What is Nikon Thinking? D300S, D7100, D610, D700, D750, Df, D810, D4s Compared...

With the release of the D750, I’m starting to wonder what Nikon is thinking with their lineup.  Shooters I know are waiting for a true replacement for both the D300s and the D700.  Arguments can be made that the D7100 replaces the D300s, and the D750 replaces the D700.  However, an equal number (and maybe more) arguments can be made that no replacements exist.  In this post, I’ll quickly cover some of the specs that differentiate the cameras that are current in the lineup.  Nikon has a lot of bodies on their site but I wouldn’t consider many of them current (D90, really?).  Here, I’ll just look at the D300s, D7100, D610, D700, D750, Df, D810 and the D4s.  The other bodies (D7000, D4, etc. that Nikon still lists are all very similar to at least one model discussed below).     Spec D300s D7100 D610 D700 D750 Df D810 D4s Release Date 2009 2013 2014 2008 2014 2013 2014 2014 Price $1500 $1200 $2000 $2500 $2300 $2750 $3300 $6500 Sensor Resolution (MP) 12 24 24 12 24 16 36 16  Nikon DSLR Lineup: Price vs Megapixels (Click for larger)   I’m not listing the spec of the lower end cams in the table, but they are shown on the graph above. In general the price curve makes sense, even if the D3300 is a kit price (with lens) and the rest are body-only. Higher spec bodies are higher in price. The D4s takes a huge jump in price, but it is as the top of the lineup and does offer great performance. The majority of the Nikon lineup now uses as 24 megapixel sensor, which is plenty of resolution for almost any application.  It must be a sweet spot for price and performance.  Now I realize that megapixels are not the only measure of performance but they do play a role, many consumers still stick to ‘more is better’.  The current cameras present a marketing challenge for Nikon, and so far they have not done a good job of telling us why you would buy one model over another. The D300s is sitting with just 12 megapixels (APS-C), for less money you get a much more capable camera in a D7100 but you give up build quality and familiar ergonomics. The D700 is also sitting at 12 megapixels (full frame), and Nikon has options that are more capable but unfortunately not in the same body.  The D750 has a better sensor (six years of evolution is an eternity in the tech world), but in a lesser body.  The D810 has a better sensor (best on the market in any DSLR), but with a much lower frame rate.  There is no clear upgrade path. The Df is an oddball too, having only 16 megapixels, no flash, no video, and a mix of modern and classic controls. Let’s look at a few more stats. Spec D300s D7100 D610 D700 D750 Df D810 D4s ISO Range 200 – 3200 100 – 6400 100 – 6400 200 – 6400 100 – 12800 100 – 12800 64 – 12800 100 – 25600 AF Points 51 51 39 51 51 39 51 51 Max Shutter 1/8000 1/8000 1/4000 1/8000 1/4000 1/4000 1/8000 1/8000 Frame Rate 7/8 6 6 5/8 6 5.5 5 11  Nikon DSLR Lineup: Price vs Frame Rate (Click for larger)   One thing that strikes me is that the D300s is a camera that was released in 2009 and Nikon has nothing since (outside of the very expensive pro bodies) that has bettered the frame rate.  If we look at the D700 it’s even more apparent (8fps with grip).  Both the D300s and D700 feature pro build and ergonomics, fast frame rates, great autofoucs and other related ‘pro’ features (flash sync speed, max shutter, etc.).  The D7100 comes close to replacing the D300s, but you need to accept a different style body...

Expert Shield vs GGS Screen Protector for Nikon D800...

