New Nikon D750
With the D4s, D810, DF and D610 currently in production, it might be a bit of a surprise to many of us that Nikon felt the need for another FX DSLR. So what makes this one so great?
Marketed as a compact, lightweight and ergonomic FX format DSLR, you can expect this camera to be easy to handle. A tiltable screen will be most useful to those wanting to shoot video as well as those wanting to take photographs using live view. This camera borrows heavily from the D810 only really losing out with a lower resolution sensor at 24.3mp. This is still plenty and does come with the trade off of faster operation and smaller image files.
With an expected price of around £1420 (body only) this camera further opens up the accessibility to FX format DSLR’s with added improvement in functionality over the D610 and lighter weight than all of its piers.
You can read more on the Nikon blog
Taking the variangle screen equipped compact camera idea on to the next level, the Coolpix S6900 hopes to cash in on the #selfie
craze. The addition of a front shutter button, a built in stand and improved gesture controls are all features that aim to improve the S6900 over the S6600 that it is set to replace.
With the screen flipped out and rotated in the forward position and the camera placed on its stand, the user can chose to use the front shutter button or use gesture controls; by moving their hand to move icons on the S6900’s screen. All other features remain pretty much the same as the S6600 but then there wasn’t much wrong with it for what most people needed from this camera so why change it to much?
Although not available for pre-order yet, the outgoing S6600
can be picked up for £141 this may be cheap enough to sway some wood be buyers to save a few pounds on the older system.
Either way you can read about the new Coolpix S6900 on the Nikon blog
Nikkor 20mm f1.8G AF-S
The 20mm f2.8 AF-D was one of those lenses that you knew was good and so did Nikkor as they let it soldier on in a world of AF-S lenses. Finally they have decided to update this lens but rather than just stick a AF-S internals in it and be done with it, they have really gone to town on this one.
Now featuring Nano crystal coated glass for better ghost and flair reduction and a huge f1.8 aperture, this lens is really looking like a piece of pro glass now. Some may miss the more compact feel of the older f2.8 model but the improvements are well worth it.
There is a little more detail on the brief introduction of this lens on the Nikon blog
should you want to know more.
Available now on Amazon
for £679 it is is just over double the price of the now heavily discounted 20mm f/2.8D
but the internal focusing and nano crystal glass may well put this lens far enough in front to justify the price to many.in-my-viewfinder
SB500 speed light
The SB500 is a more portable light weight speed light aimed at DSLR users looking for a more compact flash that still offers a wide range of functionality.
Powered by just 2 AA batteries this speed light is compatible with Nikon’s CLS system both as a slave and a commander. Its head is rotatable through 180 degrees horizontally and 90 vertically and front mounted LED light can be used during filming. Light temperature information can be communicated with compatible DLSR’s for optimal white balance to, making this a powerful and capable little speed light.
These are already available in some shops priced from £199 on Amazon
making them an inexpensive alternative to their bigger brothers SB700 and 910 when saving space in your bag is a big factor.
You can read more about this speed light on the Nikon blog
How to organise a DevMeet
Last month we talked about making the most of what you have available and one area that we are all a bit guilty of ignoring, is not organizing and participating in group events enough.
Although as a community of artists we do very well at sharing and appreciating our art and ideas, we aren't so hot at actually getting together and sharing the experience of getting out there with our cameras. So here is a walk through guide on how to set up a DevMeet and get out there with like-minded photographers.
You need somewhere to go that is interesting to shoot and accessible to others. The best place for this is near where you live. The reason being, is that you are an expert on where to go and what to shoot in your local area. Tis may be less exciting for you but it is a god send when joining these events when the organizer actually knows whats going on and where you are!
Pick out some great places to shoot in your chosen area and try to work them together into a days shooting. Remember some people might have driven to you, others might have used public transport so make sure it is accessible to maximize attendance. Should accessibility be an issue but you are still convinced this is the place to be then work on your communication and try to help people with information and helping with lift shares etc.
Picking a location is one thing but there are a whole host of logistical things to think about. Where can people stay, where to eat, are there toilets and much more. The more you plan, the less others need to think about and again this maximizes the chances of attendance.
Remember to have back up plans for if things don’t go to plan like an indoor venue for if the weather turns bad or maybe alternative angles for if the light isn’t right.
