Working with Occupational Therapist - need a heavier camera body...

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by lynn_h|1, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Am currently working with an Occupational Therapist to help with my Nikon d3100 and arm, hand and finger strength. I've been
    having difficulty with increased tremors. My OT (she is a photographer!) asked me to bring my D80 - the camera I dropped - and the
    heavier (D80) lessens my tremor significantly. Photography has helped me feel energized and optimistic since I became disabled after
    spine fractures/surgeries. It has made a very positive impact toward how I see myself.

    I am able to walk and stand without assistance, hold a camera with a wrist strap (prevents dropping camera) and shoot with VR lenses. I need a camera similar to D80 in terms of weight and complexity. I cannot afford the Nikon 7100 however the Nikon D90 might be a contender with it's Auto Focus. I held the D90 and like the weight and grip very much. I would appreciate your input and ideas so much.
     
  2. I am glad you are doing better. The D90 is a fine camera. You can't go wrong with it.
    Just as a thought, you might consider the D5200 and battery grip. The two should cost about the same as the D90 and weigh slightly more. The battery grip (and you can get an inexpensive aftermarket one) will give you an additional shutter button for holding the camera in portrait orientation.
    The D5200 with the grip will probably cost about the same as the D90 and is a more modern camera in just about every way. One feature it has that might be useful to you is the articulated viewing screen. This might make some kinds of photography easier for you as you would not have to bend and stoop to compose your shots. It is a 24MP camera with excellent image quality.
    As it is a 24MP camera the additional resolution will allow you to crop much more. The advantage to you of this is that you will be able to "zoom" without carrying a more awkward larger telephoto if that is a problem. Using a zoom like the affordable 18-105 AF-s VR will keep the camera in balance.
    Their are other features that favor the d5200 such as greater dynamic range, pentaprism finder, greater color depth and better high ISO performance. For most shots none of these will matter that much but I like the higher ISO performance for you because it allows you to choose significantly faster shutter speeds without sacrificing image quality which, of course, diminish the effects of camera shake.
    Perhaps you could compare them side by side. Money wise they should be pretty close. I know that Adorama has the refurbished D5200 with the grip for right at $700.00.
    Good luck with your recovery. I hope you will post some of your shots here.
     
  3. Is the d7000 that much more than the d90? The difference between the d7000 and the d90 is pretty substantial in terms of operations. I also echo the grip suggestion - the battery grip for the d7000 from the third-party vendors is pretty good for a low price.
     
  4. Hi Lynn - That is great to hear that photography is helped you feel energized and optimistic with your medical issues. Here are some suggestions to consider
    - To separate out the issue the needed weight consider using this counter weight accessory that you can screw in to the bottom of the camera tripod socket. Cheap and you can add a pound of weight in a very small volume by adding two of them (or 3 if you want to add 1 1/2 lbs)
    http://www.adorama.com/RPSCWFP.html
    At $12 each, that potentially allows you to consider the camera you need separately and add weight as needed if necessary.
    - Then you can independently decide which camera meets you needs. I don't know what lenses you have for Nikon so that somewhat determines which camera body you would need/want. Here is a chart of Nikon cameras that shows how they all fit in different markets. The D90 is the successor in its market for the D80 yet there are probably a few worth looking at (even in the lower end lines) since capability and features are always improving in all of Nikon's product lines:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Nikon_DSLR_cameras
    - Lastly, it would be good to consider not just new cameras yet used ones as well. You can get a great price break which would allow you to either save some money or get a camera with more features at a given price. You could even consider just getting another D80 at a bargain.
    Hope these suggestions are helpful and best wishes on your physical, mental, and spiritual recovery.
     
  5. Lynn, rather than a heavier camera you might
    consider more effective stabilization. Simply
    adding weight didn't work for me, after neck and
    neck injuries several years ago. Any gains from
    a heavier dSLR and VR zoom were negated by
    increased pain from lugging the heavier gear. I
    also began experiencing more wrist and shoulder
    strain from the extra weight.

