How to work with Adobe Lightroom’s cloud

Adobe MAX 2017 saw the launch of a whole lot of new features, but most of all, a completely brand new Lightroom CC. Rebranding the non-destructive photo editing app we all know and .. mostly love, to Lightroom Classic, it’s Adobe’s way of bringing photo-editing technology to a 2017 crowd. Basically it’s the Lightroom Mobile app from the iPad applied to the desktop, but better.

If you remember, this summer I wrote a long opinion piece on what I as a photographer needed in Lightroom. Underneath my ‘Far Fetched Requests’, I wrote: “Sync files between desktop apps”. I thought it was never going to happen, but Adobe proved me wrong. With the new Lightroom CC, you can store your files and edits in the cloud, and have it accessible on all your devices! With the photography pack you get 1TB of storage, with additional TB’s available for $9.99/month.

But, that’s where for me, the problem starts. My current archive is just over 8 TB, meaning that at least, it will cost me the 10TB plan at $100 per month for the option of having all my photos accessible in Lightroom on all my devices. That’s just under a grand for a year. A cost I am not yet willing to make, since in just over a year I’ll be reaching the limit of those 10TB, which already is the largest plan Adobe offers for now.

However. The idea of working on-the-go, on my iPad Pro especially, is quite appealing. If you ever used Lightroom on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, you’ll never want to go back. So, how do we make that work? Well:

Syncing to the cloud

I’m not sure if it’s done by design, or a happy coincidence, but there is a way of using both pieces of software that makes things very easy for those with a massive library, who want to work in the cloud as well.

So, as soon as I installed Lightroom CC on my MacBook Pro, all of the Smart Previews that were synced across Lightroom Mobile were already there, still syncing back to Lightroom Classic. So edits that I made on Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile would show up in Lightroom Classic. Collections that are set to sync to Lightroom Mobile will automatically be added in Lightroom CC.

Even better, this behaviour is also backwards compatible. Images added in Lightroom CC or Lightroom CC also get added in Lightroom Classic, and not just smart previews, but the original RAW files. Meaning that you can keep a full offline archive, and yet also have the images you desire available on all our devices.

There is a downside to all of this. As soon as you have imported an image, there is an intricate link between them. If you unsync the collection, the individual images will still be up in Adobe’s cloud services, and a small Sync symbol will appear in the top right of the grid view. There is no way to unsync these, except delete them from Lightroom CC. Wait? Delete?

As far as my testing goes, deleting images from the cloud won’t affect local images in Lightroom Classic. Now, beware, this is the current situation, and we don’t know what will happen in the future. So always keep current backups, and monitor the situation!

Working with Lightroom CC

For 90% of shooters, you will be able to do anything. You can do nearly all edits, import your custom presets (though not delete the standard presets), export images.  But there are some missing features. It’s also important to note that Adobe strives only strives for a feature parity for the editing and developing of your photo.

First of all, Presets like Develop presets won’t sync across devices just yet, but Adobe is aware this is a much requested feature and told us to “stay tuned”.  Sharing to Facebook is standard in Lightroom CC, but “Other publishing services are yet to be decided”. So if you use Lightroom for your portfolio through Photoshelter, or update to 500px, you’ll have to wait for now.

Specific things like hardware support and Camera Calibration Profiles are also still missing. So, if you invested in lets say the DVLOP dual Illuminant profiles, you’ll have to wait for now, until Adobe decides to add that feature.

Lightroom CC in action

In Lightroom Mobile, there still are some weird things missing. For example, there is an eraser tool for the Linear Gradient Adjustment, but not a brush, meaning you can delete parts, but not add. A feature that is present in both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic. There are some other annoyances as well. For example, the edit toolbar is slightly different on Lightroom CC, than it is in Lightroom Mobile on the iPad Pro. On the iPad you can’t have multiple panels open at the same time, and the Preset button looks way too similar to the Local Adjustment tool.

