Isn’t funny how a simple decision at the beginning of your DSLR journey can lead you to become a fanboy?
For me–like many others–I had narrowed down my first DSLR to a Canon or a Nikon. I didn’t realize that whichever I picked would put me on a path to fandom that few people have ever broken. When you commit to one DSLR manufacturer, you typically stay with them. After all, the lenses and other accessories typically aren’t interchangeable.
So it was for me. I would become a Nikon fanboy.
I wouldn’t have called myself a Nikon fanboy at the outset.
While I had used a Nikon point and shoot to capture some great photos, I had always been impressed with photos I had seen taken with Canon DSLRs. I could have easily flipped a coin, but my decision mostly came down to affordability and the Nikon D40 was the one that fit my budget best. The D40 was already a couple of years mature when I bought one. Still, it was cheap, and as a newbie there were two things I didn’t know.
- Would I really like photography as a hobby?
- What features do I really need in a DSLR?
So, with that blissful naivety, I bought my D40. And, I fell in love.
I soon outgrew the 6 megapixel limitation of the D40. Also, I had just bought a 50mm f1.8 prime lenses, but the D40 didn’t have autofocus built-in to the camera, and the lens didn’t have a drive either. Also missing was exposure bracketing. I had started to see HDR photos, but to take them on the D40 was near impossible without a lot of effort.
I loved the D80! Some of my favorite photos have been taken with it. Still, I was still behind the curve. The D80 was already dated, thanks to the new D90, but I figured I didn’t need that many extra megapixels (12.3 on the D90, versus 10.2 on the D80). Also, video didn’t interest me much.
The D80 is the camera that first got me interested in doing HDR photos–something that has now become a passion!
After prices started to come down on the D90, and I realized that I did actually need the extra megapixels–I did a lot of cropping–I decided to upgrade. I knew I’d enjoy the better noise handling at higher ISOs, and the built-in sensor cleaning would be useful after swapping out lenses a lot.
What I still didn’t expect to use much was the video. Yet, slowly and surely, I started to use the video recording more often. Compiling short video vignettes for Go Visit Hawaii. I really though the D90 was going to be the camera I used for years.
Hello my precious!
For the first time in my DSLR journey, I bought a camera soon after it was released. My wife had mentioned she wanted to do more videos and, in particular, video interviews. The D90 did HD but only at 720P and it did not support external microphones or have auto-focus when in video mode. I convinced myself that I needed the D7000 as it offered the dreamy 1080P at 24fps and it supported external microphones. That provided all the options for interviews such as this one.
I also love that the D7000 offers much better noise control at higher ISOs than any of my previous cameras. The extra megapixels come in handy too. I never have bought into the “more is better” sales pitch surrounding megapixels–I’ve taken some great shots on the lowly 5MP iPhone–but the 16.2 MP in the D7000 allow me to crop in really close without much loss of detail.
So, I’ve had 4 different Nikon cameras in as many years. You probably think that I have money to burn. Not so fast! One thing that was a welcomed surprise was just how well each Nikon retained its value in the used market. I was able to sell each camera for around 70% of what I paid for it, which made upgrading a lot easier on the wallet.
I am now well and truly a Nikon fanboy, but that didn’t stop me from recommending that my brother (Hi Mat!) buy a Canon for his first camera. They are both excellent camera manufacturers and I would have been just as happy with a Canon–and likely a Sony or Pentax. In fact, being a Nikon lover didn’t stop me from picking up a Panasonic Lumix LX5 for travel, and the brand new Fuji X100.
Still, with the Nikon lenses at my disposal, and my knowledge of Nikon’s terminology, it will be unlikely that I will switch. In fact, I only know of one photographer that has successfully switched from a Nikon to Canon.
So, I’d like to finish by asking you what’s your favorite camera? It doesn’t have to be a DSLR, it could be a compact camera that you’ve fallen in love with. Please let me know in the comments below!