Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Finally a DSLR

Continuing my history of my cameras and growing interest in photography, I can finally move onto the now. Or at least part of where I am now. Part of my present photography kit is a DSLR. At last.

After just getting used to the Olympus C8080 ugly bug camera, with all it's good and bad points, I had another accident. I guess I am somewhat clumsy, or am beginning to think I must be. This is not the first, and actually not the last death of a camera at my hands. At least I didn't drop the Olympus into a lake. Nothing quite so dramatic. The poor old Olympus got severely whacked on the lens, as it swung from my neck. How I managed to hit the lens on a street post while walking along, I will never know. With the opinion of several camera repair experts, it was economically unrepairable. It was an ex-camera. It ceased to be.

Strangely, I did not care as I was never really fond of it. Obviously, my insurance company recieved another phone call, and after receiving a moderately valued cheque, I knew I had to make one of the biggest decisions of my life!

A Canon DSLR or a Nikon DSLR?

I had looked into this for a while previously, and could see that there is a massive world wide rivalry between these two Japanese giants. It seems that people are on one side or the other, and are completely biased and dogmatic in their opinions. Canon and Nikon have basically been battling over the same ground for a long time, pushing each other with new innovations and technological improvements, beating each other to the new release deadlines, and trying to lure and sway the unsure first-time camera buyers. 

This is a very informed page on the truth about Nikon vs Canon.  Well written and worth a read.

Being an unsure first-time DSLR buyer, I looked at magazines, read reviews, researched the internet, spoke to some camera shop assistants, and came to the realization that Canon was the obvious choice. They held a much larger percentage of the UK market. They seemed to have many more cameras, lenses and additional equipment widely available. They certainly were slightly cheaper in price. In the UK at least, they have a much larger user base.

With this information in mind I chose a Nikon D80!

I am not exactly sure why I chose Nikon over Canon. I did however, listen to one older photographer, who advised me to go into shops and actually try the different cameras out. He advised me to see how they 'feel' in the hand, how they operate, and he told me to listen to my gut feelings. I found that the Nikon had the edge over the Canon in terms of build quality and handling. It felt better to me.  I also may have been swayed by my memories of playing with old Nikon SLRs at school all those years ago. Although I had a Praktica SLR, our hightly inspirational photography teacher owned Nikons.

The D80 together with an 18-70mm zoom kit lens cost around £800. This felt like money well spent though as soon as I had charged her up and started shooting hundreds of images in my local neighbourhood, just in the first few days.  I felt like a child with a new bike for christmas.  I have owned the D80 for five years now and still am not tempted to upgrade to a latest model. I want to get as much as I can out of this camera before upgrading.  I want to reach the limit of the D80; the point where I 'need' to upgrade.  I have met many people recently who have spent big money on cameras they neither need or understand.

Blog-wise, this means that I can start posting my recent and current images, as well as diving through my hard drive for older Nikon favourites.  I mostly used the camera for architectural photography to begin with, although this changed over time.  Many of my images are taken in London, Japan, and my neighbourhood of Colchester, as well other areas of photography in which I have dabbled.  I also started to learn to use Photoshop and Lightroom, which may be shown in some posts.

I will start to show my DSLR images in next posts.


Michael Gatton said...

I like to joke around about the Canon/Nikon wars, but I don't take it seriously. Back in the 70's, though, I think Nikon was a lot more expensive than Canon, so I went with Canon. There was also a class/prestige difference that's still a bit relevant, although not as much. Canon seems a bit complacent these days, which is disappointing.

Look forward to seeing the pics!

Bill Wellham said...

Cheers Mike. I agree about not taking it seriously. I am amazed at how serious some people get. I know there is virtually nothing between them; not enough for people at my level to notice anyway. Most people I know have Canons, which means no lens borrowing or lending though.

Once you've made your choice, there is no going back though. LOL

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the Nikon photographs :)
Have a fine sunny weekend!

Gerry's Blog said...

Congrats Bill.. I have to put in my two cents, I shoot Nikon but as of last year when I was a staff photographer I used Canon for ten years for work and Nikon for personal projects and I love them both. Not really much of a difference between them other then price at times. A camera is a tool to get the job done, if you know how to use that tool regardless of what it is, you will get great results ... you my friend have a great eye so any camera in your hands will do great things. Enjoy it its always fun getting new toys.