31 August 2009

Physical Limits in Digital Photography

Both spouse and spawn find my tech geek posts impossibly dull, but I promise that this article on the physics of digital imaging is really exiting. Starting with Nyquist limits, what the author found was . . .

Alright, alright, just a few (very geeky) bullet points:

1. The author says that as you crank up the ISO on your camera, the sensor becomes more sensitive (to both light and noise), but you also capture a narrower range of dark-to-light contrast, because "dynamic range drops nearly as fast as the sensitivity increases." Even more interesting, "most of the increase in sensitivity comes from boosting the highlights and midrange: the darkest shadows rendered at low sensitivity are almost as dark." This means that in boosting ISO you both lose dynamic range, increase noise, and gain little in shadow detail. But you also gain little in shadow detail by turning down ISO. What you get in shadow detail is largely ISO independent.

2. "Most [small-sensor DSLR] cameras have lower dynamic range than their [full-frame DSLR] competitors, so the signal-to-noise ratios in the darkest shadows at lower ISO will be slightly worse than full frame, but for the higher speeds they will be up to √2 worse." This would be for, say, a 10mp small-sensor DSLR as compared to a 21mp full-frame DSLR. For a 15mp small-sensor DSLR, it will be worse by a corresponding factor.

3. Compact cameras capture "only 1/25th the number of photons" for equivalent sensor density as compared to a full-frame DSLR. "Most cameras of that size use 8 to 12 or 15 megapixels, so the number of photons per pixel would be about 1/10 the level calculated above [for a 24mp DSLR]." So "we can see why pocket cameras may not even offer ISO 1600 and have visible problems with noise at 400 and even lower." This problem with massively reduced sensitivity and concomitant increase in noise is offset in part by reducing a compact camera's dynamic range. This "lower dynamic range [reduces] how noisy the overall picture will look. But it does not mitigate the problem in the darkest shadows: pocket cameras [need] 10 times brighter light than full frame [DSLR cameras]" to equal their light sensitivity and, therefore, shadow detail.

4. The maximum resolution at which full-frame DSLRs can resolve detail with modern lenses at f10 (their diffraction limit), without degradation, is 21-24mp. For small-sensor DSLRs, at f8 (their diffraction limit), it's about 10mp. This is generally known. Since Canon is releasing a new 18mp small-sensor DSLR tomorrow, there are a lot of skeptics wondering about image quality.

5. Finally, the most interesting bit to me. He says that 35mm film can resolve "close to or perhaps beyond 24 megapixels full frame. But it resolves such detail at very low contrast. At more modest spatial frequencies, film is noticeably worse than digital in MTF/contrast. The net effect is that the perceived crossover point where digital looks sharper than film is in the range of ~3-6 megapixels . . . After scanning some 18,000 slides, I found that my very sharpest slides, taken in contrasty sunlight on Kodachrome 25, are comparable to digital shots at about 6-10 megapixels, at least in terms of resolution (but they are worse in rendering contrast at these resolutions). But for more typical subjects, the crossover point is closer to 3-4 megapixels or less. And for higher speed film or for lower-contrast subjects, it is at 2 megapixels or even less."

He goes on to suggest that this "may account for the fact that the sudden transition from film to digital was largely unforeseen. Photographers were waiting for the ultimate resolution of digital to surpass film and unwilling to recognize that digital pictures looked sharper long before that threshold was reached. One review of one of the first 3 megapixel cameras noted as early as 2000 that the results surpassed those of Velvia film in quality."

The review he cites, by Michael Reichmann, was very controversial when it came out, but it simply points to observable visual evidence in actual photos. No physics or test charts.

There is much more there, but bottom line: A 10mp DSLR beats a 35mm film camera to pieces in terms of effective resolution and sharpness, and at least equals 6x4.5 medium-format film as well. And a latest-gen 24mp full-frame DSLR beats pretty much anything film. And for more reasons than resolution alone.

Want an example? This was shot in a dim arena at ISO2000, no flash, straight out of a Nikon D3x. Try that with film.

30 August 2009

Nikon Envy

As I've said before, I'm committed to Canon DSLRs because that happens to be the gear I own from film days. But if I were starting out fresh today, I would probably buy Nikon.

One reason is Nikon's flash metering system. It is simply better than Canon's and there is no sign that Canon will be turning this around. Their exposure metering is a bit better too.

