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April 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It's time. Time to retire my old blog and get this one going.

Photography wise, I'm still getting used to some new gear. The Nikon D-810 produces pictures so sharp, you can cut your finger on them just by looking at them. No kidding! The D-800 and the D-810 have the same pixel resolution, yet the D-800 creates JPGs that are roughly 6-9 megs in size, and the RAW is around 25 megs each. The D-810 creates JPGs that are 7-12 megs in size and RAW files that are 45-60 megs. Each! So if you shoot RAW + JPEG, you can eat up a 128GB card in no time flat!

But for me, with what I love to shoot (pyrotechnics and aviation), the background can be either very dark to black or nice consistent blue. BUT if there is a lot of fireworks going on, or if the aircraft is large in the frame or there are clouds in the sky, you better have spare cards around. And by spare, I mean more 128GB cards. Why not smaller? For one, you should be able to get between 800-1000 shots on a card. A 128Gb card will hold roughly 1100 shots, so we're close. If I'm shooting aviation, I can click off between 2000-4000 clicks in a day with not too much effort.

A lot of pictures shooting airplanes? Yeah. I subscribe to the process known as "spray and pray". Set the camera on the fastest number of activations per second and pray you get a good one. (I have a couple of friends who subscribe to "get the one" - they wait for the one shot, then snap it. Need to move towards this method...) The frame rate of the D-810 is between 5.5 and 6 frames per second, but the buffer is also quite low. There are cameras with much faster frame rates, and also a lot more forgiving when it comes to capturing movement. The D-810 does tend to show off EVERY ONE of your camera holding sins, so why even take it out to shoot aircraft?

I'm kind of in between the two methods mentioned above. You don't need 10-12 frames a second, you need to be able to capture the ONE picture. I can rattle off 10 pictures as a plane passes, but I only need one image from that sequence. And with a frame rate so fast, it's hard to keep tracking the aircraft as it flies by because the shutter mirror keeps whacking away in the viewfinder, so I will slow the frame rate down anyways to, oh, 5-6 frames a second! I found the D-810 is so unforgiving, that the keepers rate is very low. But when that one comes through? BINGO! It sings.

So I'd rather get an image that stands out from the others, with a lot of room to crop - so yeah, I'm sticking with the D-810. Besides, I could only afford one camera, and this is it. ;0)

Shoot pictures, shoot often.

- Tom



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