Nikon D4 – is the history repeating itself? January 6th, 2012
That would be pretty much my initial reaction to the announcement of the Nikon D4 that came in last night.
I don’t have the camera, I did not used it but there are several hands-on videos all over the web. I also saw the report from the usual suspects who have received pre-production samples. Of course you can expect from them to be all excited about the camera and to try to convince us of how awesome it is.
Anyway, even if you take the buzz with a cautious grain of salt, the specs of the product are still here and I still have the feeling that we have a shift that remind me of the D3.
Let’s go back to the end of 2007. Canon is the king. You hear reports of photographers switching from Nikon to Canon to take advantage of the more advanced video capabilities. Than at the beginning of 2008 the Nikon D3 appears and it did not took long for several photographers to come back to Nikon to take advantage of the low light and overall picture quality of the new product. The D3 was the star of the beijing olympics, I would not be surprised if we see the same thing ahead of the London Olympics.
What will be the next step?
There is really nothing groundbreaking in the new product but Nikon apparently is catching up on the video quality and on the overall usability and convenience of the camera. It is certainly leveling the playing field.
At the same time, with the C300, it looks like Canon is more interested in addressing the needs of filmmakers in Hollywood than casual photographers. Are they really going after the right market? Not too sure. In the meantime we can reasonably expect to see the new technology from the D4 to appear in more affordable consumer cameras in a recent future.
In the last 12 years we saw the digital technology take over the traditional film, than over the last 5 years we saw a fusion of the tools available for photographer and film makers. The D4 looks like everything you can dream of if you shoot or film sports, nature and portraits.
But the D4 is also a very specialized tool, it looks to me as some sort of specialized computer with an advanced optic system. It’s a device built to capture and process light digitally. It is probably more sophisticated than a computer in a way but with a very specific user interface.
The question that remains unclear to me is how this technology is going to filter down to the consumer market. Are we going to see a downplayed version of the D4 or are we going to see portable computers getting a better optical component and invading the market of point and shoot cameras. By ‘portable computers’ here I mean devices like an iPhone. The iPhone 4S already has a pretty descent lens system but the software is where it really shines, the low quality of the optics is compensated by great software.
Now can you imagine a device with a ‘camera’ level optic (as opposed to ‘cellphone level’) and the software and the overall user interface and power of an iPhone, a camera on which you could install apps for specific creative features. Wouldn’t that be a killer product, wouldn’t you prefer that over a point and shoot? Are we heading toward generic portable computers upgraded to be cameras or toward ultra specialized devices like the D4 downgraded to be affordable by consumers?
I also must notice that if the D4 is better on many aspects it is still a camer
“Me too, I’m Catherine Deneuve” December 12th, 2010
Well, no really. this is the title of the play I shoot yesterday evening.
Quite an interesting experience. Most of it was shoot with the Nikon 200-400-f/4 lens and I’m very happy with the result I got from that lens. Very sharp. With the high iso of the Nikon D3 it’s possible to shoot perfectly focused pictures at a reasonable shutter speed (1/60th most of the time) with no noise.
“Me too, I’m Catherine Deneuve” is an imaginative and grotesque family drama that asks the audience to explore, along side the characters, the potent relationship between self-definition and self-determination. The piece has been performed in major cities around the world, and it 2006 it received the Molière award for “Best Private Theatre Production.”
The play was followed by a discussion between the public and French director Valery Warnotte.
The photos can be seen in this slideshow. As an experiment I also embed it below. Viewers on a computer equipped with flash should see the normal slideshow (with a rather basic look, the nice customization will come later, sorry), viewers on a mobile device (android or iOS) get an HTML5 version. Please click on the ‘view gallery’ to start the slideshow.
This was the last part of the France-Atlanta 2010 events (see below for more details on this).
France-Atlanta 2010 November 30th, 2010
“France-Atlanta : Together Towards Innovation” is a series of events organized by the Consulate General of France in Atlanta together with the Georgia Institute of Technology, in order to promote new partnerships between France and the American Southeast.
Focused on innovation and organized under the High Auspices of the Ambassador of France to the United States, the Governor of Georgia and the Mayor of Atlanta, this project includes a series of high-quality events in the scientific, economic, artistic and humanitarian domains.
The opening ceremony took place on Monday November 29th at the World of Coke. It will continue during the week until December 12, 2010, and will include a series of workshops on diverse topics such as “Rethinking ground transportation and logistics” or “Haiti 2020″, as well as modern exhibits and performances like the jazz concert with Baptiste Trotignon.
