Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Captured by Nikon

The short of it:

I want a new camera.

The long of it:

I have always loved to take pictures and record video. My parents gave my sister and I 35mm Kodak cameras in 1989 and I took hundreds of pictures with that little camera, if it hadn’t been for a scratch on the lens I would probably still have that camera (OK, probably not but the point is it was a nice little camera). When I was thirteen I asked for a camcorder and my dad did all he could to see that I got one, he couldn’t afford it that year but the following year he saw to it that I did get one.

When I was in high school I really enjoyed taking pictures and was fortunate enough to take a photography class the first year it was offered at my high school (my junior year) where I learned about pinhole cameras, shutter speed and color tinting. Because the class was new the class had to take turns with the three enlargers the teacher had supplied and only five of us could be in the small dark room at a time. I didn’t have the money to buy a new camera so I used my father’s archaic SLR. Dated as it was, it still took decent shots.

When I graduated high school I was given the gift of a new SLR camera by someone very sweet. It was presented in the form of a coupon with a little clip art camera in the center, I was to chose the exact camera I wanted. At the time I was employed by C.V.S. and working in the photo lab. I asked several of our routine customers for recommendations. When I went to Ritz to make my purchase I had all but decided on getting a Minolta. But instead, at the last minute I went with a Nikon N60. My first few snapshots were of the cat and the parking lot of our apartment but they were great shots, even though they were of nothing. This camera has surpassed all of my expectations and helped me fill several photo albums. Several years ago, it just up and died on me. I bought a much cheaper and smaller Minolta, I was very disappointed but it got me through for a little while. Before a summer of trips to Colorado, Emerald Isle and New Orleans we made the decision to go digital. Upon the recommendation of the Ritz salesman I purchased a Fuji film E510. It has always done an OK job, the photos of the Rocky Mountains and French Quarter were not disappointing but I have always wanted a little something more.

This Christmas Trauma and Trouble (before they were born) gave me a most awesome gift (Thanks, Ward), a HD Sony Handycam (Full HD 1080i with 4 mega pixels ClearVid Sensor, though I’m still trying to figure what all that stuff truly means). After Christmas I bought a small Kodak Easy Share digital camera. It has been truly disappointing. I got one for my brother that was cheaper and it takes way better photos, oh well.

Recently though I have really started wanting a new camera. With spending way to much at Sear’s Portrait Studio on pictures taken by someone who I would never call a photographer and seeing some of those old snapshots taken by the N60, I have decided that I truly, really badly, beyond words, want a new Nikon. I have the Nikon D80 in mind unless I hear from someone recommending a better camera. I used to want a smaller camera that was easier to tote everywhere but what’s the point if the shots are sub par?

I have expressed this desire with Ward, expecting to be laughed at, but he (like me) wants to record this time in our family’s history and has agreed (with one condition, I cut out online shopping through May, I can do it folks, I really want this camera!).

So I’ve started looking and I am very excited. I hope to be as pleasantly surprised as I was when I bought my first Nikon.

Does anyone know where I can get albums cheap? I take too many pictures with a bad camera, if this camera meets my expectations the bookshelves could be in serious trouble.



James said...

In what price range are you looking? I have a Minolta Maxxum 5D that I love. I think it takes great pictures, but it's only 8 megapixels. Minolta isn't in business anymore and you could probably get one on eBay pretty cheap. Sony bought Minolta's camera business and the Sony Alpha series is really pretty much the Minolta with Sony's name on it. What I like about the Minolta/Sony is that the image stabilization is built into the camera, not the lenses. That means you can buy any lens for the camera and you will have image stabilization. With other makes, the image stabilization is built into the lens, making each lens significantly more expensive.

I love my camera and eventually I want to upgrade, but I'm just a hack with no real photography training. I still manage to take a really great photo here and there, but I give full credit to my camera and not to any skill on my part. Once I actually learn a thing or two I'll move up to a nicer camera.

For some very, very in depth reviews from real camera people, you have to check out They have an unbelievable wealth of information there.

Ward and June said...

I would like to spend under $1,000 for sure, but if I can get a decent camera for a lot less that would be wonderful.

I am just a hack as well, I attribute all my good shots to the camera too. Thanks for the website I will definitely check it out.

I was going to put aside some money over the next few months for the camera but I would really like to get the camera now so I can start getting really good shots of the twins now without having to spend a fortune at portrait studios.


wesley's mom said...

I have a friend who has a really nice canon-but he's a photographer-like a REAL one.

I want the NIKON myself, I've heard good things about it. If I were you, that's what I'd do.

Ward and June said... was very helpful, I really liked the fact that I could choose cameras and compare them side-by-side. I also checked out and now I am torn between Nikon, Canon and Sony. I should have just gone with instinct, I feel that my oligomania may make this a very difficult decision for me.

I hate how all this stuff is so expensive but in a few years it they'll be newer stuff and the thing I buy now will be obsolete by market standards. Today at Ritz (I'm not buying a camera there this time, I've wisened in my older years and can get a camera online cheaper) I saw the Fuji Film E510 on sale, $89, I spent a lot more than that when I bought mine several years ago.

Do you know what kind of canon your "REAL" photographer friend has? Someday I would like to be a real photographer, whatever that means (if it means being paid for my services that would be cool).


James said...

I've bought two cameras, lenses, a camcorder and accessories from an eBay store called Cameta Camera. They are a real store out of NY that also sells new equipment on eBay. I've always been impressed with their products and service. I bought my Minolta, lens, memory card, tripod, bag and some other accessories for under $900.