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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nikon D4, D4x, D700s, D700x ( D800 ) 2011 Lineup

Nikon D4 DSLR
The Nikon D4 DSLR

I think it's a given now that we won't be seeing a Nikon D700 update for 2010. Call it an educated guess, my opinion, intuition... whatever, but I'd be willing to bet on it.

The good news is... strike that... the GREAT news is that I think we'll see a high megapixel Nikon D700x ( D800 ) in 2011. With the Nikon D4x anticipated in 2011, Nikon should have no problem letting the D700x /D800 have the existing Nikon D3x 24 megapixel sensor.

Now that's a camera a LOT of people are going to want, myself included! A D700 body with the D3x sensor will be a hot seller. I anticipate Nikon having a hard time keeping these in stock in the early days of the roll-out.

Here's how I see the Nikon 2011 Pro Level DSLR Line-Up...

Nikon D700s - Brings the INCREDIBLE Nikon D3s sensor to the super popular Nikon D700 making it capable of seeing in the dark, just like it's big brother. Will also have full 1080p HD video with full manual controls and an external mic input.

Nikon D700x /D800 - Brings the SUPER RESOLUTION D3x sensor to party in a Nikon D700 body. For those that need HIGH resolution, but can't afford the expense of a D4x or don't like the bigger, heavier bodies, this is your camera. May have 1080p HD video, may not. Let's hope it does.

Nikon D4 - Brings a new 16 megapixel sensor to the party, capable of the same SUPERB high ISO of the D3s sensor, maybe even a stop better. Will also have full 1080p HD video with full manual controls and an external mic input. May also have video RAW settings.

Nikon D4x - Brings a new 38 megapixel sensor to the party, putting Nikon back in the lead for highest megapixel sensor available in a DSLR. If you need MAXIMUM resolution, this is your camera. Medium format companies cry like babies when the D4x is officially announced, and plot to sabotage the production facility. May have 1080p HD video, may not. Let's hope it does.
May also have video RAW settings.

Related Posts...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nikon D4x at 38 Megapixels!

Ahhh Hahhh! I knew it was gonna be big, but this is BIGGER than I thought.

Thom Hogan is hinting at the D4x being 38 Megapixels! Yes, you read that right folks... 38 MEGAPIXELS!

That'll officially take the D4x to the top of the Megapixel Pile when it is released next year. The Canon 1Ds MkIV is rumored to come in at 29 or 30 megapixels, so that'll give the D4x a healthy 8 megapixel leg up.

The existing Megapixel King is Nikon's flagship top of the line D3x. It's 24.5 Megapixel sensor is a resolution giant!

Imagine the D4x topping the already excellent D3x by a whopping 14 megapixels!

I don't doubt it can be done. As Thom notes, Nikon's smallest sensel design is capable of 38 megapixels. Thom also notes that this would truly be a sensor that "exceed(s) what most lenses can resolve."

Good times! As the flagships get better, the trickle down flows faster into the rest of the fleet, and we get more technological goodness for much less... just look at the new Nikon D3100!

There's Still Time To Get Your Photo Contest Suggestions In!

If you haven't made your suggestion for the Art of the Image Photo Contest yet, there's still time!

We'll be reviewing all the suggestions and making the decision on September's Art of the Image Photo Contest first thing Wednesday morning, September 1st!

We'll also be announcing October's subject as well so you have time to think ahead and start shooting early!

Post your idea(s) in the comments section below, and let us know what you think the subject should be!

We've got a great prize package for the winner!

Peter Gregg has generously agreed to provide one of his awesome A Better Bounce Cards as the winning prize, and Art of the Image will be adding your choice of any DSLR battery we carry to sweeten the pot!

That's right folks! Top prize to the winner will be a A Better Bounce Card and your choice of any DSLR battery we carry!

The contest will be open to everyone, and there is no fee to enter.

