Friday, June 10, 2011

My New Baby

I have a new love. It's the Nikon D7000, a present from Hub. Only three days old and baby and I are still getting to know each other. We have 3 of those film Canon SLRs sitting in the cabinet but this is my first DSLR. As you know, most of my photos are taken with the Panasonic Lumix FZ 50, a great point and shoot camera that has given me excellent shots, especially in color and clarity. Some of my photos are taken with my daughter's Nikon D90 whenever she's around.

Why did I choose the Nikon D7000? Well, it has received excellent reviews, is affordable and not too daunting to handle although I suspect that I'll probably use only 1/10 of its features. For years, I resisted the upgrade to DSLRs because I didn't like their size and weight. The new Nikon D5100 is perfect in size and features because honestly, I am too amateur to play with anything above that. But I was afraid I'll outgrow the D5100. The D7000 is just nice, not too low or too high for an amateur.

Why Nikon? Now that's truly a million dollar question. I love asking people if they are Nikon or Canon people. They usually hesistate, like it's something they never thought about. The world is split into either Canon or Nikon DSLR people, I've found. Asians love Canon DSLRs (in Europe, I saw that Nikons outnumber Canons 9 to 1) and I always thought it was because Canon cameras have more features for the same price (value for money), are more trendy and of course, Canon has many terrific lens (I find Canon lens give brighter, whiter colors while Nikon colors tend to be a bit mellow). Then I read that Canon cameras are preferred because in Malaysia, the cameras are made and assembled in Japan while Nikons are made in Japan and assembled in Thailand. That did disappoint me a bit although I overcame that by trusting in Nikon's quality control. If you are the premier camera maker, you wouldn't risk your reputation churning out lousy stuff. I knew that if I bought a Canon, I'll always covet a Nikon. Way back in uni, my roommate and I took a summer course on film development and we both yearned to own a Nikon SLR because in those days Canon didn't have the same ranking as they do now. The funny thing is CY did get her dream Nikon SLR while I ended up with several Canon SLRs because I married a Canon man. But now CY is using a Canon point and shoot ( I too prefer Canon p & s over Nikon's) in the Mayan ruins and the River Kwai while I now own a Nikon DSLR. So why did I choose a Nikon, other than to fulfill one of the desires of my youth? I asked 3 camera shop keepers and all three said they prefer Nikon.  One guy said he started with a Canon DSLR and "then I handled a Nikon. I felt the difference"--a comment I've heard over and over again. But then this is not about Nikon vs Canon because ultimately, both make great cameras. It's a very personal choice.

I didn't want the kit lens (18-105mm) so I took the Sigma 18-200 mm lens, a much cheaper option at RM1600/USD530 compared to the Nikkor lens of the same range at RM2500/USD830. However, once I got home, I found the lens a little bit noisy, tight on the focusing ring and the clarity wasn't as good as I expected. Maybe it's because I just didn't know how to use it. I preferred the results of the new Tamron 18-270mm but was told Sigma lens are better although now I think that's really a matter of choice and specific lens. Anyway, I decided within an hour of using the Sigma lens that I wouldn't be able to live with it so the next day I returned it. I'm still not sure if I should take the kit Nikkor 18-105 mm or the 18-200mm. In the end I got the Nikkor 35mm 1.8f as recommended by PW (note: I just read that PW recommended the 35 mm 2f which works on her full frame camera, not the 1.8f. Oops) and the sales person. Most people go for the standard 50mm for good bokeh (shallow depth of field) but PW said the 35 mm (her current fave lens) is more versatile and gives better results while the sales person said it gives less bokeh but sharper photos and beautiful portraits. At a higher price of course. Here are some photos. I don't do much to my photos except brighten and contrast (on Blogger!) but the following photos are not corrected at all:

Using the Sigma 18-200mm lens, all taken in auto mode:

The Sigma lens gave very nice outdoor color I think.

From a distance in low light, no tripod.

In low light at night at ISO 5000, no tripod. Over exposed but still, no black mess.

Disappointingly dull.

Using the Nikkor 35mm lens, all taken in Aperture mode:

Low light at night, ISO 400

In my dark storeroom, ISO 800. Wow.

I love the 35mm lens, so much that I couldn't fall asleep last night because I couldn't wait for daylight to shoot with it. The best thing about the D7000? It handles low light extremely well. It has an ISO of 6400, a big improvement for a camera that's not in the professional league. I don't know how to correct the white balance yet. You can edit the photos on the D7000 but that really is rocket science to me. I haven't taken any food photos yet; I'm delaying the gratification until I cook something special. I promise I'll have at least one nice post next week. Excuse me now because Baby is calling.


hh said...

