Nikon D5000 Review at Let’s Go Digital

Let’s Go Digital has posted a review of the Nikon D5000.

The technical tests of the body also reveal that Nikon managed to maintain the quality and even improved it. The Nikon D5000 benefits from this technical progress and this makes it more than logical that we consider the Nikon D5000 an excellent performing DSLR camera if we look solely at image quality.

For more news and reviews on the D5000, visit Photography Bay’s Nikon D5000 Reviews and Resources.

 

Nikon D5000 Interval Shooting Mode

The Nikon D5000 offers a very cool interval shooting mode that offers endless creative possibilities.  Several other Nikon DSLRs feature an interval shooting mode as well (do all of them?).  I have had the pleasure of using a variety of Nikon DSLR models; however, the interval shooting mode is one thing I had never taken the time to dig into.

Now that I have toyed with it a bit, I have to say that I really like the potential that it offers. Leave it to me to wait to use a Nikon DSLR with 720p HD video capabilities to jump into the stop-motion movie creation.

So, here’s the rundown on how I created the above movie using still images via the Nikon D5000 Interval Shooting Mode…

I set the Nikon D5000 on a tripod in the backseat/floorboard of my car.  I criss-crossed the rear seatbelts through the back leg of the tripod in order to stabilize it a bit.

I then set the D5000 to capture 999 frames (the max setting) at 1 sec intervals in Shutter Priority Mode of 0.8 sec each.  I used JPEG Medium file sizes to conserve card space and because I knew that I would not need the extra resolution from JPEG Large-sized files for a video.  Oh, and all the images were ISO 6400.

After getting everything set up, I ended up making two stops to reset the interval mode and restart shooting.  I ended up with roughly 2100 images, which I edited down to about 1500 or so for the final video.

I dropped the unaltered images into Windows Movie Maker and set the duration of each image to 0.13 seconds for a “fast” look in the final film.  I then dropped in Endless Road by The Coal Men as the soundtrack (it seemed fitting).  Thanks to Dave C. and the guys for allowing me to use it!

The nice thing is that the D5000 did most of the work without much real thought from me other than the initial concept.  This was my first foray into the interval shooting mode, time lapse, stop-motion or whatever you want to call it.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more opportunities to use this feature in the future.  Big kudos to Nikon for making it simple and straightforward.  If you want to download the full-res video for personal use and closer inspection, you can get it here. (Right-click and choose Save as…)

If you’re interested in the Nikon D5000, check on prices and availability at B&H Photo.

Canon Rebel T1i vs. Nikon D5000 Review – ISO Comparison Part II

The Canon Rebel T1i and Nikon D5000 are the two new consumer-level DSLRs from the leading brands in the business right now.  Over the past month or so, I’ve shot extensively, almost exclusively, with these new DSLRs.  While there are a number of features that make these cameras stand out, the one that I keep coming back to is their ability to manage noise, even at higher ISOs.

Both cameras do something new in the entry-level category by turning up the sensitivity. The Canon Rebel T1i tops out at ISO 12800, while the Nikon D5000 pushes its sensitivity one-stop lower to ISO 6400.  In my day-to-day shooting, I would have no problem shooting with either camera at ISO 3200 for snapshots that will make my wife or mom happy to have in the family photo album.  Truth be told, they probably wouldn’t notice the difference between ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 in either camera.  The Rebel T1i’s spec of ISO 12800 may be a bit much for most applications; however, in a bind, you can likely get some decent black and whites at that level.

To see how the Canon Rebel T1i and Nikon D5000 stack up against each other, as well as the Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D700, read on. [Read more…]

Nikon D300s Reviews and Resources

Nikon D300s

The Nikon D300s is a refreshed version of the Nikon D300 that offers video capabilities and other tweaks to the previous model.

Nikon D300s Key Features

  • 12.3-megapixel sensor
  • 51-point autofocus
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 7 fps continuous shooting
  • Dual CF and SD card slots
  • Quiet drive mode

The Nikon D300s was available in August 2009 at an initial retail price of $1799.95.

Nikon D300s Availability

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Ritz Camera

Wolf Camera

Camera World

International Availability:

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon Japan

Photography Bay Resources

Nikon D300s Review

Nikon D300s ISO Test and Sample Images

Nikon D300s vs. Canon 7D ISO Comparison – Part 1 (NR on)

Nikon D300s vs. Canon 7D ISO Comparison – Part 2 (NR off)

Nikon D300s Reviews

DP Interface

Photocrati

PhotographyBLOG

Digital Camera Review

Camera Labs

PDN Gear Guide (hands-on)

Cnet UK

Tech Radar

DP Review (hands-on)

Nikon D300s Press Release

MELVILLE, N.Y. (July 30, 2009) – Today, Nikon announced the D300s digital SLR, combining professional-level performance with agility and enhanced D-Movie capabilities to deliver a new benchmark for creative versatility. Engineered to leverage proven Nikon technologies, including a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and 51-point autofocus system; the addition of HD video capture; and faster 7 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting, the Nikon D300s balances form factor, performance, versatility and reliability for serious photo enthusiasts and professionals.

