“Okay Joan, try to look smart.”

I believe my looking smart will not be happening for a while… well, at least until I’ve really bonded with my new best friend.


I can hear you, you’re asking, “Why, why on earth is her new best friend a user’s manual for the Nikon D300?  Hasn’t she been shooting a D50 for about four years?”  Yes, yes my friends, I have been shooting with a D50 for about that long.  But things are starting to change around here since the arrival of my new toy — one I hope will grow to like me with time.


That’s right, I’ve just got myself a Big Girl Camera.  I’m super excited… I’ve been wanting to upgrade for quite some time but I’ve been patient, waiting for the right opportunity to come along.  I’ve done my research on it (I always do a ton of research on things that I am interested in… it runs in my blood.  Hi mom!)


The only problem is, she’s got buttons where my Little Girl Camera does not and I’m finding Miss D300 and I do not speak the same language.  I thought a Nikon would be a Nikon would be a Nikon… apparently I wasn’t as “Big Girl” as I thought I was.  I’ve even been shooting in manual lately!


Along with the camera came this absolutely gi-gungo lens.  It is completely made of metal, is fairly old, but I hear it takes great photos and they’re tack sharp.  I’m excited to try it out.

So where did I find my new beauty?  She was a back-up camera for a professional equine photographer out of San Diego.  I’ve been checking on the forums at the Equine Photographer’s Network for a used D300 but no one wants to sell them and they’re selling the D200’s and the D2’s.  Finally I found the D300, hardly ever used and been sitting on the shelf.  Her previous owner has a D700 and shoots FX or “Full Frame” compared to this one which is DX.  DX is what I have for lenses and since I wouldn’t be able to talk Hubby into replacing all my lenses to FX, I decided the D300 was the camera for me. 

Do you think that per-chance some of Melanie Snowhite’s talent will rub off of her camera and on to me?  I mean, we are like family now right?  To check out her amazing photography, visit her website at www.melaniesnowhite.com.  Meanwhile, I’ll be getting to know my new best friend.

About mudranch

I live in the country, I love to take photos, I'm a shepherdess, I adore my husband and daughter, I walk in the will of Christ.

Posted on November 5, 2009, in Me, New Arrival, News, Photography. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. Nice. Congratulations. I love the look of your website. Where did you get your theme. I’m a photo enthusiast myself and I’m not liking the themes that WordPress has.

    • Hi Joe – thank you for stopping by and checking in! My theme is called “Black – Letterhead” and is a regular theme from WordPress.com. I have had a hard time finding a theme I like and finally settled on this, though I wish my photos could be a tad bigger. Right now they’re sized at 5oo px wide.

  2. Wishing you luck with your new plastic-metallic companion. There will be a feeling out phase, just like dating, and then you will find yourself head-over-heals in love. You will feel incomplete when Nikki is away from you. Look forward to seeing some pictures! 🙂

  3. I’ve toyed with this one before. VERY cool! 🙂


  4. looks like a nice new toy

  5. Congratulations! I spent a fortune to buy one. Looking forward to your new photos!

  6. Oh, I am a D50 girl and want to up grade, but I am so in love with my camera and so comfortable with it, I am scared to. I will be checking back to see how you get a long with D300.

    • The D50 is such a good camera, I know it’s been kind of discounted because of the lower mega pixels and various other things but really, I’ve seen some awesome work come from them. Just do a search on Flickr and you’ll find some great photographs! And sometimes, it’s good to break out if you’re comfortable… makes you learn more. 😉 Good luck!

  7. D5000 manual = bathroom reading for the past 2 weeks. i’m the bathroom at least once a day too.

  8. I feel your pain, I have both the big girl camera and the small digital, I use both, often comparing, I think the secret is, it’s in the hands of the photographer, I still take equally good pics with the cheaper digital – it makes no difference

    • It definitely has to do w/ the glass and who’s behind the camera but I will say that you can’t discount the sharpness of the higher quality and the more control w/ exposure etc. I’m going to have a lot of fun on my new trail, regardless. 🙂

  9. I feel your pain! I have the big girls D700 and the little girl D80. I’m still afraid of the D700 and have never read the manual cover to cover. You will love your new friend and she will love you in due time.

    Hang in there you do nice work.

    • Thank you! I guess the best thing about upgrading is that I’m “supposed” to sell my Little Girl to a local guy, so I’ll be forced to use the Big Girl… I’m so pleased with all the more control anyway, I can’t see myself going back to the D50 anyway. But I will say that Little Girl has served me very well for many years!

  10. You are going to love the possibilities the D300 offers you! My wife and I both have one and we enjoy them immensely. We use a D40 for back up (another great Nikon). We also use the extra battery holder option- makes the D300 really look like a hog…. good luck.

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement! I’m looking forward to really using it. I am also eyeing that extra battery holder as well… I think it bumps this thing up to 8 fps then too!

  11. Oh, I’m officially green here. Although…learning new tricks is becoming harder and harder the older I grow!

    • Aww, now Tracey, you could totally pick up this D300 and start shooting. It took me looking through the manual for specific things but I think I could safely take photos with it right now and do pretty well… it’s only the first day too! 😀 You’re never too old to learn new tricks!

