WOLD RANGER RAILWAYS - Railway photography around Yorkshire and the UK

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Stormy winds and testing the Nikon D7100

Strong winds
Thursday proved to be a stormy winter's day here in the East Riding with strong winds buffeting the old homestead and the trees which surround the house roared and swayed about as powerful gusts blew through the woodland. Thankfully we live in a fairly sheltered spot, at least as far as westerly winds are concerned, but despite this the roof top anemometer registered a gust of 52 knots (60 mph) and average winds speeds were as high as 26 knots (30 mph) around midday when the cold front squall passed through the region. The 52 knot gust of today is not a new record, that 'honour' going to the 60 knot (69 mph) gust recorded in January 2012, and indeed it is not even the strongest gust recorded this year, but as far as sustained wind speeds go this was a notable storm and whose after-effects are now bringing misery to many coastal and low lying districts as extremely high tides sweep in off the North Sea, including in nearby Hull which I believe has flooded quite badly near the river :-(

Collared Dove (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR)

Blue Tit (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

Another Blue Tit shot (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

Meanwhile yesterday I got my hands on my dad's new camera, the Nikon D7100, and with gorgeous sunny weather I spent a few hours trying it out around the garden and seeing how it performed with my old (and his new) 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR lens. Though my father is no photography novice (indeed he had won a number of awards in his SLR days) this was going to be his first ever DSLR and he took considerable time picking out the camera he wanted. After trying out my cameras he soon decided that Nikon would be his choice of maker (I also somewhat encouraged him towards the 'dark side' to be honest) and after deliberating over a number of models including the D800 (too expensive), D600 (oil spot problems) and the D7000, he eventually chose the new D7100 and has so far been very pleased with it.

Collared Dove, again !! (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

Though the sun was pleasant enough on Wednesday I was nevertheless taken aback to see a Red Admiral fluttering around the garden ! (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

Hypericum in the December sunshine (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

However yesterday was my turn to give it a go and I was most impressed by this high spec DX (APS-C) camera which is less than a year old. The camera is a noticeable improvement over my cherished D90 with the photos being crisper and richer (at least to my eyes) and as far as image quality goes this new digital camera is definitely the best I've ever used (though to be fair I've only used five others in my life time!). However it is definitely not perfect and I have to say I don't think I would like to use it everyday as the grip is a bit narrow and flimsy for my hands (the D90 had a much better grip), the small buffer is somewhat limiting at times, and I also felt the camera produced a slight bluish/cold cast on some pics which I didn't really like. ISO performance was good but actually not as great an improvement over the D90 as I was expecting and I was not too keen on the 'improved' control dials for shooting and drive modes. However the camera performed excellently where it matters most and my dad can certainly be very pleased with his purchase :-)

Christmas wreath on the front door (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

Some lingering autumn colour in a sheltered part of the garden (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)

Some nice vivid colours in this pic (Nikon D7100 / 70-300mm)