Posts Tagged ‘ Nikon ’

Lens Rentals Data – Canon Four Times Quicker Than Nikon at Repairs

Lens Rentals published their data for defects and repairs across the kit they own.  Some interesting nuggets in here. Sigma’s 120-300 f2/8 stands out as a serious lemon with 3 times more failures than the next worst offender. This would certainly make me think twice about this lens but in general Canon and Nikon also feature heavily in the top 15 so I don’t think it means avoid Sigma in general.

Check out the methodology and the list at: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/09/lensrentals-repair-data-january-july-2012

New Nikon 50mm AF-S 1.8G Lens

Nikon Rumors is reporting a new 50mm f/1.8 from Nikon. 50mm lenses offer a low cost entry point to experiment with super shallow depths of field and give great low light performance.  Nikon and Canon both have 50mm f/1.8 lenses for under $150 (100 UK pounds).  The ‘f/1.8’ means the lens can be opened to a very wide aperture, which will let in lots of light, ideal for shooting at night without a tripod.  Such a wide aperture also creates a shallow depth of field making it easy to put a subject in focus and have a blurry background behind.

The significance of this new 50mm lens from Nikon is it overcomes a major drawback of the current Nikon current entry level 50mm which doesn’t include a focusing motor in the lens.  This prevents it being used on Nikon’s entry level cameras where it arguably would be most valuable to have a low cost, high performance lens available. The newly announced 50mm lens is marked ‘AF-S’ meaning it can auto-focus on almost any Nikon DSLR. If you’re a D40, D60, D3000, D3100 or D5000 owner and you don’t already have a large aperture 50mm lens, then this is a great announcement for you.  Price has not been announced but most likely in the 150-200 dollar range.

UPDATE 27th April:

  • Official announcement made by Nikon (see press release)
  • Amazon taking preorders.  Price, $219 including lens hood and a case.

What the heck is FP High Speed Sync?

The simple question of “how do I set a faster shutter speed whilst using a flash” led me to discover FP High Speed Sync on my camera (just called High Speed Sync with Canon).  Have you ever been looking at a scene, switched on your flash and had your camera dramatically over expose a photo or change your carefully selected aperture?  If the answer is yes, then you need to know about High Speed Sync.

What is FP or High Speed Sync Mode? Continue reading

Nikon D3100 announced

The most significant thing in the D3100 is autofocus in liveview and movie mode (first in a DSLR).  How well it works remains to be seen but its nice to see Nikon moving forwards with video features (including 1080p recording).  Overall the package looks very strong for a 700 dollar camera (with kit lens).  Highlights include: 14MP sensor and increased high ISO (3200, decent for an entry level camera…again depends how good the pictures are at this setting).

Read Nikon’s blurb: http://www.nikon.com/about/news/2010/0819_d3100_01.htm

Rebates for Canon and Nikon (US)

Nikon Rebates – ends March 27th

Adorama, BandH and others are offering instant rebates when purchasing a popular selection of lenses with most camera bodies.  Just go to their websites and the saves are applied directly.

18-200mm – $250 instant rebate.  This is a great first lens (its what I started with and still what I keep on my camera most of the time) giving you maximum flexibility without having to carry a lot of gear. I wish this offer had been available when I got my first body/lens!

Other offers: 70-200 – $400 IR, 24-70mm – $300 IR, 24-120mm – $200 IR, 70-300mm – $200, 24-70/70-200 combo – $700

Canon Rebates

The Canon lens rebates are less significant although they are doubled if you buy a 5D MkII at the same time:
200 F2 – $500 IR
85 1.2 – $130
50 1.2 – $100
16-35 – $100
45 2.8 tse – $80
24-70 – $80
100 2.8 IS – $65
15 2.8 – $45
135 2.8 – $35
100 f2 – $30
580ex II – $25
430ex II – $15

Buying a Camera – Part 3: Whats in a name?

