Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Report: the ESAC photo club Nikon D80
I had the pleasure to borrow the club's new Digital-SLR, a Nikon D80 over the holiday period. It was my first hands-on experience with a single-lens-reflex (SLR) camera. In principle anyone can start using it without any prior experience by selecting the AUTO mode (or one of the selectable scenes: portrait, macro, night, landscape). For me this worked pretty well in most circumstances. In fact, it became quickly evident that the basic quality of the images is already better than your average point-and-shoot compact.
Compared to a point-and-shoot the Nikon is quite heavy and I was forced to use a tripod in low light situations (which I would normally never have thought about! ;-p.
The focal ('zoom') range for the current lens (18-44mm) is not very large but it is quite sufficient for first use.
After a few hundred pictures (mostly taken in RAW format, which I now need to post-process. more on that experience later) I tried using the semi-manual functions (P,S.A on the program dial). This I found quite a challenge. To get a better feeling for aperture/shutter-speed combinations and the effect on e.g. you depth of field (blurring of background) you can use the depth-of-field preview button located on the front of the camera.