  I’m giving away two Expert Shield screen protectors. Draw will take place on September 19, 2014. No stings, no BS. I have an extra Sony RX100 model and the D800 anti-glare model.   All you have to do is comment on this post with which model you want, add a valid email address (which won’t be visible to anyone but me). Winners will be announced here and I’ll contact you for a shipping address. Good luck!     Update: I only had entries for the D800 model, and the winner is Peter Looper!  I might run another draw for the RX100 model at another time.     Some time ago I posted about my issues with the GGS screen protectors.  The first one was faulty, second one was different from the first and had a plastic border which obscured the top and bottom of the LCD.  My third one (same as the first), arrived and it had some scratches on the glass.  I ended up using it, fed up with the whole process.  Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with the experience and made worse because you can’t seem to contact the company directly. About a year ago, I purchased a Sony RX-100 and decided to use an Expert Shield screen protector on that camera.  It installed perfectly, no bubbles and you can’t seven see it’s there.  One year later, it’s still on the camera and I have had no problems with it at all. I decided to finally replace the GGS screen protector on my D800 with an Expert Shield.  I have the standard and anti-glare models, but decided to go with the standard one.  The installation was easy, as before, and the result looks like a naked D800 LCD but I know it’s well protected.  Here are a few photos from the process. The GGS, note how it sits raised above the body.  It isn’t a perfect fit, and the one with the plastic frame (gen 2?) is a terrible fit.   Another shot of the GGS.   Last one of GGS.   The Expert Shield covers, which come with a microfiber cloth to aid installation. Expert Shield mounted on D800, a near-perfect fit for the LCD.  It comes with covers for both the rear and top LCD plates.   One more of the Expert Shield, looks and works great.   Overall, I’m very happy with the product and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good screen protector.  It’s much nicer than the standard Nikon covers and works much better than the GGS covers I tried.  I will be using this on all of my cameras from now on.  ...

Slow Road to Squamish: Long Exposures on the Sea to Sky...

A couple of weeks ago my friend Eli and I did a photohunting trip from Vancouver to Squamish.  The goal was to capture some long exposure shots along the way, below are some of the results.  Eli’s Gitzo tripod was conveniently lost by WestJet, and a loaner fell through at the last minute.  A stop at the Salvation Army saved the day though as he was able to pick up a “pro quality” tripod for $9!       First stop was the Lions Gate Bridge.  Not a great day for long exposures as it was mostly clear skies.  We gave it a shot though.   A shot with my iPhone 5S first. The resulting long exposure shot with my D800 and 24-70.   Next we went to a spot that I have never been to, the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver.  I didn’t even know this existed but, while waiting for Eli to do whatever it is he was doing, I found it on Google Maps.  It’s a great spot that is worth visiting again. Eli set up on top, my tripod also ready to shoot the spillway.   A quick way to lose gear when looking over the edge :)   There are a couple of holes in the fence where you can get a shot of the reservoir. Too bad the clouds are not more interesting, you take what you are given I suppose.   You can also shoot the spillway from below, here Eli stands on the edge shooting his long exposure.   Mine from that spot.   We left Vancouver and stopped in Horseshoe Bay for a few shots.  I have a few more to look through, but in general I didn’t get anything here that I was that happy with.  If I get something worth posting I’ll just do an update.  However, on our way out I decided to set up my camera in the passenger seat of my truck, then use the remote release to get some shots while I’m driving.  I used a 6-stop ND filter and a circular polarizer to take out the glare from the windshield.  Looks odd, maybe like photo radar :) Considering that this was highly experimental, the resulting shots were not too bad.   Some were completely unusable, but others show promise.  I want to try it again, but play with the settings to see if I can get something better.  This shot was a 1-second exposure at 100Km/h, that is Eli in front of me. We hit Squamish, had lunch at The Watershed Grill, and parted ways.  On my way home, I stopped at Shannon Falls. This is the creek below the falls.   My final stop was at Porteau Cove, where I have been many times to dive but never to take photos.  Turned out to be my favourite shot of the day....

Vancouver Long Exposure Black & White

A few long exposure black and white photos from a night in...

Cypress Mountain Snowshoeing

On the first day of spring, I had the chance to hit the snowshoe trails at Cypress Mountain.  Despite some initial clouds and light snow, it turned out to be a beautiful day on the mountain.  Here are a few photos from the day, apologies for the lack of information but I don’t have a lot of time for a write up :)           Fondue time at Hollyburn Lodge.  Food was great and our guides made the day!               On the way down the mountain, we stopped the lookout and were treated to a beautiful...

Cropped for Pinterest

This idea came from Trey Ratcliff, who cropped some of his images for an interesting display board on Pinterest.  I decided to do the same thing, cropping the images into long and thin slivers.  The full images are posted on this site, some in the gallery and some just in various blog posts....

