You need to talk me out of it

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Slaphead, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Slaphead

    Slaphead TPF Noob!

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    OK so I've got a Nikon D40x - not just my first dSLR but my first camera period (OK except for those toys that come with mobile phones) and I'm hooked. Naturally I have the kit lens, plus the 55-200 VR and the 70-300 VR(why both - see below), monopod, Lowepro backpack, new mac laptop to cope with the files (old one was 8 years old and choked with RAW), monopod, UV filters for each lens and a circular polariser. All within 5 months. I have GAS big time.

    Now I would dearly love a D300 but I know that a better camera does not make a better photographer. Would you suggest that I stick with the D40x for the time being and hone my skills with that, or is the D300 such an improved camera that I would be mad not to have one.

    There are other things I'm considering such as a good macro lens (Nikon micro 105mm), a good landscape/wide lens (sigma 10-20mm) and possibly a tripod (but I know so many people with tripods gathering dust that obtaining one would be a simple matter of asking) which may be a better investment, but I keep looking at that D300.

    Do I really need it - that's the question.

    Why both? well I managed to break the 55-200 by zooming a bit too hard, but took it back anyway and it was sent off for "evaluation". I expected it to classed as user damage and needed a telezoom for the next weekend so i bought the 70-300. Two weeks later the store called to say that Nikon had replaced the 55-200 under warranty. Hence I now have both.
     
  2. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Link us to some of your image threads here so we can better know you're ability. Oh, nevermind. :D

    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132758
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132750
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=129526
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=128700
    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=125689

    Looks great to me. I'd say you know what you're doing and are equipped to know how much you would benefit by treating yourself to a "real camera" and losing the toy plastic one. :D

    Sorry, couldn't resist the toy remark. :D
     
  3. Ben-71

    Ben-71 TPF Noob!

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    I looked at some of your photographs -- ...if the '40'
    takes such good pictures, why would you want to
    replace it? :wink:

    IMO, you got the 'eye' for it, and it probably wouldn't
    take long before you get the D300, so the only question
    left is the wide. I'd consider a good wide Nikkor rather
    than a "substitute".
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My question to you would be: What features on the D300 would you use that are not present on your D40x? Do you need a faster frame-rate? Do you need an internal focus-motor? Do you need the added low-light performance? If you don't need any of these, I'd stay put with the current body and build up the glass collection. Once the D700 is widely available, I suspect there'll be more than a few D300s going reasonably on the used market.

    Out of all the other things you've listed, I would say what you need is a tripod; to me, a good tripod is your second most important accessory (Good glass being the first; the camera body is somewhere around #4 or 5). $3-400 will put you into a decent new, or really good used Manfrotto/Bogen/Benbo with a good ball or tilt/pan head (I'd recommend ball for versatility).
     
  5. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    My vote is for the Sigma 10-20. That will give you the ability to take dramatically different pictures, whereas a D300 will be a slight improvement in image quality.

    But I'm in a similar situation to you .. I've had my D40 sine January, and I'm already itching to upgrade to a D300. But I am going to force myself to wait for at least 1 year... The D300 should be cheaper by then anyway. :)
     
  6. Tighearnach

    Tighearnach TPF Noob!

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    Yeah i think you should concentrate on upgrading your lenses.
    Maybe a nifty fifty or a f/2.8 kit lens, the 10-20 or the macro or a 70-200 2.8 or all of the above plus a couple of fast primes, why not. I think once you get some serious glass you will forget about the body......
     
  7. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you really want us to talk you out of it? Anyway, I will try. From the examples linked by Bifurcator you seem to enjoy shooting B&W. What don't you buy a cheap secondhand medium formast camera, some rolls of film and the euqipment to process and print your own negatives (for less money than the D300)? You will be amazed by the results (details, tonality, sharpness...). Failing that, if I was in your situation, I would sell one of the telezoom to go towards the purchase of a tripod and wide angle lens.
     
  8. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    You have owned not just your first DSLR but also your first camera for just 5 months and already you want to purchase a semi-pro (or some would argue pro) DSLR? I doubt you've unlocked the D40's full potential. The D300 won't make you any better a photographer.

    Get some new, high-quality glass or a decent tripod if you're into landscapes, I say forget a new body for now.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    New stuff is very fun! Unfortunately as soon as you buy the D300 you'll find your eyes stealing glances at D700 and D3 ads. For most of us there's almost always going to be a cooler, better, newer, bigger, faster, fancier, pricier camera available. It's natural to want it. The hard part is honestly assessing whether we really need it. :)

    One way I deal with the endorphins that flood my brain when gazing upon gear I don't own is to recall how much I spent on my first DSLR 4 years ago and compare it to the current market value. It's a great camera (Canon 20D), and I still use it today as a back-up/beater, but the market price dropped almost a third each year. No matter how long you wait the camera still takes the same quality photos, but the price tag will always go down. I've purchased 2 DSLRs that were almost $3000 each. My goal is to never pay over $2000 for a small format DSLR body ever again. I'm content to hang a few years behind the cutting edge of technology if it means the price tag is marked 1/2 off.

    Instead of any new gear, how about spending the money on Photoshop classes, having prints framed, or going on a trip to photogenic locations? I bet those things would inspire you to better photographs more than a new camera body.
     
  10. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    meh.... just get the camera......















    and also all of the other things the above posters have mentioned...:lmao:

    The D300 has creeped into your mind so you will most likely have it sooner or later...

    I'm kinda in your position but I got the wide lens, the 50mm prime, and the 105mm macro first...... now I'm thinking D300.... I'd like the AF points.... and I'd really like to shoot RAW + FINE JPEG.... the higher ISO would be nice... the focus motor.... the setting banks..... OH and bracketing.... yes yes... also like to start exploring off camera flash....

    man... i NEED a D300.... the only four little things getting in my way are the D700.... the 70-200VR 2.8..... the SB800.... and the self acceptance that I will be spending this money....
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You'll have a camera that will actually AF with all the current lenses in Nikon's lineup.
     
  12. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Get the lens first.

    By time you saved up enough for the D300, it will be cheaper. If you can afford D300 + lens now, get both now.
     

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