On Assignment : Jim Brandenburg

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Environmentalist, nature photographer, filmmaker and best-selling author, Brandenburg has worked for National Geographic Magazine for over 30 years.

To me, cameras are more like paintbrushes than technology. The goal is not megapixels or technique but the image, and while camera models are important, they are not the be-all or end-all. But after a lifetime using countless cameras, I have found a new best friend. It was not love at first sight. The sharpness and detail were initially intimidating, exposing my flaws like never before. Subtle camera movements showed, and differences of acuity between aperture choices on various lenses were apparent. But now I am enthralled with this technology. Why? Because the images almost feel as though they were made with a 4x5 view camera! Special features like time-lapse photography and the improved HD video quality and flexibility also add tremendously to the camera's personality. After spending a month with the D800, I'll never be the same again. I will now think differently about the images I make, and perhaps that is the best compliment any photographer can make.