No, this is still "Along the Right of Way," but today I'm going to talk cameras for just a minute. As a regular here, you know that I enjoy photography along with my trains and that many of the subjects of my photos ride the rails. Either the real ones or the ones on my layout. So it stands to reason that a comment or two about a new camera belongs here as it is a big part of my enjoyment of the hobby.
The Nikon D7200 is the newest version of Nikon's DX (small sensor) line. It boasts a 24 megapizel image, a wide range of ISO settings, Wi-Fi for remote photo downloading & sharing, six frames per second picture taking, improved auto focus and HD video. It is an improvement in several different areas over the D7000 which I have had for the past four years. I've come to the conclusion that buying cameras is like buying a computer... you had better be ready to replace it about every 3-4 years due to the technical advances that are made from model to model.
I'm not a big fan of cellphone pictures so for me, a good camera is the best way to get good pictures of both the prototype and your models. With the model photos, they are easy to share with others either by email or through blogs like this. They also serve as a way to check on your modeling. John Allen was a model railroader and a photographer by profession. He often said that he checked his modeling by taking photos of his work, enlarging the images to 8x10 prints and then... examining them with a magnifying glass to look for imperfections! Only when they passed that inspection, did he feel that they were good enough for his layout. I'm not that critical of my own work, but I have seen glaring errors in photos of my models when I thought the models themselves looked pretty good.
A good camera is a great way to capture things on the prototype as well. I have a few pictures that I'll be sharing in the next few days of unusual things that I've seen while out train watching recently. Seeing it is one thing; capturing it and then sharing it with others is quite a different matter.
Finally, there is video... I never really thought that a dSLR would be able to take good video but I learned during a recent trip to Altoona that is simply not the case. I'll gladly compare video shot with my D7000 with any video shot with any other consumer-targeted video cameras. The D7200 features improvements to that as well; I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try it out and share some of the results with you.