Digital cameras I have owned through the ages (8 years)

I’m often asked what type of equipment I use or have used. Here we go with the digital era!

I’ve been shooting digital for a number of years, in fact it seems like a long time in digital photography terms but in reality I think we are looking at 8 or 9 years. My first camera was a Nikon Coolpix 950, a 2.1 mega pixel, $2,500 camera that was very basic and the images while good for the era, by todays standards look downright bad.

Next came the marvelous Nikon D100, likely the first affordable camera ($2,000 US body) that in most respects had quality very similar to film. I am hard pressed to notice a difference between ISO 100 film and the images produced by the 6.1 mega pixel D100.

A Nikon D2X made the way in my door about 3 years ago and I still use this camera for much of my work. This camera produces images that I feel are superior to film. Any arguments?

Recently I purchased a Nikon D300 and my initial reaction has been very positive, in fact I can see the D300 becoming my primary camera in many circumstances. The Nikon D300 is certainly a better camera in low light situations, something that the Nikon D2X was never really known for. It’s amazing what 3 years of technology can do.

What lenses do I own?

For the Enchanted Isles – The Southern Gulf Islands book I used a small set of largely unimpressive lenses. These included:

  • Sigma 10-20mm, a wonderful lens designed specifically for digital cameras,
  • Nikon 24-50mm, an old film camera zoom, hopefully to be retired soon,
  • Nikon 85mm f1.8, one of Nikon’s classic film lenses,
  • Nikon 55-200mm DX, a lousy, slow focusing cheap consumer lens that is surprisingly sharp. This lens also focuses surprisingly slowly and has now been replaced, and
  • Nikon 300mm f4, again one of Nikon’s classic lenses for sports and wildlife.

The past year I have been upgrading my lenses routinely as I have been shooting more often as I work on my new book about the Cowichan Valley. My lenses as of today are:

  • Sigma 10-20mm, a wonderful lens designed specifically for digital cameras,
  • Sigma 30mm f1.4, bought for low light photography,
  • Nikon 17-55mm f2.8, just purchased to replace the 24-50mm,
  • Nikon 85mm f1.8, one of Nikon’s classic low light film lenses,
  • Sigma 50-150mm zoom, a lens that has quickly become a favourite,
  • Sigma 150mm f2,8 macro, an amazing macro lens for the little things in life and
  • Nikon 300mm f4, again one of Nikon’s classic lenses for sports and wildlife.

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