The Excitement Over Digital Photography

Digital photography is generating excitement in the world of nature photography unlike anything else in my long career. I have always cared dearly about obtaining quality images. As a result, I missed the early stages of the digital revolution because it didn't make any sense to buy cameras that were far more expensive than top of the line film cameras, only to get inferior results. But, by 2003, the best digital cameras were coming close to the quality offered by the best slide films. Perhaps they weren't quite as good as Fuji Velvia 50 slide film, but digital capture was excellent and becoming widely accepted by photo buyers. When the 16.7-megapixel Canon 1Ds Mark II became available a year later, digital capture was at least as good as slide film and more fun too.

The new tools offered by digital such as being able to change the ISO from one shot to the next, changing white balance to match the light conditions, and shooting panoramics and stitching the images together with software, have tremendously affected the way nature photographers shoot in the field. Students shooting digital learn much faster. The instant feedback offered by digital capture makes it so easy to fix exposure, white balance, composition, or focusing mistakes in the field while the subject is still present. That's a huge advantage!

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