Shoot for the stars with the D810A
We like it when Nikon think of those, doing things on the fringes and not just serving the mainstream. This camera is one of those cameras and more so than we have seen for a while.
Put simply this is a D810 that has been optimised to better see reds. More specifically H-alpha light that is emitted fromNebulas. This is all done with a filter on the front of the image sensor.
Somewhat more excitingly for our night time shooters, there is a new M* mode that enables you to shoot with shutter times up to 900 seconds. You also get a preview 30s exposure option so you can frame things up much like live view for the night. All pretty neat stuff.
You still get all of the lovely benefits of owning a D810 such as that electronic front curtain shutter to reduce vibration. Then to top it all; continuous shooting till your battery runs out/memory card fills up/world ends.
All in all this looks like a very welcome camera for astrophotography’s and potentially a great general night time shooter to.
You can read more about this on the Nikon blog
Well Nikon couldn’t be bothered to make separate press releases so neither can we. This doesn’t actually make this easier but what the hell lets just go with this.
The P series is where the Coolpix range really works the performance out of their little chassis.
The P610 is what we would call a bridge camera. Offering allot of features found on a DSLR but in a much smaller form and without the need to change lenses.
If you own a P600 there is nothing much to get excited about here unless you were wanting nothing more than GPS tagging. Because that is the sum of the changes. Oh and it looks like they binned the Composite Video Out port. That said you still get a whopping 60X zoom and VR optical image stabilisation for bird watching and the like.
The P610 is available for £339.99 in Black
in the UK or $496.95 in the US.
Alternatively the virtually identical P600
is now £299 or $324.95 US.
The S is for style and this is a stylish little compact with some big features.
More of an ergonomic change over the S9700 than anything else with a leather feel polymer grip and finished in black or brushed titanium. As with the previous model Nikon have somehow squeezed a 30x zoom into this thing and a nice variangle screen for shooting videos or capturing self portraits.
With a 16mp back lit CMOS sensor and a host of features, including VR and GPS, this is a capable camera in a sleek body.
The Nikon COOLPIX S9900
is available now for £279.99 but with the Nikon COOLPIX S9700
down to £169 you might be left wondering how much better the ergonomics really are.
This camera trades some features for better looks and more compact form over the S9900. The same image sensor is coupled with a slightly shorter 20X zoom and a fixed screen.
Improved video modes allow for more creativity to.
The Nikon COOLPIX S7000
is £167 or $276 in the US.
The L series is all about keeping photography simple and accessible.
This doesn’t mean they have to lack in quality or tech though.
The L840’s 38X zoom lens will allow for some long distance shooting whilst its snap back zoom button allows you to find that pesky critter that flew out of your frame, briefly zooming the camera out to help you find it. VR also helps with long focal length shooting as do the simple controls.
Both the L840 and L340 below have traded wide angle for telephoto here so you will be losing a bit on the wide angle side over previous models.
Over the outgoing L830 you are getting a bigger camera with longer zoom, faster shutter speeds, higher frame rate video and a host of small tweaks.
If you don’t want all of the bells and whistles of the P series bridge camera this might be for you.
The L840 is £209.00 ($296 US) and available in Black
The outgoing L830 is only £149
Smaller and simpler than the L840, you can save some money for things you may not use with this camera.
If you don’t need a long zoom then the 28X zoom this smaller bridge camera ought to be more than sufficient. The basic camera is the same but you lose things like wifi to make for a more basic camera. This might be welcome if you are looking for that step up and don’t want to be bombarded with tech.
You can get an L340 in black
for only £149 whilst the outgoing L330 is only £97!
You can read about all of these cameras on the Nikon blog
Two cameras but this time their link is a bit more clear: Both the AW130 and S33 don’t mind betting down and dirty.
If you own an SLR (most contributors on here do) then if you are going to buy a compact you are probably looking for something that can better handle a bit of rough handling and water. So the AW130 is probably what you are looking for without the need for an expensive and bulky housing.
The AW series hasn’t had a major upgrade since its introduction as the AW100 and the AW130 doesn’t change this trend. A few tweaks here and there have gradually built upon this solid little camera till we arrive at the camera we have today.
The big change for this camera is that you can now use it down to 30 meters under water so is a true diving camera without the need for a housing. It also has a small improvement on its shock proofing that both have contributed to a bigger and more rugged looking camera.
Support for the Nikon 1 series SB-N10 speed light (using a fibreoptic cable and adapter) will improve strobing underwater as well.
Improved GPS that supports GPS, GLONASS, QZSS support will give you better positioning and will even detect if you are photographing a point of interest, adding its name to the file and showing what direction you were facing.
The AW130 is priced at £279 ($346.95 US) and is available in Cammo, black, blue, yellow, and orange
The outgoing AW120 is down to £229 and the even older but not much lower spec AW110 is £196.
The S33 is aimed at the clumsy and young who would like to take photographs without worrying about dropping it in a puddle. Although the style and features of this camera make it more of an L series camera than S we aren’t about to get upset about it.
