Stephen Kirkpatrick

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Times They Are A Changin'

Working on my current project, On A Roll, has revealed a lot of things to me, one being the fact that “film” is a dinosaur. But then, people are intrigued by dinosaurs, right? 
Film brings about the same reaction as viewing dinosaur bones, mostly from the younger generation. Some colleges and universities now teach black-and-white photography with full darkroom experiences. Recently, I met a college student who described this “amazing process” to me. 

Series of common loon black and white negatives taken in Quebec, Canada
June 1994

“You expose the paper to light, then you put it into chemicals, and this image begins to appear. It’s awesome.”

As long as people are intrigued by dinosaurs, perhaps they will never completely go away.

Common Loon (penguin dancing)
June 1994
from the book

Even those of us who appreciate things from the past can still take advantage of technology. For instance, I use a Nikon P7000 digital compact camera to record my work and progress on this blog. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to post up to-the-minute photos of what I am experiencing. I like the fact that I can instantly show you what I’m doing even though I won’t see the processed film from my On A Roll photos for months. 

I say all of this as I study more change in the photographic world, including the new Nikon D800 and the new, mirrorless cameras now in use, including the Nikon J1 and V1.
The D800 is built for today’s multimedia photographer with full HD 1080p video at 30/25/24p with stereo sound, class leading ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 25,600, 4 fps burst rate and advanced scene recognition system with 91,000-pixel RGB sensor. The D800 features a groundbreaking 36.3 megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, making it the highest resolution full-frame camera in the world. Simply put, technology has exploded in this single camera.

In a quite different way, the mirrorless revolution is upon us. This new camera system is the offspring of the marriage of the small point-and-shoot and the bulky DSLR. The mirror systems in DSLRs are what makes these cameras so large, so by removing the mirrors, the camera is downsized. The result is a camera much like a point-and-shoot but large enough to contain a larger sensor, thus making it a far superior, yet almost pocket-sized camera.
In October 2011, Nikon released their first mirrorless cameras, part of the Nikon 1 line. The two first models in this new line of Nikon cameras are the J1 (geared toward consumers) and the V1 (geared toward professionals). These are compact cameras with large sensors, 10.1 megapixels to be exact. These larger sensors capture higher-quality images. The one thing they do not have is an optical viewfinder, and some professionals and amateurs alike may not like this. Another consideration is the fact that mirrorless cameras only use special lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.  

So, if you want a camera that's sophisticated yet portable, then a mirrorless DSLR is the better choice. If you still want all the bells and whistles, the D800 is your best bet.

Bottom line, times they are (constantly) a changin’.

Happy shooting,


1 comment:

  1. Neat Loon dancing on the water!
    Trouble with cameras, they're always changing!!
    Getting better of course. I thought I was happy as a bug with my Nikon D80, then hubby gives me a Nikon D5100. Now I have more stuff to learn!!! Keeping one for the 70-300mm lens and the other for the 18-200, just so I don't have to change the lens so much. Happy Shooting!


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