Monday, 1 August 2011
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....