I know first-hand that a good DSLR is expensive, believe me... However, can you really put a price on visual memories? For me, justifying the expense of a DSLR didn't become a reality until I got pregnant the first time, even though photography has always been a passion of mine.
Now, you know whenever I make a purchase, especially a large purchase, that I do a LOT of research. I have been loyal to Nikon since buying my first point-and-shoot digital camera so of course I started there. Would I have liked to own a D3? You bet your butt I would, but at a cost of $8,000 for the body only (no lenses included), there was no way that was going to fly.
What pushed me to buy my first DSLR was the fact that children grow and change so quickly, and their movements are many times erratic. Trying to rely on a point-and-shoot to focus and do whatever other annoyance it needs to do before taking a photo means losing the exact moment you tried to capture... you know what I mean (it's like a asking an indecisive friend where he/she wants to go for dinner... "uh...uh...uh...how about Chilis?" - and we got there!). Don't you hate capturing the moment after the moment you wanted to capture?
Missing out on precious memories to come was unacceptable to me, and that is why I bit the bullet.
I finally decided on the D7000, and when I purchased it, it came with 2 lenses (see the first 2 lenses in my pic). The first lens is the one I shoot with the most - it is super versatile. The second, my zoom lens, is only one I pull out if I need to spy on a neighbor or see what creepy animal is lurking in my back yard. I have used it up at the cabin to shoot (calm down - I mean shoot photos of, not shoot with blood and guts and ick!) large birds soaring overhead or things on the lake too far away to see well with my main lens. However, when shooting with a zoom lens, you really need a tripod for a perfectly clear photo.
That third lens is a beast. It was the most expensive (and the heaviest) and is a Micro lens. I realized I needed this lens when I tried to use my main lens to shoot close-up photos of some flowers I had received... nothin' like getting up in there for an interesting pic..., and I realized I couldn't take the kinds of close-up photos that I could with my previous point-and-shoot. Grrr...
The downsides to having a DSLR are as follows:
"What's that growing out of the top of your DSLR?" you ask? Oh that - that's my external flash, an ESSENTIAL when buying a DSLR. Why? Well, if you're going to make the investment to buy a DSLR, then you might as well get an external flash to eliminate those point-and-shoot rookie mistakes: red eye, weird shadows, bad lighting, etc.
My external flash amazing (SB-700). The actual flash part can be rotated and pointed in any direction, it can be set for different focal lengths, it has 3 different light distribution patterns, and it can even be controlled wirelessly (if you really want to take it to that extreme). I absolutely love this flash. Frankly, it's more complicated than I care to sit down and read about, but it can help create some beautiful photos.
All in, I'm probably at about $3,500 (don't get all OMG - I didn't buy it all at once), and I wouldn't change a thing. I also have a little remote (ML-L3 Wireless Remote) that allows me to take selfies of me and my son (without an arm in the photo) and family photos without needing an assistant.
It's your choice, and your money, but it is something to consider carefully. I do believe that point-and-shoots and cell phone cameras have their places, and I even use my cell phone camera in a pinch, but I usually end up frustrated. When I want to post something quickly to Facebook, I grab my cell phone and then end up giving up and going for my DSLR. Yes it's more work than taking the photo on my phone and posting it directly from the same device, but nothing beats the quality and quickness of a good DSLR.
Image Credits: (top) http://www.nikonpassion.com/nouveau-nikon-sb-700-3-zones-dillumination-et-interface-repensee/, (bottom) http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb700.htm
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Cyndi M. Frick
This lifestyle blog is my outlet to share and advise about the things I love. I always have an opinion!