South Africa West Coast

Pat and I have been wanting to head out to South Africa’s west coast for some time. Our selection of images of this area in the Africa Imagery Image Bank is not on a par with the rest of our coverage of South Africa and in any case it seemed like a nice adventure, so plans were hatched and off we went.

We put our ears back, got the first part of the trip (from Howick where we live to Kimberley in the Northern Cape) over as quickly as we could. We have done this part of the trip a number of times while working on our Lion Book. It was the area beyond Kimberley that appealed… We stayed at our usual spot in Kimberley – 4 Carrington, a very comfortable B&B close to the historic Halfway House Hotel where, reputedly, Cecil John Rhodes ordered beer from outside the hotel, still seated on his horse.

The road from Kimberley to Upington is fairly bleak and featureless, and much longer than one imagines. The numerous “stop and go” controls for roadworks do not help but, due to the low number of vehicles on the road at the time, the waiting period was not too bad. I had glanced at one of the tourism brochures at 4 Carrington and had taken note of a historical bridge over the Vaal River and presumed it was the old bridge at Schmidtsdrif some 80km to the west of Kimberley. When we got there I realised that it wasn’t the right bridge but we spent some very pleasant minutes photographing it and the surrounding scenery anyway. The Vaal River at this point is very slow and languid, with goats nibbling the thorny vegetation along its banks.

It was our original intention to spend the night at Upington before pressing on to Augrabies where we were to spend a few days, but in the end we just did a quick food shop and refuelled before heading to Keimoes and The Overlook B&B. An interesting spot, run by a New Yorker (!!!???) where we had a very comfortable night, disturbed only by some idiot who seemed intent on destroying his car by revving it to the limit for what seemed like ages.

View of Keimoes. Northern Cape. South Africa

View of Keimoes. Northern Cape. South Africa

Both Pat and I prefer to do the by-roads as much as possible, avoiding main routes so with this in mind we took the dirt road that hugs the southern bank of the Orange River to Kakamas. Wow! What an amazing stretch of road! it winds its way past farm houses, the first Kokerbooms (Quiver Trees) of the trip, stands of Aloe gariepensis or Gariep River Aloe and the Orange River itself. Marvellous! We stopped at one point to photograph a lovely Kokerboom alongside the road and just as I was heading back to the car I heard the sound of a large single cylinder motorbike being ridden hard. I was right. He soon came whistling past – a guy on board a 690 KTM – and disappeared in a cloud of dust. Must say it brought a smile to my face. A few kilometres later we passed him on the return journey…

Kakamas is a tiny town situated on the banks of the Orange River. Established in 1898, it was originally called Bassondrif, located where the Orange River was easy to cross. The origins of the name Kakamas vary, some saying it’s from the Korana word T’Kakamas, meaning “place of the raging cow” (It seems that there was an incident with a rather irate cow at some point). Others say it’s from the Khoi word gagamas which means “brown,” referring to the clay used by women to put on their faces. Today though, the region is a prime exporter of table grapes, raisins, and other dried fruit to the UK and Europe.

We checked into De Oude Stoor Gastehuis (the Old Shed Guest House) on a grape farm (it seems that everyone farms grapes here) just outside Augrabies, where we were to spend a few days exploring the area. Our main goal was Augrabies National Park. It is here that the Orange River has carved out a deep and spectacular 56m deep, 18km long gorge,  forming the Augrabies Falls in the process. The Khoi people called it “Aukoerbis” or “Place of Great Noise” with good reason as, when the river is in flood, there is, er…, a great noise as it thunders down into the valley. There is also spectacular scenery there (Moon Rock, Swart Rante, Ararat to name just a few locations) as well as wildlife like klipspringer, hyrax, Verreaux’s (black) eagles and giraffe. When you’ve done all this, take a bottle of the local wine to the top of Moon Rock at sunset and marvel at just where you are…

Twilight view of the Orange River and Augrabies Falls. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Twilight view of the Orange River and Augrabies Falls. Northern Cape. South Africa.

