Professional shooters today demand a lot from their cameras, and this is especially true for photographer and filmmaker Chris Hershman. A Nikon Ambassador and a musician, Hershman can be found making
stills, creating videos and time-lapse movies, and even shooting 35mm film.
While his first passion was music, Hershman picked up a film camera in
high school and hasn’t stopped shooting since then. His photography and
filmmaking skills perfectly complemented his love of music, and he started
his photographic career touring with bands.
From the beginning, Hershman has been a Nikon shooter, and he still
carries his 35mm Nikkormat with him on all assignments. When he’s shooting
digital, his latest gear includes Nikon’s 24 megapixel, full-frame mirrorless
camera, the Z 6.
Transitioning to a mirrorless camera was a breeze for Hershman, given the
similarities between the Nikon Z 6 and his DSLR, the Nikon D850. Although
the menus haven’t changed much, “Nikon has made it easier to find what
you need quickly,” he says. For example, users can customize the icons they
see in the viewfinder so they can make adjustments while the camera is up to
their eye. “This prevents you from missing a shot,” Hershman says. “You’re
always in position. And you don’t have to look down [at the LCD screen] to
review images; you can see them in the electronic viewfinder. That’s huge!”
From its large full frame mount, its in-body, five axis image stabilization
and its hybrid autofocus system, the list of the Z 6’s attributes is extensive.
Music venues are usually dark with moody lighting, but the Nikon Z 6 has
excellent high ISO performance so Hershman is able to keep his shutter
speed fast enough to get the shot. “I try to stay with pretty high shutter
speeds to capture images as sharp as possible, so I rely on increasing the
ISO.” Hershman says that even at ISO 6400, the Nikon Z 6 images are clean
and free of noise.
However, shooting in low light is about more than just ISO and noise
reduction. “The Z 6’s autofocus works really, really well, even when shooting
at wide apertures,” Hershman notes. “You can’t predict where the subject
will move, so having the AF locked on leaves you more room to concentrate
on exposure and framing to get the best possible image,” Hershman says.
During a recent concert featuring R&B artist Xavier Omär, Hershman was
able to shoot wide open with the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens to produce a
crisp portrait of the musician.
Hershman was also excited about the Nikon Z 6’s monochrome profile,
which he uses, for example, to exaggerate the guilty-looking expression on
the bulldog’s face on the right. (That’s Anchor, and he just finished chewing
up his owners’ shoes).
Clients often task Chris Hershman with shooting a range of media—film,
stills and time-lapse. The Nikon Z 6 makes these extensive shot lists a breeze.
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