Daily Archives: August 2, 2012
I’m still feeling the after affects of watching Scott Kelby’s new class on travel Photography. I think for most of us, most of the time, a one camera, one lens system for travel, actually makes a a lot of sense. So I decided to put it to a “Real World Test”. I took Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday off to spend a little time with the family, (after working for 8 straight days), and took them to Dollywood Splash in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. The number one rated water park in America, according to several Travel Channel editors, and one of my clients, I actually got a short pro visit in as well!. I used the new D3200, a 24 mega pixel, compact DSLR and the 18-300 Super Zoom we talked about yesterday, (sorry day before yesterday). This time I used it just like most consumers would, hand held! In spite of the fact that the 18-300 has VR II and it works well, it is still not a fair test because of the 66 year old man hand holding the camera. What follows are the kinds of pictures all people shoot on this kind of day out with the grandchildren.
Keep in mind that the goal of this kind of photography is different from the way many of us think about the photographic process, and in many ways, that’s good. I have recently been making a number of images with my iPhone, mostly because it was the camera I had handy when I needed to photograph something. I believe that reverting, from time to time, to point and click photography can really help you recapture the reason you started doing photography in the first place. In my home I have a series of images spread over several rooms they are 24X36 prints and larger. Most “normal” people, (not photographers per se) that come into my house stand back four or five feet from the prints and comment on them, mostly that they think they are lovely, thank you! Photographer friends approach the prints completely differently, they stick their noses right on the prints surface looking to see just how sharp they are, or looking for noise. The regular person wants to see what the photograph is about, the photographer wants to examine the minute details and look for flaws. It’s all a matter of why we do photography in the first place, and my point is that we need to get back to making images for the sheer joy of capturing things that matter to us. Yesterday with my family, I was with the people that matter most to me, and I wanted to capture them, and not worry about noise, or tack sharpness. O.K. I worried just a little!!!
I believe that most people that buy a D3200 and decide to use one lens to cover it all like the 18-300 will approach photography from a less clinical perspective. Before we examine the days shoot, let me make one thing clear, the D3200 is a very capable camera that if used with great care and technique, (tripods, support, etc), can produce images that are virtually indistinguisable from the most expensive cameras we make! The point is it can make perfectly wonderful images with a more leisurely attitude about the capture method.
Simple point and shoot, family portrait of Wesley, Elijah and Abigail.
Another shot of Cassidy in her glasses of many colors!
One of the neat things about the 18-300 is the ability to shoot close-ups from the 450mm end of the range (300 X 1.5 crop factor) The shot below is a full shot of a T-shirt my son-in-law Clint was wearing with illustrations of fishing flys, the close-up is what the lens can do in terms of close focusing ability. * Keep in mind that his was a hand-held close-up shot at 450mm equivalent @ 1/80th of a second!!!!!!! The VR II really works even if it is not tack, tack sharp!
While we are on the subject of close-ups and technique, my granddaughter, Cassidy, saw a blue tailed lizard and snatched the camera to stalk it, her technique was better than mine, no big surprise!
The family went over to ride the big water slide called Fire Tower Falls, a water slide with a 70 foot vertical drop!!! I participated by being the photographer! Below is The Dollywood shot from the top and my very tightly cropped (about 1/4 of the full frame) of Clint coming down the chute! 24 mega pixels sure is handy when you need to crop to get the shot!!!!
Finally, the real reason for this kind of camera, in my set of gear, is capturing candid image of family members. Below are two shots I got of my youngest grandchild Abigail. Even though they and stand on their own I couldn’t resist showing a 100% crop below them to show just how sharp this camera lens combination can be!!
100% crop from top image of Abby, shows just how sharp the 18-300 can be!
This proves what the 18-300 is capable of and remember this is a hand-held shot at 1/800th of a second at ISO 400 and a focal length of 300mm equivilant.
So my final thoughts are that we keep seeing better cameras, with more capabilities, with each new model. This D3200, which will sell, with a kit lens, for around $700. is a great camera for any family outing, and if used with good technique is capable of outstanding results. It’s also light, compact and has tons of resolution 24 mega pixels. Even with the 18-300 you are still talking about around $1,700. Not a lot of change for a camera, lens combination with tis kind of capabilities!!
Better than anything else was a great day, having fun, with the family I love so much! Thanks to Sherelene, and my Heavenly Father!!!!