While browsing the tourism brochure at De Ou Stoor, an item caught our attention: Riemvasmaak. Riemvasmaak ( meaning “tighten the strap”) is well worth a visit and comprises of about 75 000ha of mountain desert wilderness. It really is very spectacular and like nothing that we’ve seen before. Actually, it’s probably worth spending a few days there in the great looking chalets. Deep in the valley, where the chalets are located, there are some hot springs where one can bathe. What we hadn’t realised is that, if you have a reasonable 4X4 you can make a “round trip” of it, approaching from the Kakamas side and then continuing past Riemvasmaak, crossing the Orange River on a new bridge before returning to Augrabies. All together a fabulous way to spend the day.

Riemvasmaak hot springs. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Riemvasmaak hot springs. Northern Cape. South Africa.

We’ve never been to the northern part of South Africa’s west coast before so that was our next stop – Port Nolloth. En route we stopped off in Springbok to have a quick coffee and a look at the “Blue Mine”, a copper mine that was South Africa’s first commercial mine, and then a little further up the road to Nababeep which has an abandoned copper mine (I have an interest in rocks and stones) that one can visit. Mining began here in the 1850′s and the ore was taken to Port Nolloth for export. All very interesting and we spent a few hours amongst the ruins, marvelling at its deserted atmosphere, the old machinery and all the blue-hued stones and rocks lying about.

Photograph of the copper mine at Nababeep in the Northern Cape. South Africa.

Photograph of the copper mine at Nababeep in the Northern Cape. South Africa.

Port Nolloth was freezing – a combination of a recently arrived cold front and a westerly wind whipping the white horses on a very chilly Atlantic Ocean. The port was originally used to export copper from the Okiep and Nababeep mines near Springbok, later as a fishing harbour and now, principally, it supports the diamond mining industry. We stayed in the historical Bedrock Cottages and clearly the owner was some sort of rock hound as the were many interesting and varied stones and rocks on display. It seems that the house and cottages of Bedrock Lodge were built in the early 1880s and today it offers comfortable accommodation and views out to sea. Everything in Port Nolloth is in walking distance and we had a number of really great dinners at Anita’s Tavern (just the straight fish and chips is pretty awesome) as well as at the Vespetti Restaurant.

Bedrock Cottages accommodation in Port Nolloth. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Bedrock Cottages accommodation in Port Nolloth. Northern Cape. South Africa.

One of the highlights of the time we spent in Port Nolloth was the Shipwreck Tour that we did with Dudley Wesssels (booking is through Diamond Coast Tourism). It involved quite an early getaway to make the meeting spot at Noup (Yes, I’d never heard of it either!) some 50Km south of Kleinzee which in turn, is some 60km south of Port Nolloth. The weather was overcast and cold, rain threatening as we hurtled along the good dirt roads. Dudley and Martinus and Joey Nel (the only other people on the tour) from the Northwest Province were waiting and within minutes we got involved in what were new plants for us – Sand Lilies, Babiana hirsuta (thunbergii), growing in the dunes on the side of the road and gorgeous in the early morning light as the sun peeped through the clouds. As we headed down to the coast to our first wreck, Dudley kept up a continual and interesting commentary over the two way radio that he had handed to us at the start of the tour. Seven ships have been wrecked along this part of the coast since the early 1900s, succumbing to the thick fogs, dangerous currents and high seas. We would see only 5 during the trip as the other two are below the waves but in spite of this, evidence of the wrecks can be seen in the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shore.

Sand Lilies, Babiana hirsuta (thunbergii). Namaqualand. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Sand Lilies, Babiana hirsuta (thunbergii). Namaqualand. Northern Cape. South Africa.

It was an amazing day. We searched for and saw the most wonderful array of plants, birds, rocks, wrecks and scenery. Dudley was entertaining and very knowledgable, our fellow participants, Martinus and Joey, adding to the knowledge and banter. If you find yourself in the area it’s one of the things you have to do!

Aerial view of the wreck of the Piratiny on the Namaqualand coast. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Aerial view of the wreck of the Piratiny on the Namaqualand coast. Northern Cape. South Africa.