The Best of 2013: Posts & Photos Dec24

The Best of 2013: Posts & Photos

Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s time for another best of post.  2013 was a huge year for me, the biggest year of my life.  I started a new job working for a copper mining company with headquarters in my homeland: Poland.  I never thought that my native language would help me land a job in Canada, but here I am.  That pales in comparison to the biggest change in my life, I became a dad to twins!  Marek and June were born in the summer and are now approaching six months of age.   Things have not been the same since.  I obviously have less time to take photos and post on the blog, but I fill my time with the laughs from two awesome kids :)  There are many photos that I haven’t even processed and posted yet, and they will have to wait until I have some free time (never?). Like the Best Of 2012, the three most popular posts of 2013 are all gear related. Nikon D800 and D800E Setup and Configuration – Recommended settings for the four menu banks on a Nikon D800/D800E.  The post shows how I set up my camera and allows you to download the config file to use in your own camera. Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D – This is not a 2013 post but it was the #2 most visited post on my site in 2013 so I decided to include it.  It was also #2 back in 2012 and it’s here again because these two entry level full frame cameras are very popular with enthusiast photographers. Nikon D800 Autofocus Repair Testing – The Sequel – Another round of testing my D800 autofocus system, this time after Nikon tried to repair it for the second time.  Sadly, the left side focus sensors are still not working well so I’ll have to send the camera in once again.  I love the D800 but the focus problems make it a single AF sensor camera (for me). The three most popular photo related posts of 2013 were: A Frosty Morning – Nikon D800 Macro with Focus Stack – Some photos in my garden after a frost.  Granted, this was posted on January 2nd so it had the benefit of a full year of collecting hits versus posts added in December.  I just use the Google Analytics stats and don’t play favourites. Hiking Stawamus Chief South Peak – A great hike in Squamish, BC.  The Lions hike made the 2012 list. First Visit to the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research – self explanatory. It is also interesting to note that the most common search term that lead people to my site was “pitbull”.  I have many pitbull photos on my site but this one was by far the most popular. Some of my favourite photos from 2013.                                ...

A Trip to Chile Dec15

A Trip to Chile

I visited Chile in May 2013, so this post is LONG overdue.  In my defense though, two cute babies arrived and those little things take up all of my time :)  So after months of inactivity, here are a few photos from the trip. I landed in Santiago and had a day to explore the city with my colleague Jamie.  We decided to go for a walk without having a destination in mind. and as we left the hotel the sun was reflecting off the large tower.  Sadly, I think the effect is visible due to air pollution.   We walked along the canal, and came across several interesting sights. We saw a large statue at the top of a hill and decided that was a good destination.  It turned out to be the Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepción, and it was a much farther walk than we had expected. Half way up the hill, you can see the tower in the distance where we started our walk. Finally at the top, tired and needing a rest. Enjoying the view.   A few more shots from the top of the mountain (click to see bigger). We found a rail car that could take us back down, which was great as we didn’t want to walk all the way back down.  Using Trip Advisor, I found that the cemetery is worth visiting.  Despite being tired, we decided to make our way down there since it wasn’t far.  Along the way, we came across some interesting graffiti. And a dog that didn’t like me taking his photo. We finally made it to the Cementerio General, and I’m glad we made the effort.  It is an amazing spot, with a lot of old crypts and gravestones.  The sun was starting to set and we just walked around looking at the interesting sights.  This is the entrance gate. Inside one of the buildings, there are many like this. Each plaque a person’s final resting place.   Some are obviously very expensive, with marble and stained glass windows. They are beautiful.       Others are older and less well maintained, but equally interesting and with a lot of character. A few more shots. This is a spot I will have to come back to, it’s a fantastic place to walk around. That was it for Santiago, not a city you can see in one day but we did our best.  Must have walked 20Km in total.  The next day, we took a tour to the Casablanca Valley, well known for it’s white wines.  The tour would visit several wineries, with a sampling at each one of course.  First up was Indomita, with a great view and a beautiful estate. A few shots during a tour of the winery.   The name of the second winery escapes me.  It was smaller and used more traditional techniques.  If you recognize it, leave a comment and I’ll update the post.  Thanks!     Here they are making balsamic vinegar.  As the vinegar ages it reduces in volume so they pour it into ever smaller barrels. The final winery was Casas del Bosqe.  Another beautiful spot where we sampled wines and had an excellent lunch.     The next day, I caught an early flight to Calama, which is located in the Atacama Desert.  The Atacama is the driest place on earth, receiving almost no rainfall.  Some weather stations have NEVER received rain!  These are a couple of iphone photos from the plane as we were leaving Santiago.  There are still clouds here, in the Atacama there are only clear skies.     This shot is on the approach to Calama.  A bizarre landscape featuring no plants.  In the bottom of this photos, there is a small river that supports a small group of shrubs.  Beyond that, it’s  bleak but strangely beautiful as well.   I was in the Atacama to visit a copper...

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