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Right Tool for the Job: Shooting at 8 Frames Per Second w/Nikon DSLR



I recently wrote about why my I now use my iPhone 4 instead of my point and shoot cameras. It does a great job at catching casual photos and it’s easy to share them with family, friends and readers. But a lot of times it’s not the right tool for the job. Enter my Nikon D700 body with an MB-D10 battery pack and grip. It’s far from the most mobile solution, but it’s often the right tool for the job.

My camera backpack weighs north of 40 pounds when fully loaded with lenses, cameras batteries, strobe, laptop and miscellaneous accessories. It’s a pain to carry, even for a big guy like me. But I’m almost always happy with the sacrifice of lugging it around when I get back home and start editing my photos.

So why bother carrying such a beast of a camera rig around? The image quality of the D700 is simply outstanding. It’s also a heck of a lot more versatile than any smartphone camera or point and shoot. I can  grab nice pics in almost any situation.

One of my secrets to taking good photos is that I take a ton of photos, sometimes several thousand in a single day. When I went to the IndyCar race in Sonoma this summer, I shot about 3,000 frames. Most of them were in high speed mode, shooting at about eight frames per second in RAW. Think about that for a second- I’m able to capture 97MB of image data across eight frames in a single second.

Eight frames per second might sound fast, but a lot can happen in a second. Race cars, like the ones in the above video that I shot with my iPhone, travel at over 200mph. That means they move more than 300 feet per second. It’s obviously very difficult to shoot anything moving that quickly.

I also shoot people in high speed mode at weddings and other once in a lifetime moments. A split second can be the difference between a photo of a perfect kiss and a very unflattering shot.

The D700, MB-D10 and zoom lens might strain my neck, but it’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make.

Are you using your smartphone as your primary camera yet? If not, what’s holding you back?



  1. Bill

    10/06/2010 at 11:26 pm

    I have been shooting race cars all summer with two D700’s, the MB D10 and the ENEL4a battery installed. The performance and longevity I get from the upgraded Nikon battery blows away the performance of the AA Lithium Batteries.

  2. Xavier Lanier

    10/06/2010 at 11:30 pm

    I’ll have to buy a couple of ENEL4a’s then. Do you have an idea of how many frames you can shoot with the ENEL4a? What do you mean in terms of performance? Fade?


  3. Sachin

    10/07/2010 at 12:30 am

    Seems good..i am planning to buy one..I wonder what would it cost in India

  4. LienDTK

    01/26/2011 at 8:18 am

    Oh thanks, i appriciate that!

  5. LienDTK

    01/26/2011 at 8:24 am

    Oh thanks, i appriciate that!

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