G Davidson

G Davidson

Lives in Japan Kashiwa, Japan
Works as a Teacher
Joined on Jan 14, 2007
About me:

Future plan- to make books with my photos fused with poetry. At the moment, they are in online galleries and photo-blogs, like-

http://daylifepics.blogspot.com/
http://momentsofinfinity.blogspot.com/

Equipment-

Nikon D300,
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
Panasonic LX5
Canon G9

SB-800 Flash
Velbon QHD-41 Monopod

Lenses-

Note- I try to stick to 'bright' lenses, so as to control the depth of field and to have a brighter image in the viewfinder, though for traveling and ultra-wide angles I compromise on this.

Nikon 24mm f/2.8D.......................(street photography, walk-around)
Nikon 28mm f/2.8D.......................(events, walk-around)
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 D.....................(my other walk-around)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D.......................(low light and portraits)
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX................(events, weddings)
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR..........(for traveling light)
Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR........(travel)
Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D...................(my DX portrait zoom)
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VRII.........(nature, travel, candids)
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF..........(candids, nature)

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ATX Pro-DX.......(wide landscapes, events)
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM....................(portraits, details, bokeh, low-light)
Tamron 90mm SP AF f/2.8 Di...........(macro with amazing, beautiful bokeh)

I recently sold on my Nikon 24-50mm AF, Nikon 70-300mm ED AF and Tokina 28-70mm AT-X AF SV, as they are not so useful on DX and their ranges are covered better by the lenses above.

Most Wanted Lenses-

70-200mm VR
85mm f/1.4D
17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S DX Nikon/ another equivalent zoom for DX, like the Tamron 17-50mm version

Comments

Total: 248, showing: 1 – 20
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On Opinion: Bring on the 70-200mm equivalents article (209 comments in total)

One little detail to add is the extra width that starting at 50mm (being 75mm equivalent) gives on APS-C. I often find 70mm (105mm equivalent) too long as a starting point and too far from 'normal'.

I do agree that those shorter zooms, or their f/4 cousins, look a lot more manageable. I often find myself using my 70-300mm VR instead, which really doesn't compare optically.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 20, 2014 at 13:18 UTC as 76th comment
On Photokina 2014 Video: The Samsung NX1 article (83 comments in total)
In reply to:

WACONimages: Samsung is on the roll! Probably pro Canon & Nikon shooters will laugh at first, but if this company will keep invest and innovate as they do now. They will have a bright future.

Love that different brands take different approaches. I use to be a Canon(pro) shooter for a long time. Two years ago I moved radical to m4/3. Not perfect, but it does the job way beter as expected. Although some subject like fast sports are a real challenge. Samsung, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic etc all seem to be more innovative als Nikon/Canon lately. N/C both have still great gear, but every time I moved up to the 'new' camera, it was better, but I wasn't trilled.

I'd have to agree. The sheer level of new features in this camera, or in other mirrorless designs isn't something Nikon orCanon can match with their updated models. Their autofocus seems to be improving a lot, but it's basically a better version of the same camera each time.

I think mirrorless gives so much freedom in terms of design. It's just a question of whether they can have a total product that stands up and here, especially if you want a larger sensor, they often fail to check all the boxes. This Samsung could really shake up the market- if the AF, IQ and general usability are up there.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 19, 2014 at 22:46 UTC
On Photokina 2014: Hands on with the Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 article (36 comments in total)
In reply to:

Poweruser: "VC" is a built in breaking point. The more stuff in a lens, the more likely something will fail and turn the whole thing into a paper weight.

Completely! Sometimes I want to use a low shutter speed, to make a waterfall look smoother or to convey movement. Sometimes it just gets dark. Even more so, it's invaluable for tripod-less video, which I suspect is the main reason for it's inclusion here.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 19, 2014 at 09:25 UTC
On Photokina 2014: Hands on with the Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 article (36 comments in total)
In reply to:

Poweruser: "VC" is a built in breaking point. The more stuff in a lens, the more likely something will fail and turn the whole thing into a paper weight.