    I'm hoping the in-body 5-Axis stabilization of
    the Olympus OM-D E-M5 will soon be incorporated
    into less expensive Olympus and Sony cameras.
    In-body stabilization makes sense because it
    works with any lens.

    For now I'm satisfied with the Nikon V1 and 10-30
    VR. Although a slow variable aperture zoom the
    VR is effective. But the 5-Axis stabilization in
    the larger Micro 4:3 Olympus or Sony APS sensors
    would persuade me, particularly since Nikon
    doesn't seem to intend to incorporate in-body
    stabilization, or to provide fast VR midrange
    zooms for DX, FX or CX cameras.
     
  6. An early form of stabilisation was simply a pipe filled with lead screwed to the base of the camera.
     
  7. "An early form of stabilisation was simply a pipe filled with lead screwed to the base of the camera."​
    Adding more weight without consideration to ergonomics may only make matters worse unless carefully designed to improve balance and reduce strain.
    From an ergonomic perspective Nikon's pro dSLRs are well designed. The single digit D-series have vertical grips with access to most of the same basic controls - shutter release, thumb and forefinger control dials. This helps avoid strain from:
    • the overhand hold (which hunches up the right shoulder and can aggravate neck and shoulder pain, while requiring the left hand to provide support and balance), and
    • the underhand hold (extension strains the right wrist and should be confined to only small, lightweight cameras, nothing heavier than a Leica rangefinder, Olympus OM or Nikon FM2 SLR)
    Merely adding weight to the bottom of the camera, usually via the tripod socket, may add more torsional strain on the right wrist.
    The human musculoskeletal system is like a Jenga game in slow motion. Any modification that throws off balance, or unbalanced original design, tends to shift the burden to other areas and lead to additional complications in other parts of the body - numbness, weakness, tingling, cramping, pain.
    Another example of a less than ideal solution to a problem is the typical recommendation to use a tripod. The problem is that any tripod tall enough to ensure good posture is too heavy to carry, and any tripod light enough to carry comfortably will be too short and require neck and back straining postures.
    Been there, done that, with many experiments and experiences over the past 12 years.
    The best thing since sliced bread, for many of us, is image stabilization, which is a good substitute for a tripod in many situations. Unfortunately Nikon and Canon seem to have stalled in developing the technology and provide only slowpoke variable aperture midrange and tele zooms, very expensive high end fast telephotos and tele zooms, but no fast midrange zooms or primes with stabilization. Even in the Nikon 1 series, which could easily accommodate VR primes and a fast midrange zoom with VR that would still be reasonably small and lightweight, we haven't seen such lenses and probably never will since Nikon failed to develop the product adequately.
    A better solution appears to be in-body stabilization, which was barely adequate until Olympus developed the 5-Axis system. Other compact and P&S digicams I've tried with in-body stabilization were barely effective and not comparable to Nikon and Canon lens based stabilization. But the Nikon and Canon lens based stabilization necessitate too many compromises: larger, heavier and more expensive zooms; or lighter slowpoke variable aperture zooms. I'd like to see Nikon develop at least one in-body DX format VR dSLR at the mid-priced enthusiast level but this is unlikely to happen since Nikon is not big on innovation or risks and is unlikely to take any more risks anytime soon after the mixed reception of the 1 series (which was a design and execution flaw, not a flaw in the concept, or lack of a market).
     
  8. [[but no fast midrange zooms or primes with stabilization. ]]

    Well, Canon has released the 24mm f/2.8 IS, 28mm f/2.8 IS, and 35mm f/2 IS which, on a cropped-sensor camera offers a compelling focal length range. (Of course, they've jacked the price through the roof too). Rumors still floating about a possible 50mm IS lens.
     
  9. Thanks, Rob, I hadn't looked at Canon's lineup for quite awhile. No doubt fast primes and midrange zooms with stabilization will be pricey, but it's good to have that option.
     
