Why I need a new camera

It is true, I do need a new camera. I have loved my Nikon D800, but when it comes to long exposures it kinda sucks. Since most of the work I do is that, then how do I do them when I have so many problems with the final result?

This is the image I’ve been working on today.

This is a long exposure of Melbourne that I took over a year ago. It was taken early in the morning. It is a busy intersection and I wanted to see what a long exposure would do to it.

I am going to put this up on Instagram tomorrow morning, but I have to say I was a bit annoyed with all the hot pixels all over it. Take a look at this.

This is part of the image and I have circled every dot I could find, well until I got sick of it.

When the images are small it isn’t a problem, but if I want to exhibit some and blow them up, then it will be a massive problem. The dots are all over the images. It would take hours to get rid of them.

I know a new camera will have a better sensor, so now I have to start thinking about what I’m going to do. Do I stick with Nikon? My lenses are good, so I could sell them and buy ones from another brand. I don’t know. I really need to start thinking about it. I hate seeing those coloured dots all over my long exposures.

50 Responses

  1. Geoff.

    Leanne, why do you not hire a sony a99 11. It has the advantage of using the A size lenses. So this means all Minolta film lenses are available to use. My friend just bought a new Nikon full frame and lenses. He does not think that his lenses are any better in sharpness. But investment in new gear will be expensive. So in order not to burn you bridges hire first. It is called Risk Management. Cheers Geoff

  2. Science time

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  3. Hi Leanne. I’m still using my full-frame Nikons occasionally, but I’m mightily impressed with the APS-C format Fujifilm X-T2, and now its the camera I take most places. Adrian

    • I have been hearing some great things about the mirrowless cameras, Fuji, Olympus and Sony, they all look good. Though I’m not sure about giving up my DSLR just yet, but maybe. Thank you Adrian, nice to hear.

    • One problem that I keep reading about with Olympus cameras is that their menus are badly organised and thought out, I’ve read it time and again. A

    • That is good to know Adrian, though, if I’m honest, I’m actually hoping to switch to Canon, or maybe Sony. I will see what happens.

  4. Hey Leanne .. hot pixels? Gosh I’m learning some stuff today. I’m hopeless I really need to do some long exposures. Is that building you have circled a long exposure? And pixel mapping? I feel like a dinosaur .. Best of luck with your next camera Leanne .. whatever it is, I can’t wait to see the pics 😃

    • Yeah, it was something new for me as well Julie. They are horrible.Yes, the building is a long exposure. Yeah I’ve heard of pixel mapping, but haven’t quite figured it all out yet, but working on it. Thank you, I’m looking forward to seeing what I end up with, at this stage I’m not so sure it will be a Nikon.

    • Geoff.

      https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3337623 This is the thread. However I asked a lady friend who teaches a camera club. she is very well versed in all aspects of photograpy. I showed her you problem and she told me about this fix and then we both googled it. this was only one answer among heaps. Regards geoff

    • Thanks for this Geoff I will have to check it out, and see if I can do it.

  5. Geoff.

    Leanne just found this on a website. Pixel Mapping. Simply go to menu find “clean image sensor” Run this two times in fast succession. Apparently this remaps the sensor for dead pixels.. Geoff

  6. I’m a little skeptical on this one, Leanne. I dont know how “long” your long exposures are, but when I was shooting 4 minute exposures with my D800E, I never experienced this problem. I’m shooting mainly with a D810 now, but haven’t been doing much in the way of long exposures so can’t compare. It might be worthwhile to rent a D810 and do some side-by-side shots and see whether there is a difference.

    • I did some close ups and sent them to Nikon and that is that they told, it was the sensor. That the sensor was really made for this kind of photography and that my sensor is getting very old. I do a lot of long exposures, so I may have worn it out. I think you are lucky if you haven’t had this problem. I did try a D810 and I didn’t have the problem and I also tried the Canon 5D4 and didn’t have the problem either. So yes, big difference. Thanks Robin.

  7. Hi Leanne. I’m suggesting you negotiate with Nikon. They have lent you equipment before with mutual success, and you have given them mostly positive reviews. Maybe they can help you upgrade at a discount or maybe even swap. Since it seems to be a design flaw, they maybe willing. You may need to remind then of how many followers you have and how much we love you and your blog, sand listen to what you have to say! Take care.

    • I’ve had a similar idea and I’ve been trying to find out who I need to talk to at Nikon, but with not a lot of luck. I will keep trying. It would be nice if we could work together. I just get the feeling that they aren’t really interested in that. I hope I am wrong, but that is how I feel right now. Thank you so much Anne.

