Barnyard BBS

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Photo 10,000!
6/30/2007 10:57:00 PM

I've done it.  Tonight, I rolled the D80's odometer.  It's been 10,000 photos already.  Oddly enough, it's only taken about 9 months to do it. For those of you interested, here's what photo 10,000 looks like:


It's the Longwood Gardens fountains, during one of their summer shows.  I pledge my next Guinness in honor of the next 10,000. 

New Toys
9/8/2006 7:22:00 AM
My new Nikon D80 arrived today. I haven't had a chance to learn everything about it yet. However, it is already clear to me that it's a big evolution from the D50. It gives much more precise control. It also includes several new options for me, such as wireless flash control (commander) and double exposure.

This is a terrible example, but here's my first double exposure (fidgeting in the living room).

New Toys
8/18/2006 12:12:00 AM
I finally received the 18-200 VR lens that I've had ordered for months now. The Nikon 18-200 is really an impressive piece of work. It covers a very wide range, and it covers it very well. It's gotten great reviews all over the place. Technically, it's been available for almost a year now. However, it has been heavily backordered everywhere. I've been on a waiting list for a long time.

I don't have much to say about it yet; as I haven't gotten to use it much. I'm going to a family event this weekend though, so I should get plenty of chances.

New Toys
8/9/2006 9:18:00 PM
I just preordered the new Nikon D80. It was just announced today, and I wanted to get on the list early.

Knowing Nikon's production schedule, I ought to see it sometime in October.

The D80 is really quite an improvement. Nikon has taken most of the good points of the D200 and fit them into a body the size of a D70. It's got a 10.2 megapixel sensor, includes "Commander Mode", and shoots 3 frames per second. Much like the D50, it uses SD memory rather than Compact Flash. That's a plus for me.

I'll post updates when it arrives.

New Toys
7/30/2006 12:10:00 AM
After a lot of reading and researching, I've picked up another lens for my Nikon. This time it's a 60mm Macro, for shooting small / close subjects. For those of you interested, it's a 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor.
The picture quality is incredible. I'm really quite happy with it.

I took a trip out to Longwood Gardens to give it a go. It was a good batch.

For those of you not familiar with Macro lenses... Macro lenses are capable of focusing on a target that is much closer to the camera than is usually possible. For example, my 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor has a minimum focusing distance of about 16 inches. The new Macro lens is capable of focusing down to about 6 inches. This may not seem like a big difference, but in practice the difference is huge.

Take a look at the latest pictures to see what it can do.
4/12/2006 3:37:00 PM
It's certainly been a while since my last update. For those of you keeping track, a lot of things have happened.

The f/1.8 lens that I spoke of last time didn't last very long. I liked it so much that I returned it.

No seriously. I turned it in, and bought an f1.4 replacement. It may not sound like a big difference, but it really helps in low-light.

Also, I went down to Miami Beach for a long weekend. The station crew all went to Winter Music Conference. I posted lots of pictures in my photo album, and also on the WMPH website.

Jessawick has started learning HTML and CSS.

Also, we have started the landscaping for the year. Updates to follow.
3/15/2006 6:17:00 PM
Well, I've posted the first pictures taken with the new D50 into the photo album.  The Philadelphia Art Museum and the Flower Show are the first ones using the new gear.

The f/1.8 50mm lens was totally worth it.  You can really see the difference.  Or at least I can.

3/10/2006 7:57:00 AM
New Toys!

I decided to take a step up in the camera world.  I bought a Nikon D50 DSLR this weekend.

Although I have been pretty happy with my Konica-Minolta Z5, I was ready to take a step up in the world.  Here is why I made the decision:
  • A DSLR gives me the options of interchangeable lenses, which is helpful for the 'difficult' shooting situations I encounter, such as low-light
  • It's nice to have an autofocus assist lamp onboard
  • Shooting in RAW is sexy
  • I wanted to be on more "industry standard" hardware.  Things were always "obscure" with the Minolta
  • The manual focus option was weak on the Z5
  • Remote shutter control is cool
I also picked up a few items with the new toy, such as a SpeedLite 600, and a very special lens.  I picked up an f/1.4 50mm fast lens for my low-light situations.  It's incredible how well the D50 works in low-light situations.  I'm looking forward to taking it to Winter Music Conference in a few weeks.

I'll start posting to the photo album with D50 pictures pretty soon.
6/28/2005 2:15:00 PM
Well, I picked up a new toy...

I was getting frustrated with the low-light and focus abilities of my Nikon Coolpix 4100; so I went looking for a more powerful unit, with more features.

After looking at the Nikon D70, the Canon Digital Rebel XT, and several others, I settled on a Konica-Minolta Z5.

It's not an SLR camera; but for my uses it's more than adequate.  It's got a 5 megapixel CCD and a strong 12x optical zoom.  It also has the best autofocus that I've ever seen.  It can lock on a moving target quickly and accurately.  The focus-lock feature is really helpful too.  Although I haven't picked up one yet, it supports an interactive flash through the hot-shoe (connector on the top).

The real magic that sets this camera apart is the image stabilization system.  Normally, when using a lot of zoom, things end up blurry.  The Z5 has an amazing stabilization system.  I can shoot at full zoom without a tripod, and it actually looks good.  Quite an amazing little creature.  Not to mention that it cost about half what a Nikon D70 or Canon DR XT.  Although it isn't an SLR; it really doesn't need to be one.  It does just fine for me.

It uses four AA batteries at a time, and from what I've seen, I have no power complaints at all.  I'm still on the first set.

From now on, most of the new pictures in the photo album will likely be shot with this camera.

Hey Sam.  Thanks for the advice.  You got me in the right direction.