Lightroom Mobile editing panel (Left) vs Lightroom CC editing panel (right)

The future

You can compare Lightroom CC to Final Cut Pro X. When the fundamentally different way editing with a magnetic timeline in Final Cut was announced in 2011, many video editors shouted in disbelief of how “Apple could abandon the Pro users” and vowing to switch to other software like Premiere and Avid. The debacle became so big that even Conan did a skit on it on his late night show.  But Apple listened patiently to concerns of their users, and kept improving, adding much-requested features. Something that Adobe has been doing since the launch of the original Lightroom Beta in 2006.

For now, Lightroom Classic isn’t going anywhere, and even got some new features and a much-appreciated speed boost. But know that the Cloud is the future, and one day that will be the only way of doing things. But I’m confident that after Adobe has updated their software and plans for those final 10%, and we made the jump, we’ll look back and laugh at how we ever could live without it.

The Lightroom CC plan with 1TB is available for €12,09 per month, the Creative Cloud Photography (including Photoshop) with 1TB is available for €24,19 per month. For those just using Lightroom Mobile, you can now subscribe for €4,99 for 100GB per month.

Review: Kingston MobileLite Duo 3C

Card readers are boring. We can all agree to that. It’s just the one extra chain that stands between your camera and your computer. Who ever uses a USB cable? With every camera a different connector, at least the cards are .. yeah .. nevermind. My D5 shoots XQD, Hasselblad and my Df got for SD Cards, my GoPro and Phantom shoots Micro SD. And for those things, Kingston just created something to finally get rid of those SD adapter cards that are not just flimsy, but ugly as fuck as well.

Enter the gorgeous MobileLite Duo 3C.

A small Micro SD card-reader that is made for 2017, meaning that it’s suitable for all of your devices, those that offer USB-A, and your latest devices that offer USB-C. And this card reader does just that, and at USB 3.1 speeds! It has plugs on both ends, meaning you can just choose which ever USB end you need. Pretty nifty!

With a gorgeous and robust aluminium design, it’s a tiny device that you can attach to a keychain, put in your wallet or where ever you want. While shooting the Toro Nagashi shoot, it was easy to ingest all the behind-the-scenes video footage from various sources, like GoPro’s and a drone, on my girlfriend’s MacBook after the shoot. Everything goes fast and easy. Just like you want it.

The only downside, if we need to mention one, is that after a lot of file-transfers, it gets rather warm to touch.

The MobileLite Duo 3C costs €24.99, which feels like a steal with a device that is this well made!

I can’t wait for Kingston to come up with more USB-C card readers, especially if they are all so robust and high quality as this one!

Specs

  • Dual Interface: works with older and newer systems thanks to the USB-A and USB-C interfaces.
  • Compact: The lightweight storage solution that’s easy to throw in a pocket or backpack.
  • Rugged Portability: Thanks to the metal casing you can bring it wherever your adventure takes you.
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) Support1: Download photos and videos quickly to share online.
  • Dimensions: 43mm x 18mm x 11mm
  • Supported Card Formats: microSD/microSDHC, UHS-I/microSDXC UHS-I
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 60°C
  • Storage Temperature: -20°C to 70°C
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty with free technical support

What I’m looking for in Lightroom. 

Lightroom is my bread & butter. Every image with whatever camera I shoot gets imported, be it a Nikon D5, an iPhone 7 Plus, or even a UAV, a GoPro or a Hasselblad. I have amassed over a quarter of a million images now, with most of them containing their individual information like GPS coordinates, tags and edits. It’s great, but it’s not very mobile. All of them reside on a 16 TB Promise Pegasus 2 R6, driven by my Mac Pro.

When I’m shooting at an event or festival, I have to start a new library on my MacBook Pro, edit on the go, and import that library later on into my main library.