  8. Wow, yes if you’re going to exhibit you can’t have that. I had no idea.

  9. I haven’t experienced that at all with my now ancient D300 or even the antique D50… when thre ISO is cranked right up then maybe but you kind of expect it at super high ISO. but never with general long exposures at 100 or 200 ISO. If youre at low ISO, id say you have a problem with the sensor..

    • Then you are lucky Charlie, my friend with a D5200 gets them as well. Lots of spots in the sky especially. YOu really only see them if you zoom right into the images. I do all my long exposures at ISO 100. I know it is the sensor, could be that it is old and gets used a lot.

  10. Leanne, It looks like you have a dirty sensor. I also noticed some Chromatic aberrations.

  11. Been thinking the same thing lately. Do I stick with Nikon, or go mirror less with Sony. I’m leaning towards Nikon just because the shots in low light are better for my street photography.

    • I have always enjoyed my Nikon, but I have been wondering about Sony and Canon. Would it be worth changing? That’s the question I have to ask myself. Thank you.

  12. The Camera bodies are so expensive! As a total amateur photographer and having had both Canon and now Nikon, the Nikon certainly has the edge.

  13. Gorm

    If you do a mild noise reduction in post it will get rid of it without losing detail. D810 might be better. It costs a fortune to covert.

    • I always do noise reduction in post and it doesn’t get rid of them. I think the D810 is a much better camera and I tried it out and didn’t have the problem. I will have to see what I do. It does cost a lot, thanks Gorm.

  14. I think you should do a long exposure in a dark room with a lenscap on and fix the hot pixels via the software you use (like darkroom) — and put them in a template. Sounds easy but i know it isn’t. I tried and gave up (it wasn’t worth the effort on a 5 y.o. point and shoot) If you succeed it might be a lot cheaper than a new camera … over the years you’ll by a new one anyway, but there won’t be pressure on budget and/or time.

    • Pixel mapping I believe it is called Bert, I was told about it, but I think I just want a camera that I don’t have to worry about it with. I am hoping to start saving for one now. Thank you Bert.

  15. I’m now using d810 and don’t appear to have this problem, I do lots of night photos. D800 is now the back-up

  16. I’ve never seen ‘hot pixels’ before… do these happen only with longer exposures, Leanne? I didn’t realise this could be an issue with some cameras. Looks to me like you *do* need a new cameras! 😉

    • They can happen with night photography, a friend of mine gets them all the time with night shots. It can be a major problem and so annoying. I think I need one too, thank you Reggie.

  17. Definitely you should get a new camera! It will be fun to choose and have a new camera to play with. Even though I am sticking with my regular DLSR, my son is using a mirrorless system with great results. I can ask him to test with long exposures. I am impressed with his results on other things. Moving along into old ladyhood like I am, the idea of a lighter system sounds better every day. I love my 7D and my 5DMIII though.

    • Yeah, I’m with you Judy, I don’t think I am ready to give up the DSLR just yet. Like you, I know it will happen eventually, but for now, I think I want to stay. I like the idea of how big you can print the images. I think a new camera is on the books, I just need to work out which one. Thanks Judy.

  18. Some years back, not so many years to be honest I got fed up with lugging 2 FF bodies, assorted lenses and other accessories around. I sold all od my Nikon gear, 2 Camera bodies, 8 or 9 prime lenses and then started looking for something that would do a quality job, but would be half as much gear to tote around. Micro Four Thirds looked interesting, Olympus lenses were very good in the reviews and the OM-D V1 had just come out to glittering accolades. I tried Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Leica and the Olympus flagship. Just for good measure I tried some Canon stuff too. Eventually I jumped in with Olympus, they were really helpful. I lasted about 15 months before I started to miss the sheer scale and quality of my old Nikon lenses. But I’d burned my boats, all the gear that I’d scraped to buy, learned to use and most importantly gave me confidence to shoot in almost any situation had gone.I had to start again. So the Olympus gear was sold or traded in for ex demo Nikon FF lenses and a D610 body. The moral here is be careful what you wish for and don’t trash your legacy kit because of hyped up advertising and sore shoulders. Happily I’m now back in my comfort zone, my Nikon gear is back, and the new range of bodies work just like you’d expect.

    • That is a great story Stuart and I will have to remember it. Though I don’t know if I want to go mirrorless yet. I think it is something I will have to do eventually, but I don’t think I’m ready right now.Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.

  19. EnJayaR

    Are the hot pixels always in the same place in the frame?

  20. My first reaction was your lenses, however it could be only the sensor that needs cleaning.

    • I have had it looked it and it is definitely the sensor. The D800 wasn’t really designed for this sort of photography. Newer sensors don’t have the problems.

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