I was shooting for a wedding solemnisation 2 weeks back, and at the event, there were 2 other family guests carrying the new Nikon DSLR models, D40 and D80. Not to mention a dozen other guests whipping their own compact cameras to steal some memorable shots.

I kindda felt “out-of-place”. Being the stranger in the event, I don’t get the same kind of warmth and candidness shooting them compared to their peers taking the pictures. And as much as I want to capture the best shots of the couple, I have to consider the interests of the guests who also wanted to snap at the beautiful couple. To some of the professional photographers out there, they might feel that you have the right to capture the moments from the best position, even if it means blocking the view of others. To me, it doesn’t work that way. A good photographer is not just about delivering end results but to achieve the results gracefully.

Anyway, this phenomena is going to grow, as digital cameras become affordable and photo blogging is second nature to Gen-Y. And that’s why it is more important for the official wedding photographers to capture images that are different from the usual.

Speaking of which, this week Monday Canon announced 2 new digital SLRs, the 40D and 1DsMkIII. 40D sports 10 megapixel plus improved AF, while 1DsMkIII achieves 21 megapixels, almost close to the medium format resolution.

Then today Nikon also announced 2 new digital SLR models, D300 and D3. D300 now uses CMOS sensor, which Canon has been using for years. D300 also has improved AF system, larger LCD screen with 922k pixel resolution, the highest in the market. It can even allow calibration of various lenses to achieve correct focus, among other technological features. D3 is also an evolution for Nikon: the first full-frame DSLR, albeit in 12 megapixels. Unlike Canon, Nikon’s full-frame DSLR can accept DX (1.5 crop) lenses and the viewfinder automatically masks the screen.

The new common features for all these new models are the Live View, meaning DSLRs can now work like compact digital cameras with live images previewing on the LCD monitor, no longer restricted to the optical viewfinder, and an improved AF system that achieves better focusing with more sensitive AF sensors and more sensor groups all over the frame.

Indeed, Nikon’s announcement is a major blow to Canon’s, but a consolation: 40D is expected to sell below S$2000 street price, while 300D could be above S$2500. And while Canon’s 1DsMkIII is beyond S$10,000, Nikon’s D3 would be selling below $10,000. So there is one model for every price-range segment.

There is simply no end to technological improvements, a necessity for companies to survive by releasing new products to entice consumers to upgrade. All these leads to more waste (sorry about me rattling about environmental issues again). This is really an endless vicious cycle, and I hope we humanity can control the situation and stop (or slowdown) this cycle ourselves, instead of allowing Nature to disrupt the cycle forcefully.

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