Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not a Professional

I have no illusions of grandeur: I like to take photographs, but I'm no professional. So, why would I need a professional camera?

The answer was simple: I didn't. And so, after many months of dreaming, after weeks of shopping around and of patiently waiting, I finally replaced my aging Nikon D80.

I had seriously considered moving up to a full-frame format, of spending the extra money to have a camera that would do everything I needed it to do, and more. Much more. When my wife and I were going to go to New York City, in the first week of March, I was fully prepared to return with the new D750: full-frame, built-in WiFi, and super-fast processor.

But moving to this model would have meant that half of the lenses that I already own would not have been fully compatible with a full-frame format. One of them, my 10-20mm, super-wide-angle Sigma, was my current favourite lens. When I was in France, last summer, I used this lens more than any other. I would still be able to use it on a D750, but a large portion of the sensor would not be used.

In February, Nikon had hinted about a successor to its popular D7100, and in the week leading up to my trip to NYC, the D7200 was announced, but not released. With improved sensors and a faster processor, plus built-in WiFi, it was everything that I was looking for to replace my old camera.

Except, it wasn't full-frame. It was, however, about half the price of a full-framed D-SLR.

So, I told myself, I wouldn't have a full-frame body. I wouldn't have a professional camera. But that was okay, I countered. I'm not a professional photographer. Yes, I have made money by photographing some events, and a brewery has paid me for some of my images, but I'm no more a professional photographer than I am, let's say, an avid cyclist.

I enjoy riding my bike: I enjoy taking pictures.

And so, on Friday, on the day that the D7200 became available in my local camera store, I was there to pick one up. I also decided that, rather than spend extra cash on a full-frame body, I would invest in a really good piece of glass, and so I added the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens.

I'm a happy camper.

Of course, I had to test the built-in WiFi. By downloading a Nikon app onto my smartphone, I am now able to compose a shot and take a photo remotely. I can also store the photos directly onto my phone, where I can edit them with my smartphone apps and post to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

I tested this app by placing my camera at one end of my bedroom and shooting, once I had moved myself into the frame. I let the camera take care of the exposure settings.

Not bad.

I wanted to put the camera through its paces this weekend, but with the foul weather on Saturday and a family funeral on Sunday, I simply didn't have an opportunity. Last night, as the sun set, however, I managed to get a few shots off.

I'd share those, but I decided that where I was will be the next location for Where In Ottawa. You'll have to wait until April 6 to see those.

And it's just as well: with the new camera, it seems, there are new tweaks that I'll have to do with my photo-editing software. The raw images were not readable in one app, and in the other, the images had what seemed like a pale film over them. The selfie that I included in this post took me about 15 minutes to clarify. It didn't give me this problem on my Android phone.

With every new piece of technology, I imagine, there will be some growing pains. After all, I'm not a professional.

Hopefully, I'll have them sorted by tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday.

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