I absolutely love my D300, all my lenses, flash and accessories but sometimes only a “lesser camera” will do.
For us, vacations are a chance to get away from our regular lives, relax and learn about a destination. Photography is an important but secondary element of our trips. When walking through the mountains on a tour an extra 5 or 6 pounds hanging from your shoulder can be discouraging, that is where the smaller, lighter but still formidable “Advanced Compact Digital Camera” comes into play.
I, of course, have a tiny “Point and Shoot” that I carry in my pocket when out and about. It is perfect for when we are out geocaching, or clicking away at the family party. It’s light and the images are of a reasonable quality but a more advanced camera is sometimes warranted. I have a Nikon COOLPIX 8800 just for those occasions. While not in the class of a full fledged DSLR the CP8800 has many advanced features and despite its small sensor it takes very nice pictures. Its major drawback is high noise at high ISO values, but for everyday use in good light I have no complaints.
One evening in Newport, RI after a long day of sightseeing with all of our photo “stuff” we decided on a relaxing sunset cruise on Narragansett Bay. This would be a chance to relax and see the city and harbor from a different angle. I really didn’t relish carrying my D300 plus fast 80-200 zoom so I grabbed the CP8800 and headed to the dock.
We had a great time on the cruise and I was able to make some fine images.
Nikon CP8800, Integral Zoom @53mm (35mm equivalent, 210mm), ISO 50, 1/140 @ f/6
We passed a number of fine sailing vessels along the way. As we passed this one I noticed the wonderful orange sails and their reflections in the water. The image is a little soft but makes a very nice 8x10 print.
The CP8800 has a 10x built in Zoom lens (35-350mm in 35mm terms), a 2/3 inch CCD sensor and creates really nice images at ISO 100 and below. At higher ISO noise starts to become an issue.
Nikon CP8800, Integral Zoom @22mm (35mm equivalent, 86mm), ISO 50, 1/140 @ f/5
As we got to the midpoint of the cruise we sailed past the Castle Hill Lighthouse. This light is wonderful when viewed from land, but it is exquisite when viewed from the water.
The evening light was just starting to turn warm and the clouds in the background set the light off very nicely. All in all I was pleased with the shot. Castle Hill Light is on the grounds of the Castle Hill Resort but the resort graciously allows access to the public. Just tell the attendant at the gate that you want to visit the light.
It was a perfect end to a long day of sightseeing, walking and some great photography.
© 2009 Tim Marks