So, in 2005 I bought the FujiFilm S3 Pro, back when 12.2MP was something to shout about. It was AMAZING, the pictures it took. However, after a while I guess some settings got changed (?) and none of my pictures turned out, unless I used a tripod (bleh). I sent it off with my father to Santa Barbara (where he "lived" during the week) and although he knows quite a bit more than me about cameras, he didn't know enough to get the settings to a place where I could use the camera again...it doesn't come with an "Auto" button, just a "Program" button which is dangerous when you don't know what you're doing...even more dangerous than flat out MANUAL.
Let me pause for a moment and note that I LOVE taking pictures. I've taken some really great pictures with really awful cameras, and better than average pictures with really awesome cameras. Although it frustrates me to no end that I can't use a "pro" camera properly, I'm quite unwilling to do anything about it (i.e. take a class). My father and I did take two one-day classed at Samy's Camera (last summer?), but there were no pictures taken (???) so I couldn't ask why my pictures came out the way they did. We sat and the guy told us what different features were for and how and when to use them, and a few people were buying like their FIRST CAMERA so it was a little strange...and I've forgotten 90% of what we learned because I still can't use my camera.
Fast forward to 2009, and you'll see me carrying around a point-and-shoot Sony Cyber-shot with 7.x MP and no versatility. It takes a decent picture and [almost] never lets me down, but the pictures are just pictures. There's nothing exciting about them. Sure, it will take as much video as the memory card and battery can take, but that's the greatest perk.
Last night I went to check my mail "stack" and there was a Sony brochure with all their newest gadgets in it. It had the 8" Vaio (SWEEET!) and a 24" Desktop (not so sweet but I'd like to get a look at it), it also had cameras. From that point I was hooked. I had to have a camera, and tax return time is my favorite time to buy. So I was on a mission to find the greatest Digital SLR camera, with AUTO as well as all the other features you would expect with a "pro" SLR. My grandfather SWEARS by Consumer Reports magazine and website so after lots of google searches (and some pretty awesome finds like the medium format panoramic Seitz 6x17 Digital
(160MP!!) for something like $37,000+USD and the 360 degree Roundshot D3
(470MP!!!) for around $38,400+USD, I discovered that although I keep hearing about Canon Canon Canon all over the place, Nikon is really the way to go. I want a no-limits camera that will do what I want even when I don't know how to get the shot as well as one that's LEARNABLE, popular, and can give me what I want when I CAN get the shot and my expectations become greater.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the Nikon D300
. Sure, the D700 is FX format and the D300 is only DX format, but what do I care?? I don't even know what the heck that means! lol The new D3X at 24.5MP...let's pause for a moment and think about that: 24.5MP! Forget composition, you can create your own composition with an image that size..."The world is your studio" must be true for pro-photographers who can afford this one, or amateur's with an enormous amount of disposable income...
Back to the D300, I found this awesome site on Nikon called NikonDigitutor.com
where it goes through the features and shows you how to use them in video format. Of course the narrator calls it "Nee-cone" but I'll be watching those videos over and over again until I have them MEMORIZED. The features are awesome and the camera costs LESS than the [i'm totally convinced] OVER PRICED FujiFilm S3 Pro I bought four years ago, with .1 MORE mega pixels and OMG -- wait for it -- an AUTO setting. I've already ordered two replacement batteries (the one downside to the camera...it doesn't take AA NiMh batteries that you can practically buy at the grocery store and that I have tons of...just the Lithium Ion batteries that can cost a fortune), a wireless shutter release, and a MicroDrive card reader because I'm so sick of having to search for cords to connect the camera to the computer just so I can view & share my photos. If you ask me, all devices should be WiFi compatible WITH EACH OTHER so we can forget the sync cables required for EVERY ELECTRONIC DEVICE now on the market. Sony did a great thing by including all necessary cords in one convenient multi-purpose cord so you don't lose anything. If only everyone else thought that way. The "kit" with battery and cords that comes with the D300 camera body has like four different cords. Who wants to bet I lose at least one of them within the first MONTH of ownership?
So I bought this awesome camera and it should arrive Monday, but I told my sister and said she can't tell ANYONE. I just know my parents will have something to say about it other than "how exciting!" like it's any of their damn business. My father always asks how much things cost, like I'm spending his money or charging up credit cards that I can't pay back. Trust me, I've learned from others' mistakes in that area. That's why I love tax RETURN time. If I can just wait until April, anything I need (or absolutely CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT lol) will probably be affordable, so I'm good. I tried getting a quote from Samy's Camera for my FujiFilm S3 Pro because they sell tons of "used" items that are really great, but they said they weren't interested. I think I have like the ONLY S3 Pro in the entire United States because no one has one, knows anyone who has one, or has even seen one and they're always so interested if they know anything about high-end cameras. I really don't want to sell it because I'm rather "proud" to have it since it was my first "big purchase" after I got my first job and I'd really love to be able to use it one day, I would just feel better about getting the D300 if I didn't have a perfectly functioning (though not so user-friendly) Digital SLR in the closet.