Friday, July 27, 2007

New Camera!!! D2H First Pix (And a comparison w/my D1H)

I had the opportunity to purchase a second body, as with the wedding I shot a few weeks ago, I realized that I badly needed one if I'm going to continue shooting weddings. Not only that, but my D1H is having issues with the sensor. There's this long red line down the left side of all my pictures, and it's getting more and more difficult to clone it out. After much deliberation, I decided I'd stick with my budget and buy a D2H. Yes, for a few hundred more, I could've bought a D200, but I didn't want to stretch out the budget any further than I already planned. I also wanted to save hard drive space, since megapixels take them by the droves. While I'd prefer the D2H had a sensor that was 6 megapixels, its 4.1 MP should be fine for most of what I do. Heck, I was able to print out 12 x 18s from the 2.7 MP of my D1H, so I expect that's not going to stop (and the prints I do make with the D2H should be better at 12x18 than those from my D1H).

One of the things I was most curious of was how the color rendition compared between my D1H and the D2H. Since my D1H didn't have Color Mode III (Nikon's weird, proprietary scheme for naming colorspaces like Adobe's sRGB, etc...), I often enjoyed the extra saturation that Mode III provided by converting my Raw NEF files to Mode III. Since Mode III was actually introduced with the D2H (IIRC - I'm not sure the D100 didn't have it first), I was curious how the conversion compared with shooting in Mode III natively w/the D2H. So, I made my first shots with the intent of making such a comparison.

Nothing scientific, really. I just took the same picture twice -- once on each camera, swapping lenses on the cameras -- and tried to keep the settings the same. Here are some side-by-side comparisons of the two cameras. Natively shot in Mode III on the D2H, and converted to Mode III on the D1H frames in Capture NX. I made sure to use the same White Balance settings, ISO settings, and saturation settings.

D1H (saturation set to 'moderate' in Capture NX):

D2H (saturation set to 'moderate' in Capture NX):

(yeah, mom, I realize my backyard needs a visit from the lawn mower, and the clean-up crew -- just wanted a quick snap of something with a lot of different colors)

D1H (saturation set to 'normal'):

D2H (saturation set to 'normal'):

D1H (saturation set to 'normal'):

D2H (saturation set to 'normal'):

Nothing special in any of these pictures -- I literally grabbed my cameras and headed out to grab some quick pics, and didn't but barely tweak the settings in Capture NX so they matched. No PS work here.... I think the tomato blossom picture shows the difference the best. The other photos have too many variables involved that were different. But the yard shot does show, too, that the in-camera setting for Mode III is a little more saturated than the conversion of the D1H NEFs in Capture NX.

It only took me about 5 minutes to figure out where things were on the D2H that I wanted to tweak. Awesome.

I love, love, love this new camera. My only gripe is that the aperture setting on my 100 f/2.8 E lens attached to the PK-13 tube seemed to not work correctly all the time when I programmed the focal length and f/stop into the D2H. I had to wiggle things several times, and unmount the lens to get the aperture setting on the camera to change back to 2.8, when I changed the aperture on the lens. This will take me some more research.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good...

And sometimes, it's better to be lucky AND good. Heh.

Came home from the Farmer's market on Sunday, and saw this butterfly sitting in the Geraniums. Ran in the house, grabbed my camera, and was only able to grab the one shot, composing it and making sure I had some basic settings correct, before focusing and triggering the shutter. I wanted to get a little closer, but unfortunately my son was in the way, and I ended up tripping over him and scaring the butterfly away.

Fortunately, though, the frame I did take turned out quite nicely:

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If you'd like to use images in this blog post, please e-mail paul(at)