Digital cameras

The images in the Utopia Photography galleries have been obtained with different cameras from Nikon, Fujifilm and Canon. My current workhorses are a Nikon D3S (for sports, concerts & theatre) and a Nikon D800 (for landscape photography). For my astrophotography attempts, I use an astro-modified Canon EOS 450D. The cameras have been used with different Nikon lenses or with telescopes.

The Nikon D3

In February 2008, Iíve bought a Nikon D3 camera. Since the D3 was the first Nikon camera with a larger sensor (24x36mm instead of approx. 24x16mm with previous sensors), Iíve spent quite a bit of time getting used to the wider format. The switch to the larger sensor has been exciting, it meant re-discovering my lenses.
The D3 proves to be a very forgiving camera. In image center, any Nikon lens performs very well. In fact, all lenses perform better than on the D2X in image center. However, most lenses have to be stopped down to f/8 to get sharp edges for critical landscape work. Since I donít shoot landscapes at f/2.8, this has not been a problem most of the time. One of the best features of the Nikon D3 camera is the virtual horizon function. Iíve programmed the function button to show the virtual horizon in the viewfinder and use it for almost any shot Ė I canít live without it anymore.
In studio, the bright and large viewfinder of the Nikon D3 has been very nice but to be honest, any DX camera would do the job. There is very little difference in image quality since the lowest ISO setting is usually used. Unfortunately many cameras donít offer real ISO 100 anymore.
For lowlight photography, the Nikon D3 has been a blessing. It offers very clean ISO 1600 files Ė at least a stop better than with current DX cameras. Above ISO 1600, images get soft and I try to prevent using it. In black-and-white mode though, images have a very nice character up to ISO 4000.
The Nikon D3 also offers outstanding picture quality in long exposures. I love it for night-time photography.
I'm not a sports photographer but I have to take pictures of high school sports from time to time. The Nikon D3 is the fastest camera I have ever used and it makes acceptable action shots as easy as it gets.