Friday, November 25, 2005

What I want for Christmas!

Now that the holiday frenzy has started, beginning with what retailers call "Black Friday", it is only fitting that I post my very short Christmas list. Yesterday's paper came with dozens of inserts from retailers, wanting my dollars on gifts that for the most part, don't do much for me...

My want list:
1. Peace on Earth
2. Democracy and integrity in our government
3. Nikon D70s

The first two items I can forget, since it's wishful thinking, and anyway, they would never be delivered on time for Christmas. Santa just can only do so much.

Item three, though... hmmm. I think that Santa (and I know my Santa is a female) could probably fit this item into her sleigh. It's lightweight (the camera, not the sleigh), powerful, and with the 18-55mm lens, I will be pretty well set with a complement of lenses, as I am covered with all my other AF lenses at home. Why the more expensive D70s instead of the less-pricey D50? Well, Santa, you see, the D50 uses SD memory cards, instead of the CF cards that the D70s and all our other digital cameras in the house use. Buying enough SD cards would eat up another couple of hundred dollars, and introduce another memory card format to complicate matters. The D70s has other functions, such as depth-of-field preview that a photographer like me needs for macro work. The special white balance functions are essential, too. The D70 is a fast, versatile DSLR that has a bunch of great features that will allow me to use all my older flashes, too. So, yes, the D70s is the camera for me.

A couple of sites have some excellent reviews. I love Ken Rockwell's site -- he's an avid Nikon user, and his review is based on a real user's perspective, not a generalist review or something from a photo magazine. DPreview is another good site with in-depth reviews of lots of other cameras, too.

So, if you are finally looking to buy a DSLR, I think the time has come. Price/features are really something. Yes, a new film SLR is still cheaper (though not for guys like me -- a Nikon F6 is more expensive than the D70s). I am NOT abandoning film -- b&w and classic cameras are still a heck of a lot of fun, as is Medium Format. However, for color work, I think digital has largely won over many. I have greatly enjoyed my Fuji FinePix S7000 over the past year -- I have probably shot close to 10,000 images, if not more. But, I miss the ability to use a lot of my fine lenses and macro gear that I can use with my Nikon cameras. In addition, the ability to shoot at f/1.8 if I want or at f/22, is a big advantage of a DSLR over a fixed-lens camera like the FinePix.

So, Santa, I hope you feel generous this year. I'll even put a some extras out for you...

1 comment:

Dick said...

I have a D70s and it is a fine camera. The kit lens for it is 18 - 70mm, the D50 comes with the 18 - 55mm one. The 18 - 70 is a pretty highly rated lens, probably better than the 18 - 55 unit. You realize though that neither of them opens to f/1.8. I think you will have to go to something like a fixed focus 50mm lens to get that kind of speed.

The sensor on a Nikon DSLR is 2/3 the size of the 35mm film frame so a given focal length lens on it will give an image more like a lens 1.5 times the focal length on a 35mm. Thus the 50 is like a 75 on a 35mm camera. The f stop measure is still the same.

Go to the D70 user group on the Flickr photo site, to see some very good photos and interesting discussions of the camera and it's accessories.

The only photo on my blog that was taken with my D70s is the macro of my cat, Huggy, that is in my profile. The others were with point and shoot type digitals. It is new so I am just getting started with blogging.