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Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:37 AM   #1
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A slight twist of fate made me do it. Usually we say "The devil made me do it", only this time I was my own devil... I had to decidebetweengetting a new Suzuki GSXR-1000 motorcycle this year or upgrading my photographic hobby. It was going to be one or the other. The GSXR-1000 would cost about 6 times the cost of a D300 but I had to make my mind up on which hobby was to take priority.

I hummed and hahhedover this for the past week and lastnight I dreamedwas taking photos of my new bike with a new D300. When I woke up I thought aboutthe costs ofall those extras I like to get to improve a standard bikes handling and performanceand thought this is where I could spend quite a few thousand more than just the price of the bike. Since the D300 is in real short supply over here, I knew I couldn't get ahold of one straight away as all the D300's that have landed in the shops are gone virtually the same day andthere is a line of back-ordered customers waiting for their new toys to arrive, so I phoned the dealer in town and asked the price and asked when the next lot of pre-sold 300's were due to arrive...

"Well well, today is you lucky day", came the reply, "we got 2 in this morning and one has already been sold, and they cost xzy dollars and if you like I can hold this one for you"... I nearly fell backwards as I replied "I LIKE, I LIKE".

Time couldn't go fast enough as I phone-transferred a few funds from one account into my spend account andthen sped into town. The huge traffic jam on the motorway did not help my nerves. I pretended I was calm but you can only hold your nerves like that for so long before a mild form of controlled road rage began to creep in. Eventually I got there and walked out with a huge grin and a D300 under my arm...

My, what a beauty...!!!

I have to say thatthe D300is a lot more of a 'Hands On' camera than the D80. I think the D80 rather spoiled me with Auto settings and menus to ease up the congestion of buttons found on D200's and 300's. Somtimes when I could not quite get the settings right I would switch to Auto and whammo, done.. Photoshop would fix any little discrepancies in the resultant photos. There will be no such luxury with the D300. It's all manual from here on... I can't quite use it just yet as there is no CF memorycard with the camera so I will have to rush to the nearest computer shop and get one tomorrow. I'll have to do a bit of surfing and reading tonight to find how other owners are getting the best out of theirs. I have plenty of lenses to start on and am sure in a month or so, I wont be looking back...

Oh well, no new Suzuki GSXR-1000 for 2008. I guess my current Honda VTR-1000 will have to stay in the garage for another year, but the photography will take a leap in the right direction...
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 7:34 AM   #2
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well i have had mine for about a week now...upgrading from d80 also...you will not regret it....awesome camera have fun

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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:37 AM   #3
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Well, I did a mercy dash to an electronics shop which was amazingly still openlast eveningand just happened to haveone remainingKingston 4GB CF card,, and I get fantastic discounts from them too at times, as I did with this card.I got home plugged it in andtook a couple of pix of the cat out on the front lawn. Now, bearing in mind that I hadn't touched so much as one single button, just changed or set a few menu options,, I went out and clicked away a half dozen shots right on dusk... I then plugged it into my PC and copied the photos across and was absolutley HORRIFIED at what I saw... The photos looked good in the LCD screen on the camera but they were horribly over exposed on the PC... So bad that the background was a mess of purples and reds and haze between. The black cat was more or less ok, just the background was a mess. I couldn't believe how much the D300 lightened things up though at this time of evening, almost going on dark. I could see the potential of the camera in low light,, like they say so...

Of course I knew I was at fault, not the camera, so I sat down to read the quick reference guide and toyed around with the available settings and tried to apply any knowledge I had accumulated while using the D80.I changed modes, and set things to what I thought would be good settings for a 'D80', hoping they would also suit the D300, but by this time it was pitch black outdside so I put it away for the night.

Since I am a builder and we are currently working on a site ontop of a hill, I thought I would take it to work today and click off a few shotsacross the valley toward the city and over by an airstrip, with the new settings. Anxious as heck, when I got home an hour ago, I copied to the PC and viewed them... What a difference... Yes, I can see this camera is quite good alright. Birds, helicopters, planes, houses, landscapes, far off buildings, schools. You name it, it looks great, even set at Fine/Large/JPG's...

If this is an initial sign of things to come, you are right, I wont regret it...

Oh, by the way I am using a 70 - 300mm VR lens to get things rolling... I am also going to keep the D80. It is a very capable camera...
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 6:51 AM   #4
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I suggest you put a UV filter on your lens.

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Old Feb 1, 2008, 12:39 AM   #5
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That's usually the first thing I do when buying any lens... Hoya Pro - nothing but...!!!

But since you mentioned filters, I might think about polarising filters... This is something I have yet to try out...

I snapped a few more shots today and I am being overwhelmed with the results. This camera is capable of some truly great photos... The more I play with the settings, the better things get. Thus far, I set it to Aperture Priority (if that's what it's called in the D300) - "A" and use around 5.6 - 8 with the 70-300mm VR. Today was a great mixture of shooting environments, from brilliant sunshine, to grey overcast almost spitting rain, to quite dark due to a huge black cloud, to bright sunshine on one side of the valley to dark overhead,, and no matter where I pointed it, the results were darned good...

I spied a great site from under the huge black cloud... A Kittyhawk WWII Fighter plane. At first I could make it out because it was just too dark to see it as it flew directly overhead but as it went into land at the nearby airfield about 3 miles (5 Km) away, it emerged into the sunshine and I just had to get on - I was about to say "film" but I meant into digital memory. I included this shot. The haze in the shot was not part of the settings, it is just the haze that hangs around in real life so it got captured too. I had to resize this picture but I wish you could see the original shot...

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