Shooting Fast Action with a D800E

Shooting Fast Action with a D800E

When you think of fast-action photography, the D800E isn’t exactly the first camera that comes to mind – and with good reason. At a top speed of 4 frames per second and a buffer that will fill up pretty quickly with those massive 36MP files, it’s not a camera that lends itself to that kind of photography easily. If you’re in a pinch, however, and need to be able to use the D800E (or the D800) for a bit of fast-action work, there are a few things you can do to get a bit more performance out of this camera. The first thing you can do is switch your D800/E to DX-mode. This accomplishes a few things. It ups your framerate to 5fps. It makes your file sizes smaller, which gives your camera’s buffer the ability to handle more shots before it chokes your shooting speed. It gives you more “reach” than the FX-mode, so you have the field of view of a 900mm lens when using a 600mm lens. To do this, simply go to the “Image Area” option in the Shooting menu, as shown below. Select the “Choose Image Area” option, then scroll to “DX” and hit the “OK” button on your D800. Now your image size has been dropped down to about 16MP, and if you look through the viewfinder, you’ll see a rectangle outlining the field of view for the cropped image size. Use that to frame your shot. At this point, you’ve already bumped your shooting speed by about 25%, but there’s another way to bump it even more. Rent the MB-D12 battery grip...
Kodak’s First Canon-based DSLR: A 1.3 Megapixel Slice of Photographic History

Kodak’s First Canon-based DSLR: A 1.3 Megapixel Slice of Photographic History

The San Francisco Chronicle ran this photo on the front page of the paper the day after the 49ers won the Super Bowl in 1995. The picture shows Jerry Rice, whose 10 catches for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns tied his own record for most touchdown receptions in a Super Bowl and the 49ers became the 1st team to win 5 Super Bowls. However, that wasn’t the only remarkable event of Super Bowl XXIX. The above picture was shot on Kodak’s very first Canon-based digital SLR–a 1.3 megapixel, no-LCD, nearly 4-pound behemoth that cost around $16,000. The image above was the first taken on this camera and published in an American newspaper. This photo of a legacy marks the beginning of a revolution for digital imaging. When this photo was taken (you can see more from the set here), the Canon EOS-DSC 3 hadn’t even been released to the public yet (it would be released later in 1995). The camera was, in essence, a modified Canon EOS-1N film camera and modified Kodak NC2000e digital camera back put together. Kodak produced all of the major electronic components while maintaining the Canon EF lens mount. Approximately 189 images could be stored on a 260MB hard disk PC card and, with only 5 focus points and a maximum continuous shooting speed of 2.7 fps in 12-frame bursts, Chronicle photographer Fred Larsen did a tremendous job capturing these sports shots. Larsen, purportedly, had only had the camera for a couple of hours before having to go out on assignment with it. He nailed this shot with the help of a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L USM, which would have had an effective focal length of around 510mms on the...
Shooting On the Go With the Olympus OM-D

Shooting On the Go With the Olympus OM-D

Not too long ago, I switched to the Nikon D800E with a series of prime lenses for all of my primary photography. I love the Nikon, and it’s proved to be a fantastic system, capably handling just about everything I’ve thrown at it. The downside is that it is, truly, a system. A big, heavy system. I quickly found myself looking for a smaller, carry-around camera for some of my more photojournalistic endeavors, and immediately turned to the family of mirrorless cameras out there for an answer. Of these, there is no shortage. You have the awesome Sony NEX-6, which I’ve raved about in the past. There’s also the Sony RX-1, the Panasonic GF3C, the Fuji X-Pro1, and the subject of this article, the Olympus OM-D E-M5. I’ve had the Olympus OM-D E-M5 for the past few weeks now, and have been using it as my primary “take everywhere” camera. It’s small size, lens selection, and great image quality combine to provide a system that’s flat-out my favorite in this category. In this article, I’ll present my experience shooting with this little thing, rather than a full-on technical review. The Build This thing is solid and extremely well-built. I’ve got chubby little sausages for fingers, but I can still get a pretty decent grip on it, thanks to the tab on the back and the indent in the front that give your thumb and middle fingers a secure place to grasp onto. The buttons, though tiny, are pretty responsive, so it’s not hard to use many of them just by feel The back of the OM-D, shown above, is...
Our Take and Test Footage on the Canon 1D C DSLR with 4K Video