If you have attendees who might be able to offer insight into a shooting technique, maybe think about a workshop or tutorial section to the meet. This might not suit some meets though so think about it. Sometimes people are just happy with a picnic, rainbow cake and some bubbles.
If you want to, you can ask for a gallery folder where DevMeet attendees can share what they captured, request a poll for voting the best image and pretty much anything else you can dream up. We want to help you in any way so just ask us in a message and we will see what we can do for you.
If people see a well planned DevMeet in their area they are more likely to attend than if it all looks a bit shaky. This is even more true for those traveling in.
Something else that might be worth thinking about is getting some business sponsorship. Local photography businesses will appreciate you bringing in customers and you might be able to negotiate discounted rates on rentals and/or purchases as part of your DevMeet. Some shops do special events like workshops where you can try new kit at a special location. This is an ideal place to piggyback a DevMeet on, saving you a bunch of organizing and offering an even richer experience for your potential attendees.
Well you are going to need to tell people aren't you!
Tell your friends through journals and other social media sites like facebook and twitter but most importantly tell us.
We have a DevMeet page
where we share meets organised by us and any of our members. You can add yours by sending in a message and we will share it to the masses. Letting us know early will enable us to add it to journals as well as our twitter and facebook announcements to. If you find yourself planning things last minute though don’t worry, we will share just the same as there is still a chance that someone might and willing to attend.
Sharing is one thing but it is important to keep up communications with prospective attendees with updates and even just to touch base. Some may be hesitant to share personal numbers but if you are happy to, you can offer your number for if someone gets stuck in traffic, offer lifts and arrange meet ups in other places for individuals who might be less confident in your local area or who might be sharing a train.
Regular updates and reminders also keeps the event in peoples mind so they don't forget to go and it will aslo sway others who may have been hesitant to attend at first.
On the day remember to stick to the plan and be on time. Make yourself visible and approachable. If you are lucky enough to own a Fella plushy, stick him on a stick as the international sign for “DevMeet over here!”. If you don't then maybe make a banner or simply let your attendees know to look for the chap with a Nikon camera and a bright green T-shirt on.
Hang about for stragglers (this is where the phone number thing is useful) for as long as you feel comfortable but not so long as people will get fed up or it will cause problems with your plans down the line, then push on with the plan. Don’t worry if things run less than smoothly and remember to have a good time as this, after all, is why you are doing this. Share your experiences and have a laugh. The day will be done before you know it.
Although not imperative, this is a nice way for others to see how things went. Although it would be nice to get our nearing 10 thousand members along to every meet it is always going to be too far for many. So let us know what happened. Either a simple comment on the DevMeet comments thread or send us a message so we can add it to our next journal. If people start to see you are successful in your DevMeets, you are more likely to get more people on the next one and so on.
So you have seen a DevMeet and are thinking of going along. Great, but there a few things that you need to do to help the organizer know what is going on.
First off let them know you are going. Our DevMeet page
has an attending button for each DevMeet. If you are planning to go, hit the button and people will know you are going. Sounds kind of silly but this is very useful as it means people will wait for you if you are running late, organizers will have an idea of attendance and seeing that people are going will draw more people in so making the event an even bigger success. Don't forget though, if you can't make it to let the organizer know.
Do you have anything you can bring to the event that might be helpful. Some DevMeets that I have been to have had communal picnics where different people bring different things. The organizer will have a public list that you can add to to say what you will be bringing. Other things that could be useful are skills that you could share in a workshop environment or maybe you are willing to offer a lift share. Let the organizer know these things, they may well appreciate your helps as these things can become a little stressful.
Pack to suit the occasion. bring food if you need it and any camera equipment that you are likely to use for this event. Check your batteries are charged and your memory cards have space on them. It is tempting to bring to much to these things but remember that you will be carrying it for many hours so make sure you aren't over burdening yourself.
Hopefully this has got you thinking. That trip to the local zoo you were planning to take with a mate could become a DevMeet to remember. Maybe you just fancy a walk in the country and would like to share it with like minded people. Well this is the way to do it. Even if nobody else turns up it has got you out with your camera which is what you were going to do anyway right?in-my-viewfinder