Vaishakhi Lahoti


In search for the perfect dSLR
August 19, 2007

Does something like a perfect SLR exist? may be not..
Ever since my mom gave me a 1960 yashica manual b/w film camera I’ve been enamoured with photography. Over the years the cameras got better.. the best jump being from Film to digital. Now i have loads of photos in my attic and on my hard-disk. A little too many I would say! but I’d never give any of it away.
Almost all of my digital pics are from my Canon A520 series, its given me more than 7000 shots and now and is still going strong. One thing I learnt from this camera is it Megapixels don’t matter. Lately I’ve realised that if I have the time to shoot something I will almost surely take it in the manual mode, fix the exposure, or mostly the shutter speed. Which brings me to this topic..
I realised I am ready for an SLR..
Now there is a sane practical side of me.. and then there is the crazy gadget fanatic side of me. I want things at the best price for the features and I also want the bleeding edge best technology!
So searching a an SLR that suits my needs and also my pocket has in the most enlightening manner drove me to a total state of confusion. The more I learn the more I realise I don’t know enough and from what I learn I don’t understand which camera to take..
Lets see the contenders..
Nikon D40
This seems to be the closest I get to perfection.. 6MP, entry level camera and highly recommended for prosumers. Two problems.. it will not accept old lenses and presently all decent SLRs are either 8MP or better 10MP
which brings me to the next Nikon Contender – Nikon D40X. Now this looks more like what i want.. except this still has the issue of not having a possibility of putting an older Nikkor Lens not to mention a 100 dollars extra
Then there is my beloved Canon series.. of which the only one that comes close is Canon XTI rebel 400D. This is almost perfect.. matches the price of D40X, supports older lenses but…. from the images I got to see from the net, the D40X gives a better result with the final image.. D40X has better UI for beginners and somehow.. i was very impressed with Nikons ability to market the camera
and when you think that’s bad enough I laid my eyes on .. Olympus E510. To make things more confusing.. this one has a live preview option which makes it ‘mimic’ digital cameras. Considering half my life I have never used the viewfinder to take my pics, its going to be radically different if I had to give up composing shots on the LCD screen..All review tell me that this is no match to either Nikon or Canon, but its still on my radar..
And all is not done yet..
One of my other reasons to plan buying an SLR was that I ‘inherited’ an old Makinon 80-200mm manual lens and was seriously tired of keeping it in the showcase. the only problem is that it supposedly mount on Minolta cameras and guess what?? Konica Minolta do not manufacture camera’s any more!!! so I now have to find out if by any chance any of the above cameras can use this lens. The local retailers here (who btw sell the same cameras at Rs20K higher than in US dollar terms) told me confidently that there was no way that lens was going to mount on either Canon or Nikon or Olympus. But there should be some way I can use that? all the googling in the world has led me to nothing.
So here I am still sitting here with my old lens. It’s like holding the key but not knowing where it goes into. Brochures all around me, and DJ is tired of coming around and finding me engrossed in reading a review of the possible D-slrs out there. It’s not like I will buy one tomorrow.. but given a choice I don’t think I can buy anything.. I am just too new.. too confused.. and too excited