|JACK LARSON PHOTOGRAPHY|
This is one of the most photogenic waterfalls in Oregon. This ends the Crater Lake series. (For what it's worth, this is a 5 shot HDR photograph processed through Photomatix 4. In another week, I'll post some results of using Nik's new HDR Efex Pro.)
UPDATE TO HOGAN ON UPGRADING -
People seem to believe that a new camera magically makes their photos better. I would say that this is typically not the case, and for many reasons. Here's just a few:
We're in the age of declining returns. While more megapixels sound great at the simplest level (Act Now! 16 is better than 12! 14 is better than 10!), it actually takes 4x the pixels to double the capture resolution (e.g., to double 12mp's resolution, you'd need 48mp). When you subtract out diffraction impacts, the actual change in measured resolution in the new cameras is relatively modest, about at the threshold of what can be perceived at 100% view. The simple fact of the matter is that many people want more pixels because they have the wrong lens and need to crop more. If you can't see that this problem is more easily fixable by getting the right lens or spending a little more time on your composition, a new camera isn't really going to help as much as you think (and is going to increase your workflow if you're cropping everything after the fact).
Noise isn't really measurable, it's mostly perceivable. Yes, technically we can "measure" noise, but the measurements you see posted all over the Internet are mostly meaningless. You can have the same noise measurement from two cameras and one will simply look better than the other to most viewers. Beyond that, luminance noise isn't all that objectionable in the first place, and Nikon bodies have long been good at banishing color noise. One of the primary drivers of "I want better high ISO capability" is again using the wrong lens. If you're using a kit lens that's at f/5.6, you're two stops worse than you'd be with the f/2.8 fixed lens. The latest cameras aren't two stops better than the last generation. You may be better off buying the right lens than a new camera.
Your images should already be better than film quality. There hasn't been anything wrong with DSLRs for some time (I'm tempted to say going back to the 6mp cameras, but certainly since the 12mp generation). I've long preached that if images you print at the maximum size of a desktop inkjet (13x19") aren't good, then it isn't the camera that's the issue. The problem is how you set it or used it. When I say that, the claim usually becomes that newer camaras should set themselves better. Really? In what way? Exposure in Nikon bodies has always been quite good (and you D80 users only had to move to center-weighted metering and learn to use that, so the exceptions haven't been all that problematic). We've had Active D-Lighting and other "magic" settings in our DSLRs for awhile now. No, it's the gross user errors that people are expecting to be fixed, but people who aren't willing to fix those themselves probably shouldn't be using DSLRs--they're buying a lot of buttons and controls for nothing.
This isn't to say that there aren't people who should upgrade. (Yes, I too had to read that sentence a few times to make sure the double negative was right ;~). But you have to be realistic about what it is that you're getting by updating."