My fascination with photography began at a young age. Growing up poor in the south, my first exposure to cameras came in the early 70's with the Polaroid Swinger camera. I became enthralled with this amazing technology, the sleek white body and film that developed in your hand...instant gratification, the sign of things to come. I have always been drawn to the creative process with regards to photography. Although not trained as a professional, I took classes at a local comunity college to understand the process of film, light, exposure and processing. I collected old cameras (Brownies, Duoflex etc) for a while and my first "real" camera was a Pentax ME Super. I shot B&W and processed in my own basement darkroom, eventually learning color processing and the variations of temperature with regards to processing. In photography, digital will never come close to the thrill in developing your own film, making the exposure calculations and using your enlarger to capture the image on paper and watching the image appear in the developer.
I grew into various Nikon and Canon 35mm film cameras and as I got busier with my career and family I sat the latest camera down and technology started moving quickly past me. I eventually re-discovered my passion for photography as my children grew and I wanted to get back in to it. At that time, digital cameras were in their infancy and I purchased a Sony DSC1 P&S camera for the whopping amount of $400. It had 600X480 resoultion and internal memory that would only allow you to shoot about 10 images but the technology was amazing as you could load these images on your computer and eliminate film...woo hoo...instant gratification.....fast forward...after many P&S digital cameras and hating the lag time for the shutters, I started exploring the modern DSLRs. Technology had made tremendous leaps in just a few years and I found myself looking at a brand spanking new Nikon D40X kit camera in Costco. I made the impulse purchase and jumped in feet first. Actually got my first published photo with that camera but quickly outgrew it and started looking around for the latest, greatest DSlR. I discovered that Nikon was going to be releasing a new D300 model around Thanksgiving 2007. The more I researched, the more I saw the beauty in wanting to have this camera...notice I say beauty in "Wanting" to have this camera. I was lucky and got the D300 as it was released and have enjoyed it immensely. I wanted the D3 but could not justify the cost for such an expensive hobby, my cycling hobby is more expensive than the photo hobby. So after having the D300 for 8 months and really getting to know the camera and the different menus and creative menus, I discover that Nikon is releasing a full frame (FX) camera that bridges the gap between the D3- FX and the D300- DX processors...oh my, what to do? My first impulse is, "I have to have one". I can afford this now but I have to ask myself, will it help me in my quest to be a better photographer or do I want this just because it is the latest and greatest? I contemplated selling the D300 body and standing in line for the D700. At the same time I was contemplating getting a new Iphone 3G. As I have tried to get the Iphone and seeing how HYPE sells, I decided to look at where I am with regards to my growth in photography. Have I outgrown and learned how to use the D300 to the best of my ability? The answer was "NO". I decided that for the time being, I would not allow myself to be caught up in the hype to once again stand in line just to have the latest in technology for bragging rights. The D300 produces amazing photographs just like the D80, D70, D40 and D40X, D200 etc. I have decided to wait out this latest, greatest camera in hope of understanding the D300 and where my limits are. Good luck to those of you that get the newest D700 and I look forward to watching the progress of your shots.