Don's Pages

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Playing with Alien Skin Exposure 4

Alien Skin Exposure 4 Plug In
I've just downloaded Alien Skin Exposure 4 Plug-in.
I'm using it via Lightroom 4 Beta.

From time to time I enjoy going back through my library of images and playing again in Lightroom & PS5. I've just downloaded the trial version of Alien Skin's Exposure 4 Plug-in and it really easy to use to achieve different looks.


Hope you enjoy.













Thames Tower Bridge Walk

4th February 2012. Thames Tower Bridge Walk.
Once again I got up early to go out for a stroll across Tower Bridge and along the banks of the River Thames. On this morning I was not after a sunrise or twinkling lights, but the warm Winter sunshine, but it was soooo cold; enough to freeze the barnacles of your binacle:-) LOL. With glove and hat, camera and lenses off I went. Got a parking spot very easily at that time of day and traffic was negligable. No parking charges on a Saturday either. When I arrived I looked at the temp gage in the car it read -3 deg C. Cold, but sooo bright.

Here are some of my shots of the day and below you can see some conversions I've made using Alien Skin Exposure 4 (Trial)... I kind of like how these plug-ins work.

Thames / Tower Bridge Pictures:
Click images to see them larger.



















Old Style Conversions in Alien Skin Exposure 4. Click images to see them larger.









Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Nikon D800 Review

The Nikon D800 & D800E Review
 by DonDavisPhotography.
The BEST Full Frame DSLR in the World.

At long last, the Full Frame Nikon D800 has arrived and Nikon has delivered a mighty blow to Canon in the image resolution stakes. It's the camera that I've personally been awaiting for ages as an upgrade to my 2008 Nikon D700, but it's not got everything I'd wanted. Ahh well we can't have it all. However, what it lacks from my personal wish list it more than makes up for with unexpected leaps forward in modern sensor technology, image processing speed and awesome resolution. What's amazing is that the D800 has even more image resolution than the brand new flagship full frame Nikon D4, the D800 will be the Landscape, Wedding & Portrait Photography Professionals will scramble and climb over one another to get their hands on.

Availability:
The Nikon D800 will be available in late March 2012. for £2399.94 (Almost £2400) Awesome. That's much less than I thought it would be.
You can reserve yours at the following stores in the UK. You'll have to be quick though as I'm sure they'll soon run out of the first batch produced and shipped to the UK.
Jessops or WEX (Warehouse Express)


Three things impress me immediately about the D800

  1. The much larger Resolution: 36.3 Megapixels. Now we all know by now that it only takes about 6 Megapixels to get a really decent photo, but that extra resolution will be a joy to landscape, architectural, fashion and portrait / wedding photographers. Why? It'll make it so much easier to both crop and alter images afterwards in post production without loosing quality on decent sized prints.
  2. The D800 is lighter than the D700. D800 = 1Kg D700 = 1.085Kg. Not much you may think, but any weight loss is good as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes carrying the heavy D700 all day long whilst out on a shoot with a big lense can become a burden, so the much lighter weight of the D800 will be a blessing to me and I'm sure many people.
  3. USB 3: That means faster image transfer.  Have you got USB 3? You can get a little card (like I did) and put it in an expansion slot of your PC. I've connected mines up to a 3 terabyte hard drive and transfer speeds are just awesome.
Will I be getting one????? I Most certainly will.... It's quite good that Nikon have taken as long as they have to produce an upgrade to my D700 with this awesome megga beastie, the D800, and that time gap has enabled me to save up my precious pennies a little longer so that I could afford it. My piggy bank was bursting at the seams anyways:-) LOL.

Contentment: However, I must always ask myself a few questions before I jump in and buy the latest gismo.

Firstly, I'm reminded of a teaching from the Bible.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV) 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


  1. Is this thing a necessity?
  2. Is it the best possible value?
  3. Will it go down in value quickly?
  4. How much will it really cost me? e.g. maintenance, extras...
  5. As a Christian, does God mind me having this thing?
  6. Will my family suffer in any way if I spend on this thing?
  7. Can I do without it?
  8. Will it bring in more business or resources to my family?
The answer to some of these is obvious, but some take a bit of thinking about. Can I do without it? Yes! Do I really need it? No. My other cameras work perfectly well at the moment. But a newer camera is not like a TV or Video Game if you use it for generating an income, even a small one. You want to produce the best quality work you can afford.

Will my having the latest gismo / Nikon Camera really glorify God? If I'm truly honest, my answer is, I HOPE So.

What have you purchased lately? Do you need it? Do you still desire it as much as before you got it? The things of the world seem to quickly loose their lustre once we have them don't they?




