So last month I started to book photography shoots for January, only a few as things were not looking good on the COVID-19 infection rate.
As expected after Christmas Day we had a full lock down. I had not anything booked for the first week of January but was hoping to start working after that. Instead I spent last week canceling shoots again.
I’ll be doing some initial planning for February and I do support the lock down but I feel sorry for the small businesses and self employed, for them this is very hard.
There are few iconic camera shops left and I saw in AP (Amateur Photographer) today that we are losing another one.
Richard Caplan has now closed the specialist Leica and Hasselblad dealer. I’ll be sad to seem them go.
I was worried about Robert White’s but following his death the shop has kept going and remains a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of items.
With the internet one can fine difficult items but often only if you know what you are looking for. These older specialist shops had staff who knew their craft and could really help you out. Its going to be tough for shops like this in the future but I hope they can keep going.
For my studio and wedding work I generally use a Nikon D800, if rumours are true the D8xx Z version to come after the D850 and Z7II will be coming in just over a year.
This is likely to be called either the Z8 or Z9. Its been confirmed that at least three prototypes are currently in the field being testing.
For me the most interesting prototype is the 60 MP, 16 bit A/D model with a 5,76 MP viewfinder, 120 Hz refresh rate, this is going to. be quite the studio and landscape beast and would work well for me.
With lock down back on, and this area now in Tier4, planning shoots for the early 2021 is proving interesting.
I managed a few shoots this year but they were few and far between.
The best shoot of this this year was with Helen seen above at the Two Wei Location House. This is a fantastic location is one that I hope to use many times in the future. Helen is an amazing local model who I also will be working with again.
In the last couple of months I managed three quick shoots, Jasmine and Nicola I have photographed before and will again. I used them as test subjects for a number of ideas that I will develop some more in the future. Alaria I had never worked with before but had lots of ideas that I knew would work from previous tests.
We ran out of time before we ran out of ideas which is always a good position to be in.
My first shoot for January is another test, a new model, a new location we will see what comes from it.
OK I know its Winter now but was Autumn when I took this pictures and wrote this blog post! Silly fact, those of us in the UK call it Autumn but in America its called Fall. In general we often rightly assume are American friends are wrong (joking) but in this case they are correct. In the past here in the UK we called Autumn Fall but at some point changed the season’s name.
The weather and the light over the last month has generally been awful but we have had the odd nice day, and the latest one I took the car to a pretty little Lincolnshire village and photographed the church and surrounding area. With the bright low warm light the colours did not look real, they were so intense.
I had an enjoyable hour photographing the village and came back with some nice pictures.
So if you get some nice light, even if only a few hours at this time of year its well worth going out and making the best of it.
I see a lot in the press and the general internet chatter that Nikon is playing catchup.
So who is winning the game for full frame mirrorless autofocus bodies.
Well on specs just looking at bodies one would say Sony is leading. The highest megapixel count. They already have a large selection of lens from themselves and third parties. Out of the box the autofocus feels faster then the other manufactures.
The reality is that any camera today is good, I always rate cameras with how they feel in the hand, how quick can you change a setting, especially with the camera to the eye. This is where Nikon and Canon come to the fore. Both have excellent handling but each follows there own preferences; a Canon user will prefer the Canon and the Nikon user will prefer the Nikon.
The handling on the Panasonic is less ergonomic than the big two but still beats the Sony, but in handling terms I would give Leica the points as best in this department. Leica is simple and straightforward.
Feature wise on the bodies, actually there’s not much in it, despite what you will hear, there are all quite close and with sensors with these megapixel counts the 16 MP lead the Sony has over the Canon means very little.
So on the bodies, feature set is about even, Sony have a slight lead on the megapixel front, but in handling its Leica, Nikon and Canon at the top. Fuji and Panasonic / Olympus take the middle ground with Sony bring up the rear.
Lets now look at lens. Sony has been in the mirrorless game the longest and there are plenty of lens to pick from. If cost is not an option the Leica L mount glass is simply in another league. The native Nikon Z glass, especially the S designation is simply outstanding and comes in at a price below that of the equivalent Canon or Sony glass.
For an all round camera I would say the Nikon Z range and glass takes the win. If price is not an option and the glass is key, pick the L system glass and pair it with the Leica or Panasonic. If you need the megapixels pick the Sony and pair it with their G series glass or Zeiss glass but again that’s putting it in Leica L glass prices. In recent tests the Nikon Z glass with the S designation topped many of the Zeiss glass lens.
So who in my opinion is winning? Glass its Leica then Nikon, body performance out of the box Sony, then Canon and Nikon ignoring ergonomics, but dive into the settings and customise, its a close call between Canon and Nikon. Trying to use the cameras its Leica, with Canon and Nikon joint second. As a Nikon fan ignoring cost its Leica who is top for pure usability and image quality, but you have to weigh in the fact that third party companies like Profoto are going to support Canon and Nikon first. I’ll give Canon and Nikon a joint lead on overall system, the Sony megapixel lead and their poor ergonomics is not enough.
I see on the internet and especially YouTube’s batting against Nikon hard. Those first models that hit the press were pre-production models, but any issues are now over, as a system camera its Canon with Nikon a hair behind. Out of the box without customising a Sony will focus faster but dive into the settings and Nikon will beat it. I would say if you’re a Nikon user pick Nikon, a Canon user pick Canon. If you are not already in a system with a collection of glass, then pick Nikon, the glass is better for the cost than the others.
So for the win in overall system terms, and value for money and performance, I give Nikon the win, Canon a hair breadths behind, the Canon body may be a fraction better but the better Nikon glass at lower cost gives the win to Nikon, especial with the over heating issues Canon has had.