Monday, April 12, 2010

Make the Jump to the World of SLR photography

Nikon D3000 has Bang for your Buck

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If you're looking to make the jump from simple point and shoot to the world of SLR photography, the Nikon D3000 might be just the camera for you. The D3000 is an affordable package that includes just about all you will need to start taking artistic and professional looking pictures. (You will need a memory card to operate any camera sold these days!) With a built in flash and a nifty lens, this is a great package for the entry-level hobbyist.

Many people are not aware that DSLR cameras can be used in exactly the same way as a point and shoot unit. You can simply set the camera to automatic mode, and not have to worry about the more complicated settings. The advantages of stepping up to a DSLR is a larger, more sophisticated sensor (that’s the key device which captures the image) and a better quality lens that together will guarantee that you will get better pictures than the typical point and shoot is capable of taking. Another key advantage is that these cameras are built to enable you to take pictures much faster than most point and shoots; this reduction in ‘shutter lag’ enables you to take 3 pictures per second, give you a much better chance of catching just the one you want. Lastly, as you get to love using your DSLR, you can add zoom lenses to ensure that you catch the action from a much greater distance (up to 300MM, or the equivalent of a 15X optical zoom) or a macro lens, enabling you to take art quality pictures of flowers or other subjects that you want to capture.

In case you are new to the world of DSLR cameras, this camera includes a feature called "Advanced Easy." In this mode, the camera will actually explain what all the different settings on your new camera do and tells you how changing them will affect your pictures. So if you're not familiar with things like shutter speed or aperture priority, the on screen menu will give you a brief overview of what the various settings do. This makes the D3000 perfect for people that want to experiment with their camera settings to get the exact shot they're looking for. This model also offers both auto and manual focus, though some replacement lenses you can get for the D3000 aren't compatible with the auto-focus feature.

The camera itself isn't as large as other DSLRs on the market and fits well in the hand. Even though the camera is very light, I find it still has a reassuring sturdiness to it The light weight does make it very easy to move around with the camera in hand and get into position for that perfect shot.

At 10.2 megapixels, the image quality is very good. The camera takes sharp pictures with accurate colors in normal light and even handles lowlight well. The built in flash is great for use by beginners, but you can purchase a more advanced flash unit if you find the need. The D3000 also has a long list of compatible lens, so as your needs as a photographer grow, you will be able to find to correct lens for the job.

Overall, the Nikon D3000 is a very affordable and accessible DSLR. It's cost, size and ease of use make it perfect for anyone looking to taking higher quality picture or are interested in getting into photography as a hobby. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade from point and shoot cameras.

Other models to consider:
Nikon D5000 and Canon T1i and T2i, all add high definition video.
Canon XS has similar prices and features.
Olympus PEN E-PL1 has a different format and is smaller but offers the same advantages in a more compact package