Category Archives: rants

FAA is shoot your drone down!

While Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and company are debating about personal liberties in the Republic primaries; the FAA is threatening to use “deadly force” to any drone within 36 miles of SuperBowl 50. Police state, anyone?

If you remember, a few months ago, FAA tried a power grab on forcing people who own drones to register them and pay a $5 fee for owning it. They also have another registry for commercial drones. As many said, it was a bad move but that didn’t stop the Obama Administration. They are pretty good at giving us small business killing requirements.

You might also remember that Jared Polin broke last year of a man in Kentucky that shot down a drone that was over his yard. He claimed it was “peeping” on his teenage daughter.

I get the need for a common “rules of engagement” for drone owners and when you are talking the Super Bowl; you are also talking national security but I think it is something else at play to be honest. It was just security; I would not have an issue with it.

However, I think it is more about cronyism and protecting big media than it is actually national security. I am willing to be wrong on this.

FAA is protecting Big Media

I know many photographers get very passionate about image rights and all but I think this is the government working with the major television outlets to protect them from small time videos ending up on Youtube. If this is true, it is sad at best. It is another case of the government against the will of the people.

Here is the video from FAA about their drone position for the Super Bowl. You can take it how you want but I think it is more about protection than it is about actual national security. I could be wrong but it is what I think.

Fedora Nation: a response to the groupies of Jason Lanier

There has been quite the chatter on the comments about why I am now back to using Nikon (not Sony cameras) and why I have named the blog, Nikon Dojo. I find it funny that the people who are creating this drama are the brianless groupies of Jason Lanier, a guy that I really respect for his skill. They call themselves the “fedora nation‬.”

I said then and I will say it again, Jason was a jerk to me about his obsession with Sony gear but his craft is amazing. I respect him as a photographer. His work is very good. You will never hear me say anything against that. It is the Sony snobbery and gear whoring that has always bothered me about Jason.

All the groupies (they are more off the wall about Sony than Jason) call themselves the Fedora Nation, after Jason’s hat. I don’t really pay much attention to them unless they come up on my social media channels. I have better things to do than to listen to trolls tell me how great their over-priced bodies are and how they are brainless worshipers of Sony’s marketing team.

At least Jason is smart, he milks these guys for training sessions. I saw he is just talked them into $2,500 a month to “follow him on different levels.” He is smart. I do not have much of a problem with it. If the people are dumb to open their wallets, take the money!

Fedora Nation can be one annoying bunch

I have to laugh when they throw around their snobbery. They think that shooting Sony is a “calling” and if you can’t afford Sony, you can shoot Nikon. I am not even joking. One of them actually made that comment. The irony of that is I have the Nikon D7200, Nikon D750 and Nikon D800. The funny that is they cost about the same as their beloved Sony mirrorless systems. I am sure the Nikon D500 will find its way into my camera bag in the coming months as well.

The funny thing about the Fedora Nation is how quiet they become when you start talking about affordable lens and flashes. They get really quiet. Ask them how many F/2.8 lenes are under $1000 on the market? They fear to the answer: none. They know Nikon knocks the shit out of Sony in this area and about every other area too.

Dealing with the people are the best to give actual facts, not opinions. Things like the 10 reasons I sold my Sony full frame cameras. All 10 of them put fear into the hearts of the Fedora Nation. They do not like to admit that Sony has given then a system that is not ready for game day. They also don’t like to hear they are just being played by the marketing department of Sony in Tokyo.

Mark my word, the Summer Games will be full of DSLRs made by Nikon and Canon; not mirror less made by Sony. I would be surprised to see more than a few Sony mirror less cameras at the Olympics in Brazil!

Should you watch Jason Lanier?

That is really up to you but I would suggest that you realize that he is a Sony snob and about half of his videos are “buy this” and “buy that.” He is a salesmen more than an educator these days. If he is not selling Sony or Rotolight, he is pimping his own workshops for $600 a pop. I just see less and less real education in his videos on YouTube and more pimping of products.

If I was a young guy that just picked up a camera, I could not really learn much from his shoots that he post. No breaking down the images, if he does talk about settings; there is never a reason why. I would not put him in the same league as guys like Jared Polin, Chase Jarvis, and Matt Granger. These guys actually teach photography.