This camera is made to be simple and fun to operate with features like face recognition focus so under water pictures can easily be taken without the user having to stich their head under water themselves.
Priced at £89 ($146.95 US) you can have an S33 in pink, blue, or yellow
. The older cameras having almost identical specifications are similarly priced.
You can read about both cameras on the Nikon blog
we are guilty of many things but one of them is definitely neglecting our Dev meets page
. Back in October however I did put up that I will be in the USA for a year and more than happy to meet up with fellow deviants for a bit of shooting.
Well last month I travelled down to Wichita and met up with F16CrewChief
who kindly joined us for a day of exploring some of the museums there. It was a great day out and a pleasure to meet up with one of our biggest group contributors.
If you want to arrange a dev meet or would like help getting the word out about one you have organised alreay, then send us a message and we will publish it on our Dev meets page
Big or small, getting a group of Nikonians together can be allot of fun showing you places and techniques you might not have thought of not to mention seeing what kit works for others so get thinking and organise your own DevMeet.in-my-viewfinder
Menus – Custom Settings Menu
Much like our buttons tutorial series, we are going to cover many, many menus hidden in your DSLR. Again much like the buttons tutorial, not all cameras are created equally. You may have more or less options than we talk about and they could be in different places. If in doubt read the manual or ask the community on here. Unlike the buttons tutorials however we are going to be mixing them in with other things so you won’t just get this in one big chunk.
What is it?
The custom settings menu is a place where dreams are made but not for the weak of heart to enter. For you brave souls who have already mastered this menu, this is going to be a brief overview of what is possible here. A more in depth view of individual modes and setting will be a covered in the future.
Situated as the third menu option down with a pencil icon you will be greeted with the option to choose a custom settings bank and then a number of customisations all under headings alphabetised from a-f.
What does it do?
Well it is most useful for users who use their camera in a number of different scenarios. Using the custom settings bank, you can change all of your settings to optimise your camera for up to 4 different setups. This saves you having to change individual setting each time you change situations so for example from a studio shoot to bird watching.
You can however just change things on the fly, just remember that a double button reset (two green circles) will reset allot of these to default so it is still worth saving your favourite setting into one of the custom banks.
You can change things; from how your built in speed light works, to what your customisable buttons do. It really is up to you. As allot of this stuff is pretty niche it is often ignored but you could save yourself allot of time and effort by taking the time to set things up.
A quick example of this would be to have a studio bank and a sports bank.
For Studio you could have:
A – focus priority for af C and S so the camera will only take an image when in focus.
A – Increase the AF area so you aren’t messing with moving your points so much.
B – increase centre weighted area to cover the face of a subject if Matrix is getting exposures wrong with a bright background for example.
C – Change self timer delay if you are taking self portraits
D – Enable beep so you can know things are happening without taking your eye from the viewfinder
D – Alter continuous high/low speed to better suit your needs
D – Change viewfinder display to frame count (useful for vanity shoots with limited photograph contract).
E – Increase flash sync to eliminate ambient light.
E – Set built in flash to commander (if you have one) and also set CLS groups.
F – Set func button to bracket burst or snap to centre weighted from matrix.
Then as your outdoor sports or wildlife mode you could have:
A – AF propriety set to release and focus for AF-C. Giving you a guaranteed shot of something followed by the camera trying to focus before shooting again.
A – Reduce dynamic AF area to prevent near passing objects getting focussed on.
A – Increase focus point illumination in bright places so you can see where your focus pint is.
A – If there are obstacles between you and the subject (tree branches or crowd members), set focus tracking with lock on to Long so you will stay on your subject for longer. If it is fast moving in clear space then set it short so the camera will track focus faster.
B – Reduce the size of centre weighted for further away subjects without going down to the tiny point metering that you might miss with.
C – Set your AEL button for focusing for back button focusing. This prevents accidentally taking photographs you don’t want with the half press.
C – Increase auto meter off delay when waiting for the best time to shoot.
D – Turn the beep off so as not to disturb people or wildlife
D – Set exposure delay if shooting in low light at long focal lengths on a tripod with static subjects (prevents blur from shutter action).
E – Turn modelling flash off so your DOF preview wont set any CLS strobes off scaring away wildlife.
These are just some examples. There may be more or less options on your camera as mentioned before but they are well worth setting up no matter how much or little you have.
Even if you only set one custom bank things like setting;
F – Release button to use dial. This allows you to press a button that needs you to use a dial to adjust a setting such as exposure compensation, then turn the dial then press the button again rather than pressing and holding the button throughout. This is very useful if you have small hands or are otherwise restricted from doing this.
There are more customisations here than would be sensible to list but you get the gist. Spend an evening having a look through and set yourself up a few custom banks. If you don’t kno what a setting does, just press and hold the button marked (?) and if available you will get a help screen come up describing the setting. If not check out your manual.
We would love to hear what special setting you use and why. So leave them in a comment below or on our poll