Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nikon D90 Laminated Reference Card!

Here's a little quick reference card for your D90 settings! Sounds like a lot of D90 owners really like having this in their camera bag!

Your new Nikon D90 has many controls and settings designed to allow you to make a perfect exposure. But remembering where they are and how the features work together can be daunting.

If you decide to carry the user manual in your bag but finding the answer to your question can be a frustrating experience. That is why Blue Crane Digital developed an abbreviated field reference guide to your digital SLR.

The inBrief reference card is a laminated, foldable guide that answers most camera operation questions quickly and easily. The information is arranged logically for ease of use.

The cover panel of each inBrief displays a labeled line drawing of the camera, and a color-coded index to the rest of the panels. For instance, if you have a question about white balance, just check the index, then turn to the purple panel. An overview of the information on each of the twelve panels is listed below:

Cover: Annotated line drawing, General index

Blue: Viewfinder, Control panel, and Monitor displays
Red: Camera functions by exposure mode; Flash information
Lime: Focus; Drive Modes; Self-timer
Yellow: Exposure; Metering; Bracketing
Purple: White balance; ISO; Image size/quality
Orange: Displaying images; Resetting the camera
Green: Custom settings

The inBrief reference card is professionally printed on 10 point card stock, and is laminated on each side for long wear and protection from the elements. When folded, the dimensions are 5.5 by 4.25 inches. It fits neatly into the outside pocket of your camera bag for instant access. Once you have an inBrief, you can leave your manual at home.

Check it out Here!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So What Does The New D3100 Do To The D90?

Well folks, you've been hearing about upcoming releases from Nikon for the past few months, but they are finally meeting the expectations... With the release of some amazing point & shoots on Tuesday, the D3100 has been confirmed and released to the public. If you are like me, you are always asking how the latest events apply to the D90... So what does the D3100 do to the D90? Think the meteor that killed the dinosaur. That's what it does. The D90 is now behind the curve, and unless you really really want that drive motor, get the D3100.

So what's better about the D3100? Seriously? Just about everything. Starting with a 14.2 MP sensor, then introducing the first Nikon with 1080p video, auto-focus in Live View, boosted ISO, (to 12800!) and then to finish it off with a fancy new processor, the EXPEED2, and even more editing capabilities, including movie editing.

If you're like me, you are probably thinking to yourself, "man, I should have waited for this guy to come out..." So what is the point of even having a D90 anymore, other than the fact that you don't have enough money to upgrade? Well, personally, I like several features which kinda even out the playing field. 1) That nice info screen on top... Sure, it takes some getting used too if you came from a D40, 60, 3000, or 5000, but we all love that screen. It is immensely useful. 2) The little drive motor on the front. Seriously, this opens up auto-focus on how many more lenses? Life for me would be miserable if I didn't have auto-focus on my 50mm... and 3) the D90 isn't targeted for new parents looking for a vacation toy. Remember, you own perhaps the defining camera in photography history, the first SLR to have video, not to mention perhaps the best collection of camera components for under a thousand dollars.

So don't feel too bad about it... If one of your friends starts bragging about his/her new D3100, and how it is so much better than your dinky D90, just remind them about that second screen, the battery grip, those couple hundred lenses that you have auto-focus on, all those little features that separate a professional from the amateur. You don't have to worry about going extinct for another month... (The Photokina event coming up... Rumor says the D95, the replacement for the D90 is supposed to be replaced... Don't worry though, you still own one of the best cameras in town, regardless of price.)

So while all the action and coverage has been going to the cameras, with some amazing compact replacements, (check out the projector camera replacement... the S1100pj - http://www.dpreview.com/news/1008/10081709nikons1100pjs5100.asp) many people have been overlooking some of the new lenses Nikon released... Here they are, in a real quick list:

- 85mm f/1.4G prime lens
- 24-120mm F4G ED VR zoom lens
- 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 G ED VR telephoto zoom
- 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 G ED VR ultra-zoom
(all of these except the 55-300 are full-frame for those of you with anything D700 and above)

The lens y'all can get excited about is that 55-300 VR... If you are like me, you might have skipped the predecessor to this lens, the 70-300, and gotten the 55-200 instead, so you wouldn't lose the 55-70 range... Well, now you can have just two lenses, the 18-55 and 55-300. With all the latest technology, SWM, ED, VR II, all that, Nikon was able to top everything, and include a little something they call HRI, or High Refractive Index. This helps in harsh lighting environments, and I am sure it is well worth the money. Speaking of money, does anyone know what the price is for this one? Probably around $450. That's cheaper than the old 70-300!