So let us know your ideas for the subject the first Art of the Image Photo Contest! Post them in the comments below.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nikon D7000 Spec Rundown

With excitement running high from the announcement of the Nikon D3100, I've been thinking a lot about the soon to be announced Nikon D90 replacement, the Nikon D7000.

While the Nikon D3100 is exciting, and I am definately buying one (it just may be the perfect prime camera), I'm even more excited about the coming D7000.

The D3100 specs provide some insight into what the D7000 specs will be, and they look VERY promising!

Here's what I anticipate the Nikon D7000 specs to be...

16 megapixel CMOS sensor, giving us 4 more megapixels over the existing D90's 12 megapixel sensor.

1080p HD Video with multiple settings including 24fps, 30fps, full manual exposure control, an external mic input, and full manual audio control. The D7000 is going to bring Nikon into the top of the pile when it comes to DSLR video capability. In effect, the D7000 will become Nikon's video flagship until the D400, D4, and D4x come out.

AF-F full-time servo autofocus in LiveView for continous auto focus while recording movies. The D7000 will be the 2nd Nikon body to feature this after the D3100, and it will continue to cement Nikon's new lead in the area of DSLR video.

ISO 100 - 12,800 (possibly even a high boost to 25,600) and a full stop, maybe two, better high ISO quality than the current DX high ISO champ, the Nikon D90. This will be awesome! The D7000 will cause many folks to wonder if they really need an FX body like the D700 when the D7000 is so good at less than half the price.

An ALL NEW Auto Focus System, rumored to be a 39 Point Auto Focus Sytem. While the 39 Points are pure speculation at this stage, the fact that it will have an up-graded AF from the D90's already great AF system is VERY exciting!

I expect the D7000 to use the EN-EL3e li-ion rechargeable battery, same as the D90, D300s, and D700, which is great news for those of us that own these other cameras. I like having batteries that fit all my cameras!

I also expect the D7000 to have a similar monitor to the D90, D300s, and D700, if not the same 3" 920,000 monitor. Why fix what ain't broken? :-)

Likewise, the D7000 will continue in the footsteps of the D90's ability to use all AF Nikkor lenses, a BIGGIE for me and many other Nikon shooters. This is one of the limitations of the new D3100, but then the D7000 has to have a few advantages over it's little brother.

All in all, the D7000 is poised to be MUCH more than just a upgrade to the already excellent Nikon D90, which is perhaps why the name has gone to the D7000 instead of D95. The D7000 will be the most fully featured DSLR camera at it's price point, something which is sure to give the other players like Canon and Sony grounds to think about what their new offerings should deliver.

Related posts...

Nikon D7000 - The New Crop Sensor DSLR King!

Wow! The Nikon D7000 Over-Delivers In Spades!

Is the Nikon D7000 Replacing the Nikon D300s / D400?

Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D90

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D90

Nikon D3100 VS Nikon D90

I ran down the specs of the new Nikon D3100 against the time-tested Nikon D90 to get a feel for how they compared.

Yes, I know, the D3100 is replacing the D3000, not the D90, but take a look and see how well the D3100 stacks up against the D90.

The biggies here are the sensors, lens compatibility, monitors, HD movie capability, and full-time autofocus for video.

The D3100 sensor features a few more megapixels, 2.1 to be precise. Not really much in term of real resolution, but hey... all take it given it doesn't appear to have impacted negatively on performance.

Which brings us to the other big point on the sensor... high ISO performance. Looks like the D3100 is going to beat the D90 by at least a stop for high ISO performance, and it's still giving us two more megapixels! This is HUGE! I'm always looking for better high ISO performance, and this comes to us in a very nicely priced DSLR.

Lens compatibility is where the D90 beats the D3100 hands down. The D3100 won't auto focus with anything other than the newer G lens that have an autofocus motor. The D90 will auto focus with any AF Nikkor. This will be a big issue for some, and a non-issue for others. For me, not so much. I'll be buying the D90 replacement (D7000) as well, so I'm thinking my Nikon 50mm f1.4G prime will be permanently glued to my D3100. :-)

The monitor is another big difference between the D3100 and the D90. The D3100 monitor is a lower resolution monitor similar to the D5000's, while the D90 is the sweet 920,000 resolution monitor just like it's bigger brothers, the D300, D300s,D700, D3, D3s, and D3x. This is a biggie for me. I didn't like the low resolution on my D5000's monitor, and it was one of the main reasons I sold it in favour of my D90. Then again, the D3100 is only going to be about $500 so you can't have everything.

