I have been a Nikon owner since 1997. I have owned the N50, N90s, Fm2n, Pronea 6i, Coolpix 950, and F3. I still own a F5 and a F100 and numerous lenses. For some reason I decided to try an Olympus E-10. I thought it was great. It's robust, It had a wonderful Zoom Lens, and the images were very sharp. That is, until I went to Sanibel Island for a Photo Workshop. I had heard stories that the E-10 was slow to focus or could not find the focal point in the easiest of conditions. Its exactly what I ran into while trying to photograph birds at "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge. I have to live with my mistakes, but I don't have to live with a camera's mistakes. This past week I returned to Nikon with the purchase of a D1X. It is everything a F5 is in the Film world, except for fps. I am very famialiar with its user interface, and love the idea it can use a micro drive. With the slowest of Nikon's lenses, it seems to focus very fast. Shutter lag is nil (a big problem I ran into with the Coolpix). I 've used sRGB mode; not a good thing for nature photography, so this week at the Philadelphia Flower Show, I am going to try the Adobe 1998 mode. I understand that its color spectrum is wider. Anyone have any suggestions about how to shoot those flowers as far as lens choice, or flash position?
For the money, the Olympus is a lot of camera, especially since you can find them new for under $1200 these days. Nikon doesn't have a Coolpix that can do any better or even as well in many regards. The D1X is a lot more camera, but then it sure ought to be at the price. It's still short of the removable finder and mirror lockup that help define the F5's top line status - it's more like an F100 with RGB metering and the battery grip.
If you want the best quality, shoot in RAW mode and convert your images as needed, optimized for a given use. sRGB is a good space for web images. Adobe RGB (1998) isn't wide gamut, but it's a good choice so that your colors will work when printed on a cmyk printer.
Rich, Where do you live? I'm in DE about 40 mins south of Philly.
I also came to a D1x from an Oly E-10 a few months ago and haven't looked back. When I use JPG I shoot in AdobeRGB. When I can afford the write time I shoot NEF for the best results from the camera.
For floral work - I use my 28-105 macro lens (which is what I usually keeped strapped to the camera. It's not the best lens available - I'll admit - but it does one hell of a job. When I use a flash for this kind of work, I usually bounce off a small reflector (Never direct flash.)
I'm in north Jersey, about 170 miles from Philly. I shot some scenics today using NEF uncompressed. I was impressed. I would like to use my 105mm ex micro (Sigma) at the show. At a crop image equal to 157mm, it may be too much. What do you think?
Like Joe I favour a medium range zoom for this type of shot: in my case the AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 which has the added advantage of a pseudo-macro facility so it can go in pretty close.
If you're keen to get the best possible colours and have Nikon Capture (or are willing to try out QImage or Bibble) then try shooting in RAW mode and converting the results to 16-bit TIFFs: this route gives the absolute best results the camera is capable of. The only downside is that you need plenty of storage since D1x NEF files are about 8Mb each.
Here's an example from my D1 with the AF-S 28-70mm which was taken in RAW mode and converted using QImage: