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Everything Old is New Again...

Due to events that would take far too long to explain here, I now find myself working with a camera that I have not used for more than half a decade. Granted, it will largely be used only as a back-up at this point, but the question of why anyone would 'go back' to using such "antiquated" technology as a 10-year old (at the time of this writing) digital camera that is only 12.3 megapixels and has a max ISO of 3200 has an interesting series of answers. Let me cite the method to my madness.

The camera in question is a Nikon D-90 with a vertical grip. At the time it was released it was considered a top-shelf pro-sumer model, and it was the definitive purchase that pushed me from film into digital. At 12.3MP, it was quite the heavy hitter for it's time, considering it was not all that many iterations down the line from the days of the "5MP cieling", where even high end DSLRs were still climbing out of the 3.2 range. To show you just how far things have come, here is a photo of the camera itself - taken with an iPhone 6SE, which also has a 12MP camera resolution

12.3MP Nikon photographed with a 12MP smart-phone


So why go "back in time" to an admittedly limited, and arguably outdated camera, when there are so many upgraded rungs on Nikon's ladder - not to mention the notable exodus to mirrorless cameras?

Waste Not, Want Not
I had traveled all over the country on work assignments with the D90. This means that I have an almost instinctive feel for it, aside from the sentimental element. Some would claim that it has been used extensively, and is probably nearing the end of its workable lifespan. But I tend to "baby" my equipment (I still have all of the boxes, paperwork, manuals, and hot-shoe covers) so this one has been worked, but never "rode hard and put away wet." And it still hammers out the photos flawlessly. So why overlook something that still does what it is designed to do? And since I will largely only use it as a "just in case" unit, at this point, it is not like the fate of the planet is hanging in the balance.

Good For What it Does
Most of what I will use this camera for will be web-related, so let's be honest: 12.3MP still provides fine images even for large monitors, and some prints. I always try to compose the shot in-camera, which is a habit that comes from my 35mm film days; So I don't normally do much cropping in post, anyway. Here is a shot that I took with the D90, back when I was doing more wedding photography. How does it look on your screen? 

12MP still works for the web. And I made an 8x10 print of this that looked great.

Need Light? Make Light
The D90 has a very low ISO by 2018 standards. (3200) Most newer models are exponentially better in low light. But since most of the lighting I shoot with is stuff that I create using flash or bright practicals, I dont foresee it being any more of a problem now, than it was the last time I used it.

 ...I am not talking about going out and buying a ten year old camera. I am talking about using one that I already own, and that still has enough life left in it for my intended purposes to make it worthwhile.

In Short
To sum up my theories: Yes, there are better, newer, faster cameras out there that will set me back some pennies, but are technologically more advanced. But something new comes along every five minutes. Get it when, and if, it is needed - not just because it is 'new.' Realistically, I am not talking about going out and buying a ten year old camera. I am talking about using one that I already own, and that still has enough life left in it for my intended purposes to make it worthwhile. Why chuck it, if it still works, and provides what it needs to, within it's parameters?  Realistically, there are photographers out there who can use a web-conference camera to take masterpieces, and there are those who mortgage their homes for equipment that over-reaches their ability by miles. I am happy that this thing still produces good, usable photos for online display like this, so I will use it until I decide if I do want to put some coin into one of the big dawgs, or even go mirrorless.  

Waste not, want not..   



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