By Jack Berglund

I’m not a big fan of ‘marketing fluff’ naming.  Give me a nice logical set of numbers and letters any day.  Cars are a good example.  In a rush to conjure up some lifestyle association, too many manufactures put ridiculous names on their cars.  Naming your latest 4×4 after a Lake (Chevy Tahoe) or even more confusingly, the capital of an ex-French colony (Porsche Cayenne) undoubtedly makes sense in a marketing meeting. What annoys me, is deep down I know it probably works in the real world too otherwise the practice would have died out.  Ditto for the ‘lifestyle’ car ad which shows a pair of models driving through a beautiful place with giant grins and  ‘we’re better because we drive this car’ expressions but tells you nothing about the car.

What fills me with hope is the world of photography.  Here is a place where engineers come up with wonderful pieces of technology, give them logical letters and numbers and push them out to the world for all to enjoy.  Well, not quite.  It seems in both Canon and Nikon’s cases, the naming logic was devised at 2am after one too many Sake.  Continue reading

Fun Technique: Time to Get Flashy

By Jack Berglund

In this second in the series of fun techniques, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t realize I’ve tricked you into learning what rear sync flash is and how to use it.

Getting this effect is surprisingly simple, by setting your camera up correct and zooming whilst the shot is being taken. You’ll get the best results with a dedicated flash although you can have a crack with the one on your camera also with more mixed results.

First the ‘How’

The ‘why’ comes later, its more fun that way and as fun is in the title, we’re all about fun today:

  1. Set your flash to rear sync (sometimes called second-curtain) mode *see the note below if you’re unsure how to do this
  2. In manual mode, set your shutter speed to something around 1/2s – 1 s and your aperture close to wide open.
  3. The slower you go with the shutter speed the more pronounced affects you can get and the more time you have to apply the affect.
  4. Continue reading

What Camera to Buy – Part 2: Cameras by the Pound

By Jack Berglund

One imagines that setting the price of a camera involves a lot of time and effort on the part of the manufacturer.  A team of people would weight up competitive offerings, cost of manufacture, exchange rates, target audience and so on. Countless meetings, phone calls, PowerPoint slides  and spreadsheets would be required.

Not so at Nikon it seems.  You can predict the street price of any of their current cameras to within a few dollars solely by knowing its weight.  The correlation in uncanny right up the range until you get to the D3s.  I imagine the pricing meeting would go something like:

‘Konnichiha team, we need to come up with a price for the new D900.’

….”How much does it weight?” Continue reading

What Camera to Buy – Part 1: Choosing a Make

By Jack Berglund

Related Posts
What Camera to Buy – Part 2: Cameras by the Pound
Buying a Camera – Part 3: Whats in a name?

Choose the Make First

With a wide range of cameras from big name manufacturers such as Nikon, Canon, Sony and Pentax, picking your first DSLR can be difficult and time consuming but it needn’t be. Somewhat counter intuitively, when buying your first SLR camera the best approach, in my opinion, is to pick a make first and then the model. With most other purchases you would compare the different offerings from different brands in the price range you were looking at and pick the one that best suited your needs. Buying an SLR camera is different.

At any given moment, the camera with the best set of features for the price might be a Canon, Nikon, Sony or other brand. With the different release schedules, one manufacturer may have an edge after releasing a new model or drops the price of an existing model but this can change quickly. At a given moment, the Sony might have a million more pixels or the Canon higher resolution video but resist this kind of thinking…

Trust Me, Choose the Make First then the Model

Why is the brand more important than the camera? Imagine you were buying a car knowing that whatever make you bought would be the make you’d buy for the rest of your life. You love the looks of the new little Fiat 500, the price is right and the package great. However, looking down the line, you realize that Fiat don’t make any good midsized or large cars and you’d be hard pushed to upgrade in the future. It wouldn’t matter how good the Fiat 500 was. Clearly, in reality you’re free to switch makes of car any time you like but with cameras its more difficult to jump. Continue reading

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