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As I mentioned earlier, I needed a new camera. Choosing a dSLR is not a simple thing though, so over the past two weeks I spent a lot of time reading reviews, checking prices, discovering the differences between various brands and types of cameras, and looking at my bank account and calendar.

In the end, I narrowed down my options to two cameras: the D90 and the D5000, both Nikons. The D90 has several things I like: a DoF preview button, an in-camera AF-motor (means I can buy cheaper non-motor lenses), two dials for easy access to settings, an info LCD on top. But the D5000 is a bit cheaper, smaller, and has the swivel screen for easy low angle shooting.

So…. I decided that I didn’t need the extra dial, nor an info LCD on top (my Minolta didn’t have one and I never missed it). I checked prices for the motor lens I would want to buy soonest, and that one was okay, so no AF-motor needed in the camera, and that swivel screen looked like just the ticket for shooting flowers, which I do a lot.

Last Thursday I thought I’d just pop into the store to ‘have a look’, see how the camera would feel in my hand, how flimsy the swivel screen might be, and just generally check whether all the online reviews were right. 15 minutes later I was outside again, shopping bag with boxed camera in hand.

Then the *real* work started: trying to make sense of the myriad of different settings and menu options! This is not my first SLR – I’ve been shooting SLR from my 15th or so, up to 6 years ago. I know about ISO, aperture and shutter speed, DoF and motion blur. I know about the effect of zoom lenses and perspective. However, none of that is of much help when getting your hands on a dSLR for the first time :-) I think they should make just one more button on these things: the “pretend to be a simple SLR” button, which instantly removes all menu options, and leaves only speed, aperture, and ISO to set, all from buttons on the top of the camera. (auto-focus can stay)

I’m sure I’ll figure it all out though, just not all at once :-)

Oh, and one thing even this very nice dSLR can’t do: remove the wind when I’m trying to take a photo of something. The fly in the photo below could have been just that little bit more in focus if only the wind would have played nice…


  • Congratulations on pulling the trigger! And I also wish there was some sort of gizmo for getting rid of wind. Still a pretty cool shot, though.

  • LOL!

    Carrying that thing around would not be the only problem, I guess.

    I imagine you, sneaking through the grass with that box, hoping the fly doesn’t notice anything …

  • Congrats!!! I think learning all the fun stuff is a big part of the enjoyment, right next to getting great photos. I’ve had my Olympus E-30 for 9 months now and I learned how to use a new feature just this week. One of the reasons I bought my E-30 was the flip out LCD screen. I love that. Have you noticed that when you’re moving in real close on a subject outdoors the wind always picks up!?!?!?! It’s not fair. Do they have “Murphy’s Law” over there?

  • I’m familiar with Murphy’s law, but we call it ‘the law of the turned around toast’. When you drop your slice of bread with jam on it, it’s always the jam-side that faces down on the floor. And yes, wind always does pick up when you get ready to press the shutter, just like animals always start walking away when you point your camera at them. Even today, we stopped by some sheep, and this little lamb was in the same position all the time, and the kids were urging me to take a pic. I said ‘no, it will walk away when I do that’. But it stayed, and stayed, so I got my cam out.
    It walked away. :-)

    BTW, I didn’t know there was another one with a flip out screen besides the Nikon D5000 and the Olympus E-620. I bet more dSLRs will have them in the future, it’s *very* handy.

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