I bought a Nikon D750 a few weeks back. I love the images I am now getting out of it. I hesitated buying this camera for a couple of years for one main reason, it is big and heavy.
This afternoon I took out the camera bag that holds my two Olympus OM2n’s. I removed the winder from one and took the ever-ready leather case off the other. I then put the new Peak strap on the Oly and was kinda shocked at how compact and light it is. The above picture gives you an idea of the size of both. Both cameras are full frame, both have a 50mm f1.4 lens on them. Of course the Olympus is film and manual focus.
In addition to size the Olympus weighs about half as much even though it’s body and lens exterior is mostly metal.
Going by what I have seen on the Nikon Rumors pages the most likely camera in their opinion will be a lot like the size and look of the OM2n/ Leica M10.
Please Nikon make this reduced size mirrorless full frame camera a reality. I cannot afford a Leica M10 unless I sell all of my camera gear and then throw in a few extra grand. And even after all that the Leica will have no auto focus.
Once again Nikon, I love the image quality out of my D750, but I hate the size and bulk. And a Sony A7iii by the time you add a lens is not much smaller.
This is a user report. Lightroom seems to be most serious photographers default post capture editing software. It is mine too.
When Adobe introduced Lightroom CC a few months back I installed it to see how it compared to the traditional version. Like a lot of people I liked some of the features of Lightroom CC but could not give up the older style software for a number of reasons.
In the last few days Adobe has sent out a major update to traditional Lightroom CC Classic. The changes have made it much easier for me to get photographs I like. The most significant changes are adding a large set of profiles on the right side of the develop screen, and many additional presets on the left side of the develop screen. Plus you can see a preview of what will happen to your image by mousing over the profile or preview. I have edited about 100 images since this update and I have to say that this is the most significant upgrade to make LR CC Classic easier and faster to use ever.
The profiles and presets so far have not replaced the auto setting and sliders, but much of the time using a profile as a starting point you do not have to manually adjust settings nearly as much as before. I also have to say that Adobe did a very good job in making profiles and some of the presets that are useful. The profiles are mostly new and very good. The presets are all from the Lightroom CC on line and mobile system. They are also quite good, but not as much so as the profiles. At least to my taste and eyes.
I have been shooting a mix of digital and film over the last few years. The biggest reason I still shoot film is I like the color and black and white profiles of some of the films that are available. Kodak Ektar and Fuji Velvia are two landscape films I love to use for their colors. I have many times taken film shots and then some digital shots of the same subject and picked the film ones in the end as better due to the way they handle the color or B&W rendition. I would guess that these changes making Lightroom much easier to use will lessen my film use. I do like some of the simplicity of my Olympus and Voightlander cameras. And the Minoltas are also a pleasure to use with their simple controls and both good manual focus plus auto focus when you want to use it. And some of the legacy glass is just super and gives beautiful results. But there is no doubt at all that my digital cameras are better at difficult exposures and give immediate results.
If you use an older version of Lightroom it might be a good time to upgrade. If you don’t use Lightroom give it a try. This new version is much easier to learn than the older ones.
We usually travel by RV in the USA and deciding on what camera gear to take is easy, Take everything you want. But in 10 days we are going overseas by plane and if you take more than you need then you have to lug it around. So for the last few weeks I have been trying to decide what should go. At first I watched Rick Steve’s video and he is a minimalist and says, “1 compact camera”. I have a very good recent compact that is a Sony super zoom. It does a good job and critically, has a viewfinder. For sunny days viewfinders are a must. But here is the thing, I asked myself, “when you are taking pictures of the Parthenon in Greece is a small Sony enough plus an iPhone 7+”?
Travel pictures always seem to run into the “mid-day” problem. Even though for best photos you are always supposed to go out before dawn and an hour before sunset, the reality is that this is not always possible, or something you want to do. Last night I listened to a very popular and very good you tube couple talk about what they do when traveling and they said, “take pictures early morning and the golden hour before sunset, and spend the rest of the day in museums”. (Tony & Chelsea Northrup). Thing is if you are on a tour you go when your tour goes. Or maybe you want to have breakfast and a shower before going out. Faced with the fact that many of our best shooting opportunities in our upcoming trip will be between early morning and late afternoon I have been testing my cameras to see (once again) which handle bright sun in mid day best. The contestants were iPhone 7+, Sony HX80, Nikon D5500, Olympus OM2n (film), Minolta 600si (film).
The picture above was taken with my iPhone 7+. It was taken last weekend at mid day with mostly bright sun. I spend a lot! of time trying to get this picture into any kind of decent shape. The result is OK.
I then shot some photos a few days later with the iPhone and the colors were much better, but this required some work in Lightroom to get this shot to come out.
The Sony HX80 to me is a slightly better camera than the iPhone. It still struggles with mid day photos. I spent some time trying to get anything out of the above shot that was passable.
The above shot was taken with the Sony while I was sitting in the shade and at a different angle to the sun than the yacht shot.
Yesterday I went down to the same general area and got this shot with my Nikon and just the kit lens with a polarizing filter.
