Friday, October 29, 2010

The Case for 2 Cameras

No, this post isn't about a Hardy Boy's mystery.  It's an argument for those of you have gotten serious enough about photography that you've upgraded to a new camera body and are faced with the question about what to do with your old body.

"Grace at Sunrise"
 I'm still saving my pennies for that new camera to upgrade from my entry level Nikon D40x, but I can tell you that when I finally make the purchase, my original camera will never be too far from hand.  Why? Versatility.

For the sake of argument, let's say you've added a few lenses to your collection.  You're out shooting some breathtaking sunrise shots with your wide angle attached when, like in the above image, Mother Nature throws you a curve ball.  Your choices are:
  1. Zoom in with that wide angle and go from 10mm to maybe 20mm in which case the swan probably appears to be a blurry dust spot on your image.
  2. Use your "camera slinger" speed to take the camera off the tripod, remove your wide angle lens, rifle through your gear bag for your zoom, attach it, probably change your ISO setting... don't forget the aperture and switching your shutter to burst... and you're ready! Unfortunately, the swan has crossed into the next county by now and is nowhere to be seen.  So sorry.
  3. Stick with your "super zoom" (like the Nikon 18-200mm) so now you can skip over the removing a lens, grabbing a new one steps from choice 2, but everything else still applies.  In the case of the shot above, I was lucky in that the swan had previously flown into the scene and landed which gave me the time to get setup for this shot.
The ideal situation would have been to have one camera setup for the landscape shots and mounted to the tripod with a second body slung over my shoulder with a nice zoom lens already set up in anticipation of the "curve ball".

So, when the time comes for that upgrade, don't be too hasty  to hand down the old camera to cousin Harry or throw it on Ebay.  It could cost you in the long run.


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