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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Get Out Of Town



It’s that magical time of year again. No, I’m not talking Christmas, I’m talking aftermath. The rush is over, the presents are unwrapped, and you’ve made it through the questionable parties and family dinners. Still working your way through the leftovers, but hey, there’s still time.

No, my friends, I’m referring to annual leave. Post-festive season is a popular time to get out of town for most people. Work’s end of year rush has slowed and you’re no longer bombarded by a million holiday induced stressors.

Your dream destination is set, accommodations are booked, and you’ve requested the time off, but you’re faced with one last thing; how to capture it all?

I mean, where do you even start? Your phone has a camera, right? That’s fine, right? But what about all the amazing stuff you’ll see? Will a phone really do it justice? The last camera you owned was a Polaroid, help?!

No worries, mate! We’ve got you covered, but there are a couple of things you need to think about.


First things first, what kind of holiday are you planning? This may seem like a strange thing to consider, but it’s definitely not, we promise.

Think about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing for most of the trip. Are you going to be watching lakeshore sunrises from a big wooden deck chair with a hot cup of tea? (Please take me with you if so.) Or maybe you’re going surfing in Hawaii or zip-lining across a foggy mountain top.

The point here is that there can be a different camera for every type of adventure and it really helps to have the right gear with you when the perfect photo opportunity presents itself.

As a first camera, or just a first new camera in a long time, point-and-shoot/compact cameras are an excellent combination of great image quality and the convenience of a small form factor that fits easily in your day pack or carry-on luggage. They’re super easy to have at the ready so you can snap a few shots nice and quick, plus they also fit well in small hands making them kid-friendly too.

If your vacation is all about the R & R and taking family photos, then a compact camera might be your best bet. Nowadays, these cameras come in a range of different options from super basic to advanced manual controls so there’s really something for everyone.

Some great examples: Canon Powershot SX620 HS, Panasonic Lumix TZ90, or the Sony RX100 series (Mark II, Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V)




For others, though, a holiday might be about cramming in as much action and as many new experiences as possible. If you’re going backpacking around Europe or headed anywhere with a beach or resort, there’s bound to be a plethora of activities on offer. From hiking rainforests to snorkelling to even just hanging out on a boat, this is where your needs might change.

At this stage, it might be better to think about an action camera or another waterproof offering. Gone are the days when choosing a ‘tough camera’ meant sacrificing performance and features. No, no, that’s well and truly behind us now, as evidenced by the GoPro action cam. Bring one of these with you and you’ll never have to worry about keeping your camera dry or out of the sand again.

A lot of these cameras also have various photo sharing options, whether it’s Wi-Fi or App based. You can send video and images to your friends and family right away which can honestly be quite comforting especially when you’re on an extended trip so far from home. 

If action is your game, check out the GoPro HERO selection, the Panasonic Lumix FT30, Olympus TG-Tracker, or the Garmin VIRB 360.


Of course, there’s more yet. A lot of times, we go away for the simple feeling of escape. To get out of the cities we know, to break free of our routines, to go off and see something different and breath taking. These are the moments you just want to keep forever and, never fear, there’s a camera for that too. There’s a lot of stuff for that, actually, but we’ll stick to the basics.

If you’re hoping this kind trip will help turn photography into a new hobby, you might want to go for something a little more involved from the start, like an advanced compact or mirrorless camera. This will give you a chance to get familiar with manual controls and really grow into your camera or even change lenses as you gain more confidence.

The real benefit of choosing the mirrorless option is the ability to swap lenses to suit the different scenarios you might face which gives you a lot more creative freedom. Compact DSLRs work too, but I lean a little more towards mirrorless for travel as they do tend to be smaller and more discreet. This also makes them easier to pack and conceal if you’re not keen on having people check out your gear.

Another advantage is a more advanced feature set and the ability to get experimental with things like long exposures, time lapse, and even 4K video. When going down this road, you might also want to take a good look at the accessories you’ll be taking with you.

