CF, SD and Now XQD

Sony has become the first company to offer a range memory cards in the XQD format. XQD was recently announced by the Compact Flash Association, allowing write speeds of 125MB/sec and faster. When used in the new Nikon D4, (currently the only camera supporting the format), the cards can record up to around 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode without any buffer issues.

The new Sony products are planned to be available in February and are estimated to sell at the following retail prices:

QD-H16 card, 16 GB, $129.99
QD-H32 card, 32 GB, $229.99
   Card Reader, MRW-E80, $44.99
 ExpressCard Adapter, QDA-EX1, $44.99

For information, visit www.sony.net/Products/memorycard/en_us/xqd/index.html

Nikon D4 Announced

It’s now official. The long anticipated Nikon D4 has been announced and will be available in late February, 2012 at a suggested retail price of $5,999.

Some of the key specs :

  • 16.2 effective megapixel, full-frame sensor (16.6MP total)
  • 10 fps shooting with AF and AE, 11fps with focus and exposure locked, 24fps 2.5MP grabs
  • 91,000 pixel sensor for metering, white balance, flash exposure, face detection and active d-lighting
  • ISO Range 100-12,800 (extendable from 50 – 204,800)
  • MultiCAM 3500FX Autofocus sensor works in lower light and with smaller apertures
  • Two sub-selector joystick/buttons for shooting orientation
  • 1080p30 HD video at up to 24Mbps with uncompressed video output
  • New EN-EL18 battery (21.6Wh capacity, CIPA-rated at 2600 shots)
  • Twin card slots (Compact Flash and the new XQD)
Nikon Press Release :

One Very Fast Lens

We get a lot of interesting used equipment here at Camera West, so when a AF-S Nikkor 200mm f2.0 G lens came in, I just knew I had to try it out.
Last night I had the opportunity to shoot with this unique lens. I photographed a night soccer game, under the dim lights of De La Salle High School in Concord. De La Salle was hosting San Ramon High.
The challenge for most night time sporting events is the lighting…or lack of it. Either indoors or out, you are generally pushing the ISO to 1600 or beyond. When I was shooting the SF 49ers at Candlestick or the SF Giants at AT&T Park, I was shooting at ISO 1600 with a shutter speed of 1/1,000 at f2.8 for the night games. Pretty much the same for indoor events. I think I was shooting the Golden State Warriors at the same ISO and shutter/aperture combo.
The lights at De La Salle however gave me exposure of 1/500 at f2.0 at ISO 2000 – not nearly as much as at pro sporting venues where network television has a minimum lighting requirement. For this shoot, I was glad I had a f2.0 lens!
At $3995, this is not the lens for everybody but if you like to shoot when the lighting is low, this lens can be a image saver. Shooting sports usually requires a fast shutter speed so having the additional f-stop of 2.0 gives you the ability to use a faster shutter speed and/or lower ISO. And, just because you have plenty of light doesn’t mean you need to put this lens away. The f2.0 aperture produces it’s own unique creamy bokeh. Also, if I owned this lens, I’d invest in a 1.4 or 1.7 converter for even more versatility.
All in all, I’m pleased with my images from the evening. It’s been over 3 years since I’ve shot any kind of night sporting events so I was a bit rusty. My timing especially was off and with fast moving sports, timing is all important. 
Although my timing let me down, this lens did not. 
The photos below were taken with a Nikon D3 at ISO 2,000 and a shutter speed of 1/500 at f2.0. 
Stop by Camera West in Walnut Creek to check out this lens or go to the Camera West website to check out our entire inventory of fine used equipment.