Tag Archives: Nikon D7100

A tog in training

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Tog as in photog. As in photographer. Okay, okay, never mind… ūüôā

Here are some of the practice pics I’ve been snapping lately as I bond with my beastie!

Meringue with strawberries and cream

I can’t take credit for the cooking on this one: my mom treated¬†me to¬†this¬†meringue with strawberries and cream when I visited her the other day. Yum, I love my mom! ūüôā

Aloe

Aloe

Classic South African flora: a flowering aloe plant.

Robin

Robin

This wild Cape robin-chat has ‘trained’ my parents to feed him whenever he¬†sings at their kitchen door… and he does this about seven times a day! Adorable free pet ūüôā

New fur for Flea

New fur for Flea

And speaking of pets, here’s our fuzzbutt Flea. Can you see how her fur has grown back pitch black in that patch under her arm?

The sweetest face

The sweetest face

I also have a bit of amazing news to share: I’ve been asked to extend my current¬†contract of office work until the end of the year, instead of wrapping up in August.

This offer from my boss¬†came as a major blessing and a big relief to Ninja and I, as it means I’ll be getting a few extra salaries this year above what we’d planned for… which of course also means that our budget will quickly recover from the knock it took with my camera. The Lord has been so generous to¬†provide this ‘safety net’ ‚Äď and all that after I’d taken the leap of faith to get my camera!

Anyway, that’s all from me for today. Hope it’s sunny where you are :mrgreen:

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Classic Cars Show 2013

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I bet you can guess why it’s been¬†so quiet at the Sunshine Scrapbook¬†for the past few days ūüôā¬†I’ve been practising daily with my beautiful new camera and analysing the shots to¬†learn from them and generally¬†just practising what I preach! Then this past weekend there was a Classic Cars Show in Johannesburg, which proved to be a great day trip with friends and my first public, lengthy use of the beastie.

Here are a few of the pics, along with my thoughts. Just for the record, I barely know my Vauxhall from my Volvo… so please bear with any automotive slurs I might make ūüėČ

There was a large crowd attending the show, which meant that most of my shots were inevitably photobombed by random strangers. In order to have some ‘clean’ shots, I took quite a few close-ups of details on the cars.

Classic Cars Show 01

There were modern muscle cars, such as this super hot GT…

Classic Cars Show 02

…and old classics such as this enormous Grande Parisienne:

Classic Cars Show 03

The Classic Cars Show was held at the well-known Nasrec showgrounds in the south of Joburg, a venue that provides both indoor and outdoor exhibits for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Classic Cars Show 04

The changing lighting conditions meant I had to keep an eye on my ISO settings as I moved about from shade to sunshine. It was good practice, and thankfully my D7100 has a comfortable viewfinder that displays all the exposure info clearly.

Classic Cars Show 05

The friends with whom¬†I attended the show¬†helped point out which aspects of which cars¬†I should try to capture ‚Äď such as the iconic badge and spoke wheels of the Corvette above.

Classic Cars Show 06

Almost the only car I recognised for sure: I can say with confidence that the engine above is from a Cobra :mrgreen:

My eyes are naturally drawn to little details (it must be the editor in me), so I tried to capture items of interest besides the cars themselves. Here I focused on the classic furry dice dangling from the mirror:

Classic Cars Show 07

One lesson I learnt from the beastie during this photoshoot was that even though my lovely Nikon AF-S 50mm prime can open up all the way to f/1.8, it’s not ideal or desirable to shoot that wide open all the time.

For example, in the pic below it would have been better if I’d increased the depth of field to include the many interesting¬†trophies stacked in this car’s boot (trunk), rather than just focusing on the badge. I blame it on my excitement at finally having a lens that creates that bokeh effect… but when I get over that I think I’ll take better pics!

Classic Cars Show 08

Another lesson I learnt was that the experts were right:¬†a polarising filter would’ve been king for this sort of photography. Polarisers are used to cut glare and reflections, which would’ve been a boon considering all the cars were polished to a high sheen.

Classic Cars Show 09

The show included a few motorcycles too. I would’ve liked to have seen a few more bikes, and a wider variety of them, but¬†since this show grows in popularity each year I’m sure that will improve in time.

If I thought my camera was a beast, check out this mean machine! That’s one fat tyre!

Classic Cars Show 10

Speaking of the beastie, I was amazed to discover that the weight of the camera and lens barely registered in my mind. I held the camera most of the day and my comfy Lowepro backpack carried the rest of the kit. The adventure of taking photos soon overtook any concern I’d had about the D7100 being particularly heavy.

Classic Cars Show 11

The chrome Boulevard above was one thing, but I was taken aback to see the following bike there!

Classic Cars Show 12

I didn’t notice this at the time of the show, but when I reviewed the photographs on my PC later I realised that I’d framed many of my shots quite poorly. While I deliberately cropped in close to pick out badges and other details, I struggled to get properly framed pics of whole cars.