Do you have enough memory? What about power options? Can you spare the space for a compact tripod? With this style of camera it’s worth going a little overboard on the extras, especially if you’re planning to pursue this hobby once you get back home.

Perfect beginner cameras to grow into include the popular Sony a6000, the Olympus E-M 10, the Canon EOS M6, or the Fuji X-A10.


Each camera has its own set of benefits you might find useful or convenient, but what matters most is that you’re confident using the gear you’ve got. It’s well worth spending the time to get familiar with your camera because, at the end of the day, you don’t want to miss out on capturing something really special.

Of course, where you go with your photography (pun intended) is up to you. That’s the beauty of photography, really; the fun doesn’t have to stay on vacation even though you might want to.  


If you’re struggling with all the options out there, don’t be afraid to reach out! Our in-store and contact centre teams would love to hear about your holiday and help you pick the right gear to get you sorted before departure day. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Gift Shopping for Photographers: A Cheat Sheet


Photographers are a picky bunch, that much is true and I don’t think any of us can deny it. As such, we tend to buy a lot of our own gadgets as we realise a sudden need for them. Of course, every photographer does have that epic wish list of items they’d love to own one day, but those things can be a little on the pricey side. Well, mostly a lot on the pricey side.

All these factors combined can make it pretty tough for our loved ones to shop for us, be it for birthdays or the holiday season. (Sorry, fam!)

To most people, it can seem like we’ve literally got everything, but there’s a bit of a trick to shopping for the fully armed photographer, it just takes a bit of sleuthing to come up with a few ideas.

For example, if they’re a working professional, think about what type of photography they specialise in. Do they shoot weddings, products, models? This could be a good indicator of the type of accessories they might be using, or might even appreciate having some spares of.

Avid hobby photographers are a whole other beast as you’re never quite sure which bits and pieces they do and don’t have at this stage in their evolutions. Finding out what their favourite subject matter is or what style they’re hoping to master can be a good place to start looking for ideas. 

Lucky on the left, Peak Design on the right. Both come in different colours to suit #mood and #aesthetic.

I like to think you can’t really go wrong with a quality camera strap of some kind. Sure, most pros and enthusiasts already have one, or they’re using the one that came with their camera, but a nice strap is always appreciated. Plus, we might like to switch things up a bit, depending on the occasion. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

Brands like Lucky or Peak Design are a good starting point. Lucky offers Australian made classic-looking genuine leather straps in a range of colours to suit almost anyone. Peak Design’s straps are more on the modern side with a modular aspect for easy removal or swapping from one strap to another.

Both are very appealing with a premium look and feel, but are different enough in style and features to give you some options.

Finding memory cards floating around the bottom of your bag is cringe-worthy. Storage is the answer!

Memory card storage is a great option for shooters at enthusiast level or beyond, since we’ve all got several cards in rotation at any given time. Most camera bags have pockets for memory cards, but they often don’t provide much in the way of security and are sometimes a bit of a tight fit which makes it hard to access the cards.

At this point, a memory card wallet or case might be a great choice. Photographers won’t mind having multiples of these in their arsenal because they’re always incredibly useful. There’s soft, wallet-style options as well as waterproof hard shell cases, so it won’t be hard to find something that works for your friend and your budget.

We all need a little help keeping our gear neat and tidy. A cleaning kit top-up would be deeply appreciated, thanks.

It may sound boring or strange, but for avid photographers, a cleaning kit is like gold. A lot of these kits contain consumable odds and ends that need to be replaced over time, like lens pens, cleaning wipes, and tissues. This is something that kind of falls by the wayside as we tend to forget about these items until we desperately need them.

A good cleaning kit with a quality air-blower and lens cleaning fluid would be a welcome gift for any photographer at any stage of their journey.

Nothing beats having some pretty prints to dress up your desk, office, home, etc, etc, etc.

If you’re aiming to get something a little on the bigger, more epic side, you might want to think about a dedicated photo printer. These things aren’t your typical home or office printers, no, no. They’re designed and specialised to deliver high-quality prints with some even offering up to A2 print size options.

