Nikon D750 – UK pricing


My first thoughts about this camera can be read here.

What I didn’t talk about in the previous blog post was the UK pricing of the Nikon D750 camera, at the moment as it has just been released it is the same price everywhere. It also seems that the standard free accessory is a couple of SD cards of varying speed and quality.

So in here in the UK, we have three options:

  • Nikon D750 body only: £1799
  • Nikon D750 with 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 AF-S G ED VR lens: £2249
  • Nikon D750 with 24-120mm f4 G AF-S ED VR lens: £2349

It is interesting to note that the Nikkor 24-120mm f4 G AF-S ED VR lens costs £390 more than the Nikkor 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 AF-S G ED VR lens but the difference in the kit price is only £100:

  • The Nikkor 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 AF-S G ED VR lens costs £409
  • The Nikkor 24-120mm f4 G AF-S ED VR lens costs £799

So this means that you save £249 if you purchase the D750 with the 24-120mm lens BUT it costs £41 more to get the D750 with the 24-85mm lens. This of course assumes that you want one of these lenses, the general consensus is that the 24-120mm lens is better than the 24-85mm lens (it should be as it costs more); however, there seems to be a lot of FUD around on the 24-120mm lens on how good it is.

I have to say that if I was to purchase a D750 I would most likely go for the D750 and 24-120mm lens kit once it becomes available, I have been informed by Lee at London Camera Exchange that we are looking at 1 to 2 weeks.

Finally, if you pop over to WEX Photographic you will note that they are also selling the D750 with a variety of lenses and you save about £100 over buying them separately.

Nikon D750 – first thoughts


As is usual for a Monday lunchtime my friend Mike and I went to our favourite coffee shop in Lincoln (Caffe Nero). Afterwards we popped into the Silver Street London Camera Exchange Store to see if there was anything new to see or newly added to their second-hand selection. Whilst in there they asked me if I had seen the Nikon D750 and as they weren’t busy I asked if I could have a quick go to see what it fleet like in the hand.


They pointed out that it was very light and after a few “it’s light” phrases from all concerned I had the camera placed into my hands. For comparison I was also given a D800; and it was lighter but not that much lighter; in fact the weight difference is only 150g (900g for the D800 vs 750g for the D750). They asked if I would like to try it with a lens (I plumped for the AFS Nikkor 24-70mmm f/2.8G ED lens), I have to say that they balanced nicely although I preferred the grip on the D800.

I noticed that the shutter release button was very light and didn’t take much pressure to trip the shutter, at first I wasn’t aware that the noise was the shutter going because it was so quiet! I thought that it was the aperture closing on the lens – in the past the aperture blades on certain Nikon lenses were very audible when closing. I was impressed it was so quiet.

I was also very impressed in how fast and silent the focusing was too once I remembered how to select between the various focusing modes and group settings. I also had to switch the exposure mode to Aperture Priority too instead of the Dummy Program mode which IMHO has no place on a camera like this. The final thing that jumped out at me was the monochrome settings view on the tilting screen on the rear of the camera, it’s only a small change but it is better, Mike exclaimed I can read that without my glasses.

I have to say that if I was in the market for a full-frame nikon this would be at the top of the list. I’m not sure if it was Nikon’s intent but this is going to kill the sales of the D610 this camera is so much better and at £1799 is only £450 more (the D610 is currently £1349) and as the introductory price starts to erode will only close this gap.

Nikon 610 with 24-85mm lens

I initially thought that basing the D750 on the D610/D7100 chassis was a bad idea – now I think it was the right decision as the camera feels solid in the hands and the really bright viewfinder was astonishingly good even though this viewed through a rectangular eyepiece (I would have preferred the round one form the D800 but it’s only a minor niggle).

Now as I write this post I wish I had a memory card that I could have tried in the camera so as to review the shots and check out the resolution, maybe another day.

Finally, because the shop went on about how light the camera was I asked if I could compare this with a Sony A7 with lens. Dave got the A7 with 28-70mm lens out from the window and it was night and day. The A7 and lens combo seemed so tiny compared to the D750 even though they have very similar sensors. The big difference was the weight, the A7 and lens weighs only 769g (474g for the A7 and 295g for the lens), just 19g more than the D750 body alone; the 24-70mm f2.8 lens weights 900g! yes I know that this is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison but there is a massive difference in size. And yes the D750 has a much better AF system, dual card slots and the Nikkor lens system too.

