My Nikon D-40 Is Dead

Well, it’s not really dead. But it might as well be. It sits next to my desk in a LowePro camera bag waiting for the next planned photo shoot that never seems to come along. It’s easy enough to carry around, and weighs no more than a couple of pounds. It’s the best camera I’ve owned.

But it has one major flaw.

It doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi or 3G or even Bluetooth. That means it doesn’t have a way to connect directly to the internet. Not that those were features I looked for in a camera when I purchased the Nikon two years ago. Today, I can’t imagine purchasing a camera that ignores the internet.

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I used to make fun of camera phones. They were a joke. And then I bought an iPhone. It didn’t (and some would say it still doesn’t) come with a great camera. But it continues to improve with each iteration. Best of all, it’s always with me.

The old adage is true: the camera you carry beats the fancy model at home.

All four of these pictures were taken with my iPhone at times I wouldn’t have thought to carry my Nikon. Had I taken them with my Nikon they would have looked better, especially at higher resolutions. But they look good enough to share with friends and post to Facebook. Even a lower quality pictures trumps no picture at all.

Yet, I doubt Nikon or Canon care about people like me. Instead they focus on selling to professionals who will, in turn, purchase expensive lenses and accessories. Then again, when I see these same Nikon and Canon models sold at Costco I wonder if their customers will eventually force them to acknowledge the existence of the internet.

Once I owned a phone with a camera, I began looking for reasons to take pictures. Like the time Kim sent me to pick out a dress for Luca’s baptism. When I found two that matched the description she gave me, I took a couple of pictures and sent them to Kim’s iPhone. The ability to snap a couple pictures took only a few seconds but saved me a return trip to the store. The iPhone was the first camera phone I owned where the pictures looked “good enough”. The apps made them easy to share. That was the tipping point feature for me.

I have over 15,000 pictures of my hard drive. Many of them are better quality than what I can create on my iPhone. But they take greater effort to share. In the time it takes to launch Photoshop on my desktop PC, I can run a picture I took on my iPhone through a filter and post it to Facebook.  Speed matters. Ease of sharing matters even more.

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The gap between what I can create on my Nikon compared to my iPhone is shrinking with each phone Apple releases. Of course, a digital SLSR will always take better pictures in the hands of a professional. But for many casual photographers like me, the iPhone (or Android or WP7 phones) are plenty good for the majority of shots.

One reason I’ve enjoyed taking pictures with my iPhone is the fun programs that enhance my shots. Two of my favorites are Instagram and Camera Bag.

How about you? Are you taking more pictures these days with your camera phone, or are you carrying your favorite camera around?

Comments

  1. Nice photos!

    You might want to take a look at this: http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/eye-fi-wifi-memory/. Other sites sell them too so I don’t know if that’s the best price.

  2. Doug Rutherford says:

    A agree with the comment about the eye-fi memory cards, saw a Cosco ad for them yesterday. However perhaps the real question we should be asking, is if camera phones are subtlety pushing away bigger & better cameras, why Canon & Nikon aren’t starting to implement some of the features that make those other products great? Or better yet, partner with cell phone makers to get their existing technology into a cell phone? That way, you can get something like the new LG, Samsung, Motorola, whatever, NOW with built in Nikon or Canon technology. The media phones would be smart to partner with companies like Bose for a “rich sound experience”. The camera on my phone still sucks and getting the pictures off my cheap pay-as-you-go phone is still a hassle but that’s why I got the Canon Powershot SX210 IS. It compliments my larger Canon DSLR and still has a wide range of features and creative options however it’s small and fits in my pocket and yet still has a 14x optical zoom and takes pictures at 14.1MP. One of the better optical zoom cameras for its size I must say.

    • Brett Nordquist says:

      Doug, I wonder if Nikon and Canon are intentionally not adding some of these features because the professionals who purchase their equipment would cry foul? Sales of DSLR cameras continue to skyrocket as they end up in the hands of casual photographers. Reminds me of watching rookie skiers stumble down the mountain on a pair of high-end skis. :-)

  3. My poor Olympus has become a dust collector on the shelf above my computer. Since I started the film photography class I’be hardly used it. Then about a month ago Aaron decided it was time to get cell phones. I love my little Droid and I’m having lots of fun with Urbian’s retro camera app.

    • Brett Nordquist says:

      Keli, I wish I had your talent and eye for capturing photos. I always enjoy looking at your latest pictures and wonder, “how come I can’t do that?”

  4. Brett, you can try out my eye-fi 4gb card, maybe even buy it if you want. I just upgraded to the 8gb. I agree, my iPhone or WP7 now work great for photos. Not much reason to carry a point and shoot or even mini HD video camera. They each are a little better but not better “enough.” But I would say that if you know you will be taking pictures you might want as prints at a special event or for things like zooming on far objects a DSLR is still needed. Also my Sony 1080P video camera can’t be beat for video quality.

    • Brett Nordquist says:

      Aaron, I’d love to give your Eye-fi card a try. And I agree about still having a D-SLR on hand. I still love my D40 as much as I did when I bought it. I just find fewer reasons to use it. We seldom took any video until I bought a Flip Mino HD two years ago. But I wonder if that will become like my D40 now that the iPhone 4 takes decent video as well for the casual user.

  5. I have seen the Eye-Fi around for a while and have been dying to get one…just never have pulled the trigger.

  6. I’d probably use it for other stuff though besides pictures…

  7. That’s funny Brett because that’s what I think of everyone else’s photography, yours included.

  8. Nice photos! You might want to take a look at this: http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/eye-fi-wifi-memory/. Other sites sell them too so I don’t know if that’s the best price.

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