Wildlife shooting with the Nikon P900 (and D750)

I had trip planned to Lake Arrowhead, CA. and wanted something fun to play with. I decided on the Nikon Coolpix P900. Ever since its announcement last year, I’ve been more than a little intrigued by this bad boy with its effective 2000mm focal length zoom. My hesitation up til now stemmed from the fact that I normally shoot with a D750 and was concerned that it just wouldn’t measure up and I’d regret the purchase.

I did my homework and read and watched a ton of reviews. Most said it was a fun camera and just went on and on about how far it could zoom. Many reviews stated that it wasn’t good for wildlife and birds, but that just seemed counter intuitive for something with such an incredible zoom range. I needed to find out for myself and took the plunge. It didn’t take long to find out its limitations…and strengths. Read more

Nikon D7200/D750 owner can’t click the buy D500 button…so far

The coverage of the new Nikon D500 has got me with a super bad case of camera lust. My D750 has done a great job of fending this feeling off for the past year, but it was inevitable that it wouldn’t last, right? My backup body is a D7200 and has really seen little use aside from a one-day outing at an air show paired with my Tamron 150-600mm. The D500’s low-light performance, continuous shutter speed, huge memory cache, touch-sensitive tilting screen, pro controls, etc. have all been enticing me to get one. I’ve actually had it in my shopping cart twice now, only to be removed after further consideration. It’s not solely a money issue. I can easily afford it and with the recent sale of my Nikon 14mm 2.8 and likely sale of my D7200–it’s a financial no-brainer. So why the hesitation? Read more

Nikon D7000, my new toy

I’ve been looking for a new hobby for a very long time and I don’t know why it never occurred to me, but photography is perfect; it’s just the right combination of tech and outdoors.

I wanted to get an entry-level prosumer DSLR and narrowed it down to the Canon 60D and the Nikon D7000. I really liked the 60D’s articulated screen, but in the end, the D7000 just seemed to be more professional and higher quality, albeit slightly higher in price. Choosing your first DSLR is really an important decision since it sets the path for all your future lens purchases–there, unfortunately, is no standard in the lens mounts.

I wanted a do-it-all lens to start out and splurged on the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens. I was also looking at the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Lens, but the slightly better aperture and supposedly quickly focusing of the Nikon lens gave it the nod. I figured why skimp on the only lens I’ll have for a while. I also toyed with the idea of a used lens and even found an open-box one, but for my first set-up, I wanted everything to be new. (Yeah, I’m a bit spoiled :-)

I’m pretty excited! The last serious camera I owned was a Pentax 35mm SLR many years ago. Developing film always seemed to limit my use of that camera, so now with the digital SLR, I’ve got no excuses. I’m really looking forward to learning this beast and getting good at operating all of the features. It’s damn complicated compared to my old 35mm that’s for sure.

I also put a lot of thought into what camera bag I wanted. I wanted something light and not cumbersome. It had to hold my D7000 with zoom lens attached and also have enough space for a second lens and some extra goodies. I didn’t want a backpack because you have to take those off to get to stuff and I didn’t want just a regular shoulder type. What appealed to me was the slings. I suppose it’s partially due to their generally non-symmetrical design. I’m always attracted to things like that.

I was nearly decided on the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling, but ended up going with the Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag. It just seemed to look less like a camera bag and had a softer less cumbersome look. The Case Logic is probably more functional, but the Lowepro is cooler and coolness counts!

So far, I’ve only skimmed though the D7000 manual and played with the features a bit. I’ve got the PDF of the manual on my iPhone and I plan to take the D7000 for a spin tomorrow out in the Hill Country!