Sony A7 Body

So although the D750 is a cracking full-frame camera that is in its class is smaller and lighter than the rest, it isn’t much lighter than the Sony A7 series cameras especially when you throw lenses into the equation.

My Photokina thoughts

Photokina started this week and over the last few days all of the camera manufacturers have announced what will be shown and whilst some of the new stuff will be available as early as next week most of them won’t be available until next month or later.

I have to say that although a lot of stuff has been announced there has been no “WOW” products this year, we seem to be in an evolutionary phase at the moment. The other fact that seems to have dampened my view is that the rumour sites have been on the ball this year and very little has been announced that wasn’t known before.

However, a few of the things released are interesting (to me anyway) and I will go over these as well as a few things that would have interested me more if they were released a few years ago. I will list them by manufacturer:

EOS 7D Mark II   EF-S18-135STM FSL

The big announcement from Canon was the long awaited EOS 7D-MarkII; no-one really knows why it has taken Canon so long to release this device. Whilst there are some truly innovative features that are a pre-requisite for a Sports/Wildlife/Action camera such as the focusing system from the 1DX, 10fps for 31 RAW files, enhanced weather sealing and the same controls as the full-frame 5D-Mark III there is nothing new in here. The sensor is getting really old now; it is a tweaked version of what was in the EOS 70D and only 20MP!

Nikon has moved almost exclusively to 24MP sensors (DX and Crop – the Df and D4/D4s are the only exceptions) and they have removed the OLPF filter to get the maximum benefit of the sensors too. The update does mean that the camera now has full access to the Canon Speedlite system though and with built –in GPS there is no need to spend £250+ on the GPS adapter; but where is the WiFi?

So the EOS 7D MarkII is a competent upgrade and was exactly what was needed over the original 7D but I wouldn’t consider is not an awesome upgrade considering the time it has taken to come out. Maybe this will encourage Nikon to release an upgrade to their now discontinued D300s?

Unfortunately there is still no sign of the Mark II version of the EF100-400 Mark II this year, this would have been an excellent companion to the EOS 7D-MarkII. :(

Nikon are really ramping up their (35mm) full-frame camera line up. Last month they released the D810 which is more of an upgrade over the original D800 than the small change in model number implies. This new model has some major improvements and replaces both the D800 and D800e and has no Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) unlike the D800 and the D800e’s dual-cancelling-out-filter kludge.

Just prior to Photokina Nikon added a new full frame camera to the line-up, the D750. Once this was announced on the rumour sites everyone jumped to the conclusion that this would be the “true” replacement to the Nikon D700 – hoorah! However, once it was announced that it would have two SD slots I thought that it would more likely be based on the D610/D7100 chassis and it is (sort of).

So instead of the D700 upgrade (which I suppose is really the D810) we get a quasi-mish-mash of the D810 and the D610. Take a D610 and improve the chassis so that the lens mount is now attached to the metal sub-frame and shoe-horn in the focusing and metering system from the D810 as well a tilt screen with all of the latest Nikon DSLR video capabilities too. This should give you an idea of the camera’s capabilities.

This shows that Nikon is either a clever genius or has totally lost the plot it all comes down to what you want/need from a camera. I think Nikon currently has the edge in full-frame DSLR cameras (over Canon anyway).

What about the Nikon DX format? We have had no announcement (no D300s) on this front but Nikon could take the D750 swap out the sensor for the one from the D7100 (tweak it a bit) and hey presto we have the D7200 – if the buffer and FPS are improved it could combat the EOS 70D and 7D Mark II. But I suspect that Nikon aren’t that forward thinking. Maybe they have a D400 ready but wanted Canon to show their hand first?

