Camera Obsession (Again!)

So I'm back shopping for a digital SLR. Maybe I'm just bored. I bought Canon's Digital Rebel a couple of months ago, took it hiking a couple of times and then returned it. I knew I wasn't going to keep it then. I just wanted to see hope different they are from the usual point-and-shoot digital camera.

I also knew then that Canon's and Nikon's rebates doesn't end until January 15th. Well, now that deadline is just a few days away. So I have to make a decision of either joining the Canonites or the Nikonians.

Choosing an SLR camera is actually harder than choosing a religion. In choosing a religion, one can go by who's religion will take you to heaven the easiest. Some religion even give you perks like giving you virgins in heaven when you die, if you join them. While others embarasses you by sending their star to Oprah to jump a couch.

But choosing between Canon and Nikon can be more difficult. For one thing, you're stuck with the lens you have, so if you "invest" on Nikon lenses, chances are you will buy Nikon cameras in the future. This is kinda like the old "give away the razor handle and make your money on razor blades." Except camera bodies cost at least $600, so you can't just throw them away like a razor handle.

As for the question of who's better? Canon or Nikon? Well, I don't really know. From what I read online, I think Nikon has the edge. They're been researching lenses way before Canon. In fact, the very first Canon cameras came with Nikon lenses! Then of course, just as Microsoft learned to live without IBM, Canon learned to make they're own lens. Nikon also learned to make their own camera.

On New Years Day, I was at a friend's house for dinner. My friend has a huge framed picture, at least two by three feet, of a wave that I thought was cool. I asked her husband what he used to make it, and he said he used a film camera, not digital. I then ask him, foolishly, if he likes Canon or Nikon better. He said something like he doesn't want to get into that conversation. He then explained that he uses Nikon, while his friend, who was with us, uses Canon.

Of course, when it comes to photography, the only thing worst than a Canon vs Nikon topic is Film vs Digital. Hands down, digital camera's sales increase is killing companies like Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, other traditional film camera companies. Much like printers stopped Xerox's paper empire. Digital cameras can now be found in cellphones and MP3 players. But are film cameras dead?

On that same New Years Day dinner party, my friend's friend brought slides of his trip to Olympic National Park last year, as well as other National Park trips he took. He also brought a Leica projector to show us the slides. Since my friend and I went to Olympic National Park last year as well, I was looking forward to seeing his pictures. He used film camera to take his pictures, and for film, he went with the famous Fuji Velvia. I must admit his shots were much (much!) better than the ones I took. In fact, when I got home that night, I stayed up and went through the pictures I took. Most of it is probably due to the Velvia film. This is THE film that landscape photographers use on pictures you see in art galleries that are sold for thousands or dollars.

Anyways, from what I read online, in order for a digital camera to match what a 35mm film can do, it would have to be a 100+ megapixel camera. I'm not talking about a 3x5 inch print, of course, but the high-end max. So, is film dead? I guess the answer would have to be No. At least not until digital camera's can take 100MP. Even then, that's just to replace the 35mm format, not the medium and large format. This is kinda odd, since one can say that digital is more advance, yet it doesn't really replace what a film can do. Its just more convenient to use and people tend to settle for "good enough" images.

I'm tempted start typing about those people who has 7MP cameras but never really print anything larger than 5x7 inch. But I'll stay away from that. There is a great article though about this in Ken Rockwell's site. He calls it "The Megapixel Myth".

As for my camera obsession. I think I hit the peak of it when I was watching the USC vs Texas Rose Bowl game. When Vince Young scored the winning touchdown run, I was more interested at what cameras the photographers were using. Nikons or Canons?


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