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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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