Pro-Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge

Posted on July 9, 2015 in Blog Post, Experimental Photography, Photography

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This fourth of July, I finally managed to get time shooting some of the local fireworks. In addition to my D7000, I also took along, on a whim, my old Nikon Coolpix 5700. These are the results.

This Coolpix camera was my first digital camera, and I used the hell out of that little thing for several years before I finally invested in a decent DSLR. Looking back, I can’t believe I actually spent over $800 on that piece of shit. With a max ISO of 400, and a breath-taking 8MP resolution, it had been mothballed for the better part of 5 or 6 years. After finding the battery charger, I decided to see if it still worked. And it did.

About a year ago, I stumbled upon Digital Rev’s Pro-Photographer Cheap Camera challenge on Youtube. It’s a series of short videos that follow a top-name professional photographer around while they have a limited amount of time to get quality images using some really crappy cameras. The cameras they provided often had huge limitations. I decided this would be mine.

Given the limitations of that camera, while considering the problem of shooting fireworks, it occurred to me that it might be ideally suited to that type of shooting. I ended up using my magic arm to attach this to the base of my tripod, so I could quickly position it in a number of ways, and have it close to my main body. The flip out LCD, while tiny, was useful in that regard.

All of these images were taken with the Nikon Coolpix 5700, with an 8 second exposure, ISO 50 at f/8. I also shot RAW just to get the least amount of noise and best color. Each of these images were cropped slightly to straighten the image or close in on the action. I also added a bit of sharpening, and dropped the highlights in Lightroom to keep them from blowing out.

I have to say I’m impressed with the results. I really expected these to have much more noise and blur.

 

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