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Old 02-21-2008, 09:59 PM   #24
KevinM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,941
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Hi Mike,

I'm a new guy here too and can sympathize with your situation. I'm pretty critical of everything I do , but even I had to recalibrate on the issue of what constitutes a good photograph. I thought I was doing pretty well until I looked at some of the stuff here....yikes!

While skill and experience are clearly a big part of it, don't underestimate what an equipment upgrade will do for you. Expense is a huge roadblock, but upgrading the hardware as well as the skills should be on the want-to-do list.

I've been shooting digital since 2004 with a Nikon Coolpix 5700...basically, a 5MP sort-of-high-end P&S. While the thing is capable of taking some beautiful pictures, it also has some severe limitations in terms of autofocus response and accuracy, shooting speed, power-up time etc. I can't tell you how many decent picture opportunities I've blown because of the limitations of that camera. And, much of what I do have from the 5700 might be fine for my personal enjoyment, but it doesn't have a prayer of getting in here because its too "soft".

A couple of months back, I bought a Nikon D40x....low-end DSLR. It set me back a bundle with a couple lenses. Let me tell ya..... WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Now, I'm looking at the real target....not some video image. Now, I can shoot 3 fps and never lose sight of the target. The focus is nearly always tack sharp....and I get instant results on large LCD. So far, I've submitted 8 pictures to RP...and all got in on the first go. No post-processing other than a crop. Two of mine are in the top 15 most popular over the last 48 hrs. The only thing I'm crying about now is that most steam railroads don't start running 'til May (my "focus" is on steam).

Look around the discount houses for some deals....or look used. There are some decent deals out there on older tech DSLRs....but they would probably make a heck of a difference for you too.

Good Luck!!

Kevin
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