Thursday, June 23, 2011

The upgrade question

Before I begin, I promise that there are adorable photos to look at. Have no fear, non-photographers.

Should I upgrade my camera body? This is a fairly common question from those out there with entry level DSLR cameras. In my personal opinion, you should only upgrade your camera if you know why you want to upgrade and what features and functions you desire in a new camera.

So why did I upgrade? There were two main annoyances with my D50. First was the fact that there are only 5 focal points. I was constantly having to focus and recompose, which can be difficult to do with young kids. The second thorn in my side was the ISO capabilities. The D50 only has four ISO settings - 200, 400, 800 and 1600. 400 was passable but the other two were not, in my opinion.

Now, this could be my own perception but I felt as if the D50 was slow to focus and slow to shoot.

Here's a list of the features of the D7000 (compared to the D50) that were immediately noticeable:
  • The side hand grip feels smaller to me. I actually view this as a negative. Grammy tried it out and she liked it. Maybe it's the same as her camera (the D90)?

  • The ISO settings run from 100 to 6400. I still tend to use some bounced flash indoors if it is possible but having the ability to choose from this range is amazing. The picture in yesterday's post was taken with an ISO of 2500. There is still a little bit of grain and I'm too lazy to do anything about it so I'm going to say that it fits the mood of the photo.

  • There are 39 focal points. 39! You can change your settings to limit how many you want to use. I currently have it set so that I have the option of all 39. I thought 39 would be slow to toggle through but it actually isn't because as I'm setting up my shot, I'll have an idea of where I want it to focus and then I just have to adjust by a few up, down or over.
  • The shutter is extremely fast.
  • The LCD screen is a dream. It seems to show the photo almost exactly as it appears when I upload to my computer. I also have the ability to zoom in to the smallest of details. The LCD screen on the D50 was a piece of crapola. I could zoom in once and it wasn't really a zoom at all. And I could never tell what was in focus and what wasn't.
  • There are two wheels so if I am shooting in manual, I can quickly adjust my shutter speed with one wheel and my aperture with the other. The D50 only has one wheel. When shooting in manual. you are supposed to push down a button and spin the wheel at the same time in order to adjust the aperture. I could never do this, especially if my nails were the least bit long.
  • I have three metering options now: matrix, center-weighted and spot.
Well, hopefully one or two of you found this interesting. I'll end with some test shots of Anna. You can't tell but she was eating a cookie as I took these. That's why her teeth don't look so clean. But she sat still. Oh, and please ignore the mustard on her face.





Wiley said...

But I love the mustard on her face.

Cindy said...

I am camera clueless but hung in there for the photos - the mustard makes the pictures IMO. Anna is so beautiful. I love her smile.

Wendy said...

Stinking adorable. 39 focal points! WOW! I'm happy with 11 :P The d40 only had three. That was maddening. Glad you're enjoying the 7000.

Kristen and Mike said...

Alright...I am just learning about my camera and had a quick question for you. I have the Nikon D3000 and just have the lens that it came with. It is 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6. I was playing around with it and trying to take some pictures of the kids and realized that with the minimum aperture of 5.6, I can't focus on the kids only and have less depth of field. So, I was thinking about buying another lens even though I am just starting out, so I have other options if I want to get those types of shots. Any suggestions if I were to get only one other lens? What would be the lens that I would get the most use with? Thanks! :) You take great pictures!

Sarah said...

I was just struggling with the questions. Thanks for the post.