One thing you can get from watching Jason Lanier is ideas. I have came up with some cool ideas to expand over the years from watching one of his shoots. This was especially true when he was shooting Nikon and not the snob of today. I do not watch him much anymore because of that but I still am thankful for some of the cool things I came up with from watching his videos on Youtube back in the day.

As I say, it comes down to make a choice that is right for you.

Don’t I still own a Sony A6000?

Actually, I do. I still love to use it especially for timelapses. It is a handy camera that can do some pretty cool stuff. I can use that little pancake lens that came with it to get the timelapses…. when you are making 10 minutes of video into 5-10 seconds; it doesn’t matter too much. I am not sure I would trust it for a professional shoot anymore though.

At the end of the day, the Sony mirrorless system does have alot of things right; they just wont do the major things to finish the system. Until they can bring to market f/2.8 lens for under $1,000 and high quality flashes in the $200 range; the Sony system will remain a partial system. You will have to mix and match lens from Nikon or Samyang to make it work. That is not a complete system.

As far as I am concerned, I have lost patience with them and I am not waiting for it. I will have the Sony A6000 around for shooting timelapses and doing a little street photography but I am going to put my faith in the timeless Nikon gear for legit shooting. Nikon has always been faithful to me and the lens & flashes are there at realistic prices.

For the casual user that wants something a little more powerful than their point and shoot; the Sony mirrorless system might work for them. Pass that; I would not put my faith in Sony. At least, not at this point.

We need the Nikon D7300!

Alot of people were hoping for the Nikon D7300 to be released at CES 2016 and instead, it was the Nikon D500. In my mind, this is not the flagship camera of the DX line.

Some people misunderstand the numbering system of Nikon. Let me help you: the numbers means nothing. If a model is Dxxx or Dxx; it does not mean the one with two numbers is a better model. Nikon D7000 replaced the D90 after all.

As far as I am concerned the D7000 line is the standard bearer for the APSC line of Nikon. As I said before, the D500 seems to be aimed at people in videography and YouTubers. I expect it to fail hard among photographers considered a full frame Nikon D750 is cheaper out of the box.

I say that to say this, I consider the D7200 to be the flagship camera of the DX line. That is until we see the Nikon D7300 released; probably at PhotoKina.


Why I believe the Nikon D7200 is the flagship

In order for a camera to be consider as that, they need to have a fan base and they have to consider the top of the line. I do not see anyone considering anything but the D7200 as the king of the hill on the cropped sensor side of the camera line.

Most, including myself, consider the D3300 as the entry camera; the D5500 as the mid-range camera; and the D7200 as the flagship for advanced photographers.

Another reason I hold this is the layout of the camera. People shooting the D7200 have little reason to make the switch to the D500. They would have to learn a completely new layout of where things are. I am not just talking a button is moved like when the record button was moved. I am talking a whole new layout.

At the end of the day, I just do not see very many people making the change from the Nikon D7200 to the Nikon D500. I could be wrong but it does not make sense to me, especially when the Nikon D750 is the same price.


We need the Nikon D7300

More importantly in my mind is the need for Nikon to bring to market the D7300. I would like to see them recall the Nikon D7200 and replace it with a Nikon D7200E. It won’t happen but I would like to see it. When it came out, it did little to improve on the Nikon D7100. It was basically just to say they have refreshed it and released something. I did not buy it because I think the Nikon D7100 is just as good in most cases.

What we need is the Nikon D7300 that has a longer buffer, a higher frame per second, and better ISO. I would even be cool with a lower MP count if it meant better ISO and better video. Most people have no need for 24MP anyways. It is nice to have but not needed.

The other important thing is that it has the tilt screen, improved apps for the smartphone, and better application for timelapses. I realize that is dreaming but it is what I would like to see. Nikon is the best camera but they could really raise the bar with these.

One thing that I would love to see the camera line really work on is the liveview. I would love to see them make it work as good as using the OVF. If they did this, the mirrorless crowd would have their foot in their mouth and the other one up their ass.