I finally took the plunge. I dreamt of the day i could ditch my 4 year old Nikon D5300. Don’t get me wrong. Its a great camera in its own right. Considering it’s an APS-C or DX (of which Nikon likes to call it) format, the camera can handle most of my demands except for low-light. Yep, it gets real grainy at around ISO 1250. Other than that, its AF system is quick enough to focus most of my shots. I shoot a lot of portraits so i don’t really need a fast AF system. Oh if you pair it with a very good lens like the 12-24mm and you can get very good images. I personally use a prime lens most of the time with the D5300, specifically the AF-S 35mm f1.8.

Most of the images on my site are shot on a D5300. Some of you camera junkies might think how the hell did I manage to pull off those kind of shots on an APS-C system? Well, the secret lies in composition and post-processing. It doesn’t mean anything at all if you own an expensive camera and your shots turn out really bad i.e blurred/soft images, uneven/unbalanced angles. I’ve seen many who own expensive cameras and they operate only in AUTO mode. Granted, auto mode will let your camera pick the optimal scene settings. However, the camera is not utilized properly enough because the photographer has no idea how to input creative settings in order to compose his image.

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The Nikon D5300. Been using this for 4 years +

If i were to quote my friend “It’s the Singer, not the song”. 

I reflected back and wondered what he meant by that. After pondering for a good whole 5 minutes, i realized that a great picture is composed by the photographer himself, not the camera. Anyone can hold a camera and shoot, but what sets a photo apart is the user himself. Heck it, even a decent mobile phone camera can take great shots, provided that its in the hands of a user with a good eye for taking pictures. So just bear in mind, photographers don’t have it easy, they go through a thought process in order to capture a good image. From vision, to technical competency and artistic approach and lastly post-processing. A good single image alone can take hours to take shape. Oh yeah, we take lots of photos and pick only the good ones.

I have fully maximized the D5300 through and through. It’s got its limitations. I am bounded to its limitations. I needed more juice to feed my demands. That’s where i decided to upgrade my camera. Actually i had that idea about a year ago. I wanted a better gear. I waited for Nikon to come out with a good FX body. I was tempted by the D5. That monster costs about SGD $9k++. Just the body alone. If you were to pair with good glasses. It can reach up to 20k! I’m not ready to fully invest in that. The D500 also caught my eye. However it’s an APS-C system as well. I was looking for a full frame system. Even though the D500 has an excellent AF system, it wasn’t enough to satisfy me.

Along came the D850, now this was everything i needed. A good low-light and fast AF monster. The thing i love most about the D850 is its image quality. The sensor is capable of taking 45.7 megapixels. Plus it has all the bells and whistles of a professional body. I mean it is a professional body. Full-time photographers swear by the D850. The only downside to the D850 is IBIS. It has no in-body stabilization systems on board. The buttons and dials are all on the body itself and i don’t have to trouble myself by going into the menu to make changes. I can make changes on the fly just like that. Oh did i mention the wide selection of good glasses! DSLRs have a good collection of glasses. It also uses a hybrid XQD / SD card system. I bought myself an XQD card to test how fast the image transfers to the XQD, it is blazingly fast. Mind you, one RAW photo is about 100mb. I shoot only in RAW. I do a lot of post-processing.

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The NIKON D850. My current camera

That’s where i looked over to Sony’s A7R III. It has almost the same specs as the D850. It has IBIS and i was already leaning over towards the A7R III. I was ready to make the jump to mirrorless cameras. However there was an important thing i looked back when i used a friend’s mirrorless system, the grip and handling is not to my liking. The mirrorless systems have small builds and it feels weird for me to hold them. My hand aches easily because the weight distribution is uneven. I am accustomed to the weight of a DSLR. It feels great to shoot on a DSLR.

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The SONY A7r III. It sure looks sexy.

That reason alone was enough to convince myself to purchase the D850. I paired it with SIGMA’s ART 35mm f1.8 lens. I love to get into the action, but i also want something wide enough. Hence i settled on that lens. Its super sharp at f2.8 and above but i can get great bokeh if i open it wide at f1.4. I’ve brought around the body and lens for the past 2 weeks and its been exceeding my expectations. I have yet to fully maximise the setup. It might take months to years to maximise its full potential. The recent photos i uploaded here on my website are taken with the camera and lens. You can check out the EXIF metadata to see for yourself.

I bought the body at a very affordable price. Nikon SG has set a RRP of SGD $4999.00. If you want to get the body at a lower price, you can contact me and i will refer you to my friend. 😀 Only in Singapore though!

Here are some of the recent photos taken using the D850 and Sigma 35mm.

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