11 years, 1 month ago 10

Today has been a day of details, one thing after another to work out for the BCS game, thankfully everything is rolling along fine!  Sneaky way to bring up the subject, but let’s talk about cameras. As I have shared before I’m working on what I hope to be the near perfect system for the next bunch of years of shooting.  I truly believe that we have entered the best age of digital technology yet.  Well of course, since things keep getting better but we are hitting the really sweet spot, and I think this is the time to build a system for the future.


Here are a few of my thoughts;


1. If you ever owned a 4X5 or 8X10 view camera and you want to get that kind of amazing detail, the D800 or D800e is the ticket in today’s DSLRs.  I think of my D800 (o.k. Nikon’s D8700!!!) as the go to camera when the ultimate in detail and resolution is the goal.  When used just like a view camera, on a solid tripod with a cable release and very careful technique the results can be utterly amazing.  The shot above was made on our Red Rock Workshops in Lower Antelope Canyon with the D800 and the 24-120 AF-S VR.  This kind of file could be made into a print of just about any size you needed!  So camera number one in my future system, the D800.


2.  The everyday shoot almost anything camera, should be a little more compact, have plenty of resolution and shoot great in extremely low light.  Sticking with the system I use, Nikon,  the D600 is a perfect fit!  It’s 24.3 mega pixels is a lot and still allows great low light shooting.  The feel and operation of the D600 has become one of my two favorite cameras for ergonomics.  When I ho out the door for normal shooting the D600 has become a constant companion!  So number two on my list will be a D600.    


3.  I believe that it is a great idea to have a DX body just to stretch your lenses and for travel when weight is really important.  For years I’ve loved the D7000 and I can’t see any reason not to go that route, assuming nothing comes along to change my mind it is number three, the D7000!


 4.  Finally I think everyone needs a camera for when they just don’t feel like carrying around a DSLR and some lenses, but still want to be able to make really wonderful images.  This is a tough one because so many great choices exist and more than any other kinds of cameras, how you work and what  you want in the feel and weight of a compact camera will be a great influence on your choice here.  Because I get to use a lot of different compact cameras, I’m stilling trying to decide on this one, but the leading candidates are the Nikon Coolpix P7700, Coolpix P7100 and the Fuji X10.  Each has it’s own charms, and any of them can make wonderful images!!!!


So there it is, what I think will be my shooting partners for years to come!  * Of Course I reserve the right to change anything as new cameras appear, but they will be hard pressed to beat these list above.


Tomorrow will be Media Day at the stadium and we may finally make images that relate to football!




the pilgrim





10 Responses

  1. Lynn says:

    I love the way you have carefully thought out and come to your conclusions. I’m with you on the D800. Do you ever look back through your files after a shoot and find a wow moment you hadn’t realized you captured? That has happened several times to me with the D800. There is just something about that camera. I can’t wait to see what Nikon comes out with this year. I would like to get a more everyday camera like the D7000, D600, or maybe even the D400 if they ever produce it. However, today, I would happily settle for a 16 mega pixel brain!

  2. admin says:

    You bet, 16 is plenty for everyday!

  3. Mark Papke says:

    Would you say the D600 and D800 are about equal with noise control. I have a D7000 which is an awesome camera but I have missed a lot of opportunities because was afraid to crank the ISO up too high because of noise. It is pretty decent at high ISO’s in certain situations where there is a lot of light but I noticed especially when trying to shoot wild life their is too much noise and the resolution just isn’t there at higher ISO’s. Maybe its just something I’m doing wrong, I don’t know. Needless to say, other than price noise would be the most important factor to me. I shoot mainly landscapes and would love the D800 for that but I also feel The D600 probably has more than enough megapixels for me. So if the noise control is as good or even better than the D800 the the D600 is probably the way I’ll go when I can afford it. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

    • admin says:

      D600 is the sweet spot, very high resolution just one third less than D800 and equal if not better noise.
      The D7000 is great out to 1600 and the noise can be cleaned up post nicely all the way to 6400. I still try to shoot any camera at the lowest ISO I can, but sometimes we just can’t and get the shot!

  4. Great insights – loved reading this! I have the Nikon D7000 and am looking forward to the day when I have a full frame as well – I’m thinking the D600 for me. How does the D4 figure into the mix of all these cameras. I have seen some incredible photos with the D3 and D4. Just wondering, although I think the camera is heavy and large to hold – I have smaller hands so it would be too much for me – I’m more for the D600 or D800.

  5. admin says:

    I think the D600 is a great way to step up from a D7000, though the D7000 is a very capable camera.
    The D4 is a speed camera, I only advise people that really need speed and very rugged build to consider it. The penalty is weight.

    • Thanks for those comments – I am definitely going for the D600. I do feel like I need a speed camera right now because I’m doing some bird photography. I am learning so much about my D7000 and how to capture those birds in flight as they move across water and in the air – what a challenge!! I’m studying online with Moose at Kelby Training and I may enter one of my photos in his contest to try and win the D600. Would love the megapixels of the D800 but I know you pay with file size. Thanks Bill for all these great insights – so very helpful as I learn and grow in photography.

  6. Mark Papke says:

    Hi Bill, just curious, have you had any excessive dust issues on your D600. The internet is riddled with complaints that it collects dust easily even without changing lenses, and not just from average customers. Reputable websites such as,, and others have reported it too. Now says it basically goes away after 3000 clicks or so. Just wondered what your take on it is if you have one. Thanks.

  7. admin says:

    I’ve seen those posts as well but have not had that problem with the D600 I’m using.