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.
- Fully charged the battery!
- Took me a long time to tie the stripe. Really, Nikon should just attach these stripes for us.
- 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.
- Spent a long time staring at that heavy beast pondering: What shall I do next?
- 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.