I am not at all surprised that they are releasing a new flagship DSLR. The target market, mainly professional sports photographers, will probably have enough mirrorless holdouts to make it worth it. From my testing of the Z 6, I would not be real fast to use EVF as a sports or other high action shooter, and the D5 autofocus is already generally accepted to be superior to the Z autofocus, and it will probably take some time to get the on-sensor PDAF to be that good. I am not knocking the Z autofocus, I was quite happy with the Z autofocus when I tried a Z 6, but I don’t shoot professional level sports, and for my use the almost complete coverage of the sensor area and video abilities more than makes up for any loss of speed.
I was a little more surprised by the new lens, since there is so much focus on the Z-Series lenses. I personally would not have been shocked to never see any new F-Mount lenses, but this one does seem to fit the sports and wildlife markets that may be more likely to stay with DSLRs for a while longer.
One of the features of the Mavic 2 Zoom is the Super Res mode. Super Res creates a multi-row panorama that starts at the wide end of the zoom range to compose, and when you hit the shutter button it zooms in and takes 12 images, stitching them into a panorama that covers the original field of view.
I have not used that much, since it creates a JPEG rather than a RAW file, which among other problems loses too much dynamic range. Unfortunately due to the nature of RAW, it is not really possible to save a panorama in RAW. RAW takes the data directly from the sensor and writes it to a file, and that only really works with one image.
Then, I found buried in the settings: “save originals in RAW|JPEG”
With this I am able to get access to the full dynamic range of the camera, and really high resolution.
So far, my workflow is like this:
Import the images into Capture One (or your favorite editor), and edit one of the images. I usually pick either the image with the most of the main subject in it, or the most contrast to set black and white points.
Once you are happy with this, copy the adjustments to the remaining images. Double check them all to make sure the adjustments look alright across all the images. If any further adjustments need to be made, they need to be copied to all the images.
I export the images as 16-bit TIFFs, which stores the most data, and gives the final panorama almost RAW-like editing options, but take up more space, so you may want to remove them after the panorama is stitched.
For stitching, I usually start with Photoshop, which is very good about 80% of the time, and pretty much useless in the other 20%. So far the Super Res panoramas stitch well in Photoshop.
Once the stitch is done and you are happy with it, crop the image, flatten the it, and do any final color and exposure adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW.
The final images that I created were around 62 megapixel, since you an get a little more around the edges than the default stitching in-camera.
Having the ability to create high resolution images with reasonable dynamic range in RAW format really adds to the flexibility and value of the Mavic 2 Zoom.
You can get the Mavic 2 Zoom from DJI or Amazon. (Affiliate links)
Designed by Fitzhug Scott-Architects, Inc. of Milwaukee and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago, and completed in 1973, the four story MGIC headquartersbuilding is constructed in a unique inverted pyramid design, with each floor extending fifteen feet out from the floor beneath. It is one of several buildings on the MGIC Plaza overlooking Red Arrow park in downtown Milwaukee.
This photograph was a single ten second exposure, taken on a Nikon D850 at ISO 100, 24mm PC-E tilt shift lens at f/8, and processed in Capture One Pro 11 and Adobe Photoshop (removed a security camera near the roof). Using the color editor in Capture One I was able to tone down the yellow cast in the building from the lights.
Gear and software mentioned (some affiliate links):
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, WI. The church was designed by Wright in 1956, and finished in 1961, about two years after Wright’s death. While departing from the traditional Byzantine architecture common in Greek Orthodox churches, Wright incorporated the domed structure and traditional colors into his design.
This photograph was taken well into nautical twilight, about 45 minutes after the sun set. It was taken with a Nikon D850 at ISO 100, a 24mm PC-E lens at f/5.6, on a 3 Legged Thing Winston tripod. It is 3 exposures, 1.6, 6, and 25 seconds, and processed with Aurora HDR 2018.