The other reason is lenses. Both companies make great DSLRs, but over the long term, camera bodies are disposable items. They become outdated or simply break, and most consumer DSLRs are not designed or priced to be repaired. And camera bodies are the cheap bit in a camera system anyway. One good zoom lens for an entry-level DSLR will cost you as much as the camera. A great lens will cost you much more. So once you've purchased several good lenses for a particular system, you are really committed.

This is why photographers feel their chosen manufacturer should be committed to them. That means producing the gear they need and want. Both Canon and Nikon are of course committed to doing this, and they put their best resources into taking care of the professionals committed to them. And their pro gear is correspondingly great.

Where I think Nikon is distinguishing itself from Canon is in their consumer and prosumer DSLRs, which all use small-format sensors. They have pushed hard into these lower tiers, both in price and features. They have kept down pixel counts and put image quality first. At this level (my level), I think they are pulling ahead.

Nikon was slower than Canon to roll out larger full-frame sensors for their pro cameras, which put them at a competitive disadvantage. But the upside of this is that they have been more committed to the small-sensor (DX) format. That's a very good thing for us non-pros.

And this shows in their lenses. They have a broader range of 18-XXmm zooms for DX cameras than Canon, including a DX 16-85mm that is equivalent to Canon's new EF-S 15-85mm, but has preceded it by more than a year. It's a very good lens and less than $650 new (match it, Canon!).

As I mentioned yesterday, in price for optical performance, the best lenses are primes (i.e., non-zooms). As well as cheaper, they are usually much faster than zooms (= take in more light) and have less optical distortion. Unfortunately, both Canon and Nikon put most of their resources into developing zooms, since most people value their convenience over image quality. Plus they can charge more for them.

Most Canon primes are older models, and most of their new primes are professional L-series. All but one (a specialized macro) are made for full-frame cameras. This means they are larger and more expensive than they need to be for small-sensor cameras. I think this is meant to encourage consumers to move up both their camera and lens lines.

Nikon was no different, though, until this year. And then in February they introduced the first small-sensor prime, the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX. It does everything right. It's very fast, taking in 4x the light of the typical standard zoom. Optical quality, though not perfect, is very good. And since it is scaled down for smaller sensors, it's cheap ($200). Best of all, Nikon has signaled that more DX primes are coming. Since this lens has proved very popular, I'm sure there are.

And I hope Canon is taking notes.

29 August 2009

When 2mm Is Big Deal

Returning my Canon SX10 and smashing my piggy bank, I've ordered a refurbished Canon 40D. I think it will work well for me.

I have a couple of decent lenses for it, from my film gear, but nothing spectacular. I have two prime lenses that, like most primes, are far sharper that any zoom for the same money. But I'd like a good zoom, and good zooms are very expensive. By "good" I do not mean a six-pound f1.2 IS DO XYZ mega-super-zoom, but just zooms that take sharp photos with good contrast. My bigger zooms are poor, but I don't care about big zooms anyway. What I need is a good all-purpose lens, a standard zoom, meaning standard wide-angle to mild-telephoto.

The basic zoom lens most everyone uses is a "kit lens," the lens that comes with most consumer DSLRs. My new 40D, being mid-range and a refurb, comes without a lens (one reason I could afford it). Only entry-level cameras come with kit lenses.  But the quality of kit lenses is a big deal for consumers, since it the only lens most people will ever use.

I have a couple of older kit lenses, including Canon's first DSLR kit lens, the (non-IS) EF-S 18-55mm (not sure if it is the mk I or mk II, but both are optically identical). While it gives you a modest wide angle zoom (28mm equiv.) for your small-sensor DSLR, this is not a good lens. However, the latest Canon kit lens (EF-S 18-55mm IS), which I do not own, is rated quite a bit better.

I do own an EF 28-105mm USM from my film days that is a modest step up from the old kit lenses, but it is only sharp stopped down to at least f5.6 and offers no wide angle on small-sensor DSLRs. So it is not really a standard zoom anyway.

The one decent standard zoom I "have the use of" (from work) is an EF-S 17-85mm IS USM, which at its introduction was a good (and not cheap) step-up lens. It has a longer zoom range than the basic kit lens as well as USM (= faster, quieter, and full-time manual focus). Optically it is a bit better, too, but not a lot. If optical quality is important to you, you really have to move even further up the ladder.

