Monday, 1 August 2011

Done it!


So... I've finally done it! Bought myself a DSLR that is.  I've been wrestling with whether to or not for absolutely ages.  The scales were always finely balanced: investment v indulgence; lightness and versatility v better performance and so on.  But just lately I've been kicking against the limitations of my other two cameras - a Panasonic TZ5 compact and a Panasonic DMC-FZ18 'bridge' camera.  They're both great cameras in their own ways and have served me well for several years - and there will be many occasions when I will continue to use them.  But neither of them allow for full control over depth of field and neither of them take filters, and several times lately I have really felt I wanted those facilities.  Plus I really couldn't enlarge my photos to a commercial size and there have been a couple of occasions when that has meant I missed a chance to sell a print - not the end of the world for me, but it would have been nice.

I have no intention of being anything but a photographic hobbyist (and blogger of course) but there comes a time when your horizons need to be pushed just a bit further.  So I'm joining the ranks and starting on a new learning curve.  It might mean the quality of my photos takes a dive!  But I hope I'll soon get the hang of the basics.  (I aim to be reasonably competent by the time my granddaughter is born in early December!)

As you can see from the photo, I've bought a Nikon D3100.  I chose that for several reasons - crucially, that I could afford it!  It's had a good write-up in all the mags and it was recommended to me by John Gravett, who is an inspirational photographer and superb teacher. (He led the LPH photography holiday/workshop I went on in May.)  The final 'push' was that I got chatting to a girl at the Bingley Show who was using one and she said she really loved it.  My first impressions are good.  It has auto-functions that mean even a non-techy can use it straight out of the box but plenty of scope to take control too.  It feels good in my hands and is much more satisfyingly clunky than my other cameras.  But it's not too heavy with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Despite the fact that I should be well 'grown-up' by now and therefore quite well-balanced about major purchases - and I don't have to justify it to anyone -  I'm a curious mixture of delighted, scared (in case I find out I can't adapt to it) and horrified that I can think of spending all that money (when there are people starving in Africa...)  Is that just me or do other people have those kind of mixed feelings when they buy new gear?  Anyway, like it or not (!) I will be sharing my progress on my blogs.  I enjoy watching other people's experiments with new cameras and lenses and blogland is a good place to be inspired - so here goes....

21 comments:

  1. Don't worry about adjusting to it - you'll love it! I've managed to break my DSLR (don't ask - just make sure you have a bag to carry yours in!) and I miss it like crazy.

    Your photos were already pretty impressive so, with an eye like yours and a new bit of fancy kit, you'll be producing works of art very soon. I look forward to seeing them.

    Enjoy yout treat!

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  2. One big advantage, you get rid of the shutter delay that is often so frustrating with compact and bridge cameras. have fun.

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  3. Good choice, jennyfreckles! I splashed out on the previous model (Nikon D3000) and it's been brilliant. Look forward to having a lot of fun with it. I'll look forward to sharing some of the photographs.

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  4. I'm sure you'll soon master the beast and show us great pictures!And sometimes , we all need a pleasure only for ourself!enjoy!

    (I'm taking a slower rythm with blogging during august. So bye!)

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  5. Congrats for making the leap into DSLR. You'll never look back for all the reasons already mentioned by other commenters. I agree with MorningAJ, you already take super shots so when you get the hang of it you will be producing masterpieces. Unfortunately my Sigma lens had a problem communicating with my Canon DSLR just before I went to the US so I had to take my Sony Point and Shoot. Sometimes I was frustrated especially when i needed a wide angle lens, however I was thankful for the convenient size on many occasions. Have fun learning. Looking forward to your first attempts. Don't feel guilty about spending on yourself. You have worked hard for many years and life is too short not to enjoy to its fullest. Soon you'll be spending on a grand child so just as well you bought it now.

