And so it begins…

I have recently entered the world of DSLR cameras with only rudimentary knowledge of point an shoot models. Needless to say there will be a very sharp learning curve in this foray into DSLR camera’s. The purpose of this site is to show my experiences and progress as I venture into the world of amateur photography.

This all started off with some inheritance money from my grandmother, my girlfriend Alisa’s idea and my mothers inspiration. Thanks to all of you for everything.

As many of my friends will attest to, I research everything I purchase to death. This camera purchase was no exception as I read countless reviews, feature reports, manuals, and recommendations.  This research took a little longer than normal because I needed to learn so much first to make an educated decision. Its not just about megapixels or lenses available. Its user experience, consistent results, ease of use, features to assist the newcomer into DSLR cameras as well as grow with them as they become more accustomed to manual use. I started out by researching higher end Point and Shoot camera’s but found them to be very expensive for what you got in quality. I then turned to the entry level DSLR market which had much more of what I was looking for. After some research I narrowed it down to four camera’s the Canon T3, Pentax K-r, Nikon D3100 and the Sony SLT-A33. All of them fared well in the entry level DSLR category with great  features and price. Due to product availability, resource information, and image quality I removed the K-r and SLT-A33 camera’s from my list.

It was then down to the Canon T3 and Nikon D3100. Both of them had huge followings with loads of available information and examples of their handiwork. People really loved these cameras you could easily tell by the sheer amount of information available on them. Here is a feature comparison of the two cameras in question.

As you can see they are pretty evenly matched each having great features unique to them. The video features although nice and fun to play around with are not a selling point for me. If I wanted video camera I would get a video camera. It basically came down to two single features that I was having trouble deciding between. The built-in focus motor of the T3 and the  Lower noise at higher ISO of the D3100. I did a little more research mostly on the focus motor to find out it is really only useful for very high end or old lenses. Since I don’t have any old lenses to begin with and would not be purchasing $1000+ lenses for an entry level camera this made my decision, I would go with the Nikon. Sorry mom I know your a Canon girl, I hope you still love me =p.

Much like Apple products DSLR camera prices seem to be very well controlled by the manufacture. You will see the same price advertised just about everywhere. Due to this price fixing bundles and shipping will all play big roles in where you purchase it from. Also note if the price seems to good to be true it probably is. There are a lot of bait and switch, hidden charges, camera body only, refurbished advertised as new deals out there. Make sure the site is reputable, has lots of positive reviews and their return policy is decent. For me hit every single one of these. I ended up purchasing the following:

1. Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

2. Nikon DSLR Starter Kit with Nikon School DVD Fast, Fun & Easy III / IV and D-SLR System Case

3. Transcend 16 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card

Camera Package

The camera packages contains the camera body, and a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens. I will go into lenses in another post as a lot of explanation will be needed. In short this is a standard general use lens perfect for beginners. Jack of all trades master of nothing kinda lens.

Nikon Starter Kit

This bag is specified to fit the D3100 and is made by Nikon. With a purchase this expensive I didnt want to risk not protecting my purchase correctly. This also comes with an instructional DVD for Nikon DSLR cameras.

SDHC Class 10 16GB memory card

Not all SD cards will work or should be used with DSLR a camera. Most older cards are not fast enough for all functions of today’s DSLR cameras. Nikon has information on card compatibility specifically for the D3100 listed here I went for a Class 10 card that was known to work with the D3100, I found this out through user feedback.

Now its time to research more on the basics of DSLR photography and wait for my camera to arrive.