New (to me) Camera [New Hotness]

I’ve been thinking about picking up a DSLR for a while now. I’ve been kinda on the fence about it. I much prefer the portability of a prosumer digital camera, and figured my next upgrade would probably steer me towards a used Canon G-series or possibly a Micro Four-Thirds to keep the portability factor. I like the idea of being able to switch lenses out to fit the needs of the situation. The zoom on my LX3 is laughable, again pointing in the direction of a M4/3’s camera. But my budget has been small and other than first gen Panasonic’s these types of cameras were out of reach. Even further out of reach were the lenses, which are astronomical and haven’t shown up much on the used market yet.

That leads me to the traditional DSLR market. I’ve had my eyes on a D90 for a while, and I’ve seen the used prices on these go down further and further. You can find them regularly in the 500-600 range for used or refurbs. But that’s still without a lens, so tack on a prime and a zoom and I’m close to the thousand dollar range. No thanks.

So the past few weeks I’ve been keeping an eye out for the predecessor of the D90, the D80. I don’t need the latest and greatest camera out there, and I’m just getting into photography and I’m not even sure this is what I even want to lug around taking pictures of food and beer everywhere. So I decided $300 was going to be my budget for the whole thing: camera, lens, etc. Plenty of D80s were available for body only at $250 but that wasn’t leaving much for lenses. I finally found one last week that was going for $300 plus two lenses, a Speedlight and a flash frame. The lenses weren’t anything to write about but overall it was a pretty good deal, but it was in Rochester. I decided that I was going to wait and if it was still around for my next paycheck, I’d grab it.

It was sold two days later. So I forgot about it for a while, and this morning decided to do a quick search to see if the market had changed. It was posted at 5:30 this morning: a D80 with the DX 18-135mm kit lens for $300 located right here in Colonie. PERFECT. I wasn’t going to be so foolish this time and let this one slip out of my hands. I sent an email at 6:30AM, called at 9AM, and arranged to meet him at 10. Awesome.

He takes the camera out of the bag and the first thing I notice is that it has the MB-D80 battery grip on there. Something I planned for a later upgrade, definitely not something thrown in. Between that and the extra battery (since the grip takes two batteries) you’re looking at over $200 in accessories. That plus the dual battery charger and a D80 field guide, there was no point in haggling. This was an absolute STEAL.

I plan on taking this to TAP NY next weekend and seeing how well drinking and DSLRs mix. Hopefully this is a great start to my next step into photography but if it not I can always resell it at a profit!

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