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Testing out a new camera…

February 28, 2016, 2:44 PM

So I finally got a new camera, with its arriving at the beginning of this month.  I got a Nikon D5300, and got a zoom lens along with it, as well as a new camera bag (i.e. I’m not going to use Big Mavica‘s old bag anymore).  I didn’t test a D5300 when I tested a whole bunch of cameras with Elyse, because it wasn’t available.  But I tested a number of different models around it.  While this one did everything that most SLRs do, this one also had a fliparound screen like the D5500 that I tested, but being an earlier model, didn’t have the price tag of the D5500.  It also had built-in GPS, which I find extremely useful, and that none of the cameras that I tested earlier had.

In case you weren’t aware, I contribute quite a bit to Panoramio.  You know how you see photos in Google Earth and Google Maps?  Panoramio is how a lot of those photos make their way in there.  You upload photos, and then you tag the location on a map.  The problem comes when I’m shooting a lot of photos in an area that I may not be very familiar with.  I’m talking about things like my trip to Richmond in 2013, various trips to Chicago, High Rock, and the like.  In those cases, the way I would typically shoot photos would be to take whatever photos with my real camera, and then grab my cell phone and take a quick reference shot.  The reason for this was that the phone had GPS, but my real camera didn’t.  That worked well enough, but it created extra work both onsite and in post-production.  Onsite, I had to take an extra photo with a different camera, and ensure that GPS had gotten a lock on the position.  Then in post-production, I had to coordinate the two photos, reading the tag on one photo in order to manually place the photo that’s actually getting published in the right spot.  If it sounds like a pain, it’s because it is.  Now that my real camera has GPS on it as well, everything has a location tag on it, which makes my life that much easier.

Also, since it’s come up before, a point of clarification: just because the camera has onboard GPS does not mean that the camera will give you directions.  GPS is a network of satellites operated by the United States government that provides location and time information to users with a GPS receiver.  It is not inherently a navigation system, though the way most people talk about it, you would think that it was.  Just thought I’d put that out there.

In any case, I’ve gotten to do a little bit of shooting with the new camera, trying a few things out, but haven’t really gotten to take it out for a formal shoot yet.  Every time I’ve had a good opportunity to go out somewhere, the weather has not cooperated, unfortunately.  It’s either been too cold, or raining.

The first testing that I did was on February 4, just photographing around the house:

First photo I ever took with my D5300, showing rust on the balcony railing.
First photo I ever took with my D5300, showing rust on the balcony railing.

Stove burner.
Stove burner.

Very dated looking "Ventrola" fan in my kitchen. Pretty sure that this fan is original to the building's 1970s-era construction.
Very dated looking “Ventrola” fan in my kitchen.  Pretty sure that this fan is original to the building’s 1970s-era construction.

That empty Wheelock 7002T horn that I have in my living room.
That empty Wheelock 7002T horn that I have in my living room.

Light switch.
Light switch.

Kitchen faucet. And yes, high resolution photos reveal exactly how much cleaning has to be done.
Kitchen faucet.  And yes, high resolution photos reveal exactly how much cleaning has to be done.

I don’t think that those looked particularly inspired, or even necessarily composed well, but at least I was getting a feel for the camera and how it functioned.

Then on the 11th, I took it for a spin outside of the house, when Elyse and I went on a train and transit adventure.  On this adventure, we took the Amtrak Northeast Regional from Union Station to Baltimore Penn Station, took the Light Rail from Penn Station over to BWI, and then took the B30 bus back down to the DC area.  I got some train and transit photos:

Our train, about to depart Penn Station.
Our train, about to depart Penn Station.

Icicles on a platform column.
Icicles on a platform column.

Elyse poses with MARC locomotive 25.
Elyse poses with MARC locomotive 25.

An Acela Express train services the station on its way to DC.
An Acela Express train services the station on its way to DC.

Cromwell-bound LRV at Convention Center station.
Cromwell-bound LRV at Convention Center station.

Elyse's mouth.
Elyse’s mouth.

A discarded Chipotle cup filled with a frozen beverage.
A discarded Chipotle cup filled with a frozen beverage.

And then I did a little bit of testing with a remote control app for the phone on the 17th:

I guess it's fitting that I used the phone's remote control app to take a photo of... a remote control.
I guess it’s fitting that I used the phone’s remote control app to take a photo of… a remote control.

Meanwhile, I’m taking the camera out for on Thursday a ride on the new DC Streetcar (yes, I’m as amazed as you are that they actually opened it), as well as photographing whatever else Elyse and I happen to see, so hopefully you’ll get to see some more stuff out of this camera soon.