An Update: Reviewing a Camera Six Months After Purchase

Like many of you, I have largely been staying close to home for the last few months. Ordinarily, I would have been on the road most weekends in the springtime with my camera. But, the thoughts would start to creep in about how far I would want to drive to look for photo opportunities, how many non-socially-distant people would be around, and the eventual need to use a public restroom during a pandemic.

Duck Reaction GIF

So, most of the photos I’ve taken this year have been pretty close to home.

That’s not to say you can’t find interesting subjects in and around your own home. I was just hoping to take the camera I bought in late January for a longer test drive.

Still, I thought I would share a few thoughts and possibly gather yours regarding what I have discovered about my Nikon D7500.

Let’s start with the negatives (haha…see what I did there?) first to get them out of the way.

DISCLAIMER: I’m still practicing quite a bit just to get to know this camera, so I’m perfectly happy to take any advice you might have to offer.

I tend to use a circular polarizing filter a lot outdoors, particularly if I want to emphasize the sky on one of those crystal-clear days. Therefore, I know I will have to compensate to a degree. However, I’ve found that I’m having to do far more adjusting that I’ve had to do in the past just to get enough light into the camera to keep from having to radically alter the exposure in the computer later. In fact…

I have to do this without the filter, leaving me to wonder if I need to adjust other settings as well. Could it be the 542-focal-point system built into the camera that’s causing me headaches here? (I think it’s more like 689. Lots of squares. They might not even be related, but it was worth a thought. I think.)

This one eventually turned out well, but I had to do a lot of bracketing and later adjustments in Lightroom to get the results I wanted.

I’m still stuck in the old habits I used on my old camera for ten years when it comes to button-and-doohickey placement. Functions I once automatically reached for without looking are in different spots. Many frequently-used function settings can be saved in the camera menu, which I should probably do.

Now, for the pros:

Despite my complaints about the low-light problems when I’m shooting on a sunny day, I captured one remarkably good shot recently of a storm…at midnight.

I was using a remote shutter release to try to get a lightning strike from a distant storm. However, I ended up with something far better, in my opinion, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the camera handled this situation.

The clarity and sharpness are a huge improvement over my last camera. I have much wider range of ISO settings available, although I haven’t really encountered a situation yet where I’ve needed to bump it up to, like, a million.

Once I figure out how to make necessary adjustments, the quality is great.

Spring…

So, that breaks down my experiences with the Nikon D7500 to this point. Again, I’m still sifting through all the functions and working on finding opportunities to practice in different scenarios, but you get the picture (haha…see what I did there again?).

Thoughts?

An Observation: Coffee and a New Camera

I’ve seen “Sling Blade” at least 147 times. I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with one statement by Karl Childers.

“Coffee kindly makes me nervous when I drink it.”

Surprised?

You shouldn’t be. After all, in my “About Me” section on this very blog, I have described that I generally tend to take my coffee in the decaf flavor. I had a doctor once tell me that I should cut back on the caffeinated variety to control things like heartburn and…well, nervousness. Mmmhmm.

I LOVE coffee, though. I love the taste, the smell, and the warmth of a good cup o’ joe.

coffee winks GIF
Right back at ya.

So, I save the caffeinated type for things like weekends. You know, when I have time to be nervous and suffer from heartburn.

I’m going to need a BIG cup, though, if I’m going to figure out all the bells, whistles, and doohickeys on my new camera. I’ll also need to stay awake to read the entire manual.

I’m supposed to “read this manual thoroughly before using the camera.” Okay. Sure.

I tried to flip through the manual on a Friday evening when it wouldn’t have been a good idea to have a cup of coffee. Why? Because…sleep. Caffeinated coffee is generally a morning delicacy for obvious reasons. So, I spent a Friday evening lethargically pressing buttons and leafing through the instructions only to give up and decide that the task was better suited for a Saturday morning fueled by my good friends at Folgers…and Green Mountain…and Starbucks.

Even with their help, though, I think I’ll be better qualified to fly a mission to Mars than ever figuring out all of the buttons on the camera. I’m beginning to think that some of them are just there to create the illusion of superiority to other models.

Perhaps it’s premature to feel that way about it, seeing as how I had ten years with my previous camera in which to learn about all of its functions.

Of course, it could also be a sign that it’s time for me to learn how to paint. I’ve heard things about some guy who teaches by video…

bob ross inspiration GIF


An Observation: Air Mail

I recently placed an order for a couple of new lens hoods to fit my relatively new camera lens. I am happy to report that they arrived in a timely manner, packed neatly into a lightweight box.

I open up a box I’m expecting to receive, knowing exactly what is supposed to be in it, and I find exactly what I should find.

So, you’re probably asking yourself one question.

What’s the story here?

(I’m only assuming you’re asking that question. You might just be skimming through this blog post as a way to pass the time. You might not be paying much attention at all, which means I could type anything and you wouldn’t really read it. I could go on a poor spelling spree and you wouldn’t even notice. I would notice, though, so I won’t do it. Moving on…)

Here’s the story.

One of my favorite parts of ordering online is the anticipation of receiving a very useful by-product (of sorts) of shipping.

To put it simply, half the fun is opening up the box to pop the bubble wrap.

I was highly satisfied with my lens hoods, but slightly disappointed in the packing material:

Awesome lens hoods...but not quite bubble wrap. I just discovered that these are called "air pillows." Guess you do learn something new every day.
Awesome lens hoods…but not quite bubble wrap. I just discovered that these are called “air pillows.” This brand is aptly named “Sealed Air.” Guess you do learn something new every day.

I believe that the greatest packing material ever invented is bubble wrap. Bubble wrap does its intended job very well, but it also has a remarkable capacity to act as a stress-relieving agent.

You ever notice that if you spend a lot of money on a gift for a kid, they usually end up ignoring the big-ticket item and spend a few hours playing with the box? That’s kind of how I feel about bubble wrap. I haven’t actually tried popping the air pillows, but I just don’t think it’s going to be as much fun. Besides, there were only something like seven air pillows in the box. Bubble wrap is packaged in increments of gazillions.

Say, do you think the bubble wrap manufacturers ship bubble wrap wrapped in…bubble wrap? Is that another “divided-by-zero” paradox that could destroy the universe?

Maybe it’s just time for me to go use the lens hoods.