Today an interesting guestblog by Leo Koch.
Hi everyone… Leo here with my second blog at Frank Doorhof’s website and this time I would like to write something about an older camera, the Nikon D1X.
The classic argument “it’s the photographer, not the camera” is very true. Just like Frank always says “Why fake it if you can create it”. However, sometimes, cameras do help to create very nice results. For example, you can’t create good images if your camera and/or lenses are taking blurry photos… you have to find a good combination to make sure your photos at least coming out clear and sharp, however, you don’t need “newest” equipment for that either. Some older machines, such as the Nikon D1X still give excellent results, much better than some new ones.
Some people are just obsessed on buying new stuff… Each time an iPhone comes out, there are people lining up with their older version to get the new version first, without knowing what exactly enhanced in it. Some photographers the same, looking at the photography magazines following the new models of the known brands to get them as soon as they are available… and some people just don’t give a damn about the new features or resolutions and hold on to their older cameras forever.
I did not have the D1Xs about year and a half ago. With my budget, I was hunting Canon cameras, starting from PnPs, 350D upto 40D. I always thought the same, I would see better results each time I buy newer models… not so. The 30D gave me a lot better results than the 40D for example (unfortunately)!
If you know your three main rules of photography Shutter Speed, F Stop and ISO and be able to make correct measurements before you shoot… you don’t need much other than a camera which will take sharp photos. I can say there are two very important issue for me when I look into a camera, ISO and sensor. I prefer either larger sensors, or larger pixels on the sensors. I don’t feel comfortable with smaller sensors (yeap… still). ISO is also might be important for the low light situations, but for me, it’s not a game stopper.
So, why the D1X for this blog. Well, I have three of them, and I thought it would be nice to share my experiences and some images here to show some of you that you really don’t need newest, finest machines and break your piggy banks.
The D1Xs goes for around $150 to $250 (check my other samples on the amazon link) depending on the cosmetic and functionality. The D2X (which I am thinking to get one this year) goes for around $500 – $800. D2Xs are not extremely better than the D1X, but one thing I don’t like about the D1X is their battery lifetime… which really really sucks. On the other hand, the D2X doesn’t have 1/500 flash sync or 1/16000 shutter speed. Image quality about the same (never used one but seen some samples), with 12mp vs. 5.4mp the D2Xs also has other stuff like a larger LCD in the back, faster burst up to 5fps… capacity of using larger than 2GB CF cards… etc. etc. but still there is not a huge differences when it comes to quality.
This is one of my cats, Buddy. As you can see on this photo, which was very little post processed, colors, sharpness and quality is superb. I made sure my settings for this shut was on the spot… I trust camera’s metering (still don’t own a light meter… sorry Frank) which sometimes I have to when moment comes, just don’t have time to meter (if I had one)
This photo is very close to its original, quality wise. You can download the original, out of camera image, from this link and compare it yourself.
For above photo, I used three neutral density filter on top of each other. They all had different density to use my 50mm lens at F1.8 and slow the shutter to get this angel hair affect during a very sunny day.
I think these samples should make you understand what I am trying to say here… when people visualize an old camera, most likely visualize not so good images to go with it… not so. There are tons of sample images from older cameras in the internet. When you decided buy a camera, research and check out the sample images. Sometimes making things easier for the user doesn’t mean you will get the best results. I do know tons of people using “A” on the dial with pro cameras, or latest cameras and have no clue about the features of the camera they are using… which they paid tons of money just for those features to start with.