New Camera Adventures

So after about 18 months of consideration and about three months of real thought and research I got a DSLR this weekend. I went for the current Canon entry level DSLR, the EOS 1100D (also know as the Rebel T3). So far I have only taken a handful of shots but I am already impressed. The real(including outdoor) test will be today, as the light was going by the time I got home and the box unpacked yesterday.

Now I am very much the beginner when it comes to photography. I have a little Samsung compact camera which takes reasonable photos for most of what I do, and this is more or less the correct camera for most of my needs,
Those “mosts” though are why I needed something more. My niece turns five this year, and she becomes a big sister in a few months time. And if there is one this she has taught me it is that small children can outmove a cheap point-and-shoot camera.

I can take pretty good pictures of still scenes with the Samsung. If I take my time, it turns out well. Things like trees rarely move during the lag between the shutter button and the actual shutter going off. Small Humans tend to blur or move out of frame.

I already knew from a couple of times using other people’s that this lag is comparatively absent in a DSLR. From asking a camera expert on a tech forum, I was informed that this is due to the different types of auto focus used.
So I have spent the past few months weighing up whether to go the DSLR route or just go for a better compact. I am no “photographer”, not yet anyway. So in some ways even the entry level is more camera than I need most of this time. But I put some serious thought into both options.

  • My current compact still works, and is still good to carry to day trips where I may or may not want to take pictures.
  • Cameras in smartphones keep improving. When I upgrade this year, it will probably be a better portable camera than my current compact.
  • The higher end compact cameras get close to the same prices as an entry level DSLR. Anything likely to have the near instant shutter I need will have cost about the same.
  • I like modular technology. I always prefer things where if I outgrow my rig, I can just upgrade the bit I need. Not have to ditch the whole thing.
  • On a related note, my techie nature likes to be able to have more hands on control about things. Manual zoom not limited to preset steps appeals to me. A lot.
  • Utimately, the only failing of compacts cameras seems to be in busy moving shots. These tend to describe a lot of what I take at family gatherings. The kind of event where I will be bringing the camera especially is where I need the extra help that a DSLR gives me. Good family memories are worth the investment.

Besides, I do enjoy taking photographs. The chance to learn more about how to take (hopefully) better ones will be fun.

I also knew that now was about the best time for me to go for the camera. Between family birthdays, becoming an uncle for a second time, and an upcoming holiday overseas, getting a camera in time for those things made the most sense. Any later and I would not be able to justify the cost until after all the photo opportunities.
And I would kick myself if I kept putting of the camera until after I was back in the country.