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werD 06-08-2008 08:14 PM

Photography tools & technique thread...
 
Since so many of us lurking here are either in the business of taking or really deep into the hobby of photography, thought it might be cool to start a photo gear thread for us yap about gear, technique, and some of the general banter about taking photos (and making photos come to life in Photoshop).

This weekend I used a Nikon D300 for the first time. DAAAAAYUM booooyyyy. That's a pretty fantastic body for the money involved. I would still take a D3 over it, but since the D3 has a huge waiting list and a ~2.75x higher price tag - it becomes a hard argument to buy the D3.

In fact - I'm buying one. :eek::dribble::tu:

My D1x still serves me well, but the upgrades on the D300 more than merit getting one to supplement my current body.

Shot a wedding on Saturday and the body was just super nice. Focus was quick and pretty accurate. Saturation appears good and the consistency of metering is also pretty damn nice.

Ergonomically it is maybe a bit less natural feeling than the older pro bodies, but it also weighs next to nothing (maybe a 3 pound body? Felt like a piece of paper compared to my D1x). Menus were pretty easy to dig through for anybody native to the Nikon world, maybe a bit too deep and lacking in organization compared to yore - but the thing has far more control than previous bodies.

Battery life was also impressive using just the normal small pack I burned up ~200 shots on the D300 and used not quite half of the battery. D1x - not so lucky half a battery at ~125 shots.

In other news, a reminder to those contemplating photographing weddings - they are freakin' tough to shoot. This one took place on a ~94 degree day in a small church where the AC in the sanctuary was apparently not able to function. OMG - it was a sweat fest. Going outside was great, at least there was a breeze! :nuts:

So anyway, if you are into photography then lurk here amidst your fellow M|U-istas to share your experience/opinions/etc. :tu:

penguinpwrdbox 06-08-2008 08:25 PM

I'm not a Nikon person, but reading your post, coupled with recommendations of friends, I may switch. Currently rocking a Canon xTi body, with just two lenses, the kit zoom lens, which is garbage, and my favorite lens ever, a 50mm EF-IS. Since I don't have too much invested in glass yet, it would be easy to switch.

My biggest issue with Canon is that there is no decent in-between body. 40D's, 30D's, etc. are not as good as an xTi for what they cost, and I don't know anyone that would drop the cash on the 1D, which is really the only one anyone in the Canon community feels worth the price... :(

KiLO 06-09-2008 04:14 AM

Penguinpwrdbox, some of my best shots are with that Canon 18-55 kit lens, and you'd definitely take back those words about it being garbage if you've seen some of what Konky's done with it :D Also, I don't know where you're reading that the 1D is the only camera body worth it's price in the Canon line, but comparing Nikon to Canon, Nikons tend to be the more expensive cameras for comparable features. I definitely don't want to turn this into a Nikon vs. Canon thread though, so I digress... :D

Drew, how come we don't see many of your shots dude? I'd love to see some of what you're doing.

I know what you mean about the wedding photography. I have only shot one, and it was as a favor for a friend. I refused payment because I had never shot one before (and frankly was pretty nervous about it!) It was definitely intense. I was shooting directly into the sun during the ceremony if I was close to the bride and groom at all, so I had to shoot a lot with a telephoto from the back of the crowd, out of the sun. Then, it got dark and there was absolutely no lighting at the dance floor, so I pulled out my 580 and used a 430 as a slave. It was rough, but overall, I was happy with how it turned out.

soliloquiet 06-09-2008 04:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KiLO (Post 315407)
Penguinpwrdbox, some of my best shots are with that Canon 18-55 kit lens,

i completely agree and while we're at it, my 40D has been nothing short of a great camera since day 1.

/twocents

MrBattle 06-09-2008 11:37 AM

im in the process of buying better lens and selling my old ones... i need ones with a lower fstop!

MikeP 06-09-2008 01:04 PM

Im a Nikon to Canon convert since I love to shoot sports and other moving events. Currently Im rocking a 5D with a 24-70/2.8L and a 70-200/2.8ISL. Love the Canons, an MKIII is next in line and some more L's.

I can't post any pictures up yet for legal, but I just finished shooting the WingHouse annual calendar. That was a blast and annoying all at the same time, but I'd totally do it again. It was my second year so I felt more confident this time around.

Weddings....I've done a few but don't know if I like them yet. The ones I've shot were not friends but were aqaintences. I didn't like the bridezilla factor.