It can be repaired, like the AF mechanisms. Nothing but broken glass need end a lens' life.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2014 at 22:56 UTC
On Nikon D750: What you need to know article (102 comments in total)
In reply to:

G Davidson: Full frame cameras are basically expensive, but this ticks a lot of relevant boxes for Nikon users, without breaking the bank too much. I expect a lot of pros will use this who don't need to step up to the D810/D4S models, mainly because of the AF capabilities, but also the advantage of being pretty light. I love the low-light AF capabilities and tilting screen, so flexible for many situations.

It's still a conservative camera though- no touch-screen, no IBIS, slow autofocus in video or live-view and of course (like most cameras), lacking 4k video. I sometimes wonder how long Nikon's approach can compete with their more technology-driven rivals.

Thank you for your informative reply. The only touchscreen camera I've personally used is the Panasonic G6, which I do find effective (especially the use of the screen to change focus point), but like you say, most manufacturers are keeping their 'serious' cameras free from them. I think this is partly a traditional thing, though, as it is something that could always be turned off and is very good for nested menu settings.

Regarding IBIS is interesting, I didn't realize it worked poorly in the A99. Much as I admire what Olympus has done here in their cameras, I have to admit its unlikely in a Nikon DSLR.

All that's left is their lack of on-sensor PDAF for use in video, which I do find frustrating, as the Contrast Detect is so slow and it's an area where the others are improving. Since I mostly do stills, it's not a deal breaker for me, but like a lot of people, I'm using video more and more. I am pleased to see the 1080p at 60fps though, the video quality is probably very good.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 18, 2014 at 13:26 UTC
On Nikon D750: What you need to know article (102 comments in total)

Full frame cameras are basically expensive, but this ticks a lot of relevant boxes for Nikon users, without breaking the bank too much. I expect a lot of pros will use this who don't need to step up to the D810/D4S models, mainly because of the AF capabilities, but also the advantage of being pretty light. I love the low-light AF capabilities and tilting screen, so flexible for many situations.

It's still a conservative camera though- no touch-screen, no IBIS, slow autofocus in video or live-view and of course (like most cameras), lacking 4k video. I sometimes wonder how long Nikon's approach can compete with their more technology-driven rivals.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 17, 2014 at 01:24 UTC as 24th comment | 3 replies
On Samsung NX1 First Impressions Review preview (554 comments in total)

I think this shows just what is possible in the DSLR-like framework, when applied to mirrorless designs. The 4k video and 15fps handily surpass anything Canikon can produce right now. We'll have to see what the IQ is like, but with a decent enough range of lenses already, this looks like a force to be reckoned with.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 15, 2014 at 10:40 UTC as 147th comment
On Fast and full-frame: Nikon announces 24MP Nikon D750 article (406 comments in total)
In reply to:

Suhas Sudhakar Kulkarni: Looking at the specs, I wonder why would I buy this over D610 (Unless of course I have extra cash just to burn)..

The main thing is the AF speed and accuracy. I find myself using the slow live-view contrast-detect AF on the D610, just to be sure of getting the shot. Then you have some improvements for video, probably better quality with Expeed 4 processing and 60fps, plus the tilt-able screen.

All in all the best bet for FX for now unless you need the pro camera's abilities, though I'd agree the price jump is steep for similar build quality and overall features.

Direct link | Posted on Sep 12, 2014 at 05:18 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 First Impressions Review preview (1282 comments in total)
In reply to:

Babka08: The 1"/16mm sensor cameras are a very exciting emerging market for serious photographers who want a lot in a small package, for travel or as a secondary camera for portability. This works really well for the RX100 because its size remains very small. It's a harder sell with the super-zoom models like the RX10 or FZ1000 because they are so large. If the customer doesn't understand that in fact they would have a behemoth of a lens, or multiple lenses to get the same range, then the sale is dead in the water. The marketers need to vividly get across the true size advantage of having a 25-400 lens of good quality with a sensor that in many many shooting situations will be quite indistinguishable from a 24mm sensor camera. These are ultimate travel cameras and serious amateur cameras. The image quality really is impressive.

