Comparing Old and New

AliceMy 10 MP Nikon DSLR’s are now very out of date by most peoples thinking.  What has prevented me from upgrading is not the cameras but the support infrastructure.  New batteries (if on a paid shoot I will always have four batteries, two for each body), grips, Arca Swiss mounts and more importantly disk storage and new computers to handle the increased image size.

So while I keep looking at new cameras its not been too serious a look until I refresh my computer equipment.

So far on the short list is a secondhand Nikon D3s; very tempting as no new computer required and the stunning D800 or the new D810, which with their 36 MP RAW files would definitely require a new desktop and laptop computer.

It was while doing some recent research into the new camera that Thom Hogan brought up an interesting point; and that is the moving target of comparing image quality.

The best example of this is of course the Fuji X100s.  When a camera is first released the major RAW processing software producers come out quite quickly with a new version of their software.  Often though it is a few iterations down the road that they really understand the new camera and optimise there software for it.

The Adobe software was not great when dealing with the Fuji X100s files but now does quite a good job, this is not entirely Adobe’s fault, camera manufactures do not work well with the other software developers and want to push there own software.

Its generally only the medium format manufactures that seem to understand this and work well with the major software companies.   This is something that Ricoh and Leica is quite good at too.

When I look at what I can do with a RAW file now in Adobe Lightroom V5 compared to the same image in Adobe Lightroom V1 is night and day.

Now reading some reviews on the D810 people are saying there is not much improvement, now there is some truth to this, once we reached 16 MP cameras the improvements have been quite small and there is a good case for saying that unless your a professional shooting for billboards then 16 MP is more then enough.  Consider that 6 MP will print happily to A4 and how many photographers print much bigger.

But the other thing to consider is that we have had two years of softare companies improving there software and what it can do with D800 RAW files, while its a first attempt  for the D810.

In another two years one will fine the image quality of the D810 to be far better due to improved RAW processing.

Finally one last comment; why do companies keep on going with propriety RAW files.  DNG is an open standard, work with Adobe and lets make all are lives easier!


One Reply to “Comparing Old and New”

  1. I agree that it would be a lot simpler if the camera manufacturers went to DNG for their RAW files but I don’t think Canon and Nikon will ever do this. They will probably say something like the best quality comes from their own propriety RAW format.


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