We had mixed feelings about driving the 80Km from Port Nolloth to Alexander Bay on the South Africa/Namibia border. Some people had said it was not worth the trip – it’s just an old, virtually deserted, mining village and not much else. “And really, you cannot get to the Orange River mouth anyway”. Well, we decided to do it – it was unlikely that we’d get back to the area anytime soon and in any case, we heard of a koppie, just outside Alexander Bay, that was covered in lichen. Surely not?! It was a great trip and well worth the effort. As you head north you get closer and closer to the diamond mining operations that look very interesting and sure enough, there on the eastern side of the road was the orange, lichen covered koppie. We stopped, shot a bunch of pix and marvelled at the sight.

Sedges, flamingos and wetlands of the Orange River at Alexander Bay. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Sedges, flamingos and wetlands of the Orange River at Alexander Bay. Northern Cape. South Africa.

There is not much happening in Alexander Bay itself. It’s pretty much like Kleinzee – just a virtually deserted mining village. We did get to the mouth though and that was fascinating, the whole area covered in beautiful, burgundy coloured sedges with flamingos feeding in the many shallow pools and ponds that have formed on the Orange River floodplain. Was it worth the drive? Yesssss, I think so. But don’t expect everything to be handed to you on a plate – you have to get out there and find the interesting spots and sights yourself. And be prepared to take a wrong turning or two…

Our next stop was Lambert’s Bay a long drive south towards Cape Town. Friends, Marius and Leana Wiese (owners of the delightful La Piazza Bistro in Howick where we live and who know the west coast area and its flower season well) suggested that we stop at the Garies Toeriste Stal and ask Sonja for information about the flowers and things to do. (“Sonja knows everything”, Marius had said). So we had some tee en koffee en skuinskoeke (tea and coffee and skew cakes – a delicious little traditional cake) and asked Sonja…

“Head south out of town”, she said, “and make for the Groenriviermond. You’ll come to the lighthouse and then take the track along the shore. Continue along…… and you”ll end up on the Transnet private road to Lambert’s Bay. Enjoy the flowers…” Well it was all a bit of a blur but we found the light house. And the track. And off we went. Four hours later we were still on this little track (no sign of it on the GPS!) and to top it all, when we briefly hit mobile phone signal, a message from the B&B in Lambert’s bay appeared on the phone enquiring if we still intended to take up our accommodation! And still the track and the stunning flowers and scenery continued, the fuel gauge looking a little tired at this point.

Groenriviermond Lighthouse. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Groenriviermond Lighthouse. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Namaqualand flowers along the coastal strip near Groenriviermond. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Namaqualand flowers along the coastal strip near Groenriviermond. Northern Cape. South Africa.

 A fork in the road appeared. Mmmm. Left or right? Left, which took us, a few kilometres later, to a tarred road that was on the GPS and to a sign pointing to Lutzville and fuel! The rest was a doddle which left us, as we drove into Lambert’s Bay under cover of darkness, marvelling at the stunning beauty and remoteness of some parts of South Africa. Who needs the N7 anyway? A reasonable 4X4 and a vague sense of direction is all that is needed.

Namaqualand flowers along the coastal strip near Groenriviermond. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Namaqualand flowers along the coastal strip near Groenriviermond. Northern Cape. South Africa.

There were 2 things we really wanted to do in Lambert’s Bay: One was to visit Bird Island to photograph the thousands of gannets that nest there and the other was to have dinner at Muisbosskerm as a bit of a birthday celebration. Muisbosskerm, South Africa’s original, open air restaurant has derived it’s name from the shelters built from a bush called “Muisbos” by local herdsmen in the past as they migrated in search of grazing and water. Today, Muisbosskerm serves delicious seafood and traditional food in an al fresco environment. What a wonderful evening we had, with boere musiek and the sound of breaking waves in the background, the fish going down well with one of the local Chenin Blancs and all of this in the most stunning setting.

Bird Island is located about 100 metres off-shore at Lambert’s Bay and is one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed – as many as 25 000 of them! It is also the only breeding site easily accessible to the public and well worth the short walk and R40-00 entrance fee.

