Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nikon D810 High ISO and Fixed Pattern Noise



Though the Nikon D800 was arguably already the best camera on the market from an image-quality standpoint, the natural progression of things means that the D810 has been tweaked somewhat. The most significant improvements come for videographers with the lower base ISO.... but that won't stop traditionalists from asking: "How is the high ISO image quality?"

It's fine, thank you very much.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nikon D810: Tactile and Operational Impressions



There is something refreshingly Nikon-like about the D810 refresh. Even though there is nothing earth-shattering about the technology, there are a multitude of changes throughout the camera that synergistically add up to an improved shooting experience. Though  it is true that much of the sensor-level improvements relate to video work, the overall stills photography experience with the D810 is also improved... and in a way that does not easily come across when you run down the spec-sheet.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Vancouver 2014 Honda Celebration of Light Guide



This weekend marks the start of the annual fireworks festival in Vancouver. The pertinent dates are:

  • July 26: USA
  • July 30: France
  • August 2: France

Some resources to help you our if you are in town and want to try your hand at fireworks photography:


Fireworks nights are not just about the pyrotechnics, but given the logistics of getting to one of the viewing venues, its almost always about soaking in the ambience of being out on the town in the afternoon and evening before.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM versus Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART on Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma's new 50mm ART started off life with some bold claims about its resolving capabilities: as good as the Zeiss Otus. It has (mostly) lived up to the hype surrounding its launch, and is legitimately a "premium" lens. You can mention it in the same breath as the pricey Canon 50mm f/1.2L, so how does it fair against the venerable Canon 50mmL in real world terms?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Manfrotto BeFree (MKBFRA4-BH) Tripod Review



Small, strong, or cheap: when it comes to tripods the conventional wisdom is that you can have two but not all three. There hasn't been any product to definitively break this rule, but nevertheless there are whole hosts of photographers who are looking for a tripod that is small, sturdy and cheap. In economics this quest would be known as "rational behaviour." That is to say, it is rational for photographers to want a tripod with these three qualities, even if expecting that one exists is most likely irrational. The Manfrotto BeFree (MKBFRA4-BH) doesn't fulfill this ideal but it does shift the points of the Venn diagram inward by being unarguably small, relatively sturdy, and not exceedingly expensive. Depending on your point of view, that makes it either well-balanced for its price point or somewhat compromised in terms of its design. The truth, as always, is a little bit of both.