Friday, September 12, 2008

This or That. Or This, or That.

Alternately Titled: HELP!

As I call out on my sidebar I'm not a photographer, but I wish I was. It's true. Recently, I've been totally ensconced in the world of photography. It's something that seems (to me) actually quite challenging. All the settings. Oh the settings! So many different things to remember, and then to remember to apply. But it seems to be a project that I'm willing and ready to undertake. I want to do this. I want to know how to take great pictures, and I want to take great pictures.

(Click on XSi to read more about it)

So first things first. I need a camera. Well...I have a camera, if you can call it that. I've had it for four years *gasp*, I's time to put that baby to sleep. My old standard point-and-shoot has done it's duty...but can you believe it? It serves up a whopping 3.2 mega pixels. The pictures I take would probably look better if I just hand drew them, instead of attempting to catch the brightness and clarity through my somewhat pitiful camera. Therefore, I've been doing some research on options for my new camera. Let me say this: there are so many options. No...there are too many options. How in the world am I supposed to choose? Out of the mouths of many, I've heard "Canon or Nikon are sure bets." Which is true. They're reputable, well advertised, and widely used. But I decided I needed an experts opinion. So I visited my local National Camera Exchange. I explained to Roger that I was looking to get into photography, that I didn't want a professional's camera, but I didn't want a standard point and shoot. I was immediately expecting Roger to grab the Canon XSi, which I've heard/read so much about. But he didn't. Instead he grabbed the Olympus E520. Heard of it? He went on to tell me why it's a far superior camera to both the Canon XSi and the Nikon D40!

(Click on the Nikon D40 to read more about it)

At that moment, I felt like somewhat of a brand snob. You know...the kind of person that buys product based on brand name? oh come on...don't look away and pretend you don't do the same thing. I have to admit - at first, I was reluctant to hear what he had to say about this "quiet brand" I'd so far heard so little about. Anyway...Roger explained that the E520 was superior in make and image quality. Their lenses are specifically made for the digital SLR cameras, as opposed to Canon and Nikon that still use standard film SLR lenses. Olympus also has the image stabilizer built into the body of the camera, as opposed to each individual lens (which is what canon and nikon do). Therefore, the picture tends to be much sharper, and the lenses themselves aren't quite as pricey. By this point, the E520 is starting to sound pretty good.

(Click the E520 to read more about it)
But on the other hand, am I ready to jump into the digital SLR world? I keep going back and forth and back and forth. They have "transitional cameras" such as the Canon PowerShot G9. These cameras are more advanced than the standard point and shoots, but not quite a digital SLR. Should I go with something like that? Children are in the near future, and I would much prefer to shoot with a dSLR with them. Is it worth it to buy a transitional point and shoot now, and then in 2 years, upgrade to a dSLR? What do I do? What would you do? Every person I spoke with at NCE recommended going with the E520.
(Click the Canon G9 to read more about it)
You would think by this point, I would have made my decision. But if anything...I'm more confused now than I was before my camera search began. Help! I'm sure some most of you know much more about this than I do. So please...tell me what you think/know! I would love feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read this boring delightful post and share your opinion!


Jweaver said...

I am somewhat in the same boat.. we should talk!
I have been active with photography since high school and started off with a SLR Cannon Rebel Ti, I also have the Cannon Powershot A650.. love it! I want a Digital SLR now and thought I would definitely go with Canon, but a friend came to visit this summer and had the Nikon D40. I have always been a Canon girl but I really liked her Nikon.. I think that is the one I want! I don't know what to do..
If you don't want to commit to a digital SLR yet.. here's my advice: buy a normal film SLR and practice some of the things you have learned regarding aperture, f-stop, focus, etc.. you can buy a good used one from national camera. After that you may have a better idea of what you want from a digital SLR. Canon and Nikon are both known for being good quality cameras, but that's not to say there aren't others too. What's important is knowing the camera you own, how to use it and feeling comfortable with it, and how to have a good eye when taking photos- a good photographer can take a good photo with any camera. Good luck!

Becky said...

Hey J! Thanks for the feedback. After writing this post, I visited another store where I played with a Canon XS, a Nikon D40, and a Nikon D80. (They didn't have the Olympus E520 there). Basically, I was trying out the dSLRs in my hand. And, my heart is won over. Completely. Although the G9 and G10 look and sound like great cameras, they dimmed in comparison to the ease of use with the dSLRs. And after more research still on the E520, I think my mind is pretty near being made up. Every review I've read has compared both the Nikon D40 and Canon XSi...and the E520 comes out on top. I should take the plunge...I'm too excited to keep draggin my feet. I need to make the final decision, and go and buy!