Light, quick, plastic, grey and black with that hint of red; the Nikon N65 is a modern, compact and versatile camera for everybody. A great fitting camera for novices and advance users. Not to mention affordable. There are a plethora of these cameras available.
The Nikon N65 came into my life in the early 2000s. My father had bought a number of them from a store that was closing; vague memories come back to me now and again about shooting with them in auto mode. Since then my love of photography grew and so did my understanding and knowledge. Since my return home I uncovered the three N65 that were being neglected in a far corner of storage; waiting for me.
This is a very modern SLR and is only an APS-C sensor and a colored LCD away from being a digital camera. It features the modern auto shooting modes: Action, Macro, Landscape, Portrait, Nightscape. Honestly at this point I use none of those but it’s nice that they are there. In classic AF fashion: Auto, Programmable, Manual, Shutter and Aperture priories are provided. A little switch is provided to go between AF and MF (Manual Focus); necessary when shooting in low-light or when using a filter for doubles.
The N65 also has a selectable focus area and a built in AF assist light. The AF assist light is nice, but it makes you less stealthy. An interesting feature if you are used to non-AF cameras; is that there is a bracket sequence option and an exposure compensation button. Housed under the same button as bracket is the infinitely creative option for doubles.
There are very few cons that go along with the features of this camera. It is an earlier model; many issues were addressed on later models. The N65 only has two metering systems: Matrix and Center Weight. The Matrix metering can be tricky and center weight can only be used in the manual setting, plus, there is no exposure lock. When going to take a double; one must first meter the scene without the filter, go back to manual punch in the information, then apply the filter.
Many of other programmable features require you to press one button then rotate the wheel in order to change them; things can get little hairy and frustrating when working fast. The pop-up flash doesn’t come very far above the lens; so to keep a Cokin filter shadow from showing up in the picture a hot-shoe flash is a must.
A number of accessories are available; both Nikon brand and non-Nikon. Everything from ergonomic eye-cups, wireless remotes, and battery packs. I would recommend any if not all the accessories you can; they are dirt cheap for the most part. Highly recommend the battery pack; it allows you to use AA batteries versus the expensive and not easy to find CR2s.
I’ve just come back from an eight week venture with a dance company. I had to pack incredibly light so I only brought the N65 with a 28-80 and 70-300 lenses and a handful of filters. It seem very little for such a long time and so little to bring but the Nikon N65 was able to all the abuse of: airports, heat, and rain. The Nikon N65 is a great creative platform.