DPS 10-03, March, 2012, Nikon D800 Hands-on Field Test, Photoshop CS6, Sony vs. Lumix Mirrorless Face-off, Canon 5D Mark III

DigitalPro Shooter -- 03/31/2012 DPS 10-03

Young male grizzly bears nikondigital.org banner logo

DigitalPro Shooter & nikondigital.org are your most reliable and always free source of information for serious photographers, specializing in Nikon and Canon D-SLR photography -- sponsored by Cardinal Photo. 

It's unusual to see so many young adult male bears together at once, but this group of four chose our dinner time to head across the meadow towards where we were watching. The table emptied as we reached for our cameras. A great finish to one of our Alaska photo safaris!


Subscriber -- Welcome to DPS 10-03, March, 2012: Read our hands-on field test of the amazing new Nikon D800 36MP "super-camera." We've also got a head to head faceoff between mirrorless champions, the Sony NEX-5N and Panasonic Lumix GX1, and a hands-on review of Adobe Photoshop CS6, as well as our thoughts on the new Canon 5D Mark III -- the camera with the specs I wish I could get from Nikon.

Here are our Event Updates or skip straight to the articles

We have a couple last minute openings for our Texas Hill Country bird photo safari in April. It'll once again include only a small group of us staying and shooting in a pristine and historic ranch setting with custom designed photo blinds and setups, deluxe accommodations, and home-cooked meals, all right on the gorgeous Block Creek Natural Area properties. The setting is gorgeous, with plenty of hiking, sight-seeing and other opportunities for interested in a variety of activities in addition to photography. I'll be heading from there directly to our popular Rio Grande Valley birds of South Texas photo shoot, a long-time favorite where we have an opening. For the ultimate Texas trip, join us for both!

We still have a few openings for our unique July Alaska Bear and Puffin safaris so now is a good time to sign up. You can read my trip report from last year online or just skip to the 2012 Alaska Bear Photo Safari info if you'd like to join us.

Our January, 2013 photo tour to Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia is already filling up, so if you'd like to join us don't dawdle. Myanmar is going through some of the most positive and exciting changes of any country in the world. A peaceful awakening and move from decades of heavily-sanctioned military dictatorship to a budding democracy and private economy make for an exciting contrast between areas still shrouded in mystery living much as they did 1000 years ago and others which are quickly catching up with the rest of the world. 

There is no better trip of a lifetime than our Deluxe Botswana, African Wildlife Safari, which we're offering in Nov/Dec, 2012: We're accepting deposits for the Botswana trip and it is already half full. It features three of the very best safari camps in all of Africa, so if you've been waiting for the perfect time to go on that safari of a lifetime, this is it! If you have any quesionts, please let us know by emailing safaris [at] cardinalphoto.com

Groves of trees showing detail available in the Nikon D800



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Canon PowerShot S100 point and shoot

Product Updates:

Remember that our newsletter's costs are partially subsidized by money we get from our affiliate relationship with B&H. So we encourage you to use and bookmark our links to Shop at B&H or start your shopping session from one of the convenient search boxes on the home page of nikondigital.org. THANKS for your continued support!

Big News: Canon S100 In Stock at B&H!
Perhaps the best pocket camera every is available again.

Fall Color in the Texas Hill Country courtesy of David Langford

Website forum Updates:

We're overhauling our nikondigital.org forums this week. After over a decade of running them in the now old-fashioned stand-alone BBS style, they will become fully integrated into the overall website. That means with a single login you'll be able to comment on articles on the site, post to the forums, and share forum posts with your Facebook or Google Plus friends. You'll also be able to log in to the forums using a Facebook ID, the way you can now to the website. The new forums should be live by Friday, February 3, with email instructions on updating your forum account going out to all of our 3500 registered users.

In a bit of a return to my high-tech journalism days, I've begun writing a bit for extremetech.com. Only a few of the articles are directly photo related, but if you enjoy keeping up with technology that may impact all of us eventually, you can keep up with my articles on their site. I covered both PMA (the photo trade show) and CES (the consumer electronics trade show) in mid-January in Las Vegas. 

 Nothing beats a drive in the country accompanied by lions!

Remember: You can earn great discounts on our trips with our new Customer Loyalty Program If you have a group and want a custom safari to any of the destinations we frequent, drop us a line at safaris [at] cardinalphoto.com!