If you know your special someone loves or just wants to get their photos printed, this could be the perfect gift. Being able to print your photos offers a very satisfying sense of completion, like you’ve finally seen your work through from start to finish with something tangible to hang onto in the end.

These printers do require proper photo paper, so even if your photographer friend already has a printer, some good quality paper could be an excellent stocking stuffer. 

ONA on the left, with a soft leather shoulder bag. Peak Design on the right with a sweet sling.

Going with some kind of storage solution can be tricky, but it can also make you a hero gifter. Bags or backpacks are pretty personal and most photographers will have very different wants and needs from any bag they deem worthy of their gear.

If you’re planning to go down this path, consider something like a premium quality bag or even a hard storage case.

For bags, check out ONA, Peak Design, and Think Tank for some ideas. They all have some great options, some of which don’t even look like typical camera bags.

For hard cases, look at HPRC and Pelican. Both have foam inserts for easy customisation. These things are also airtight and can handle a fair bit of punishment which makes them perfect for travel.
You might be thinking “Yeah, great, but my bestie already has, like, two camera bags.”

That may be true, however, ask yourself how nice those bags really are. Fancy bags are things we tend to want, but not buy in favour of more practical options that can fit everything we own.

If you’re going to be buying a ‘secondary bag’ for someone, go with something on the smaller side, like a messenger bag or sling. These are perfect for day trips and encourage a more minimalist kit. As an added bonus, they tend to be a little more budget-friendly, too.


When photography is life and all you want to do is take pictures forever.

If you’re feeling uncertain about buying actual photo gear, you could always go with something that will fit easily into everyday life, but is still no less clever a gift idea.

Things like photography-themed T-shirts or coffee mugs are fun and subtle little nods to your friend or family member’s awesome hobby or profession.

Let’s also not forget that a coffee cup shaped like a camera lens is a truly excellent office prank and ice breaker, so you’d basically be doing your pal a favour.

The holidays are a tricky time to shop for anyone, let alone someone with very specific interests and, while the internet is extremely helpful, sometimes it’s best to take what you know and ask some camera-nerds for advice. Like the staff at DCW. We’d love to tell you what we… I mean, what your friend… might like for Christmas.


Come see us in-store or give our contact centre a buzz, we’d love to talk you through some gift ideas this silly season.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Top 5 Christmas Gift Wishlist - as voted by DCW Staff

Top Five Christmas Gift Wishlist

Surprising absolutely no one, the DCW team is chock full of talented, gear loving photographers so we decided to get nosy and find out what’s on everyone’s wish list this holiday season.
Since everyone’s got their finger on the pulse in here, there was some overlap. This is also not surprising, but it is pretty interesting, so we’ve turned the results into a list of our top five hottest picks of the season.

It’s also a great list of gift ideas for last minute shoppers, hint hint.

5. DJI Spark


Starting us off is the adorable DJI Spark. This hot little UAV is very portable and easy to use. There is a videogame style remote controller available, similar to DJI’s other offerings, but it can also be conveniently operated by using your smartphone, which is great when you’re trying to pack light. It has a range of tool-free accessories to complement its impressive feature list, like tracking and gesture control and, with a built-in 2-axis gimbal, your footage will be steady and easy to watch. Did I mention it comes in five different colours?

4. Zhiyun Smooth Q


The next item on our list is the Smooth Q gimbal from Zhiyun which offers 3-axis stabilisation and a host of easy-to-use controls and settings. It’s designed for smartphones and has an easy balancing mode so you can set-up and start shooting pretty quickly. With 12 hours of run time, the Smooth Q can be used to charge your device which is great because we all know what video does to our phone’s battery. The gimbal is also compact and good looking making it a perfect companion for vloggers, bloggers, and anyone out to document a day trip in the city.

