Update: Some more D90 specifics can be found here
The long rumored Nikon D90 is now official and is the first DSLR with HD video recording capabilities. The $999 (body only) 12.3MP camera sports a new image sensor with similar high ISO performance to it’s bigger brothers the D700 and the D3, but at a considerably lower price point. Sounds like a winning package; I currently use a D80 and a lot of the features described would be welcome upgrades to my current rig. But at this point, it wouldn’t be worth it to move over to a camera with such marginal performance increases, I am thinking the recently announced D700 will be my next upgrade (or whichever is their latest at that level when I do take the plunge).
This new Nikon release comes in the wake of Canon’s recent 50D announcement. The 50D is the first pro-sumer level camera with the lauded Digic 4 processor. With the 15.2MP sensor on board, it’s a nice entry point for people not willing to fork over the dough for the 5D. At $1400 (body only) the 50D is considerably cheaper than it’s more robust sibling, but will at least get you in the same performance ballpark as the 5D.
I think these two cameras are a great sign of things to come for us graphic designers. Having a high performance camera in your kit is essential for any serious designer, but it’s hard to justify spending so much on one when photography isn’t your primary occupation. I think the D90 and 50D fill a nice little gap in the DSLR price range, and although the 50D carries a larger price tag (a $400 bump over the D90) it sounds like the extra features make a compelling case for the extra expense. I just don’t know if I can make the move to Canon just yet, I’ll have to see how this plays out.
Some great shots from Benedict Redgrove for Italian car maker Bertone.
My brother Kirk is a sophomore at San Francisco State University. He’s planning to study design but has been experimenting with photography a lot over the past couple years. He showed me some of his recent stuff recently and it was really impressive so I thought I’d share. All of these shots were all taken with a Lomo LCA and cross-processed, bringing out all those nice colors. My favorite is the top one, it’s like a book about growing up in Sacramento boiled down into a single image. You can see more of his work at his Flickr page.
In case you haven’t heard, the long rumored full-frame 12.1MP Nikon D700 is now official. It’s sports it’s older brother the D3’s vaunted CMOS FX/DX sensor but in a smaller form factor and with a smaller price tag. In regards to the price, however, the word "smaller" is a relative term. In the case of the D700 it equates to roughly $3000 USD (as opposed to $5000 for a D3). As a hobbyist that’s a pretty had price point to justify so I don’t think I’ll be ditching my D80 just yet (as much as I’d like to).
When I was in Bangkok I had the chance to try out a D3 with a fixed focus 50mm lens and it was pure bliss. The thing had almost no noise even at ridiculously high ISO’s and it could acquire focus and blast off frames faster than I could comprehend; it sounded like a silenced machine gun when you held down the shutter release. The knowledge that I can have that kind of performance for $2000 less and won’t have to lug around the nearly 3lb. weight of the D3 body makes the 700 pretty hard to resist. It’s supposedly available but none of the usual online outlets have it in stock. Has anyone managed to use / buy one? If so, what do you think?
These are some hi-res shots from a 70’s speedboat cup held by Benihana (Yeah, the Japanese restaurant. Apparently the owner used to be into boats until he almost died when his disintegrated in the San Francisco bay). I’ve had these pics laying around for a while and figured I’d post some of them. I really like the photographic style, very nice colors. And check out the paint jobs on the first two, rad.
Some interesting shots from a Wired article via Monoscope. These camera parts have been sawn in half and are on display at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin. Forrest, you have to be loving this one.
I’ve been locked in the studio for a while preparing to record some new tracks for the upcoming Tycho album. I reconfigured my whole setup and it’s finally all coming together. I’ve finally added a true analog mixing console and it’s really changed the workflow, been saving a lot of time. Above is a partial shot of the studio in it’s current form, still a ways to go with the acoustics, but I’ve been making do.
On a side note, I temporarily moved back to Windows XP32 since they don’t make the software I use to record (Sonar) for Mac. I installed Photoshop and it’s been running so bad, crashing all the time. Meanwhile, on the Mac side, solid as a rock. I really wish I could just work inside of OS X full time, but Logic and Pro Tools just can’t hang with Sonar in my book. Oh well, here’s hoping for a solid Windows 9.
Matt Maust is the Bassist for Cold War Kids and a great designer as well. Their album Robbers & Cowards has really been a sleeper hit for me. I first became aware of them a while back but sort of thought Hospital Beds was cool and left it at that. But lately I’ve been working to the record and really enjoying it as a whole.
Today I checked on their site to see what they were all about and was greeted by the lovely image you see above. Once inside it just gets better. I’m always a sucker for the big-gothic-type-on-photographs motif, and here it’s done very well. Even with the most talented designers, a lot of the time you can see through to the fact that the artwork for a band was project / money driven. In the case of an outfit like Cold War Kids, I think the (literally) DIY design ethic shines through to great effect. But at the end of the day, it’s not how you look as a band, it’s how you sound.
Cold War Kids – Hang Me Out To Dry