Baby’s first Nikon

I bought my first digital SLR today, a brand new Nikon D60. New to me and new to the shelves — it just came out this week.

I’ve been building to this purchase for over a year, during which time my interest in and knowledge of photography has blossomed, in part thanks to flickr. isado, siskind, fuzuoko, and bjenright are just a few of the photographers who have delighted and inspired me with their public photostreams. By emulating them and others I have learned a thing or two about how to compose a shot. But, much as I love my Fuji Finepix, most of its output comes out looking like what the flickristas would derisively call a ‘snapshot’. Until this:

Sasan

I thought for a second about what a fitting first subject for my Nikon would be, and right away I knew the answer. My friend Sasan, who works at Wolf and helped me select the camera.

We both marvelled at how professional it looks. I said, incredulously, “It softened the background.” He said, “It’s supposed to.” I said, “I know, I just can’t believe how nice it came out.” My fuji had a portrait mode too, but I never got results like this. He said it’s the best picture anyone has taken of him in years.

This camera is quickly destroying the high photography mystique. All this time, I’ve sort of believed that the fabulous pictures I find all the time on flickr are due to some combination of superior technique and superior post-processing. Now I realize it’s largely superior equipment. I was just using the wrong tool. Ironically, all I did here was point, and shoot. With the Nikon, all you have to do is to know what to look for and how to frame, and the camera makes it gorgeous.

Happiness is a warm Nikon

The other thing I’ve noticed is that I can snap pictures far more judiciously. With the Fuji I’d burn through 50 shots of the same subject just to have one turn out well, whereas with the Nikon I can just take the one picture and my work here is done.

When we went back into the shop to print Sasan’s picture, a woman buying a low-end Canon remarked on the size of my camera. She asked, “Are you a photographer?” I said, “I am now.”

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3 comments so far

  1. Francesca Scala on

    I’m so happy for you, and your new purchase! I am looking at the D60, and the D80. Haven’t decided which I’m going to go for yet.

  2. nariposa on

    Believe me, I have only been happier and happier since purchasing the D60 four months ago. Another nice benefit is that it is one of the most compact digital SLRs you can buy, which serves me well as I take it to shows. The only other thing I’d add here is to buy a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens for about a hundred dollars. It takes incredible low light shots, has a dazzling bokeh effect at low apertures. It’s my favorite lens, and very affordable!

  3. Francesca on

    I actually have one, but its an old Nikkor AI-s. Which is the main reason I want to stick with a Nikon dslr, just so I can keep using my old manual lenses.


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