Through Symlinks and Dropbox I have managed to keep my import, develop and export presets in sync between my desktop devices. But those don’t sync back to mobile or whatever. Especially with the updated Lightroom Mobile app, I can do a lot of work on my iPad Pro, faster than my Mac Pro can follow!

So, what’s new?

After apps like Affinity Photo have shown that you can have desktop class applications on iOS, Lightroom Mobile has been updated with a much more effective way of editing, with a persistent sidebar with sliders. The only thing that frustrated me to no end, is that you can have only one pane open, a behaviour that is completely opposing the way we work on desktop. In fact, I wouldn’t mind some of the app logic syncing back to the desktop Lightroom. The design is simple and clear, and the white lines in the sliders show you exactly how far you are from the base values, something that is very valuable in values like White Balance.

At the moment, some missing features include the Spot Removal, the Red Eye Correction (not that I ever used that one), Upright and color labels. But with Adobe updating their suite of applications constantly, I’m sure we can expect those. Just like we saw the addition of Sharpening and Noise Reduction in this update.

So, what’s my workflow? 

First of all, I create Collection for each projects that need to be culled and edited, and sync those with Lightroom Mobile. I have a lot of Smart Collections as well for reoccurring clients and projects, but those don’t sync over unfortunately. I open Lightroom Mobile on my iPad Pro, and there I can Enable Offline Editing. This means I can edit all the smart previews wherever I am, and do full RAW edits just as I can on desktop. With my Apple Pencil, I can work very quickly, and even can do local adjustment brushes.

Another missing thing is the syncing and saving of presets on Mobile. Especially with the Preset button being one of the most prominent buttons in the app. The workaround I use is to apply my custom made presets to every image in the collection on my desktop. This means that every of those edits sync to Lightroom Mobile, making further adjustments a breeze.

To cull a selection, it’s the exact same as I would do on desktop, but faster. I move the arrows on my Smart Keyboard (a whole lot of Smart going on, don’t you agree?), and press P/U/X and 1-5 to select a flag and star rating. You can easily filter items as well. The only difference is that on my iPad Pro doesn’t ever stutter or needs loading: all that data is just there. Very impressive! (I do miss the Speed Flagging option of just swiping up or down, but with a Magic Keyboard, it’s every bit as fast)

It has even come so far in the past days that I prefer to cull and edit on my iPad Pro, even if I’m at home. This is a total game changer. 

But there is one thing that makes it all difficult and hard for me:

File Management

In my pocket is my second most used camera of the moment. And I’m jealous of my girlfriend and friends. Everything they create gets imported in iCloud Photo Library. Pictures and edits show up on all their devices, and for €9.99 they get 2TB storage in the cloud. I however have to create a bandwidth eating contraption with exports, imports, uploads and downloads to get iPhone images in my Lightroom (with Hazel filtering out any files without the word iPhone in its meta), and exported JPG versions in my iCloud Photo Library (minus anything with the word iPhone in its meta).

But, that is just a jerryrigged semi-automated way of working. Also, it seems that many iOS applications have issues with an image library of over 250.000 pictures. Go figure.

It would be much more interesting to have a robust Lightroom Cloud platform. Imagine having all your presets and data synced over Lightroom Creative Cloud.

Ideally, it would have the option of hosting all your files on local storage, a Master Library. When on the go, you can import images on local drives on a Notebook, having them sync over external or internal network. Just like all of your edits.

Pictures shot on either signed in device would be added to your master library (renamed and sorted to your preference). It would generate smart previews (DNG) for all pictures taken, making those available on request on all devices. Like iCloud and Google Photos. At the moment, you can only sync one desktop library to the Creative Cloud.

You could shoot an event, import on your notebook, edit and instantly share those images to Instagram on your phone, and make final edits later at home on your master library, without having to move files and drives all over the place. Laptop stolen? All your RAW files are already in the cloud. Or perhaps you haven’t transferred all your RAW files, but at least you still have your Smart Previews, which are still good enough for most uses.

But Kris, why not just use Photos for all your photos? 

