untitled
.
 
Home > Blog > July 2009
 
   
         
  Nikon D300s and D3000 Released Today  
July 30, 2009
 
 

D300s - Nikon announced two new cameras today, the new Nikon D300s and the D3000.

The new D300s adds 720p HD video capture with Contrast Detect Autofocus, a first for Nikon. There is also a new stereo input for high-res stereo sound to match the video.

It also adds an additional SD/SDHC memory card slot in addition to Compact Flash. You can select three modes for using the cards: 1. One card receives images and when full the other card gets the "overflow." 2. Write to both cards at once, automatic backup. 3. Shoot RAW on one and JPEG on the other.

The D300s adds one additional frame-per-second, up to 7 fps with a normal battery. It also adds significant new features in the Retouch menu so that you can manipulate your images without ever using a computer.

 
   

The camera provides the ability to edit video in-camera, too. PictBridge and DPOF printing features mean that you can make prints with no computer.

It seems that Nikon is giving us built-in graphics processing software as part of its new camera line.

If you want to be able to shoot high-quality still images, and great 720p HD video, the D300s is the professional-level camera of choice. It is now Nikon's flagship DX small-bodied pro camera—de-seating the standard D300—which will remain in the line, for now.

The megapixel rating has not changed. It is still 12.3MP. The basics of the camera are still pretty similar to the D300, with the same Multi-CAM 3500DX, Expeed processor, 1,005- Pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II, and 3-inch Super-density 920,000-dot VGA LCD Monitor. Active D-Lighting has been improved with an extra level, and 5-image bracketing.

 
   

Should I buy this camera if I already have a D300? Well, as a D300 owner I am in exactly that predicament. I absolutely love the video modes on my Nikon D90 and D5000, so I am inclined to get the D300s for the video capability with stereo sound input and autofocus during video.

I also highly desire the dual card slots, which up to now have been limited to Nikon's full-size flagship FX lineup (D3 and D3x). I am always aggravated that I cannot share SD cards with my D90 and D5000, so the SD capability is much welcome.

I am a diehard DX user, at this point, since I have so many nice DX lenses. However, I can see an FX in the near future. Should I buy this camera, or save my money for a D700x announcement? Time will tell on this issue. Nikon Acquisition Syndrome (NAS) is a hard thing to overcome, sometimes. I have it bad right now for the D300s. Will I hold out? We'll see!

 
     

D3000 - Photography Students look at this! Not since the days of the film Pentax K1000 has there really been a outstanding student camera. Even Pentax hasn't re-captured the student glory days of the K1000, in digital.

In my opinion Nikon has made great strides in that direction. Will the D3000 prove to be the student camera of choice? It certainly has the goodies for a photography student, with the ability to go out there and shoot in all the manual, and assisted modes (P,S, A, M and 6 Scene modes). And, it also has the new Guide System that will handhold a new DSLR user in preparing the camera for various shooting styles.

All-in-all this is a highly desirable camera for anyone that is learning photography and is on a tight budget. At full retail with an excellent 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G Vibration Reduction (VR) lens, this little baby sells for merely $599 USD. Expect discounting pretty quickly!

 
   

The D3000 leaves off some features that many have come to enjoy, like Live view, and Video capture. However as a basic digital still camera, it exceeds many on the market today. You can't beat the price to feature level either!

It adds simply incredible image Retouch capability, which will allow a person with little computer skill to manipulate images in-camera as if they were Photoshop users. It offers 13 easy editing functions, including Trim, Red-eye Correction and Soft Filter. Take a look at the in-camera editing feature list:

Trim
D-Lighting
Color Balance
Filter Effects
Monochrome
Stop Motion
Color Balance
 

NEF ( RAW ) processing
Quick retouch
Small picture
Red-eye correction
Color Outline
Miniature Effect
Before and After

All the little thing needs is a mouse port!

 

   

What makes this little camera especially desirable over cameras like the D40/60 line is the fact that it has the Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module. This gives the user 11 AF points instead of the 3 points found in the D40 and D60. The AF is faster, more flexible, and able to do things a lesser camera can't. If you have young ones who are interested in photography, don't slow down until you latch onto one of these.

The camera body weighs in at one pound, so it will be a great little hiking camera. The 10.2MP sensor will provide excellent images that can be enlarged to larger prints easily. Any student artists in your family? Looking to upgrade from point & shoot to a DSLR?

I'll probably acquire one of these so that I can use it as book fodder. I'm sure I'll fall in love with its tiny size and will carry it around in my briefcase as a daily carry camera. That is, if I can keep it away from my kids, who I am sure will be wanting to use it often. Keep up the great work Nikon! Keep on capturing time...

 
     
Discuss these cameras here
 
   
 
         
         
  Mastering the Nikon DSLR Series as "Torrent" downloads?  
July 24, 2009
 
  VIRUS ALERT: I've always wanted to say that, but haven't had a need before now. The NikoniansPress/Rocky Nook "Mastering the Nikon DSLR" series is very popular. When anything gets popular online, certain shady segments of society look for ways to take advantage of that popularity. My books are no exception!

