Secrets of Digital Photography
Nikon 5700 Gallery!    
Starting 10 9 03

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A Day with the CP5700

Or, The Brandenburg Gate, Unter Den Linden and the new East Berlin

Brandenburg Gate has been freed from the the Soviet era and now joins the Soccer era. Hence its newest feature, the giant Soccer Ball Attraction. I've got an idea--let's tie a Goodyear blimp to the Eiffel Tower!

Never mind, there is more drama afoot. Backlit, the Gate takes on some of its former stoic presence and gives us a good excuse to show the whole range of the Big Sharp Zoom lens on the 5700.

Many images can be opened in a New Window to view at a larger scale

The Gate itself is at the foot of Unter Den Linden--a broad avenue that plunges into the East Berlin area that was previously behind The Wall. Now the area is filled with growth and transformation. All under the Linden trees.

Strolling around in the area brings surprises to the lens. That tall, striped thing is the TV tower the Soviets used to brag about. Churches neglected under Communism join the renovative spirit.

Inside, a very unexpected view.

Berlin weather proves to be on a five minute warning basis. The clouds overact. We get wet, but the camera takes it in stride.

The Reichstag, right, catches a last ray, students study each other and after the rain, the sun paints a final image.

The art department points us toward an unusual vision; bicycle racks as abstract sculpture. Poetically monochromatic to begin with, it was worth spending a few moments in Photoshop to make it rhyme.


Berlin traffic feels like the US equivalent because so many of its cars are full size (Mercedes and BMWs).

The major auto companies from other countries like to show off there, too.

No, you can't buy it yet.

And if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Over the course of the trip, I started a number of "series" subjects. This one was of garage entrances. Here it is used to illustrate a common digital camera problem. Zoom lenses are rarely distortion free. Barrel distortion makes this image less than it could be, because it is shot at full wide angle.

One quick application of the iNovaFX iBC5.7KWide Photoshop Action turns it into a very rectilinear image. Run your mouse over the shot to see the corrected version.

Conclusions: The CP5700 is a great camera for vacations and general use. Certainly it can find images over a huge zoom range (7.2:1 by magnification) and the Nikkor lens is sharp at all zoom positions. Wide angle is equivalent to a 35 mm lens on a 35mm camera, so it gets nearly every shot you could throw at it.

The flip monitor + EVF viewing is a major positive feature and the large array of Nikon controls is greatly appreciated. BSS was used often for twilight shooting, store window shots and scenes under artificial light.

There was no interest in my carrying its HUGE WC-E80 wide converter that outweighs the camera, while delivering merely a 28 mm equivalent image, and the TC-E15, although it made the trip, was not particularly helpful. When a lens is already f/4.1, hand-holding it at 400 mm is not a swift idea. You need a shutter speed of 1/500 sec or briefer.

The cubic bulk of the camera and control placement (four buttons on the left barrel side for instance) made fast setups more problematic. And manual focus with this model is remedial, meaning what were the designers thinking?

Without a doubt, it could easily be your one and only touring camera, but wait, there's more...

Nikon CP5400 Gallery.

Sony DSC-F717 Gallery.

Sony DSC-V1 Gallery.

Winner's Circle.

Travel Article Page.


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