Featured Articles from nikondigital.org


Nikon D800 Field Test: Super results from a super sensor


Nikon D800 SLR Digital Camera (Body Only)I’ve been fortunate enough to get to spend some time with a production model Nikon D800 this week (thanks Adam!) and put it through its paces – shooting sports, scenics, and EDLs. The first thing I noticed about the D800 is that it is one solid camera, almost exactly the same size and weight as the Nikon D700, at 2.2 lbs. Many of the control updates from the D7000 and the D4 have been included, giving the camera a more contemporary design than the D700 which was Nikon’s previous high-end “small-bodied” DSLR...


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Ultimate Photo Accessories, including headlamps, aka “dork lights”


Okay, they’re not really called “dork lights.” They’re headlamps, but it’s hard to deny that they make you look a bit like a dork. However, they’re invaluable, so for my contribution to Chris Gampat’s piece on the B&H blog on the most interesting and useful accessory in my camera bag, the choice was a no brainer. You canread his full post, including some other great recommendations, and when you’re convinced you can buy yourself the cat’s meow of photographers’ headlamps, the Petzl Zipka Plus 2, for $44 at Amazon – it features a retractable cord, multiple brightness levels, and both white and red LEDs for regular and night vision use.


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Nikon D800 sensor blows away the competition in DxOMark tests


The Nikon D800 set the all time record score of 95 on its DxOMark tests, eclipsing the previous "king for 3 days," the Nikon D4. In short, purchasers of either camera are likely to be delighted with the images they get. Of course there is more to a camera than just the image quality, but if you'd like to read up on all the scores of the D800 and the D4 you can head over to theDxOMark feature story. You can back-order the Nikon D800 for $2999 from B&H, or the Nikon D4 for $5999.


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Adobe Photoshop CS6 Un-veiled, and it’s a winner!–Hand’s on report


I’ve been using Adobe’s Photoshop CS6 for awhile now and it’s impressive. I’m glad I can finally share my experiences and even more glad that everyone else can download the beta, for free, from Adobe Labs, starting today. You can read my article on the major features that Extremetech published today as a guide on where to start with CS6, and download it from Adobe for either Windows or Mac.


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Mirrorless shootout: Sony NEX-5N vs. Panasonic Lumix GX1 field test


cardinal_sony_nex-5n_test0051Compact, mirrorless alternatives to DSLRs are without a doubt the hottest innovation around in the serious photography market. In their early iterations they were a convenient "crutch" for those who wanted reasonable images without the hassle of a larger DSLR, but recent improvements have made them serious candidates for many photographers who never thought they'd be without their DSLR. I've spent the last month shooting with two of the latest and greatest, the 16MP Sony NEX-5N and 16MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1and have plenty to report…



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Nikon cuts off mom & pop repair shops–fair or foul?


Nikon USA has decided to stop supplying camera parts to any repair shops which are not Nikon Authorized Repair Stations (NARS). As explained by customer service Director David Dentry on dpreview, this move is designed to improve service quality and timeliness for Nikon-toting photographers. Predictably this has caused a bit of a dust-up, but it is hard to say whether detractors are making a mountain out of a molehill. In my case, I wouldn’t normally have thought much about it – NPS is an overnight package away – but since Nikon will not repair Infrared-converted or otherwise modified cameras, I did have to find an alternative….


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Digital Light Shed: A photo accessory that will pay for itself


Impact Digital Light Shed - XLNearly everyone has at least a box of used electronics and camera gear sitting someplace in their house hoping for a better home. With cellphones, computers, and cameras being upgraded more frequently than ever, they can pile up faster than we can find friends or family members who might want them. In many cases, those electronics are still worth real money, so sending them off to one of the new “e-Cycling” ventures seems like a waste. eBay seems like the obvious answer, but taking good product pictures is such a hassle that many of us don’t take the time to do it – even if we take pictures for a living. That’s where the Digital Light Shed comes in…


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Adobe Lightroom 4 Shipping, available for $149, upgrade $79


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Software For Mac And Windows (Student And Teacher Edition)Adobe has released Lightroom 4, and it will be shipping from B&H starting tomorrow, so you can order your copy today.

The full version of Adobe Lightroom 4 is $149

The upgrade version of Adobe Lightroom 4 is $79

The Student and Teacher version of Adobe Lightroom 4 is also $79


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You don't need a telephoto to capture great mammal images. Some of my favorites are the "environmentals" that show animals in their surroundings.
You don't need a telephoto to capture great mammal images. 
Some of my favorites are the "environmentals" that show animals in their surroundings.