From time to time I get asked what camera I use. I also get asked to give advice on what camera people should buy and then there is always the question of what brand. So today I thought I might discuss with you why I ended up with the camera that I have.
The First Camera
It is sort of a long story and really started about 15 years ago. If you’ve read my about page you know my first SLR camera was a Pentax K1000. It was all manual and I really had to learn how to take photos and quickly. It was a big learning curve, but as I learned more and more I started to realize I wanted a more sophisticated camera, something with auto focus.
Looking for a New Camera
The research begun. I was in a camera club at the time and got to see what cameras other people had, which cameras people found easy to use, and which ones were hard to work out. It was great place to look. Of course the internet wasn’t really around and I couldn’t do the research that we do now. I also spent time looking through magazines.
The big decision for me was whether to go Nikon or Canon. There was a woman at the club at that time that had bought a Canon EOS camera, I don’t know which one, but what I remember the most is that she had so much trouble working it out. The aperture seemed to work in a strange way and she kept bringing it to the camera club to get help.
I looked at the Nikon cameras and to me they were all logical to use. I didn’t have any trouble working out what was what. The aperture was done on the lens, so no hassles with that. It was a no brainer in the end, it had to be a Nikon.
In the end I went for the Nikon F90X. It was in the middle of the range SLRs, but the thing I liked, at that time was that it took AA batteries. There was a lot of talk about rechargeable batteries and their reliability wasn’t always great, so having normal batteries seemed like a good idea. I have to say it was, the batteries lasted a long time and it was never much of a problem.
I used that camera for a long time. I still have it, though because it uses film I use it more to demonstrate how a camera works.
When I decided that I needed a digital SLR, or DSLR it seemed sensible to stick with Nikon. Money was going to be an issue, so I had to work within a tighter budget than before. I was fairly certain that the D300s would take my old lenses, though I wasn’t sure the autofocus would work, I had tried one of my old lenses on a D200, and aperture and things like that worked but not autofocus. So being able to use my older lenses meant I could keep the costs down. One of the things that was also appealing about the D300s was that it was fast, it did 6 or 7 frames a second, and that was appealing because I knew what I would be photographing the most at that time was sports, cycling and netball. When it arrived I was so happy to discover that when I put my old lenses on it the autofocus worked, major relief.
Funny too because what I paid for the D300s was almost the same as what I paid for the F90X.
A couple of years ago Nikon came out with the D800 and I think it is safe to say I wanted it. It was full frame, and I wasn’t doing sport anymore so it would be fine for the type of work that I wanted to do. My husband wasn’t convinced that I needed it, though he never thinks I need anything. In the end I got a job that was going to pay me quite a bit of money, and I was worried that the ISO with the D300s wouldn’t be good enough for the job. It was very noisy, and you didn’t have to go up the ISO very much to encounter that. My husband could see that it made sense to get the better camera for the job. So the D800 was ordered.
I’ve had that for just over 18 months and it is such a beautiful camera. I love using it. I’m trying to think if there was anything I would change about it if Nikon were to ask me, and right now I can’t think of anything. I’m sure there are things, but can’t think of them now. It is so versatile and there isn’t much I can’t do with it. I love it so much I wouldn’t mind a second one, well maybe the D810, but I suspect I might have a tougher battle on my hands to justify that to my husband.
In the End
After teaching people to use their cameras I am always happier when people have a Nikon camera. I find them so much easier to work out, and there are a lot of similarities between the models, so it doesn’t take much to work out how to do something on one and then work it out for another one.
So why did you buy the camera that you have? Are you really happy with it? If you could have any camera that you wanted, what would you get?
I have a selection of photos for you and I will put underneath each one what camera was used to take them. I should point out that all the images taken with the F90X were film and I’ve scanned the negatives.