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Cameras are more computer than machine these days - Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Electronics & Video Games' started by benenglish, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    My Nikon F from the mid-1960s still works fine. I feel sure my F5 will be of use to some student photographer 50 years after I'm dead.

    However, my first digital SLR, a D40, died on me at Hicksville this weekend. I turn it on, with fresh batteries, and get a "whir-click-whir-click" cycle but no shutter firing, no mirror flipping. The problem has been getting worse and worse. I have to "reboot" it by turning it off and back on to get it to work. This only succeeds maybe 1 out of 5 tries and then only for a few frames before the cycle begins again.

    I realize the D40 was a low-end model. I also know that digital SLRs are more computer than camera. Based on my reading, the consumer-grade models are considered semi-disposable.

    I'm having problems with that concept.

    Anybody got a suggestion for my next DSLR? I know plenty of you have some very nice kit. I'd like something that is compatible with my SB-28 flash but, according to the NikonUSA web site, it won't do TTL flash metering with any current DSLR. My old lenses cover exactly the ranges I most use...but they would require stepping up to a full-frame sensor. The entry level for a full-frame, recent Nikon is the D600 (discontinued, but available as a refurb for $1500) or a D610 (current model, ~$2000). The cheapest Nikon TTL speedlight for any of these would add ~$120.

    It's been over 30 years since I made my living full-time as a photographer so those numbers feel like a big commitment to me, maybe bigger than I'm willing to make.

    I'm seeking input from any avid amateurs. A re-furbed and/or low-end Nikon for less than $500? Or have y'all found the bigger iron (especially the ability to shoot video) worth the extra money? Or is there a screaming bargain to be had somewhere out there if I just abandon my lifelong Nikon fixation?

    TIA
     


  2. mitchntx

    mitchntx Sarcasm Sensei TGT Supporter

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    D800 user here. It's a work camera ... I couldn't afford to buy it.

    my personal camera is a D70 and has been a work horse. I bought my daughter a D3100 last year for Christmas and have heard no complaints.

    Sadly what I use most often is my samsung galaxy phone. Takes great snapshots.
     
  3. Younggun

    Younggun Doer of Deeds TGT Supporter Admin

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    Most consumer products are built to be "disposable" these days. Kinda sucks.
     
  4. stdreb27

    stdreb27 TGT Addict

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    I shoot with a d50. Not full frame. Last of their real low end cameras.

    Just know the rattle is an orientation sensor.
     
  5. jordanmills

    jordanmills Well-Known

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    Well that problem is that technology is changing fast enough that there's no practical way to upgrade or repair things after a couple of years. Fabs move on, so you won't get spare parts. Interconnections change, so you can't even plug them into each other. And the push to keep things light and small keeps everything on the same board if not the same chip. In many ways it's good - it means that we're getting significantly better tech out every two years instead of every ten. But it offends the engineer in me.

    Back to the topic of this thread, I've heard of digital backs for SLR bodies. They basically put the computer, storage, battery, and screen into a component that replaces the film and back and snaps on to a classic SLR body. Supposedly they're the best of both worlds. I don't know if they make them any more though.
     
  6. TundraWookiee

    TundraWookiee Scruffy Nerf Herder TGT Supporter

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    I use a D7000 and am happy with it. Not an FX but I don't shoot much landscape so a crop factor actually doesnt hurt me. If you liked the old Nikons there was a rumor recently that they may be making a digital version of the old F3 as a retro-digital. Prices and lifespan suck these days but be sure to get something you'll be happy with.

    A friend is about to sell off some D3 and D700 bodies I believe. I know firsthand that she takes excellent care of her gear. If you want I can let you know when she lists them.

    Sent from Kate Beckinsale's closet.
     
  7. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    They're marvelous. I've rented a Leaf, for example.

    However, I'm not even considering paying USD$20K+ for a camera. For a special occasion, as a rental, yes, but I'd never buy one.
     
  8. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    I feel your pain. I shot with an F5 for years so I'd feel perfectly comfortable with a D4. I just can't justify the expense.

    That was going to be my default choice. However, I can't find any new old stock or refurbs. They were available just a year ago; now - nothing.

    I seem to remember that someone has put a new phone on the market that really emphasizes the camera function. I'll do some research in that direction but I kinda doubt I'd be happy with it. Still, it's worth going in for a demo, I suppose.
     
  9. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    A fully-depreciated D3 in excellent condition would be a nearly-perfect solution to my problem.

    Yes, please let me know when they get listed and where.
     
  10. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    Should I infer, then, that this is a known, fixable problem? Or just that it's a known problem...but I'm still stuck with a dead, not-to-be-revived camera? ;)
     


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