Camera, The Rest of the Story

Nikon D7100
Nikon D7100

I fully acknowledge that I bought WAY too much camera. One does not need an FEI-trained horse when one is learning to sit the trot.

My crack IT staff had researched the question thoroughly and settled on the Nikon D5300 or D5500. While I have sold the occasion photo with an article, my skill level remains that of an interested amateur. I know colleagues who liked their D5100s, so the 5000 series made sense.


If I have any hope of ever shooting off auto, I find buttons more amenable that menu-driven selections. Buttons = 7000s. I saved (Ha!) a good bit (Double ha!) with the earlier model. The D7200 has a bigger buffer and wifi. The buffer of 12 will suit me fine and I can’t figure out why I would need wifi.

As soon as I picked the camera up, it said, “Hello. Take me home.” I love the heft. The D5500 has a plastic shell rather than a steel one. Light is lovely, until one adds a long lens. I felt as if the whole works was about to drop forward out of my hand. The D5300 has a shallower handgrip that people apparently find annoying.

Plus, I loathed the D5500/D5300 swivel screen on sight. It may be the most practical of features. It may expand my picture-taking range. It may be the toughest feature of the camera. I don’t care. To me it was one more thing to break off or go wrong. To be clear, I have no supporting data. This is simply my gut response to the mechanism.

I never entertained the idea of mirrorless. I’m too old school, or curmudgeon, if you prefer. Let the early-adopters sort out the features of the new technologies.

Showcase card
Props to Eva Claborn of Showcase Camera. She calmly answered my questions and didn’t laugh when I walked away to hyperventilate. She did not upsell me. The D7100 is entirely on me, given my anti-menu fetish.

Unlike an FEI horse, the camera will not devolve over time. It will wait patiently until I learn what white balance is and why I might need to adjust it.

The view through the viewfinder is beautiful. It’s been years since I looked through a real camera.

The detail!
The detail!
The zoom!
The zoom!

6 thoughts on “Camera, The Rest of the Story

  1. In 2010 I bought my first REAL camera. Previous to that I hadn’t taken a picture in years. Decades, actually. I bought WAY too much camera on purpose. I didn’t want to improve my skills only to realize I wanted something better. I grew into the camera pretty quickly. My advice? Try to shoot something every day. Shoot RAW. Get good at simple processing: doesn’t have to be fancy, but a little tweaking will make a world of difference.(I highly recommend the Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud. (Photoshop is mind-boggling.) You pay a monthly fee for Lightroom (and it comes with Photoshop), but you can walk away any time you want. Get a couple of good books for the camera and one for the processing software. (or sit and watch tutorials … whatever blows your hair back) You have the perfect personality to get really into photography!

  2. Not only the personality but the genes.

    Her father was the photographer for the Yale Daily News as an undergraduate. After graduation, knowing that his career as a journalist/photographer was over, he sold his zoom lens to buy our engagement ring. Our honeymoon included many, many posed closeup shots of me – no need for a zoom.

    He never pursued photography beyond the occasional shot of Katherine. Perhaps he left that “to be continued by the next of kin”.

    Congratulations on your new camera. Your father would have been proud!

    1. See? How cool! Musta been meant to be! I foresee a great new hobby! Who knows where it will lead? And it’s another great excuse for just hanging around the horses! Enjoy!!

  3. Good luck with the new acquisition! I got my best shots with my Dad’s 1945 Leica. It was all manual transmission, from the f-stops to lenses and hand-held light meter. The new one sounds like it will give you many years of service and lots of buttons to push. Enjoy!

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