Nikon D810

Sonora Desert Museum: Truly a museum turned inside-out

It has been many years since we last visited the Sonora Desert Museum, and it has only gotten better over time. Not only is it just about the best, and most fun, way to learn about the desert (specifically the Sonoran Desert, but also deserts in general), but the exhibits are remarkably photographer-friendly (while still being very respectful of the animals, like this young Mountain Lion). One thing that always strikes me when I visit is how little real contact we have with most of the creatures that inhabit our continent. For example, I have many thousands of photos of African Leopards in the wild, and essentially zero of their North American equivalent, the Mountain Lion, in the wild…

What size camera is right for you?

It is a truism in photography that the best camera is the one you have with you. In that spirit, whenever I’m asked for advice on what new camera someone should buy, I try to figure out not just their budget and needs, but how much camera they’re really likely to be willing to carry around. For many, it isn’t obvious what they gain by “trading-up” to a larger, heavier, and more-expensive model. While it is always dangerous to generalize, there are certain rules of thumb about the pros and cons of various types of current-model digital cameras. We’ll help you sort through your options…


Nikon D810A: The ultimate gift for the astronomer who has everything

Nikon has announced a highly-specialized version of its popular DSLR, optimized for astrophotography – the . It is nearly identical to the D810, except for a few key upgrades that make it ideal for astronomers:

  • Sensitive to H-alpha wavelengths (helpful for solar & nebulae photography)
  • Enhanced Live View operation when long exposure times are used
  • Additional information displayed in the Viewfinder to assist night time shooting
  • Manual-mode shutter speeds extended to 900 seconds (in M* mode)

The amazing “one-legged” fishermen of Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)

Inle Lake in Myanmar is famous for its “one-legged” fishermen. They perform the seemingly impossible feat of rowing (and steering) their small, teak-hulled, wooden boats with one leg wrapped around a single oar while managing to fish with a net at the same time.

Nikon D750 Field test: All the camera you can fit in one hand -- Updated with Nikon D810 comparison

Nikon D750 DSLR Camera (Body Only)The first impression you get when taking a out of the box is that it is the perfect size and shape for a DSLR (at least for me). It is smaller and lighter than other "semi-pro" models, with a deep hand grip that makes it easy to carry in one hand – even without a strap. It’s no mirrorless or rangefinder, but a pleasant change from larger DSLRs.

The Great Migration: Anatomy of a Crossing

No matter how often you’ve watched it on video, or seen those amazing images of Wildebeest herds crashing down the bank of the Mara River, nothing is quite like the experience of watching it in person. Our group was fortunate enough to witness (and photograph) several crossings on our recent trip. Each one was different, of course, but there is much about crossings that isn’t obvious from the photos, and isn’t featured in most video documentaries that’s worth passing along…

The Nikon D750 should have been called the Nikon D650

Upon my return from Africa, I found my review waiting for me. As expected from the specs & early looks, it is a sweet (and relatively small) camera that I’ll have plenty of fun shooting with – and writing about -- over the coming weeks. However, it wasn’t quite what I expected from the model number. I was hoping it would be a real upgrade from the Nikon D700, and might make a good twin for my . However, it isn’t…


Is the Canon EOS 7D Mark II the Nikon D400 DX shooters with a Nikon D300 have been waiting for?

Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only)It’s no secret that APS-C (aka DX-format) shooters have been given short-shrift by both Nikon and Canon for the last 5 years. The venerable Canon 7D and Nikon D300 (and the almost identical Nikon D300S) have been amazing cameras, but are more than long in the tooth. Canon has fixed that for its smaller-format loyalists in one fell swoop with the awesomely-speced . That begs the question of whether DX loyalists on the Nikon side should consider jumping ship…

New Nikon D750: Powerhouse upgrade for Nikon D600, Nikon D610 and Nikon D700 owners

Nikon’s new has something for nearly everyone. State-of-the-art Autofocus, improved 24MP sensor, brand-new, high-performance body design, 6.5 fps full-frame, 100% viewfinder, pro-quality video features, tilting LCD, and a fairly sane price tag of $2300. It is going to be a hard camera to resist for current owners of the Nikon D600, , , and even those who have a Nikon D800 but would love a little more speed and are getting tired of super-large files. I’ll be doing a full field-test when I’m back from Africa, but based on the specs, here are my quick thoughts on pros & cons:


Nikon D810 field test–Why I’m planning to buy my review unit

For the past few weeks I’ve been shooting with a in a variety of situations. I wasn’t enough of a fan of the D800 to purchase one, so I didn’t expect to want to purchase my review either. However, Nikon has done enough to improve the camera that it is now a winner for me, and this one will likely be staying right here in my camera bag. Here’s why…


Alaskan Bears: One safari, one camera, one lens: Life with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens

Every July I return to Alaska to photograph the amazing Coastal Brown (aka “Grizzly”) Bears. Over the course of 15 years I’ve used over a dozen different cameras, and at least that many lenses to capture images. Typically at least one of my lenses would be a massive telephoto (400mm f/2.8 or 200-400 f/4, or 120-300 f/2.8). This year, as part of my ongoing effort to identify lighter, less expensive alternatives to large and extremely expensive lenses, I decided to shoot for the entire two safaris with “just” a attached to my Nikon D610. My hope was to see whether this new, sub-$3K lens could do a good job of subbing for larger, more expensive alteratives….


Who needs artsy filters when you have Raw converters?

I’m in the process of comparing the latest versions of various Raw file converters, and as part of that I’ve been rendering the same image in multiple pieces of software and comparing the results. Stay tuned for the scientific version where I use actual color targets and math, but in the meantime, I’ve been trying to get a feel for the differences by eye. However, I found something I didn’t expect…


Nikon D810 architectural Moire Test

One of the advances Nikon has made with the is the complete removal of the low-pass (aka anti-aliasing) filter. The Nikon D800e achieved a similar effect by adding a second filter layer to undo the effects of the anti-aliasing filter, but the move to eliminate it completely in the D810 goes a step further. The concern, of course, is the potential for increased moire, or color interference patterns, in small details. To test out the for moire in landscapes, I chose the Milwaukee skyline…


Record-breaking Nikon D810 full-frame DSLR now in stock…

B&H now has the new in stock. They have a limited supply, and will no doubt sell out soon. As tested by DxOMark, it set the all time image quality record with a score of 97 points (just beating out the D800 and D800e). I’m in the middle of field-testing my review unit, so I don’t have a full report, but wanted to get the word out before the first shipment disappears. As to what I’ve found so far…

Nikon D810: Solid upgrade to Nikon D800 -- Available for pre-order!

Starting in late July, Nikon will be shipping its anticipated update to the Nikon D800/e. The is an upgrade in nearly every aspect of camera and video performance, although each single change is not dramatic. Faster frame rate (5fps full-frame, 7fps DX with battery pack), improved Autofocus, improved sensor with better low-light performance, upgrades for videographers, and a removed low-pass filter (ala the “e”) with improved anti-moire are some of the highlights. The price is the same as the original Nikon D800e price – $3300. The new model will likely be very popular with owners of the current models, and with some D600 owners looking to get more resolution and a few more features. We’ll review the camera when it is available, of course! In the meantime, if you're gung-ho, you can .