Modern conveniences in the photo studio have come a long way since when I first started shooting in 1996. Back then, we shot film in large format cameras, processed in wet darkrooms, printed manually by adjusting little knobs on the enlarger and using color cast view cards.
From the time I shot a photo to the time I saw a decent print was, even under the best of conditions, at least 4 hours of non-stop work.
In 2006 I finally made the switch to digital photography. Why did I wait so long? Well, digital SLR cameras finally caught up with the resolution of film. A 6 to 7 megapixel camera is effectively the same resolution as 35mm film.
My first digital SLR was a Nikon D80. It is squarely in the “consumer” category, and it is a great camera. However, it lacks some of the things I need, like ruggedness, responsiveness, etc.
I upgraded to a D200 shortly thereafter, which is the pro-sumer version of the D80. It’s body is magnesium alloy instead of plastic. Other than that, it’s basically the same camera.
I shot with the D200 until last week, when I had the opportunity to trade it out for the D2x, the professional version of that camera family. The D80 and D200 are 10MP cameras, the D2x is 12.4. The response time for the D2x is 37ms… faster than I can physically push the button.
Best of all, the D2x has 8fps. And a wireless adapter.
The wireless adapter communicates directly with Nikon Camera Control software. Anything you can do with the controls and menus of the camera, you can do wirelessly from the software. Also, when I shoot a photo on the camera, it pops up full-screen on the computer so we get to see instant-proof.
This technology has been around since 2003. However, in 2003, this setup would have cost $6,500, and that wouldn’t have included any lenses or the computer.
The best way to have the best equipment is to be willing to wait a few years.