Posts Tagged ‘photos’

Pictures Comparing SB-800 vs SB-900 Flashes

November 12, 2008

There have been many people coming to this website looking for information and details comparing the Nikon SB-800 Speedlight to the newer SB-900 Flashgun, and the internet and photography websites as a whole have been hotly posting up and buzzing about the differences between the once king of the castle flash and its new predecessor. One of the most foremost areas of discussion has been the size difference of the two, with the newer unit being considerably more large and rugged at and approximately 24% harder to fit in your travel bag level.

comparing sb-800 & sb-900 speedlight

History has shown that as technology advances it generally seems to get more compact and fit in ever smaller casing (think cell phones for a second) however that is simply not the case with Nikon’s new mothership flash, with the Nikon Speedlight SB-900 being quite a larger and more cumbersome unit than the one it is putting out of business. Dimension specifications peg the SB800 vs SB900 at 2.8 x 5 x 3.5 inches versus 3.0 × 5.7 × 4.7 inches and weight at 12.3oz // 350g compared to 14.6oz // 415g although to hold and see the units side by one gets a much more dramatic feel then the seemingly not so different dimensional and weight numbers would suggest. To illustrate the difference that everyone seems to be talking about, I found some pictures from around the web to compare the SB 900 vs. SB-800 side by side and give you a better idea of the actual size increases:

You can read the full technical comparison here – and to see the difference between SB900 & SB800 when mounted on a camera, check out this compare animation from nikongraphy

7 New Nikon Coolpix lining up for XMAS

November 12, 2008

Nikon has recently added a bunch of new cameras to their line of Coolpix point and shoots. Nikon breaks their Coolpix cameras into three different series. There are the performance, style, and life series that are all designed for different uses. Most of the new cameras Nikon has released are from the style series with only one addition to the performance series and one to the life series.

Nikon's XMAS 2008 additions

Nikon's XMAS 2008 additions

Five Styleish Additions for Coolpix ‘S’ Series:

Nikon's Styleish S60

Nikon's Stylish S60

In the Coolpix Style Series they have added the S60 (MSRP$350), S560 (MSRP$250), S610 (MSRP$280), S610c (MSRP$330), and S710 (MSRP$380). They are all 10 megapixels except for the S710 which is a huge 14.5 megapixels. The S610 and S610c are actually the same camera except the S610c adds Wi-Fi capabilities. The S610 and S610c have a 4x wide angle zoom, the S560 and S60 have a 5x optical zoom, and the S710 has a 3.6x wide angle zoom. They mostly have a 3” LCD screen except for the S560 which is 2.7” and the S60 which has a 3.5” touch screen. They all have optical vibration reduction image stabilization which is very nice because the electronic image stabilization some cameras have sucks. This VR technology does a great job keeping your pictures sharp.

The Nikon S560 has a smile shutter (takes picture as soon as it sees someone in the frame is smiling) and blink warning (warns you not to take a picture when somebody’s eyes are closed), a scene auto selector with 15 different scene modes, high quality video recording, red-eye fix, face priority auto focusing, d-lighting, and up to ISO 3200.

The Nikon S610 adds an active child mode that tracks moving objects to keep them in focus and one more scene mode. The Nikon S610c allows you to upload any pictures you take to myPicturetown for free up to 2 GB. You even get free Wayport hotspot service until August 31, 2011.

The Coolpix S710 is similar to the S610 except that it adds program, aperture, shutter, and manual exposure modes which give way more control to the more advanced users.

The Nikon Coolpix S60 is a fair bit different than the rest because it is all controlled by the touchscreen. The display is customizable and the only buttons are the on/off and the shutter release. Cool features made possible by the touchscreen are the touch autofocus and auto exposure that lets you touch a subject on the screen and it will track the object adjusting the focus and exposure to ensure an optimal picture. With the retouch function you can write on your pictures with the included stylus or your finger or attach a frame or stamps. One more cool feature only on the S60 is the HD Pictmotion slide show that lets you make a slide show with music you can watch on the camera or on a HDTV.

One High Performing DC for the Coolpix P Series:

Performance minded New P6000

Performance minded New P6000


In the Coolpix Performance Series the only addition is the Nikon Coolpix P6000 (MSRP$500). This is one of the best non-SLR cameras on the market and you are paying for it but it is worth the cost. This camera has 13.5 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom and two Nikkor ED glass elements. The back LCD is 2.7″ and they included an optical viewfinder which is very nice. Important features for the Nikon P6000 are the optical vibration reduction image stabilization, up to ISO 6400, GPS capability, red eye fix, d-lighting, face priority autofocus, wide angle lens converter, and the ability to control everything like aperture, shutter, and exposure settings manually similar to a d-SLR.

One More Value/Budget unit for the L series:

Affordability & Function L18

Affordability & Function L18

In the Coolpix Lifestyle Series the only addition is the Nikon Coolpix L18 (MSRP$130). This is a nice and simple little camera that gives you all you really need if you are literally just going to be using it to point and shoot without messing with settings or playing with features. Its 8 megapixels and 3x optical zoom are enough to take extremely clear pictures with any level of zoom. The Nikon L18 does have some useful features like red eye fix, face priority auto-focusing, d-lighting which improves brightness and detail in dark pictures, and an easy auto mode which takes away a lot of the extra options to make it as basic and straightforward to take nice pictures as possible.

