I have my D7100 since yesterday, but I didn’t really do much with it yesterday apart from trying buttons and reading a little bit in the manual. I only shot my first photos in the automatic mode, I showed two of them here and here.
Some hours later it was too dark to take more photos. I know, the D7100 can also be used if it is darker, but without tripod this is probably very difficult, and apart from that I have not the experience yet to do these shots. But I was very curios and excited in the evening, I planned to go all crazy next morning and set my alarm clock to 6 am. It doesn’t happen often that I like to hear the buzzer, but when I heard the alarm today in the morning I jumped out of the bed in a second. Ready for action!
I went to the kitchen and noticed that I had enough spread but only exactly one toast. Huh? Not enough to eat! I did eat that one toast with spread cheese, went to the bath for body care and then I prepared the D7100 and my camera bag for action. All that didn’t take much time, I was already outside just before 7 am. I visited the next bakery to buy some croissants for the way as my breakfast was clearly not enough.
I shot some test photos on the street, but decided to go right away to the Trave River area to take some nature shots. It didn’t really matter to me, I just wanted to test this camera no matter where but this area is really good to test a camera. Here is one photo of hundreds I took today…
I won’t go too much into detail as I want to talk about the camera in the next paragraph, but I can tell you I filled the SD card already with 300 photos there. After that I walked to one of our districts and shot even more photos. Then I decided to visit my mother but they just said that they want to drive to the garden and I said that it would be great as I wanted test my camera anyway right now and the garden would be perfect for that too.
After the garden, I decided to invite my mother and her husband to eat at a Turkish kebab shop. At that point my SD card was filled with around 900 photos, and at home I noticed that there were 5 gigabyte of photos on the car. That means I went full wacko with the D7100 and it was the first field test for the camera and me.
Now about the camera and of course also about the 18-105mm kit lens. Yesterday I mentioned in one of my posts that the kit lens would not impress me but to be honest, I go back with this statement. I tested this lens with average lighting conditions at home, but today I tested the lens with day ligh outdoors. I think there are better lenses, but this lens is everything but not bad. Today I say it’s impressive what you can do with this lens.
I enjoyed to shoot with the D7100 and this lens, I enjoyed it heavily. I never had so much fun taking photos, this was a wonderful experience and the only reason why I did put the camera back into the bag was that my hands did hurt after some hours as I carried the camera for so long with my hands. Apart from that it was really hard not to take pictures, I was totally amazed. I mean I was 10 hours outside and was in berserk mode with the camera.
But I was even more impressed when I saw the photos at home on my computer. I think I have a lot to share after this day, it’s just sad that I have to resize most images before I upload them to my blog, because they a huge, but the images are so detailed that I seriously consider to create an account for example on Flickr, to be able to share the high-resolution photos too, I am just too lazy for this extra work I guess but let’s see.
Here are some things I learned today. Auto focus is fine in many cases, but there are quite a lot of cases where focusing manually is so much better. Manual focus seems to increase shutter speed as the camera has not to focus if you set it already before you shoot. Then the fine tuning is in many cases needed. We have a pond with fishes in the garden, there is a protective net over the pond to secure the fishes from hungry birds. With auto focus enabled the camera will try to get the net into focus and not the fishes and that is a big problem, but if I focus manually I can make the camera focus on the fishes and this worked so well that the protective net was so blurred, I mean nearly invisible on the photos and that is amazing.
I don’t know if I can make the camera focusing faster in auto mode, but now that I don’t know it, focusing manually worked also for sports photography much better. My mother threw a ball into the air after I focused right and then I could take mid-air shots of the ball, that is quite a lot of fun. As same as taking photos of jumping people. I have some funny pictures of my mother frozen in the picture mid-air, this is hilarious and I like this kind of photography. I learned how I can do continuous shooting with the D7100. I wish I could show you these photos but we all prefer not to have much pictures of us in the internet. But I will do something very similar with my cat some day, she is often jumping on things, so this would be something to show then.
Overall after 10 hours shooting, I really got used to focusing manually and to work with the focal range and so. After a while you really start to understand where you need a different focal length. After some hours I really had to try less, I simply knew after a while how I had to change the lens settings. I also learned how to adjust ISO, but it was so bright outside, especially afternoons, so that I really had the camera set to very low ISO values. Apart from that, even if I don’t shoot with auto anymore, I still shoot with the program mode and I am not sure yet if the ISO value I set was used, I don’t think so. Next I want to learn how to use aperture and shutter priority modes, but I shouldn’t stress myself.
Talking about Photoshop, it’s now even more fun, because I can crop the hell out of the image and there will be still details and no pixels at all. If there is a bird too far away on the image, I can just crop it and it still looks pretty nice. This is one of the reasons why I needed a DSLR, I simply do a lot with Photoshop and the DSLR will now give me more creative freedom because of different aspects.
Over the next days I will share some of my first results. As always I prefer single photo posts with short or long stories about the photo depending on my mood. But now I just need to sort what I have. I also noticed that I probably will need a new hard drive for my computer very soon as I don’t have too much space anymore. An upgrade is needed, but the remaining savings should be still enough to do this. So, much about my first field test with the camera.