3. DJI Mavic Pro


How cool are drones, though? Really, the DJI Mavic is an awesome one; it’s light, it’s small, it folds up even smaller, the controls are easy to use, the list goes on. The Mavic is great for photographers that travel a fair bit, or spend a lot of time outdoors searching for unique perspectives on their surroundings. Of course, it has a huge range of flight modes, settings, and a 3-axis gimbal, so you’ll be able to capture high-quality stabilised footage almost anywhere. (And let’s face it; you’ll be taking cool drone-selfies, too.) With easy to replace spare parts, great battery life, and a host of cool accessories, it’s hard to pass this one up.

2. NiSi Filters Starter Kit


Perhaps the biggest surprise on our list was the epic NiSiStarter Kit. It’s perfect for enhancing your landscape photography and comes with everything you need to get familiar with using square filters, something that a lot of people shy away from at first. The three Neutral Density filters, two solid and one gradual, each provide different stops so you can adjust your image. The holder features three different adapters to accommodate a range of lens sizes while the filters themselves are 100 x 100mm, offering good coverage as well. For photographers that are serious about improving their landscapes or just getting more creative with them, this is a great solution.

1. Sigma 85mm f1.4 ART Series Lens


And finally, here we are at number one. Taking the top spot is Sigma’s 85mm f1.4 Art series lens. The Art series is well known for its image quality and sharpness and this lens is no exception. It works a real treat for portrait photography with its super wide aperture allowing you to get creative with depth of field. Capture softly blurred backgrounds with smooth bokeh all while your subject remains in crystal clear focus. This lens isn’t a one-trick pony, of course. That f1.4 aperture also performs incredibly well in lowlight, so you can easily explore other photographic styles as the mood strikes.

1. Zhiyun Crane 2


But wait, there’s more! In a shocking twist, we had a tie for the number 1 product and it’s a real goodie! If you’re looking for ways to improve your video then look no further because the new Zhiyun Crane 2 is here to deliver. A much awaited update to the popular Crane, this new gimbal has managed to really pack in the features, from its Real-Time Follow Focus, to its OLED display and intuitive controls. It can also support a hefty 3.2kg payload, so it’ll work well with DSLR cameras, and it has a whopping 18 hour run time with the ability to charge your camera at the same time! This 3-axis gimbal superstar is seriously a videographers dream.

That’s officially our list concluded! It’s fun, it’s exciting, it includes a good mix of gear that suits different styles of photography as well as the many different kinds of shooters out there.
Are any of these items on your wish lists? Reach out and let us know if so, we’d love to hear from you on any of our social platforms!

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DCW Facebook

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Top Mobile Photo Editing Apps: How to Get Started

It’s incredible when you stop to think about it, but almost every mobile phone these days has a built-in camera and almost everyone has a mobile phone. 

That means more people have the capacity to take photographs than ever before in human history.

Not only that but most modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras  have built-in Wi-fi that means you can quickly transfer shots between cameras and mobile devices.




This supercharged workflow means that modern photographers are able to capture images with a variety of different devices and upload them directly to social media sites like Instagram, Facebook or even send direct to clients on the way home from the shoot.

But what if you want to boost the shadows a little, add a watermark to stop image theft, or get creative with your images before you share them with the world?

Luckily, the processing power of our mobile phones and tablets has skyrocketed over the years. Our trusty pocket devices can now help us do advanced photo editing on-the-fly.

Features like spot removal, image overlay, curve adjustments as well as HDR-style rendering that previously was reserved for desktop applications have made their way into mobile image editing apps.

So where do you start if you want to learn how to edit your images on your portable device?

We’ve compiled a list of the most popular and powerful photo editing applications for your mobile device to point you in the right direction.

Snapseed

Available for: Android, iOS
Cost: Free

Snapseed is a well-thought-out editing app with some easy to use functions as well as some more advanced photo editing features like a handy lens blur effect, that lets you choose a circular or a star shaped aperture for a customisable bokeh. It also includes a curves adjustment panel with a histogram as well as a set of brushes that can be used to dodge, burn, change the temperature and saturation of particular sections of your shots.

The app also has advanced pixel cloning software that works in a similar way to Photoshop’s content-aware fill mode. It’s not perfect but when your image has a consistent background you can use it to radically change the perspective of image or to recreate missing pixel information.

