A quick post about cameras and flash

I keep mentioning that I’m busy with stuff and I am. That said, I find time to shoot a few photos and even process a few (see recent posts).

In part, that’s because the interest of photography has been reignited. I’m doing a lot of research on cameras and lenses and trying to map out what I really want going forward. I think I’ve nixed getting the Nikon P1000 until it drops in price and I can pick it up for about half its current price. 

I’m looking at three possible cameras and one possible lens upgrade . . .

If a certain store (Costco) carried it, I’d buy the D7500 . . . well, they do carry it but it’s sold as a kit with two cheap lenses I don’t need. That price is $1,450. Based on everything I’ve read — and I’ve read a lot — that’s the camera that would well-suit my current needs.  The camera on its own is $1,200 (direct from Nikon).

But, for four hundred more I can get a D500 . . . arguably the best DX camera out there and a camera well-suited to a lot of my photography (birds, animals, fast action) with a high frame rate and deep buffer. The D7500 has 5x the buffer of my current D7000. The D500 has 22x the buffer of the D7000.

For people who don’t know what I’m talking about (and of those, the few who might actually care), my current camera, the D7000, can shoot at 6 frames-per-second (fps) . . . meaning, if I hold down the button, it can take six high definition photos in one second.

Unfortunately, the D7000 has a small buffer and after about 1.5 seconds, the buffer fills and the frame rate down to 1-fps. So, with my D7000 I can capture a burst of 9 photos. Often, that’s too short to capture a hawk taking flight, for instance. 

Let me clarify by talking about photographing hawks . . . I get the best shots when I anticipate when the hawk is about to fly.  Otherwise — no matter how fast my reflexes — I’ll miss the launch. BUT . . . if I anticipate too much, the hawk’s best poses will occur after I’ve used up the 9-shot burst.

The D7500 can take 50 photos before the buffer fills (roughly 6-7 seconds of holding down the shutter). That’s more than enough to capture the shot I might want.

The D500 can take 200 photos before the buffer fills (and, if you have a fast memory card, maybe a bit more). I can’t imagine where I would need to hold the shutter button down for a half minute but — like with guns — it’s always better having more than you need.

The D500 is also better at tracking — and keeping focus on — subjects. This might not mean anything to many people but it’s basically having more versatility when capturing action shots. Of course, the D500 is $1,700.

But, let’s throw a loop in the monkey wrench  . . . Nikon is selling the D7200 (also a very capable and highly regarded camera) for $700.

The D7200 has a buffer of about 28 photos, nearly 3x my current buffer (or, 4-5 seconds worth of shooting), so still a large improvement over what I currently shoot. The price is certainly attractive and 4-5 seconds would have a hawk be long gone before I fill the buffer. The lower price also eases the concern of buying another thing I’m eyeing . . . the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens ($1,400).

I plan to rent that lens to see if I like it but the research I’ve done already points to “yes”.

As you can see, I’m in quite a pickle . . . a pickle of indecision. My pickle to resolve but perhaps my sharing it helps someone. I’m doubtful that’s the case but it gave me the excuse to share a few of my photos as well as potentially generate sympathy for me.

And now, on to the flash.

No, not the camera flash. Say what?

Yup . . . I’m now talking about writing.

As inconvenient as it is, as my photography bug has reawakened, so has my writing bug. 

I’m itching to write something . . . so much so that when I read THIS post I was compelled to write a short flash piece.

For them not inclined to click on the link, the set-up is this: arranged marriage; daughter not enthused about it; the idea of playing one parent against the other based on long-understood dynamics while still operating within the then well-defined parent/child relationship.  

Also for them not inclined to click on the link, Stefania Gioffrè is an English teacher in Italy and the blog is a mix of personal stories and sharing of stuff related to her teaching (as was the case for the post in question). 

In this particular case, she shared some of her pupil’s modern interpretation of the story; specifically, how the language and interpersonal relationship might be changed by modern attitudes.  

Well, I’m old and I don’t have kids so I had nothing to contribute regarding modern parent/child interactions. 

But, I did have an idea about how I’d have written that particular scene . . .  

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

“Mom, I don’t want to marry that man!”

“It’s advantageous for both you and us to do so.”

“But he’s old and ugly and . . .”

“Enough!”

“But Mom!”

*Sigh* “OK, look . . . {reaches for a vial} once you’re married and the affairs are in order, start mixing this in his food. Small amounts over time. He’ll be dead in a few months and you’ll be set for life.”

“Mom! Seriously?!”

“Sure; you don’t think your dad is my first husband, do you? . . . or my last.”

“Thanks, Mom!! You’re the best!”

{Runs off clutching the vial}

{The husband comes in}

“Did she buy it?”

“Yes, I gave her the vial of sugar water.”

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

Now, I’m fairly proud of that flash. OK, OK, I’m proud of everything I like.

That was written on my Samsung Note 8 as I sat in the car waiting for Melisa. It only took a few minutes and that’s exactly as written (as a comment on the post). I did add quotation marks but I could have left them off. 

So, there are a few things at play here. 

The arranged marriage bit. That’s still happening in modern times. Certain cultures retain the practice of treating females like property (or currency). I think most readers of this blog already know my opinion on such matters. 

The whole unfolding of events . . . 

As I wrote the piece, I almost stopped at the point where the daughter leaves all giddy at the prospect of murdering her future husband. At that point, she’s no longer a sympathetic character, and neither is the mom. That leaves the current and future husbands as semi-odious but possibly sympathetic characters. 

. . . but then — as is oft my habit — I added a twist.

I thought it was clever (but then, I always think what I do is clever) but the result leaves the reader without any sympathetic characters.   

There’s really no need for that deep a dive into the story. It was just a fun, spur-of-the-moment piece.

But, it’s the first fiction I’ve written for a while and although small in stature, it looms large in significance because I’m now going to revisit my novels.

Who knows . . . perhaps I’ll even send them out again. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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