Nikon SB900 Review & thoughts vs. SB800

October 15, 2008

Thoughts and Review of Nikon Speedlight SB900 vs SB800
Gerry Haliday (Oct. 2008)

SB900's improved interface is great I had previously owned the Nikon SB800 and after getting into heavy photography and art classes with work, I heard about the SB900 and that it was about to get released, and started to compare the SB900 vs. SB800 with the information available at the time and caught a glimpse of some first hand Nikon SB900 previews to decided that perhaps it was time to upgrade my old and really worn SB-800 flash in favor of the bigger and supposedly more feature rich SB-900 speed light flash.

My initial research and reading of rumors and reviews of the soon to be announced SB900 unveiled to me some new features, features which I could really take advantage of, and ultimately why I preordered the item to replace its younger sibling. After having used it now, I would say some of the most notable differences when comparing the Nikon SB900 versus the SB800 are:

Better & easier to use menus / interface:

They have put some attention in this department and rightfully so; it seems like they listened to customer Nikon sb800 reviews and corrected some of the most common pains and weaknesses, helping us more quickly utilize and navigate the flashes interface. It’s much easier now to control, and as a result much quicker to fully adjust and use your SB 900 Speedlight for various scenarios than the SB 800 ever was.

Bigger but more sturdy feel

This is not something everyone will like, but I actually like the size and dimension increase in some ways… it adds to the feel of ruggedness and product quality, perhaps it’s just an emotional thing and I’m thinking bigger is better inside.

Faster Recycling:

Using the SD-9 you can get 1 second recycling, and even with the underperforming normal NIMH batteries its better and faster compared vs the SB800 flash as well. A great feature I fully appreciate because of the nature of my work and one many others will love as well

Flash heads rotation now both same in both directions

Something users of the older SB-800 will definitely like if they used the old one in quite a bit and got annoyed with rotation of the head

Further zoom & flexibility of light

Better flexibility in the light settings, with the ability to fully adjust the shaping of your lighting to be direct and focused or more evenly placed, love it!

Tons of other adjustments in the positive and a few things I’d like back

There are tons of little unmentionables that make me really happy with my move from the Nikon SB800 to the SB900. There are things I miss and wished right now weren’t changed, but honestly I’m sure it’s just a personal thing right now, and as I further adjust to the differences I will let go of these attachments.

Comprehensive SB900 Review coming soon…

I have only had this thing for a bit now, and although I use my flashes extensively, I am in a slow season right now so I haven’t really pushed the Nikon SB900 fully yet, just figured I’d leave a short Speedlight SB900 Flash review online for now, with a further and more in-depth report on my personal blog once I have used this beast a little more. Best wishes, and if you are considering the change, I’d recommend it, if you’re a complete novice maybe stick with the cheaper SB 600 or SB 800 for now and save some cash, as I’m sure this will drop 10-20% in prices of the next couple of months, and winter’s a slower season for most of you anyways!

Video Review of Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm Lens

September 30, 2008

Thanks to QQQQcon of YouTube whom has done a great 5minute video review of the Nikon Nikkor 18-200mm lens. The review is accurate, precise and cuts through all the fluff common in video reviews of photography equipment to make the points that need to be in favour and against the Nikon 18-200 MM, while also doing a great job of explaining the meanings and effects of many of the various features to help amateurs understand just exactly what he’s talking about and what makes this a great all around lens.

The reviewer, although not a professional speaker by any means, presents the facts in a great way, making comparisons through his 18-200 review to the 18-55mm & 55-200mm which gives a great contrast to its features and what makes it different / unique… He does not go into a whole lot of technical detail, so if you’re a professional you will want to perhaps look for a more techy review from CameraLabs on YouTube or something similar, but for the average person, QQQQcons is simple yet rich with information and provides a solid unbiased review of Nikon’s Nikkor 18-200mm with his hands on review video above!

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Nikon 16-85 Lens Review

September 29, 2008

Nikon 16-85 Lens Review

“Great Everyday Lens”

nikon nikkor 16-85

I have both the 18-135 and the 18-200, yet this lens has become my everyday go to lens for most of my photography. The 18-200 has tremendous versatility and I have made many great photos with it. However the softness and CAs around the edges is quite pronounced and definitely shows in larger prints of 12×18 and larger (I could have a poor copy). My 18-135, on the other hand, is tack sharp throughout the frame and is a great lens. However, the lack of VR is a limiter for using the lens as an everyday lens where low-light, hand held shots are often required.

Now to the 16-85VR: As I shoot mostly landscapes and outdoor shots, the 16mm wide end was particularly attractive to me. Only 10% or so of my shots are beyond 85mm, so I don’t think I’ll miss the 85-200 range. The build quality is about like the 18-200 without the zoom creep. I conducted informal tripod tests of this lens against my sharp 18-135 and the 16-85 actually exhibited better sharpness and contrast all across the frame from 16mm-50mm at all apertures, with the sharpest apertures being f8 and f11 (no surprise there). However, wide open is sharp as well, with very little light falloff at the corners, even at 16mm. In the 60mm – 85mm range, the 18-135 was usually just a bit sharper (except at f-11, where they were equal) for both the center and edges (you have to look really hard and pixel peep at 100% to notice the slight difference). Given the great sharpness (especially in the 16-50mm range), VR, and almost total lack of noticeable CAs, I can highly recommend the 16-85 for a general purpose, on-the-camera-all-the-time lens.

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