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Daily Archives: September 12, 2014

Best ball head for tripods: 01 Manfrotto 498RC2 Midi

Ball heads are one of the tripod heads that are often chosen by photographers but rarely by the video crowd. You might be thinking it is time for a new tripod, I am, but actually I just need a new head (no comments).

Time for a new ball head? We reveal some of the most tempting ball-and-socket designs for use with heavy DSLRs. From Digital Camera World

For most of us, ball heads are the way forward. Compared with clunky, conventional three-way tripod heads, they’re more compact, quicker in use and easier to set up.

Instead of fiddling around with (typically) three separate locking arms, you can release and secure a full range of movements with a single locking screw.

Naturally, releasing all directions of travel with a single screw can spell disaster, especially when you’re using a heavy DSLR and telephoto lens combination. Many designs therefore include an adjustable friction damper to make things safer for different kit combinations.

Another neat twist is that some ball heads feature an additional pan-only lock. You can release this to enable horizontal panning while keeping the head’s tilt and swivel adjustments locked off.

All of the tripod heads in this roundup use a fairly large ball of around 40mm. Having a good-sized ball helps to enable decent stability and ease of movement.


read the full report here

Nikon D750 – First Review

Nikon have just released their new camera, as DP Review says

Nikon has released the enthusiast-focused D750, a 24MP full-frame DSLR which sits between the D610 and D810 in the company’s lineup. The D750 offers an improved version of the 51-point AF system from the D810, a 6.5fps maximum frame-rate, plus built-in Wi-Fi and a vari-angle LCD. Video features are lifted directly from the D810 and include 1080/60p recording and full manual exposure control.

The Nikon D750 will be available in September body-only for $2299.95, or later in October with the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR lens (price still undetermined). A dedicated MB-D16 battery grip will be available for $485.




You may be thinking do we need another camera to sit between two perfectly good cameras, well as we know in the digital world there are constant improvements and it is that which drives the industry. If you have recently purchased a D610 or even a D810 you might feel a bit cheated but the answer to that is when you buy a camera DO NOT look at any sites about cameras for at least 6 months.

If you want to read all the guff that Nikon say about their new camera visit the DP Review site here, you will not be surprised to read “The Nikon D750 is the camera many have been waiting for; never before has this level of functionality and vast feature set been offered in a full frame D-SLR” pretty much like any other camera, always better, always faster etc.

Here is the basic spec

Nikon D750: Key Specifications

  • 24MP Full-frame CMOS sensor with AA filter
  • Flip up/down 3.2″ 1,229k-dot RGBW LCD screen
  • Maximum framerate of 6.5fps at full resolution
  • Improved 51-point Multi-CAM 3500FX II AF system (sensitive to -3EV)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Highlight-weighted metering
  • 1080/60p video recording
  • Powered aperture for control during live view/video
  • Group Area AF mode
  • Simultaneous internal recording and HDMI output
  • Here are the first impression and summary by DP Review, always a trusted site
  • We’ve only had access to a pre-production camera, but even so it’s hard not to be impressed by the Nikon D750. Its combination of D810-inherited features (especially when it comes to video) and speed is very attractive at this price point. We’re intrigued too by the new camera’s AF system which should – in theory – be more reliable than the D800-series’ in poor light. Unique in Nikon’s FX lineup is a tilting rear LCD screen – another feature that we suspect might prove very tempting, especially to casual videographers.

    It isn’t hard to imagine some D800 owners actually upgrading to the D750 for the sake of details like this – and of course the extra speed. Depending on the kind of photography that you practice, 24MP may well be perfectly adequate – Canon certainly thinks so, having yet to exceed the 21MP mark in any of its DSLRs.

    The D750 is a camera that ostensibly occupies a new position in Nikon’s DSLR lineup, but which can arguably be seen as the successor to two previous models. The most obvious is the D700 – the affordable, fastenthusiast-targeted full-frame camera that the D800 never quite was. A lot of photographers don’t need 36MP after all, but do value speed, and may have been disappointed by the D800’s pedestrian 4fps continuous shooting rate. The D750’s ergonomics might have more in common with the entry-level D610 than the semi-pro (at the time) D700 but don’t be fooled by externals – this is a serious, fast, and tough camera which won’t leave an enthusiast wanting.

    I suggested that the D750 could be seen as the successor to two previous Nikon cameras. The second is theD300S. This one’s a bit more controversial. I know a lot of DPReview readers continue to hope for a D400 which will replace the D300S in spirit and sit above the D7100 in Nikon’s APS-C format DSLR lineup. Increasingly though, the signs are that Nikon is keen to push its enthusiast DX users upwards into full-frame, not sideways.

    It would be ridiculous to suggest that FX format will totally replace DX, but it certainly appears that Nikon believes that full-frame is the future for professional and semi-pro users. It’s possible that Nikon will one day offer another truly high-end APS-C camera, but the company’s obvious focus on updating its FX lens lineup is probably a significant indicator to the contrary.

    Nikon has released more than twice as many FX lenses in the past five years as DX. The only truly fast, constant-aperture standard zoom for DX is the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF, which was announced more than ten years ago. Could we see a sudden rash of new DX lenses released in 2015 and beyond? Maybe. But honestly, we’re not betting on it. So if you’re one of those people that’s still holding out for a replacement for the D300S… well, you might be looking at it.