Friday, February 03, 2006

New Gadget - Nikon D50 Digital SLR


For many years I was rather fond of photography. My Grandfather was a well known photographer in Sheffield and one of my first memories was standing with him at the front of his shop while he let me hold his Hasselblad. I even have a qualification in Scientific and Technical Photography somewhere.

When I was about 22ish however I suddenly lost interest. I don't know why but I sold all my cameras and didn't take another photograph for about 10 years.

Then Alice was born.

I had bought a Pentax Optio S4 to record everything Alice and it has done very well over the last 15 months, taking every picture of Alice you can see on my Flickr page. Recently though I have been getting annoyed with it's lack of flexibility. I want to have more exposure control and be able to vary the flash power and the depth of field. This is where the Nikon D50 comes in.

Taking pictures of Alice has given me a renewed interest in photography. I want to be able to take better pictures of my lovely little daughter, but which camera to buy?

Firstly, if I was going to invest in a proper camera it was going to have to be a Nikon. The only reason I bought a Pentax last time was because Nikon didn't do a camera that appealed to me at the time, but if we are talking a serious piece of kit you have to buy a Nikon. Forget Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji or Sony (especially Sony). There is a reason why you see so many professionals using them and that reason is because they are the best you can buy. Nikon metering systems are the best, their lenses are the best quality, everything works in a very intuitive manor and their build quality is second to none. In a word, genius.

Next was the decision on what sort of camera to buy. I had been looking at the latest Nikon digital compacts but, as good as they were, I felt that I would have the same problems that I was having with my Pentax. It was a digital SLR that I needed.

Digital SLR's have always been rather expensive, so it was with great joy that I saw that Nikon had produced the D50. This is a fully functional digital SLR for a mere £459, including an 18 - 55mm lens. Sounds like a lot but for a digital SLR it's a bargain. This was the camera for me :-). I shopped around and found one for £380 and took the plunge.

The camera arrived last Wednesday. I don't think I have been so excited about a gadget for years. I was not disappointed. It was lovely.

The build quality is fantastic. It really feels like you have a serious piece of kit in your hand and if actually feels like a £459 camera. After a few test shots I was amazed at the image quality. I've never seen digital images look so good. The battery lasts for 2000 shots (apparently) and it has so many features that I'm going to be spending weeks just finding them all. Best of all though, when you put it in continuous focus mode and track a moving object it sounds like Robo-Cop. :-)

I have had the camera for 3 days now and have only really taken test shots. Like any good geek I want to find out what effect the different settings have on the pictures taken, and what difference to image quality the different filetypes (JPG and RAW) make. I am very impressed with it though.

The camera has many different modes, including Sports, Children, Portrait etc etc etc. The ones I am most interested in though are Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority. These give more control of the pictures which is exactly what I want.

My new camera will take me weeks to learn properly but I am sure you will be seeing lots of great pictures over the coming months.

There is only one problem. I bought the camera to take better pictures of Alice but she appears to be scared of it. :-)

DOH!!!!!

1 comments:

Chris said...

And look at this, 7 Day Shop have a sale on Nikon Lenses. Sadly the 12-24 lens I want is still £629, but that's better than the £900 RRP.

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