Sony have announced no Alpha lenses or cameras (so no Alpha A99-MarkII), this events seems to be an FE lens and accessory love-in. The fabled FE 16-35mm lens was released as well as full size mock-ups of the lenses coming later this and next year along either a full FE lens roadmap.
Sony FE 16-35

I don’t know what it is but there is something I like about the A7 and it lens range and once the second gen bodies come out I hope to pick up a second hand A7 (maybe an A7R) at a good discount. The fact that we are now about to get a lot more lenses (third party ones too) means that there should be enough glass to satisfy everyone. I like the fact that you can use the same stuff on the APS sensor sized Ax000 cameras to such as the A6000. We also have a very good Alpha mount lens adapter with or without a phase-detect focusing module for lenses such as the 80-400mm and finally there are many third-party lens adapters for just about any lens out there (with varying degrees of automation).

Olympus have finally released the 40-150 f2.8 weather sealed “pro” lens and I have noticed that this will sell for £1299 which I think is a very competitive price; it’s only a bit more expensive than Panasonic’s 35-100 f2.8 lens and has a much greater telephoto range (at f2.8!). Unfortunately for me, is that although I can attach this to my GX7 and GH3 I won’t get the full benefits as there is no Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) in the lens. Olympus use “in-body image stabilisation” (IBIS) and the 5 axis IBIS in the OMD EM1 and OMD EM5 is really impressive. Yes I know that the GX7 has IBIS too but it’s nowhere near as good as the Olympus.


Olympus also released a 1.4x tele-converter that can be used with the 40-150mm lens giving you a 56-210 f4 lens which is equivalent to a 112-420mm FOV in 35mm full-frame terms. The tele-converter is £299 or can be purchased with the 40-150mm for £1499 which saves you £100, I don’t know if this is a limited time offer or a permanent option.

They also announced a major OM-D EM-1 firmware update that may or may not enable 4K video but brings a whole host of feature updates and the usual bug-fixes.

I have to say that I am really impressed with what Olympus are doing at the moment and with the recent price drop of the OMD EM1 (to £1699 with the 12-40mm f2.8 lens) it’s now a more attractive option.

Panasonic also realised a large firmware update for the GH4 but this doesn’t seem to add many new features. However more interestingly they did release two cameras that I am interested in. First we have the fixed (zoom) lensed LX100:
Unlike the competition that seems to have standardised on the 1″ sensor they have gone for a 4/3 sensor which is twice the size; this is the same sensor size used in their interchangeable lens cameras. The camera is reminiscent of their now defunct LC-1 (a full-sized 4/3 sensor camera) and their LX range which hasn’t been updated for some time. Having a lens to support the full-area of the sensor would make the camera too big so they have cleverly given the user a number of aspect ratios to choose from that each uses different areas of the sensor as required. This is a very desirable compact camera and it has an EVF and 4K video too; but at £799 it isn’t cheap.
Panasonic also announced the GM5 which is essentially a slightly larger GM1 but with an EVF built in, there isn’t much else new in there and it won’t replace the GM1 but sit alongside it; the GM1 kit costs only £549. I wouldn’t mind a GM5 although this costs £749 with the 12-32mm lens I think I would rather get the LX100 for £50 more as I already have two MFT interchangeable lens cameras now.


Samsung are going after the pro or prosumer market now with the all new NX1 and new f2.8 pro zoom lenses (16-50mm and 50-150mm).
I think that this is the most interesting new product announced and is better than the Nikon and Canon efforts. This camera has everything built in except the kitchen sink and shows what a manufacturer who isn’t scared of sacrificing some sales from an already established DSLR line can do. The Samsung NX1 is an mirror-less APS-C sized sensor camera with a 28MP sensor, it has an all new focusing system and can shoot at 15fps while still focusing; the buffer is large enough to hold 77 high quality jpegs or 40 RAW files. It has a tilting touch-screen, EVF and loads of control wheels & dials. It also shoots 4K video and can take an external battery grip too.


The camera body costs £1299 but if you pre-order the item, WEX Photographic are throwing in the 16-50 f3.5-5.6 Power Zoom OIS lens with an outfit bag for free (usually a £279 value). There is also meant to be a kit with the camera, f2.8 16-50mm lens, battery grip, extra battery and charger but this isn’t avaibl in the UK (at the moment?), this would be around the £2435 mark which would represent good value, the lens alone costs £1,079.00. There is no sign of the battery or grip in the UK yet either.

