I was standing on line at Microcenter, waiting to buy a Canon SL1 for $750. Got tired of waiting and left (note, I love Microcenter, this was a cosmic sign!). I sold my Nex-7 and 50mm 1.8 prime because I wanted to do more portrait type work. Manual focus on mirror-less cameras is a frustrating affair. I figured the SL1 would be a good compromise–DSLR type focusing and hopefully passable auto-focus in video. That afternoon I e-mailed about a Nikon D600 and Tamron 24-70mm/2.8 lens I saw on Craigslist. The owner said the lowest he’d go down to $2,500. You can see where this story is heading!
Part of the reason I bought a new camera was to take photographs of my wife (photography is an insatiable consumer of laughable rationales). She started a fashion blog for women over the age of 50.
I took a comparison shot between the D600 and my Nex 5N with kit lens. I shot at 2.8. According to Cambridge In Colour I’d need a 50mm at f/2 to achieve a similar depth of field (unfortunately, sold lens before I could test that). However, the smaller sensor would lag in color saturation.
Here are the photos. No processing. JPEGs that came out of camera. First, the APS-C.
Now the Nikon full-frame.
Here’s the full-frame image lightened a bit.
Although much lower resolution, I believe the Canon 5D and 85mm 1.8 prime would have taken as good a photo, for the web. In fact, I considered just getting that setup again. But I try not to go back to a camera I have already owned.
I took some video with the D600. In shallow depth of field situations it looks much better than the Nex. However, high f-stop shots are more difficult to tell apart.
As I wrote in a previous post, the Canon 60D, which came out in late 2010, is a nice camera. Fantastic video. Great ergonomics; good high ISO, etc. But the photos didn’t have the same 3-dimensional pop I’m used to from my Sigma DP1 and DP2s.
I saw a Canon 5d (original) on Craigslist that turned out to be owned by Matthew Gamber, who I found to be a fantastically talented photographer (see his site). Matthew was kind enough to correspond via email the pros and cons of the camera and the Sigma cameras (Thank you Matt). I ended up paying $850 for the 5D body, the same amount I had spent buying the 60D (plus 50mm 1.8) on Craigslist.
Buying a camera that came out in 2005 to replace a camera that was 5 years newer worried me. I will now say that I do not believe ANY APS-C sensor camera will beat a full-frame camera (Matt had intimated that). I took some photos with the 50mm 1.8 I had with me and they looked pretty good, though inconclusive. When I returned to Hanover I put on the Sigma 50mm 1.4 and was fortunate that my youngest daughter, an Anime nut, was dressing up. I put on my 580 EX II and snapped a few. Even got a pic of my usually camera-avoiding middle child.
I took those cameras to Cape Cod. My new (to me) DP2s is delivering the same stunning results as my DP1. I took many comparison shots with my friend’s Nikon D90 and zoom lens (sorry, forgotten which) and my SD14. For quick shots the D90 was better, easier to use, but for portraits the SD14 had that extra je ne sais quoi. I WANT a reason to get rid of my slow SD14 (not that I have money for something else). The D90 was not the camera to do it.
I bought my SD14/50-200 setup for $510. A similar used D90 outfit would be around $900.
You can look at a variety of what I took here
The SD14 took this photo, among other, which easily beat those I took with the Nikon (to me).
The Samsung TL500 is a slick camera for guys who like gadgets but don’t take their photography seriously. There’s no good thumb rest. The menus behave like a Sony PS2 game. For a 1/1.7 sensor, the G12 can’t be beat for professionalism. I used the G12 to do some panoramas. I still love that camera as an all-arounder.
It took these photos at night with the G12.
My DP2s has been more finicky than my DP1! Strange stuff. Like it wouldn’t change exposure (I had to re-start). Hopefully this is just my error.
Here’s a DP2s shot. They’re still in their Anime make-up.
That’s it from here.