Digital SLR covetousness

A little gadget lust is part of my normal equilibrium, so it’s not too surprising that, 18 months after buying my current digital camera — a 3.34-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 995 — I’m starting to think about upgrading to a new camera. Not that I can afford a new camera — especially not a digital SLR — but it costs nothing to think about it.

Paul insists that there is nothing wrong with the photographs I produce with the 995. Certainly even 3 megapixels is more than adequate for newspaper resolution. But it’s not so much the quality of the photographs as the ease of taking them. Getting the right light balance, ISO, etc., is possible, but fiddly, and shutter lag times and write speeds are getting in the way of taking good photos. Sports photography — and that’s part of my beat — is really hard to get right. Lots of botched photos. I get impatient and frustrated.

So naturally I start thinking about digital SLRs. The Nikon D100 (Amazon) is popular in my shop, but at C$2,100 — sans lens, of course — it’s a little too pricey. Which is why I’ve been giving the Canon Digital Rebel (review; Amazon) a close look. At about C$1,500 — with lens — it’s not a bad deal, though it’s hard to tell, given my ignorance of SLR photography, whether the stripped-down feature set would be a hindrance.

Of course, I really like Nikons. And we’re a Nikon shop. And Nikon was bound to respond to Canon’s aggressive lowering of the digital SLR entry price point …

So yesterday, Nikon pre-announced the D70. Not much information about it at this point, except maybe that it’ll be US$999 — same as the Canon — but without the lens. (Digital Photography Review, PhotographyBlog)

This’ll be worth keeping track of. Maybe by the time the D70 is released I might be able to afford it. (I don’t need both kidneys, do I?)