The D300s retains the photographer-friendly features of the critically acclaimed D300, while enhancing speed, versatility, and agility of the DX-format for a wide variety of photographers, including advanced enthusiasts, wedding shooters and photojournalists. The D300s can record HD video clips and high fidelity audio with an external stereo microphone input, offering users a D-SLR with full multimedia capabilities. Dual card slots afford users the ability to seamlessly record stills and video to one CompactFlash™ (CF) and one Secure Digital™ (SD) card separately, while one-button Live View, a new Quiet Shutter Release mode and Active D-Lighting bracketing help users to capture stunning images like never before.

“Today’s photographer demands excellence and value from high-performance digital SLRs – and the Nikon D300s delivers,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR System Products at Nikon, Inc. “It’s no secret that more photographers need to gather multimedia content. In addition to proven technologies, such as the 51-point autofocus (AF) system and 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, we are more than confident that the D300s’ HD movie mode, along with a host of additional performance enhancements, will broaden the appeal of the camera to those seeking exceptional still image quality and video versatility.”

The Benchmark of Speed, Performance and Reliability

Whether on the front lines of spot news or behind the scenes at a spring wedding, users of the D300s can record HD video clips at 720p resolution with a smooth cinematic 24 fps rate. In addition, the D300s also records high fidelity audio—either with the convenient built-in microphone or by using the external stereo microphone input. Photographers can trim video length on the fly and apply Picture Controls to video, modifying the tone and color. Additionally, users can autofocus while recording video, using contrast detect AF, and do so while composing on the D300s’ bright three-inch 920,000-dot LCD screen.

Nikon’s applauded AF system, with 51 high density focus points, performs even faster and more accurately on the new D300s. The Multi-CAM 3500DX AF module uses 15 cross type sensors to provide unparalleled focus performance across the frame. The D300s offers multiple focus modes, including single-point AF mode, and a dynamic-area AF mode, where users can select from nine, 21 or 51 AF points with 3D tracking. Additionally, the added Face Detection System lets users instantly zoom in on a human face in playback mode on the high-resolution LCD monitor to check critical focus.

The Nikon exclusive and newly-accelerated Scene Recognition System (SRS) further refines Nikon’s AF performance and light metering. In conjunction with the 3D Color Matrix Metering II system, the SRS uses precise color and brightness information from the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor to propel AF, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance to unprecedented accuracy.

The renowned 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor in the D300s delivers extraordinary image quality and low noise throughout the entire ISO sensitivity range from 200 to 3200 (Lo-1 at 100 and 6400 at Hi-1). The D300s captures image data using 14 bit A/D conversion, processed through a 16-bit pipeline for optimal performance, resulting in images with sharp details and smooth tonal gradations.

The D300s also incorporates Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED™ image processing. EXPEED image processing uses an accumulation of sophisticated Nikon intelligence and technologies to ensure impeccable quality for both still images and movies, while also achieving high-speed processing and low power consumption. When using the included EN-EL3e Li-Ion rechargeable battery, photographers can achieve as many as 950 shots under normal shooting conditions. The optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 extends shooting comfort and supports three types of batteries: R6/AA-size batteries, along with Nikon’s Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e and the EN-EL4a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery. It combines added stability with extended shooting of up to 2,950 shots*1 per charge and enables faster high-speed continuous shooting at up to 8 fps*2.

The reinforced magnesium alloy body is lightweight, ruggedly constructed and comprehensively sealed and gasketed against the elements at key points, and the shutter has been proven to a demanding 150,000 cycles. Additionally, the D300s employs the Integrated Dust Reduction System countermeasures that combat the accumulation of image-degrading particles on the optical low-pass filter.

World Class Versatility

With the D300s, Nikon introduces the ability to bracket Active D-Lighting (ADL). By localizing tone control, ADL restores shadow and highlight detail typically lost in high contrast situations, such as backlit subjects or while outdoors with strong sunlight. ADL bracketing provides users with the ability to bracket up to five frames of ADL strength to help ensure perfect contrast throughout the frame, putting an end to the guesswork behind the shot with a bride’s intricate white dress and a groom’s tuxedo in the same frame, for example.

Additionally, the D300s features two memory card slots—one CF and one SD, used simultaneously in a variety of configurations to match users’ preferences. Among the many options available, stills and video can record to separate cards or slots can be assigned for JPEG and RAW recording. The D300s offers “overflow” or “backup” modes, and when shooting D-Movie clips, it allows you to select the slot containing the card with the most available capacity. Users can also copy and paste files between cards.

Also added to the D300s is a Quiet Shutter Release mode, which substantially reduces the sound of the mirror while shooting. Quickly accessed by selecting “Q” on the release mode dial, this feature is ideal for the photographer who wishes to remain unobtrusive.

To further expand versatility, users have the ability to fine tune their images using Nikon’s Picture Controls to adjust sharpening, brightness, contrast and color hue. The D300s offers users four presets including Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome; while Landscape and Portrait settings can be downloaded from the Nikon website. While the D300s offers a versatile built-in flash with wider coverage for a 16mm lens, the camera is also compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and is capable of controlling up to two groups of remote units as a master / commander for Advanced Wireless Lighting.

System Expandability

In addition to compatibility with more than 60 NIKKOR lenses and a broad array of system accessories, the D300s will also perform well with the recently announced AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II and the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 ED VR II lenses.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D300s camera body will be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in late August 2009 at an estimated selling price of $1799.95.