The "Perspective" feature allows you to change the angle of your shot.
The“Expand” feature can be used to help centre a shot if it was framed incorrectly.

Snapseed also boasts sophisticated selfie software that gives you the power to “re-pose” your face after you’ve taken the shot. If used in moderation it can make a subtle change to a portrait but try and restrain yourself from over-using it.

Here’s is a hot tip regarding Snapseed’s “Re-Pose” function. 
Moderation is key, overuse can create truly horrific results.

VSCO

Available for: Android, iOS
Cost: Free but VSCO X costs 19.99 USD a year.


VSCO is more than just hard to pronounce word (most people say it like VIS-CO), it is also a highly-regarded photo editing app born from the founding members love for analogue film. Terrified that film stock was disappearing they decided to try and immortalise the qualities of different films by creating preset filters to emulate the warmth and character of film.

Originally designed for desktop applications it wasn’t long before they decided to bring their celebration of classic film looks to an easy-to-use mobile platform and it’s only got more popular from there.

Although VSCO is free to use and allows users to edit settings like exposure, saturation, highlights and shadows as well as being able to add film filters, to really get the most out of VSCO it is recommended to upgrade to the paid VSCO X plan. This gives you access to over 100 classic mobile presets, and exclusive Film X presets that are modelled on popular films like Kodak Portra, Ektar, Ilford HP5 Plus, Fuji Pro and many more, carefully designed to create an authentic film look and feel to your shots.

An example of some of the camera stock filters that are included with a VSCO X membership plan.

Images edited with VSCO are often shared with the tag #VSCO or #VSCOCAM and the app tends to attract users with a healthy respect for film and dark room processing.

It is a generally a hub for creatives to share their work and a lot of professional photographers prefer the simple design and layout of the platform.

Pixlr

Available for: iOS, Android
Cost: Free


Pixlr is an easy-to-use mobile app with impressive photo editing features. The “double exposure” mode gives you the ability to blend two images together with control over the scale, rotation, opacity, and blending mode of the second image.

The best part of the double exposure function is that the eraser tool operates like a layer mask in Photoshop. You can set the size and feather of the eraser to remove what you don’t want in the shot but if you do accidentally erase something you need, you can easily switch tools and paint the pixels back in.

The“Double Exposure” mode in Pixlr gives you the ability to control how two images are merged together.


Instagram

Available for: Android, iOS
Cost: Free
Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social networks. As of April 2017, Instagram has a whopping 700 million active users. Australia is estimated to have a population of 24.6 million so to put it in perspective, Instagram has about 28 times the entire population of Australia as active users.

It’s safe to say Instagram is THE mobile app for sharing images as well as videos. It offers a simple editing interface that lets you add filters, and tweak settings like brightness and contrast, warmth, saturation, as well as more advanced settings like highlight and shadow adjustments.

You can sharpen images, add a dark vignette or even process your images with a tilt-shift-style focus blur as well as tinting either the shadows or highlights with a colour.

A post shared by Digital Camera Warehouse (@dcwarehouse) on


Instagram’s main strength is its massive community and the fact that once you post an image other people can love it, send it to their friends, and comment on the image.

The comment and like function is hands down the most popular part of Instagram because it puts photographers in direct contact with their fans and followers and this makes Instagram the social media platform with the absolute highest level of engagement.

Adobe Photoshop Express


Available for: Android, iOS, Windows Phone
Cost: Free but some features are limited without an Adobe creative cloud membership.



The photo editing juggernaut that is Photoshop is no longer limited to desktops, Adobe has released an express version that is designed for mobile devices like mobiles and tablets.

The app has more than 60 filters, a defog tool, noise reduction slider, and can even edit some RAW camera files too. With adjustments for clarity, sharpening, contrast, highlights and shadows, as well as vibrancy, saturation and temperature controls the app delivers comprehensive imaging control.

