VERY CRISPNESS EVERYBODY
Stuff India|October 2021
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph,” said Susan Sontag – so you may as well make it a decent one, with a little help from Stuff’s guide to the best gear and techniques for every kind of shooting

STREET

Step outside, stop, observe and wait. Float like a shutterfly and captivating scenes will unfold in front of your very lens.

STREET

You don’t need to be winched into a live volcano – there’s plenty of interesting stuff to shoot just down the road

Flip glidin’ away The Z50’s awkward tilt-down display (easily blocked by a selfie-stick, GorillaPod or vlogging handle) has been replaced by a proper flip screen.

NIKON Z FC

₹84,995 (body only) / nikon.co.in

When you’re buzzing around the streets taking snaps of day-to-day life, it’s important to look the part – and Nikon’s Z FC has style in spades. Taking design inspiration from the company’s classic FE 35mm camera, on the inside the Z FC is every bit the modern-day mirrorless marvel.

It uses the same 20.9MP APS-C sensor, processor, battery and excellent hybrid autofocus system as Nikon’s first mirrorless camera, the Z50, but this isn’t merely a retro reskin. Look past the leatherette coating, fetching round electronic viewfinder and manual dials for shutter speed and ISO (don’t worry, you can easily flick it into auto), and you’ll find a hybrid camera with an 11fps burst speed, 4K video and a magnesium alloy chassis that’s light enough for all-day portability.

Image quality is reliably solid rather than stunning, but this will vary depending on the lens attached. We reviewed the Z FC with a lightweight 16-50mm kit zoom that comes with image stabilisation – a cheap all-rounder that works well for vlogging at its widest 16mm setting – but the company’s new 28mm f/2.8 prime looks to be a better choice for stills photographers. Both these lenses are styled to fit in with the last-century look, and we’re hoping Nikon adds more because modern Nikkor lenses do spoil the old-school vibe.

Nikon is not the first mirrorless camera maker to take the retro road, but it’s heartwarming to see the brand’s history echoed in a model that offers the latest tech. If you’re looking for a shooter with real character, look no further.

Key specs

20.9MP APS-C CMOS

ISO 100-51,200

4K @ 30fps

3in 1.04m-dot TFT

445g

ZINGIN’ IN THE RAIN

This capture works for several reasons. Firstly, finding the scene before the subject (see tips opposite) means a perfectly straight composition. The central subject pulls our eye in, framed by the trees, and the reflection gives a nice pop of visual flourish.

STREET TIPS

Frame it first Finding your frame before you find your subject allows you to create a considered composition. It’ll be worth the wait.

Get in the zone Focus on an object a set distance away and turn to manual focus. You’ll get sharp shots when anyone enters your zone.

See the light Everyone shoots people. Instead, consider finding an area of harsh sunlight and capture strange, unique shadows.

ALTERNATIVELY… Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

When shooting on the street you never know what you’re going to encounter, so it’s a good idea to have a phone that’s a top all-rounder. The Max has a trio of lenses and a larger sensor than the standard iPhone 12 Pro. ₹1,12,900 / amazon.in

Now Add This

NIKON 4185 MOUNT ADAPTER

While the Nikon Z FC and other mirrorless cameras have their own slew of dedicated lenses, if you want to go all-out, the 4185 Mount adapter will be your best friend. Once hooked it allows you to mount Nikon’s F and DX lenses! ₹12,949 / amazon.in

STUFF SAYS Come for the style, stay for the performance – Nikon’s retro revival combines solid shooting skills with showstopping looks

NIGHT

Night fever, we’ll show you how to do it. From buying n the right camera to working neon lights, you’ll be the prince of darkness.

NIGHT

Darkness is a camera’s arch nemesis, but some are better at dealing with it than others – like this ace full-framer

Hurry up carry If you’ve used a Canon DSLR before you’ll feel right at home here, but the R6’s smaller and lighter body means you can carry it for longer and further.

CANON EOS R6

₹2,15,995 (body only) / in.cano

Putting all its metaphorical eggs in one basket, the Canon EOS R6 is a stunning camera that can tackle just about every subject you might wish to throw at it. It’s ideal for a plethora of different subjects, tackling each with aplomb… but when it comes to low-light shooting, there’s a whole host of features that really make the R6 a smart choice.

With a relatively modest 20.1MP resolution, there aren’t too many pixels to crowd onto its full-frame sensor, which results in crisp and clear images even in the dimmest conditions. It’s also got superbly sensitive autofocus and excellent in-body stabilisation, so sharpness is virtually a given. The on-sensor Dual-Pixel CMOS AF II focusing, to give it its full name, doesn’t just sound fancy – it also does the business. Eye AF is spectacular, and works not just for humans but also for our furry friends.

If video is your thing, you have 4K at the ready here, while the fully articulating touchscreen can face all the way forward for capturing those all-important vlogs (or the odd selfie). Plus there are two card slots – both SD, and both the faster UHS-II type. Fantastic if you already have a set of cards and don’t want to splash out on extra memory.

The only potential drawback of the Canon EOS R6 right now is the high price: at over ₹2lakhs for the body, you’re going to need some serious readies by the time you’ve also invested in some glass for it. It sits above mid-range models such as the Nikon Z6 II and Sony A7 III… but with its superlative performance, it’s arguably very much worth the outlay.

Key specs

20.1MP full-frame CMOS

ISO 100-102,400

4K @ 60fps

3in 1.62m-dot LCD

680g

F-STOP ’TIL YOU GET ENOUGH

One of the biggest aids to shooting in dark conditions is having a fast-aperture lens, like the f/1.4 used here. This creates a shallow depth of field, meaning a narrow focal plane, but also lets more light into the sensor, allowing for faster shutter speeds and lower ISO.

NIGHT TIPS

Paint with light Set a long exposure and shine a torch from behind your camera (experiment with times) to create amazing effects.

Go for the glow Try shooting portraits at night with neon lights. The colours will pop, and a wide aperture can create stunning bokeh.

Steady on A tripod is essential. Steadying your camera allows you to use slower shutter speeds, letting in more light and killing blur.

ALTERNATIVELY… Vivo X70 Pro+

Some of the very best nightlife happens above our heads – and while a phone will never capture the cosmos as well as a camera with a massive sensor, this one can still get some impressive shots. It truly is the best smartphone camera right now! ₹79,990 / vivo.com

Now add this CamRanger 2

The CamRanger 2 brings wireless control to cameras. It creates its own WiFi network and connects your camera to the dedicated app on iOS, Android, Windows and Mac! The app offers almost full control of your camera wirelessly! $350 / camranger.com

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