I think this is very true. The IQ from this is much better than a super-zoom, but with the hige size (compared to a compact), it will need some intelligent marketing to show the advantages. I can imagine a lot of people being very happy with this as their only camera, but the question is, will the size put them off from the start?

Direct link | Posted on Jun 18, 2014 at 09:24 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 First Impressions Review preview (1282 comments in total)
In reply to:

G Davidson: I have to say, this is a seriously impressive all in one 'Bridge Camera' (I still prefer that term to compact, whatever the sensor size, for such 'all in one's). Having a decent-sized and highly evolved sensor mated with a wide zoom range could be all the camera a lot of people need.

I know it will gradually drop, but I still question the pricing, not in terms of value, but in terms of the comparisons with ILCs. A DSLR with say a Tamron 16-300mm lens has the same reach and a much larger sensor, or a u3/4 camera with a 28-300mm equivalent has almost the same reach with more dof control.

I got the feeling in the past that these kinds of cameras were just too big to compete with DSLRs and their added flexibility. Maybe this will hit just the right combination of features to succeed, but I can see it falling into the niche of being a great travel camera thats's just a bit too big to carry around every day.

This is true, you do get noticably more range, with something like the same effective DOF control. But you lose a great advantage of the G6 (for instance), in that there is no option for a smaller, bright lens, nor a longer one. Sorry if I'm saying the obvious, but just because this camera is so big, people will be hoping for something that 'does everything', an expectation smaller 1-inch cameras like the RX100 series, or even smaller super-zooms don't have hanging over them.

Having said all this, I can see cameras like this being 'the future', just as long as they find ways to control, or properly simulate, DOF control, which for now means either a brighter lens or a larger sensor. Most of the time, I no more want to change lenses than bring a tripod along, but the added flexibility makes it worth it.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 16, 2014 at 10:36 UTC
On Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 First Impressions Review preview (1282 comments in total)

I have to say, this is a seriously impressive all in one 'Bridge Camera' (I still prefer that term to compact, whatever the sensor size, for such 'all in one's). Having a decent-sized and highly evolved sensor mated with a wide zoom range could be all the camera a lot of people need.

I know it will gradually drop, but I still question the pricing, not in terms of value, but in terms of the comparisons with ILCs. A DSLR with say a Tamron 16-300mm lens has the same reach and a much larger sensor, or a u3/4 camera with a 28-300mm equivalent has almost the same reach with more dof control.

I got the feeling in the past that these kinds of cameras were just too big to compete with DSLRs and their added flexibility. Maybe this will hit just the right combination of features to succeed, but I can see it falling into the niche of being a great travel camera thats's just a bit too big to carry around every day.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 14, 2014 at 09:39 UTC as 215th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

G Davidson: I've been thinking of this, too, combined with HDR bracketing for dynamic range and (why not) focus bracketing, too- all in a split second. I expect faster processing is a bottleneck for now. We've barely scratched the surface of what electronics can bring to cameras.

Thank you for getting back with that information. Currently the HDR in the iPhone is pretty poor for sure, I didn't realise it was quite that limited, though. Some apps, like TrueHDR (my favourite of the various ones I've tried), can produce excellent results, even if taking their time in doing so. Much better than my Nikon camera can do in it's HDR mode.

It would be nice if some app could output a 16-bit TIFF, or even native HDR file for use later.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 1, 2014 at 05:05 UTC
On Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III First Impressions Review preview (2970 comments in total)
In reply to:

(unknown member): Not good to change the models so fast...There are so many rx100 and rx100ii in the markets. What will happen now?
why RX100 series change so fast??? What is wrong with it? is it a strategy or deficiency?

With all this, it's also entering a market with more competition at it's size- look for example at the Panasonic GM1 (which, already having some m4/3 lenses would be my preference). There's also rumours of Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic making their own entries for this sector.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 1, 2014 at 01:23 UTC
On Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III First Impressions Review preview (2970 comments in total)
In reply to:

(unknown member): Not good to change the models so fast...There are so many rx100 and rx100ii in the markets. What will happen now?
why RX100 series change so fast??? What is wrong with it? is it a strategy or deficiency?

