I've always loved capturing photos. It blends technical knowledge and art in such a satisfying way. You need to know how to correctly expose an image (technical) and try to make it look pleasing (art).
I've been persistently using an old Nikon F801 35mm film camera for years now. It's a great camera and, when released, must have been a sensation. And the feedback it gives is magnificent. Press the shutter release and ch-chick! A wonderful sound to accompany the delight in creating a photograph.
I've been hungrily eyeing digital cameras for many years now. The ability to really be creative - and learn from your results instantly - has been an incredible attraction to me. I enjoy experimenting with the camera - playing with long exposures and shifting the camera or adjusting the zoom mid-shot, etc. However, with film this kind of creativity is difficult to explore because there is such a delay in seeing what you've done. What aperture was I using? How long did I expose for? Just how much did I shift the camera? Who can remember by the time they've gotten their prints back? How do you try and repeat a shot, with slightly different settings? How do you learn?
Digital SLR's overcome these deficits so I've wanted one for many years. But they've been prohibitively expensive. The Canon 300D and, more recently, the Nikon D70 have begun to change that. While still expensive you no longer need to sell your soul for the purchase. Thankfully, the price of older DSLRs have come down in price - to the point where I finally committed and bought a second hand Nikon D100 with a 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 AFS lens.
I've had it for three weeks now and couldn't be happier with it.
Expect pictures to be posted soon. [update have a look at my online gallery here]
And expect pictures from tonight's Melbourne geek dinner to be posted in the next couple of days!