The program is available on France-Atlanta 2010 web site.
Those photos were taken during the opening ceremony on behalf of the French Consulate in Atlanta.
Despite a gloomy weather, a large crowd attended the opening ceremony.
The World of Coke had already been decorated for the Holiday season.
Pascal Le Deunff Consul General de France in Atlanta and Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson President of Georgia Tech before the opening ceremony.
The group of exchange students from France currently studying at Georgia Tech.
Pascal Le Deunff Consul General de France in Atlanta delivers his address during the opening ceremony for France-Atlanta 2010.
Pascal Le Deunff Consul General de France in Atlanta shake hands with Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson President of Georgia Tech before the opening ceremony and Atlanta Mayor Kassim Reed.
Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson President of Georgia Tech during the opening ceremony for France-Atlanta 2010.
Demonstration of a robot playing music developed at Georgia Tech during the opening ceremony for France-Atlanta 2010.
Kassim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta welcomes the attendance during the opening ceremony for France-Atlanta 2010.
Several officials from the Lorraine region, the city of Metz and the city of Toulouse attended the opening ceremony for France-Atlanta 2010.
Pascal Le Deunff Consul General de France in Atlanta and Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson President of Georgia Tech officially declare the opening of France-Atlanta 2010 at the World of Coke in Atlanta on November 29th 2010.
Kassim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta talking with several officials from France during the opening ceremony for France-Atlanta 2010.
Photography is a crime! September 10th, 2010
At least when I look at the poster below, that is what the very official TSA wants the american public to believe. It looks pretty obvious to me.
Of course the complaints started to pour very quickly and the TSA answered on its blog (you can read the full answer here).
Unfortunately the answer sounds like another nice piece of political bullshit.
I’m really upset by this kind of initiative.
First we can seriously argue about how efficient it is. If you are a terrorist, no need to send somebody out to take pictures when you can get about whatever information you want through the Internet.
Second, whatever the TSA says, there are other ways to promote vigilance. The immediate consequence of that kind of campaign is to depict photographers as terrorist and a camera as a weapon. What is TSA job exactly? Protecting the country or designing simplistic public-relation campaigns pointing out fictitious threat in order to make us believe they know what they are doing?
Once you start pointing out some individuals or a group for a particular purpose you inevitably create suspicion. We should look at history and remember when similar things happened – the Nazi Government pointed out the Jews in a similar way and they explained too that they had very legitimate reasons to do so?
I’m sorry but the TSA is totally out of line here.
Let’s open this blog to guest contributors September 1st, 2010
Have been asked over and over why do I talk about photography and technology in the same blog.
Well, because those two subjects are totally connected.
Photography is so interesting to me because it blends art and technology. If you know everything about art, if you are the most creative person on earth nowadays, you will still need a little bit of technology to produce an attractive result.
Today photography has become a matter of technology and if you add video to the blend it becomes even more obvious.
Technology is also evolving very fast and has a constant impact on our daily life. New devices and new concepts are introduced constantly (I’m not being overly creative in saying that). when confronted with such a situation you can either go with the flow and see where you will end up. and that will probably mean that you will always be catching up on things, or you can try to analyze what is happening and try to anticipate the future.
Nowadays I believe that if you want to anticipate what will happen to a professional photographer you need to keep an eye on computers, cameras, smartphones, web design, lighting equipment and also to everything that is happening to your clients.
If you work for newspapers, the demise and upcoming reorganization of that industry matters to you.
If you shoot catalogues for companies you have to keep track of the use they will have of your pictures, will they end up in a paper catalogue or will they find their way in an interactive iPad App or be simply replaced by a nice video.
If you have a web site entirely designed in Flash and all of a sudden the people consulting it start using iPads extensively… you have a problem.
Everything is connected.
So I will keep blogging about topics related to technology and photography.
Today I’m even bringing this to a new level and I’m opening the blog to guests contributors.
My friend and fellow blogger Xavier Talfumiere – yes, he is a little french too and no, that’s not him on the picture above – has offered to contribute some articles about smartphones and technology. Beside being a guru of network technologies and architectures, Xavier also contribute to CamerAgX his own blog about vintage film cameras (very insightful resource). He keeps experimenting with all sort of old film cameras but can also tell you a thing or two about the next generation of smartphones.
So I’m please to welcome Xavier on this blog with an article about Android phones.