Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A pregnant pause

I'm in the midst of selling all my camera gear. There are several very good reasons for this:

  1. The Canon stuff I have is bulky
  2. The cameras are 8 megapixel and later cameras have more megapixels.
  3. The flashes are something I never use.
  4. The studio gear is something I never use since I quit professional photography.
  5. It all represents a lot of money tied up in something I never use and worst of all, if I leave it tied up, it will continue to depreciate rapidly.
So it's time to sell everything which is exactly what I'm doing.

I am most certainly NOT giving up on photography. I am instead changing to a system that is better suited to what I do. I am changing to the Nikon 1 system.

The Nikon 1 system has a 2.7 times crop factor as opposed to the 1.6 times crop factor of the Canon XT and 30D. That matters because of the depth of field issue. I like lots of depth of field in my photos. I can't abide those photos with shallow depth of field. I can always blur things out later. I cannot increase depth of field after taking the photo.

With High-Speed photography, depth of field is everything. If you remember reading my books then you will remember that I shoot at F8 and 3 feet distance with a 50mm lens and that gives me just
3.79 inches depth of field (according to a depth of field calculator). That calculation is far too generous and I reckon on maybe an inch of depth of field. Going to a 2.7 times crop factor increases that depth to 17 inches. Basically everything from here to Kansas will be in focus. That allows me in turn to use a wider aperture and thus to get a better exposure.

I was just reading about the Nikon J1 and even saw one going secondhand with the 10 - 30 and 30 - 110 lenses (equivalent in 35mm to 27mm - 81mm and 81mm to 297mm) which is pretty much the range I cover with my existing equipment. The big bonus is that the whole lot was going secondhand for less than I would get for selling just some of my current equipment.

So, it looks like a winning situation. It does not preclude me from getting another bigger camera later either and the other bonus is that I will be able to use my existing Nikon lenses. Canon is nice but I feel I want to return to the Nikon fold. One of the great advantages of the 1 system is that because it uses the smaller CX format, it's also physically smaller. A J1 camera and lens will fit into a jacket pocket. That's much more useful. When I went on holiday last time, I took my XT and a 17-35 lens. I had some fantastic photos from it but it was bulky and heavy and got in the way a little.

Image quality - this depends on which review site you view. Some show really appalling images and others show great images. It all depends on the quality of the review site, I guess.

The kicker for me is how small the camera is. I don't need a huge camera. I like good image quality and it looks like this camera will provide it.

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