If you are a user of Bitstream "torrent" technology, please be aware that most all the Mastering series books are being offered by various torrent download sites as a free digital download—sort of like an illegal music ".MP3" download. However, when a person goes to open the "book" their computer is immediately compromised by malware. In fact, none of my books are actually available for download in any "torrent" format, legal or illegal. These are just unscrupulous characters hoping to steal your identity. Often these torrents will install keystroke loggers and various other types of viruses and spyware. You'll never know it as you are typing in your passwords and they are being transmitted to various third world countries. When you enter your credit card info on a site, the keystroke logger is there to intercept it and send it to people who will sell it to thousands of others.

When I saw "Mastering the Nikon D300" offered as a torrent download, I was pretty upset. I downloaded it right away so that I could find out who was posting it. I was a bit suspicious since the file size seemed too small. When I opened the downloaded file, the malware executed and tried to install on my computer. My McAfee® Viruscan instantly popped up and stopped it. (Thanks, McAfee!). I then realized that there was no book actually available. It was just some idiot trying to steal my identity. I hate that my books are being used as bait in these schemes, but what can I do other than warn potential downloaders? All four "books" in the Mastering Series are now being offered in this way.

We live in a world where a certain segment of society preys on others. Everything good is stolen, duplicated, and used for foul purposes. In the old days, it was highwaymen jumping out of the bushes with swords drawn. Nowadays, the bad guys are jumping out of the Internet into our homes, hoping to steal our personal information to profit from our financial ruin. 15 Million people had their identities stolen last year. Be careful what you download!

If you've ever had the urge to torrent download one of my books—then tried and seemed unsuccessful at opening the file—you need to virus scan your computer immediately, then change all your passwords and credit card numbers. Malware doesn't warn you as its being installed! If you see these freebies on torrent sites, please refrain from downloading. They're not real! Let your friends know about this, please! Keep on capturing time...



 
   
 
   
 
 
Nikon D5000 - A Great Little Companion
July 13, 2009
 
 

I bought a Nikon D5000 on April 14, 2009—the day it was announced. Amazon.com sent it by UPS and I had it in my hands on April 23, 2009. Quick delivery! I like Amazon.com.

I'm writing my fourth Mastering the Nikon DSLR book in association with NikoniansPress and Rocky Nook, so I needed a sample camera. My latest book, due out just before Christmas is Mastering the Nikon D5000. The other books in the series are here.

     
 

My first impressions of the Nikon D5000 are that it's smaller than my Nikon D90, yet larger than my Nikon D40x. It actually fits my hand a little better than the D40x does.

Honestly, it felt a little weird to me though. I'm used to hanging onto the considerable bulk of my Nikon D300 and D2x. So, at first I didn't think I would like the camera. However, that changed pretty quickly. The new tilt & swivel screen is a delight to use, after you get used to the idea.

I think that is where the weirdness came in. I'm used to viewing an image immediately after taking it, but when I'd do that with the D5000, I would look down and see the closed LCD. A little weird—but I got used to opening the LCD before shooting.

     

I can see how this swiveling LCD screen will be useful when shooting videos and pictures without drawing attention to myself. When you're looking down at your camera, most people will simply think you're adjusting it. The D5000 lets you take video or pictures on the sly. I like that! Street photography will be interesting with this camera. Also, when you want to shoot something close to the ground, or video from your seat, this swiveling LCD is a real benefit.

     
 

Image quality is simply outstanding. I can see no difference in the picture quality between my D300, D90, and D5000. For the money, this camera is a great deal. It has the most important features found in the Nikon D90, but in a smaller body.

The 11-point autofocus is the same as the D90, and seems to work at about the same speed. The camera will shoot at 4 frames per second in case you want to shoot sports. It has full manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, and Programmed Auto (with Flexible program). You can take full control of the camera, or let it help you.

If I were someone coming over from the point & shoot world and were looking to buy a DSLR for the first time. The D5000 is a great choice! It has 19 scene modes for those who are unsure about using a DSLR.

 

These scene modes allow you to select from a list of shooting styles like Close up, Portrait, Lansdcape, Party, Sunset, Night portrait, Sports, Child(ren), and a whole bunch of other styles. The camera can't be beat for allowing a new photographer to get great images under nearly any circumstance.


Nikon D5000, Nikkor 18-55 f/3.5-5.6G VR Kit lens, Cades Cove of Smoky Mountains, TN USA

In preparation for writing my new book, I used the D5000 in Cades Cove of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, USA. The images I brought home were excellent. I would take a few pictures, then do a three minute video segment. All day long I did both and had a great time in the process. Using video this way was a new experience for me. I love it!

The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens is sharp as a tack. The Vibration Reduction (VR) works extremely well—I was able to handhold shots like the horses above—while making sharp images. I've become so used to VR that I don't want to shoot handheld without it, anymore. Why should I when VR is included with the lens at no extra cost?

Recently, I've found myself carrying the camera with me instead of the D300. It's small enough to fit into a briefcase or bag, and the power-level of this little jewel leaves little to be desired. I'm well pleased with the camera, and heartily recommend it to those wanting extra camera power and flexibility, along with an excellent video mode.

My book, Mastering the Nikon D5000, is due to hit the shelves just before Christmas. Be sure to look it up on Amazon.com, or in your favorite book store. You can pre-order it at the links provided. Thanks for reading my blog. Keep on capturing time...

     


 
       
       
........ .............................................................................. .... .................................. ....