The Start of the 'enthusiasm'....
When I first got the photography bug as a 16 year old I bought myself a Canon 1000FN film SLR camera. Later in life I wanted to try digital and was amazed at the flexibility and picture quality of the tiny 3 Mega Pixel Olympus Mju (pronounced 'Mew').
Just a great camera!
The photography bug had truly bitten again and so when my wife's relative popped around with the latest Nikon D70 Digital Camera - and I was lucky enough to have a play - I think he managed to record a straight Nikon camera sale there and then!
I used the D70 as my primary camera from 2004 until 2006 and I was very pleased with it. I always take care of my kit but it was certainly robust enough to be out and about with me in the landscape in all weathers. It got rained on many a time without complaint and the only issues I had with it were relatively minor.
As my photography experience grew I became aware that having no remote shutter release fitting was a bit of a let down. I did trial puchase a couple of after market brackets to try and allow the use of a traditional Remote cable release, but to be honest they were awful and soon went back! I used the self timer function to get around this.
With regards to long exposures I also noticed the lack of "Mirror Lock up" function but to be honest a camera aimed at the amateur was not really entitled to have this anyway!
I started to feel with the introduction of new shiny cameras that the small LCD screen was a bit too small to really get a feel for the image, but nothing I could really get uptight about.
I have to say the fact that the issues list is so small is a positive in itself! I guess what really put this camera up there for me was when I got my first professionally printed image at a whopping 30" x 20" back from the lab. The detail was stunning for a 6 Megapixel camera and goes to show the MP count is not the only thing that provides a good end result. To get high quality enlargements of this size you need to have very good technique (for example no camera vibration and good control of focus, depth of field and exposure) together with a high quality image sensor design. Obviously the higher the pixel count on a DSLR or Medium Format Digital camera/back the better....however, good results can be obtained using relatively modest pixel counts. I have to say that BDPhotec did a fantastic job of the print too!
The D70 is a well made piece of kit, which, when I bought it, cost me £1000 - but I have to say in those 2-3 years of primary use it was a cracking camera and I have never regretted paying out for it. This is the camera which started my serious enthusiasm for photography and if you speak to the wife you could possibly replace "enthusiasm" for "obsession"...