Taking my new camera for a spin…..

So I guess most of you know I like to take photos, right?  Well, it’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks as I have a shiny new camera. Well, it’s not new, but new to me!  My belated birthday present finally arrived and I’m in love.  There was a slight mishap with the original camera we purchased being on a very slow-boat from China (2 months and counting) but luckily after a paypal refund we were able to have another go around, and I finally got my hands on my new toy.

For those of you who couldn’t give two hoots about photography mumbo-jumbo, feel free to skip ahead to the pictures…….

I’ve had my beloved Nikon D7000 for almost 3.5 years now. It has served me well, but it was time for an upgrade.  My original camera was a Nikon D80.  It was the camera I learnt on, and it also served me very well for over 5 years.  It was the camera I taught myself photography on, and only after a trip to Europe where it was clear its ISO and dynamic range wasn’t cutting it any more, did I consider an upgrade.

The D7000 has been amazing and I’ve clocked up just short of 39,000 images with it. It took an absolute beating on our recent Europe trip – it went sledding with us, hiking mountains and endured temperatures below minus 20 degrees, snow and rain.  While it performed beautifully (except for when I froze it), it was almost time for an upgrade. I’ve been needing better high ISO performance  and I’ve been toying with the idea for a few years of ‘upgrading’ to a full frame camera.  I decided after much debate (there are so many new camera options that were enticing) that I’d jump to a D750 as it ticked most of the boxes for my needs (and wants), and wasn’t too over-the-top for what I do.

For photography nerds, this meant going to a full-frame sensor after shooting on crop bodies exclusively.  This is going to mean a bit of a shake-up with my lens line-up as it has been built around use on a crop-sensor.  I’ve had an eye on moving to full-frame for awhile, so have some good glass, but there are some gaps to be filled…… some well-loved favourite lenses are going to have to be parted with as they are no longer suitable.

In the meantime though, I’m giving the new camera a bit of a spin with the arsenal of suitable lenses I do have.  Unfortunately the new camera’s arrival coincided with Anto heading overseas for work for several weeks and our household befalling to every illness under the sun (ear infections, eye infections and so, so much gastro).  I haven’t totally put it through its paces yet but so far I’m loving the results.

The big advantage of the D750 (for me at least) is that it’s very similar in size and weight to my D7000 (so pretty small for a full-frame DSLR) and the button layout and ergonomics are remarkably similar.  I could pick it up and shoot without too much fuss.  Here are my first few test shots, before I really had a chance to fiddle with the settings. Scully was my model as Soren was napping and Astrid was at school. Why yes, Scully does love to read Soren’s Thomas and the Tank Engine book while he is asleep!

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As I am not a man, I did decide it was a good idea to read the manual, all 450 pages of it.  Despite shooting with Nikon cameras for almost 9 years there are always variations between models and a few nifty new things here and there. It also helps to get the camera set-up just how I like it.

After shooting with my old camera for so long I didn’t even have to think about any of my settings or where anything was, it was just second nature. So it took a little bit of fiddling to get the new camera set up in a similar manner. Especially when its former owner had an awful lot of peculiar settings, and button assignments (at least to me).

There are thousands of D750 reviews out there, so I won’t add to them, but from a personal perspective it’s been a pretty easy transition, it’s like a D7000 on speed.  The view-finder is huge and light and bright. The autofocus is amazing, very fast, and seems to work well in low light (although I haven’t pushed it at high ISO yet).  The shutter is zippy, almost too zippy, it makes the D7000 seems clunky in comparison. The dynamic range is amazing. I was testing out the metering and took some test shots 5 stops under-exposed and they were recoverable to actually be decent files.  They were entirely black off camera, a bit of exposure adjustment and voila actually usable pictures. Not something I was expecting at all.  It also recovers well from over-exposure by up to a couple of stops.  The metering does behave slightly differently to the D7000 so I’m getting used to it, but the straight off camera files have been pretty impressive.

I’m also looking forward to a camera that is actually weather sealed.  My D7000 surprisingly didn’t do too badly in snow, rain, frost and sand for a camera that is not weather-sealed. But I might have just been lucky!

My biggest challenge has been training my brain to get used to the different focal lengths of my lenses on the full-frame sensor.  I have done very little photography with a film SLR and have pretty much learnt everything on a crop-sensor DSLR so it’s taking some brain re-wiring!

