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-



Nikon D300,
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
Panasonic LX5
Canon G9

SB-800 Flash
Velbon QHD-41 Monopod


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


Total: 258, showing: 121 – 140
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On article Just Posted: Enthusiast Zoom Compact Camera Roundup (124 comments in total)
In reply to:

schaki: Nice test, but really, why is not Ricoh GR Digital IV included? fixed focal length or not, it belongs to this group of capable compact cameras.
Hoping to get a good explanation from Dpreview staff and not some 'it is too old' or similar answer, as it still is an actual camera model from Ricoh in the waiting of the GRDV which should be announced in the first half of 2013.

LOL it's a zoom compact test. If the GRIV (or upcoming V) was compared, it would have to be with other fixed lens compacts, though as those generally have larger sensors it would get tricky, though for some it would still win on size or features.

Link | Posted on Dec 23, 2012 at 21:34 UTC
On article Dpreview Users' Poll: Best Camera of 2012? (1507 comments in total)
In reply to:

napilopez: Hmm. I think too many people are taking this poll too seriously. Honestly, do you think everyone reading this poll doesn't already know that your choice of "best" will vary by preference, priorities, and opinions as to what's good? Yes, it's an apples and oranges poll, but not without some overlap. Everyone has a different idea of what being the best is. In my head, it's a combination of innovation, balance, and pragmatic usefulness. As I said in my previous post, I think the OM-D achieves those qualities best, but your mileage may vary.After all, it is a *poll*. I think the D800 is a wonderful camera, one of the best ever made(certainly regarding image quality), but I also think it lags behind the OM-D, D600, RX1, and RX100 in an overall pragmatic and innovative sense.

Simply put, can I not ask you whether you prefer apples or oranges, even if they're different kinds of fruits? I certainly think apples taste better.

I think this really is true. It's also true that OM-D users may well have a DSLR for the supreme functionality as well. Yet mirrorless cameras have been doing a much better job of innovating and reinventing themselves, whilst the DSLRs are content to iterate more slowly. It's the resolution of the D800 that makes it as 'exotic' as some of the nimble mirrorless crowd.

Link | Posted on Dec 22, 2012 at 08:25 UTC
On article Dpreview Users' Poll: Best Camera of 2012? (1507 comments in total)
In reply to:

SulfurousBeast: This is simply to vote for the best of 2012 among all categories - $100 to $10000. While there are category best within a certain price point, range etc. Again, no winners or losers as all are very good cameras, but this poll gives a insight into mindset of users, what they would buy assuming everyone could afford one. My 2 cents, interesting to see that FF cameras have scored cumulatively higher % of votes. Mirrorless is catching up, EM-5 giving a good run for the money to D800/E. If Panny did a OMD type sensor on its GH3 - that would be my personal pick.

I'd agree exactly, it shows what users value the most here. A system camera, even an expensive one, is seen as the core product and from there back-ups are useful luxuries.

M4/3 is indeed catching up very nicely with full-frame in terms of desirability and it's interesting to note that with the OM-D it's already managed to eclipse all the APS-C alternatives. Sometimes, I can get better pictures with my M4/3 kit than DX DSLR simply by being able to bring more lenses.

Link | Posted on Dec 21, 2012 at 04:41 UTC
On article Dpreview Users' Poll: Best Camera of 2012? (1507 comments in total)
In reply to:

jorg14: Define 'Best'. Perhaps then I can make a better choice.
Pro camera, all around, best Image quality or best IQ for your dollar?

Personally I'm looking for a more 'pocket-able' second camera, so DxO ratings would be secondary. Besides, most readers won't be printing 20X30 wall prints examined with a loop. I'd wager that 90% of the readers here show the majority of their pictures off online. In that case, an ordinary P&S would do.

I think the lack of categories or definitions are the beauty of this poll. Not only does it ask us to choose the 'best' (a subjective notion), but begs the question of how to defiine that. It may well draw out which cameras are most valued by the Dpreview 'enthusiast' community the most.

I think the response in many ways boils down to- if you could only have one camera, which would it be? Another interesting question might be a choice of back-up camera, where the fixed-lens cameras would have more chance to compete.

