Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor = camera porn

The first proper SLR camera that I bought for myself was a Canon 1000 F/N, but before that, the first SLR that I ever used properly was a Nikon F3 (left). This was when I was studying at Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg, early 90's, and was a member of the CFFC (Chalmers Film & Foto Kommitte). The F3, even by today's standards, is a beautiful piece of work. We used to shoot T-Max 3200 on gig nights down in the student union and we processed the first roll during the show and managed to hang prints in the place before the gig was over! Proper dip'n'dunk.

I don't know if it was the superb handling and feel of the F3 that made me a Nikon-head, but I've remained true ever since (apart from straying over for a Canon 20D, but gave it up for a Nikon D2x). Sadly, at least in the high-ISO stakes, Nikon have been lagging behind Canon for quite a while. Until the D3 (left) arrived. The race was over and image quality counted for more than mere megapixels, at least for us photojournalists.

I'm pretty sure that lens quality is the next area-for-improvement rather than MP, but for sure, consumers are still fooled into buying more pixels and less quality. (And if Canon comes up with the goods, I'll switch, OK?)

Today Nikon have announced the D700 and the flash SB-900. These two products - to me - is camera porn. I love all things technical, love reading the specs, love trying out all the functions. And my girlfriend suffers.

But I also feel sorry for all the people that have bought the D300. Surely a D700 - with the superb sensor of the D3 - is a much better option if you want to go with a smaller camera body (and presumably a smaller budget)?

And for D3 users there's another annoyance: the have introduced dust removal on the D700 as well, so why buy a D3 anymore? Anyway, I don't want to berate the cameras that I love the most and its good to see that Nikon are forging ahead. Having been at Wimbledon the past week I have also noticed a fair shift away from the white lenses as well, so come on Nikon!

And when uber-photographer and SportsShooter.com founder Robert Hanashiro of USA Today a - a long time Canon user - says that they have switched to Nikon, it means a lot (p.2 in the interview).

As for image quality though, there's only one brand to trust: Swedish-made Hasselblad's of course...I have a whole (film) system gathering dust at home, any takers? Their 39MP sensor produces some decent stuff though, I have to admit.

But so does the D2Hs, my current work camera, and it only boasts 4MP (below).

Nadal goes for power on a double handed forehand shot. © Magnus Andersson

No comments: