Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

New camera

Today, as part of my wife’s birthday and in preparation for our sabbatical in Cambridge, we bought a new camera, a Nikon D5000. I’ve had compact digital cameras for years– I keep one in my pocket pretty much all the time– so this is a big change in terms of technical quality and sophistication.

Naturally I played around with it this afternoon, and took a few pictures in the backyard.

First pictures with the Nikon D5000
backyard, via flickr

Since we also had a birthday dinner tonight, the camera went there, too.

Cool birthday cake
birthday cake, via flickr

While the D9000 is supposed to be a step down from the more professional D90, it’s been years since I had a “serious” camera– e.g., one heavy enough to hurt if you hit someone over the head with it, and sturdy enough to take a picture of them on the ground afterwards.

My brother in law and me-- photo by my son
my brother in law and me, via flickr

Between the ability to shoot some very fast pictures (the autofocus and latency are awesome), and the ability to turn off all the controls, put an old Nikon lens on the camera, and really see what happens when you play around with exposure, f-stop, and aperture, I think it’s going to be a long time before I feel like I exhaust all the possibilities of the camera.

The one thing I know I have to resist is falling into Camera Guy World– you know, the land where people obsess over different models of lenses, filters, etc. I just don’t want to get sucked into that world, because I know I’d waste a lot of time and energy there. I just want to take good pictures, and not spend 50% of my time chasing after that last 2% of value. Better to spend time out in the field, or taking pictures of the kids.

Though they may not feel that way!

No more pictures!
my daughter voting for no more cameras, via flickr

[To the tune of Kronos Quartet, “Trad: Brudmarsch Fra Osta,” from the album Early Music (Lachrymæ Antiquæ) (a 2-star song, imo).]

1 Comment

  1. Transitioning from point-and-shoot cameras to DSLRs can be a bit difficult. In my case, I didn’t have a hard time thanks to a free camera seminar by the store where I bought my Canon EOS. It’s nice that I managed to get that kind of promo for their consumers. Yeah, it’s not about the camera, it’s the photographer. Keep on taking pictures!

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