Muisbosskerm Outdoor Restaurant. Lambert's Bay. Western Cape. South Africa

Muisbosskerm Outdoor Restaurant. Lambert’s Bay. Western Cape. South Africa

Cape Gannet colony on Bird Island. Lambert's Bay. Western Cape. South Africa.

Cape Gannet colony on Bird Island. Lambert’s Bay. Western Cape. South Africa.

We were desperate to visit the so called Knersvlakte, a region of hilly terrain covered with quartz gravel in the Vanrhynsdorp area. The name is said to be derived from the sound like that of gnashing teeth caused by the hard quartz stones as the old ox wagons travelled over them. It’s the succulents that attracted us and after spending some hours marvelling at the thousands of different species on the heights above the town we found ourselves at the gates of the Kokerboom en Vetplant Kweekery (the Quiver Tree and Succulent Nursery). Now, even if you have no interest in these fascinating plants it is still worth a visit, if only for the coffee and cake. We were blown away! If you do have a interest in these plants you’ll want to spend the day there and be sure to take plenty of cash or a nice fresh credit card because you are going to buy. You know that!

Gibbaeum dispar succulent. Northern Cape. South Africa

Gibbaeum dispar succulent. Northern Cape. South Africa

Just outside the village of Nieuwoudtville on the road to Loeriesfontein are the Nieuwoudtville Falls and a little further, the Kokerboom forest and both are well worth a visit. These villages lie on the Bokkeveld Plateau, where the Cape Fynbos meets the Hantam Karoo, Boesmanland and the Knersvlakte. What an amazing place to play. We were on the home run now and, alas, were limited to the late afternoon if we were to get to the Boesmanland Pub and Grill in Loeriesfontein by nightfall. And the pub and grill was everything you’d expect a place with that name to be. We loved it! Simple. With great Boesmanland food and service, we enjoyed our evening in the pub and it was with reluctance that we headed out early the next morning, taking the R357 dirt road to Kimberly via Brandvlei, Vanwyksvliei, Prieska and Douglas. It’s remote country this: kilometres and kilometres and simply nothing but open spaces and vistas. The road was mostly great, only the section between Vanwyksvlei and Prieska being a little corrugated in places.

Nieuwoudtville Falls. Nieuwoudtville. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Nieuwoudtville Falls. Nieuwoudtville. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Kokerboom or Quiver Tree Forest. Near Nieuwoudtville. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Kokerboom or Quiver Tree Forest. Near Nieuwoudtville. Northern Cape. South Africa.

People have said that the 5 300 kilometres we travelled for a birthday dinner was a tad extravagant. We disagree. It was an amazing trip into parts of South Africa that we hadn’t been before. We would love to go back to the Augrabies and Riemvasmaak area and explore this rugged region in more detail and the same applies to the Loeriesfontein and Nieuwoudtville surrounds. We arrived home with a new insight into the Namakwalanders and their part of the country as well as with thousands of new images for our Image Bank. All in all, a damn fine trip!

Posted in africa, News, safari, Tips, travel, Travel Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Adobe Lightroom 5

Adobe have just released the full version of Lightroom 5. I have been playing with the Beta version for some time now and have really enjoyed it. There are some very useful new features:

  • Advanced Healing Brush
  • Advanced Healing Brush
  • Upright, Radial Filter
  • Smart Previews
  • Improved photo book creation
  • Slideshows that mix video and still images.

In addition to our exciting Photo Safaris we also do Introduction to Lightroom Workshops for those keen to start using this wonderful tool.

Adobe Lightroom 5

Posted in photo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

iBook Launch

What a wonderful afternoon we had at the Immedia offices in Umhlanga near Durban. We launched the iBook version of or print book, In Search of the African Lion. Pat and I have been blown away by what the creative team at Immedia have done and our iBook, complete with the full text from the print edition, photographs, video and sound is available to download in the iTunes Store.

Here Pat, and Basil Percimoney cut our iCake (the cake Immedia had made for us to celebrate the launch). It was Basil, and Duncan Prince that actually put the iBook together.