  10. Interesting how so many of you are completely ignoring the articulating screen on the D5200. This allows someone with limited range of motion to take pictures they otherwise would not be able to take without a great deal of pain.
    Then.
    Stabilization is fine but it only works to deal with camera shake. Nothing helps with camera shake like holding the camera in a comfortable position.
    Then.
    Nobody has mentioned a monopod which may be a God-send for her. A lightweight monopod would help with more than camera shake.
    The answer here is not to worry lenses to death but to decide how she can most effectively hold the camera steady and still maintain the maximum flexibility in composing an image. If she is experiencing camera shake then that is the enemy. You can eliminate it in only two ways. Either increase shutter speed or hold the lens steadier manually or through some mechanical device. The mechanical device is nice unless you look at her favorite photos. They include people and animals who are devilishly hard to get to hold still. So if she wants to shoot some of these she needs go get the shutter speed up. It doesn't matter where the VR is because in this regard the VR is of little use.
    So lets get her comfortable holding the camera, maximize her range of motion with regard to composition and get the shutter speed up to a point that it not only eliminates her shaking but also lets her shoot a subject that is moving. I don't recall that she said she wants to limit herself to landscape and 'Still Life with a Anvil'.
     
  11. Lynn, even though I do not face any physical challenges, I consider photography my therapy as well. Best luck with you.

    You may get much better answers if we know your genres of interest (landscape, still life, portrait, etc.), the usage of your photos (jpegs on a monitor, poster size prints, etc.), and the problems you are facing (speedy operation of the camera, fuzzy photos, etc.).

    Before looking for another camera as a solution, have you tried to alleviate camera shakes with your current one? If you haven't, here are some links that may be of interest.

    http://www.slrlounge.com/how-to-properly-hold-your-camera
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJGYShZNDYY

    Perhaps a chest harness may help?

    http://www.google.com/search?gs_rn=25&gs_ri=psy-ab&gs_mss=camer+harness&pq=op+tech+harness&cp=6&gs_id=3c&xhr=t&q=camera+chest+harness&client=firefox-a&hs=riv&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.51156542,d.eWU&biw=1280&bih=897&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=z_oZUo-XFaq8sQTw5oDYCQ

    Or a stabilizing rig?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMPaxzXX-gk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtlSVgG1h8

    Last but no least. Some photographers intentionally shake and move their cameras to create beautiful work. May be your tremor can be used to your advantage?

    http://www.google.com/search?gs_rn=25&gs_ri=psy-ab&gs_mss=photogra+impressionism&pq=freeman+patterson+impressionism&cp=9&gs_id=9i&xhr=t&q=photography+impressionism&client=firefox-a&hs=H2v&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&biw=1280&bih=897&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Ev8ZUpucGfKtsQTZtoCoCg
     
  12. Wrist weight from a sporting store. Adds weight to arm with out added strain on wrist.
     
  13. I'm overwhelmed by everyones' detailed and knowledgeable responses. Your generosity has helped me realize there
    are several ways to address the ergonomic implications of my situation and realistic/affordable options. My cervical
    spine (neck) is completely fused which allows minimal head turning. The flexibility of the screen on the 5200 could
    provide access to many shots by compensating for neck immobility. I am bringing everyones' responses to OT this
    week.

    Most of all, your depth of knowledge offers me and many photography enthusiasts facing physical challenges a great
    deal of hope. Thank you for your generosity!
     
  14. The facility of the fully articulated LCD permits one to use a short tripod, ie. an average tripod with the column wound down, for steady pictures. This assumes that you can somehow look down. Even here I rarely hold the camera during exposure but rather use the ten second delay release so I can press the trigger and leave camera and tripod untouched to settle down through countdown to exposure. My only disability comes from old age fortunately but I learnt to work this way when I was younger and more flexible. It is simply a good way to work for relatively static subjects.
     

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