More Gift Guide Suggestions: The Main Hardware

Throughout the year, we have our hands on a variety DSLR’s and, since this is the big ticket item for all of us, we consider carefully all of the features v. cost implications.
Now, of course, the lenses will be your major expense. Year to year, they don’t change much, but the handheld computers we call cameras, change as fast as the technology allows. And the major brands just keep leapfrogging each other in features, so you can’t go far wrong with most of them.

Our camera of the year for 2012 is the Nikon D800
.

Why?

Full frame, 36mp, uncompressed HDMI out plus audio monitoring options, ergonomic simplicity, readily accessible media card slots (CF and SD) versatility,ISO 100-6400 extendable to ISO 25,600 equiv (same as D700) about $3000. body only.

While the D4 has an 11FPS RAW capability and the D800 goes to about 4FPS, If you keep the mode in FINE Jpeg, there should be no delay in the buffer.
And about $3000. more in your pocket.

The 51 point focus system is the same as the D4. Fast and accurate. Fully customizable and that’s one thing we’ve always loved about the Nikon DSLRs: pick your point of focus.
Now in Live View, while the simplicity of button selection between Still and Movie, the phase detection accuracy of the focus system is not as fast as we would like.

Same auto ISO/Shutter speed menu choices as the D700.

We wondered if this would make sense to upgrade from our beloved D700.
Let’s say, it’ll join the family.

Now all of the pros and purists, Earmuffs please: With a file this big, we can crop in and still get an amazing quality image. At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, we didn’t get up at 4:00 AM nor had a press pass sorted out in time.
Using one of our favorite “crop duster” lenses (thanks Katy Winn for the phrase) the 28mm-300mm, we got up close and maintained quality.

If you get this as a gift, you should thank your lucky stars you have someone like that in your life.
If you give it, you’re a better man, than I!
If you buy it for yourself, you’re gonna be one happy shooter!

For the mirrorless shooter, we recco the Sony NEX 5N. Since they have moved on to the NEX6 and of course, the NEX 7, this discontinued model is seeing incredible discounts all over. A month ago it was blown out at $415. Even the Sony site has a good price on new, better on refurbished.
ALERT! PRICE FOR CYBER MONDAY IS $500.!!
APS-C little wonder comes with an 18mm-55mm kit lens, and is light in the hands with an articulated screen. Easy to use controls, and here is a beauty part: We’ve put a Leica lens on this one, and with zebra focus assist ( when the subject is in focus, a colored line shows up around it) you can use manual lenses with confidence. Yep, I’m talking to all of the AF folks out there.
Now, one thing it doesn’t have that the NEX7 does have is a viewfinder. You can buy one, but it’s a bit pricey.
we did, during the day, we love it.

The compact we always have with us is the Canon S series of Powershots. The S95 has served us well, but we’re moving forward to the Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP
. Right now only $250. on Amazon.
And now the S110, has wi-fi.
Shoot RAW, f/2.0 lens, truly fits in your pocket.
Walking out of the house with this, is just a part of getting dressed.

For the more adventurous shooters, GoPro, who has secured a top spot in the category, just introduced the Gopro Hero 3
. No you can shoot 4K with this tiny vid cam!!!
yep. It’s only at 15FPS, but this is a huge advancement in this tiny camera.
We like to use it with a chest mount and get a true POV.

They finally figured out that to see what you were shooting, you can’t always attach a monitor. So..The APP is here (free) and wi-fi control. See what your camera see’s on your iphone or tablet, control it, and make sure the frame is what you wanted.
All working on the HERO2, but DEC. for the latest, best Hero3

Put this under the tree, (make sure you add a micro-sd card)and you’ll see Christmas morning video like never before.
Then hit the slopes or the waves.
from $200 up to $400.

The hardware.
Lot’s available. We’ve seen most. Have our faves.
Hopefully, this helps.

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