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My National Camera Day story June 29, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography.
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Another day, another social media holiday. Today is #NationalCameraDay.

That was how my proposed Facebook status update started. It snowballed into a multi-paragraph history of cameras I’ve used. Below is that history.

I’ve been using cameras regularly for 22 years as of next month. That was when I got a Kodak Funsaver disposable 35mm camera. I used a few more of those before getting a Minolta point-and-shoot camera and 35mm rolls to go with it. Like the disposables, it didn’t have a zoom, but I didn’t care. Three years later, forgetting to bring that camera on a trip to Florida led to purchasing an Olympus camera with a zoom. I alternated between the two cameras for a few more years. Then, another instance of forgetting to bring either camera led to purchasing a Nikon camera, which also had a zoom. A handful of times at the turn of the century, I used my dad’s Canon Rebel G SLR, mostly at sporting events, including two Mets games.

By the fall of 2004, I was ready to switch full time to digital. I had Fujifilm DX-10 and Largan Chameleon Mega digital cameras, but used them sparingly while sticking with 35mm. For the full-time switch, I bought an Olympus C-765. To save space on the 256 MB xD card I bought for it, I only took pictures at the 1280 x 960 resolution. The maximum resolution was 2288 x 1712. In hindsight, my space-saving decision was a mistake. By today’s standards, 1280 x 960 is microscopic.

For Christmas in 2007, I received another digital camera to replace the C-765: the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8. With a 4 GB SD card, I shot at nearly double the resolution of the C-765: 2048 x 1536. The max resolution is 3072 x 2304, but once again, I settled for less. The Lumix got me through another 4 1/2 years, which included an upgrade to a 32 GB SDHC card.

By May 2012, I craved a DSLR camera, which my jazz fan friends were using to photograph concerts. So, I took a big step and purchased a Nikon D3100 with a kit 18-55mm lens, and a 32 GB SDXC card to go with it. For six months, I alternated between that and the Lumix, which could zoom farther than the lens I had with the D3100. Finally, after my birthday, I bought a 55-300mm lens. After that, I gave the Lumix to my girlfriend. The D3100’s max resolution was 4608 x 3072, but I settled for less (3456 x 2304) a third time, except for pictures of the moon or passing planes. That practice continued when I swapped cameras with my dad 11 months later. I ended up with a D5100. The medium resolution was a little higher than the D3100: 3696 x 2448. The D5100 got me through another 2 1/2 years. I would eventually opt to shoot at max resolution (4928 x 3264).

Last November, I bought my latest camera: a Nikon D5500 with a kit 18-140mm lens. The max resolution on the D5500 is all the way at 6000 x 4000, and it records 60p video. The previous cameras only shot 30p. I kept the D5100 and 18-55mm lens as spares, but they’ve only been used once. I gave them to my mom to take pictures at a retirement party earlier this month. At some point, I plan on buying a second D5500 body and dedicate the 18-140mm lens to one and the 55-300mm lens to the other.

That’s my story. And you didn’t need to click on “See More” to see all of it. Happy National Camera Day!

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