Gear and software mentioned (some affiliate links):
Few things are scarier to the average photographer than the idea of cleaning your own DSLR sensor, but if you are careful it is not difficult to do safely and successfully. That said, it is possible to damage your camera, so be slow and careful, and I am not responsible for any damage that you do to your equipment. Read any instructions on cleaning supplies and tools, and follow them over this post.
Sensors need to be cleaned when dust, oil, or other residue is left on in. It is natural for this to occur, and needing to clean the sensor occasionally should not be considered a malfunction. Junk on your sensor is most visible against even backgrounds, like a blue sky, and at higher apertures, although in some cases it will be visible even against busier backgrounds.
If you see dust spots on your images, it is time to clean your sensor. If you can see the spots in your viewfinder, the problem isn’t in your sensor, it is ether in the viewfinder or the lens.
I stopped in to the local camera shop over the weekend to put my name on the list for a Nikon D850 (affiliate link), but they actually had one in stock, so I got to take it home immediately. I am normally not on the constant need for the latest and greatest bandwagon, but there were a lot of improvements compared to my D610, and I felt it was worth the upgrade. So far that has definitely been the case.
The headline is the 45.7 megapixel images, but there are a lot of features beyond that to make this a compelling camera.
As much as I like a tripod to be small and easily portable, sometimes you want a more stable tripod, especially for things like panoramas, shooting at night, and long exposure photography.
I recently picked up a 3 Legged Thing Winston (buy at Amazon or Adorama, affiliate links), their largest tripod. I picked the 3 Legged Thing for a few reasons, I have one of their Punks Travis (buy at Amazon or Adorama, affiliate links) tripods, and like it. I use the monopod leg often enough that it is a definite added value. The head also comes with a pano clamp on the QR part of the head, so it can be leveled independent of the tripod, critical for panoramas on uneven terrain. Continue reading “3 Legged Thing Winston Review”
Update: The lens is out, but I haven’t picked one up, saving up for a D850 instead. Looks like the optical performance should be better than the AF-S, but I have not had a chance to shoot them both.
Available at Amazon.com (affiliate) or your favorite camera retailer.
I don’t usually do sight unseen reviews, but this lens hit at a time I was interested in it, and I found out some interesting things that would be valuable to anyone else looking at it. I have one of the original AF lenses, and was thinking about upgrading to the AF-S until this came out. So, looking at the lenses, should you wait and pay the extra for the AF-P?
The other day on Quora, someone asked “What are the best reasons to switch from a Nikon D610 to a Nikon D750?” (Amazon affiliate links) It may be a little unfair, but I read this as “What is the best excuse to buy a new camera.”
My answer was simple: Because the D610 doesn’t do something specific you need, and the D750 does. And that feature is worth $2000 to you. If you can’t answer what that benefit is, there is no reason to buy replace a fully functional piece of equipment. If I were looking to buy a new camera, the WiFi and tilting screen might be worth the $300 difference, but it isn’t worth $2000, or even the $1000 if I could get $1000 for the D610 body. Add to that the time to buy the new camera, sell the old camera, and learning a new camera, and it becomes even more expensive to switch. Are there benefits big enough to justify that cost? If not, better to keep your money, or all too often your credit card, in your pocket.
Another way to look at that money is as hours of your freedom. For a median US income of $56,000, a $2000 camera represents over 70 hours of work. Factor in that about a third of your income goes in taxes, and it’s over 100 hours. Pay for it on credit that isn’t paid immediately, and it could be many times that.
Of course, there are times where it is worth upgrading, but make sure that you are spending money intelligently, not just chasing the latest and greatest just because it’s new.
A question I like to ask when I am looking at new equipment is “what pictures, that I want to take, can I not take without this?” The part about “that I want to take” is important. A D5 could double the frame rate of my D610, but almost nothing I shoot would benefit from that. I could get the perfect portrait lens, and almost never use it, because that’s not the work I do. Make sure that the features you are buying create benefits you actually need.
If you really have an extra $2000 burning a hole, you will often get better results out of a trip, some training, or a workshop. The benefits of those will last long beyond the release of the next camera upgrade you will have to have.