My interest in photography, as long as I can remember, was when I was in secondary school. Back then it was a very expensive hobby, and exclusive. Every shot was precious, mainly because you have to store your shot in a roll of 12, 24 and 36 film, then you have to develop it, which mean a screw up is a total waste. Taking photo back then was really about skills, you have to really know what you’re doing before you shoot.
I remember when I was in secondary school, a few of my classmates were the committee member for our school magazine, and a few of them had to take photo for the magazine, using an SLR. I had wish that I would somehow get to learn a bit, maybe a shot or two, using that camera. To the eye of a teenage geek, it was very cool. But I didn’t get the chance, a little bit disappointed but I guess it’s just not my time yet.
My first real break was when I was in the university. It was compulsory for us to take up curricular activity; we have to take 3 credit hour, 1 credit hour per semester for that. So what did I took? Photography! They say you must at least have an SLR, or borrowed an SLR to take that class. Oh? Wait a minute. I have a Minolta X-7 which my dad didn’t use for quite some time because it was broken when I was in secondary school. That class really taught me a lot, which was foreign to me. Makes me realise why I didn’t had the chance back then. This class was a basic course on, well, photography. How to compose a shoot; basically “bulls-eye” is a no no, how aperture and shutter function, and lastly, how dark room works. Yes, I had the chance to take photo in black and white, get it into the studio, fumbling in the dark to wash and rinse the light sensitive film, to look at the negative and cut it into strips of film in a red light room, arrange it above a photo paper so to make a photo batch, switch on just one white light above the negative, and see the photo developed in front of my eyes, exactly like what you see in the movies. That was epic for me. EPIC! After that class, that Minolta X-7 was my new best friend. Oh by the way, I also took Videography before, and Theater Acting after that.
There was a period of time when the only camera that I use was a normal point-and-shoot camera because the X-7 was broken.
Then came the digital era. I started with Nikon Coolpix 5900. Bare in mind, I normally change camera not because of a newer model, but because it was broken, and it’s not because of me. These thing a very precious to me. Then Nikon P5000, my first Prosumer camera. Then it collect a speck of dust on its sensors so I bought a Nikon P7000. And you wonder why didn’t I buy a dSLR? Well, maybe because of the fact that everyone are into it, so it diminish the exclusiveness to have it. Everybody are lugging it, up to a point where it have become a fashion accessories. So I was content with what I have, a Prosumer point-and-shoot. It’s all about how and what you shoot, not the rig.
When friends and family asked me to be their photographer when all I have was only a Prosumer point-and-shoot camera, you can’t help asking yourself, am I that good? Because I never think of myself as a photographer. I always thought of myself as an enthusiast, taking what I think looked good, guided by what I learned on basic photography. And because last week my aunt asked me to take photo and video for our really big family gathering cum reunion, made me re-think on my previous stand on having a dSLR. So here goes my less than a week research.
I like the D90. I dreamed of having it. But it is also expensive. As years go by, there’s the D3xxx series which I didn’t really like it because it’s an entry level camera with (what I heard) limited capability. Then there’s the D5xxx series. I didn’t made my homework by then because I’m quite happy with what I have. Then there’s the D7xxx series, which reviewer said the D90 replacement. With that, my target switched from D90 to D7xxx, and with my recent research, targeting the D7100. I also researched the new mirrorless model. Tempting, very tempting. The one I’m eyeing was the Nikon 1 V3. So this is my consideration. Like I said, I am an enthusiast. It’s just a hobby. I might not going to make a living with it. And even if I do, it would probably just pure luck. I’m not looking to become a full time professional. I just love great photo. So I lower down my expectation. Reviewer said it’s a high end entry level camera. A friend said it’s a marriage between a D90/D7xxx and D3xxx. I’m looking at long term use. With that in mind, I am, NOW, a D5300, I’m a Nikon. The only lens I need and I have, for now, is an 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 and a 50mm f/1.8. I am, finally, joined the dSLR band wagon.
Why Nikon? Because I’ve been using it for a long time and I’m used to the function or more correctly, the terminology used it that brand. And I’m very lazy to learn new stuff. If you used to it, stick to it.
Looking back at my conversation with a professional photographer, I will try my very best to become a “photographer” rather than a “photo technician”. And what happened to that X-7? I don’t know what happened to it. All I know is that ants just love to live in it.
So here are my first run with my new camera. Too bad my brand new speedlite blew on the first day, which I manage to get a new replacement later in the evening. Think I still need to play around with the aperture.
Yeap, I just love children.