I think that a lot of us do on the field triage of our photographs, that one day could be considered fantastic images. A lot of famous images of the past could have easily been deleted right in the spot because the photographer deemed it as "bad" even though it was a fantastic capture.

Make one think doesn't it....

Saturday, October 14, 2006

How to isolate a subject (DOF)

Depth of field (DOF) is something that a lot of people do not have a good enough grasp of to be able to take advantage of. If used properly one is able to isoloate a subject so it is the primary thing a person will see. Depending what you are photographing will dictate how much DOF you need to use.

Let's cover the items that control the DOF in an image.

Aperture size
The larger (smaller number) that your aperture is the less DOF you will have to play with. If you take the same image at f/2.8 vs. f/22 you will see more of the background will be visible at f/22 compared to f/2.8. Knowing this will let you control how much is in focus.

Lens Focal Length
The longer your lens is the less DOF you have. This is the main reason most landscape photographers use wide angle lenses so that mountain in the distance is nice and sharp along with the river in front of them.

Distance from subject
This one has to be the one that most people do not realize affects your DOF. As you get closer to the subject less of the background will remain in focus. Conversely as you step away more will be sharper.

Putting all this together is the image below. It was taken with a Nikon 70-200mm VR lens set at 200mm at f/2.8 at about 6 feet away (2 meters for the rest of the world) Notice that the background is completely out of focus. The barbed wire really stands out in this image.

Here is another post from a soccer/football blog that really illustrates great DOF.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nikon D200 firmware upgrade (more to it than meets the eye)

There are reports at Nikonians and DPReview forums that there may be more to the new Nikon D200 firmware upgrade than what Nikon has originally reported. Sigma lenses on Nikon D200 bodies could only be focused by half pressing the shutter button, the AF-ON button did not work. The only solution until now was to send the lens back to Sigma for them to correct the issue. Well the new firmware now seems to have corrected that issue. Other people have reported that AF speed has improved and get this VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses seem to be behaving better after the firmware upgrade as well.

I have not upgraded my D200 yet (being in the computer world I like to let others go for it before I take the plunge) so I will be going for it this weekend and report back my results here with the 70-200VR, stay tuned. =)