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My roadmap to digital-need suggestions please

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bfullmer, May 4, 2005.

  1. As I mentioned in my intro, I'm still shooting film, but have a burning desire to convert to digital. I have an N80 with 24-85 AFS and 70-300 G lenses and an SB50DX flash. They have served me well, but it's time to step it up a notch or two.

    I think the logical camera step is a D70/D70s kit. After that things get a bit murky. I'd like to end up with a 70-200 VR and a TC, but might have to settle for an 80-200 2.8 of some flavor as an intermediate step along the way.

    I'm needing a better tripod and head combination. I'd also like an SB800 flash (or 3). I think that flash will work with both the N80 and D70. Is that correct?

    On the software front, Photoshop with its assorted plug-ins seems to be the gold standard. Again, that's where I'd like to end up, but might need to use something else less robust before I can afford PS and the extra computer horsepower to run it. (Santa, where are you when I need you?) :) 

    My interests are in nature and landscape photography as well as the kids playing their various sports. Some wildlife photography and birding would be fun, but I think longer lenses would be needed.

    I am not able to cough up several kilobucks at once to get all this equipment . My NAS/EAS budget is not too big, so I need to take it a step at a time. What order do you think is best to build this system? And am I on the right track equipment-wise?

    Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Brian,
    I think your shopping list is complete. The D70, how can you go
    wrong with the 2004 camera of the year? I would get the camera
    then my next step would be a souped up computer/software. Then
    I would start building up my lenses and accesories.

  3. mcampos


    Apr 14, 2005
    Norwalk, CA

    The SB800 should work nicely with the D70, you can do wireless remote control of other units with it and the remotes can be less expensive SB600s. I have this setup with my D2H and it works really nice.

    As for software I would recommend starting with Photoshop Elements, this way when you are ready to move up to the full product, you will have less of a learning curve. This is the way I went and it worked well.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hi Brian. Paul, Mike and Robin made some excellent suggestions. The D70 kit is a perfect starting point, and you'll get lots of great photos. You will want to shoot Raw, and so I think Photoshop or Elements is the way to go. Adobe's new Camera Raw software is really nice.

    One thing - if you, a close friend or an ofspring is a student and would buy it for you, you can get the educational version of Photoshop, which is identical to the pro version, except for the 'royalty free stock photography'. And it's only fifty bucks more than Elements.

    My image working software is more important to me than my darkroom was, because it's so much more powerful (and it's easier to set-up and put away!) :) 

    A second thing: get a DVD burner. I shot film for 25 years and digital for 5, and have twice as many digital images as film. These images need to be stored, and right now, DVD is the only way to save this kind of bulk of data. I need to remove tens of gigabytes from my hard disk every 2 months!

    If you get a 4 gig card, that's 500 (give or take) photos, and (about) 1 DVD per card. If you save printable files (at 30-50 MB) that rate increases. So plan on burning a lot of disks, especially for the first five years or so.

    Hey, but above all else, have fun with what you do, and post your pictures here!
  6. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I can't add much to what these guys have already said. I can say from personal experience that the D70 is a heck of a camera for the price. You can't go wrong there. I also agree with PS Elements or the Ed version of full PS if you are or know a student. The lenses that you have are what a large number of new Nikon digital shooters start out with, because they are very good, and reasonably priced. If you think that you will be shooting any landscapes, the kit lens is very good for the price.

    As for the tripod / monopod, it you've been shooting without them, you can continue to do so until you get some of the really big glass. OTOH, you can get very good units from B&H (and others) for around $150 (for the tripod) or $40 for the monopd. Just don't buy one of these flimsy camera store jobs as that will be a total waste of you cam $$.

    Good luck. Go for it, and hurry up and post some shots!! :wink:
  7. F15Todd


    Feb 1, 2005
    I'm just going to have to agree with what everyone else has told you.
    The D70 is a great camera (we have two in the house), and I'm sure the
    D70s will be all that and more.

    I forget what the two new lenses are that are coming, but I have seen
    places like B&H listing them already with the D70s as a kit. (Something
    like 18-55mm and a 55-200mm)

    For software, look at Adobe Elements 3. It has a lot of the heavy hitting
    stuff that comes in Photoshop.
  8. Thanks for all the advice. It's good to hear from others who have traveled this road before. I think I will opt for the ED version of PS. My daughter is a student at BYU (one reason for the smallish photo budget :cry:  ) so I can probably have her pick it up for me.

    Again, thanks for the help. This place is the epitomic neighborhood cafe where one can sit and bounce ideas around and get nothing but positive, constructive feedback. :D 
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