Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recent photo shoot

Nikon D300.Image via Wikipedia
Recently, I was asked by a friend to take some photos of his band performing at a local fete. now, my current camera is a rather old Fuji 602z bridge type camera. Its a fairly capable camera and would have been satisfactory for the job in terms of the end result. However, when used at the highest quality setting it takes simply ages between shots to write to the CF memory card. What I really need is a decent DSLR but am currently unable to afford one. However, I am intending to take up freelance photography again (I used to earn a modest living working for the 'Professional Nurse' journal as a freelance some 20 years ago). In view of this, I have been debating which system to go with. I was a Canon user previously using the EOS600/620 bodies with Canon lenses and a Metz CT45 hammerhead flash. However, two friends have Nikon kits and so I have been borrowing these for various shoots.

So, for this shoot I borrowed a Nikon D80 along some Sigma lenses. I had used the kit previously, but since that first time, I had the opportunity to use my other friend's Nikon D300 kit with his Speedlight SB-900. Now, the D300 is, of course, the better camera. However, I was pleasantly surprised how similar it was in handling and performance. The main differences between the two are:

D300:
  • 12.3 MP, DX Format
  • 51 point focus system, 
  • 6.0/8.0 fps, 
  • 100 JPEG frames buffer, 
  • 3.0" 922,000 pixels LCD + Live View

D80:

  • 10.2 MP, DX Format
  • 11 point focus system, 
  • 3.0 fps, 
  • 23 JPEG frames buffer, 
  • 2.5" 230,000 pixel LCD
 I was very happy with the resulting images. Although at times the rain clouds came over (it was an outdoor event) and it even rained at times, the built-in flash provided enough fill-in to ensure a perfect exposure. Most of the time I just left the camera on Auto. The image above was taken at 48mm, f6.3 and 1/200s.

So, would I buy a Nikon or stick with Canon? well, I have yet to try out a recent Canon DSLR (my old film 600/620 bodies were sold year ago). I will probably hire a 550D or a 50D kit at some point for comparison. The attraction of going down the Nikon route is that if ever I needed to borrow an extra body or lens I know where I can easily get hold of one!
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