Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Camera Technology for Pacific Northwest Winter Weather

I went for a Saturday walk this morning with my dog Bama (George our Chihuahua would not get out of Bed). As usual, I had my camera with me hoping to get some nice pictures behind our house. It was a typical Pacific Northwest morning. The temperature was 39 degrees and overcast.

In the recent past, photography with telephoto lenses and grey overcast skies did not go too well together. It was very hard to hold your camera “hand held” (no tripod) at long zoom ranges (200MM and higher) and take good clear pictures. Overcast skies do not allow enough light for the camera to get high shutter speeds (200th of a second or higher) which is needed using long telephoto lenses. What the photographer often ended up with was blurry pictures. To help compensate for this blur, film SLR photographers would buy higher “ISO” film (ISO 400 or higher). The higher ISO films would allow for higher shutter speeds and less blur…but then photographers had the problem of their pictures looking “grainy”.

Recently, digital SLR cameras have taken away this predicament. With the advent of new digital camera technology such as vibration compensation built into the camera and/or lens and CMOS sensors, it is relatively easy to take pictures on grey days using telephoto lenses at high ISO ranges up to 1600!

All of these pictures from my walk today were taken at 200MM or longer (except Bama) and at an ISO of 1000 or over. I happen to use a Nikon D90 but other manufactures such as Canon have also released new digital cameras that can shoot at these high ISO numbers as well.
Feel free to contact me via this blog and ask questions about camera/lens combinations and recommendations..