So that's a little update on how the latest Nikon releases affect the D90... I'll most likely do a post on how the D95 is better, worse and the same as the D90... As much as it seems you are behind the curve, and you feel like the D90 is outdated, don't feel that way. It still produces excellent pictures, it has everything any photographer could ask for, and you shouldn't even begin to think about replacing it until you hit at least 75,000 shots... :P

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD for the Nikon D90!

Looks like a nice new super zoom lens is coming out for from Tamron...And the price is great. I'm curious to see how it performs compared to the Nikon 70-300mm VR which is one lens I love and will always keep in my bag. Tamron is boasting sharper contrast and greater descriptive performance than all others in its class. Humm.

Update: Winner EISA Best Product 2010-2011 Zoom Lens

Best-in-Class Optical Performance

High resolution thru use of XLD glass

New USD (Ultra Silent Drive) motor for fast and quiet AF

VC anti-shake mechanism for steady shooting

Dual format Di design for use on fullframe and smaller sensor cameras

In the pursuit to achieve the most outstanding image resolution in the 70-300mm class, Tamron’s Anniversary lens - the SP AF70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD - utilizes an advanced optical design that features an LD (Low Dispersion) and an XLD (Extra Low Dispersion) lens element made from specialized materials that prevent chromatic aberration. As a result, the SP AF70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD (Model A005) boasts sharper contrast and greater descriptive performance than all others in its class.

In addition, it is the first Tamron lens sporting a USD (Ultra Silent Drive), Tamron’s very own auto-focus drive mechanism This USD mechanism delivers fast, making it a perfect telephoto zoom choice for photographing sports, racing, or other fast-moving subjects. The lens also boasts Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization to assist in handheld photography, not only at long focal length ranges where blurring is common, but also under low-lit conditions, dramatically enhancing photographic freedom. This combination of best in class image resolution, Ultra Silent Drive and Vibration Compensation is a new achievement of Tamron technology culminating in the production of a premium 70-300mm lens.

Only $399 after Rebate, Plus free shipping!

Check out the Reviews Here!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nikon D90 Everything Summer Vacation Photo Contest!

ML- L3

Thanks to everyone that entered our little photo contest.......

The winner is FUNKYMACGIRL......... Congratulations!
As promised. It’s contest time! Here’s a chance for you to win a new ML-L3 Nikon Wireless Remote Control for your D90. The Theme of this photo contest is Summer Vacation. Example, summer travels, camping, exotic beaches, baseball, just plain old summer fun.
The first place winner will get the ML-L3 Remote Control.
ML-L3 Remote Control Transmitter Triggers the shutter remotely when using slower shutter speeds to prevent camera movement. Offers immediate release mode and two second delay mode. Range approximately 16 feet in front of camera.

This is how it will work.
1. Theme is Summer Vacation
2. Photo must be from a Nikon D90 only
3. Please include exit data. Just the basics, Lens, Exposure, Aperture, Focal Length, ISO
4. Include Title and Description
5. Link (url) to your submitted photo in the comments.
6. Only 1 picture may be entered
7. Ends Sept 8th 2010

Add all the info above into the comments below along with a link directly to your photo so we can see it. The winner will be picked following the end of the contest and I will ship your prize direct to you from amazon.

Good Luck!

*Sorry but I can only ship in the USA.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Whats up with the new D90?

Well folks, we've been talking about it, you've heard the rumors, but now it is really going to happen!

The word on the street is that Nikon is holding multiple press conferences in Europe on August 19th. Now don't get this confused with the point&shoot event that is scheduled for the 17th. That is to release some new P&S cameras that they have been working on, which could be interesting if you are looking for something to fit in your pocket, instead of the D90... Usually Nikon will release products within a week of each other, but they seem to be straying from their past by scheduling two sets of press releases only two days apart.