  12. I am soooooo jealous. Everytime my 5 year old camera annoys me, I dream of such a camera as yours. You’ll get the hang of it!


    • Well, keep a look out for a good used one. I got this one and it is practically new. I think Adorama sells things second hand and I’ve heard lots of good things about them as being trustworthy. Good luck and keep searching!

  13. Nice blog – I like the look of your theme as well. Good luck with the D300 – I’ll be watching to see how things go. I’d like to have one of those myself some day!


    • Thanks for the kind compliments – I definitely like this theme over all the others I’ve tried. It looks best w/ my photos. Keep watching, I’ll be telling more tales of how my new Big Girl camera and I are getting along. 😉

  14. Nice Digital Pictures, im impressed, the quality of photos are impressive, how did you do that? did you take from the same camera?

    • Thanks! I took the photos of the D300 w/ my D50 which had my 50mm 1.8 prime on… Highly recommend that lens! For the price, it can’t be beat!

  15. This can be one of the best price digital camera for Nikon digital cameras that most consumers think is worth to own one.

  16. Awesome. Congratulations. I am interested in finding out how that lens turns out for you.

    • Thanks – me too. I’m looking forward to using it too… gotta get that memory card first. 🙂 I’ll definitely be posting pics soon.


  18. ooh. Congrats! Have fun!

  19. Hi, I’m so jealous. I have always liked photography, but as much i liked it, I have fostered portability (compact camera) over sharpness (reflex), until lately. I did realize that I seldom have pic that gimme back the feelings I have when I lived the situation and shot it. I tried my brother’s new D5000 last summer. And … oh god that’s so worth having weight around your neck to get such beautiful shoot. then I tried a D90. It’s unspeakable. After much research, I made up my mind on nikon, while I’m a canon compact lover since more than 10 years. and I’m still hesitating between D90 and D300. I almost bought it a couple of weeks ago. unfortunately, my Mac had died , and I needed to change it soon. So I’m waiting my boy for being available one day on some shelf, just like your girl did. I’m glad for you. I’m craving to do the same.
    Let us informed about the lens. I would be happy to have live feelings about it.


    • Hi Gaelle – yes there really is no similarities between an SLR and a point and shoot… so different! I had to borrow my parent’s P&S a couple months back at our local fair to get some photos and got sooo frusterated! Good luck w/ your search and when you find the right one, enjoy!

  20. Love this post. I am an avid Nikon follower when it comes to DSLRs. I graduated from a D50 to a D80 – now sold. I now am a proud owner of the D90. Love taking photos and monkeying around with them to make them look perfect – aherrm half the time! I too love your website theme. Enjoy your D300 and may it bring you lovely photos – with Nikon you can never fail.

    • Thank you Mari! I’m sooo looking forward to really shooting w/ it… I’ve had it on “Demo” the last couple days and it’ll let me shoot shoot shoot, but w/out a memory card, nothing stays. 😉 I’m going to the Big City today to pick one up! Tonight, we shoot for real!

      • So happy for you…that’s the spirit – just let your inner creativity and artist’s eye take over. Good for you. Happy shooting! I’m sure the photos will be great.

  21. Hi there!

    Great choice on the D300 and on staying with Nikon. I’m not a soldier in the long standing Nikon VS Canon war but I know where my loyalties lie. I shoot two D70’s myself and I’d love to do as you’ve done and upgrade. Alas, the lack of funds gets in the way.

    Just go out and shoot, and shoot, and shoot, and experiment, then shoot some more. The more you do with this camera with no pressure on your own time the easier it’ll be.

    Also, good call on recommending the 50mm F1.8! I have one of those and LOVE IT.

    • Hi Angel – thanks for stopping in! I totally agree w/ you on Nikon vs. Canon, I’m in the same boat. I hadn’t even considered Canon when I went out shopping initially because I had liked what photographs I saw coming from Nikons. Still love them and their quality – not saying Canon isn’t quality but there is a difference. I know that a lot of portrait photographers prefer Canon… to each their own. Like you, I’ll stick with Nikon.

      I totally understand about money getting in the way of an upgrade, that’s where I was for two or so years. I’ve sold some horses, some cattle and little things from my Etsy shop… The Hubby finally agreed when I found a nice used one. It was definitely time. Good luck on finding your next Nikon! 🙂

  22. Very well written article.
    Congratulations for you new toy!!
    I am an amateur photographer myself. Love the photos on your site.
    Keep up the wood work!

  23. I can’t wait to see the photos from your new friend! It has a very talented photographer behind it 🙂

  24. Hi Joan… congratulations on your new addition 🙂 looking forward to seeing the photo’s..

    My hubby bought me a new Nikon too! It’s just an itty bitty baby one compared to yours its the Coolpix L100.

    In fact I took a picture today, which I posted over on my blog… I was driving along the road and spotted a 4 horned ram jacob, pulled over and snapped him… think he had blue eyes too!

    Have fun with your new camera

    Townie xx

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