I am having trouble deciding on whether to purchase a Coolpix 950 or 990 or the new N80. The N80 sounds like a fantastic camera, but I like the idea of being able to see the results immediately with the Coolpix cameras. Any opinions on the Coolpix cameras would be appreciated.
#1. "RE: Coolpix 950 and 990" In response to Reply # 0
I use a D1, and have now gone completely over to digital. So while I can't really help you with the Coolpix cameras, here are some of the pro's and con's as I see them:
In favour of the N80:
1) Cost. A Coolpix, memory cards, card reader and a photo quality printer such as the Epson 870 will cost more initially.
2) Print sizes and image quality. You won't be able to make prints anything like as large from a digital camera. Also the combination of high resolution and small CCD size in the 990 seems to be pushing even Nikon's lens technology to its limits, so problems like distortion and chromatic aberration start to appear. Read Phil Askey's excellent review on http://www.dpreview.com/ to get a good idea of what the issues are.
3) Versatility. The N80 will offer you a far greater range of options, although Nikon have a decent range of adapter lenses and other accessories for the Coolpix cameras.
4) When you don't have access to a computer (for example when you're on holiday) a digital camera can run out of 'film', and it's very expensive to buy more.
5) Nikon will almost certainly introduce less expensive digital SLR's than the D1 to compete with the likes of the forthcoming Canon D30 and Fuji S1, so your investment in lenses for a N80 shouldn't be wasted if you wish to go digital in the future.
In favour of the Coolpix:
1) Once you've got the camera, taking pictures becomes essentially free. Believe me, you'll go absolutely crazy with it as a result!
2) You only stand the cost of printing the pictures you really want. Costs per print are similar, or only slightly more than for film depending on your choice of printer and paper.
3) Your photographic skills will probably improve because you can try all sorts of unlikely shots, bracketing exposures and different aperture / shutter speed combinations just to see what happens, without worrying about the rate you're using up film.
4) As you said, immediacy. You can look at your pictures as soon as you get back to your computer, and have a set of prints as fast as your printer can produce them.
5) If you want to get your pictures onto your computer you don't need to buy a film scanner - which would otherwise be a significant cost.
6) I'd love to see someone else with a digital camera posting some pictures to the forums!
Hope that's all some help; it's a difficult decision.
#2. "RE: Coolpix 950 and 990" In response to Reply # 0
LAST EDITED ON Jun-08-00 AT 00:38 AM (GMT)
in addition to Alan's great posting, I would like to add:
1. You will not be capable of getting the same resolution, contrast nor color rendition with the Coolpix (no matter 950 or 990) compared to the N80 with good film in it.
2. The only bummer with classical (read "analog") cameras is that you don't see the results asap, as you can with digital bodies.
I recently spoke to someone who was into shooting a lot of family type of pics (thinking somewhat about JRJ's N x 2yo kids here ). I recommended her to get the 24-120 Nikkor and an analog body. In a couple of years from now, I'd have probably recommended her to get the Coolpix 2500 or sumtin
Bo (Nikonian in the Black Forest/Germany) My profile
#4. "RE: Coolpix 950 and 990" In response to Reply # 2
I picked up a 990 when I learned that it was capable of using the Nikon flash system. I've been creating a mini studio with a couple of softboxes and a pair of Nikon flashes. I've been using the 990 to set and adjust my lighting... like a Polaroid back only far, far better. I can light a product shot and see what the exposure will look like when I switch to my F100. I don't have to guess and overshoot to cover my bets like I used to. I have also used the 990's images for smaller product layouts. The 990 has a terrible viewfinder and the built in lens is quite limiting. If I didn't have a professional use for it, I would pick even a good point and shoot 35mm camera over it for performance, resolution and handling.
#3. "RE: Coolpix 950 and 990" In response to Reply # 0
Hej! I can recommend you to go for a N80 then you are more flexible. I have worked parallel with digital cameras since 1994 and still to day they are not worth the price if you don’t need it for special purpose. Its faster to final Photo but you have more limitation what you can do with the picture. If you want the same picture quality as a color slide 24x36 you must up to real hi end solutions like Phase One digital back and not even then you have the same flexibility. By the N80 and wait and se...
#5. "RE: Coolpix 950 and 990" In response to Reply # 0
I agree that you'll get better quality pictures with less initial investment by choosing a film camera, and I agree that digital cameras are changing very quickly right now and every year you wait they'll get significantly cheaper and better. But even considering all that I bought a 990 and am having a great time with it. I've learned more about photography in the 1 month I've had it than in any 1 year of using a film camera, just because there's absolutely no reason not to experiment. Try all the exposure, framing, focusing, etc. options you want and see what works and what doesn't. It's a great learning tool.
I own both these cameras and I would hate to choose between them. I love the N80 because, well it's a "real camera". I would recommend it to anyone short of a pro. The 990 gets used more because it's free. You can learn so much more when you have the freedom to shoot away. I get great 8x10's from the 990 and it's hard to beat digital for computer display. The 990 takes great macros. The N80's autofocus is far better than the 990's. The Coolpix cameras don't see well in the dark. Hope this helps. -Mike
Some of the best shots are from the interstate and you can't stop there