What will I be doing with my D700? I could sell it today and get a great price (quality cameras seem to retain their value) and now that they've stopped producing the D700 it could even go up in value. However, I like my old D700 so much, that I think I keep using it. One of the good things is I'll not have to change lenses quite as often whilst out on a photo walk. I can take my 28-300mm Nikon Lense on the D800 and the 16-35mm Nikon Lense on the D700 for wide angles or vice-versa. It will be great for weddings where swapping lenses can be a pain in the but and possibly miss some great shots, but with two quality camera bodies at hand I'll have all the angles covered. So I'll definitely be keeping my D700. But if you are just thinking of upgrading from a Nikon DX camera to a Full Fram FX you should be able to pick up a D700 soon for a good price, once all the pros start ditching theirs as they purchase the D800.
    What else is NEW about the D800 over the D700?
    Movie Mode: This will be great for those who want stunning detail in their movie clips shot on a DSLR. I'm mainly stills photographer, so this will be of limited use to me. However, I'm really interested in giving movie making a go when on location. I'm sure it will provide some added interest and background to my photography.  

    Video Reviews of the Nikon D800:
    I'll be posting review videos as they become available
     Nikon D800 Video Review Page: Click Here.




    Nikon D800 The Camera





    Comparison of the D700 with the D800.
    Check the Comparison Table Here


    Specifications: (Blurb from Nikon UK)
    Create monumental images with the groundbreaking D800.
    The 36.3 megapixel FX-format sensor and class-leading autofocus system deliver unprecedented levels of depth and detail in your photography. Full HD D-movie offers all the flexibility you need for broadcast quality video.

    If you’re serious about developing your creativity, the D800 is the ultimate way to get the big picture.


      36.3 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor ISO 100–6400: extendable up to 25,600 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent). 4 fps consecutive shooting in FX/5:4 crop mode. 5 fps in 1.2x/DX crop modes. The new multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie records FX- and DX-format Full HD (1080p) movies in 30p, 25p and 24p

    Detailed Specifications:
    Key Features:
    36.3 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor with high signal-to-noise ratio, wide dynamic range and 12-channel readout.

    ISO 100–6400: extendable up to 25,600 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent).

    4 fps consecutive shooting in FX/5: 4 crop modes. 5 fps in 1.2x/DX crop modes.

    Multi-area D-Movie records FX- and DX-format Full HD (1080p) movies in 30p, 25p and 24p. Max recording time approx. 29 minutes 59 seconds. Offers uncompressed HDMI output to external devices and high-fidelity audio control.

    Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point AF system: individually selectable or configurable in 9-point, 21-point and 51-point coverage settings. Sensitive down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F).

    EXPEED 3 image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.

    8 cm (3.2-in.), 921k-dot LCD monitor with auto brightness control anti-reflective, with wide color reproduction.

    3D Color Matrix Metering III: 91k pixel AE AF sensor with full-time face recognition.

    100% viewfinder coverage and three Crop Modes: 5:4, 1.2x and DX-format, with viewfinder masking.

    Quiet shooting mode: perfect for discreet photography, the sound of the camera’s mirror return mechanism is noticeably reduced.

    Highly accurate and durable shutter unit: standard rating of 200,000 cycles, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8,000 sec and flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec.

    Storage media:

    Built-in i-TTL Speedlight: GN / guide number approx. 12, 24mm lens coverage.

    Durable Magnesium alloy body: moisture and dust resistant.

    Wireless LAN and Ethernet support via optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4.

    Specifications:


