Shopping for Cameras

April 20, 2008

So I’ve started researching Digital SLR cameras. I believe somehow that having a more complex camera will make me a better photographer, which is patently false – thankfully, I spent several years with my wife’s old Minolta SLR and am pretty good at manual photography, especially the very useful Aperture Priority mode. No, the real problem is that I need something that can do faster photography in lower light, and the ultra zoon “prosumer” point and shoot cameras just don’t cut it at all. So I’m definitely going DSLR.

Jen and I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart today to look at stoves. We are thinking about getting a new one to do our small part to stimulate the economy next month – we currently have a flat-top electric that came with the house, and we’re getting annoyed with it. I don’t like playing plate spinner with the pots on the stove as I’m trying to stir, and we both don’t like waiting for things to pre-heat. We would much rather have a gas stove, and there are some really cool models from Maytag and Jenn-Air that have two oven compartments. They get rid of the lower storage shelf and instead include a small second full oven compartment, so you could be doing turkey and potatoes in the main oven and a casserole at a different temp in the smaller one.

While we were there we stopped by the camera display. One of the pieces of advice I got from a photographer at work this week was to be sure to actually hold the camera before I buy it, and he couldn’t have been more right. The Canon Rebel cameras were very impressive and have great picture quality – the new one is getting great reviews – but the grip is so small for my extra-meaty fingers that I can only get two of them on the grip itself. I held every camera body there, and of course the pro-level Canon and Nikon bodies felt the best, but they’re really more money than I’m wanting to spend right now. The one that seemed to hit the sweet spot between form and function for me looks like it might be a Nikon D80 with a better lens kit (with a longer zoom lens).

I haven’t made my decision yet, though. I want to actually try these things out if possible, so that’ll mean going to a real camera shop in the next week or two.