Going Digital

I’m old. I grew up with cameras that shot film. I learned how to develop and print my own B/W shots to save money. However, I still had to worry about how much film I had in my camera, or on my person whenever I was out taking photos.

Now, along with just about everybody except some true pros who still think film renders a better image, I am a member of the digital age. I was unhappy with the performance of my first couple of digital cameras. One of them bit the dust (make that humidity and corrosive environ) of my previous home. Consequently when I left I bought a new Nikon digital.

It was an OK unit, but it was slow at capturing an image, and I really missed the abilities I had in my old SLRs, things like aperture and shutter speed. I was using it to take pictures for this blog and in the final analysis,  I was not happy with the results.

So I splurged on a new camera.

In making my decision I had to consider weight and ease of use. I remember well my old Nikon SLR’s with a 50mm lens, a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens.  I also remembered having to carry a camera bag and being in a hurry to switch lenses when I needed to. I did not want to get into that again. Because I carry my HP mini with me, with the power unit, I already feel like a sherpa when I am on the move.

Then I was reading Wired magazine and I saw an ad for a new Nikon. I feel free to digress here, after all this IS MY blog. I have always believed in Nikon over the lesser brands. I think the Nikkor lens is superior to anything short of Hassleblad, which I cannot afford. I also know that a Nikon is much more rugged brand than say a Canon.

This new Nikon is called the P7000.

It is sexy as it is light and easy to use!

The ad listed the features and I was blown away. I googled the P7000 and the list of features in the review were even more impressive. It was compared to a new Sony that had most of these features, and one my camera does not have ( an adjustable viewing screen, very nice) but like I said, I am old, and Sony, as far as I am concerned, makes stereos. Then I read this independent review and user comments and I was sold.


Now the search was on. I live in the UAE. Dubai has a worldwide reputation as a place to go shopping. All you have to do is visit a mall and see the hundreds of sunburned overweight Russians carrying multiple shopping bags full of things they cannot buy back  in the USSR, even under capitalism.  So I looked for a Nikon retailer. There are many of them, but only one carried this new fangled P7000. When I walked in and asked the Indian gentleman (Emiratis NEVER do retail) “Do you have a Nikon P7000”  he knew he had a sale. His was the only store in Dubai that had one, and I obviously wanted one. Because of all my travels lately I have become a true haggler. I tried to get his price down, but by the look in his eyes I could see him say “This aint Bombay Sahib.” All I managed to get was a free case, which it turns out I do not use now.

This camera has an instruction manual longer than the computer I am typing on, or for that matter my last automobile. I have spent hour upon hour trying out features in search of the perfect setting for that Ansel Adams moment.

All I have to do is pop open the manual to any page and I am astounded at what this camera will do. I flip the pages and just stop anywhere and I say to myself “really, I can do THAT?”

The camera goes from lens settings of 28mm to 200mm effortlessly and quickly. I can change any of the settings I used to play with on my old SLR’s as easy as using my Ipod. Or of course I can just set it on auto, and it does everything necessary for a good shot all by itself. But I like playing with the knobs and altering the outcome of my shots.

When I used film, I thought that if I was very careful composing the picture, I might get one good shot out of a roll of 36 exposures, or maybe one great  shot out of 100. Now, I am happy with three or four out of 1000. Yes, I have a big memory card in it, it handles over  10,000 images. I have never come close to running out of space, even when I take videos.

I am about to travel to a very exotic location, New Jersey, to attend a wedding. I am sure I will be the obnoxious person running around taking shots of people I do not know, in hopefully embarrassing situations.

Drink up kid, all the adults are!


After that I am on my way to my favorite location on the planet, Big Sur. One cannot take enough photos in Big Sur. I just might fill up that memory card.

I cannot wait to be here again if only for a week. It is, in my opinion, even after all the traveling I have done, simply the most beautiful place on the planet. Just wait until you see my photos!

Stay tuned for pictures of  over-served guests at the wedding, and waves crashing against granite cliffs.

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About forrestwalker

An expat living overseas, traveling with my wife extensively and sharing the experiences with you!.

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Are you leaving the story about your big day with the professional photographer in Hoi An for another blog?

  2. Hey. I’ve been wanting to buy a new camera too, how much did the one you got cost in AED?

  3. Funny to read this one day after riding by the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and saying to myself, “What does Kodak make these days?” How much in US dinero did the camera cost, if you don’t mind saying?

  4. Forrest, is this the same camera you got awhile ago or another new one? My Pentax isn’t doing so well (from the same conditions that ruined your camera) and I may be in the market soon.

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