    TypeSingle-lens reflex digital camera
    Lens mountNikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
    Effective pixels36.3 million
    Image sensor35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon FX format)
    Total pixels36.8 million
    Dust-reduction SystemImage sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires optional Capture NX 2 software)
    Image size (pixels)FX (36 x 24) image area: 7,360 x 4,912 (L), 5,520 x 3,680 (M), 3,680 x 2,456 (S) 1.2x (30 x 20) image area: 6,144 x 4,080 (L), 4,608 x 3,056 (M), 3,072 x 2,040 (S) DX (24 x 16) image area: 4,800 x 3,200 (L), 3,600 x 2,400 (M), 2,400 x 1,600 (S) 5 : 4 (30 x 24) image area: 6,144 x 4,912 (L), 4,608 x 3,680 (M), 3,072 x 2,456 (S) FX-format photographs taken in movie live view: 6,720 x 3,776 (L), 5,040 x 2,832 (M), 3,360 x 1,888 (S) DX-format photographs in movie live view: 4,800 x 2,704 (L), 3,600 x 2,024 (M), 2,400 x 1,352 (S) Note: Photographs taken in movie live view have an aspect ratio of 16 : 9. A DX-based format is used for photographs taken using the DX (24 x 16) 1.5x image area; an FX-based format is used for all other photographs.
    File formatNEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed TIFF (RGB) JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
    Picture Control SystemCan be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
    MediaSD (Secure Digital) and UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards; Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant)
    Dual card slotsEither card can be used for primary or backup storage, or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; pictures can be copied between cards.
    File systemDCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) 2.3, PictBridge
    ViewfinderEye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
    Frame coverageFX (36 x 24): Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical 1.2x (30 x 20): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical DX (24 x 16): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical 5:4 (30 x 24): Approx. 97% horizontal and 100% vertical
    MagnificationApprox. 0.7 x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
    Eyepoint17 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)
    Diopter adjustment-3 -+1 m-1
    Focusing screenType B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with AF area brackets and framing grid
    Reflex mirrorQuick return
    Depth-of-field previewWhen depth-of-field preview button is pressed, lens aperture is stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)
    Lens apertureInstant return, electronically controlled
    Compatible lensesCompatible with AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC Micro-NIKKOR lenses) and DX lenses (using DX 24 x 16 1.5x image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (exposure modes A and M only). IX NIKKOR lenses, lenses for the F3AF, and non-AI lenses can not be used. The electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
    TypeElectronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
    Speed1/8000 - 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV, bulb, X250
    Flash sync speedX=1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/320 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320 s)
    Release modeSingle frame, Continuous low speed, Continuous high speed, Quiet shutter-release, Self-timer, Mirror up
    Approximate frame advance rateWith EN-EL15 batteries - Image area: FX/5 : 4; CL: 1-4 fps, CH: 4 fps - Image area: DX/1.2x; CL: 1-5 fps, CH: 5 fps Other power sources - Image area: FX/5 : 4; CL: 1-4 fps, CH: 4 fps - Image area: 1.2x; CL: 1-5 fps, CH: 5 fps - Image area: DX; CL: 1-5 fps, CH: 6 fps
    Self-timer2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1-9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s
    MeteringTTL exposure metering using 91K (91,000)-pixel RGB sensor
    Metering methodMatrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data. Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12 mm circle in center of frame. Diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15, or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle or average of entire frame). Spot: Meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
    Range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20 °C/68 °F)Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0-20 EV Spot metering: 2-20 EV
    Exposure meter couplingCombined CPU and AI
    Exposure modeProgrammed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M)
    Exposure compensation-5 -+5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV
    Exposure bracketing2-9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV
    Flash bracketing2-9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV
    White balance bracketing2-9 frames in steps of 1, 2, or 3
    ADL bracketing2 frames using selected value for one frame or 3-5 frames using preset values for all frames
    Exposure lockLuminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
    ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)ISO 100 - 6400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV. Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 25600 equivalent) above ISO 6400; auto ISO sensitivity control available
    Active D-LightingCan be selected from Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off
    AutofocusNikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors), and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1 ft 8 in.-9 ft 10 in.)
    Detection range-2 -+19 EV (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F)
    Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
    Focus pointCan be selected from 51 or 11 focus points
    AF-area modeSingle-point AF, 9-, 21-, or 51- point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, auto-area AF
    Focus lockFocus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
    Built-in flashManual pop-up with button release and a Guide Number of 12/39, 12/39 with manual flash (m/ft, ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F)
    Flash controlTTL: i-TTL flash control using 86K (86,400)-pixel RGB sensor is available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighted metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
    Flash modeFront curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync; Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported
    Flash compensation-3 -+1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV
    Flash-ready indicatorLights when built-in flash or optional flash unit is fully charged; blinks for 3 s after flash is fired at full output
    Accessory shoeISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
    Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, or SB-700 as a master flash and SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes, or SU-800 as commander; built-in flash can serve as master flash in commander mode; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units
    Sync terminalISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
    White balanceAuto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored), choose color temperature (2500 K-10000 K), all with fine-tuning.
    ModesLive view photography (still images), movie live view (movies)
    Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time servo AF (AF-F) Manual focus (M)
    AF-area modeFace-priority AF, wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF
    AutofocusContrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
    MeteringTTL exposure metering using main image sensor
    Frame size (pixels) and frame rate1,920 x 1,080; 30 p (progressive), 25 p, 24 p 1,280 x 720; 60 p, 50 p, 30 p, 25 p Actual frame rates for 60 p, 50 p, 30 p, 25 p, and 24 p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; options support both high and normal image quality
    File formatMOV
    Video compressionH.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
    Audio recording formatLinear PCM
    Audio recording deviceBuilt-in monaural or external stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable
    Movie optionsIndex marking, time-lapse photography
    Monitor8-cm/3.2-in., approx. 921k-dot (VGA) TFT LCD with 170 ° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and automatic monitor brightness control using ambient brightness sensor
    PlaybackFull-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, highlights, histogram display, auto image rotation, and image comment (up to 36 characters)
    USBSuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0 Micro-B connector)
    HDMI outputType C mini-pin HDMI connector; can be used simultaneously with camera monitor
    Audio inputStereo mini-pin jack (3.5mm diameter)
    Audio outputStereo mini-pin jack (3.5mm diameter)
    Ten-pin remote terminalCan be used to connect optional remote control, GP-1 GPS unit, or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 (requires optional MC-35 GPS adapter cord and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)
    Supported languagesArabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian
    BatteryOne rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery
    Battery packOptional MB-D12 multi-power battery pack with one rechargeable Nikon EN-EL15 Li-ion battery or eight AA alkaline, Ni-MH, or lithium batteries.
    AC adapterEH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5B power connector (available separately)
    Tripod socket1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
    Dimensions (W x H x D)Approx. 146 x 123 x 81.5 mm (5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in.)
    WeightApprox. 1,000 g (2 lb 3.3 oz) with battery and SD memory card but without body cap; approx. 900 g/1 lb 15.7 oz (camera body only)
    Temperature0-40 °C (+32-104 °F)
    HumidityLess than 85% (no condensation)
    Supplied accessoriesEN-EL15 rechargeable Li-ion battery with terminal cover, MH-25 battery charger (AC wall adapter supplied only in countries or regions where required), Strap (AN-DC6 for D800, AN-DC6E for D800E), UC-E14 USB cable, USB cable clip, BF-1B body cap, BS-1 accessory shoe cover, BM-12 monitor cover, ViewNX 2 installer CD