Photoshop express also has a setting that allows you to add a watermark on your final image. This can be text, or an image like a signature and you can choose from 10 different locations for your watermark as well as control the level of opacity so it doesn't ruin your shot.

Photoshop Express provides several different options for adding watermarks to your images.

Photoshop Express also comes with a red-eye removal tool and a retouch function that performs in much the same way as the heal brush in the desktop version of Photoshop.

The "Retouch" function can be used to clean up images with sensor dust spots.

So hopefully that gives you an idea about some of the things your phone or tablet is capable of, it's amazing what these little pocket computers can do in a pinch.

Mobile apps are fantastic for the quick sharing and fast delivery of content for social media use and can be a fantastic way of whetting the appetite of your clients after a particularly photogenic shoot. Just remember 

Ultimately, impressive as modern mobile apps and portable devices are, I would still recommend a desktop setup and a nicely calibrated high resolution monitor to give your images the attention they deserve, but it's nice to know we now have the option to do on-the-fly editing with a mobile device.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Nikon: A Century of Innovation

They’ve been in the game for a long time, 100 years to be exact. 

Nikon. One word and everyone already knows what I’m talking about. They’re one of the most well-known, well-loved camera makers on the planet and, as of this month, they’ve been around for 100 years. A full century. That’s an incredibly long time and an equally incredible and beautiful history.

Once upon a time, there were three Japanese optical companies…

No, seriously. 

Way back when, it really did start with three of Japan’s leading optical manufacturing companies. In 1917, the companies merged to become Nippon Kogaku K.K. or Japan Optical Industries Co. Ltd.

Still not quite the brand we recognise today, but we’re getting there. A short while after forming, the company went full throttle on research and development, becoming the primary manufacturer of optics for the Japanese military.

It was a difficult time for much of the world, but after the war, Nippon Kogaku returned to their roots and resumed the production of more civilian friendly optical products. Lenses, telescopes, microscopes, you name it, if it had or required optics, it seemed like they were making it.
The lens range was a little more on track with the NIKKOR moniker nailed down in 1932 and known to be some of the most precise lenses at the time.



1948 saw the release of the Nikon I, a rangefinder camera and the first product to bear the actual Nikon name badge. Only about 400 of them were ever made so needless to say, it’s a rare collector’s item now. Though it was highly anticipated, it didn’t receive the warmest welcome upon its release. However, a cold reception didn’t stop Nikon at all. In fact, they worked harder. They listened and they learned. They pushed forward, committing themselves to change and improvement.

A mere 6 months after the Nikon I experience, Nikon overcame several performance issues and incorporated requests and ideas into the new Nikon M (1949) and Nikon S cameras (1951) that followed shortly after. Nikon was starting to gain traction on its own, but was still very much a ‘local’ camera company. As it often happens, though, one photograph can make a huge impact.

While Nikon was quietly evolving, famous American photographer, David Douglas Duncan, happened to be doing some work in post-war Japan when he had his first encounter with a NIKKOR lens. It was owned by Japanese photographer and photojournalist, Jun Miki, who asked if he could take Duncan’s photo.
Despite the shot being taken in low light, Miki–with his NIKKOR 85mm f/2.0 lens–was able to capture a stunning portrait which he presented to Duncan the next day.
Astounded by the sharpness and quality produced in such unfavourable conditions, Duncan was hooked. He started fitting NIKKOR lenses to his camera just before heading over to cover the Korean War in 1950 for LIFE.

Once back in New York, his colleagues were amazed by Duncan’s photographs. His already notable work helped popularise the optics in America. A piece in the New York Times shed light on the incredible quality of Nikon and NIKKOR products and things really started to shift into gear.

Inspired by the Nikon SP Instruction Manual from 1957. Who doesn’t love this retro vibe?
Breaking into the North American market meant that a world of opportunity was suddenly at their fingertips. All Nikon had to do was keep listening, keep improving, and keep producing. Luckily, this was something they had come to excel at.