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  6. I have had a Nikon DSLR for three years now and have beeextremely happy with it. Congratulations

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  7. Congratulations, Jenny, you'll never regret it. I'm just surprised that all the photos you've posted already weren't taken with a SLR. My respect just grew another notch! Jim

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  8. Congratulations. It might be indulgent - but it is us, your regular readers, who will get the pay-off. And that photograph today was a good start.

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  9. Congratulations! I know you will get years of enjoyment from your new "toy".

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  10. Congratulations on the new toy. Great self portrait, Jenny.

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  11. It is a worthwhile investment in the joy you get from your life. You will adjust fast. The auto modes will let you get going in the first hour. Exploring the camera's capabilities will take longer. I still just scratch the surface of the DSLR I bought last fall.

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  12. If anyone deserves a good camera, it's you! I went through all that doubt and guilt when I was trying to make up my mind to make the leap to a Nikon D90. So glad I did and Ive used it daily -- and while your pictures have always been superb, I look forward to seeing what grand things you'll do with the new camera. Congratulations!!

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  13. Lots of people have all those misgivings Jenny.

    I used a Panasonic DMC TZ1 for a few years. I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I could carry it in my pocket, Leica lens, etc.

    Eventually it had limitations for the type of photos I was trying to take. I have a Nikon. It's a lot smarter than I am and I'm sure it always will be.

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  14. Oh, thank you lovely people for your encouragement and wisdom. Half the fun is sharing the adventure. I'm enjoying playing, so far! Sounds like there are a lot of Nikon fans out there, so I'm in good company.

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  15. I had to smile reading this post Jenny because like you - I have been debating over the last year whether or not to buy a DSLR - I love my little point and shoot but want photos with more clarity - more professional looking. Maybe I should just take the plunge!

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  16. You will love this and with the new DSLRs the learning curve is not steep. If you want, they'll do the think for you and allow you to experiment and learn at your own pace.

    Enjoy

    ps: even the most socially and environmentally aware of us have a right to some self indulgence. We put solar cells on our roof to offset our love of travel. Life is a series of trade-offs.

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  17. Ditto all the above... I also have a Nikon and am shopping for a new one (mine is 5 years old). I have taken it too many beaches, to climb glaciers, and on all my trips. I lost the first lens hood while hanging off the vaporetto in Venice (a lovely memory) and have used it hard.

    Your photos are lovely and this will expand you abilities and creativity in unimagined ways. You did not just go out and buy one. You thought long and hard. You deserve it. So there!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  18. Congrats on your new "baby"! I hope you love it as much as I do my Canon! :) Happy snapping.
    V

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  19. The one big difference for me between the DSLRs and the others is the shutter speed. It would drive me nuts when my eye and finger caught the moment, but the camera did not. Of course I still see 100 photo ops for every one I take, but that's life. I've had both Canon and Nikon, and of course they are both great. My current model is D5000 which I bought mainly for the swivel monitor, because I like taking shots of kids and don't like looking like Darth Vader all the time. Since I am a lazy photographer, I really like my 15-135 lens, I rarely need to change it. I'd still like a macro lens, but that can wait. But bottom line, Jenny, photography is about the photographer, not the tool, and you've already proven that. I've seen plenty of people with fancy DSLRs taking hohum photos. There will be NO dive in photo quality coming from you...

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  20. Hi Jenny, I must admit I presumed you were already shooting with a dSLR, your photos are so good! I have a Nikon D40, a forerunner to yours I think. I got it over 3 years ago and I love it. You'll love it too, especially when it comes to taking photos of your granddaughter, that's when you'll really appreciate the no shutter delay factor. That was one of my main reasons for wanting a dSLR.

    Have you ever read www.kevinandamanda.com blog? Amanda is a great photographer and has some really good photography tutorials on her blog.

    Once again I've enjoyed catching up on your blog, love the photo of the "Pierced" sculpture.

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  21. You look stunning behind that Nikon dear, and it looks to be in very capable hands. Congrats! That IS exciting! ~Lili

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