Thursday, June 5, 2008

Two Cats, Two Cameras

I've used Canon digital SLR cameras since 2004, and my choice of film camera maker for the twenty-two years before that was Pentax. My only experience with Nikon was the Coolpix 990 and 995 I used for shooting real estate a few years ago. But since the studio I work for partners with Nikon for digital imaging, if I'm shooting something that corporate is going to print, it has to be shot with a Nikon.

Which is why I found myself taking home a 10 megapixel Nikon D200 and an SB-800 speedlight on Monday, with two days to play (er, familiarize myself) before the shoot on Wednesday. Quick review: Though overall quite comfortable to hold, the control dials are located in such a way that changing settings becomes awkward at times. Nikon also likes to put function buttons and switches all over the camera back and top deck, which I find distracting. So I'll be sticking with my Canons for a while longer. But Nikon has the coolest and most distinctive sounding shutter. I can always tell a Nikon shooter in a crowd. I just can't tell him much...

The 10.3 megapixel CCD sensor delivers very good color range and excellent detail as evinced by the shot of Molly, above. It's hard getting detail in such a black cat, but I was very happy with these results. (D200 - AF-S 18-70 @70mm - f8 - 1/30 second - 200 ISO - Flash bounced off ceiling)

We adopted Legs about a year and a half after we got the triplets. He started hanging around the back door in Long Beach around December of 2000, and we took him in and cleaned him up just before Christmas. He seemed, and the vet seemed to think, too, to be about the same age as our kids, which was around two.

But in the last year I've begun to have my doubts. The gray patches of his coat are flecked more and more with stray white hairs. He moves a lot slower than the others, he sleeps more, too. While he's always been an extremely lazy cat, I'm thinking he may be at least two years older than the others, if not more. The triplets were nine this spring, so I think he's closer to 11, maybe 12. It's been suggested I start giving him glucousimine supplements, which I'm going to look into.

Do you think portrait above makes him look like a wise old sage? Like Betsy's picture here, it was taken out the back door. Unlike Betsy's picture, the light was overcast, and so better suited to the short depth of field. Keeping the sharp focus isolated on the eye and surrounding fur and whiskers adds a sense of murk and mystery. Or you can think of it as 'Emo cat poses for his MySpace'. (Canon 5D - 70-200 2.8L @200mm f2.8 - 1/320 second - 320 ISO - existing light)


Anonymous said...

It really does produce great color...I love the pink on Legs's nose. And my comforter never looked that bright!

emo cat Molly:

You wokes emo cat. Diz bettah be good.

gberg said...

Immediate reaction on looking at Legs more closely: "Hey! He looks like Neil somehow!"

(no comment on whether this makes him look wise.)

Sharon said...

When I fed them last week, I did think it seemed like Legs had to use a little extra effort to get up and down the basement stairs.