On to the HD Movie capability! The D3100 is the first Nikon DSLR to feature full 1080p HD! The D90 is only 720p, so the D3100 wins here. Remember though, the D90 is now about 2 years old and was the first DSLR ever to have HD movie capability.

And last, but not least... in fact, perhaps the BIGGEST difference of the D3100 and ANY OTHER DSLR currently available, is the full-time autofocus on the D3100. The Nikon D3100 is the first Nikon DSLR to feature it, and nobody else has it. Can you say Gamechanger! I can't wait to see how the D3100 performs at 1080p HD with the new full-time autofocus!

For the first time, I'm excited to buy Nikon's entry level DSLR. I've never owned anything in the low-end Nikon DSLR line-up before. The Nikon D5000 was the lowest down the chain that I have owned, and I sold it in favour of the Nikon D90. The D3100 though has SO much to offer that I think it will be worth having, especially if it turns out to be the perfect prime camera as I hope.

Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D90 Spec Comparison

Sensor - D3100 14.2 megapixel vs D90 12.3 megapixel

HD Movie Mode - D3100 1080p with full-time autofocus vs D90 720p (no full-time autofocus)

Auto Focus - 11 point AF system on both D3100 and D90

Compatible Lenses - D3100 only AF with G with AF motor vs D90 AF with all Nikkor AF lenses

Metering - 3D Color Matrix Metering II on both D3100 and D90

ISO - D3100 ISO 100 - 12,800 at 1 EV steps vs D90 ISO 100 to 6,400 at 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps

Active D Lighting on both D3100 and D90

Built-in HDMI port on both D3100 and D90

Monitor - D3100 3" 230,000 dots vs D90 3" 921,000 dots

Battery - D3100 EN-EL14 Li-ion Rechargeable Battery vs D90 EN-EL3e Li-ion Rechargeable Battery

Dimensions - D3100 4.9"wx3.8"hx2.9"d vs D90 5.2"wx4.1"hx3.0"d

Weight - D3100 16oz (455g) vs D90 22oz (620g)

Related Posts...

3 Reasons to Buy the Nikon D90 over the Nikon D3100

What to buy... Nikon D90, Canon T2i, or Nikon D3100???

Nikon D3100 Auto Focus First Impressions

Nikon D3100 at ISO 3200 with Bounce Flash Dialed Down
Nikon D3100 Comparison of ISO 1600, 3200, 6400, & 12,800
Nikon D3100 High ISO Wedding Images

Nikon D3100 Unboxed

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nikon AF-F Continous Video Auto Focus

It's a mouthful, but I'm excited about Nikon's new AF-F Continous Video Auto Focus.

The Nikon D3100 will be the first of the new Nikon DSLR digital cameras to have it. The D3100 specs have it listed as full time servo AF, and it appears to be a contrast-detect AF.

Basically, this is gonna be HUGE for those of us that like to shoot video with our DSLR's!

The one thing I find very frustrating right now is that my Canon HF-200 digital camcorder can auto focus continually on moving subjects (and it does it VERY well), but my Nikon D90 and my Canon T2i can't. With the D90 or the T2i, you're basically stuck with manual focus for video unless your shooting a static or unmoving subject.

Not any longer!

The D3100 will be able to track a subject while shooting video. The new AF-F mode is ground-breaking in this regard. I may actually sell my Canon HF-200!

It'll be interesting to see just how well the new AF-F Continous Video Auto Focus works. I'm thinking it should be at least the equal of a camcorder, and hopefully, maybe even a little better.