I did get outside with the kids, the alpacas, some cows, and the camera on the first weekend I had it. We had a beautiful Autumn afternoon, so took the alpacas down to the paddock near our house.  This was my first real test of the camera, and I paired it with my Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens.  I was pretty impressed with the results. What do you think?

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There will no doubt be plenty more pictures soon………

14 thoughts on “Taking my new camera for a spin…..

  1. Holy cow: 39,000 frames on your last body?! That is a workout Missy!!! Definitely time for an upgrade 😀 I LOVE the pictures in this post. The 85mm is working a treat on your new baby…the creamy bokeh is to die for. Just lovely Nic. I am so, so happy for you!! And happy for me as I get to see what you do with this beauty!

    1. I’m glad you like the pics so far, I’m definitely liking my 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 on it!

      Yes poor old D7000 has had a good life. When I took it and my wide angle lens in to be serviced the poor guys said ‘you did what with it?, you know lenses aren’t supposed to be used at minus 27 degrees! ‘ Aside from a few frost burns on the LCD it’s still pretty good though.

  2. Just came back to finish reading this one. Love your blog Nic! If you are ever looking for inspo for a blog post I would love to hear your tips for newbies to DSLR’s. I just got my first one a couple weeks and ago and am still in the slightly overwhelemed stage!

    1. I’m definitely happy to write up some tips for beginners. It’s soooo overwhelming for a long time, but there are definitely ways to break it down and things you can concentrate on to help your photos improve.

      Your first DSLR is very exciting! What camera did you get?

    2. It’s an Olympus E420 so quite an old model but it has only been used a handful of times and I scored it for $90 with three lenses. It should be a good learner while I wrap my head around it all.

    3. Awesome deal!! Honestly you are better off starting with something cheaper/older. The quality of your photos will be far more dependant on learning to use the camera properly and learning about light and composition, than how old the camera is and what quality the lenses are. I look forward to seeing lots of pics 🙂

  3. I’m looking at getting a new one soon. Hubby bought me a Sony for my first over 4 years ago. He did buy a new lens for Christmas but I’m really not sure if I want to stick with Sony as there is just more options out there for Nikon and Sony. So much to look into

    1. Sony definitely used to be the poor cousin of Nikon and Canon for DSLRs. Their mirrorless range though is pretty amazing and that has meant more decent lenses on the market for Sony. Lots of Nikon/Canon people have jumped ship to Sony recently (mostly for Sony Alphas).

      It’s hard though, once you’ve been with one brand for awhile you are used to the layout, features and have heaps of $ invested in lenses so it’s a big decision. It’s always worth looking at the competition before a new camera purchase, especially if you don’t have too many lenses as it’s cheaper to jump ship before investing too much!

    2. I only have 2 lenses so far so wouldn’t be a huge issue I just really need to do my research. I’m thinking birthday/Christmas this year so if I start soon I might make a decision by the end of the year haha

    3. I currently have a Sony alpha a390 which is very out of date. I do like the layout and and used to it now. I’ll never be professional but I’m looking forward to an upgrade just don’t know how good my budget is ha

    4. I’m not overly familiar with anything canon, having never really used one, but have used lots of different Nikons so happy to provide advice on anything Nikon should you be interested in any of them.

      Unfortunately photography is an expensive hobby! You can get pretty decent resale on most lenses if they are in good nick, so with only 2, selling them isn’t an awful option.

      I have a large collection of lenses I need to move on to new homes since I’ve been pretty slack with selling things once I’ve upgraded. Especially since I need to fund some new lens purchases 🙂

    5. I know it’s damn expensive (I seem to have very expensive hobbies because sewing isn’t cheap either!) I’ll keep that in mind while looking at Nikons haha. I’ve currently got a 50mm f/1.8 which is well used and probably wouldn’t have great resale. I just got a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 as a basic all rounder. As you can see it’s only a basic hobby I’d love to have more but it’s always the money. I need to look at quality second hand I think to see what I can find. including you haha

    6. Will do I was looking last night at the d7200. Was chatting with hubby about it as Sony are leaning more towards their mirror less e mount and mine are a mount lenses so it looks like I might be heading that way. I’ll pm you and chat 🙂

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