Dec 302010
 

Will I buy a D400? So far I was absolutely sure, but then, do I need it?

The most likely time for the D400 (as I guess it will be called) to appear is next Spring. The follow-up for the D700 could come in late Summer, but let’s disregard a switch to FX for the moment, as I can see no real advantage.

But the D400 would be able to use all my lenses, would go from 12 to 16 megapixel and would give me one stop in low-light sensitivity. Basically it would be the D7000 in an even more solid body. I suppose Nikon will have to throw in at least one major feature, because zooming to 100% with the center button of the four-way selector (as much as I love it) can hardly be the only functional difference, can it? But then, what could a new feature be? And would I need it?

I see no reason why I should go from Photoshop CS3 to CS5. It would cost me money, time, and I definitely see no value in it, thus I would have to incorporate conversion of D400 RAW files to DNG into my workflow. My images would get bigger and processing slower. Do I want that? What for?

You see the pattern? And even if I decided to buy the D400, why should I do it in Spring? The most important feature for me would be the better high-ISO quality, but do I need that in Spring or Summer? Not really. Shooting in low light is something I do in Winter.

You see, there are many good questions and not many honest answers that would allow me to rationalize the purchase. On the other hand, I had similar thoughts before my upgrade to the D300, and my reluctance held up half a day after I had seen the camera for the first time 😀

What about you? Is there a point where you simply stop upgrading, or is the lure always stronger than reason? What is “good enough” for you? Are you already at that point, and if so, when did you cross the line?

So my thoughts go “Round And Around“, and that’s also the title of my Song of the Day, a song from Chris De Burgh’s 1977 album “At the End of a Perfect Day”. Hear a live version on YouTube.

  3 Responses to “1537 – Round And Around”

  1. I have CS4, and will wait for CS6. Or 7. Instead, I got NIK Silver Efex Pro – a VERY good move. I also have a D90. When I get better than the camera, I’ll upgrade (not for a looong while). But it is reassuring to know that if I accidentally trash the D90, a VERY good replacement is available.

    Good luck to your rationalization process. 🙂

    Bob

  2. My style of shooting is to try and capture the moment (Whatever that might be). For that, fussing with the camera becomes a distraction. I want to be able to see the moment through the viewfinder and press the shutter release. Obviously this is not going to happen any technological time soon. I moved from an Olympus OM1 (All mechanical 35mm) to the D80 with 18-200mm lens. The lens was selected to reduce fussing with changing lenses as on my OM1. Low light and high speed soon came to be a problem somewhat relieved with the acquisition of large aperture 28, 50, 85mm lenses but now I was back to fussing with lenses. The D80 exposure and focus where never good enough for me and have remained an irritant.

    But the biggest limitation of the D80 compared to my OM1 has been, seeing the moment through the viewfinder. The old OM1 just smokes the D80. For some reason the camera vendors refuse to give a large image through the viewfinder. (I even bought the viewfinder magnifier, only minor improvement). They want us to buy the full frame cameras just to get the better viewfinders. So, I have given in, and am waiting for the a full frame camera that does proper video (I also have a video camera). The prime lenses mentioned earlier were all chosen to be full frame. I’m expecting my low light, focusing, and exposure issues to also be resolved. I suspect they will fail on the exposure issue. To fix the exposure they need to do what I now do in Photoshop, and that is reduce exposure to fix blowouts and compensate for under exposure by changing the gamma. This results in increasing the dynamic range, at the expense of noise in the low value areas of the photo.

    Most people don’t seem to understand what I mean by viewfinder limitations. Just pick up a reasonable pair of binoculars and compare their image to that available in any camera viewfinder. I want what I get from my binoculars in my viewfinder. That is what I consider adequate.

    • Yup, viewfinders are much worse than they could be. But then, cameras are much cheaper now than they would be with a reasonably magnifying viewfinder. As it is, there is just no optical magnification in the viewfinder. You see it the size it falls on the sensor. Bigger sensor, bigger viewfinder. Magnification would bring another expensive piece of precision optics into the equation and another source of focus errors. I don’t believe that it can be made for a reasonable price, at least not as long as we insist on optical viewfinders. And so far I do 🙂

      But, one more priority for me is a 100% viewfinder. I had considered the D700, but for composing my images, I prefer the smaller 100% on the D300.

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