Thursday, June 21, 2012

Don’t get rid of the D70s just yet …

I went digging in my archives for a D70s image to counter a point made by someone that a Fuji X10 with DR400 set would have much better dynamic range than an old D40. Well, the D40 was state of the art at 6Mp, using a sensor that was better than the one in my old D70s. So if I could find an image that showed off the DR of the D70s then I would have my example.

And did I ever …

For those who have done a little research into shooting RAW, you might have come across the adage “shoot RAW because conversion engines get better over time, which means you can make even better images from your originals later on.”

Well, I was flabbergasted by the quality of the following image from the D70s and a dirt-cheap used Sigma 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro. A mediocre lens if ever there were one. Except that the lens was plenty sharp at the long end stopped down a bit and so this image is staggeringly sharp. I had to switch off output sharpening because it was already too sharp. And this was real acuity … not digital sharpening that made it that way.

Nikon D70s + Sigma 70-300 4.5-5.6 macro  200iso  f/7.1  1/1250  203mm EFL

Although a well shot image form the X10 will easily match this DR, it will certainly not better it. And the acuity will struggles to keep up.

I scanned the same folder and came across this lovely goose image, shot with the same combination. Of course, the goose image is always a problem because of the white cheek patch that Canada Geese have. This patch is hard to hold in sunlight, but the D70s had no trouble again.

And Lightroom 4 with process 2012 did a magnificent job of rendering this image. Beautiful tones through the dar face and neck and a really gorgeous cheek patch. So if you have the D70s and are considering trading it in for something newer, seriously consider getting Lightroom 4. You might rediscover a whole new camera in the D70s.

nikon d70s + sigma 70-300 4.5-5.6 macro  200iso  f/5.6  1/800  450mm EFL

That last one was shot wide open and the acuity is still very high. When you consider that these bodies regularly go for under 300 bucks and the lens for a song, you can get into this combo for half the price of the X10. Of course, the two cameras serve different target markets, but I’m just saying that creative people can shoot a lot of interesting equipment by shopping used.

Anyway … I was compelled to show these results. I really enjoyed seeing Lightroom teach the old dog some new tricks.