Photographing former pro footballer turned columnist and commentator John Hartson and his wife Sarah with their new baby Paige Faith at their Swansea home last week provided the first real opportunity to try out my new Nikon D800 camera.
With the help of John and Sarah, who as always were a pleasure to photograph, and the cooperation of the new born Paige a lovely set of pictures resulted which were taken up by many of the national newspapers.
Having been committed to Nikon's DX lenses for many years I have up till now been using a D300s camera backed up by two D2XS bodies. The smaller chip in these cameras has always performed well and I have until now resisted the move to the full frame larger FX chip. The cost of replacing both camera and lenses as well as the need to upgrade my MAC's to cope with the large file sizes the new camera produces has been a big factor but the time finally came for me to make the move.
The resolution and sheer size of the images that the D800 produces are staggering. The tonal range, crispness and detail of the image alone make the move more than worth while but when you add in the vastly better low light performance, improved video capability and easy operation of the camera I have to say I'm delighted with my new acquisition.
A new Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 AFS lens completed the package and and the optical quality and range of this lens doesn't disappoint either.
For the pictures of John and family I shot at 400 asa and used two Nikon speed light flash units, one as the main light to the left which was bounced into a silver umbrella reflector and one bounced off the ceiling to the right to fill the shadows. The resulting images are warm with soft directional lighting which works well for family photography.
I've used the camera many times in anger now including most recently on a commission to photograph camper vans for a manufacturers web site and marketing literature. This commission also included shooting a short video to show the conversion of a seating area into a bed. I'll feature some of these images soon but the quality of both the stills and video are superb.
Here's a link to the full image set: http://www.mediaphotos.co.uk/johnhartson
and a few newspaper links: