I am a little behind on my blogs at the moment and I am being told off left right and center as I have been sat on these photos for quite some time… sorry haha
Back in August… (cough) we had a bank holiday on the 1st, as there are no weddings on bank holidays we had some time to have some meetings over in Barbados. Luckily these did not take very long and we got to go out and play for a little bit ;)
A couple of weekends before Ferg came over to St Lucia and we had the chance to explore some of the island and show him some of the amazing sites. Along the way he took some beautiful photos of Michelle and I, he did not bring his own camera so opted to use my Canon 7D for the first time… and review it…
Now it was my turn. It was very exciting as I got a chance to use the Nikon D800. This has been long awaited and people around the world are still on long waiting lists to get their hands on one so a real privilege.
As you all know I have recently upgraded my camera to the full frame 5D Mkiii and Ferg has been hoping that this was his chance to finally convert me from Nikon to Canon! He didn’t…
While I was waiting for the guys to get ready I was having a play with the D800 getting an idea of where everything was. I put my eye to the eye piece and the little focus square started darting across the screen. I looked down to see what was going on and it was my noise pushing on the joy stick! Not a great start for me.
We set off on our trip to see what backdrops Barbados had to offer and quickly found our self’s at Welchman Hall Gully. At the top you had beautiful views over the rugged east coast where we set up first.
This is also my first time using a 70-200 so a big day for me so I found our first location set up a shot and got shooting.
As I am sure most of you know by know I am a massive fan of flash. This is where we hit our first problem, Ferg has the same set of pocket wizards that I use on my 7D but the D800’s hot shoe is a little further forward to the eye piece so the wheel for the pocket wizard ends up digging into your forehead. Not nice! I can’t put this solely on Nikon though, if pocket wizard are going to make different units for each brand this is something they could have accounted for??
Sadly it got very uncomfortable very quickly so we packed the lights away and went oh natural for the rest of the day :)
Now entering the Gully you truly felt like you had hit the tropics with plants and wild life every where.
We found a spot on a fallen log where the beautiful morning light was beaming down through the trees and the full frame of the D800 with the compression at 200mm could really start to flex its muscles.
My next issue was I found the play back very sluggish, when you hit the play button the camera uploads the full file to that little screen, not only does it does it take a while but its not fully rendered the photo or something. To check you what you have focused on is sharp you have to zoom in at least once. Now this took me screaming back in time to my very first wedding I shot in Barbados.
(Que wavy lines and flashback music :)
I got back to the lab after my wedding and uploaded the photos to the computer and opened Photoshop’s Bridge to start my editing, I was flicking through the photos and every photo looked blurred. I had my head in my hands as I thought I had just messed up my first Caribbean wedding on something very very basic as not being able to focus. I could not sit there forever so I opened the first photo in Photoshop to see if I could fix it and to my amazement it was perfectly sharp.Bridge only shows you a preview and as the 7D files are so big it compresses them and they look awful, lesson learnt.
Heart attack over but those bad memories came flooding back! Even using some of the best kit around isn’t going to save you if you can’t keep your shots in focus!
“but it’s a 85mb file” Ferg kept telling me which is impressive and of course can come in handy but when you are trying to catch those little moments extra time checking your shots can mean allot.
The D800 has how ever got this face recognition system on it, when you zoom in you can skip from face to face to make sure no there are no blinkers. Very helpful!
By this point we were deep into the Gully and had spotted one of these creepy looking things.
Once you got your eye in we started to spot them everywhere!
Ferg then very helpfully informed us that he thought they might bite and be poisonous so a nice peaceful stroll looking up through the trees very quickly became a quick march back to the car with our eyes firmly glued to our flip flop cladded feet. (After some research on the internet Ferg found out that it wasnt those that were poisonous but if your going to the Gully I would recommend wearing trainers just in case)
I have always said I love the ergonomics of the 7D by the time I had got to the car my third finger was crushed from holding the D800. It’s still hurt at the airport a few days later! If you had that in your hand all day it could do some serous damage! I did have the 70-200 on it however and Ferg informed me later that he holds it by the lens…
By the time we got to the car we where hungry and very much ready for a beer :) We set off to the east coast to have lunch and finish off our photos at Bathsheba.
One thing I do love is they have put the horizon finder in the view finder! Sadly when I get tired I seem to lean to the right so that was very helpful.
And how can forget. Everything is backwards! Zooming in and out, twisting lens on and off, increasing and decreasing shutter speed, the light meter everything! There are options on the D800 so you can swap all this around to help people like me but even that feels like a bit of a cope out. You should stick to what you have chosen haha
These are all little things of course and at the end of the day I have grown up with Canon DSLR’s. From the first time I borrowed a camera at university to the wedding I shot yesterday. I have used them now nearly everyday for quite some time so its going to take allot to get me to change that (you where close Ferg until I tried it). You will check out forums and reviews and of course everyone has their own opinion on what is better. The D800 for example has one of the best sensors on the market and for people who are into that real technical stuff like Ferg then he has made the right choice. I think I have always had a more laid back approach to it all and I think that’s why Canon may suit me better.
The most exciting thing about the day was I got to spend the day with my two best friends using the using some truly amazing kit and hopefully I have created some amazing images for them to keep to but I will leave that up to you to decided :)