For Canon users, that has traditionally meant pro-grade L-series lenses. These are very expensive, mostly well north of $1000, and none are EF-S, meaning designed for small-sensor DSLRs. This means their wide end is not wide at all for cameras like mine. To fill this gap, Canon introduced the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM. This is great lens, sharp and with a fast constant aperture that is the hallmark of pro lenses. But it's also a $1000 (street).

But Tuesday Canon will introduce a new SLR and at least three new lenses, two of which are EF-S for small-sensor DSLRs like mine. Details are already leaked, as well as MTF (optical performance) charts.

One is an EF-S 18-135mm IS (roughly 28-200mm equiv.) that edges into "compact superzoom" territory. Its performance does not look to be especially good, but most superzooms are optically poor, and the more super the worse. It will be another so-so step-up lens priced somewhere below the only current EF-S superzoom, the EF-S 18-200mm ($550 street).  Canon has actually droped the pricing info on the 18-200mm from their website. Maybe this new lens will replace that lemon.

The other lens is an EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Even though the wide end is only 2mm wider than that of the 17-85mm, that still makes it 24mm equiv. Very few lenses, prime or zoom, go that wide. The only other Canon lens that wide is the EF-S 10-22mm ultra-wide zoom. It is expensive ($750 street) and, only 22mm on the long end, is definitely wide angle only.

The photographic difference between 15mm and 17/18mm (24mm and 28mm equiv.) is really huge. The difference in field of view is only ca. 8 degrees, but it looks and feels like a lot. Part of the reason for that is at 24mm you start to get some pronounced distortion effects at the edges that are absent from 28mm. You also get significant perspective distortion when close to your subject (great for silly dog photos, bad for serious people photos). Any wider and distortion careens into the realm of special effects.

This new EF-S 15-85mm will be a bomb of a lens, the perfect standard zoom for me and a lot of other people. The MTF charts (if accurate) make it a good performer and it will be priced for the prosumer rather than the pro (maybe $600-700 street). Not sure I'm really a prosumer, but I can (dimly) see one in my future . . .

28 August 2009

Supersize That

I just read a great essay on the struggles of photojournalism, a field I could happily take a run at, if I were younger and the field itself were not dying. The author makes (or implies) a point that I think is prescient. One of the major changes photojournalists will have to accommodate is the fact that in the future photojournalism is something they will need to do mostly in their own backyard, rather than in far-flung locales. The money to support such travel is fast disappearing. Photographing the familiar is not only, for most of us, less exciting, but also much more challenging. At least if we want to produce striking and creative photos. But that is what we all have to work with.

The author, Ken Jarecke, also posts a longer version of his photo-essay on his portfolio site. Not only are the photos great, but he there allows you to view them full-screen in high resolution. They fill up my 24" monitor very nicely and are dramatically more immersive and striking for it.

As I've said before (with Trey Ratcliff), I think high-resolution, onscreen viewing of photographs is the future of art photography. Likewise, I think the typical tiny online images one is usually stuck with for even the very best current photography is diminishing photography as an art. Onscreen viewing accounts for the vast majority of photo viewing, and no online image 640 pixels wide can stir the soul.

Of course there is an economic dimension to this. Publishers do not put up hi-res images partly because for cost (bandwith), partly because they are merely illustration for articles in most cases, and I'm surely partly due to licensing restrictions. But I'm really speaking here about the prosperity and future of photography as an art form, which which should concern pro photographers especially. But I'm not sure pro photographers, in general, and as much as they are suffering financially, have really embraced the new reality. It's no longer about print or prints. If you want to promote yourself and your work, get it up online. And large.

27 August 2009


I've never really gotten into the whole avatar thing, those tiny pictures of yourself (or a creative substitution) which represent you online in forums, on social networking sites, blogs, etc. I've avoided them, but now would like one for my Flickr account and, yes, my blog.

Then I happened this morning onto a good article about people having real, painted portraits done of themselves for their avatars. This in turn led me to MadMenYourself.com, which I had to try out. I'd never use it for an avatar (it's already cliche, I guess), but I love the aesthetic. Yeah, baby!

19 August 2009

Happy Canon Day!

Twice a year, in the fall and winter before the trade shows, Canon refreshes its product line. These are of course happy times for Canonistas, and sad times too, since their high expectations can rarely be satisfied.