It'll also be interesting to see just how fast Canon, Sony, and the other DSLR players can respond to this. They'll want to move fast as this is no small thing. Those that shoot video with their DSLR's will want this feature big time, and if Nikon is the only player in the market that has it, you can guess what that'll do to market share.

I'll be first in line at my local camera store to get my hands on a Nikon D3100, so I'll let you know how the AF-F measures up just as soon as I've had a chance to play. Hopefully, it'll be everything I imagine, and maybe even a little more!

Related posts...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

D3100... the Perfect Prime Camera?

Nikon D3100
Nikon 50mm f1.4G
So, I'm looking over the specs on the recently announced Nikon D3100 for about the 6th or 7th time, and I'm thinking... hmmm... the Perfect Prime Camera?

Put the Nikon 50mm f1.4G on the D3100, and you've got a light, FAST combo. At 14 megapixels, there's plenty of resolution, and with a top ISO of 12,800 combined with f1.4, you're seeing in the dark.

Don't get me wrong... I'm sure it won't compare to the D3s at those settings, but then what will?

The thing is, if the new sensor in the D3100 is everything I expect, it's gonna be VERY usable at 6400 ISO at f1.4.

For the record, I expect both the D3100 and the D90 replacement (the D7000 for my money) to be a stop to two stops better than the D90 at high ISO. Considering the D90 is the current reigning DX DSLR champ at high ISO, the D3100 and D700 will be beautiful if they're a stop or two better.

So, I'm thinking a D3100 with the Nikon 50mm f1.4G will be a new fixture in my bag. At the low price of the D3100, I could buy one for every prime I have and shoot nothin' but primes. :-)

At 445g / 160z, the D3100 weighs next to nothing. The Nikon 50mm f1.4G is only 280g / 9.9 oz, so that's about a pound and half combined weight. Sweet!

Figure that the 1.5x crop of the D3100 DX sensor makes the 50mm about a 75mm perspective, and you've got a perfect portrait combo.

So, the lowest DSLR in the Nikon line-up may just be the Perfect Prime Camera.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nikon D700x, D800, D900... Where Is It?

Rumors have been flying around the internet for some time now about an up-grade to the Nikon D700. Many of us thought it would have been out by now. I certainly did.

And yet... no D700x, D800, D900 or whatever Nikon decides to name the D700 replacement.

Thom Hogan says he doesn't think there will be a D700 replacement until next year. I'm thinking he may be right.

The big question will be how Nikon structures the levels of the Nikon DSLR line-up. Most people have been thinking of the coming update as a replacement to the D700 having a much higher megapixel sensor.

It's possible the replacement may be a D700s, following in the footsteps of the D3s upgrade. This would see the D700s getting the D3s sensor.

If this was the case, then that leaves the door open for a D700x with something like the D3X sensor. Nikon probably didn't want to do this while the D3X was relatively new, but if a D700x was timed to be introduced just before the D4X comes out, then I could see them having no problem using the D3X 24 megapixel sensor.

This would give Nikon a rock solid DSLR line-up covering all bases.

A D700s at 12 megapixels for super high ISO use for those that prefer a compact pro body.

A D700x at 24 megapixels for super megapixel goodness for those that prefer a compact pro body.

A D4s at 16 megapixels for super high ISO use for those that prefer a full size pro body. I anticipate the D4s to be about a stop better at high ISO than the already incredible D3s.

A D4x at 32 megapixels for super megapixel goodness for those that prefer a full size pro body.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Photo Contest - Tell Us What The Subject Should Be!

It's been in the works for a while now, and we're finally ready to get going on it. Art of the Image is launching it's first photo contest, and we need your help.

Tell us what you think the subject matter should be. Post your idea(s) in the comments section below, and let us know what you think.

Peter Gregg has generously agreed to provide one of his awesome A Better Bounce Cards as the winning prize, and Art of the Image will be adding your choice of any DSLR battery we carry to sweeten the pot!

That's right folks! Top prize to the winner will be a A Better Bounce Card and your choice of any DSLR battery we carry!