In 2009 we produced a book called In Search of the African Wild Dog and  last year we released In Search of the African Lion, a sister book that tells the story of Africa’s Lions. It’s a fascinating tale about these magnificent cats, their biology, relationship with humans, and the sorry and sad tale of the reduction in wild lion populations in Africa from some 450 000, 50 years ago to just 23 000 today. Buy the print version of the book here.

But there is more, much more… Pat and I were approached by African Storybook and Immedia (the technical knowhow behind the iBooks) to head up their illustrated iBook publishing operation which we are doing this under the Africa Imagery imprint. While we love beautiful print books (and who doesn’t) we have realised that there are huge benefits to using modern digital methods to distribute information around the globe. The size of the market is just one. Ease of distribution another and the beautiful, rich media (video, animations, live links and sound) that one can include make the whole iBook thing seem such an obvious way to go. Have a look at (and download a fee sample) of the iBook version of In Search of the African Lion.

Pat and I are thrilled with the book and are convinced that this is the way of publishing in the future. If you have a book that you would like to converted to an iBook, or indeed an iBook created from scratch, please get in touch. We would love to chat about how we can help you take you story to the world.

20130512-071358.jpg

Posted in beginner photography, kwazulu natal, News, roger de la harpe | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adobe Lightroom 5 Beta

Wow, just a short while after releasing Lightroom 4.4, Adobe has announced the Beta version of Lightroom 5. But what is a beta version? A beta version is a pre-release of the final program that will enable Adobe to get feedback from the public on how the program performs. Beta versions are free to download and use but will “expire” after the test period and Adobe may very well release a Beta 1, Beta 2 and so on until they are happy toAdobe Lightroom 5 release the final full version. A great thing about these Beta releases is that they allow you to have input into the testing process and, from past experience, it seems that Adobe really does take your input seriously.

There are some very interesting features and performance improvements that I am looking forward to trying:

  • Advanced Healing Brush: Enables one to easily remove objects and fix defects with a single brush stroke. This one looks as though it will be a real goodie – previously one had to go to Photoshop to perform major edits – not any more it seems….
  • Upright: Wonderful for correcting converging verticals and skew horizons – all with one click.
  • Radial Gradient: Lead your viewer’s eye through your images with more flexibility and control. The radial gradient tool lets you create off-center vignette effects, or multiple vignette areas within a single image.
  • Offline editing with Smart Previews: Easily work with images without bringing your entire library with you. Just generate smaller stand-in files called Smart Previews. Make adjustments or metadata additions to Smart Previews and your changes will be automatically applied to the full-size originals later.
  • Video slideshow sharing: Easily share your work in elegant video slideshows. Combine still images, video clips, and music in creative HD videos that can be viewed on almost any computer or device.
  • Improved photo book creation: Create beautiful photo books from your images. Lightroom includes a variety of easy-to-use book templates, and now you can edit them to create a customized look. Upload your book for printing with just a few clicks.

Download the beta version of Lightroom 5 here and have a look at some very useful videos by Laura Shoe of the new feature here.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adobe Lightroom 4.4

Adobe has just released the Lightroom 4.4 upgraded for both Windows and Mac. Download the Mac version here and the Windows version here.

Why not do one of our introduction to Adobe Lightroom Workshops?

Adobe Lightroom image editing software.

Adobe Lightroom image editing software.

Posted in Equipment, News, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tiger Fishing and Jozini Dam

Serendipity is a wonderful thing. I looked it up in the dictionary on my Apple Mac, just to check, and this is what I found it means: chance, happy chance, accident, happy accident, fluke, luck, good fortune, fortuity, fortuitousness, providence, coincidence, happy coincidence. All these words seem pretty close to what we experienced while visiting Jozini Dam.

We work a lot in the Zululand area of KwaZulu Natal, doing Stock Photography, running Photo Workshops or doing Commissioned Photography and as a result, have driven past and marvelled at the lake on many occasions. It has always looked magnificent from the long and winding pass that snakes up the side of the Pongola River Gorge in the Lebombo Mountains and takes you from the N2 to the little town of Jozini high up in the ancient  mountains, but somehow we had never actually visited the dam itself. This all changed when we were invited to spend easter weekend with family and friends on board Shayamanzi II Houseboat.

Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini and the Lebombo Mountains. Jozini.  KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini and the Lebombo Mountains. Jozini. KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

Jozini Dam (previously called the Pongolapoort Dam) is on the Pongola River, built in a narrow part of the  in the gorge very close to the town of Jozini. It was completed in 1974

Jozini Dam Map

Jozini Dam Map

and covers an area of 17 000 hectares when full, most of the lake flooding the flat areas to the west of the mountains. The dam wall is 70m high and was originally build to supply water to local farmers on the Makatini flats for the cultivation of crops such as sugar cane, maize and cotton. The lake is surrounded by game and nature reserves that have good populations of animals and birds, while the lake itself forms the most southern range of the African Tiger Fish. Catches of this spectacular species have grown to the point where Jozini is now one of the more popular fishing destinations in South Africa, with catches comparable to places like the Okavango Delta and the Zambezi River.

We took a long, slow, easy drive to Jozini from Howick in KwaZulu Natal where we live. The Easter traffic en route was heavy in places (the Pietermaritzburg/ Durban section of the N3 being particularly crazy with tourists and travellers blocking up our favourite breakfast spot) resulting in the urgent need for an ice cold G&T at the luxurious Tiger Lodge in Jozini where we were to meet not only the rest of the family group but also the

Shayamanzi people. Sanity restored we were transported to the berthing spot for the 30 metre Shayamanzi II.

Paul du Toit with one of his catches while Mike Wadge shoots a pic. Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini. Jozini.  KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

Paul du Toit with one of his catches while Mike Wadge shoots a pic. Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini. Jozini. KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

This is where the serendipity began. The next few days were filled with a great deal of fun and excitement. The crew catered wonderfully and the cabins were compact but comfortable, the upstairs ones being particularly  attractive with large sliding doors providing wonderful views of the passing scenery. The food on board was tasty and plentiful – no one went hungry!

One of the objects of the trip was to test the tiger fishing reputation of Lake Jozini. Now, while I really enjoy fishing, I am not very good at it. In fact, if truth be told, I’m really

Our guide and Captain; Bramson who's knowledge and help made the fishing successful. Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini. Jozini. KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

On the left, our guide and Captain, Bramson, who’s knowledge and help made the fishing successful. Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini. Jozini. KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

awful at it. So, it was with a great deal of surprise (surprise that bordered on disbelief) that I caught the first fish of the trip – a lovely little 1,2kg fighter that had me, er, hooked on fishing! The African Tiger Fish is considered by many to be the ultimate fresh water game fish and with good reason. Even small ones provide a good fight on light tackle so heaven knows what a 5Kg one will do. My record for the weekend was 3kg and the fight resulted in a lame left arm from holding the rod after a long fight.

Bramson Chihota, the Shayamanzi Captain and fishing guide on the tender boats provided help and instruction for us newbies – leave the line loose and wait for the fish to take the bait, let it run for a count of three or four, flip the bail, strike, keep the rod tip down and reel, reel and reel. Sound advice – it worked.

Alas, the weekend flew by as tends to happen when you are having fun. We fished, relaxed in the on-board jacuzzi, ate way too much, did some game viewing, and generally

We has good elephant, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck and kudu sightings from the boat. Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini. Jozini. KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

We had good elephant, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck and kudu sightings from the boat. Pongolapoort Dam / Lake Jozini. Jozini. KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

had a good time. It’s a must do!

What to take:

  • Fishing gear if you have it and prefer your own. (The gear provided by Shayamanzi is actually more than adequate..)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Reading matter – a good book, bird book, a magazine or two, or, if you have one, all of these and some movies on your iPad.
  • A hat or cap (man it gets hot out there!)

Book on the Shayamanzi here or email me for more info about our photography safaris and workshops.

Posted in africa, News, safari, travel, Travel Guide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

D800 and D600 Firmware Upgrade

Nikon has just announced firmware updates C:1.01 for the D600 and A:1.01 / B:1.02 for the D800 cameras.

