My Nikon D70 has been a great camera, but I haven’t taken a single photo since I started having trouble with the shutter release a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been exploring the new cameras from Nikon. I was fixated on the D700, but the new FX full frame format wouldn’t work completely with my DX lenses, and the pro-level full-frame lenses aren’t cheap. Not to mention the $2,700 price tag is a bit daunting for a non-pro hobbyist. I narrowed it down to the D90 – a good hobbyist model with video capabilities, and the D300 – a semi-pro model with much of the same features as the D700, but in the DX format.
I finally settled on the D300. It was a bit pricier than the D90, but with a magnesium body like my D70, it just felt more substantial. It’s much of the reason I chose the Nikon D70 over the equivalent Canon at the time; the Canon just felt cheaper to me.
I also splurged for the Tamron 18-270 mm lens, which will eliminate the need to switch lenses during my upcoming trip to Drum Corps World Championships. I purchased the last generation Tamron 28-300 mm lens last year, and was very unhappy with it. It was incredibly slow when focusing and most of the photos at 300 mm were out of focus and dark. But the good people at Cooter’s Camera (funny name, but worth a visit if you’re in the Dallas area) let me try out the new generation on a D300 and I was pleasantly surprised. The focus was quiet and seemed as smooth and quick as my standard 18-70mm Nikon lens.
Now with the Black Rapid camera strap I got for Christmas, I’m a photography force to be reckoned with. I’m convinced this strap is a must-have for any DSLR camera user who likes to get out and about with their camera, especially walking city streets. If you haven’t seen one, check it out.
So here’s the first photo I took with my new camera from my backyard. I’m happy with the initial quality already. With my D70, I always felt the need to edit the RAW photos, boosting the color, tweaking the exposure, adjusting the contrast. This shot was taken with the JPG Medium setting with no editing other than resizing. One of my goals was to spend less time editing and more time behind the camera. With the same 51 area auto focus and EXPEED image processing as the D700, I think I’ll be a happy camper.