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Is Nikon's New D750 the Full Frame You've Been Waiting On?


Well, I must admit I was beginning to think it wasn't going to ever come. But, here it is, on my desk to talk about this morning: the long-awaited successor to Nikon's D700 (which is, disclosure, still my own personal workhorse camera).

The D750, the specs tell me, is a 24.3mp full-frame shooter with EXPEED IV and a native ISO range of 100-12,800 (or 50-51,200 expanded). It has newer Advanced Multi-Cam 3500-FX II 51 point AF sensor (with 15 cross types, 11 of which work down to f1.8 just dandy), and along with that gets the grouped target feature seen on other newer high-end Nikons. Nikon also claims it's their first that can work down to -3ev, so, even better for shooting in the dark. You get the updated 3D Color Matrix III module for metering, and around back the LCD is beefed up to 3.2" with 1,299k dots of resolution and new tilting feature. Full 1080p is on board (this ain't the Df after all), and it marks Nikon's first full-frame to have the WiFi built in (so you don't have to pretend you love the WU-1a anymore). Frames per second actually bumps up, unexpectedly, to 6.5frames per second. Shutter life remains rated at 150,000 frames. So, that's all definitely good news all around there.

Moving on to the more mixed news then. A keyword you'll see time and again for the D750 is "light." This is achieved by switch out some of the magnesium on the front and top for carbon fiber instead, in a 'monocoque' skinning process. The other mixed news is the specs still saying the flash sync is at 1/200 (boo) (but there's another note saying it can go to 1/250 if you want with decreased flash range between 1/200-1/250, which I can live with), and the top shutter speed drops a stop to 1/4000 of a second. So, those are some mixed bag things depending on your needs, and if you're a fan of cheating your sync to 1/320 or shooting at 1/8000 or all magnesium chassis this might not be the right shooter for you.

But I'd like t swing this back up to the brighter tone we started with by mentioning the price tag. The D750 will be available later this very month for just $2,299.95 body only. Or heck, if you're new to full-frame and need a good lens to get you going, get a 24-120mm VR with it for $3,599.95. It'll work with the new MB-D16 battery grip which'll run $485.

AFS_20_1.8G.low SB500_back.low SB500_front34r.low

Alongside the D750, Nikon has added a new AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED, and a new SB-500 flash. The lens is pretty much as it says, a fast wide angle full-frame prime, and is slated to run $799.95 this month. The SB-500 is a simple flash with 100 lux LED video light, 90 degrees bounce and 180 degrees rotation. It runs on just 2 AAs to keep size and weight down. Combined with the low guide number of 24m and the lack of LCD controls makes this appealing to people who just need an occasional flash indoors, but probably less so to your average hobbyist or pro. It'll run a pretty affordable $249.95, however.

Preorders can of course be had for the lot of this, so, I'll give you some links here:

D750 Body Only

D750 with 24-120mm

AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED



Everything but the Kitchen Sink Lighting Class

We have locked in the dates for a new class.  A Guide to Understanding Light is a comprehensive and fundamental instruction in all things lighting.  This means everything from better understanding light that exists in a scene so you know how to make the most of it to breaking out the big studio strobes to completely engineering your own creative vision. 

Whether you are family shooter, hobbyist, amateur or pro, everyone will benefit from this course.  We will be using a variety of products in the second and third sessions including some of my favorite Westcott products from the Apollo line and the uLite series from the Photo Basics line.  The latter are some of the best entry level constant light kits currently available.  I just purchased the Apollo Orb with the Orb Grid for a lightweight on location portrait lighting system and absolutely love it.  

Come join us for three great evenings in April.


Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Now In Stock

Well, that was fast, wasn't it? It seems like just the other day I was announcing Nikon's SB-900 successor, and now it's in stock and ready to ship out to you or yours in time for the holiday, or just the holiday gigs. If you're not already clicking the link below to grab yours, well, I don't know what else you expect me to say.


Nikon Announces SB-910 Flagship Speedlight

Nikon has announced a new upgrade to its flagship speedlight, in the form of the SB-910. For those of us keeping track, the SB-910 is officially ten more than its predecessor (unless we're talking base cost, in which case it'll be $50 more at launch.) The SB-910 isn't exactly leaps and bounds over the SB-900, but that's pretty alright since there wasn't much about the SB-900 to gripe about.

And, in fact, it's the few things you could gripe about that have seen changes. For example, Nikon's claiming the LCD menu system has been reworked and is now easier and more intuitive to use. Which, well, it needed to be, frankly. Also, they've replaced the film gels of the SB-900 with hard gels this time, for more durability and ease-of-use. Both good ideas.

But the thing that's going to perk up most of your ears, I suspect, is that they've made changes to the thermal cut-off feature. Whereas previous implementations just turned your flash off to prevent you from slagging the thing as you stood there firing flashes like they were bullets in a Bruce Willis flick, the new version will merely cut back on the power until things cool down enough. So, while not quite 100%, your flash will stilll be usable at all without taking the rather unadvised (and possible warranty-affecting) route of turning the cut-off off entirely.