Well, first of all, all of my photos in their original format occupy around 10 TB, way over the largest 2 TB iCloud storage plan. Also, despite Photos.app getting a significant update for High Sierra, it still can’t soar to the level of Lightroom. Heck, not even to the level of Aperture 3. It’s still not a ‘real’ editing app like Lightroom has become. In fact, 99% of my images never even touch Photoshop.

So, what would need to happen for me to be a happy camper:

Feasible requests: 

Sync settings between desktop apps

With Adobe’s Creative Cloud, you can already host smart previews to mobile. Extend this syncing between desktop en notebooks, first of all with presets and settings. There already is a robust cloud storage platform active. It would just need an update of the desktop app.

Sync settings & presets to mobile apps

If you already have your own workflow on point with your own presets, it’s rather frustrating not to be able to access them. Especially when you’re working on a series of photos. There is a workaround applying your preset to all, and sync that to mobile.

‘Not very likely to happen’ requests:

Create a Publish / Sync with Photos.app

It would be quite amazing to have all edited pictures show up in Photos.app. Sync photos (as in: import new pictures from Photos.app, and send new pictures from Lightroom to Photos.app).

Far Fetched requests:

Sync files between desktop apps

A very interesting part of this that there are no limits of storing pictures in Creative Cloud!

“Despite including at least 20GB of storage in the Photography plan, syncing images to LR Mobile does not consume online storage. In other words, there is no storage limitation associated with LR mobile. The actual 20GB storage is used for other CC services like syncing settings, sharing files through CC, etc. So there would not be a need to increase this storage when working with LR Mobile.”

So, in theory, you could upload every smart preview your massive Lightroom library, and just access all that information wherever you have WiFi. The only thing left to do is access that information among other catalogs and have a way to transfer RAWs to your Master Library.

Become a core service

What would solve a lot of issues is that all mobile photos would be saved in Lightroom instead of the standard camera roll. This would mean other apps would also be able to tap into Lightroom, offering loads of potential to smart albums, tags and ratings. Something that is very different in Photos, which only offers Favourites. Also importing directly to Lightroom from an SD card would be quite handy.

But this would be a decision that both Apple and Google have to make to include on their mobile OS-es, and Adobe has to jump on as well.

Then again, Affinity is working on a “Digital Asset Manager” .. so we’ll see how that goes. And you can’t underestimate how Lightroom is amazing at handling RAW files. Because that was the reason I switched from Aperture 3 to Lightroom 5: image quality. But whatever comes next for me, it has to work hard, work on mobile and make my images look pretty damn good.

Profoto B2: First impressions

Exactly a year ago, I held the freshly released Nikon D5 in my hands for the first time. It was a whole step up from semi-professional gear like a D800 or a Df to something that had no compromises. It enabled me to stop troubleshooting limitations, and just go and get the shot. (Not that I ever truly stopped problem solving).

2′ Gridded Octa camera right, Blue Gell illuminating the bridge.

Just a few months back, while looking into getting a more robust and powerful flash system, I walked into a Profoto booth at Photo Days, checking what they had to offer. I knew of the powerful B1, but it was seeing the B2 in action that I was convinced that this was the system that not only matched my way of working, it had plenty of power in a very well-built housing. Using it for the first time for a few days now, it has that exact same feeling of when I first started to use the Nikon D5. The images in this post all were shot in the last three days.

Since I already have an established way of shooting with off-camera flash, I plundered the shops for the following items to get me started.

  • Profoto B2 Location Kit (2 Heads)
  • Profoto Air Remote TTL-N
  • Profoto OCF Speedring (2x)
  • Profoto OCF Softbox 2′ Octa & Softgrid
  • Profoto OCF Softbox 1’x3′ & Softgrid
  • Profoto OCF Color Gel Starter kit
  • Profoto B2 3m Extension cable

Coming in a very handy bag, I have a full professional photo studio with me, without exceeding the size of my current Pelican 1510 speedlight-kit, housing 6 SB-700, 3 tripods and a whole lot of accessories.

