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I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Calling All Photographers!!

My Father-In-Law is getting us a camera for Christmas and I need help! I have no idea what the best Digital SLR cameras are or even what features I should look for.

I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help me figure out what types of things you have found necessary and what features we should not worry about. We also aren't set on any particular brand or model, so if you've had good or bad experiences with any of them, or maybe are loyal to a certain brand for some reason, I'd love if you would share!

Keep in mind that I'm totally a photography novice and this will be basically the camera that I "learn" with, so I don't really want anything super crazy nice, expensive, or hard to use.

I also am not sure if most DSLR's come with a lens or not. Can someone shed some light on this for me or perhaps explain? From what I've seen several of the lower-priced cameras include a lens, but some don't so I'm not sure. Oh, also, have I mentioned that I don't know what I'm doing?

I looked online at consumer reviews last night and it looks like there are 3 or 4 models that are consistently recommended, but I thought I'd ask all my lovely readers what their opinions are, since I know some of you are crazy good photographers!

Anyways, thanks in advance for your help! Oh, and if you know any super-awesome photographers who don't read my blog that would be able to help, send them my direction! I can use all the advice I can get.


  1. I have a Nikon D60. It's pretty simple to use, the automatic takes very good crisp photos (I'm still learning on how to shoot in manual :P). I hear the Canon's are *excellent* but for now I'm happy with my Nikon. It did come with a stock lens (18-55mm). =)

  2. Ha! I just did all of this myself :)

    DSLRs come two ways: as a "kit" or just the body. The Kit comes with a basic lens, the strap, the battery charger, and a whole bunch of cables that I am still figuring out. The lens isn't superb, but it is a pretty decent basic beginner's lens. I am really glad, personally, that I did the kit because I didn't have to make a lens decision yet (there are only about 84,000 choices) and I could play around with a more basic lens while I was figuring out how to actually operate the camera. So, my advice would be to get the kit w/lens.

    As far as brands, Nikon and Canon are pretty much the exact same--they would have to be to be so competitive!! That being said, I have heard more good things about the Canons and the quality of how they are built that I personally picked the Canon. It didn't hurt that my SIL has a Rebel and let me play around with it, so I felt more comfortable using a Canon.

    Also--no matter what you do, get a UV lens filter that fits your lens. It will keep your lens clean, prevent dust from getting in it, prevent scratches on your lens, and also make your pictures a wee bit more clear. For about $15, it is a good investment!

    If you have more questions, let me know. I am by no means an expert, but I did just do a TON of research on all of this, haha!

  3. Any of the Canon Rebel series will be good for you to learn on. I have the XSi and I love it. I can't recommend a Nikon, but I know they have tons of great models too. My Pastor back home uses a Pentax (it's a great budget version) and he gets some AMAZING shots with it. My best advice is to go to a store and play with the different brands and figure out what one feels best to you! (Do you guys have a Yodobashi down there?!?! They are these mega electronics stores...they will have all the different options for you to play with, then you can always order it online...that's how I bought my most recent lens!)

  4. ignore that part about Yodobashi...I forgot who I was talking to! sorry!

  5. I use a Nikon D60 and I like it. I too am a total novice and just trying to figure it out. I recently bought the Nikon D60 for Dummies book, so I'm trying to learn how it all works. Good Luck!

  6. I have a Canon Rebel and love it. I've had it for about 6 years and it still take great shots. My abilities on the other hand, leave much room for improvement!

  7. Hi Beth! I have the same one that Steve has (Cannon Rebel) and I LOVE it! I've had it for almost 4 years and it is still working great! My mom got the newer version last year and loves it too!

  8. depending on if you want your camera to grow with you, or outgrow your camera and have to buy a new one in a few years, my husband got me the Cannon EOS 50D. It is on the pricier side, but has all of the automatic settings that take amazing photos, but then you have all the specialty setting which I am just learning. the great thing about it is you will never outgrow it. With different lenses and flashes, it can be transformed into a completely professional camera. It does not have a video feature which a lot of people like, but heck, I still have my point and shoot and a digital video camera for that:) you can check out a few of my first few good pictures on my latest blog post, and these are BEFORE my first instructions last night. I LOVE my camera already, and only know how to use 1/10 of it so far!
    happy hunting, and have fun!!


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