So I Bought A dSLR That Defies All That I Was Advised Upon

It is probably one of the most breathtaking decisions I have made lately when I got myself an early Christmas present for the next 5 years combined: an entry level full frame camera.  To my dear friends whom I have been bugging for months asking the same set of questions in 101 different ways, thank you for your patience.  I really appreciate it.  Though my final decision is probably not what you would have imagined, your consistent answers have lent me much clarification.  Or so it seems.  I am certainly not as rational as what some friends of mine would think.

OK.  I am most definitely not the smartest dude in town.  I got a shock when I saw the 70-liter dry cabinet delivered to my office.  It is bloody huge!  Big enough to fit a baby inside!  I swear I thought I’ve ordered a 60-liter.  And I got a shock when I held my camera.  So bloody heavy!  Unlike my friend Mark who has also got himself a Nikon camera on the same day (how excited and productive he was!), my accomplishment for day 1 was as follows.

  1. Fully charged the battery!
  2. Took me a long time to tie the stripe.  Really, Nikon should just attach these stripes for us.
  3. Took me a long time to figure out how to attach the bloody heavy lens to the rather heavy body.  I swear I saw virtual dust going into the body while I was holding my breath throughout the nerve-racking process.
  4. Spent a long time staring at that heavy beast pondering: What shall I do next?
  5. Took a picture of Cynthia while she was sleeping.  Then decided against keeping that photo.

This morning I woke up and made some progress.  I managed to set the time zone, date, and time and … time to go to work.

So, why a Nikon D700?  Here is the secret dream world of a simple guy.  The irrational bits first.

  • I love a bigger size, a hand full.  One friend of mine suggested that I should try these bodies before putting down my hard earned cash.  I would agree with her.  Not sure why I trusted my visual instinct so much.
  • Somehow the point-and-shoot picture control dial bugs me.  The one that comes with the landscape, portrait, night scene, and etc. icons.  So I picked D700 as it doesn’t have that dial.  To me, I want the hard way.  Except, now it is so darn hard that I don’t even know how to take a picture.

I know I know … what can I say?!  OK.  Now comes the less irrational bits.

  • I know wise man says “invest in the lenses and not the body”.  I am certainly investing on lenses (got myself a decent Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8) but I am also very hung up on one obscure and basic requirement of mine ever since the day one I started to research on which camera to get: full frame
  • This is a baseline requirement for me because I can safely say that I will keep this body for quite some time.  I am not into the mega pixel race.  That is silly to me because it is highly unlikely that I want my photographs to be printed in an exhibition size.  Not now, not for the next decade.  And since I am happy with the mega pixel and the full frame sensor size, what else would I want from the future upgrades?  Perhaps a video function?  Perhaps a better frame-per-second?  Perhaps a Wi-fi connectivity?  Nah, not for me.
  • I don’t see camera sensors can be larger than the 35mm full frame ones that I have.  Lenses will have to be much bigger than what they already are today.  Nor do I see that sub-frame will be the de facto standard for the professionals.  Hence, I prefer to collect lenses that are made for full frame cameras and not to think of the crop ratio that keeps screwing up my brain.
  • I am aware that sub-frame camera has a perceived farther reach due to the crop ratio.  But I am also aware the advantages of a full-frame that I am happy with.

I am so glad that the days of debat is over.  Next step, figure out how to take pictures!  Stay tuned.

18 thoughts on “So I Bought A dSLR That Defies All That I Was Advised Upon”

  1. James Soh – Thank you! You have made an excellent choice! My friend Mark has got the Nikon D90. I think he loves it a lot. At least he is now taking pictures while I am still trying to customize the menus! Duh! So hard! Lol.

  2. Take your time. Rome was not built in a day you know. That’s one huge lens hood you’ve got that man… is it built for self-defense when you need to fight with other photographers for a photo shoot?

  3. CSC – Top of the range for Nikon is D3! No, I haven’t looked into Mamiya (actually just did and it looks awesome!). Somehow I am attracted by the Nikon lenses.

  4. Darkspore – I kid you not, Mark. The hood looks darn huge. Hey, I thought your lens would require an even larger hood as the diameter of your glass is bigger than mine?

  5. WOW it is huge!!!
    What does that long lens thing do?

    And a 70litre dry cabinet? Gosh it’s very big! I remember my friend bought something half the size and it was rather big already (??)

    I am looking forward to your photos!!!

  6. G – Yes, it is bloody huge and heavy! Not the largest hand held lens though. If I get the telephoto zoom lens, it will be 60% longer (physically) and 55% heavier. Gosh, I need to train up my muscles to be a photographer.

    That lens I got is a Nikon 24-70mm. I think it has a decent wide angle for scenery and yet able to take pictures of people. It doesn’t have a long reach and for that, I will need a telephoto lens like I mentioned.

    Erm … please don’t set your expectation too high. My last camera is a tiny little point-and-shoot. So much can go wrong in a dSLR, especially for a newbie like me!

  7. Pingback: D90 At Last!
  8. Hahaha. Glad you are okay with the weight. My old hands can’t stand heavy cams. I now even do without the battery grip on my 40D. Maybe it’s coz I’m too used to carrying plastic cameras like the Diana.

  9. Ndroo – Looking at the pictures at your site, it doesn’t matter what camera you hold … lol. I am still trying to get used to the weight to be honest. Without the grip, I find it hard to balance the camera with the flash unit attached in upright position. Maybe I just need more practice.

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