Digital SLR sensors have come a long way since the days of those sensors found in the very first Nikons (the D1 from 1999 had a 2.7 MP sensor and retailed for 5,000 dollars) with enough magenta and yellow noise even at the lowest ISO settings. I remember those cameras were very good for black and white shots (thanks to Nikon's fantastic optics) but the sensors back in those days were just down right horrible in soaking up lights when you need to shoot in color.
Here's a great link to Nikon's DSLR history if anyone is interested in reading up more. I don't use Nikon personally since I can't afford Nikon gears and I'm just a dude who loves takings pictures, but reading is good for the soul, so if you have the time, click on the link below.
I didn't have alot of time to shoot anything of value over the past few weeks. I was trapped in a hut for almost forever by a thunderstorm during Christmas weekend on a trip to shoot a bunch of plants in this Japanese themed botanical garden, and then trapped in a bar listening to a local singer belting away new year tunes on new year's eve. I was however lucky enough to get dragged into one of my local zoos a week ago and ended up with a few interesting images. The subjects are nothing new, but I was finally able to test the white balance and noise handling limits of my new Sony translucent camera, the SLT-A55V.
The weather that day was downright gloomy, everything looked blueish, dull and the sunlight was barely there. So using my biggest zoom lens, I was able to get an equally dull expression off this Indian bison about 10 meters away. He was obviously bored or sedated thanks to whatever sedative those zoo people put into his diet.
The sensor registered the exposure at ISO 1250 at 250mm focal length (effective 375mm).
The shot of these pink flamingoes was brighter, recorded at ISO 400 at the same focal length.
Kudos to Sony for coming up with these new 16.1 APS-C sensors for this transluscent model. The white balance compensation didn't seem too bad either. I had my doubts late last year when I finally took the dive and switch to this semi-gadgety device. It may have alot of advantages over true DSLRs, but the handling of these devices just feels odd, when there no sounds from moving mirrors telling you that a shot has been taken.
Looks like I'll be staying with Sony's translucent cameras for good.. until they come up with something better. Oh and for those of you out there shopping for compact point and shoots.. it seems that the current mid range level Sony pocket cameras around 200 dollars are now shooting at a whopping 16.1 megapixels. I can almost hear my hard drives crying when I saw these newbies at a camera shop two days ago. With Canon's 60D shooting at 18 megapixels and many others to follow quickly, We will need bigger, cheaper hard disk drives. And Soon.
Happy shooting everyone, and let there be (lots of) light.