As soon as you get it out of the bag, it’s obvious how everything connects. After figuring out which button does what (I mean, I am not about to read a manual, am I?), I managed to get it all working without a hitch.

2′ Gridded Octa camera right, Blue Gell illuminating the bridge.

The only confusing moment is that you don’t get direct feedback back from your lights to the remote. For example, if the power of the head on the pack reads 5.0, and you’ll add a stop on the remote, it will just show up +1.0, but on the pack it will update to 6.0. Just like if you enable a model light on the pack, you’ll have to repeat the action on the remote before you can switch it off from the remote. But  as soon as you’re comfortable with that logic, the AirTTL remote is a work of magic with a range of 300 meter! In fact, I wish there was a $99 Profoto slave unit talking to my Nikon speedlights, so I could use them to fill out a scene in the background and detail lights.

On to the pack and the heads.

What Profoto calls the B2 Off-Camera Flash is the module housing all the controls for two heads. So, the battery? Well, no: to add extra confusion is that the pack also houses a removable battery. But, you can charge that one while shooting, which is great. You can connect two B2 heads to a single pack, which with an extension cable can offer great possibilities.

The light that comes from the B2’s is just plain amazing. Even without a head you get very nice results, but the OCF series of light modifiers is just amazing. I mean, I love my 180cm Walimex umbrella, but the small light coming from that small 2′ Octa is just gorgeous. Put a light on a monopod, or even just a tripod and have an assistant hold it, and you can work quicker than before thanks to full TTL capabilities on a studio flash. Switch over to manual mode, and the flash freezes your settings, so everything stays exactly the same. Magic again!

Talking about freezing, the flash has the option for more power, or freezing items in the sky. (So it has a shorter flash duration). Just as it has High-Speed Sync. 🙌🏻

Woodworked Sam Ponette. Flash freezing all wood chips and sawdust.

The Profoto B2 Location Kit comes with the epic B2 Location bag. Do you remember those free crappy backpacks your first DSLR came in? Yeah, forget it. The B2 Location Bag houses two heads, the pack, two batteries, chargers, and then you have so many pouches and straps that my entire kit I bought fits in there. Even the extension cable, color gels and whatnot. It’s one of the finest designed bags I ever encountered, feeling more like a bag an SAS soldier would carry on a mission than a free bag that came with a flash. Miles away from that plastic pouch coming with Nikon Speedlights. Also a great shoutout to the designers that added elastic straps on the side of the OCF Softbox pouches, which perfectly fits the pouch that holds their Softgrid. That Softgrid also attaches with velcro by folding it over the edges. It’s all very high quality.

All by all, I can already tell that it won’t end with these two heads. But for now, lets see which adventures lay ahead for this amazing gear!

Thomas. Gridded Octa on a pole. TTL.

Foto Op Glas

Wie schrijft, die blijft. Of zo hebben ze toch ooit iets verzonnen. Zo is er ook ergens een gezegde dat fotograferen hun foto’s moeten afdrukken. Zelf zie ik meestal mijn foto’s wel in magazines en boeken verschijnen, maar heel af en toe, dan zijn er van die foto’s die ik tegen de muur wil.

Meestal zijn dat canvassen, maar voor een foto van de skyline van Shanghai ging ik eens kijken naar andere mogelijkheden. Zo vroeg ik mij af hoe die foto op glas er uit zou zien. In de high-end interieurwinkels zijn kunstfoto’s op glas wel een veelvoorkomend iets, al is de keuze van die beelden zelf enorm kitch en cliché. Waar standaard fotoprints in kaders nog altijd een simpele klasse uitstralen, hebben die glasprints meestal een extra diepte en cachet.

