Coronet Peak View, Queenstown New Zealand

View of Queenstown from Coronet Peak Road New Zealand

View Towards Queenstown from Coronet Peak Road New Zealand. Photo by Todd Sisson.



Nikon’s New Android Camera | Coolpix S800c

nikon's first android camera the coolpix s800c

Phone nope. Games console, maybe. Camera probably. The Nikon Coolpix s800c is Nikon’s first Android powered camera. The big question – will Angry Birds work on this?

Nikon Announces First Android Camera | Coolpix s800c 

Nikon announced it’s first casual wander down the body-strewn Avenue de Convergence (it’s in France) this week with the announcement of the Android Coolpix s800c camera phone.

The s800c (memorable moniker eh) runs Android version 2.3.3 (reeses pieces?) and sports a great big touch screen,  a nice zoom and connects with the world via WIFI and bluetooth (does anyone actually use Bluetooth?).  There is no GSM capability so, no, it is not a phone.

The downside to all of this new age loveliness? Crappy battery life – actually, crappier than crappy – a very 2005-esque 140 shots per charge.  Presumably that factors in little or no Instagramming or Angry Birding in between shots too….

Personally, I see this as a dead end street for Nikon.  I see little long term market for a compromised compact camera with partial communications functionality in  world of  smartphones – many of which will have equivalent camera functions within the next 2-3 years.  Who is going to carry around a compact a camera when their phone does it all?

Head over here to read my full thoughts on the Nikon s800c.

Cheers – Todd

Photos of New Zealand | Leaning Rock, Central Otago

Central Otago sunrise leaning rock-1 alexandra

Sunrise over Leaning Rock on the Dunstan Range, Central Otago New Zealand. Photography By Todd Sisson.

I have been getting right into my Panoramic stitching recently – as we are finding more and more demand for large scale canvas prints of  New Zealand scenics.  This image was made on the Nikon D800e with the utterly superb 85mm f/1.4G (my new favourite landscape lens).

This image has a native resolution of 22,000 pixels and prints at about 2 metres without any up-rezzing – you can get an idea of the detail in the image by checking out the sample images in my Nikon 85mm f/1.4G outdoor photography review 

Enjoy and feel free to share!

Cheers – Todd

The Shadows Slider – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4’s Killer Upgrade Feature

Lightroom 4 Shadows Test

Exposures (and subjects) don’t get much worse than this. Lightroom 3 left us with a sow’s ear – can Adobe Lightroom 4 make us a shiny new silk purse? – Well, I guess the answer is fairly obvious, otherwise what would be the point of this post eh?…….


If you are a Lightroom 3 user wondering whether it is worth making the upgrade leap to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 you will want to have a look at my review of the newly re-invigorated Shadows Slider.

There are a pile of excellent tweaks to Lightroom in version 4 but the Shadows Slider is da bomb.

I have just completed a little review on sisson| photos of New Zealand  showing the power of LR4’s newly anointed shadow busting powers – the results will amaze.  As I am prone to saying, check it out….

Adobe Photoshop Light room 4 Reason To Upgrade | The Shadows Recovery Slider

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments stream here or on the website.

Cheers – Todd

Kaikoura Sunset | Free iPad Wallpaper

New Zealand Photos | Nor' West clouds over Seaward Kaikoura Mountains By Todd Sisson

Dramatic sunset clouds over the Kaikoura Mountains, East Coast, South Island New Zealand. Photographer Todd Sisson.

Welcome one and all to my Wednesday Wallpaper – on Thursday – although I’m sure it is still hump day somewhere….

This was made a couple of year’s back on a very productive three day trip up to Kaikoura, on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.  You can view many more New Zealand photos over on our website.

If you are wanting this puppy as a desktop or iPad wallpaper,  you will need to grab the large version from this link:  [free iPad wallpaper] Password = freewallpaper

Safe travels on the web WordPressers!

Cheers – Todd

p.s. more than happy to discuss how our images are made in the comments stream.

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Nikon D800 Recommended Lens | Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – Landscape Photography Review



Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens for landscape and nature
The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – Does A classic portrait lens belong in a landscape photographer’s bag?  It’s damn well staying in mine!

You can read my full Nikon 85mm f/1.4G landscape lens review on sisson – New Zealand photography


I don’t recall having been on a drunken bender last April, but it may explain why I have little recollection as to how I ended up owning a Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.4G.  This lens is really not a traditional fit for a landscape photographer, in-fact the B&H description for the lens has “Traditional Portraiture Lens” splashed all over it.   Anyhow, I did order it,  so it was time to see how I could incorporate the lens into my landscape photography repertoire.  I am pleased to report that the 85mm f1.4 is now one of my favourite landscape lenses. Thank God – it wasn’t cheap…..

In all seriousness, I purchased the 85mm f1.4 in preparation for the delivery of my new Nikon D800e.  Prior to the D800e I had been shooting Nikon DX and Canon Full Frame (5dmkii), I had wanted to return full time to Nikon for several years, but the right DSLR body for my needs had not been in the Nikon line-up.  When the D800 was announced it was obvious that it’s 36MP sensor would settle for nothing short of premium optics and I had nothing in my bag that would stand the D800’s onslaught of pixels.

The 85mm is an ‘overlap lens’ in my bag as I also own the superb Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRii (review) however, I purchased the prime mainly because I love defocus in my portrait photography (mainly my kids these days) – the 85mm f1.4 is renowned for it’s silky bokeh and after 12 years of professional photography, I figured it was time to treat myself to something a little exotic.

Unfortunately, that is not sound business practice for me – I make my money from landscapes, so I had to figure out a way to make the 85mm f/1.4G earn it’s keep – here’s how I use it for landscape photography…..

What’s It For?

I consider the Nikon 85mm f1.4G to be one of the most ‘creative’ lenses in my camera bag.  By that, I mean that I rarely shoot ‘standard’ landscape images on the 85mm f/1.4 – I find that have to consciously seek uses for the 85mm.  Now, that may seem like putting the tractor before the haybale but for me that is a good thing – I need to stretch my photographic boundaries –  I think that the 85mm makes me a little bit more complete as a photographer.  So far,  I use this lens for four primary uses:

1. Subject Isolation Via Defocus

Frosty Tree: D800e, Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – @ f/1.4.  Shooting at f/1.8 delivered the razor thin DOF required  to successfully isolate this frosty little tree.  I enoy the creative overlap of applying portrait techniques to nature photography. 

(Download full resolution D800e & Nikon 85mm f/1.4g sample jpeg – password = freeD800pics

2. Panoramic stitching

I like to shoot panoramic stitches that compress distance, primarily to give greater visual presence to distant mountains – I find 50mm and 85mm to be my most commonly used focal lengths for this purpose.  The 85mm f/1.4 provides unparalleled sharpness and detail when paired with the Nikon D800e.

I always shoot in vertical orientation in order to gain the maximum resolution from my stitched files – 85mm provides an excellent field of view when used in this way.

The following stitched panorama is 21,000 x 6,600 pixels wide and prints at 2.1 metres @300 DPI without any enlargement.

Panoramic Stitch from Nikon D800e and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens. It’s a little hard to get impressed this wide – how about a 100% crop….

100% crops from the above panoramic Stitch from Nikon D800e and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens. The level of detail is simply stunning (a little sharpening has been applied) – this would happily enlarge to a 4m+ wide print. Please note that these look slightly better in the original file – pre-JPEG compression.

read the full nikon 85mm f/1.4 review  >>>>>