But today Canon announced six new compact cameras, all on their high end, and there is much to be happy about. I wrote a lot last month about the megapixel race that has eroded compact camera image quality (IQ) and the decline of enthusiast-grade compacts. I also mentioned the Panasonic LX3, with its larger-than-average imaging sensor and impressive IQ, which has had enthusiasts all aflutter. In fact, even though expensive ($530), it has been extremely scarce, due to demand and also, it seems, supply issues. And then Olympus introduced its Pen E-P1, an interchangeable lens compact with a DSLR-sized sensor, which enthusiasts are wild about. Everyone has been expecting and hoping for a response from other makers. That is, more large-sensor compacts that put image quality first.

Canon's G10, its top compact, has been no slouch. It actually has a larger sensor than the Panasonic LX3, but packs in a lot more pixels, too. Even so, I think image quality is comparably good. Neither are DSLR-class.

But Canon has done something today that some pundits said they never would. Responding no doubt to the LX3, they've introduced not one but two new compact cameras with large 1/1.7" sensors like that found in the G10, but with almost a third fewer pixels (10mp vs. 14.7mp). This is a tacit act of repentance by Canon for their megapixel excesses.

The first camera is a G10 replacement, the Canon G11. It differs from its predecessor mainly in its lower pixel count and new twist-out screen. The less-dense sensor, paired with the fast Digic IV processor, is being marketed as a new "High Sensitivity System." Whatever. The camera is a laudable step forward. It does not have the LX3's 24mm wide lens, but it's 28mm wide end is fine and it has a much longer and more useful long end, 140mm vs. the LX3's pathetic 60mm. Overall, I think the G11 will beat it handily.

The second large-sensor compact is a real surprise. Years ago Canon retired its enthusiast-grade Compact S series, though the S70 from 2004 is still considered a very fine camera. Today they introduced a new Canon S90, a worthy successor, with same 10mp 1/1.7" sensor as the G11, a very fast (f/2) 28-105mm lens, RAW support, and a very intriguing lens control ring, in a small and pocketable card-camera format. I absolutely love it, but could wish it were cheaper ($430 list). But enthusiast-grade cameras are always pricey.

Canon also upgraded two of their superzooms, the SX10 IS and SX110 IS, to the SX20 IS and SX120 IS respectively. Mostly just megapixel bumps (boo), but the SX20 also got 720p HD video (yeah). The best news here is this should drive down the price of the SX110 (review) to bargain levels. It will certainly be the best compact superzoom for the money, and with its full manual controls, replaces nicely the high-end A series cameras which Canon killed. There may be an SX110 somewhere in my future.

I'll pass over the two new Digital ELPH models (for all, see Canon's website), but they are good upgrades. For myself, the three main things I want to see in new compacts are better image quality, wider and faster lenses, and bigger, better and higher-res screens. Across these various models, Canon delivered on all three. Now I'm really looking forward to the next Canon Day, probably Sept. 1, when its new DSLRs are announced. If rumor holds, the new 60D/7D will have a full-frame sensor and be priced to compete with the new Nikon D300s (ca. $1800, body only). Stay tuned.

16 August 2009

DSLRs: Less Is More

I've posted before about how more megapixels is a bad thing in compact cameras. I pointed out that the Fujifilm F30/F31fd cameras, with a modest 6.3mp, produced better photos than brand new 12mp compacts. It comes down to a fact of physics that smaller pixel sites packed closer together on any given size of sensor will gather less light and generate more noise than fewer, larger pixels. Past a certain point, cramming more pixels on a sensor is just a cynical marketing gimmick.

I've been disappointed to read that manufacturers have now crossed the megapixel quality line in DSLRs with small-format sensors, a format called DX by Nikon and APS-C by Canon. These sensors are used widely in entry- and mid-level cameras. They are much smaller than the full-frame 35mm sensors in the top-of-the-line DSLRs, though MUCH larger than compact camera sensors.

The blue (1.5x) and red (1.6x) rectangles represent DX/APS-C sensors respectively. Most compact camera sensors are smaller than even the innermost 1/3" sensor size.

DX/APS-C sensors have to this point produced superb, low-noise images even at ISOs as high as 1600. This allows, for example, the effective use of even entry-level DSLRs for night photography. Their main disadvantage as compared to larger full-frame sensors has been in megapixel counts, crop factor, and diffraction.

Crop factor is the reduced field of view that smaller sensors offer, which effectively turns that great 24mm wide-angle lens from your film camera into a 40mm normal lens on your DSLR. This is very problematic, and pushes people up to full-frame cameras in itself.