*clap clap clap*

i have been with canon since 2008, thought of converting to nikon D7000 this jan before i got 60d (but i got sigma lens canon mount, canon lens)

whatever the brand is, it doesn't hinder the fun of the moment you got the shot you think it's perfect! can't wait to see more photos from the new baby!

OkiHwn said...

I've been a Nikon user since the 70s, with my Nikon F and Nikkormat SLRs.

For my food stuff when out I have a Coolpix S550 for its portability, and for other stuff a D60.

Zurin said...

Yay!!! :)) good for you. Now I want a nikon too but my hubs wld kill me because I had chosen a Canon over the Nikon for the very reason you mentioned.

I think ill just get a macro lens instead. thanks for the tips Terri.

arna11420 said...

Have you tried HDR on D7000? It could give you better outdoors pictures.

Johnathan Oh said...

Hi Terri, well done! You finally took the plunge and what more you've got the exact baby that I yearned for!!!! Congratulations and am looking forward to great photos from you!!

malaymui said...

Nice, I chose Nikon over Canon after playing with Yi's D90 two years ago when she's in NL. I also tried on friend's canon but didn't get the excitement of Nikon. Let's have some photography session together when I am in KK next week.

Terri said...

Yes, indeed, she's a beauty :)

Jazzee said...

High 5! I love my D7000 too! I have the nikkor 18-200VRII, but I read that the Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 is much better at about RM500 more, and you get constant aperture.
I love the 35mm f1.8, tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4. To endless hours of fun!

terri@adailyobsession said...

hh: yes i agree:)

okihwn: nice blog there. the only hawaiian food i've tried is at a luau near seattle. a whole pig buried in the ground with hot coals--one of the best pork ever ever!

zurin: oh no, canon is just as good. in fact, i've noticed tt all sports photographers use canon, and many big food bloggers too. nikon seems to be better for lanscape and outdoor shots. oh i think macro lens are perfect but so expensive...think i'll stick to my 35 mm:))

milosh: i had no idea what HDR is until you mentioned n and now tt i've checked, i think it's advanced rocket science so no will will i attempt tt! but what beautiful photos, those HDR pictures.

joh: you shd get one! what are you using now? your photos already look great...

malaymui: it was last year! oh no, i won't go on a photo session with you, i'd be feeling too inferior! but looking forward to meet up:)

terri: thank you:))

jazzee: just the person i want to hear from! i read all the forums on the nikkor 18-200 and 18-105 and i'm so torn. the 105 is supposed to give sharper pictures but i want the range the 200 gives. should i just get the 105 and then the 70-200? but then i don't want to lug too many lens around. what should i get??? how come you have so many lens:D gosh!

Jazzee said...

If you're planning to get the 70-200mm AND you don't really need 18 - 27mm focal length, go and try the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 (also works on FX like the 70-200mm). For landscape, try the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, or the Nikon 10-24mm. These three plus the 35mm would keep you very happy for sure. I tried the 70-200mm on a friend's D700, and I felt my arms going fatigue after 5 minutes. Latch it on the D7000 and have a try...bokeh is super amazing...!!

Fooman said...

Have a great time with your new camera!

Lily Anette said...

That shot of the Japanese bowl is fantastic. I am jealous of your new camera. But I admit, I am a Canon girl :)

Johnathan Oh said...

Hi Terri, I m using D3100 (present from wifey). She wanted to get me a D7000 but I didn't want her to splurge on my gift so she got a D3100 instead by asking which camera is better for her usage... Anyways, the 35mm f/1.8 is a great lens!I never liked using high ISO n this lens allow me to do just that, especially useful in dark places like museum where flash is prohibited (photos wo flash IMO gives more accurate colors). Congrats again! Happy shooting!

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

Terri, I think you'll discover a whole new world, well, in terms of photography with your DSLR. I stuck to my Canon only because I didn't want to replace my expensive lenses but you can't go wrong with either.

Mel said...

Hello Terri
You must be real thrilled to receive your new toy lately. I have the intention too of getting this Nikon D7000 model. I am just wondering have you had any user training given when you purchase this unit? Did the shop assistant gave you some basic techniques how to take good shots? Or you are self learner professional now?

terri@adailyobsession said...

mel: the shop assistant was very helpful and knows the camera so i had help from him. but mostly you have to tinker with the camera and know the features. i wish nikon gives classes...

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