Why your camera doesn’t matter, and why it does

The Nikon D4

It’s an argument we hear all the time: the camera doesn’t matter nearly as much as the vision and talent of the person operating it. And yet, we still hear that nagging voice in the back of our head… “if I only had a better camera/lens/accessory.” Indeed, I’ve worked my way up from my old Nikon EL2, to my first AF camera (Nikon N70), to an F5, and then to all flavors of digital cameras. Along the way, of course, I was taking more and more photos and growing into my gear. To make things even more complicated, the camera manufacturers release new models all the time, begging us to upgrade to the latest and greatest features. So whether you’re just getting into photography or considering an upgrade, I want to take a quick look at the discriminating factors with today’s digital cameras. Continue reading

Nikon Coolpix P7000 Hands-On Review

Nikon Coolpix P7000

The new Nikon Coolpix P7000 (image courtesy of Nikon, Inc.)

Does the new compact camera from Nikon live up to it’s marketing hype as a compact camera with the features of a DSLR?

I recently got my hands on the new point and shoot from Nikon, the Coolpix P7000.  Nikon’s Coolpix line of compact cameras has been the frequent target of much criticism over the years, and I have to agree with most of it.  After all, I think I’m a better photographer than Ashton Kutcher (no offense)!  I know a lot of pro photographers, myself included, who are looking for the ideal “point and shoot” camera.  Why?  Well, we take vacations, too.  We don’t always want to lug that D300 or D700 around with a compliment of lenses– they are heavy to carry and large to pack.  The problem is that as a professional, I have grown accustomed to having a certain degree of control over my camera and also a certain level of image quality.  This is where most Coolpix offerings have fallen woefully short as compared to the competition.  The Nikon P7000 has a number of features that are very appealing to the advanced photographer, including:

  • 10MP sensor (reduced from 14MP in the P6000) ISO 100-3200, expandable to ISO 12,800.
  • 28-200mm equivalent zoom lens with optical stabilization (VR)
  • Large, 3″ high-resolution LCD screen
  • M/A/S/P exposure modes in addition to the preset scene modes
  • External controls for major features, including EV compensation
  • Optical viewfinder with diopter adjustment
  • Ability to produce a RAW (NRW-format) file
  • Support for external shoe-mount CLS Speedlights
  • 720p video recording

On paper, this looks to be an impressive little camera.  Let’s see how it works in reality.

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