Monday, May 18, 2009
Monday Morning Muzzle & DSLR Musings
I never, ever tire of seeing this muzzle.
Jan inquired about my camera. I recently purchased a Nikon D40 from Ritzcamera.com. It was a package deal. I got the camera, two lenses, two DVD's, and a gadget bag (I've linked you to the ad, although the package has changed and no longer includes the bag and DVDs, I think there is a printer offer now. They change them frequently.) I personally was satisfied with my purchase from this site, but do your research. There are good and bad reviews for most online camera retailers, I've noticed.
It was funny because when I found the camera on Ritz (after Costco had backordered it), I noticed they were in the same "family" as Kit's Camera, which I've seen retail stores for. It turns out that Kits and Ritz's online camera sites are not affiliated with their retail stores at all.
When I looked at the D40 camera package, I noticed another one that seemed exactly the same, except for a little more money. I read all of the fine print and could not figure out what in the world was different. Of course, I ordered the less expensive one. Guess what? I discovered later, after I received the camera, that the more expensive one had a 55mm-200mm lens that had VR- Vibration Reduction. It was a small detail I hadn't noticed. In retrospect, I probably would've paid more for VR, but too late now!
Why Nikon? It wasn't a hard choice. I was influenced by bloggers and their cameras and photos, people around me who have Nikons,reviews, and cost. The Nikon was a little less expensive than a comprehable Canon. I also went to camera shops and played with the Nikon D40. Just holding the camera, it felt like a good "fit" for me.
At this point, I have read my manual and watched the DVD's, which were very basic. I probably only know a 1/3 of what I need to know to fully operate this camera.
Somebody needs his whiskers clipped!
Let me tell you that I can hardly stand to use my point-and-shoot anymore, although it's a necessity for some activities, especially riding as the Nikon is a little too big for my saddle bag! To me, the quality of the DSLR from my point-and-shoot is night and day. However, I am still shooting mostly on AUTO, or the various modes (sports, macro, portrait, etc.) I am still pretty much using it as a point-and-shoot. And I am not afraid to admit that. I just haven't had time (and probably won't, until the school year is over) to really explore more about the camera's capabilities. But I also feel when you pay that much for a camera, it should meet you halfway, and it does. The other half is "in your head," as a photographer told me. It's the artist's creative eye. You can have the best camera on the market, but if you don't have the eye for photography, it won't matter.
So that is the beginning. If you are feeling intimidated by a DSLR- don't be! Before I bit the bullet and got the DSLR I was going to move up to a Nikon Coolpix P90, which is in the class of point-and-shoots they call "ultra-zooms" (Canon makes a great one too, that feels like a DSLR in your hands and is probably a bit nicer than the P90 from the reviews I read.) But the price of the P90 was still $400. I knew that I would "outgrow" that camera within a year and want a DSLR anyway. So for around $150 more, I got a DSLR, which I can grow with. I will probably never need another camera, since I plan to stay an amateur, my photography is just a creative outlet for me. Now, I will admit that I'm already eyeing other lenses, particularly this one.
I'm not one to give particular technical shooting advice because I don't have the skills to do so, but I can share my experiences and hopefully that will help you in some way, at least if you are just starting out or thinking about getting a DSLR! I'll write more camera thoughts in the future.