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Minor Camera Geekery - Equiraptor's Journal
Minor Camera Geekery
I don't know enough to properly geek-out over this, but I'm excited about it, anyway.

For a while I've been wishing for a digital SLR, but unwilling to actually spend the money on it. This "while" has been at least 5 years, I think. More recently (the past few months?), nugget has also been wanting one. dbaker bought one a few months ago and has been having a blast with it. Then, ghewgill and amyrtw's wedding photos really awed Nugget...

We talked over dinner, and it was sounding like Nugget wanted one of these now. We decided to go by a camera shop on the way home to look. We came home with a Nikon D80 (the same body dbaker bought), with a 18-135mm lens and SB-800 flash.

I've figured out how to take pictures in manual mode without the flash, which is what made me want a digital SLR. That flash, however? That flash is smarter than me. For tonight, I'm happy with, "I can do everything I could do with my K1000." And it has an auto mode. I'm really excited about this, and I'm looking forward to experimenting and getting to know the camera.
16 comments | Leave a comment
kuoirad From: kuoirad Date: April 21st, 2007 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I need to take a photography basics class over the summer, but then you should come take advanced digital photography with me through UT's Informal Classes in the fall. ;)
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: April 21st, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Advanced digital photography? Yipe! There's a lot of seemingly simple things these fancy-pants digital cameras do that I have no clue about. Then again, given my experience with film, maybe I can catch myself up. ;)

And I need a camera icon. :)
kuoirad From: kuoirad Date: April 21st, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, this is what I'm taking this summer:


And hopefully this is this fall:


But I have some catching up to do in terms of photographic know-how.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: April 22nd, 2007 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
To waive the prerequisite, students must have an understanding of the following concepts: depth of field, white balance, manual exposure, exposure compensation, basic flash controls, and basic skills in Adobe Photoshop Elements.
Hrm. I have an understanding of manual exposure and exposure compensation. I have a basic understanding (though not thorough) of depth of field, white balance, and basic flash controls (a basic understand of basic... yeah, IE not very good).

Sounds like I'm somewhere in between the two classes.
kuoirad From: kuoirad Date: April 22nd, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Then you should come take Beginning Photography with me, or take the regular Digital Photgraphy (http://www.informalclasses.org/adet.sdi?activity_id=33546). ;)
nyar From: nyar Date: April 21st, 2007 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool. Strangely, I've been hankering for a basic film SLR, like a K1000 or Olympus OM1, despite the fact that I have a pretty good digital SLR. Preview is nice, and so is the option to do everything automatically, but I have a strange longing for the "I have no clue if I am screwing up or not" feeling of taking pictures in my youth.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: April 21st, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't yet found the preview all that much more helpful than just looking through the viewfinder and obeying the light meter. The little display on the camera still isn't enough to let me know the details of the thing I'm about to take.

Still, I'm eager for the chance to play around with settings without having to spend money for every single picture. I did a bit of play with exposure with the K1000, but mostly in cases where I suspected I'd need to for the picture to come out decently.

I hate not knowing if I'm screwing up or not!
nyar From: nyar Date: April 21st, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Preview isn't great for exposure (in general), but it's nice to have. For more tricky exposures (pictures over water) the preview can't tell you if you are spot on, but if you are way off it helps. Also, the histogram is helpful too. But what it is really good for is helping you figure out if your framing of the photo is as good as you'd like to think. This might be a bit more useful on a digital SLR since you only get an approximation through the viewfinder.

Oh yeah, and being able to change the ISO smoothly between pics is useful too.
belleaire From: belleaire Date: April 21st, 2007 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I was looking at that model too, but haven't taken the plunge. I joked with the sales rep that the flash unit's user guide is bigger than the one that comes with the camera.

My poor K1000 is tucked away in the closet, in need of more repairs than the local camera shop can give it. I've always been afraid to send it off to Pentax, fearing the size of the repair quote they'd send back.

The thing I love about the do-nothing camera is that when you get a truly good shot, you've earned it. The camera did nothing more than record the decisions you made yourself.
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: April 21st, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
The thing I love about the do-nothing camera is that when you get a truly good shot, you've earned it. The camera did nothing more than record the decisions you made yourself.
Yeah, that does make it really rewarding. In 2003, Nugget and I went on a hill country drive with a lot of other BMW drivers, and I took that K1000. Though the scan of the photo is horrible, this seemed to be everyone's favorite photo from the event. I took it with the K1000 and the zoom lens as we drove down the road. In the real version, the colors are all rich like one would expect from a decent photo. I want the digital so I can share my pictures without having to scan anything.
cetan From: cetan Date: April 21st, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nothing about a DSLR prevents you from making all the same decisions you would with a film camera.
calledisrael From: calledisrael Date: April 21st, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
wow, i love the photos - what a beautiful wedding.
i remember making cheese with amy. those are good people, those two -
cetan From: cetan Date: April 21st, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on the DSLR. I'd recommend Bruce Fraser's book: Real World Camera RAW if you plan on using Photoshop to develop your images from your raw (in this case NEF) files.

I also would recommend developing your images from your NEF files. :)
xulong From: xulong Date: April 23rd, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
ken rockwell is such a fucking tool


technology = MAGIC
busychild424 From: busychild424 Date: April 23rd, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good camera choice.
(Deleted comment)
equiraptor From: equiraptor Date: April 25th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

So far, all we have is a bunch of autocross pictures, most of them taken on auto (because cloudy day + fast action + camera I'm not familiar with is a BAAAAD combination for manual photos). I'll post anything worthwhile I manage to grab. ;)
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