Even more notes on digital cameras

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Even more notes on digital cameras
From: "Tony Palliser" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 15:16:52 +1000
A few more notes on digital cameras

Being a fan of the more high end SLR digital cameras, I thought it
appropriate to add a few more comments to those mentioned by Robert. I have
a Nikon D1X which at AU$12,000.00 was a very painful purchase particularly
when you add in the costs of one or two silent-wave lenses and a digital
wallet. Put it another way the setup I have works out comparable to the cost
of a new car, but if I had the choice between the car or the camera the car
would have to go.


-Once you have one you will not want to put it down, a week never goes by
where I don't take some photos
-You see the results on the fly
-If you don't like what you see you can take the photo again with any luck.
-There is a greater depth of field available (particularly when shooting at
500th - 1000th of a second)
-More magnification is available - a 300mm lens on a digital camera is
equivalent to a 450mm lens on a standard one
-Scanning slides and prints is obsolete and the end result is superior to
any scan from a slide or negative.
-Prints from my printer at A4 & A3 are superior in clarity to any print
produced from film
-With a digital wallet there are virtually no restrictions on how many
photos you can take.
-2 recharged batteries will last all day (about 800-1000 shots)
-ISO settings can be changed with every shot if required
-Every Photo can be manipulated into black & white, Sepia, Rotated etc in
-Storage and labeling issues are no more
-All of my old Nikon lens's are compatible
-You can sell pictures over the net or compile CD's full of pictures for
-Raw/Nef images are beyond belief - they easily compete with Medium Format
and there is enough data to correct the exposure after the event without any
loss in Quality.
-Because you have a record how every shot was taken you learn how to take
great photos very fast.
-The only thing you have to worry about is composition.

I cannot stress highly enough the quality I can print on a dot matrix at
home.  No grain at A3 using the JPG setting on the camera amazing!  Also, I
marvel at some of the sample prints at the camera store (taken with a D1X)
one of them is about the size of a large door and the clarity needs to be
seen to be believed. No doubt the photo was taken as a raw image but the
quality certainly surpasses any thing that could be taken on a 35mm film


-The initial cost, you need to consider a lot more than just the camera
-You will need plenty of computer storage space (I have used 30gig in six
months!) and a CD burner
-Raw (NEF or TIFF) files take a long time to process - particularly painful
if you take lots of them (A raw file converted to a tiff file for
manipulation in Photoshop with my camera is around 77MEG which is enormous
for a single photo)
-You will also most likely need to purchase an image viewer such as ACDsee
and a Photo Editor such as Photoshop Elements (the stuff that came with the
camera just doesn't do it for me). If you shoot NEF files you will also need
software such as Bibblelabs or Capture (I have bibble and still struggle
with it)
-If you are out in the field for long periods without a PC you will need a
storage device.  I have a "minds at work" digital wallet.
-You will need a good printer - I have the Epson 1290 which is worth every
-Paper and Ink cartridges can get costly if you print lots of them.  But
even worse its time consuming.
-Everyone wants you to take photos for them
-Many publishers are not up to speed with the high resolution digital images
yet, still claiming slide scans are superior (I am not convinced for a
number of reasons).

A few sample images can be found on my pelagic page (reduced from 2.5MEG to
around 200k)

Finally if anyone has any further questions please feel to ask, A lot of
people helped me before I took the plunge.  It pays to ask lots of questions
and do lots of homework before making a purchase of this nature. has a wealth of information.  In my opinion the more people
that stay with ordinary film the better. It means I can stay a few steps
ahead of them.


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