Unknown to me at the time, this was to be the last thing gig I would ever shoot with my Nikon D80. Having been sold this week to a lovely lady, it got me thinking how cool that camera was. I shot my first gig with it, it was the reason I got involved in State and it made me fall in love with photography. Without it, I’d probably be an unhappy nurse, somewhere in an old folks home up to my elbows in sh… anyway. It was a great little thing.
That said, at a gig like The Specials, it felt a little tame. Surrounded by D3’s and whatever the Canon equivelent is, I couldn’t help but feel I was coming across like an amateur. While nobody would say it, a camera like this – as great as it is (and it really is) just didn’t register with the pros. While it did everything well – and arguably I could get some shots of similar quality, it’s ISO control was awful. Well, that’s being a bit harsh – it just didn’t do the dark well. at all.
Seriously, the difference between the ISO between my new baby (the D700) and the D80 is amazing. The picture of the ever enthusiastic Mr. Terry Hall when viewed large shows a hulluva lotta noise. And while I’ll admit the image has been sharpened a tad, the fact that at ISO 640, the image is so noisy/pixelated is not encouraging. Compared to the next gig in the Olympia, using the same lens and f/number of Miss Florence, which was at ISO 2,500 – you can see why the D80 is not a pro camera. It’s a phenomenal beginner’s/enthusiast’s camera and I’m going to miss it a lot. But if I’m ever going to be the bestest photomagrapher there ever was, I’m going to need a lot of help – and the D700 is as much help I could currently afford.
If you like what you here, why not buy some of their stuff, eh?