Diffraction means, in practice, that as you reduce your aperture, usually for increased depth of field, the point at which image quality starts to degrade increases as pixel density increases. So you may start to see diffraction at f7.4 on a 15mp APS-C camera, but only at f11 on a 16mp full-frame camera.

I have not read many reviews on Nikon cameras, since I shoot Canon. But I think Nikon is still putting quality imaging first. On Canon APS-C DSLRs, tests show that the latest 15mp models, the entry-level T1i and mid-range 50D, both have slightly poorer image quality than earlier models with 12mp or less, like the XSi and 40D. Dpreview concludes that the "40D stills beats the newer model [50D] in terms of per pixel detail. Despite a 22% increase in vertical and horizontal resolution the extra detail captured by the 50D is marginal." The 12.3mp sensor in Nikon's D90 and several other models beats it, too. It's looking like 12mp is about as high as you can go on DX/APS-C sensor while retaining optimal image quality.

Also, noise levels have really taken a jump, especially when working with RAW images ("digital negatives"). So, again dpreview: "When shooting in RAW the 500D [T1i] actually shows visibly more noise at higher ISOs than its predecessor [XSi]."

Two other problems are, first, as explained above, diffraction has necessarily increased as megapixels have risen. Perhaps more seriously, at these pixel densities it takes really good lenses to resolve images sharply, so that with the T1i, "At least towards the edges of the frame the kit-lenses struggle to resolve all the detail in a scene."

All together, when viewing T1i and XSi images side by side, the differences in quality are very apparent. Our reviewer concludes, "The 'extra quality' you can usually get out of RAW files compared to shooting in JPEG is relatively limited on the 500D [T1i]. One reason for that is the quality of the camera's JPEG engine. It is doing a pretty good job at 'optimizing' the JPEG output when converting the RAW data. However, the 500D's [T1i's] RAW images are also slightly lagging behind some of the competition and surprisingly even the 450D [XSi] in terms of high ISO noise and to a smaller degree in terms of pixel level detail. It's not going to be an issue when checking images at screen size but it's certainly visible up-close."

Canon should be introducing two or more new DSLRs on Tuesday (or Sept. 1; rumors vary). Almost certainly a new 7D to replace the 50D and a downspeced T1 to slot beneath the T1i. I'm now a little less enthusiastic about the T1i and will be interested to see what these new models bring to the table. Very sensibly, rumor has it that the new 7D will not increase in megapixels. I think Canon realizes that they've crammed all the pixels they can on a APS-C sensor without seriously damaging the image quality. Already they've gone a little too far.

For myself, I'm now looking at a refurbished Canon 40D or perhaps a slightly less expensive Canon XSi. There are pros and cons to both, but I'm leaning towards the 40D. It's 10mp are enough for me and it has a much better viewfinder than the XSi. That's important to me. But we'll also see what the new product launch brings.

15 August 2009

Greatest Movies Ever Made

This article by Roger Ebert is certainly worth a look by any movie fan. I personally love Ebert as a critic and rarely find myself disagreeing with him. His comments on the inherent utility of such lists ("propaganda") should be noted, but at the same time, he gives it a thumbs up. Worth a browse for any cinephile. And I guess I need to go watch "The Night of the Hunter."

10 August 2009

Photojournalism: A Death by Inches

Reading about the history of photography lately, it's amazing how many revolutions this art form has gone through in its brief lifetime. Photography in the form we know it, portable and widely used on a variety of subjects, only came into being in the late 1870s. And then it was only after another fifty years that it really started to find its own voice and become the modern medium we all know.

Very important to photography's history is photojournalism. The most important single body of photos from the 19th century are certainly Mathew Brady & Co.'s images of the Civil War. A majority of the most iconic photos of the 20th and 21st centuries, at least among non-photographers, comes out of photojournalism, though a close second place must be awarded to fashion/celebrity portraiture (same thing to me; think Annie Liebovitz). Both those genres of photography have of course flourished because there has been money in them. They produce iconic images because, as staples of mass media, a lot of people see them.

For photojournalism, that is decreasingly the case. The NY Times just published today an article titled, "Lament for a Dying Field: Photojournalism." The story was filed under business, not art, but I see it as the death of an art form.

