My new D90!

February 6, 2009

For the longest time, I’ve used a crappy Samsung NV10 as my digital camera.  It’s a simple little point and shoot camera that annoys me at every turn.  The only thing good about it is it’s soft, touch-button interface on the back.  It is an extremely easy system to learn how to use and makes certain settings changes easier than similar cameras.  

Unfortunately, the camera sucks in every other regard, including taking pictures!  Now, I know that any photographer worth his or her salt will tell you that any camera can take great pictures.  It’s the person behind the camera that needs to know how to use it!  Well, this is true.  I don’t know everything about cameras.  But I do know when a camera sucks.  And this one sucks.  A point-and-shoot camera should really be good at one thing: snapshots.  People buy point-and-shoot cameras for that reason.  They want a camera that they can just turn on and take quick snapshots and get decent results.  Well, the Samsung fails at this.  In anything other than a high-noon, bright-as-hell setting, the camera falls apart.  The flash wants to pop up for every single shot.  The “hand shake reduction” feature is horrible, usually resulting in photos that are even MORE shaky looking.  It’s just a poorly implemented camera.  In order to get even a mildly decent photo, you have to mess with 10 different settings to set the camera up.  Now, on a pro-level SLR camera, that’s fine.  Those types of cameras are meant to have every setting changed.  But a point-and-shoot requiring that level of commitment just to get a workable shot?  No no no.  Taking the Samsung to Vegas and seeing the resulting pictures sealed the fate of that particular camera in my mind’s eye.  

But what to replace it with?  I wanted something that could take good pictures on the auto setting.  I wanted something that would offer me great creative control when I wanted it, but also be smart enough to take great pictures when I just want a quickie snapshot.  It would have to have certain features like auto-exposure bracketing, white balance bracketing, nice menu system, etc.  It would have to take good pictures, even in low light situations.  

My best friend did a ton of research for his own new camera and settled on the Nikon D90 digital SLR.  After seeing his camera and seeing the shots he took with it, I was sold.  He sent some pictures to me at 1600 ISO and I couldn’t believe my eyes!  The pictures were not only usable, but they were actually almost completely noise free!  Anyone who plays with digital SLRs knows that the higher the ISO, the higher the noise in the final picture, just like film.  Higher ISO films have larger grains and so produce grainier images than lower ISO films.  But the D90 took great, nearly noise-free images.  

So I was on a mission to procure my own D90.  I went online and shopped around.  I found amazingly low prices from several retailers.  Obviously, buying an expensive piece of electronics like the D90 would require some research.  I looked in to each of those companies that were selling the D90 for such low prices and, sure enough, the company in question would usually have horrible user ratings.  The companies were usually very shady, trying to upsell products, resorting to bait-and-switch tactics, and even committing credit card fraud.  Then I found Abe’s Of Maine.  I had heard of Abe’s Of Maine for years.  I knew that they weren’t just some shoddy fly-by-night operation.  They had decent prices, barely beating Amazon.  So I ordered the camera body, a lens, and a UV filter from them.  The next day, I received an email from Abe’s saying that I needed to contact them to verify my information.  That’s fine, I thought.  On a whim, I checked user reviews of Abe’s online and it seemed that Abe’s also tried some upselling tactics.  So I called Abe’s.  And I called Abe’s.  And I called Abe’s again.  Their customer service is horrible.  I’m going to say that right now.  It’s bad.  Each order is assigned to one “sales associate”.  Your order can ONLY be handled by YOUR sales associate.  If your sales associate isn’t available and you try to call the regular customer service line, they won’t deal with you.  The instant you mention your sales associate’s name, the regular customer service person will transfer you to that person’s voice mail before you can even object.  If you do manage to get a word or two out about your order to these chuckleheads, they won’t help you at all.  They just want to transfer you immediately.

So finally I got through to my sales associate at Abe’s, and I’m waiting for the upsell.  It came, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting.  He just tried to get me to buy a slightly higher priced UV filter, which would have added only $5 to my nearly $1100 order.  Not bad at all.  I still said no, and the sales associate I was dealing with didn’t press any harder.  He double checked my info and said that it would be processed and sent out.

About two days later, I got an email stating that my order had been canceled and my money was being refunded.  That’s it.  No explanation about why it was canceled.  They simply stated that the order was canceled and I’d get a refund.  Needless to say, I was a little ticked off.  I called my sales associate.  He wanted nothing to do with me.  His little part in this order was finished.  He immediately transfered me over to billing.  I got someone on the line finally and they told me that my order was canceled because my shipping address was different than my billing address and my shipping address wasn’t on record with my bank.  While I recognize that this little problem was my fault, I was still flabbergasted that Abe’s just threw away an $1100 order because of a clerical mishap.  I mean, couldn’t they have just called and told me that the address was a problem and I’d need to add my shipping address to my bank’s records?  That’s all they had to do to make $1100.  That’s it!  A simple phone call.  But instead, they chose to just up and cancel it without any notification that there was a problem.  I wish I ran a business that did so well for itself that I could just throw away money!

Anyway, after this Abe’s debacle, I just paid a bit more and ordered from Amazon.  I knew they were trustworthy.  And it came in today’s mail!

It’s an awesome camera.  I got the D90 body, the Nikon 18-200mm lens, a UV filter, and the remote trigger.  I’ve only taken a few quick shots with it just to test it out and play with it a bit.  So far, I’m loving what I see.  Gotta try movie mode…

I wish I could play with it more right now, but it’s late and I’m tired, so it’ll have to wait until later.  If you’re interested in your own D90, I suggest you check out dpreview.com for digital camera and lens reviews.  It’s a great site with a TON of articles on cameras.  They thoroughly test each camera and write extensive reviews with sample shots.  It’s worth a visit.


One comment

  1. I just did a % off search on amazon via http://www.discount-hunt.com and they still have some nice offers on some bodies and lenses.

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