So we have a very nice reasonably priced camera with good glass, the biggest problem I believe will be finding a supplier as Samsung have never been this keen on this end of the market before. I just hope that they commit what is needed to be a real player. I look forward to having a go with this camera if I can find a place stocking them. Maybe a trip to WEX Photographic (in Norwich) is finally needed it isn’t too far away from Lincoln.

iPhone 6 pre-order day madness

As advertised by Apple, today (Friday 12th September) is the first day that you can pre-order your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Next week on Friday 17th September you will be able to actually purchase your phone. Those who have pre-ordered their phone will be able to collect them on that day; whether they are sent out before the 17th for any on-line orders so that they arrive on the day is unknown.

And as expected (like every year) the UK phone provider sites are struggling to keep up with the frenzy that is now ensuing.

The EE site was totally unresponsive from 8:00 am this morning and although I can now get to the penultimate page in pre-ordering the phone I cannot get all of the way through to find out what there “in-contract” phones cost instead you get the under maintenance page.

The O2 site is now back up bad gives up if you click on the pre-order iPhone 6 link.

The Apple site is now up and gives you the standalone price of the phone, to recap these are:

  • iPhone 6 with 16GB: £539
  • iPhone 6 with 64GB: £619
  • iPhone 6 with 128GB: £699
  • iPhone 6 Plus with 16GB: £619
  • iPhone 6 Plus with 64GB: £699
  • iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB: £789

Strangely Vodafone have managed their demand and at the time of creation of this post you can select any of their iPhone 6’s in any size, colour and capacity. I have managed to get all of the way through and the iPhone 6 plus with 128GB isn’t as expensive as I thought it would be if you pick one of their Red 4G contracts:
Vodafone 4G-2

This is more than I am paying now but not excessively more and the Red contract prices are fixed for the initial term of the contract. So for the first 2 years it won’t go up but could after this time but at that point you’ll be looking at a new phone or a lower cost contract anyway.

Apple’s September Announcements


I was hoping to post something on my blog yesterday about this but it took a lot longer to see everything announced, longer than it should have!

I like to watch Apple announcements live or if not available watch the stream that is usually available shortly after the live announcement. Apple seems to be making live streams of their events available and like the WWDC earlier this year, the September iPhone announcement was made available.

So with anticipation I waited until 6PM (BST) and waited and waited, I refreshed the browser and the event had already started. Worst was that I could hear a couple of oriental (Japanese?, Chinese? I couldn’t be sure) just in the background translating everything being said, they were audible enough to be annoying. So I refreshed the browser again and then it got worse as I got the holding page again – NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

So I picked up the iPad and that was no better, it would play some of the announcement and then play the annoying intro video then more of the announcement followed by the increasingly annoying intro video again and then that was it.

I tried a few more times on the iMac and the iPad but gave up.

So I waited a few hours and then went to the Apple Events page – it said that the video of the live stream would be available shortly, I tried again about every hour until this message went and the most recent video available here was the WWDC one. It was getting late so I went to bed.

I awoke at about 3am the next day and woke the sleeping iMac – still no video on the events page so I googled and found a direct link to the live stream – unfortunately the cat was out of the bag by now I knew what was coming so the video was not as revealing as it could have been.

So what was announced and what do I think?

iPhone 6
As was expected the annual update to the iPhone was announced – the iPhone 6. This year it has grown in size from 4″ to 4.7″ and has a much faster CPU and graphics processor courtesy of the A8 chip which has double the transistor count and is physically smaller too. The new phone has an improved camera, faster ac based WiFi, faster LTE connectivity and NFC for the Apple-pay feature. The M8 co-processer has been improved too and is also faster. To accommodate the larger size the power button has moved down to the right-hand side of the phone (nice :) ).

The change in dimensions has allowed Apple to make the device thinner and is now only 6.9mm thick, the former iPhone 5s is 7.6mm thick however the weight has increased slightly from 112g (for the iPhone 5s) to 129g.

The new larger screen is what Apple call “Retina HD” and has a resolution of 1334×750 pixels which is a density of 326ppi. The iPhone 5s has a resolution of 1136×640 at the same density of 326ppi.