Classic Cars Show 13

In most cases it was because there were too many people crawling all over the vehicles, and of course the most popular cars had the most admirers hanging around. So I ended up with dozens of weird compositions such as this:

Classic Cars Show 14

Looking back, the only ways around this would probably have been to get there much earlier to beat the hordes, or to stand by one vehicle until the masses had moved on, or to include random strangers in my pics. Which would you have preferred?

Classic Cars Show 15

Another reason the framing was difficult was that on a crop-sensor camera such as the Nikon D7100, a 50mm lens behaves like a 75mm lens. So you constantly find yourself backing up (usually into something or someone!) to try to get the whole vehicle in the frame.

Classic Cars Show 18

There were many big American-type trucks and cars, which may not seem rare to you but were eye-catching to me. The green beauty above is a 1946¬†Hudson. Inside it was¬†cutely Elvis themed…

Classic Cars Show 19

The huuuuuuge American cars left a big impression. But I don’t want to know what this monster costs to fill up!

Classic Cars Show 20

All in all, it was an unusual and exciting day out. I learnt loads about operating my new DSLR and enjoyed the effort and care people have put into maintaining their classic vehicles.

Classic Cars Show 22

Thanks for coming along for the ride! ūüôā

Cannot believe I did that…

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A couple of weeks ago I left you hanging at the end of my last dream¬†camera post¬†regarding the possible¬†cons¬†to choosing the new¬†Nikon D7100 as my first DSLR camera… but this is not that post.

The beastie

You see… I did something totally¬†crazy and out of character¬†today.¬†Despite the sensible budgetary advice of my dad and mom playing in my head,¬†despite¬†my initial¬†good intentions of waiting for the¬†‘right‘ time, despite my long-standing notion that anything worth having must be earned through long hard toil…¬†I just went and straight up bought the D7100.

Yup. I just bought the D7100. Today. Just like that.

Whoooohoooo!!!

I still cannot believe I did that!!! *cue hysterical laughter*¬†ūüôā It’s just not¬†like me at all!¬†ūüėÄ

It’s hands down the most expensive item I’ve ever¬†paid for. And I don’t part with my money easily. Ninja had to¬†patiently¬†convince me that buying it now or buying it in a few months’ time would not really make a huge difference in terms of saving ‚Äď either way, we’re going to have to do a lot of careful saving and frugal living this year!

Perhaps the main¬†reason I’m still a bit gobsmacked by my own behaviour is that I don’t actually have the camera yet. So¬†reality hasn’t hit home yet.¬†They’ll only¬†be delivering it tomorrow evening, so¬†part of me will only be convinced it’s real¬†when I finally physically own the machine. But it’s a done deal: the beastie is mine ūüôā

I am so humbled and blessed and excited and surprised! It felt as though¬†it¬†happened so quickly,¬†yet it wasn’t a rash decision.¬†I have been researching this for months already. I have been pushing my current little Fujifilm¬†superzoom camera to its limits to prepare¬†for this. I¬†have¬†been watching so many vids and reading so many articles on the various functions of this camera. So when I first handled¬†the D7100¬†in the shops today¬†it no longer¬†intimidated me; I flicked through the buttons and menus as if I knew them by heart.

When I handled it today, I¬†realised two things at once. One,¬†this is by far the biggest and scariest purchase of my short life. And two,¬†it won’t be wasted on me.

Some people have warned that the D7100 is ‘overkill’ for newbies and ‘wasted’ on beginners, but that’s only if you’re happy to stay stuck in the beginner mindset. I want to be challenged and I want to excel. I know I have tons to learn, but I’m keen. And I’m not competing against anyone other than myself.¬†I don’t have aspirations for professional photography, but I also don’t want to be stuck with entry-level dinky toys forever ūüėČ The D7100 is my middle ground, and Lord willing it will be with me for many years to come.

When¬†Ninja and I¬†prayed about the purchase beforehand, I found myself praying for a balance of wisdom and the courage to live a little. I’ve always been Ms √úberCautious with money; I hate credit cards and¬†debt (thankfully those didn’t feature in this purchase) and I shy away from large luxuries. But¬†today, with Ninja’s counsel,¬†I realised¬†that risky spending can¬†have its place.

Sometimes in life¬†‚Äď only a very few times ‚Äď Nike is right, and we should just do it.

Yet I still cannot believe that I did!

Nikon D7100: I am adrenaline

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At last I have a chance to blog about my dream camera, as I’ve been¬†meaning to do for ages :mrgreen:

Here it is: the Nikon D7100.

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100

Previews, reviews and¬†specs for this beautiful APS-C DSLR¬†are all over the web, so I’ll try not to¬†bore you with¬†too much¬†tech talk…¬†it’s just that I get so excited about it now that I finally understand all this stuff, haha!¬†So be prepared for a lengthy post ūüėõ Here are¬†the top reasons I chose this camera…

Perhaps surprisingly, the 24.1 million effective pixels are not the main drawcard for this camera. The fact that Nikon has removed the anti-aliasing filter or¬†optical low-pass filter (OLPF), however, is big news. The OLPF is used to minimise false colour and the moir√© effect that you’ll often see in finely repeating patterns (such as mesh curtains, for example).