The contest will be open to everyone, and there is no fee to enter. We'll post the full details as soon as we've chosen the subject. We're aiming for the contest to start September 1st and run to the end of September.

So let us know your ideas for the subject the first Art of the Image Photo Contest! Post them in the comments below.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nikon D3100 Gamechanger

Nikon made the rumored D3100 official, and we have a gamechanger folks!

With 14 megapixels of DX CMOS goodness, full 1080HD video, a 3" monitor, 11 point AF for fast and precise focusing, the new AF-F continuous focus video mode, an HDMI port to connect straight into your HD tv, and high ISO up t0 12,800, the little D3100 is a force to be reckoned with!

The Nikon D3000, while a good little DSLR, was getting long in the tooth, especially in technology terms.

The Nikon D3100 changes everything. It looks like Nikon has rocketed to the top again with the best entry level DSLR on the market.

I'm really excited to get my hands on one of these puppies and run it through it's paces. I'll be putting it up against my Nikon D90 to see how the D3100 compares.

The D3100 also gives me great cause to be even more excited about the coming D90 replacement. Considering the rumors about the D3100 were pretty much right on the nose, I think we can expect the D90 replacement to be everything we're hoping for!

I can't wait to do a shoot-out with the D3100, the D90 replacement, the D90, and my Canon Rebel T2i!

FOOTNOTE: As excited as I am about the new Nikon DSLR's, it's important to remember that you can improve your photos a LOT more by improving your lighting skills than by buying a new DSLR.

Even the lowliest of digital cameras can shine in the hands of a photographer who knows how to light a subject properly. Remember... Lighting IS Everything!

Related posts...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

T2i Surprise

About 2 months ago, I was in need of more serious video than my Nikon D90 could deliver. I wanted 1080HD and the ability to plug in an external mic, and the D90 doesn't offer either of these.

After much research, I picked up a Canon Rebel T2i and a few lenses from my local camera shop. Reviews had been good, so I was hoping the T2i would serve my video needs well.

I was in for a BIG surprise.

The T2i is a VERY capable video camera. Basically, it does everything its big brother, the Canon 7D, does. Even the 5D MkII doesn't have all the video goodness of the Rebel T2i.

The video out of the T2i is just soooo nice. There is simply no comparison between it and my Canon HF200 HD video camcorder. And while many have said the sound quality isn't great, I'm finding it to be more than adequate for most things.

I’ve added a Rode Shotgun Mic and a set of Sony Lavalier Mics to my arsenal, and I’m very impressed with the sound quality I’m getting out of the T2i. A lot of VSLR users are buying a portable digital recorder like the Zoom H4N 4 Track Recorder, and I was prepared to go this route myself. So far though, I haven’t seen the need for it. I may end up getting an H4N or something similar once I move forward with some up-coming video projects, but for now, the T2i is doing all I need.

So far I’m using the Rode Shotgun Mic almost 100% of the time. It works great with the T2i, and the sound quality is excellent. I will be using the lavaliers more as my upcoming video projects require, but I am very impressed with the Rode.

Overall, the T2i is a fantastic VSLR. The video quality is first rate, simply unbelievable when you consider how cheap the T2i is to purchase. With the T2i and a few fast primes, you can have a Hollywood quality set-up for less than $2,000.00… simply unheard of even a year ago.

The other pleasant surprise with the T2i is how much I’m enjoying it as a stills camera. I wasn’t planning on using it for stills at all, as my Nikon D700 and Nikon D90 are my main cameras for stills. Funnily enough though, I find I pick up the T2i for photos quite a bit. It’s just so light and compact and a real pleasure to shoot with.

The T2i image quality is excellent. Combined with Lightroom 3, the files out of my T2i are stunning. My favourite combo is the T2i and the Canon 50mm f1.8. Together, these two make for a KILLER combination.