Apple has also changed the model line-up, so we have a 16GB model (£539), 64GB (£619) and 128GB (£699). They are available in the same colours as the current iPhone 5s (Silver, Gold and Space Gray). The 64GB model replaces the 32GB and the 128GB is now the top-end model (usurping the prior 64GB model).

The iPhone 6 is available to buy on 19th September (in UK) and can be pre-ordered from 12th September – tomorrow.


iPhone 6 plus
The iPhone 6 Plus is the rumoured larger version of the iPhone. This has all of the same internal features of the iPhone 6 but with a much larger display, an optically stabilised camera lens and better battery life to boot.

The iPhone 6 plus has a 5.5″ screen and like the 6, this is also called Retina HD which is more apt as the resolution is 1920×1080 on this device, this is a pixel density of 401ppi.

Being a larger device means that it is slightly thicker than the iPhone 6 at 7.1mm (but still thinner than the iPhone 5s) and it weighs in at 172g

Like the iPhone 6 , the 6 Plus has 3 models and 3 colours too; the 16GB model is £619, the 64GB model is £699 and the 128GB iPhone 6 plus costs a staggering £789. They are available in the same colours as the current iPhone 5s (Silver, Gold and Space Grey).

These are also available to buy on 19th September (in UK) with pre-orders from 12th September.

Please note that these are the full retail prices for the phones and will be cheaper if purchased with a contract. They can be purchased from Apple’s retail stores as well as O2, Vodafone, EE, Hutch, GiffGaff, Virgin, TalkMobile and other authorised Apple resellers (the 3 network is notable by its absence).

Of the two models this is the one I prefer, I had a Lumia 920 a year ago and I miss the larger screen, but the extended battery life and optical stabilisation mixed with the large screen iOS8 enhancements make this the model that I want. Although my first though was to go for the 128GB model the 64GB model might be enough; I guess this comes down to availability and cost. Unfortunately my contact isn’t up for renewal until the beginning of next year although this will help with the availability side of things and I should be abel to get any colour I want too.


iOS8 release date
iOS 8 will be released on the 17th September, I was hoping that it would be earlier (like this week) but its just under a week to wait.

This version of the iOS software will work with most of the Apple iOS devices out there:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini 2
  • iPod Touch 5G

Apple Pay
This is a secure built-in technology that utilises the iPhone6/iphone 6 plus’s NFC in conjunction with passbook to pay for items at certain US retail and online stores. This could be very interesting if it takes off but as it is an Apple only technology I don’t see this happening unless of course the stores in question can use the infrastructure for other NFC based payment systems too.


As is usual with this kind of service it is US only at the moment and Apple hope to roll this out to other parts of the world later. I remember this statement was made about iTunes Radio over a year ago and we are still to see this in the UK. :(

Apple Watch
This was another rumoured device incorrectly called the “iWatch”, I think that Apple Watch is a better name anyway. This is an accessory for users of iPhones (models: 5, 5s, 5c, 6 and 6+ only) and won’t be available until early next year. The price will be from $349; this equates to about £300 in the UK but we don’t know the precise cost at the moment as Apple has not revealed these yet.


There are going to be three ranges (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition) and each range will have two sizes and a range of colours too. Finally there will be many different styles of straps in ranges of colours and materials. The total number of variations must be in the hundreds. Apple have developed a rather simple an innovative way of changing the straps so this can be changed if needed or desired. While the watch isn’t waterproof it is splash proof.

I look forward to seeing these as I would like to have one but I need to see what they are like to wear, although I would prefer the larger of the two sizes (simply easier to see and use) I might have to go for the smaller one as I have small girly wrists.

It has also been noted (it was the first question I had) that the battery life of the new watch has not been revealed, this usually isn’t good and compounded with Tim’s statement that it needs charging overnight tends to suggest that it will only last a day – we’ll have to wait and see.

U2 Free album on iTunes
The final surprise was that after playing one of their new songs from the new album, Apple has given the entire album away to anyone with an iTunes account. Although I saw this in the store this yesterday morning I was having trouble getting the tracks to download to my iTunes library. I eventually managed to do this.

I quite like a lot of the music that U2 produces so look forward to listening to the album.