@Jon
I see your point and yes the advantages are attractive. If price were no issue and I was getting one now, I'd probably go for the mk3. Still, some might want the hot-shoe, especially for a mic for videos. It's kind of a shame it went just as the video capabilities improved so drastically. Also, even with the relatively dark lens, I much prefer 85-105 equivalent for portraits. I realise cropping can make up the difference to an extent, but having an 'optimum' distance from my subject makes them much more relaxed and the perspective more natural.

I think it's become a more specialised, landscape-oriented camera. It's true, the viewfinder and wider, brighter lens are very attractive new features. Hopefully the lens has improved, but there is no guarantee there (in fact the comments I'm seeing based on the samples here are saying the opposite, but time will tell). I'm sure a lot of people will be fine with it, but that short reach does limit the camera's usefulness for me.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 1, 2014 at 01:22 UTC
On Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III First Impressions Review preview (2970 comments in total)
In reply to:

(unknown member): Not good to change the models so fast...There are so many rx100 and rx100ii in the markets. What will happen now?
why RX100 series change so fast??? What is wrong with it? is it a strategy or deficiency?

I'm also impressed by Sony's speed of innovation, which is pretty much unique (though I should add they haven't yet made many cameras that actually appeal to me personally). Whilst the RX100 mk2 seems to me a complete advance over the first model, I see some tradeoffs between mk3 and mk2; shorter lens range making portraits more difficult and the loss of the hotshoe, though I expect not so many people ever used the latter.

Direct link | Posted on May 18, 2014 at 10:36 UTC
On Little beauty: Nordin Seruyan's macro images article (352 comments in total)

These really are beautiful. I only wish I had such talent and vision.

Direct link | Posted on May 10, 2014 at 23:23 UTC as 67th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Henrik Herranen: Again, please, c'mon guys:
Why isn't the sensor size in the list of "Key features"? Without sensor size the f-number doesn't tell, well, much anything. As camera enthusiasts you surely know this, so why isn't sensor size anywhere in this photography oriented site's article?

Example: a 1/2.3" sensor with an f/2.2 lens still collects slightly more light over the sensor area than a 1/3" sensor with an f/1.8 lens, and has a potential for slightly better low-light performance. Leaving sensor size out of the equation is quite misleading.

I'd have to agree here. Listing the aperture relative to 35mm would be helpful, to know how much DOF control you'd have. Plus f/1.8 isn't exactly 'ultra-bright', that would be something like f/1.2, that's like calling 28mm 'ultra-wide'.

Direct link | Posted on May 10, 2014 at 00:42 UTC

I've been thinking of this, too, combined with HDR bracketing for dynamic range and (why not) focus bracketing, too- all in a split second. I expect faster processing is a bottleneck for now. We've barely scratched the surface of what electronics can bring to cameras.

Direct link | Posted on May 10, 2014 at 00:35 UTC as 4th comment | 2 replies
On 1939: England in Color (part 2) article (171 comments in total)
In reply to:

InTheMist: Fantastic collection!

I hope that someone finds my image collection in 70 or 80 years.

Another problem is the sheer size of digital collections. Who will bother to look through them, especially when everyone with even a smart phone is snapping away. What makes these special is the fact photos of the time are so rare.

Direct link | Posted on May 5, 2014 at 06:00 UTC
In reply to:

Treeshade: A 560g 810mm lens at f/5.6 on a 1" sensor? Interesting. Many birder are already using Nikon 1 to complement their tripod-mounted DSLR. A mobile backup is always useful. Let's see how well it does on 300mm.

That's what I'm thinking. Probably better than the 70-300mm VR, smaller and having access to the full, wonderful AF system this would be a good (if pricy) alternative to a super zoom camera for birders.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 13, 2014 at 10:07 UTC
Total: 248, showing: 1 – 20
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