I Am In The Market For A New Camera

I am in the market for a new camera; I just don’t know which camera. My Nikon D700 is wonderful but big and heavy, and my Nikon D60 is fine as a travel and carry around camera. However, I want something that is small enough to slip in a pocket but which can deliver a photograph that is worth printing if I ever decide that is what I want to do with a particular shot.

It should be easy. The Olympus Pen E-P1 and its siblings, the Panasonic GF1 – they can both deliver the quality.

Other similar large sensor cameras are sure to come on to the market soon.

But the Olympus and the Panasonic are hardly light weight and they are not so much of a step down from the D60.

So I am still pondering…

Nikon D60 On The Road

As I have mentioned before, the biggest drawback to the Nikon D60 is the way it tends to blow out highlights in contrasty conditions when exposure compensation is set to 0.0.

For the past four weeks I have been travelling in India and this has proved to be a real test of the camera. In terms of reliability it has behaved flawlessly. I have just one lens with me – the 35mm f1.8 AF-S Nikon lens. It has been excellent for most purposes.

I wished it had a longer reach when we spotted wild elephants in Rajaji National Park. Sometimes I have wished it had a wider span – particularly for some street scenes – but on the whole it has been excellent.

Which brings me back the blown highlights problem. The seemingly obvious solution is to dial in some negative compensation. About -0.7 is enough for moderately contrasty scenes. But the problem is that this underexposes the darker parts of the scene and they really suffer.

My solution has been to let small parts of the highlights blow, and otherwise to simply avoid scenes that are too high contrast.

Judge for yourself with this scene:

Guru and Student in Varansi