Monday, August 3, 2009

parallels II

Fuzzbucket's post got me thinking. Then I found these two images in my processing folder - shot some weeks apart, but still strikingly similar. I was about to junk one until I noticed they were shot with two different cameras:

Bedtime computing I

Bedtime computing II

Spot the difference

Look at these two images and play spot the difference: both were shot illuminated by the light of the computer's LCD only (read: very dark; 1/20s, f2, ISO2500; or alternately 1/2s, f3.2, ISO 800 from the other camera). One shot was taken using a Leica M8 and 35/2 Summicron-M ASPH. The other, with a Canon SD780IS.

Can you tell which was which?

At web sizes, I certainly can't. Even up to 25% (i.e. around 2000 pixels wide) they both look pretty similar. I'll give you a hint: the noisier shot (bottom) was the Leica. Sometimes one needs to look up to see the forest from the trees, which leads me to:

A brief commentary on the new Nikons

The D3000, and D300s aren't that interesting, really. Another minor evolutionary tweak to a product that is for the most part, mature. Existing users need not consider upgrading unless they are one or two product cycles behind; i.e. on a D50, D200 or earlier.

Significant changes: D300s now includes 720p HD video recording, dual SD/CF slots, and slightly faster frame rate. I think it uses a derivative of the D90 sensor, which means it should also be slightly cleaner at high ISO than the outgoing D300, as well as enjoy another stop or two of dynamic range. D3000 is a cut down D5000; however although it has the better 3" VGA LCD, it has the innards of the D60. Ugh. Image quality is probably a noticeable step backwards.

On the topic of lenses: the AFS 18-200/3.5-5.6 VR II gains nothing but a lock switch to prevent zoom creep, some modified cams to make resistance more consistent when zooming, a price hike, and no optical changes. The AFS 70-200/2.8 VR II looks great - at least on paper from MTF charts - and given the latest pro lenses Nikon has put out, I'd expect great things from this one. It has a totally new optical formula and VRII. Alas, yet another significant price hike too.

Overall, I'd still say sit and wait unless you've got a need your current gear really isn't filling.

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