What camera should I get?

Yesterday I bought a new camera!!! It is a Nikon D5100. I had been using a Sony Cyber-Shot. It has worked great! However, I felt like I needed to get a better camera especially since I want to get more serious with photography. I don’t know that much about photography so looking at different cameras to buy was confusing. There are so many different types of lenses, bundles, camera types, etc.

The following is my advice:

If you want to upgrade from a point and shoot and want to take higher quality pictures get a digital SLR camera. They are getting more affordable. Do keep in mind they are usually bigger, heavier, harder to keep clean if you are changing lenses, and can be more complicated to operate than a point and shoot.

  1. Determine what type of photography you will be doing. What experience do you have? What is your budget?
  2. Keep in mind the extras such as camera case, memory cards, lenses, filters, tripod, etc.
  3. Research.
  4. Find the best price.

I knew that I wanted a good all around camera. I don’t specialize in a certain subject. I like to take pictures of flowers, buildings, people, landscapes, nature, waterfalls, etc. I first went to KenRockwell.com. He gives great advice about photography. He says to forget Resolution and ISO. He says that 6 Megapixels is all that anyone needs. He says the best all-around camera for most people is the Nikon D5100. If you’re an accomplished photographer and have the money to spend you should get the Nikon D7000. A more expensive camera does not take better pictures. It just has more things you can adjust.

When you are buying a DSLR you are looking at two companies, Canon and Nikon. After looking at many reviews I decided on Nikon because it seemed like a lot of nature photographers like Nikon. One reviewer said that it is like choosing between a Mac and PC. The main difference is the menu interface and how it feels in your hands.

Entry Level:

Canon T3 ($500) vs. Nikon D3200 ($700)


Canon T4i ($950) vs. Nikon D5100 ($750)


Canon 60D ($1,200) vs. Nikon D7000 ($1,500)

*All prices include lens.

I chose the D5100 because it fits nicely in the middle. If I were a professional photography and knew more about photography I would have chosen a higher end camera.

After you choose the camera you want, you have to figure out what lens you want. You can buy the body only and buy a lens or you can buy the lens included. I kept going back and forth on this but I decided to get the lens that comes with the camera which is an 18-55 mm lens. For most use this is a good lens. I decided that I would start with this lens and then see if I had any additional needs.

Lens Focal Length* Terminology Typical Photography
Less than 21 mm Extreme Wide Angle Architecture
21-35 mm Wide Angle Landscape
35-70 mm Normal Street & Documentary
70-135 mm Medium Telephoto Portraiture
135-300+ mm Telephoto Sports, Bird & Wildlife

After this you have to decide where you want to buy your camera and if you are going to bundle. I have bought many items on amazon and I think it is great. Originally, I was going to buy a bundle from Costco. It includes the D5100, 18-55 mm lens, 50-300 mm lens, case, 4 GB card, and guides. I decided against this because there is a $100 tax and a non-member fee. There are also some great bundles on Amazon.

The one I decided on includes the camera, 18-55 mm lens, 16GB card, case, filter, tripod and cleaning and accessories kit. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Digital-18-55mm-Cleaning-Accessory/dp/B004XM9BGK/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1351043744&sr=8-8&keywords=d5100+bundle. Don’t get a bundle if you already have a lot of these items.

Good luck looking for a camera. Hope this helps a little bit!

*Information from www.kenrockwell.com, http://www.cambridgeincolour.com,

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