So in 2 hours Apple did announce quite a lot and apart from the U2 album we’ll have to wait for most of this to be released (anything from a week to many months).

New Computer – Part3

Software, drivers and data

I am fortunate that most of the software that I use is cross-platform so getting MS Office and Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom installed was really easy.


Adobe Lightroom had to be told where its RAW files were which I kind of expected and then following a few must have preference changes now works OK. All of my plugins (MAC versions now) were installed without issue.

After copying across my iTunes library and repointing the software to the local iTunes folder everything was fine. Once this was authorised (which I had to twice for some reason) the Apple TV downstairs carried on working without issue.


I had a backup of iPhoto from the last time that I used it, this needed updating to the latest version and then I imported all of the missing JPG files. Apart from a few issues with some of the video files this worked very well and I even updated the Faces data too. I’m intrigued how this will alter when Apple launces their new photo app for the Mac next year – I suspect that it will have very strong ties to the cloud solution.

I even had a few apps purchased some time ago waiting on the Mac App store that I re-installed, this is a brilliant feature and when purchasing software is where I always start.

So what’s missing and did anything not go so well?

Apart from the external monitor issue there have been very few problems.

The multi-function Canon printer/scanner that I have was more difficult to install than I remember from previous experiences – this is partly due to the fact that Canon just presents the latest files on their network with no detail on which ones you need and what the best order to install them is. I know I could have used the installation disc that came with the printer but the drivers on there will be quite old now.

I also had a problem with my bookmarks too, they disappeared, reappeared and then more than 50% of them lost their favicons. I tracked this down to the fact that on the PC I had linked Google Chrome to the Bookmarks feature – disabling then removing the plugin seems to have fixed this.

I also haven’t fully decided on what to do regarding a finance application yet, I could use Money dance that I was using on the PC but this means installing Java which I would rather not use.

Although this is a fast Mac there are a few games that I will not be able to use as they are not cross platform, however the PC is not leaving the house so I will be able to use this for the odd game when needed.

Fortunately for me, Diablo III is cross platform so is already installed on the Mac ready to play; I will also install Steam and see what is available on the Mac platform too.

New Computer – Part2

Backup Strategy
In addition to the iMac I also purchased two LaCie Drives to help with my Backup strategy:

  • LaCie 4TB P`9233 Desktop Drive – USB3
  • LaCie 8TB 2big Thunderbolt RAID Hard Drive

The 4TB drive is dedicated to “Time Machine” on the iMac and will back up all of the data on the iMac automatically as well as providing recovery of any files I accidentally delete or overwrite. The other drive came configured as a RAID 0 striped drive which will be very fast but at the possible expense of ALL of the data if EITHER drive fails – some call this scary-RAID.


I changed this to a RAID 1 Mirror set using the built in tools of the MAC OSX system. This halves the capacity to 4TB and will not be as fast either but will protect the data if one of the drives fails. This dive is dedicated to storing my RAW files and Video files that I have accumulated over the years. The Jpg files are stored in iPhoto on the iMac and the music and films are stored in iTunes also on the iMac (and hence are backed up to via Time Machine).

I also have a 2TB USB3 portable Western Digital drive that I will install carbon copy onto to provide a remote backup option and I will also ensure that a copy of my RAW files are also on the drive. This drive will be usually be located off-site. I intend to add another one of these drives configured in the same manner and then alternate them between home and work as the need arises.

iCloud Drive Icon

Once Apple sort out the iCloud Drive I will store anything here that makes sense (i.e. documents, some photos, etc.). I also have access to 1TB+ of OneDrive space and a reasonable amount of Drop Box space too.


On the subject of cloud storage, I also have over 1 TB of OneDrive storage thanks to my Office subscription, some Dropbox storage, some flickr storage and some Adobe storage too.

I haven’t really decide on how to make best use of the cloud storage options open to me, I really want to see what Apple offer first, having a Mac will probably mean that Apple’s storage options will be best for me – we’ll just have to wait and see. We might find out more about this tonight (6PM UK time) during Apple’s presentation which will almost certainly talk about the new iPhone and iOS8 but could also go through other Apple offerings too (Yosemite? iCloud Drive?).