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New camera

Yay, finally got my new camera from UPS yesterday. UPS can be such a pain in the ass when it comes to packages that need a signature.

Anyway, I've enjoyed my Nikon digital cameras over the years for simple point and shoot kind of stuff. While they've take great pictures, it still left me wanting more control over how it takes pictures under less than ideal situations. Low light is particular challenge with small digital cameras. A friend a few weeks ago had one I was looking at and I was amazed at how light it was and how easy it was to use. After agonizing over the best deal and sorting out financial issues, I finally settled on this...
It's a Nikon D40 DSLR, 6MP and lots of options. There is a D40X, but the only difference there is 10MP (5MP is more than enough for great photography for anyone), it can take photos at 3fps (D40 is 2.5fps) and it costs about $200 more. Otherwise, the cameras are pretty much identical. I've already been tinkering with a variety of pictures and amazed how FAST the camera is and the great low lights shots that are just not possible with my Coolpix 3100. Already looking at different lenses and flash units I would like to have, but they will have to wait on more funds to come available.

I'm still keeping the little Coolpix 3100 as it's very portable unlike a SLR camera.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
yngcub4u
Jul. 20th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I have the Nikon D-50. Which was discontinued and replaced with one of the D-40s.

If you're looking for a great low light lens look for the Nikon 50mm f:1.8. I use that at concerts and it works amazingly. The only thing I don't like about that lens is there's no zoom capability. Other than that, it rocks.

Awesome to see other people getting into Nikon's D-Series.
ljtourist
Jul. 20th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Yay! Yet another friend buying a camera. I'm going to be doing some major camera purchasing myself next week; likely a D80, but maybe a D200.

So, lenses. What do you currently have? Just the 18-55 kit lens? That's actually quite good for the money. It's probably more than you'd be hoping to dole out, but the 18-200 lens is The Lens to get if you can bring yourself to spend the money (~$800). Beyond that, what do you plan on shooting? That camera can take reasonable shots even at ISO 1600, so you don't absolutely need a low-aperture lens. My plan is to get the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, though, because it's got great bokeh, and dude: f/1.4!
snowboardjoe
Jul. 20th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
While the built-in flash is good, I really want something that I can bounce off the ceiling for even better flash photography. Again, keeping it cheap here and realistic with this: SB-400 Speelight Unit. Lots of good reviews on this on Amazon.

The lens I'm looking at right now: 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor. Was looking for more powerful zoom with inage stability and the price is not bad. Again, lots of 5-star ratings from customers on Amazon.

Sounds like you're looking more for depth of field for your photos with the larger aperture?

I also want to photograph lightning. :) I need to read up on how to do that.
ljtourist
Jul. 20th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
Ken Rockwell gives the 55-200 his OK, so I can hardly object at that price point. It sounds like it could be just the thing for you.

For me, yeah, shallow depth-of-field is a huge want, but nothing (not even high ISO and VR) can replace a huge aperture for low-light stuff.

Do at least consider a nice prime; the 50mm f/1.8D is only $115 @ B&H. Terrible bokeh, but that sounds like it's not an issue for you.
snowboardjoe
Jul. 21st, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Cool, I've added that lens to my wish list on Amazon. It looks like a great lens and I do want/need a lens optimized more for low light. I don't mind manually focusing either.

Thanks for the link to Ken Rockwell too. I've added it to my bookmarks on del.icio.us.

When I come out your way, we'll have to do some photography too.
ljtourist
Jul. 21st, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
The autofocus should work fine with that lens on the D40. I'm glad to hear you're considering it. And, yeah, Ken has a great site.

We will *totally* do a photography expedition when you come here. Do you have specific plans?
snowboardjoe
Jul. 21st, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
That lens will not autofocus on the D40. It needs to be a AF-S or AF-I lens for that to work. This is because the D40 (and the D40X) do not have the drive motor built-in to drive the lenses. That's one major complaint about these cameras. If you want autofocus, the lens has to have its own motor to drive it.

No plans at all right now. I did have some earlier, but they were completely screwed up weeks ago and have not had a chance yet to get them reorganized again.
ljtourist
Jul. 21st, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
I sit corrected, then. Thanks for the info.

Beyond total craziness in July and August, I think the only weekend I have planned is Folsom on September 30th. Hopefully we'll be able to get together. Looking forward to it!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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