Enter www.fotoopglas.nl. Met hun print dienst bieden ze zo prints, technisch gezien op acryl-plexiglas. We contacteerden hun voor test te doen, en dit beeld met diep zwart en fel wit en diepe kleuren te laten drukken. Een weekje later kwam de koerier langs met de plexiglas plaat.

Eerst en vooral: de befaamde skyline had zeker op glasprint een extra diepte die het resultaat echt wel goed toont, al mistte ik misschien de scherpte van een echte fotoprint. Ook zaten de kleuren wel heel juist. Niet overgesatureerd zoals veel het geval en mooi scherp. Al vond ik wel dat er enorm veel ‘ruis’ en enkele horizontale lijnen op de print zaten, die niet in de foto zelf zaten. Was het een digitale overscherping? Of een byproduct van het printen? De foto zelf is gemaakt met een Nikon D800 op ISO 50, en heeft niet echt zichtbare ruis.

Maar losstaand hiervan, een fijne kennismaking met het formaat. Al is het wel een extra item om stof te vegen. 😄

fotoopglas.nl biedt al vanaf €9.95 een print op glas aan. 

D800: First gig and Impressions

After long consideration I bit the bullet, I ordered the D800. While it wasn’t advertised as a concert camera, I felt confident it could be perfect for my needs, and as of now, I’m still convinced of that. 

The Good: 

First of all, when I got it, it feels more ergonomic, and while the shutter speed is only 4 fps, the speed between the pressing of the button and the moment the shutter hits is amazingly fast. Even so fast that I need to adjust my timing. The 100% viewfinder makes me fall in love with my 14-24 all over again, and the 36 megapixel really bring out the details in the people. I could see myself in the reflection of the eyes of a girl I shot at a few meters away. Wow! 

The ISO feels around the same, which is an amazing feat.

800 0283

The way I will deliver for the paper will not change at all. Chances are that I will just give them a 15ish megapixel image. Still more than enough for printing. Magazines, they might get the bigger versions, I have more than enough.

The Bad: 

The higher file size however, will change the way I store images. Everything that is not good enough will be deleted, and only the best images that are published or used, or important, will be saved and copied to my archive drives. While that isn’t that bad at all, since it means I have to step up my game again. 

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The Ugly

Counting the pores in the skin. Eewwwww. ;) 

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For real now, having a much more detailed way of seeing what you captured really shows when you missed something. Something that looked sharp on 12MP looks blurred on 36MP. So, another reason to make even better images. A camera for parties this aint. If I will get another assignment for a party, I will set it to small JPG. Also, a 8 gig card holds roughly 150 pictures, so while shooting this might be an obstacle while trying to work your way to the look you are searching for.

Another sad thing, my amazingly fast MacBook Air now feels like a year old computer trying to handle the 50 MB Pictures.

Conclusion: 

It’s a BEAST! Sharp, fast, but big. If you can’t handle riding an elephant, and have no place to store it, stay away from it. If you think you can handle this, you will love it!

A new member in the family.

I’ve been an Apple user since I was 15, and got introduced to the old OS 8 and OS 9 systems at school. I liked it, and when the eMacs came out, and our school bought 20 I was the one to install all software with the teacher. Yet at home we’ve had a windows computer, and my dad bought me a Compaq II. A crappy low bow, which I tweaked to hold 3 displays and various drivers. It ran Windows Me. Yes. Millennium. Every other week I had to reinstall windows because of the missing NTLDR. It became very quickly clear to me, that my future and Windows didn’t lay together.

Yet, the budget didn’t allow any computer that was over 100 euro or something like that. Horrible! I did get an iPod.
In between, a collegue bought himself an iMac, and I got to use it for those moments that I could. I loved every second of it. When at work we finally made the switch to mac, I updated everything too. My contacts, my music, my files. I got myself an iPhone, and everything worked great. I synced at work, and just used my home notebook for some surfing.

