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Old Apr 7, 2004, 9:28 PM   #1
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Default New A2 (sorry, old Nikon)

All is joy and goodness now, but what a painful process.

First, deciding to finally go digital. My camera of the last 15 years - a Nikon F3 with an 85MM F1.2 lense - quietly mocked me from as I surfed the digital camera sites. "I sure hope that new camera will cook and do windows, 'cause it ain't gonna take pictures like I take pictures."
"But," I reasoned, "almost every picture I've ever taken with you involved lying on the floor or leaning up against something in order to steady my hand. The a2 has an image stabilizing system. . ."
"System shmistem. Think about the smell of stop bath after midnight, the jagged grain of tri-ex, the Viet-Nam era kachickachickachick of my MD-4 motor drive. . ."
Making the jump to digital was only the first step. Now, which camera? The web reviews were mostly reformatted user manuals intermingled with pithy plattitudes on purple fringing, noise, and failure, quickly followed by suffocation and death. Do I really want a new camera, or should I just step in front of the number 74 bus?
Finally I shut down my computer and spent a day visiting every camera store within a 10 mile radius, playing with the same four cameras but hearing an astonishing range of explanations regarding their various chipsets and resolutions and beats and USB versions and storage media and wait, stop, wait a minute - what about taking pictures? The A2 has the best viewfinder, so I can see what I'm shooting (no, I can't afford an SLR), and I like shooting indoors in natural light so the image stabilizer may be handy, and enough already. Time to buy a camera.
At 5:39 EST on Monday I placed an online order at Newegg.com, asking for next day delivery. Naturally I assumed that I would get it Wednesday. The next day dawned sunny and bright. At noon FedEx truck pulled up and delivered a box - holy smokes! Less than 24 hours after I placed the order - and then the real fun began.
Purple fringing and pixel angst aside, this is an extraordinarily powerful tool. I am astonished. The maker was kind enough to set the controls in program AF mode so that when I turned it on, it was ready to go. And, being accustomed to spinning dials on my Nikon, I'm finding everything I need control-wise in a logical and quickly accessible location. Even a high resolution image writes almost instantaneously to the CF card. The focus is fast, and faster if you do it the favor of pointing it at something contrasty and locking it. The colors in the images come out normal looking right out of the box, not at all what I expected (what I expected was punch drunk 1980's fuji film oversaturation).
The old Nikon got in the last word, however. Today at the park I was photographing my daughter on a swing, standing to the side and trying to catch her at the apex of the swing, hair levitating in a moment of zero gravity. It took me about 15 frames to anticipate the slight lag from button press to actual release, and catch her at the top.
"Ya see," my Nikon whispered distantly from its dark cubpoard "I would have nailed that shot the first try."
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Old Apr 8, 2004, 12:20 AM   #2
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Great story. Enjoy the new toy.
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Old Apr 8, 2004, 11:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: New A2 (sorry, old Nikon)

Originally Posted by tmprime
"Ya see," my Nikon whispered distantly from its dark cubpoard "I would have nailed that shot the first try."

Maybe ya woulda - and maybe ya wouldn't. But you wouldn't KNOW FOR SURE until you got your film developed. So either you blow a role making sure or chance missing the shot. With your A2, you knew and kept shooting until you got just what you wanted. (BTW, I still have my Canon A2 system sitting in my closet mostly 'cause I can't bear to part with it, so I hear the same whispers you do. )
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