1957 saw the release of the now legendary Nikon SP, one of the most innovative Rangefinder cameras ever made in Japan at the time. Its defining feature was a built-in universal viewfinder that supported 6 different lenses. With fast, quiet curtain shutters, a direct connection flash sync accessory shoe, and a built-in self-timer, the SP was an award winning camera that put Nikon in the spotlight.

As Nikon continued to adapt and evolve so too did their camera range, finally becoming something a little more recognisable for photographers even today; The Nikon F.
The iconic Nikon F became a new standard for professionals upon its release in 1959.
Departing the realm of professional rangefinder cameras, the Nikon F hit the market in 1959. It was the first 35mm SLR made by the company and one of the most advanced cameras of its time, taking all the most in-demand features and combining them into one robust little unit. After all this time, finally, photographers didn’t have to compromise. For obvious reasons, this became a new standard for what professionals had come to expect from their gear.

Nikon was on the rise and everyone else was backed against the ropes. The Nikon F was in production for an astounding 15 years, really hammering home the fact that Nikon was here to stay.   

On top of producing cameras for professional photographers, Nikon went a step further. Say, a step off the planet further. In 1971, they agreed to a contract with NASA that would see them develop a camera for the Apollo 15 lunar mission. What’s cooler than that? Not much, if I’m being honest.

The Nikon Photomic FTN was chosen as a base for the soon-to-be space camera. Due to its lofty destination, the specifications for this camera were incredibly tight. Only NASA approved and specified materials could be used in the design to prevent as many problems as possible for the Astronauts that would be using it. 
Nikon and NASA have been working together since 1971, bringing us all to the moon and back.
Each Photomic FTN camera had to be heavily modified to withstand the harsh and unusual conditions of the lunar surface. Nikon had finally reached the moon.  Even to this day, the partnership with NASA still stands. Every manned space flight since Apollo 15 has had Nikon cameras and lenses on their equipment checklists.

With all the trial and error that went into creating actual space-cameras, there were a lot of takeaways and new technology that Nikon was able to incorporate into their earthbound models.  It’s exactly this kind of innovation that kept Nikon in the hands of professionals for so long, capturing some of the most recognisable photographs of all time, including that one National Geographic cover photo that everyone knows. [Afghan girl 1984 taken by Steve McCurry]

It was taken with a Nikon FM2, originally released in 1982. It was a time when competition between camera manufacturers was fierce and the world was starting to see a shift from mechanical camera bodies to ones featuring more electronic automation.

Talk about a classic read; we were lucky enough to get our hands on an old school Nikon F booklet.
The FM2 was created with serious photographers in mind, not really intended to be a professional level camera despite the fact that so many professionals chose to carry it. The all-mechanical FM2 was incredibly robust and reliable, able to handle a range of punishing scenarios without fail, making it the ideal companion for photographers venturing into unknown territory.

Jumping forward a few years to 1999, the 80’s have un/fortunately ended and things are starting to look a little more familiar. Or at least the internet was finally a big thing. 
While some of us were concerned about Y2K, Nikon was concerned with releasing something amazing; the D1.
Released in 1999, the monstrous Nikon D1 was a real powerhouse of its time.
The D1 was a digital SLR designed from the ground up with integrated metering, white balance, and tone compensation. It had a 4.5 fps frame rate and a whopping 2.7MP sensor. At the time, that was actually pretty amazing. Before you laugh, I’ll take this moment to remind you that was 18 years ago. 

Looking back through the years of Nikon’s incredibly rich portfolio, there’s almost too many landmark cameras and moments to choose from. The D90 in 2008 had the first video recording capabilities ever seen in a DSLR camera. In 2010, Nikon delivered a D3S and two D3X cameras along with a host of NIKKOR lenses, accessories, and software to be used by Astronauts aboard the ISS.

On top of capturing some of the most iconic photos ever made, they’ve also captured our imaginations as one of the most recognisable, reliable, respected photographic brands to this date.

It’s a long and vibrant history that came from truly humble beginnings. From post-war to the moon, Nikon has made a lasting impression on so many people.

Here’s to the next hundred years!