All in all, the T2i has been a VERY nice surprise. I’m more than happy with my T2i for video, and I’ve been surprised at how much I like it for stills. I would have to say that the T2i is one of the best cameras Canon has ever made, and certainly the best value Canon has ever had when it comes to DSLR’s.

Stay tuned for more on my T2i adventures…

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nikon D90 Replacement by Mid-September

The good folks over at have recently posted what they deem to be pretty rock solid info... we're gonna hear the official Nikon D90 replacement announcement by Mid-September.

It's no secret I'm a big fan of the Nikon D90, especially if you've read my article The Nikon D90 - The Perfect DSLR For Just About Anyone, so it should come as no surprise that I'm EAGERLY awaiting the D90 replacement.

The D90 was revolutionary when it was announced... the first DSLR to have video! I remember when I got mine. I quickly preferred it to my D300 bodies for almost every situation. Nimble and quick, light and responsive, the D90 is an all around fantastic camera, and it was very reasonably priced when it came out (and is even more reasonably priced now!).

I still love my D90. It's just a super sweet camera in every respect. I often find myself grabbing my D90 with the Nikon 18-105 VR over my D700 with Nikon 28-70 f2.8. The D90 is smaller and lighter and that alone makes for a BIG advantage in my books these days.

For some reason, I've been finding smaller and lighter much more appealing lately. Don't get me wrong... I love the solid heft of my beautiful Nikon D700, and I love the D700's gorgeous files even more, but the D90 performs like a champ. My D90 with my Nikon 50mm f1.8 is one of my favourite camera/lens combinations.

Yes, the D90 can't compare to the incredible D700 sensor, but neither can most DSLR's. The D90 has the BEST file of any DX camera on the market at this time. Just check out the rankings over at DXO Mark.

So you can see why I'm so excited to see the D90 replacement. Hey, I'll be excited to see the official announcement from Nikon!

The rumor is that the D90 replacement will be called the D95 or the D7000. Personally, I like D7000, but regardless of what it's called, it sounds like it's going to be awesome!

The D90 replacement is rumored to have the new 16 Megapixel Sony sensor, and it's said to have at least a stop better high ISO than the D90. This in itself is enough to make me stand in line at 4am outside my local camera store like a MAC fan the morning a new iPad is released. Luckily, I know the manager and don't have to. :-)

And then there's the video... 1080 HD with a full range of settings including 24fps, 25fps, and 30fps. I fully expect it will have an external mic input, and full manual exposure control, two things sorely lacking on my D90 (but let's remember the D90 was the first kid on the block to do video and is 2 years old now).

The other BIG video feature is Nikon's new game changer... continous video AF. Nobody else has it, and Nikon is leading the pack once again. I can't wait to get my hands on my D90 replacement and try this new continous video AF feature out. While some seem to protest video in a DSLR, I'm loving it and using it more and more every day.

And let's not forget the rumored new 39 point AF system. While the D90 AF works great, and I have no complaints, I'm always up for AF improvements. My D700 and my D300 both have the Nikon flagship AF system, and it sounds like the D90 replacement may be inching closer to their level.

All in all, the Nikon D90 replacement is poised to be a truly incredible DSLR, especially considering the expected MSRP of $1195.00. I'm excited to get one, and I'm already thinking about an update to my original article. Maybe I'll just call it... The Nikon D95 - The Perfect DSLR For Just About Anyone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Speedlite Softbox Special Purchase Offer!

We just received a new shipment of Art of the Image Speedlite Softboxes so we're offering a Special Purchase... buy TWO and get FREE SHIPPING!

(to USA and Canada... for shipping to other countries, email us for shipping costs and we'll give you $25 off!)

If you're like me, you'll love your first one so much you'll want a 2nd one!

Buy one for a friend! Buy two with a friend and save on shipping!

Just need one... no problem! You can still purchase them at our regular price here.

related posts...

Lighting is EVERYTHING!

How to make a Crop Sensor DSLR Photo Indistinguishable from a Full Frame DSLR Photo

20x20 Collapsible Portable Speedlight Softbox For Nikon and Canon Speedlites