Digital Darrell Buys a D100 Volume 2 - Issue 29- Aug. 12, 2002
©Darrell Young  
The FedEx truck pulled into my driveway at 12:30 pm on August 12th. In his arms he carried two boxes, one large, one small. A signature later and I was happily cutting tape and tearing cardboard. My Nikon® D100 and IBM® Microdrive had finally arrived!

I spent nearly the entire day of August 9th calling camera stores all over the USA. At each store I heard the same story..."Sorry, were out of stock, if you'd like to prepay we can get one for you in three to six weeks." Of course, with my chronic obsessive personality, that was impossible to accept, so I kept calling.
One store in particular Cameta Camera had a D100 listed on eBay. I called them early in the morning to beg that they stop the auction and sell me the camera. No dice! I looked around eBay and found several D100s for sale, but it seemed that they were mostly bringing about $2,400.00. I wanted a D100 pretty badly, but not that badly! So, onward I pressed (the phone buttons) and talked to a plethora of stores. I called B&H Photo, nope...out of stock. Six weeks to arrival, and no prepay possible. 17th Street Photo, Adorama, Thompson Photo (local store), all out of stock.

Flipping through my Peterson Photographic magazine out of desperation for new camera stores to call, I found Broadway Photo with an unbelievably low price of only $1649.00. Well, that sounded promising, so I called them up, credit card in hand. The salesman assured me that they had a "good supply" of D100s, both USA and Grey Market versions. I asked him why the price was so low, and he said, "well, you have to buy a few accessories like a battery and charger for only $249.00." I was a bit wary of this, since I had read DPReview's detailed D100 review, and knew that a battery and charger was included FREE with the camera. So, I asked him a very specific question, "What will this camera cost me if you leave everything in the box that came from the factory?" "$2,395.00" was his sheepish reply. Needless to say, I hung up quickly. $750.00 extra for manuals, strap, batteries, charger, and body cap, seemed a bit pricey. Why not just charge a normal price? Hmmm...
On I pressed (beep beep beep), and over and over I heard the same thing. Six weeks, six weeks, SIX WEEKS! I was starting to despair! Didn't Nikon know how badly I wanted a D100? Why weren't there enough to go around?

By 3 o'clock I was getting desperate. I looked on
eBay again, and saw that blasted Cameta Camera auction again. Out of resignation I decided that I would just bid on it, and pay the $2,400.00 that I knew it would sell for. But, before I bid, I wanted to make sure that they were going to include everything that came in the original box, so I called Cameta back once again to ask. When I got the nice lady on the phone, I told her that I was going to try and win the auction, but wouldn't they PLEASE reconsider stopping the auction RIGHT NOW and let me buy it? She sighed, and then said some marvelous words. (Harps playing)
"Well, no, we won't stop the auction, but I think a couple of D100's just arrived! Would you like to talk to a salesman?" Gaaaaaahhhhh I said, unable to form intelligible words. Gaaaaaahhhhhh! Gaaaahhhhhhh! She must have understood my deep and abiding interest in talking to a salesman, for one was on the phone right away. He said, "May I help you?" I said, "My credit card number is [censored]!, when can you ship it! He said, "Ship what? Who is this?" I then tried my best to calm down and explain that I was in desperate need of a D100, and that my grandmother needed it for an impending operation, and could he please sell it to me and possibly save her life?" He must have believed me, for he affirmed his willingness to part with his D100 for only $2,195.00. In no time flat it was on its way by FedEx Priority Overnight Air, of course!

With great rejoicing, I leapt from my chair, kissed the wife and kids, tossed my obviously obsolete Nikon F5 in the drawer, and sat down in satisfaction. (What am I gonna do with the 20 rolls of Provia I bought last week?) Now that I had an affirmed D100 shipment on the way, I realized that I was not the owner of a Compact Flash card to store pictures on. My wife has a Nikon CoolPix 990, and a couple of 128 megabyte cards, so I thought "why not borrow one of hers?" As my hand headed for her camera bag, I heard a noise that brought back memories of the time my momma found me sneaking cookies from the cookie jar. The noise clearly meant "NO YOU DON'T!" So, I resigned myself to finding a memory card of my own.

The calling started again. Some of the people at the camera stores remembered me. One said, "Did you find a D100 in stock in time for your grandmother's operation?" Yes, I said, and now I need a memory card. In a flash (pun intended) I realized that, with the 9.5 megabyte RAW images I would soon be shooting, I would need a sizable card. An IBM Microdrive with a One Gigabyte capacity would fit the bill, since that would hold over 100 full resolution RAW (.NEF) images.

Most of the stores were listing the IBM Microdrive at about $350.00 to $400.00. I found one at B&H Photo for only $279.00, but, guess what, they were out of stock. So in desperation (again) I turned to the internet and google.com.

On some web page or the other, I found a listing for a price comparison on stores selling Microdrives, and one of the lowest costs in the USA was at a place called the d-store (Digital Photography Solutions, Toll-Free Phone: 888-313-1587). I talked to a nice salesman named "Matt" there and said, "I just bought a D100, can you guess what I need?" Amazingly, he knew and said, "a one-gigabyte IBM Microdrive?" He was speaking my language! I was happy to find that his price was less than $250.00 for the bulk packaged card. I ordered one right away!

So, circling back to the beginning of this week's article I now am the owner of a D100, and an IBM Microdrive. I have a wedding to shoot in a couple of weeks, and so, between my obviously obsolete Nikon F5, and this new whiz-bang D100, I should get some quality images.

IBM Microdrives

(Update, August 16, 2002)

I just bought a new AF Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED lens from 17th Street Camera, plus a Nikon SB-50DX flash unit and two extra Lithium-ion battery packs (EN-EL3) from B&H Photo. The USA lens was about $359.00, and should be a good one (I hope). The flash was only $159.00 for the USA version, and the batteries were $48.00 each. I read in my manual that the Nikon D100 can go as long as 1600 pictures without changing batteries. I do not believe that, but do believe that it can take several hundred images without changing them. On Photo.net I read one fellow who said that he had taken as many as 500 images without the battery dying, and this month's Popular Photography's review of the D100 said that they got over 400 images without a dead battery.

Stop back soon for my hand's on review of the D100, along with some pictures created with it. Thanks for stopping by!

Keep on taking digital pictures...

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