Nikon Vs Canon
brought to our attention that Land Rover USA made an ad for the new Range Rover Sport and it features a bit of camera rivalry pitching a Nikon shooter vs. a Canon photographer. Check the video out on youtube yourself to see who wins in the Land Rover commercial
3 New Nikon Coolpix S camera
Nikon's compact cameras are small and shy. Unlike the big DSLR cameras, when new compacts are released they like to all pop out of the factory at roughly the same time. So here we have 3 new offerings from Nikon's S range in the shape of;
First up the S6400 features a 12x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with coverage for angles of view for focal lengths from the wide-angle 25 mm to 300 mm (equivalents in 35-mm  format) or in simple terms this is a reasonably wide angle through to a very respectable long telephoto. This is pretty impressive for such a compact camera and should be good if you need to get close with something that will fit in your pocket.
A backside illumination CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of 16.0-million pixels enables you to capture images exhibiting little noise at the high sensitivities. This will be useful when capturing night landscapes or the more likely scenario of pictures taken indoors under dim lighting.
An improved auto focus technology will allow you to simply point the camera at the intended subject and Target Finding AF identifies and focuses on that subject.
This camera also features a touch screen for easier navigation of menus as well as 30 effects that can be added to photographs in post production, from adding more vivid colour to wide angle lens effects.
Nikon have got upset with mobile phone manufacturers making phones that try to be cameras to. So they have made a camera that thinks its a phone as some kind of revenge it would seem.
The new Nikon S800c features an Android 2.3 OS as well as built in wi-fi. This allows you to live transfer images as you take them so long as you are in a wireless hotspot or have a smartphone wirelessly connected to share via its data connection.
Packing a 10x optical zoom NIKKOR lens, back-illuminated 16-MP CMOS sensor and high-resolution 8.7 cm (3.5-in) touch screen there is plenty of camera here for you to play with. Oh and if you get bored on your shoot you can always just play a game available on the Android app store.
If you find todays compact cameras to bulky for your tight fit jeans then maybe you need the new Nikon S01. The body is smaller than a credit card, measuring approximately 77 mm wide, 51.2 mm high, and 17.2 mm deep, and with a weight of approximately 96 g. Its just tiny!
You might expect a camera this compact to make huge sacrifices in performance and true you won't get the same features as the S6400 above but it is still exceptionally good for its size. Rocking a 10.1 million pixel CCD sensor and a 3x optical zoom NIKKOR lens that covers a broad range of focal lengths from wide-angle 29 mm to 87 mm so similar to a D5000 in all but size. You also get a flash, HD movie recording (720p format) and plenty of post production options that can be easily accessed on the S01's touch screen.
Check the trio out on the Nikon blog
for further details.
New Nikon P7700
The top line compact camera gets more features and general tweaks this year for your shooting pleasure. The 7.1x zoom may seem modest when compared to some but it is bright and features ED glass for better low light photography. Image stability is also provided for better hand held shooting with VR optics technology. Unlike allot of compact cameras, you get a proper seven-blade iris diaphragm starting at f2 giving you better bokeh control more like that offered with high quality glass on an SLR.
A 12.2 million pixel back illuminated CMOS sensor is another nod towards DSLR technology giving you a maximum 8fps fast shooting speed!
Other features normally only for the big boys and their DSLR's is the ability to use the Nikon creative lighting system. Allowing you to use multiple Nikon speed lights for highly dynamic studio lighting.The controls have a feel to them that would make most DSLR users feel right at home with this camera and they would be pleased with the ability to shoot in RAW as well as full 1080p HD video.
Check out the Nikon blog
for further details.
New for Nikon 1
The Nikon 1 was a huge success on its relies. Nikon have just announced the relies of the updated j2 system camera along side a new 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and WP-N1 waterproof case.
The changes for the new Nikon 1 J2 are small as there wasn't allot that needed changing from the original. Some tweaks to the filter options have been made along with a slow motion video picture mode and the case comes insome more colours than the previous black or white options.
The 1 NIKKOR 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 is set to be an ultra compact lens that fits nicely into your pocket whilst covering the normal zoom ranges up to 2.5x making the Nikon 1 even more portable.
Finally the WP-N1 case is designed to give you the ability to shoot up to 40m below water yet still give you access to all the cameras features and still look good whilst doing it!
You can read all the details on these Nikon 1 products on the Nikon blog
New Coolpix L610
Finally we have the Nikon coolpix L610. Designed to be simple and ergonomic to use. This camera should be popular with amateur photographers as well as those who don't want to get a headache whenever they want to take a photograph.
A 14X Nikkor zoom lens will help you bring your subject closer as the 16 million pixel CMOS sensor records the image through one of 19 different scene modes to chose from for the prefect image. With plenty of post production edsiting features, 180 and 360 degree panorama modes and full 1080p hd video recording, this is another coolpix camera update that wont disapoint. Head onto Nikon blog
to learn more.
Sharpness & Colour
One menu option that we have not really spoken about in all of our Nikon cameras is the saturation, contrast and sharpness menu known as picture control or optimize image, depending on the year of your DSLR. This is a pre-set value that determines the saturation, contrast and sharpness of your image. The saturation is also adjusted further in a side menu but we will go into more detail on this later.
You can find this menu by following these steps on your DSLR (Some may vary a little this is as found on the D700):
Press the MENU button.
Scroll to the
Click right on the navigation wheel
Scroll down to SET PICTURE CONTROL.
You will find the following modes for you to chose from
Choosing a setting is as much a matter of personal preference as a creative one. Overly bright tones in a subdued foggy landscape would look out of place. On the same note a photograph of an infant playing should be bursting with colour with all the emotions, joy and excitement bursting out of the screen.
To access further saturation control you will need to, pick one of the basic options from the list above and click right into its sub menu. Here you can change the numerical value to further increase the saturation of the image.
The best way to chose what would suit you best is to experiment plenty so that on the day you will be able to make these decisions (preferably well in advance) to get it right on the night. As you experiment you will get a larger portfolio of ideas for what settings suit different subjects. Standard may suit your studio work better just as a sunset landscape would pop that much more with Vivid and maybe a touch more saturation and warmth in the white balance.
A note on the black and white setting. If you don't have any image editing software or you really want to use the in built black and white feature then go for it. Other than that I'd avoid it. When your camera shoots in black and white mode it will do so to the middle grey. You won't end up with a very dynamic black and white photograph when compared to film of editing a colour image in post production. Infact the only real advantages to using this setting are the ability to see what kind of thing you could expect your scene to look like in back and white and the image size is quite a bit smaller. If you want to know more about shooting in black and white, we wrote a tutorial in one of our December 2011 journals
so check that out.
There you have a light intro to a little used menu in your Nikon camera. Ken Rockwell
has written a tutorial on this subject and goes into more detail about the use of the ADR in conjunction with these settings as well as how to use these in custom settings and my menu to give you quicker access to your picture control.
If there is anything you would like to add to this or comment on how you use this menu in your photography then please share on this journal or our poll