    Monday, 6 February 2012

    Comparison Table D700 with D800


    Check out the table below for details.


    D800 vs D700 Comparison

     See the list below to compare the D800 with the D700.


    Nikon D700
    Nikon D800
    Resolution
    12.1 MP
    4256 x 2832 pixels
    36.3 MP
    7360 x 4912 pixels
    Sensor Size:
    FX (36.0 x 23.9mm)
    FX (35.9 x 24mm)
    ISO Range
    200-6,400
    Expanded 100-25,600
    100-6,400
    Expanded range 50-25,600
    LCD Display Size
    3-inch 920,000 pixels (640×480)
    3.2-inch 920,000 pixels (640×480)
    Video
    None
    1080p (1920 x 1080) 24/25/30fps
    720p 24/25/30/60 fps
    Maximum Frame Rate
    5fps (8fps with MB-D10)
    6fps (DX mode with optional battery grip MB-D12)
    4fps FX
    Shutter Speed
    30 sec – 1/8,000 sec

    Shutter Life
    150,000 actuations
    200,000 actuations
    Viewfinder
    95% coverage, optical
    0.72x magnification
    100% coverage, optical
    Autofocus Sysem
    51-point
    51-point AF system
    with face recognition
    Metering
    1,005-pixel RGB sensor
    91,000-pixel RGB sensor
    Wireless Transmitter (optional)
    WT-4/WT-4a Wireless Transmitter
    WT-5 Wireless Transmitter
    Media Slots
    Single CompactFlash (CF)
    Dual: SD and CompactFlash (CF)
    Battery
    EN-EL3e
    EN-EL15
    Shots per charge
    1000
    850 (CIPA)
    Battery grip (optional)
    MB-D10
    MB-D12
    Connectivity
    USB 2.0
    USB 3.0
    File Formats:
    Uncompressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW)Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Lossless compressed): approx. 60-80 percentCompressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Compressed): approx. 45-60 percentJPEG: JPEG-baseline-compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
    TIFF (RGB)

    Weight
    995g
    ~895g



    Retail Price (at launch)
    $2,995 USD
    £2399.00 $2,995 USD


    The D800 Video Reviews Page



    Nikon D800 Video / Review Page.
    As video reviews become available and as soon as I get my new D800, I'll be posting links here.




    Official Product Promo.

    Wednesday, 1 February 2012

    Nikon D4 and Still Waiting for a camera from Nikon that will knock our socks off

    Here's the opinion from someone who's happy with what she's got and is still waiting for Nikon to come up with a Full Frame camera that will make her change from the D300, D2X. Wonder if she'll upgrade to the New Nikon D800?

    The waiting is over: The D800 has arrived. Yipeeeeeeeee.
    Check out the BEST (affordable) Digital SLR Camera in the World. Nikon D800.
    I'm still waiting for the D800 announcement, which should be very soon:-)



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