Konky 06-09-2008 02:03 PM

Canon guy here, only cause when I first started getting into photography (4-5 years ago) my friend sold me a 35mm rebel for a good price. I started enjoying photography, so I then upgraded to the 1st Gen (6.2mp) Digital Rebel about a year later. I used that for a few years, then bought myself the XTi body, then about 2 months ago I got a 40D. So since all my lenses are compatible, I've stuck with Canon... (probably woulda gone the other way if I started with Nikon. I only hear good things about them as well)

Like Kilo said, Drewmon, I'd like to see some of the samples from the wedding you just shot :tu:

I've been asked to do weddings myself, and I've turned down quite a few because of the lack of experience and nervousness! Someday though, someday! :)

midnitecoop 06-09-2008 02:16 PM

Nikon D70 here, Haven't been shooting as much lately though.
If I had to choose another brand it would be canon for sure.
I started shooting with a 35mm nikon and then switched to their digital D70 after shooting a freelance gig with it.

Bill 06-09-2008 02:49 PM

Maybe a stupid question, but is there anywhere you can rent a good digital camera, both Canon and Nikon, so you can shot some photos and get the feel for them before investing in one or the other?

I'd hate to drop that much cash and find out I choose the wrong camera for the wrong reason.

Also, My Step dad is a photographer and has taught at the local college. When asked the other week, he said go Nikon since they hadn't changed the mount on their lenses and Canon had, and you never know if they will once again... He also said to buy the lower "f" stop lenses as they get the best light into the sensors. Something about making it burry behind the object and not just clear all the way to in infinity...?

As you can tell, I have no idea what I am talking about. I love my little Sony for now but am very interested in getting a better outfit.

Lukifer 06-09-2008 03:07 PM

I have the 40D and I love it :-)

But its just for fun and I only have the lens that came with the kit.

midnitecoop 06-09-2008 03:21 PM

I'm still running the 35 to 85mm lens that came with my camera as well.
I'm always thinking about getting a new lens and then when it comes down to it, I'm like... New lens or New part for mini.....
The mini always seems to win...

SPUD 06-09-2008 04:42 PM

since i dont have much experience with shooting quality photos, what sort of processes are you guys using in photoshop or whatever you use, to retouch and get the quality shots you all do so well? i know having a good camera helps a ton (working on getting one), but i wanted to see what stuff i could do to my current shots to make them look even better.

MarlaSinger 06-09-2008 04:54 PM

Cannon and Nikon are both excellent brands. My personal DSLR is a Nikon, and my camera that I use at work is a Cannon. The other photographer that I work with who was here before me bought a Cannon, and we share some lenses, so they bought me a Cannon as well.

The differences between the two brands are few and generally minor. Personally I've found Nikons to be a bit more user friendly, the features seem a little more polished, the layout is more intuitive. I just prefer the feel of them. Cannon on the other hand offers a full frame chip with some high end models, which is desirable to some people, and not important to others. I haven't been in the market for a new camera for a while now so I'm not up on all the specs, but Cannon also used to have slightly higher resolution chips than Nikon for the same money in the higher end amateur range models.

You really cant go wrong with either brand. I think most people just stick with the first brand they acquire lenses for. A camera is just after all, a fancy box with a hole in it. It's all about the glass.

MarlaSinger 06-09-2008 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill (Post 315483)
Maybe a stupid question, but is there anywhere you can rent a good digital camera, both Canon and Nikon, so you can shot some photos and get the feel for them before investing in one or the other?

I'd hate to drop that much cash and find out I choose the wrong camera for the wrong reason.

Also, My Step dad is a photographer and has taught at the local college. When asked the other week, he said go Nikon since they hadn't changed the mount on their lenses and Canon had, and you never know if they will once again... He also said to buy the lower "f" stop lenses as they get the best light into the sensors. Something about making it burry behind the object and not just clear all the way to in infinity...?

As you can tell, I have no idea what I am talking about. I love my little Sony for now but am very interested in getting a better outfit.

I prettty sure Cannon has not changed their mounts. that would be a really stupid move if they did. Having compatible lenses is really the only good reason for brand loyalty.

Lenses with low f-stops are good if you want a very shallow depth of field (say an out of focus background behind a portrait) or are shooting under low lighting and don't want to use a flash. They aren't better necessarily, just the right tool for certain jobs.

KiLO 06-09-2008 06:26 PM

Canon did change the mount at some point, but it was 21 years ago, and they aren't planning on changing it again AFAIK. For example, the lenses that worked on the AE-1 won't work on the 40D today. Didn't Nikon try a new mount at some point, but it was unsuccessful? I forgot now...

I feel like you can't go wrong with either company. It's a lot of personal preference. I will never be the guy that says "hey why don't you shoot a real camera and buy a Nikon" (yes, someone said that to me once while I was out shooting with my 40D.


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