Nikon D800 Photograph

Nikon D800 Photograph

The upgrade for the D800 addresses the following:

  • Support for the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR has been added.
  • Subject tracking performance in AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) autofocus mode with framing using the viewfinder has been improved.
  • Gamut for Adobe RGB images displayed in the camera’s monitor has been changed. This enables more vivid display of images.
  • With live view photography in [M] (Manual) exposure mode, exposure preview was always on.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases when certain memory cards were used, movie recording would stop, even when the time remaining display indicated remaining recording time.  This issue has been resolved.
  • With shooting at an image quality setting of TIFF (RGB) and an image size setting of Small, the right edge of images contained a purple line.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some rare cases, images recorded in JPEG format could not be opened by some software applications.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases, colors would change with shooting when white balance was set to a specific color temperature, as with Preset manual or Choose color temp.  This issue has been resolved.

Download the D800 Firmware Update here.

Basic D800 Upgrade instructions: for detailed instructions, see pdf files here. Please read carefully before proceeding.

  1. Create a new folder with an appropriate name on your computer.
  2. Choose the correct download below for the computer system you are using, and save the download to the folder created in step 1.
  3. Run the downloaded file to create the folder titled D800Update, containing the following file: D800_0102.bin
  4. Format an approved memory card in the camera, then remove .
  5. Copy the D800_0102.bin file to the top level of the memory card using a memory card reader or similar device, do not copy the file into anyfolder on the memory card.
  6. Insert memory card into the cameras memory card slot, and switch on.
  7. Select Firmware Version from the setup menu and follow the instructions displayed to upgrade the camera’s firmware.
  8. DO NOT switch off the camera at any time during the update, doing so may result in the need for service.
  9. After the upgrade is complete, trun the camera off and remove the memory card.
  10. Check the cameras firmware version to be sure it completed.
  11. Format memory card in camera for use.
  12. * – Firmware updates can be performed for you at authorized Nikon service centers.

And for the D600 it deals with: 

  • Support for the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR has been added.
  • Subject tracking performance in AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) autofocus mode with framing using the viewfinder has been improved.
  • Frame output size has been changed from 95% to 100% when movie live view display is changed to “Information off” and an HDMI-compatible device is connected.
  • An issue that caused the right edges of images to be somewhat white when captured at an Image area setting of DX (24×16) 1.5x withActive D-Lighting set to Off has been resolved.
  • When the camera’s shutter-release button was pressed repeatedly for uninterrupted shooting with the “Record to:” option in Camera Control Pro 2′s Storage tab set to “PC+CARD”, the camera would stop responding with displaying “Err” in its control panel.  This issue has been resolved.
  • In some very rare cases, colors would change with shooting when white balance was set to a specific color temperature, as with Preset manual or Choose color temp.  This issue has been resolved.

Download the D600 Firmware Update here.

Basic D600 Upgrade instructions: for detailed instructions, see pdf files here. Please read carefully before proceeding.

  1. Create a new folder with an appropriate name on your computer.
  2. Choose the correct download below for the computer system you are using, and save the download to the folder created in step 1.
  3. Run the downloaded file to create the folder titled D600EUpdate, containing the following file: D600_0101.bin
  4. Format an approved memory card in the camera, then remove .
  5. Copy the D600_0101.bin file to the top level of the memory card using a memory card reader or similar device, do not copy the file into anyfolder on the memory card.
  6. Insert memory card into the cameras memory card slot, and switch on.
  7. Select Firmware Version from the setup menu and follow the instructions displayed to upgrade the camera’s firmware.
  8. DO NOT switch off the camera at any time during the update, doing so may result in the need for service.
  9. After the upgrade is complete, trun the camera off and remove the memory card.
  10. Check the cameras firmware version to be sure it completed.
  11. Format memory card in camera for use.
  12. * – Firmware updates can be performed for you at authorized Nikon service centers.

Why not join us on one of our Photo Safaris? Have a look here: http://www.africaimagery.com/workshops.php

Posted in Equipment, News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment