A New Camera


Austin American Statesman

I have the Austin American Statesman newspaper delivered everyday and one of my morning rituals is to eat breakfast, drink my first cup of coffee and catch up with the news from around the world as well as anything interesting happening on the local front. Generally speaking, I finish both the breakfast (except for drinking the coffee which I finish in front of the computer) and the newspaper at about the same time. The paper gets re-cycled either in the re-cycling bag or to be used as litter on the cats room floor, the dishes go in the sink and are immediately washed and put away and then I sit down at the computer to check e-mails and websites. And so starts my day. Prior to this ritual, I have already walked around the garden, fed the fish, changed and cleaned filters and generally checked to see that everything came through the night OK. Then I turn my attention to the little guys and mix their food and put it in front of them. All 3 of them are usually clamoring to be fed after the long night. The 2 cats have constant access to their food placed high on my old desk out of the way of the dogs who, for some unknown reason, really like cat food.

This past week, I suppose mainly because of the trait of holding a “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving, the paper has been filled with advertisements for just about everything under the sun. You name it and it was on sale somewhere. Incidentally, “Black Friday” is a bit of a misnomer as the sales start before and end after Friday. My eye was caught by a full page advertisement from Precision Camera and Video, one of several they have been running all week, telling me that the camera that I have been coveting for the past couple of months is “On sale and don’t miss out on the fantastic price”. I had been kicking it over in my mind whether or not I wanted to switch to the new advanced mirrorless cameras but I couldn’t seem to get anyone very interested in discussing the merits of the DSLR versus the mirrorless cameras. The main interest for me is that they weigh much less than the DSLR. I already have four different lenses for the Nikon that I currently own, a D7100, so it did not seem very cost effective to switch at this point. Maybe when I get older and more feeble, then will be the right time. It is not that I needed to change but after getting so shoulder sore at the last hike it did need some serious consideration. The D7100 is a good camera and there is nothing wrong with the one that I have. It’s just that I wanted the next version with the additional ability of WiFi and many other technical upgrades that I thought would surely improve my picture taking or make the quality much better. At least, that is what I keep telling myself. An added bonus from my point of view is that both cameras are almost identical in terms of the layout of the various buttons and controls and there would not be any additional learning curve in making the switch.  So, I was suckered into the sales pitch and before I knew it, had made up my mind that I REALLY needed and just like a little kid, had to have that new camera. I justified purchasing the camera by saying to myself that I would treat it as an early Christmas present and an even earlier birthday gift for my 80th birthday in January.


Nikon D7200

I took the opportunity of collecting up some of my old camera gear in the hope that I could trade it in against the new camera. I have my original D5100 plus an older video camera that were both collecting dust and if I added the current D7100 to that stack, surely, I could get something for all three to help with the cost of the new one. An hour later, I was standing at the trade-in counter at Precision Camera showing them what I had and awaiting for them to tell me what they were worth as trade-ins. Of course, I never got just what I expected but as they were all obsolete (to me),  I took what they had offered and moved over to the sales counter to tell the salesman what I wanted. Interestingly enough, they would not take the video camera as they considered it not up to the quality of used merchandise they like to resell. It was a cheaper model from Best Buy and my original video camera and was a few years old. Fifteen minutes later, I was the proud owner of a brand new Nikon D7200 and after paying for my goodies, I spent the next 30 minutes wandering around and looking at all of the wonderful things they have in that store. That is if you are a camera and photography buff like me. I took all of my things out to the car and unpacked the box to look at my new camera. I couldn’t try it out as the battery needed to be charged but that didn’t stop me from closely admiring my purchase.

An hour later, I was home after my mandatory stop at Starbucks for the inevitable Grande Latte and spent the next couple of hours assembling the camera and then taking pictures of things inside the house and outside that I could see through the window. I had also recently purchased on-line direct from the manufacturer, Cotton Carriers, a new camera carrying system for when I am out hiking. I noticed the last time out at Pedernales Falls, the current backpack type bag containing the camera and a spare wide angle lens began to get really heavy after a few miles especially after I had to put the camera up because of the heavy rain. My back and especially my shoulders were really sore with the weight. The new system allows me to clip the camera to a special holder on the very wide belt to leave my hands free for walking but is quickly retrievable when I need it. I got to thinking that if it does rain, I need a place to put the camera but none of the current camera bags that I have are of the right type to clip on my belt with the new carrying system.


Precision Camera and Video in Austin, TX

The next day found me back at Precision Camera to find the right bag. I was not there entirely for that reason as the previous day, I had purchased a filter for my wide angled lens only to discover it was the wrong size so I needed to exchange it for the correct one. I brought both the camera and lens in with me and literally tried out the carry bags by putting both of these two items in to see if they would comfortably fit. After 20 minutes of searching around, I found one that exactly suited my purpose and took my treasures to the nearest salesman, told him which filter I needed as they are kept behind the counter, paid for everything and was on my way home.

I forgot to mention that the weather these past few days has been miserable to those of us that really like the sun to be shining. It is dull and overcast with very heavy rain showers. On top of that it is cold, 43 degrees cold and not the weather for even the hardiest of us to be out, new camera or not. I have had to content myself with taking pictures of dogs and cats, furniture, pots and pans, views outside the window and anything else that comes to mind. I have even resorted to watching training videos to fill in the urge to get out and walk. The salesman did say that this camera is pretty watertight but not in a real heavy rain. Then I reminded him that it was not the camera I was worried about, it was me and he told me that is what rain slickers are for…

The weather forecasts this gloomy weather to last a couple more days and then it is supposed to warm up and the sun will shine with temperatures in the low 60’s. I can handle that and it is well within my comfort zone. I can’t wait to get out and try my new camera along with the new carrying system. You will be the first to know how it goes…