Tue 01-Jan-13 05:49 AM | edited Tue 01-Jan-13 06:10 AM by ZoneV
My first post of 2013:
>I wasnt aware of the improvements in AF tech - but I also >havent researched it much as I didnt want a reason to >"want" a D3..
AF improvements mostly center around an increase in the number of AF sensors (smaller sensors, btw) and the ability to pick up focus more accurately even in low light. Honestly, using a single central sensor, in bright light, with moderately moving action, there isn't much difference from the F100 days.
>truth be told - I was >going to get a D1h because of the smaller file size >specifically, and I like the body... but the battery was a bit >of a deal breaker for me... ALthough I am considering picking >one up as a "toy" body in the future.
The D1H is a good camera. I use one for much of my photojournalism. The battery is not terrible, but it's not great. You're not going to get 1000 shots off of it, no matter what. That said, I believe I've finally (as of yesterday) figured out the real reason the battery is so "bad" for many people. It's because (I think) the MH-16 quick charger ruins the battery by making it overheat during each charge. Also, the refresh function drains it (apparently) down to 0.0 Volts, which is bad for the battery long-term (you're only supposed to discharge NiMh cells to 0.9 V). So, since I recently ordered new batteries, I'm looking into an alternative, more sophisticated charger that can charge at a lower rate, perhaps like those used by RC hobbiests. I have a feeling this might improve long-term performance if used from day one on a new pack. i've never gotten an EN-4 to last more than about 2 years, even though I'm very careful about how I charge/discharge them. I think the Nikon quick charger is the real problem.
At 100 ppi, you can still get a ~decent 20-inch print out of the D1H. (Granted everything gets interpolated before printing, and Photoshop does a good job at it). I recently made an 8x10 inch print of a sports photograph for a customer from an 800-pixel long crop of a D1H frame. The resulting print was absolutely decent to my eye, and the customer was thrilled with it.
>I honestly wasnt aware the D3 was 12mp - but once again - >never researched it due to cost...
The D3 is like the D1 of FX for its time. In DX mode, it gives 5.5MP, exactly the same as the D1x (but with like 4-5 stops better high ISO than the D1x). The D3s is literally today's D1H...it improves the D3 high ISO by 1-2 stops. 12MP is starting to be seen as "low MP" so prices are dropping on the D700/D3/D3s.
>Another question - for new photographers and students - do you >think digital inspires bad habits compared to film in regard >to composition, or do you think it helps due to the instant >feedback? I can think of arguments on both sides.
No, not at all. I posted in another thread earlier today (see the shutter count thread in this forum) my shutter counts per newpaper assignment. They're pretty low compared to those of many people. Digital doesn't have to make you sloppy. If you remember that each shutter firing brings you closer to the rated shutter life, you'll be selective. After I had my shutter replaced in the D1H in 2011, I've been even more conservative.
That said, I wouldn't buy a D1H (or D2H--which has worse high ISO than the D1H) as a main body today. Definitely a D3/D700 instead (same exact sensor in those two). Or a D3s (the D1H's modern counterpart) if cost was no object. High ISO, battery, and flash are the main improvements.
Not only is the perspective intriguing (and controversial, yet unescapable). The secondary message I got out of it is that 8MP is essentially enough for most top-quality professional photography in 2013. (That's roughly the resolution of the camera they used when shot in video mode and extracted stills from it.)