Otherwise, you're looking at a power output of 34GN (meters at ISO 100, 35mm zoom, FX, standard pattern), three flash patterns, a zoom range of 17-200mm, and auto-detection for FX or DX format, plus the two included gels and the foot. There'll be an optional gel pack with more hard gels, and covers for "select camera models" to make a moisture resistant seal between the foot and the hotshoe for those drizzly days. MSRP will e sitting at $549.99 and availability is expected to start around the middle of next month, although as always we recommend you place one of our no-commitment preorders if you want to be among the very first to get one.


Canon Announces New PowerShot External Flash. Everyone Ignores It In Favor of Camera Announcements.

Canon announced some stuff today, and most blogs have so far focused on the incremental upgrades to the Canon line in the forms of the ELPH 310, ELPH 510, and SX150. WHat isn't getting mentioned quite as much is the quiet little note that Canon has curiously decided to bring back the HF-DC external flash unit for their PowerShot cameras, the number at the end incrementing up to a final model number of HF-DC2. Some poking on the internet suggests that the first of these was announced way back in 2005, people.

The Predecessor, the HF-DC1

The Predecessor, the HF-DC1

The basic idea is it's a small zoom flash that sits either on a bracket next to your camera, or in your hand, or on a tripod, and extends your flash coverage for your point-and-shoot to about 30 feet. The new 2 revision also adds support for focal lengths down to 28mm with an attachment.

OK, now, those cameras. Not a lot to say, other than some help for you to understand Canon's confusing avant-garde "creativity enabled" upgrade scheme.

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Olympus Rounds Out Pen Announcement With Two Long-Awaited Metal Lenses and a New Flash

Finishing off the Pen extravaganza Olympus seems to be throwing today are a pair of metal-clad "professional" primes for the Micro Four Thirds system that Olympus has been promising for some time, and a new flash unit.


The lenses are the M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f2 ED and the M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 ED. Both feature Oly's MSC tech which'll make them better for video focusing than the first generation M.Zuiko lenses were, and the elegant looking metal construction gives them a bit more of a serious air than the other lenses as well. With Micro Four-Thirds' 2x crop, their effective field of views will be 24mm and 90mm respectively, making them good choices for street/landscape work and portraits. Also respectively.

The flash is the FL-300R. The R means this works with Olympus' remote flash system, and can be controlled by many on-board flashes as well as older models like the FL-500R. It's got a GN of 19m at ISO 100, and has a pretty decent tilt range, but no swivel. It also sports what I'll forever consider the traditional "tourist" aesthetic.

The 14mm will run around $800, the 45mm around $400, and the flash around $160.


Lighting Carmel

We're making Carmel a little brighter these days.  Several thousand watt seconds brighter.

The Carmel location now has a completely functional lighting department.  I am still waiting on some product deliveries, but the display is up and running.   Whatever your lighting needs, from small flash to the big 2400 w/s generators, we can service your requests.  Please stop by to check us out and let me know what you might like to have on hand and regularly available.  Hit the jump for more info!

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Canon introduces a refresh to Speedlite 220EX and a new 320EX with LED source

Today, amidst other announcements, we hear that Canon's refreshing the Speedlite 27 0EX with a version II and adding a 320EX.

The 270EX II will stay small with a 27m guide number at ISO 100, covering 28 or 50mm objective fields of view on Full Frame, and operating as a wireless slave in the E-TTL II system (+/- 45 degrees horizontally and +/- 25 degrees vertically facing master unit's transmitter.)
It'll also double as a wireless shutter release. More after the break.


Nikon Pocketwizard Flex TT5 and Mini TT1

Hello Everyone!  Happy New Year to you all.

To follow up Marc Lebryk's excellent post on the Beta Pocketwizard units for Nikon, i wanted to tell you a little about my own use of the units and how they performed under my testing.  For my day to day purpose of standard flash use, the SU-800 and CLS handles almost all my needs.  My testing of these units was all about freezing motion with extremely fast shutter speeds.  One of the greatest features of the Flex/Mini units is what Pocketwizard terms Hypersyncing.  This feature, much like the Nikon AutoFP capability, allows a shooter to use faster than normal sync speeds (shutter speeds) with high powered flash output.

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Lighting On Location - Controlling Mixed Lighting

The so-called "Golden Hours" of light are an opportune time to shoot portraits, but all too often we are limited to shooting around others schedules or need to make use of a full day to complete the job or jobs.  There are times i will spend entire Saturdays shooting senior portraits.  From 9AM to 7PM, 5 seniors, 5 sessions.  5 times the business.  Lets forget for a moment it's near impossible to rouse the average high school senior out of bed at 7am on a Saturday.  If i limited myself to the golden hours, i would have 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the evening.  I'm not really capitalizing on my schedule.   We shoot when we need to, not always when we want to.  Tips and tricks after...

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