Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Canons and Nikons, changing over time

Using cameras over time has resulted in many changes, over the years. When I first started shooting night scenes, I did so in 1987, with a 35mm Canon AE1 SLR. My night shots were a part of a complete security survey I was doing for Riverfront Park, and the night shots were a result of the lighting study I set up in the park.

I began more sojourns into Riverfront Park, with a followup security survey which I began 14 years after I did the first one. The difference in both the process and the equipment used had changed, as far as use for night shots. In 2001 and 2002, I used a Nikon CP 990, which was the second Nikon series camera in their digital series. It was a great camera, and the 3.34 MP camera allowed editing and transitioning into a digital security survey report easily and almost effortlessly. The night shots with the Nikon CP 990 seemed to be superior to the shots taken during the 1987 security visits to Riverfront Park. That camera is no longer in use, but it is still very functional, and has been used occasionally by my kids and their children.

Then along came the Nikon CP 4500, which was similar in many ways to the Nikon CP 990. I just never got to like that camera as much as the 990, perhaps because it was smaller, yet it offered more megapixels per image (4+). I saw no difference in many ways from the two cameras, but the CP 990 just seemed better in almost every way. There was no significant difference when it came to low light shots.

The Nikon CP 8700 replaced the CP 4500, and in every way was a better piece of hardware. Shooting after dark allowed RAW imaging, as well as JPEG, and the camera allowed easier editing and cropping for written reports since it as an 8 megapixel unit. That camera has been used on many night sojourns from 2003-2005, and is still in use as a backup camera. It was the closest camera to a DSLR I ever had the pleasure to shoot with, and allowed shooting at an ISO of 50, which helped low light images, for noise purposes.

Although the CP 8700 is still up and running, my night visits to Spokane locations are driven by DSLRs, including the Canon 350D (XT), and the Canon 400D (XTi). Both of these units allow for easy lens transfer and placement for a variety of scenes. Shooting at 8 megapixels (350D), and 10+ megapixels (400D), cropping is once again easier, as well as shooting RAW (CR2) plus JPEG. Both cameras allow an ISO level of 100, and that is very helpful in low light situations that I find myself in once or twice each week. There are times that even the Nikon CP 8700 is still used after dark, and having three cameras available at every location allows for a lot of possibilities based on the obstacles that you find when you get there.

Over time, cameras just got better. Considering the beauty of the Spokane region and the locations after dark, all of these digital cameras have played a role in capturing the area we live in.

Nikon CP 990:

Nikon CP 4500:

Nikon CP 8700:

Canon 350D:

Canon 400D: