And so, after much deliberation, I am very much decided to get another camera. I have selected a few choices ranging from Compacts to Pro-sumers to DSLRs:
1) Compact: Olympus 950 weatherproof something
I have never used this before, and so, I chose it based on advertisements and its supposedly promising features.
2) Prosumer: FujiFilm FinePix S5800
I am not a fan of FujiFilm but with my first camera which was the FinePix 2800z, it gave me wonderful results for a 3MP camera (or was it 2MP?) and everyone thought it was at least a 4MP camera. (But now, I am hopefully sure, everyone knows that bigger Megapixels does not mean better pictures.)
3) DSLR: Nikon D40x
If I want to get a new camera this time, why not go for a proper DSLR? Some of my friends already have one and (like peer pressure) its a good excuse as any.
But then, reality came back. I could not afford one. And with the emergency stash, my budget was already stretched to the maximum. Basically, all I ever need from a camera was:
1) Fast switch-on and focussing time
2) Uses more common memory cards like SD
3) Responsive Manual focus
4) Taking macro shots
5) Built-in flash
6) Image stabilisation
7) Movie capabilities
And the winner is, the FujiFilm Finepix s5800!
Well, no. Not really. The FinePix only scored at #7. But the compact scored quite well, which, technically, is the winner. However, after looking at the compact up close, I realised that it is quite slim. It would be ideal for me because I can keep it inside my pocket or pouch and I do not have to argue with guards at the Hypermarkets, etc. However, as far as response time is concerned, I am not too confident with it. Moreover, being such a small little thing, it has a very high chance of slipping from my hands.
And the FujiFilm, after going through its second camera, which is unable to focus well, I am not too keen on getting another one anymore. This was because of my first and last service with them where they claimed the motherboard was faulty and charged me almost half of the price of the camera to replace it. I did not mind that at that time because Kaelynn was about due. However, after the repair, the camera went bye-bye again. In the end, I had to borrow another camera while it was being serviced again. What really took the cake was that after the repair, the camera still have that funny sound of something loose inside. It went there twice and they did not bother to fix it. So, the obvious choice would be the Nikon D40x and no more FujuFilm. But, there is a problem. I wanted a camera so that I can take shots of both Kristine and Kaelynn. A camera that is simple to operate as most of my shots are mainly “point and shoot”. But with a DSLR, you could say that it is a bit of an overkill. Still, luckily, there are modes in the DSLR for me to take shots without having to worry about f-stops, apertures and so on. (I know sometimes this is a must but to me, it takes the fun out of photography. I just take shots and worry about the thinking later. Ha ha ha ha)
For the past two weeks, I have been scouting around and the price for a basic D40x system (Camera body + lens) is anything from RM2400 to RM2900. Which is basically, way out of my budget. Just a few days before, I saw one Malay chap sitting by himself, looking at the photos he has taken with his Nikon D40. After some discussions, (and convinced him I am not going to snatch his camera) what he mentioned was correct in the sense that the moment one goes into DSLR, one would never stop (as in buying more accessories and also upgrading to better cameras). Since I was adamant in getting one with a movie recording function, he suggested the Nikon P5100. Unfortunately, when I looked up the price, it was a bit too much for a compact and therefore, for a few hundred Ringgit more past the halfway mark, a DSLR would be much better (but there is no movie function). So, with a confused heart, I consulted the Great Loctor about venturing into the poisonous World of DSLRs.
After some discussion, the good Loctor pointed me to the direction of a 2005 Nikon D50 which was up for sale. The reason being that the D40x has three main problems. One, Nikon did not produce a battery grip for the D40x. The reason why I wanted a DSLR (or an SLR a decade ago) was that I was fascinated with those battery grips which not only increases the camera's ability to take more shots but also, I can take proper portrait shots without doing those funky Yoga exercises. (OK, that's just me). Depending on the battery grip, I could be able to reuse the rechargeable AA batteries. Or maybe not. Anyway, the second most obvious reason is that, the D40x only use certain types of lens such as the VR (Vibration reduction) lens and its where magic is. But the D50 can support a wider range of lens than the D40x. And lastly, the D50 focus faster than the D40X.
In the end, I chose the D50. Not because it was second-hand but because I knew this Forummer (on-line) and Loctor has good praise for him. However, I am also a bit nervous if I do get this Nikon D50 as he does take very good care of it as if its brand new. Because of my job, I sometimes have to use it. And because I do travel a bit, I'd take a lot of shots there as well. And let's not forget those "on the road" impromptu shots too. So, the cameras would always be at my side. And that is where the fear lies as I would know the camera would get bumped (or dented), dropped and even exposed in the rain. Yeah, that's what happened to my two previous ex-digital cameras. And not only that, when the photography bug bites, it bites hard. I would find myself buying more lens, accessories, and even bigger hard discs.
I had gone through that road before more than a decade ago, with a Minolta 3000 and also an Olympus IS1000. What survived was only the tripod. The rest, like the lens, have sticky rubbers and fell victim to the dreaded fungus.
I have decided that I am going to go for the Nikon D50. The only problem is that I ran out of Home Ministry Purchase application forms...... and my salary's still not in yet.