After years of saving up money, going to flea markets to find people who’d buy all my clothes that don’t fit anymore and selling all my electronic devices (including my “old” camera that went through literally “everything” with me) it was just about time for me to get a new camera. Finally!
I have to admit though, that buying a new digital camera can be harder than choosing a new home to live in. Actually, it can even be more difficult than picking between different kinds of chocolate or even flavors of Chai. There are so many brands and so many styles with different features. So I spent days researching cameras, looking at dozens of DSLR brands and models. I schooled myself on the various options, and of course, terminology and functions. I spoke with friends and photo buffs (Connor!). I read articles, and searched out special web sites in both German and English, dedicated to comparing digital cameras and the most detailed of information, like how well it might work after being dropped from a speeding car into a vat of Jell-O when the temperature is below 50 degrees, ok , well, in my case it would be dropped off a cliff or a boat. Since I have the tendency to break or lose things easily I thought that looking at that kind of information might be useful.
With the help of some friends who have a lot more experience in this field I compiled a list of a handful cameras that I felt were the most impressive and did not stress my budget, and then, taking everything I had learned and all of my notes, I sat down last night and picked the two I thought were the best.
So, today I had a both a frustrating and productive time trying to decide which camera to buy. The sales assistant, Mister Sahin, turned out to be very patient and probably even enjoyed my indecisiveness during the process of testing out how strong my feelings are towards each camera – and finding the best price. He actually had a lot of ahonui. Hawaiians would have been proud of him. I mean, yes, it is his job to satisfy customers, yet I still think it is quite an accomplishment to help me decide something, as I really need a lot of time for those kind of “small” decisions. Not to mention that our quest to find the right camera for me was constantly interrupted by the alarm on one of the cameras. The securing chord was damaged, so it started beeping every time somebody tried to pick it up to look at it or even just slightly touched it. Frustrated, yet amused about the constant alarm, Mister Sahin had to deactivate the alarm of the device before continuing with anything else.
Since it took me quite a while to decide, we ended up having amusing conversations about electronics, my trip to Hong Kong and diving ( I had a minor-happy-heart attack when I saw his cellphone wallpaper: a diver riding a bike underwater – Ilke Abla, we will definitely try this on our next dive together!). I always get happy when I meet people who enjoy being underwater just as much as I do. Mr. Sahin was not only very friendly, but also generous.
Before I could grab my camera, and the case I wanted to buy, he squished an old style underwater film camera under my arm. He had a huge smile on his face, blinked with one eye and then said “That one is for free.” I was more than just surprised and kept staring at him with raised eyebrows thinking this was a joke, until another sales assistant, (his name was Mark as I found out later), came, asked me for my name and then triumphantly said: “Yes, Arzu, it’s yours”
Little side note: In Turkey receiving gifts or free little gifts from store owners after buying something “big” is not unusual, but I surely have never had that experience in Germany, so my astonishment did not go away for a while.
Mark started to laugh after seeing how confused I was. “It’s the last one left… nobody buys it and it is out of date, so we decided to give it away…! It’s your lucky day” Happy like a little child that just received a huge lollipop, I said “thank you” probably a hundred times, went to the cashier and spent the rest of the evening trying out my newly acquired camera.
At home I realized that the film camera is waterproof up to 15 meters, which means I can use it while doing the “Discover Scuba” dives with the tourists at my dive center!
So here it is, my new “baby” that will help me capture wonderful moments in Hong Kong: Nikon D3200. It is a rather small DSLR camera, although it does come with a chunky right-hand which was a real clinching factor for me since it feels like an extension of my hand and is very safe and secure when in use (I have a tendency to break things easily).
It is an entry-level digital SLR camera boasting 24.2 megapixel and ISO range of 100-12800. Another thing that makes me incredibly happy is that it feautres a 1080p Full HD “D-movie” mode. At the highest resolution setting, the camera can record movies at cine standard 24fps, while at 1280×720 pixels you can choose from 24, 25 or 30 frames per second. Together with the camera body I also acquired two objectives/lenses: a standard AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55 mm and a AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor 55-200 mm for greater distances. Everybody who has traveled with me, knows how much my camera (in this case the one I previously owned) means to me, and that I will hopefully break my record of 20,000 photos in one year. Yes, those 20,000 were the selected best! I had taken quite a few more, but sorted out the 20,000 I liked the most. This is not a joke. Ask my American friends. I am pretty excited!
Hong Kong, be ready for some good shots!! Stay tuned everyone, photos will follow soon.