I think Thom was right, again...

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Teila Day
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,273
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Re: Bad purchase decisions and habits?
In reply to PHXAZCRAIG, Mar 27, 2013

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

Teila Day wrote:

What was your reasoning behind upgrading so often?  (asked with genuine curiosity, not sarcasm)

I'd say the reasoning for going from the D70s to the D200 was just that the D200 was so much better of a body to work with.   I don't recall being tempted by the sensor as much as the body controls, which were more like the N90s I had used for so long.

Controls can often make a huge difference!  For me going from a pro body to Canon's 5d2 was something that I knew was going to have obvious differences, but when you're used to all the quick buttons to change file type (raw, jpg), white balance, flash and exposure compensation, bracketing and having so much control over the camera, the difference and advantage of the larger bodies when trying to do things quickly become very apparent.  I purchased the Canon 5D2 for static work, so I can't complain and didn't lose any skin off my nose.  I would make the purchase all over again without a 2nd thought.

Much more responsive, and much quicker to make changes.   Better viewfinder.  Better LCD screen (which is kind of funny considering how much better they got after that).   Faster fps.   I added a vertical grip (which I put on all my bodies), and I was quite happy.   I'm still happy with that body style.

You are 100% correct.  What I found most remarkable with the D200 was that it was the first semi pro body that had a decent buffer + frame rate.  When I buy a camera, I generally do not care how fast and long it can shoot jpg...  I immediately look for the raw performance.  My old D2hs rips through 40 rawframes before stuttering at 8fps... and the buffer empties quickly; today that is still impressive if you're shooting web content.  I won't be turning that camera loose anytime soon

Going to the D300 (in the same year) was basically succumbing to marketing, as I really, really wanted it.   Mostly for the higher ISO capability, but all the little things it did better than the D200 added up to be more than the sum of the parts.   It was a DX camera that Nikon really got right.

I liked shooting the D300.  When it came out (like the D700) it made better business sense for many photographers in the market for a D2x/D3 to buy it instead as the gains in image quality were basically nil practically speaking, however the larger bodies had their distinct advantages which were well worth the price to many other photographers.  Nikon really did get the D300 and D700 right... though I think they failed at not adding video to the D700.

For a long time my goal was to have better and better high ISO performance.   With film, I was shooting ISO 25 (Ektar - beautiful film) to 100 (Sensia/Provia, Fuji print).  My 'sports' film was ISO 400.   And Kodachrome and Velvia.    You just can't shoot those indoors without flash, and I don't generally like flash on camera and bounced from camera.   When a new film would come out, I'd switch to it and look for grain at higher ISO's.   The D200 got me to about 400.  The D300 got me to about 800-1000.  The D700 got me to about 1600.   The D800e got me farther, though I haven't figured out how far yet.  All those pixels gives unexpected flexibility in various ways.

Amazing isn't it?  It wasn't too long ago when iso 800 was considered high, and 1600 was nosebleed level and basically unusable.  Today, 3200 iso is not only usable, but an iso that you can actually use to sell work!   I will be happy when iso 6400 becomes common place.  I just marvel at how far photography has come in a relatively short time.  I shot a few candid frames of some elderly people a few years ago (who were knowledgeable about film photography) at about 1600 iso... when they viewed the camera's screen they were blown away and said almost in unison "No flash!?"  I then proceeded to show them more examples of high iso (iso 3200) and they just stared in silence as if my camera was a magic box that just performed an impossible feat.

... 20 minutes later they're huddled around viewing my iPad and seemed totally astounded at the technology.  That was rural Louisiana.  I think they felt disappointed that they had missed out on such technology as they were genuinely shocked.

I think the D800 is as good as anything out there in the high iso game, and beyond that is just splitting hairs as anything beyond 6400 is generally not going to be used/accepted for work related shots anyway.  I think Nikon hit a hard (and I do mean HARD) home run with that camera.

I might add that I really wanted the Dx series, but could never afford it.   When the D3x came out, it would have been the perfect camera for me.    If the D4 has 24mp and 10fps, it would be the perfect camera for me now I think.

I agree.  I think many more would've jumped on the D4 if it had more than 16mp and yielding a bit more crop/print wiggle room.  I was disappointed in the D4.  If I was a D3s shooter I wouldn't have opened my purse for a D4.   Canon didn't do much better with the 1Dx (18mp) for those wanting a pro body with lots of resolution, but I think I see where this is all going.  The D4 and 1Dx do fill a definite market, that can't be denied, and more pixels are forthcoming.

If the D3x is perfect for you, I encourage you to try the Canon 5d3.  You'd miss the pro body layout, but you get a heck of a lot of camera for the money (in comparison) and video.

I know a lot of people look at the economics and skip generations, buy sparingly, etc.   But this is my HOBBY, and I *have the money* to spend on it.

Then by all means enjoy it!   There's nothing wrong with buying what pleases you-  Keep at it if it makes you happy.  Some people like paying a lot of money to bat little white balls all over short green grass into little cups.  Others would rather spend money on and tinker with cameras, lenses an such.  You live once.  Have a good time with whatever makes you smile.

I remember collecting cameras when I was a kid, mostly because I just liked the equipment.   I tend not to get rid of them either.   I keep them until it seems they have so little value used that it's not worth the effort to sell them.  I paid over $1000 for the N90s, and I see them on sale now for $50.   I still have my Dad's old Stereo Realist and my grandfather's old Contax.   I still have my Yashicamat 124g (which I'd like to use again, because it's such a different style of photography).

I noticed years ago that tons of family negatives were taken with a MF body and I had found some oder cameras in several closets and chests...  you could imagine my excitement when I thought that there might be a MF body nearby, just sitting in the dark collecting dust.  I've looked high and low over the years and have turned up nothing.  darn.

I'd say I enjoy the taking of pictures as much or more as the viewing of the results.   Underwater too - you want to talk expensive upgrades, start looking at dive housings.

Ohhhh I have.  Really nice ones cost as much (or more) as a pro body, and you still have to get strobes, triggers, etc..  I've also been trying to figure out how to get water really clear for underwater photography.  I've viewed many pro samples but most have the same "underwater look".

20/20, 60 minutes, or one of those shows did a story on a man who shot a lot of (older) television commercials (hair care, etc..) underwater and he explained that he treated his pool and had it down to a science.  I've to do more research on the chemical balance to obtain the optimum water.

If you have any advice on a great set up, please PM me.  I'd likely use a new pro Canon body, wanting to trigger strobes placed outside of the pool via radio trigger, and trigger several strobes for fill inside the pool, preferably not attached to the camera.   Rough sketch below:

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