Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fretting over the rumored Nikon D9300/D400? Read this

Dear Amateur Nikon,

I decided to write you this message after I read the article over at about the upcoming D9300 (the long-awaited D400 - D300s replacement). No, actually, I decided to write this message after I read the user comments regarding this upcoming Nikon model. I'm sure you must've read the article yourself, and perhaps the comments too, so you know what I'm referring to.

Well, I'm not very good with words, but I feel I have to express myself somehow. I am a student of environmental engineering, working part-time as a waiter. I don't have much money. In fact, I barely make ends meet every month. But I love photography. I have a Nikon D40 and the 18-55 that came with it - both bought used about two years ago. I've been dreaming about new camera and a new lens - not even sure why, I guess because I was "supposed to". But I just can't afford anything right now, not for the next couple of years at the very least. In fact, many times I came close to selling what I have - the only thing that stopped me was that the little money I would get off that would disappear instantly - and I'd be without a camera.

Well, anyway, I was talking about the comments... People fighting over the rumored camera name. People fighting over its video specs..The immaturity of the comments shocked me. "Either it's 4k video or goodbye Nikon"...."Too little too late, I'm sticking with my D800 and my D4"..I just couldn't believe my eyes, these were people who had equipment worth $10.000 (and more, considering what kinds of lenses they surely own) and they were fighting like kids at the kindergarten over whose toy truck is better-looking. These must be grown men and women, with important jobs, and families.

I feel so much better, I must tell you. Reading those comments made me realize how lucky I am not to be able to even think about a new camera. This way I can focus on my technique. Sure, a 35mm f/1.8 would be great - and maybe I can get it at some point - but I can get great photos as it is, I don't need anything else right now. I'm 21 years old, but I've seen enough life to know what's worth worrying about and what's not. Worrying over a camera's 4k video is NOT one of my priorities.

Anyway, sorry about the long comment and my English - my native language is Russian. You don't have to publish my comment, it'd be enough if you read it. And keep up the good work. I like your no-nonsense approach to photography.


(Edited for length and language)

Dear Maxim,
I did something better than simply publishing your comment: I turned it into today's article. It made a heck of a lot of sense to me, and I'm sure plenty of people can relate to your story. Thank you for your kind words, and keep taking photos that you enjoy - it's not about the camera or the lens, it's about the person behind them.

Here's a photo taken with my 18-55 and a $5 slave flash. You really don't need much money to get great photos. You need vision.


  1. AWESOME! I have a 5100, and am tempted to get a second camera. I always fear shooting an event and my ONE camera breaks down, so I really do need a second. Funny thing is, I shot an event recently and compared my photos to those of the "pros". I might be biased, but I think my pics came out pretty darn good compared to those take by others, with much more expensive cameras! Even one of the guys who knows my work asked me how I do it. Composition. Vision. Better lens, maybe with a good filter (outdoor shots, used a polarizing filter). Anyone can point and shoot, with a phone or a mega expensive full frame camera. Expensive camera gear does not create great images. Great photographers do that with their skill, no matter the gear and/or conditions. :)

  2. I agree. In the end it is the person behind the camera that can take equipment that is not that great and make it work. It is the process of forcing it to work that one hones the right skills instead of relying on technology.

    But still there are some useful functions in the higher end models that people who are well verse in photography would appreciate, key things usually are the ability to access certain functions quickly without resorting to button pressing and having a camera body with the focusing motor instead of being limited to a range of cameras that has those built-in.

    In the end, it is always the photographer who has to decide what kind of photographer he/she wants to be - the one that has the technical skills that when given any camera the images will still deliver OR one that has to rely on technology to cover up the lack of some skills that ought to be learnt in the first place.

    Go back to what imaging is all about - the story, not the equipment.

  3. Anonymous5/08/2014

    I have looked at the articles on the Nikon D9300, it states likely to come, no clue what it will be. I also do not understand why people discuss this, a new model is maybe exiting news, but certainly not leading to any insight.

  4. Anonymous5/15/2014


    Don't get discouraged over your inability at this time to get high-end gear. I was very happy with my Nikon D3100. Great image quality. I have a D7100 now and not going full frame. I don't need it. A friend in the Philippines, also an environmental engineer, got into photography only in late 2010, with a Nikon D90, and he started photographing models in TF shoots. He has been published many times in the Philippines. He is landing big gigs. He is still using the same D90 he began with almost four years ago. Here in the states it's almost like you have to shoot a $35,000 medium-format digital if you want to make it into a magazine. In poor countries, you make it into magazines with a D90, because in those countries it's about the photography, not about the gear. Be well.

    1. Very inspirational, thanks for sharing. These are the kind of things you don't see too often in the spoiled West. I remember having read somewhere a story about an African journalist who was photographing all kinds of war-tormented areas and communities, creating important pieces of photojournalism, all with a D40. In the end, someone (from the West) donated him a D300 - I think - and a couple of lenses. That African photographer/journalist felt overwhelmed by the gesture, he was truly moved. Let's never forget, that the price of a camera in the West is equivalent to couple of nights out at a nice restaurant; in many places of the world, it is the equivalent of 3-years' wages...