I like the above shot. It is lightly edited and pretty much just came out of the camera this way. I was just shooting aperture priority and fine – jpeg. The key difference in this being a good shot is the fog. So no bright mid day sun.
Shortly after the cemetery shot the sun came out and the Nikon failed to take memorable pictures. I got so frustrated with the color in this group I turned most of them into black and white.
The reason I was so frustrated is that I went to the same location the day before with one of my old film SLRs, a Minolta 600si, some inexpensive Kodak 400 negative film, and an Quantaray 50mm f2.8 lens. I had this film locally developed and they fouled up the scan and only gave me tiny files. But the fact is that this lower end film with poor scans gave a much better balanced color result, by a wide margin than any of the three digital cameras I have used this week. Imagine if I had shot Kodak Ektar 100 and had a fine scan done. The film would have won by a wider margin.
So after all this work, what is the best camera gear for me to take? Very likely I am going to duplicate last year and take the Nikon DSLR with the 18-55 P kit lens & 35mm f 1.8 for low light, iPhone, & Olympus OM2n with my 50mm f 1.4. I will likely add the Sony too as it is small and could fit in my pocket on the flight over. We have booked a number of tours in places we are going to and many of these will be during mid day and sunny. If I was to lighten this up just a little I would leave the Nikon home and add a couple of lenses to the Oly kit + a flash. I would likely take the 28 mm f 2.8 and the 135mm f 3.5. The flash is a T32.
I don’t know why I keep needing to re-affirm the fact that in natural light film usually gives a far superior result to digital. If it is dark digital works better. The iPhone 7 plus is a very good low light shooter.
6 Days later —– OK, I just could not let this issue rest. So I went down to the same beach cliff location today and shot my Nikon D5500 with raw and my iPhone 7 plus with Adobe camera raw in the iPhone. The results from the two digital cameras was the closest I came to the film. Of the two I have to say I preferred the results from the iPhone to the Nikon. I edited both as with Lightroom as best as I was able and the color was just a bit more pleasing from the Apple. But it does not change the fact that an 15 year old Minolta camera with and off-brand (but very good) lens and low cost Kodak print film gave superior results. I am so disgusted with the whole effort I don’t even feel like posting samples. If you want to see some write me a comment and I will do so.
Bottom line. Digital daytime still shots suck compared to film. Sure digital is better for more difficult lighting and interior shots, but in typical vacation type family shots film still rules. I guess that is why more and more people are going back to film. The scary issue for the camera makers is that this means for most snapshot /family shot shooters they don’t need a fancy digital. Sure if you make your living with a camera you should get a high quality rig, but if you are a family shooter an iPhone (or better Android) smartphone camera is fine. If anything my recommendation is for family shooters to consider a film camera, maybe an instant. Polaroid is back with a new camera and Fuji Instax ones are all over the place. Analog rules. Digital is mostly for convenience not quality. I am writing this as I listen to a 45 year old LP record on my good quality Hi-Fi system. Analog music is easily superior to any digital I have heard. Analog music is just not nearly as easy to use. Same with photos. Digital is easier and analog is better.
I currently have three working digital cameras. The one in my three month old smartphone, an older Sony compact camera, and a year old Nikon DSLR a 3200. On our recent trip to southern Utah the Nikon really surprised me how well it adjusted for mid day pictures in brilliant sun. Normally by far the best pictures are taken early in the morning or late in the day. My Nikon 3200 when put on the landscape icon on it’s settings dial produced really good mid day pictures. The camera in my smartphone had a much harder time with this lighting. I remembered my Sony compact had a landscape setting too and decided I would do a test today to see how it worked with mid day light.
The Nikon DSLR did by far the best job of these three. The Sony washed out the colors in the distance a bit. The cell phone decided to focus on the trees in mid range and then put a strange lighter border section between the mountains and the sky. In my opinion the only acceptable picture is the Nikon one. But lets try a test where mid day sunny skies are not a factor.
All of the files on the digitals are about the same size approx 2.1-2.5 mega pixels. In this case in my opinion all three are comparable pictures. I prefer the color on the Motorola just a bit, and the Sony second. Which puts the Nikon in third.
Conclusion. The Nikon benefits from good software. It has given an acceptable picture in mid day with color that is not washed out. The Sony compact on the other hand is about six years old and does not benefit from software advances from the last couple of years. And then the Motorola software has the right idea, but puts a gap between the sky and mountains. And focuses on an object not in the center of the camera. For tough mid day bright sun shots I am amazed at how good the Nikon works. There is no way you could get shots as good as it does unless you are a wizard at post press. And for this inexpensive Nikon the shots that came out of the camera had the color and saturation right. Traditionally using film to get good mid days shots called for a polarizing filter. In my humble opinion with Fuji Velvia 50 and a polarizing filter you would get even better shots of Monument Valley. But that is only speculation as I did not shoot Velvia when we were in Arizona a month ago.
And for close up shots of flowers in late afternoon any of the digitals I have produced good results. In this situation any of the shots would be OK, but here I preferred the look of the cell phone camera.
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