Friday, January 4, 2013

Camera update & fooling around

foolin' around - this photo is actually frost on a window
 No, I haven't made my camera purchase yet, but I have finally made my decision, based on assorted opinions, comparisons, reviews, prices, etc.  It was tough.  This little Libra (me) likes to weigh and balance everything.  Speaking of weighing - a lightweight camera is important to me.  I want to be able to take it tromping through the woods, and I'm not exactly the biggest strongest gal around.  Just the opposite.  Anyhow, in case you are considering a purchase sometime too, here's how my thought process has worked:
water condensation on the same window
The weight had me narrowed down to the Sony a57 (that I mentioned in a prior post), the Nikon d5100, the Nikon d3200, and the Canon T4i.  I eliminated the previous frontrunner Sony due to the fact that it wasn't mentioned much in reviews/comparisons and isn't authentically a DSLR.  Since that's what I set out to purchase, it seemed silly to spend the money on something that wasn't what I had said I wanted. 

So I spent time talking to my big brother, astrologer/photo enthusiast, who knows me quite well, and he gave me some solid advice.  I went back to the camera store and played with the Nikons and Canon.  While the d3200 was the lightest weight, and had a wonderful in camera guide, it was missing some features that the others had, such as the flip-out live view screen, so I didn't consider it further.  (For someone who takes a lot of pics from a kayak, that flip-out screen will be indispensable!)  Each of the other 2 had features I liked better than the other.  I was happy to discover they both have auto-bracket capabilities, and can therefore do  HDR (high dynamic range) photos which is something I'd like to explore once I have a good feel for the camera, and have used it a bit.  I liked  the location of some controls and menus (and the touch screen capability) on the Canon, but I liked the 'feel' of the Nikon body.  In the end, with January camera sales going on, with both having same lens - 15-55mm - the Canon will cost $150 more than the Nikon.  I decided that was enough of a difference to direct me toward the Nikon.  With that $150 I can get a nice camera bag and some other accessories, or put it toward another lens.  By the way, there's an option of getting a bigger lens for some more $$, instead of the 15-55mm, but since weight is so important to me I didn't consider that option.

So Nikon d5100 it will be, and once I have it, and have used it, I'll let you know what I think!

Meanwhile I need to get myself a decent & affordable photo editing program, without a steep learning curve.  I do not have Photoshop.  Currently I am using both Microsoft Photo Editor, and a Corel Photo editing program.  Both are very limited. My brother suggested I might like Lightroom.   Anybody want to offer their opinions?

Hubby is waiting to go fetch some dinner; hope you've had or will have a great week back in school!!

10 comments:

  1. Hi Phyl- I have a photography business on the side and use Lightroom for editing ;) it's easy to maneuver through and still let's you get creative. Through Adobe you can get LR 3 or 4 with an educators discount for under $100. Good luck!!!

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    1. Thanks, Joanna, that's exactly what I wanted to hear! But what in the world are you doing reading blogs at 3:54am?! You must be a REALLY early riser, or a vampire!

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  2. I am using gimpshop right now. Price free. It is a bit quirky to use but once you get the hang of it. It will o the job. Look it to it.

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  3. Congrats Phyl! I'm excited to see your first photographs with your new bff! Nikon d5100!!! and you don't need a whole craft room for editing photos but I do love photoshop though I think there is a lot to master with it.

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    1. Thanks. My son is a bit of a photoshop pro, self taught, but I'm not investing in it right now. One thing at a time... I've got enough to learn just using the camera!

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  4. hmmm does your son have photoshop on his computer? . . . I'm wondering how many times the software can be downloaded . . . . thinking out loud

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    1. I hear you, but he has a Mac and I do not, so even if it could be legitimately downloaded again, it wouldn't work. Believe e, it crossed my mind...

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  5. I think you will love your 5100 as much as I love mine!!!! Congrats. My niece's photographer friend recommended Lightroom last year as I was buying my new camera. I FINALLY got around to ordering Lightroom 4 (through Amazon) in early December as a holiday gift to myself. I think it was around $100. I haven't got around to loading it up and getting started yet, but my friend gave me a quick lesson when the family was together at Christmas and I'm itching to try it out. I just got back from a short vacation yesterday and got all the holiday stuff put away, so now I should be able to attend to such things!! Looking forward to seeing your new pictures.

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    1. I'm pretty scared of it (the camera) right now, but I was scared of my iPad when I first got it and got over that real quickly with use. Today I was fooling around with the camera in the kitchen, taking annoying pics of my hubs stuffing a bagel in his mouth that I've promised that nobody will ever see. I went to the mode to review my pictures, and was scrolling through them, and suddenly it wouldn't scroll any more. I tried pushing the review button again and everything went black and suddenly I got this message that my memory card was damaged and needed to be replaced. I was panicked; petrified. WHAT DID I DO?! At my hubby's suggestion, I turned off the camera, took out the memory card and put it back in, and now everything seems fine, and I haven't gotten the message again. Maybe I was being too aggressively demanding? Rushing the camera? I don't know, but I am quite timid about screwing anything up. Anyhow it's a gray gloomy day here so I'm hoping for some sunshine tomorrow where I can really take the camera out for a spin. There's nothing I want to photograph in my house right now.

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    2. I know that panicky feeling!!! I think I started taking pictures in the kitchen as I was trying out recipes. I always give family and friends a holiday recipe booklet of food I have tried out (and liked) during the year, so this year it had a few photos to go with the recipes. It was a good, non-threatening way to get used to lighting, etc. My best time with the camera was last summer in Montana at my brother's. I had a LOT of down time with little to do, so my little Nikon and I got to know each other very well! I'm sure you will love it!

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