For the D7100, Nikon managed to chuck out the filter without compromising image quality. Which basically means that you get the full benefit of the 24 MP resolution in¬†crisp detail. This is in contrast to other Nikon models such as the entry-level D3200 and the mid-range D5200, which both have 24 MP resolution too, but should produce slightly softer images because they still have the OLPF fitted. The reason that these specs pleased me is because I don’t want to spend hours tweaking my pics after I’ve taken them. Sharp images straight from the camera are exactly what I’m looking for.

Another exciting aspect of the D7100 ‚Äď and one that puts it on par with some of Nikon’s higher-end models ‚Äď is that it boasts 51 focus points, and 15 of those are cross-type (the most sensitive type). The reason this impresses me is that I love photographing animals, but they can be tricky to focus on when they’re moving around a lot. With this camera I should have no trouble locking on to scurrying rats or skittish birds ūüôā

The 1.3x crop of DX¬†mode is another boon. The D7100 is already a DX-format camera, and thus has a crop factor of approximately 1.5x on¬†focal length (compared to professional full-frame cameras with uncropped¬†35mm sensors). Now with the extra¬†1.3x crop mode, the¬†D7100 offers an angle of view¬†around twice the focal length of the lens. In laymen’s terms: it gives you a total¬†‘zoom’ factor¬†of about 3.5x on whatever lens¬†you’re using!

Cropping the sensor like this does reduce the available resolution from 24 MP to around 15 MP, but that will still produce large, usable pictures. In addition, the 7fps (frames per second) burst function works best with JPEGs in this mode. The crop mode also fills the frame with the 51 focus points, making it pretty tough to get an oof (out of focus) shot.

Oh dear. Are you guys sleeping on your keyboards¬†already? Sorry for all the jargon if you’re not into cameras!

Let me mention just¬†one other highlight of this camera that makes it well suited to my kind of photography: it’s quite robust.¬†The D7100 has a magnesium alloy body with a good deal of weather and dust sealing. That makes it great to take with when Ninja and I go hiking and camping, which we’re hoping to do more and more of in future. It’s also a fairly lightweight camera, weighing around 700g without a lens, which will make it relatively¬†easy to handle and carry around.

There are dozens of other exciting specs that blow my mind, especially¬†when compared to my current little¬†Fujifilm FinePix S1850. Make no mistake, the FinePix has been a lovely piece of equipment. It’s the perfect middle step between my old point-and-shoot (which, incidentally, was a Canon) and my future dream DSLR. My Fujifilm FinePix is still going strong, and I’ll still¬†hang on to it as a good¬†backup camera once I’ve got the D7100.

I have to be honest, though.

My first thought when I discovered the D7100 was, ‘WOW.’ And right after that I thought, ‘This is wayyyy too much camera for me!’ In fact, the Nikon D7100 is probably not the ideal choice for a¬†newcomer to DSLR photography. I mean, that’s why Nikon offers¬†the D3200 and D5200, right? The D3200 is aimed at total newbs, the D5200 is targeted at the ‘advanced beginner’, and the D7100…? Well, it’s Nikon’s flagship APS-C DSLR ‚Ästalmost a semi-pro cam for an upper-mid-range price!

And it is way too much camera for me. The thing is a beast :mrgreen:

But after lots and lots of research, and discussing the matter with my financial advisor (AKA Ninja), I realised that¬†the D7100¬†would be the best buy for me after all. Given the fact that I’m not planning to become a professional photographer, but that¬†I also want a DSLR that will last far¬†beyond entry-level capabilities, the D7100 is the middle-of-the-road choice that¬†should be with me for years.

I don’t have the luxury of¬†regularly upgrading my camera. I can’t quite afford this upgrade as it is, but I can more easily afford this one camera that lasts¬†than several¬†upgrades every couple of years. I’ve never been the type of person who needs the latest model of car or cellphone ‘just because’. In fact, the only reason I’m upgrading from my FinePix is that my end goal has always been¬†to move on from the ‘superzoom’ or ‘prosumer’ level to the interchangeable-lens¬†DSLR level.

It’s a bit of a risky and brave move.¬†I am a housewife, after all, with an¬†erratic freelance income. Spending a fortune on a fancy camera and lenses may not seem that wise. But Ninja understands the logic of getting the best I can once-off, rather than wasting money by¬†buying my way up to this camera¬†in slow steps. And since our current¬†budget will allow me to slowly¬†save up for this, and I’ve got the blessing of my man, and I’ve prayed about it and have peace about¬†it,¬†I’m going to go for it!

So… are there any downsides to the D7100?¬†I’ll save that for¬†another post¬†ūüôā