Our Take and Test Footage on the Canon 1D C DSLR with 4K Video

Canon has added yet another camera to their cinema line, the 1D C.  This addition gives professional and novice filmmakers alike a formidable number of shooting choices, not to mention access to a wide variety of cine-lenses. It is also a very sports-friendly camera, shooting at 14 FPS for up to 400,000 cycles with its newly-designed shutter and carbon fiber blades. But what really stands out about this camera–especially when compared to the established C300 and the new C100 and C500? Form Factor The Canon 1D C retains the same DSLR form factor that Canon popularized with the 5D Mark II. It is a lightweight package that will be familiar to many videographers. Having so many shooting features in a small package will be particularly appealing to those who travel a lot or just need to pack light. Everything from Before, Plus More This pro body DSLR retains a lot of the photography options of the 1D X but also shoots 4K video. This is a boon, especially for sports shooters who need the quick shutter bursts but who may also want to introduce great video into their portfolios without having to carry multiple bodies. 4K The resolution of 4K is 4096 x 2160, which is 4 times the size and resolution of full 1080 HD. This is really useful for those who’d like to crop down an image and still have a lot of detail in the shot (again, useful for both videographers and sports photographers but also a nice bonus for wildlife shooters).  4K is becoming very popular and companies are releasing more and more 4K TVs and...
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Puts the Microscopic Within Reach

The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Puts the Microscopic Within Reach

The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is one of BorrowLenses.com’s most unique lenses. The MP-E is more than a macro lens–it is a portable microscope with the ability to fill an entire 35mm frame with the texture of something as small as a grain of rice. Floating internal lens elements keep the resolution sharp throughout the range of focus at 1x, life-size, to 5x magnification, or 5 times life-size. The Canon MP-E 65mm’s magnification essentially begins where other macro lenses, such as Canon’s 100mm, end. The focus distance range is very small–only 41mm at 5x–but this allows for tremendous detail of very small objects, including the tips of pens or the eyes of a butterfly. Since this is a dedicated macro lens, it cannot focus more than a few centimeters away from the front element. This is not your ordinary 65mm lens and to properly shoot with it you will need a couple of tools. What You Need to Shoot Macro Rails This lens is manual-focus only and you will need to use a macro rail, such as our StackShot Extended Macro Rail or our Mini Novoflex Focusing Rack. These provide essential support to prevent blur from lens shake (which is very noticeable at higher magnifications) and allows for micro adjustments in distance to and from your diminutive subject. Macro Ring Lights The effective aperture is going to be much smaller than what is displayed on your camera due to the extreme magnification of the lens. Keep this in mind when calculating your exposure–your aperture needs to be multiplied by the magnification, plus 1, that you are using. For example, if...
Mirrorless Magic: Spending Time With the Olympus OM-D

Mirrorless Magic: Spending Time With the Olympus OM-D

When we recently received the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (there’s a mouthful for you) in our warehouse, I wasted absolutely no time in snagging one of the bodies and taking it for a whirl. My “whirls” usually last a few weeks so that I can put the camera to use in a variety of different ways, and given the feedback I’d heard from other photographers about this diminutive body, I was eager to put it through its paces. Two weeks later, I have my conclusion: Olympus has an absolute winner on its hands. The gear The Micro-Four-Thirds platform isn’t a closed-loop system. Olympus and Panasonic both make bodies for it, and there’s even an MFT-based version of the enormously popular Blackmagic Cinema Camera on the way. Panasonic, particularly, has two lenses that I decided were going to be my go-to lenses for this test: the 12–35mm f/2.8 and the 35–100mm f/2.8 lenses. Together, these cover the equivalent of the 24–70 and 70–200mm lenses in 35mm terms, giving me the focal lengths used by most photographers. Because the OM-D features a 5-axis, in-body stabilization, that entire focal length is stabilized as well. First impressions and handling The first thing you think when you see the OM-D is that it’s both bigger and smaller than you thought it would be. It’s bigger than, say, Olympus’ E-PL2 (which I used for a long time), but it’s smaller than any of their DSLRs, despite looking like one. The design is also very retro, evoking the look of Olympus’ venerable OM–2. The front is pretty sparse – other than a lens release button, there’s nothing...