A few days ago a large box arrived from our friends in Germany stuffed with delicious gingerbread cookies, chocolate, marzipan, stollen, and gummi bears. We have exchanged gifts for the past 30 years, and my family and I look forward with mouthwatering anticipation to this annual holiday tradition.

With equal excitement I await the arrival of my new Nikon D810. In my letter to Santa I told him my D300 had served as my workhorse camera for the past six or seven years. I explained that I needed to put Old Faithful out to pasture for several reasons:

First, software does not always satisfactorily reduce the noise my D300 creates at ISOs higher than 800 … leaving image details a little blurry for my taste. For Santa’s convenience and education I included links to all the camera reviews that gave the D810 a big thumbs-up for its high ISO performance.

I have envied the EOS Live View features my students have on their Canon cameras. Duh, I certainly did not tell Santa I was jealous of other photographers. Rather I said Live View on the D810 will allow me to see and gauge the effect changing the aperture will have on depth of field … a major advantage considering my aging eyesight.

Of course I chattered on to Santa about the D810’s enhanced autofocus features (in particular the group area-AF), its highlight-weighted metering, the larger viewfinder, the larger file size, etc.

Suddenly, downstairs there arose such a clatter. I sprang from my office chair to see what was the matter. Away down the stairs I flew like a flash, stepped on the darn cat, and fell on my (well) bottom. I threw open the door and what did I see? The B&H box from the UPS delivery!

Yes, I have my Nikon D810 and am excited to learn what all it can do. My only question now is … do I write to Santa or to Mother Nature to ask that it stop raining here in Baltimore?