Link | Posted on Dec 21, 2012 at 04:29 UTC
On article Dpreview Users' Poll: Best Camera of 2012? (1507 comments in total)

For me it was a choice between the D800 and OM-D. They both revolutionise their respective formats. The D800 has such tremendous resolution and dynamic range it both reaches into traditional Medium Format territory and makes DX redundant by giving so much resolution for those lenses, too. Yet the OM-D offers excellent image quality in a format that now has some of the best primes ever made and is catching up with zooms, plus it's built-in stabiliser.

I'll admit now I have neither, but use both formats and based on that, I gave the nod to the OM-D. The rich colour, handy little lenses and pick-up and use nature of the format make it a lot more fun. Being able to carry a selection of lenses and change them without worry about dust is very liberating. Plus the D800 is lacking in the speed department considering the price and also lacks a built in stabiliser for all those lenses without one. There's no doubt that the IQ of the D800 can be light years ahead- but only with heavy lenses.

Link | Posted on Dec 20, 2012 at 08:03 UTC as 532nd comment

Excellent photos, vibrant, spontaneous and as you say, participative. I'm sure a larger camera can have better IQ, but would it inspire the same photographic style, which even treats animals as part of one's social life?

My main thought here is the possible fusion of a versitile camera and various filtering apps, which would make for an exciting new experience. Technology's not inventing technology, but it's making it a lot less cumbersome and more sociable, too.

Link | Posted on Dec 16, 2012 at 13:07 UTC as 16th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Eigenmeat: Let's put it this way:
Your 35mm F1.4 L is usable/dreamy at best at F1.4, and pin sharp across at F4
My Sigma superzoom is "usable" at 250mm, and excellent at 28mm.

See the pattern? Every lens has it's degree of freedom. High end primes and zoom give you flexibility in aperture, superzoom like this give you flexibility in FoV. All lens perform bad at their extremes, like the example given above.

Some ppl use their camera to create art, some use it document things. These superzooms are great choices when are you trying to document things on the go.

Hmm required, no. Useful, yes. Otherwise, to argue from the other direction, why not just use a point & shoot?

When you see the results from a really nice lens, with gorgeous bokeh and perfect sharpness, you may feel differently. Hense the market for primes in a world where zooms are getting better all the time.

Link | Posted on Dec 2, 2012 at 10:13 UTC
On article Dpreview Recommends: Top 5 Compact Cameras (559 comments in total)
In reply to:

DC Alford: I am disappointed to see that the Panasonic LX7 didn't make the list.

I think that makes more sense as a compact than the FZ200, but maybe they thought it too similar in design/specs to the Olympus model.

Link | Posted on Nov 23, 2012 at 13:45 UTC
In reply to:

Roland Karlsson: So simple, yet so ingenious, The Bayer CFA pattern. No matter how you think, you cannot find a more economic pattern. Many people have tried. There are variants, like the ones Fuji dreams up now and then. But, its only variants, in some way better, bit overall less efficient.

Not many people have made an invention that have had such an impact.

Now, we really want a real three layer RGB sensor. But ... its very hard to make one. The Foveon is a good try. It works. And it has some merits. But, it still dont beat the Bayer CFA in economy. Eventually someone will make a three layer sensor that do beat the Bayer CFA solution. But, it will take several years from now.

My thoughts go to Bruce Bayer´s family and friends. May they find some comfort in that Bruce Bayer was one of the more influential persons on this planet.

I totally agree. What made digital cameras mass-market devices was economies like this and using cropped sensors. I look forward to Fovenon-like cameras that are just as usable as what I have today, once we can process all that data quickly, but thanks to Mr Bayer, we don't have to wait for it to take high quality images.

Link | Posted on Nov 21, 2012 at 23:26 UTC
On article Just Posted: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Review (178 comments in total)
In reply to:

olivier_777: I'm surprised that in such a review the lens performance is not systematically tested ; this is for me the most important aspect of the camera. How does it perform at 25, 35, 50, 100, 200, 500... Wide open and at optimal aperture? Resolution, contrast, astigmatism, bokeh, flare, distorsion, shading, you know... The resolution test or studio test at one focal lens and one aperture only tell us nothing there.

Very true. I've read user reports that the lens is very soft unless closed down, at which point it gets closer to the performance of it's predecesor. Yet, it's bluntly stated in the review that it's an inherently better lens based on specs. Some might say that anyone expecting sharp results wide open is expecting too much, but that's how it's being advertised, so it would be good to know.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2012 at 00:43 UTC

I recently purchased Sigma's excellent 19mm f/2.8. The Sigma's a bit too dark on M4/3 but otherwise is very light, quick to AF and sharp, I'd be interested to see them compared.

Link | Posted on Nov 15, 2012 at 08:30 UTC as 59th comment
In reply to:

gl2k: Perky price.
Nikon DX 35mm f1.8 and FX 50mm f1.8 are about €170

I own both those lenses and aside from being sharp and having a reasonable bokeh they are basically okay. That's all. Yet the great M4/3 lenses are extraordinary, an amazing deal for their price.

That's the mirrorless revolution and why Nikon, with their notion that a pro lens must have an extraordinary pro price (partly from needing to cover the larger sensor of course), can't compete in this area.

Link | Posted on Nov 15, 2012 at 08:26 UTC
On article Metabones adds autofocus to Canon-NEX adapter (63 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jim Evidon: To G. Davidson,
I contacted Metabones a few months back about a similar adapter for Nikon lenses since I have a respectable inventory of them. Metabones responded with a categorical NO. It may be something about the Nikon architecture that mitigates against it. Whatever the reason, they do not plan to do so. Photodiox makes a neat adapter that has an aperture ring on it for late model Nikon lenses to MFT bodies, so even if it is manual focus, you can still control the aperture on the lens. I have one and it works very well. It is their Fotodiox NIK(F)G-m4/3 model. You should see my Nikon mount Sigma 50-500 attached to the OM-D, or should I say OM-D attached to the Bigma. It works, though.

Thank you very much for asking, Jim, much appreciated!

It's a great shame it won't be possible, but it's been known for some time that the Canon mount is more friendly to adaptation, mounting Nikon or Leica R mount lenses on it for example.

I do have a G-mount compatible adapter for M4/3 but may look into the one you suggest, as my Kiron one lacks exact aperture control, just having a vague slider. Still, MF is not very easy on these cameras without focus-peaking, so maybe if they add that it will be more usable.

I suppose the answer will be Nikon's inevitable DX mirrorless, with their excellent on sensor PD-AF technology, whenever that emerges. For me the M4/3 crop is interesting, but the V1's CX crop is pretty much overkill.

Link | Posted on Nov 15, 2012 at 02:07 UTC
On article Just Posted: Nikon D600 In-depth Review (498 comments in total)
In reply to:

Kodachrome200: So i fooled around with one in a camera shop and i find the AF area troubling. It has plenty of points there just all bunched together. I find that irritating beyond words. It looks like continuous af would be really hampered and thus action photography very difficult

For me thesis a major deal breaker in a camera at this price point. That and the unprecedented dust issue say to me 'wait for a better one'.

Link | Posted on Nov 14, 2012 at 09:54 UTC
On article Metabones adds autofocus to Canon-NEX adapter (63 comments in total)

Excellent news and points to a future where we can use any lens we want on a camera with AF. Now I want one for Nikon Lenses on M4/3, it must be possible.

Link | Posted on Nov 13, 2012 at 23:58 UTC as 16th comment
On article Transcend releases new Wi-Fi memory card (47 comments in total)

Sounds good, I especially like the 32gig version, which is about what I need for a long trip without changing cards. It's still a bit slow compared to the newer UHS cards, though.

Link | Posted on Nov 9, 2012 at 20:39 UTC as 22nd comment
In reply to:

photo nuts: Great to see lens reviews again. But please, please keep this up. Hope we don't have to wait one year for the next one. :)

Quite obviously, the Nikkor 18-300 lens is too heavy and too expensive. As pointed out by others, better stick to a simple 2 lens kit.

I can only agree. For someone like me who dislikes changing lenses (chance of dust, missing shots) it also means a two-camera setup. This lens can't come up with the goods on a modern sensor, though, it is good to have a definitive review to point this out.

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2012 at 12:01 UTC
On article Hands-on with Nikon V2 (455 comments in total)
In reply to:

BobYIL: Dear Nikon,

You offer the 24MP APS-C size fully equipped D3200 with kit lens + 55-200 zoom for $796 and this point & shoot V2 with kit lens for $896. Hard to understand..

I think it's asking too much, too, but the price will go down. This is really apples and oranges, as this camera may have a smaller sensor, but has many features that would appeal to pros- the ultra-fast AF, evf, crop of larger lenses, durable build yet small size.

Link | Posted on Oct 27, 2012 at 05:36 UTC
Total: 258, showing: 121 – 140
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