But only in a certain respect. As a professional art form, photojournalism has been in decline for some time, due to shifts in media. Its heyday directly corresponds to the heyday of its most prominent vehicle, Life magazine in its Henry Luce era, which ran as a weekly from 1936-1972. Its popularity funded ambitious photojournalist projects like those of W. Eugene Smith. Life and its style of photojournalism was basically killed by television.

Photojournalism has ever since been less an independent vehicle of expression than illustration, but demand for it in print media has been sufficient that the talented and determined photojournalist has still been able make a living at it. But with the decline of print media and revenues, as the NYT article describes, photojournalists are in the same dire straits as all other journalists.

Journalism and photojournalism will both survive in different forms, but it seems likely that many fewer people will be doing it professionally. That may especially be the case with photojournalism. My own concern is less for people who have to find new careers (hey, that's life) than for how this will affect the medium of photography and our visual literacy, as well as (with all journalism) the deep coverage of socially significant events and issues.

This will not mean fewer photographs are made and published. Never have more photographs been made and published. I'm not even sure that, in spite of increasing amaturization, fewer brilliant photographs will be published. I think professionals may produce great photos as much through opportunity and volume as by pure artistic talent. Some of even the most significant "professionals" in the history of photography, like Alfred Stieglitz, were not the greatest photographers, while amateurs like Julia Margaret Cameron and Jacques Henri Lartigue produced images of enduring artistry and historical importance.

But with the greater diffusion of photographs across the internet, fewer photos and photographers will enjoy the universal exposure that they once enjoyed when media channels were narrower, and therefore fewer icons will be produced. And I think icons, both iconic artists and iconic works, are necessary for the cultivation of an art. They focus collective attention, produce criticism, and provide the common points of reference needed for literacy.

So all this seems to bode ill for photojournalism, as a career and, perhaps, as an art. But will this also be detrimental to photography in general as an art?

08 August 2009

Two and Null for Cameras

I'm not good at taking my own advice. After ripping at length on the poor image quality of compact cameras, I blew the last of my cash on two of them. One I got and returned, and the other is never coming.

As I mentioned, I did buy a Canon SX10, refurbished. It came with a small blemish on the lens coating, but otherwise was clean. The functionality was very good and the movie mode was great. At $300, for a very good compact superzoom, it did all it promised.

But the image quality was still just "compact" quality, which is not even close to DSLR quality. And the lens was also soft in one corner on the wide end. Given that it was about as big and expensive as a refurbished DSLR, and with image quality as a priority, there was no sense in owning and using an SX10. So I've returned it.

The great virtue of compacts is that they are compact, so I also purchased a Canon SD1100, which is a very small "card compact." I want to have a camera on me all the time, and the SD1100 was quite inexpensive, small and light. Unfortunately, Dell canceled my order, due to unavailability of product. So, two and null.

At the same time, Adorama has made available a few more refurbished Canon A590s, which have been discontinued and otherwise dried up in retail channels. It is a popular compact camera with enthusiasts because it is one of the last entry-level compacts Canon (or anyone) has made that offers SLR-type exposure controls (Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, etc.). It also has optical image stabilization and, while plastic, performs to Canon's usual high standards.

And importantly to me, it can use a hacked firmware called CHDK, which gives supported Canon compacts all kinds of amazing capabilities they otherwise lack, such as RAW file support, RGB live histogram, ultra-high shutter speeds, scripted actions, and tons else. It really is off-the-charts crazy great stuff for camera geeks, and I have to have a least one camera that can run it. For less than a Benjamin, this SD590 will do the job just fine.

Otherwise, I'm just saving up for DSLR gear. I have the use of an old Canon Rebel XT from work, but will probably replace that with a refurbished Canon Rebel XSi in the not too distant future. Next stop beyond that will be a Rebel T1i. But in Life After Dissertation, I'll be setting my sights on a professional camera and lens, namely a Canon 5D Mark II with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS zoom.

Hey, let me dream.

04 August 2009

Nikon D300s: Another Great DSLR Hybrid

I shot a couple of movies on our new Canon SX10 last weekend. They look great but the Youtube conversions came out awful. But while I'm trying to figure that out, I wanted to share a movie made with Nikon's new DSLR, the D300s. It is priced about $700 less than that other great DSLR hybrid I've blogged on, the Canon 5D Mark II, though not entirely in the same league. It has a smaller sensor, and just 12mp vs. 21mp, but the digital video quality is again impressive.