Monday, April 4, 2016

New "Lab" Equipment: Nikon D3300 DSLR

I have needed a good camera for some time now. I've always been interested in photography and owned a couple of film SLRs back in the day, but never made the jump to a DSLR. The cameras in modern smartphones are so good, it's really easy to get by without a proper camera. As of today, however, I have some new equipment in hand to re-kindle an old hobby.

My new Nikon D3300 DSLR.
Photo taken by an iPhone 6S (and heavily post-processed).

Nearly all of the photos on this blog were taken by my iPhone. It has a decent camera, but taking pictures of small objects in indoor lighting can be challenging even with a good set of equipment. Two issues I constantly struggle with are underexposure and white balance. I have to heavily post-process the photos to make them presentable, and even then I can get some very strange color and noise artifacts. Lately I've just been blowing out the white background by cranking up the exposure, and then tweaking the temperature until it it looks "ok".

That all changes today! I am now the proud owner of a Nikon D3300. It is certainly an entry-level DSLR, but it has the features I need at a good price. I'm really looking forward to using it over the next few weeks and re-learning all the things I have forgotten about proper photography. The camera is also capable of recording video at 1080p/60fps. One of my plans for the blog is to launch a YouTube channel and start producing video content. This will be a starting point equipment-wise for getting that up and running.

I can't offer a lot of insight on the camera right now, but I did set up the tripod and take a couple of sample photos.

My Citizen Eco-Drive. Watches are very photogenic, aren't they?

A lovely open-source frequency counter board by Andy Brown.
I need to do a post about this one in the future.

What do you think of the above photos? Both would have been quite difficult to do with the iPhone. I certainly notice huge differences in the raw images but they may not come through in the uploads. I did have to do some post-processing, primarily because of the poor lighting I have available to me. I am planning to purchase a soft box to help with the lighting situation for taking pictures of my projects.

That's all for now. Expect higher quality photos (and videos!) on the blog in the future.

Thanks for reading!

- Dan W.


  1. Congratulations on your new Nikon, Dan. I shoot a D7000 and grew up with the F3, F4, and F5 film Nikons and the little FE. You will enjoy that one. Have Fun.