Sunday, December 28, 2008

[which camera] nikon delivers the traditional

When you don't have much disposable income but were involved in semi-professional photography and processing for years, then there's a bit of a dilemma.

The simplest solution is to get a little point and shoot for around £100 and accept that you're only going to have a basic recording of an event. It's not photography per se but it is what it is and fulfils a function.

Now if you're at the opposite end and really appreciate fine photos, [this being in the eye and experience of the beholder], then it's probably best to hold off until you can set aside the £900-1000 and do it properly. The first principle here is that you must have manual compositional ability on the camera and the ability to change lenses.

For that reason, the Nikon D60 seems as compromising as you'd be prepared to go - this was particularly encouraging:

If you have leftover lenses from Nikon SLR cameras or just want to get a lens that is better or cheaper than the one supplied in a kit, you can get a Nikon D60 body only. But keep in mind that unlike other digital and film SLR cameras from Nikon, the D60 (and D40 or D40x for that matter) do not support focusing if the lens does not have its own motor. In other words, with D60 or D40/D40x, you will either have to focus older-style lenses yourself or use newer focus motor-equipped lenses.

I've always preferred to carry around my own lenses and filters and so this solution seems the best compromise. A 400mm telephoto is an absolute essential, as far as I can see, along with, say, a 120-180mm zoom for medium work and the standard 18-55mm for close in stuff.

You might disagree but I can't see the point of the middle route of Canons, Minoltas and so on with their auto-everything and restricted lens and aperture settings, despite their ease of use. Ease of use does not seem the main criterion in photography. You'll fork out up to £700 but for an extra few hundred, you can have the state of the art for base SLRs.

Just an opinion.

Here are some compatible lenses, motor driven.


jailhouselawyer said...

I bought myself a JVC Everio S GZ-MS100 memory camcorder for Xmas. It cost about £200. I wonder if I am the only person who goes to a sale at Curry's and paid the full rrp?

Longrider said...

My Olympus E510 with two lenses came to just under £500. I spent another £150 on a macro lens.

James Higham said...

Yep, all mine were Olympuses for so long, even with an ancient motorwind add-on. The lenses used to be damned good.

What exactly are your two lenses?

JVC have always had a good name in camcorders. How is the MS-100?

James Higham said...

Longrider, I can't get to your site.

Longrider said...

They are a 14 - 42 and a 40 - 150 four thirds. The camera itself is fully manual to fully automatic and whatever you want in-between.

Ah, yes, the site. Bit of a saga there. I've been having hosting problems - don't ever touch Bluehost with a bargepole. I am currently migrating it courtesy of Devil's Kitchen. It will be up again in the next day or so. The there will be a long blog post on just how dreadful is Bluehost and what they laughingly call technical support.

Anonymous said...

Its the lens that counts. The camera technology's fine but these packages always lack one thing... the £700+ of glass that you should be slotting on the front.

It's no good having an orgasm over your 50 trillion megapixel chip, when you've only got a Pepsi bottle for a lens.

Love & Peace


I use to have a Minolta which was great but my next camra would be a Canon.

jams o donnell said...

I have a D200 which was money well spent. The great thing about Nikon (I presume Canon is the same) is the ability to use old lenses. I've just picked up an F4 body for not much money and a Bronica ETRS - two cameras I coveted - I'm looking forward to some good old film photography in the coming days and weeks

CherryPie said...

There is always a debate between Nikon and Canon. I guess it depends what which you feel most comfortable using. Those middle of the range auto everything cameras you mention, also have manual settings too ;-) I know I have one (and experiment with the settings). Yes I know I could get better pictures out of an SLR with separate lenses, but most of the time I would leave it at home (too cumbersome to carry around) so less pictures would be taken.

James Higham said...

The lens is the thing, of course. For top shots, sense of composition is another factor we haven't mentioned yet.

jailhouselawyer said...

James: I am not finding operating the MS-100 as easy as the instruction manual claims. The one touch YouTube upload so far has taken 3 days and still figuring it out! However, I have uploaded to my PC and the visual quality without the pixels on a mobile phone is good.

CherryPie said...

I also forgot to mention... It is all fine and good having the best equipment, but even the best equipment takes poor pictures if the person using it:

a) does not have an eye for what makes a good picture.

b) doesn't know how to use the equipment to it's full potential.