You saw before how Nikon has begun to call back it's dummy D90's, the stocks in many different stores has been decreasing, and there has been a lot of smoke about a replacement. Currently, the favored name is the D95. I have heard both that, and the D8000. Personally, I like D95 better, because it still holds the double-digit number, which raises it to more of the prosumer level, instead of the four-digit number, which is meant to be entry-level. There still isn't total confirmation that Nikon will be releasing the D95 (or D8000) on August 19, but it has been two years (almost to the day) since they released the D90, so I would say it is definitely time for an upgrade.

Currently, the bets are all on a camera that has been called the D3100. Everyone is saying that it is most likely to be announced, as there has been a large market surge in this area... Also, Nikon has been shooting promotional and advertising videos in Page, Arizona. (Don't worry if you don't know where it is... I didn't either...) People are saying they probably plan on using Antelope Canyon to help highlight some of the features of the camera.

So what is all the hubbub about? What's so special? It's just another camera(s), right? What exactly is the effect it will have on the D90? Well, name the few things you don't like about your D90. For me, they are as follows: Video quality isn't the greatest, slow auto-focus in live mode, no auto-focus in video, and no way to capture external sound. True, most of those deal with the video mode... Well, the D3100 is being built up to fix all of those problems, which means if they are releasing the D95 as well, it will be even more amazing!

Regardless of whether they do release the D95, both press conferences should be exciting. It sounds like they have some amazing point&shoots scheduled to take off, and I wouldn't be surprised if Nikon once again sets the trend in the DSLR world...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How to Photograph Children with the Nikon D90

So one of the specialties I focus in is photographing children. My favorite subjects are my nephews, hence the 'uncle joe' moniker. The main problem with kids is they move. With fireworks, you usually know where they will be. A wedding, you know where the bride and groom will be, and it is usually planned out well in advance. With most engagements where you might be called to photograph, they are usually planned well in advance, and you can usually position yourself in the right place to capture the right picture.

So how can you capture those pictures you find when you buy a picture frame? I don't know about you, but my nephews are constantly moving, running around, jumping, and if you aren't in the right place, at the right time, with that split-second reaction, you won't capture the picture. So how do you do it?
There are really two elements to it. The first is lighting. Kids move around so much, and I know in my house, while the main two rooms are lit very well, my nephews wander around so much, and one of them in particular, prefers the darker rooms. So you need to make sure you have good lighting. I personally like my SB-600 for this. I usually leave it in portrait orientation, (one of the advantages it has over the SB-400) pointed at the ceiling. This allows for the more natural lighting look, and if you are photographing after dark, it can completely black out the background, while making it look well-lit. So while it might seem pointless, even in a well-lit room, you should still use the flash. The eye has a way of deceiving the brain, and making it look like there is more light than there really is.

The second aspect, and while it may seem slightly more of a no-brainer, is to not worry about the equipment too much. Don't bother switching lenses to get the optimal shot, putting filters on, etc. This will only cause you miss the one shot you need to get. Also, you will want to use a zoom lens. Unless you are willing to keep trying to get that one shot out of a hundred, use a slower zoom lens so you can keep up with their movements. And this part really depends on what type of photographer you are. I prefer to stand back, and not be at the center of everything, snapping pictures. As such, this means I use my 55-200mm VR primarily, because it has such a wide range, but it also can be used in darker situations.

You also will want to make sure you have batteries. Most of the time, you will most likely be waiting. This means you will be watching the kid, usually through the camera, constantly repositioning yourself and readjustin g your camera settings, primarily the zoom, to match the surroundings. This wears your battery down, so you will want to watch the level as the day or event goes on.

I would recommend setting your camera on AF-C, or autofocus-continuous. This means the
camera will constantly be readjusting the focus as the subject comes closer or further. You can change this by pushing the closest button the top of your D90, that has the letters 'AF' printed on it. You'll have to hold that button, while spinning the back scroll-wheel. (Note: Most people usually already have the camera set to AF-A; The reason for switching to AF-C is because kids can stand still, your D90 isn't as smart as you, and might assume they are standing still. Trust me, I have had blurry pictures of kids come out because they started moving, doing something worthwhile capturing, and the camera refused to change fast enough.)

So now, just a quick recap:
1) Lighting: Usually your own, but watch for the ambient light.
2) Lenses: Use a zoom lens. This way you can capture within a wider area.
3) Camera settings: Set everything to move fast. Most importantly, AF-C