When I got my notice, I had the choice, going back to windows exclusively again, or just bite the bullet, use my savings and my last pay check, and buy an iMac. And so I did. A 20″ iMac, that stayed with me for quite a bit time, before I sold him, and upgraded it to the latest generation iMac. Still 21.5″, but I don’t need more screen estate.

In between, a new iPhone, and of course the iPad joined my device family, followed closely by the family-adored AppleTV, an Airport Extreme and two Airport Expresses. My dad also got himself an iMac, and a quick stint gave me access to a MacBook for some months.

I love my iPad, it’s a great way to read news. Be it papers, RSS, twitter, Facebook or just some casual mailing and browsing. It’s a funky little device. It can even do some basic image editing, what I really do need.

But now the time has come that I need a lot more mobile work than earlier. I need to capture, edit and upload images from location, collaborate with people on websites, and other such mobile projects. Also, since a few months, I’ve gained an addiction to Coffee bars. Not just for the coffee, but a place where you can drink, sit, and enjoy free WiFi. So an iPad is too light, an iMac too big. So, enter the latest generation MacBook Air.

First of all, I’m not sure how it will work in my device family, once the new-factor has worn off. Will I stop using my iPad, will I quit my iMac? I remember when I used my old MacBook, I mostly used that device everywhere, and rarely was on my iMac. Yet, things are different now.

My MacBook Air has only 128 GB of SSD memory, so I won’t keep full Aperture libraries on this machine, nor will I have music or much pictures on this feisty little thing. This is good however. While this is a small, movable animal, like a Leopard or a Panther, while my iMac is ferocious Mountain Lion, with 12 GB of RAM, and 7 TB of storage space. (See what I did there with animal analogies). My iPad is a different thing, it’s a thing to cuddle up in bed or the sofa, and read.

I think I’ll start to draw some lines, to have my MacBook Air to create things on the go, iMac to create at the desk, and use my iPad to consume, and take some times off.

We’ll see.

Setting sail with the new Nikon Flagships

Today, well, yesterday I had the chance to be at Photo Days, a photography fair, aimed at professionals and companies. The reason I really went was simple: Nikon. They had their new flagship models there to fondle, shoot and marvel at. The new D4, D800 and D800E.

While I won’t go in full detail, and won’t post every little thing they changed, I will more go in the way of how the cameras feel, rather than the performance.

I asked for permission to use my own CF card in the camera, and was granted for the Nikon D4, yet not for the megapixel beast, the D800. The pictures on this blog are all shot with the D4. The cameras are still demo samples, and the EXIF file did ask not to publish, however, many other media and blogs posted .NEF files and more. So I’ll just provide these samples. If there are Nikon reps here that will not agree, contact me. :)

AEV_6251_012.jpg

(See this on Flickr)

As a photographer, I notice little things, and I use a lot of the same technology day in and out. I wake up with my iPhone, go to bed with my iPad. And shoot my Nikon in-between. The grip of my D700 feels amazing, especially compared to my older D90, yet the moment I held the new cameras, they felt very light and ergonomic.

However, when I did the comparison test of the D700 and D800, both with grip and 14-24mm lens, I couldn’t say which one was which. Still, on its own it feels a lot lighter and more fun to carry around all day.

AEV_6252_013.jpg

Both cameras have an impressive spec bump, and feel very well built.

My problem is: Which one to choose.

AEV_6275_033.jpg

(See this on Flickr)

I’m a news and music photographer, with lots of art and and portraits in between. I could use the megapixels in the art, but they would be overkill at a party. And it will take a new skill set to learn how to handle pure sharpness with movement. But not something I can’t overcome

Yet the D4 is a work beast. Light sensitive, and FAST! I could use some extra light sometimes, especially at a concert. And shooting a burst at a fast-moving artist at high ISO could bring something extra to some shots.

But priced at double the price. 6k is something that I just can’t afford yet. Not that 3k is easy, but still doable over time.

So, I think it will be the D800 in the end. With a D5 in a few years.

I think.

Readers, feel free to comment!