New Cameras and a Yoga Retreat....

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New Cameras and a Yoga Retreat

Davenport House, Shropshire

After taking a few weeks away from things to recharge my batteries and work on other projects I picked up my new cameras and headed out to take a few images over the weekend just gone.

New cameras you ask? What was wrong with your old ones?

Well, nothing really… I love them and will still use them. But, the combination of heavy use throughout a couple of wedding seasons and the consequent identification of a few little issues meant I took the leap and refreshed my gear over the winter.

So what did I get? Well, I replaced my trusty D750 with 2 D810’s. No moving to mirrorless (again) like so many others…. I’m sticking with good old DSLR’s. Yes, the D810 is getting on now but it is still an utterly wonderful camera that addresses the shortcomings I have alluded to.

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So what are these shortcomings I hear none of you asking?

Well, in no particular order:

  • The anti aliasing / low pass filter which, whilst helping to address Moire… does result in softer images;

  • The fastest shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. which, even at ISO 100 restricts the use of fast lenses on bright summer days (yes, we do get the odd one);

  • Buffer size. Even with fast cards, I did on occasion find the buffer filling up quickly when taking a number of shots in quick succession (such as when shooting group shots);

  • Shutter noise. A quiet church is not the place for a noisy shutter.

    Now, this might not seem like an exhaustive list to some but they are things that frustrated me more than somewhat.

    So why the D810 (and not the D850)?

    Well, money for one and who really needs 45 megapixels for wedding photography!

    Furthermore, the D810 (I hope) will resolve all of the issues above. No low pass filter, fastest shutter speed of 1/8000 sec with a low native ISO of 64 and a much bigger buffer. Oh, and the shutter is noticeably quieter.

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So how have I got on with them so far?

Well, as I stepped away from the cameras for a month or so my first opportunity to test them out came at a Yoga Retreat at nearby Davenport House run by my friend Sarah Garbett this past weekend.

Sarah asked if I would like to attend and take a few shots. No pressure, no money involved… just a bit of work for mutual benefit. A few images for Sarah and an opportunity for me to use my cameras before weddings kick off again in a couple of weeks.

First impressions? I’m so glad I made the decision to upgrade. Image clarity and resolution is clearly (see what I did there) improved. The cameras are more responsive and focus quickly and accurately and are significantly quieter. They also feel that bit more sturdy… almost as solid as my tank like Pentax 67! File sizes are much bigger but that’s what external hard drives are for right?

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And what about the retreat?

Well, I can’t do Yoga. Have tried but it’s just not for me. So watching folks that can do it is fascinating. The strength and agility required is awesome.

I spent most of my time watching the ‘Acro Yoga’ session… which did exactly what it said on the tin. Thank you to Damien, Chloe and all the attendees for letting me just wander around taking photographs. There were a couple of other sessions led by Vicki and Sarah that were also fun to be a part of.

All in all, I really enjoyed myself. I don’t understand enough about Yoga as yet to be able to photograph it confidently (I feel a knowledge of poses and how they flow from and to one another would be very advantageous) but this might be a niche I choose to follow… who knows!

Thanks again to Sarah for asking me along and giving me the chance to give my new cameras a test run in pre season before it all starts again in earnest very soon!

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Images © John Colson