Choosing a Digital Camera

When it comes to choosing a digital camera, I am probably the last one you should ever consider taking advice from. Why? Because shortly after I buy one, I fall in love with a different one!

My first digital camera was a little Kodak Easy Share (4.0 MP) that I was absolutely certain I would never be able to learn to use. The first few pictures were so good though, that I was determined to learn to use it correctly. During that time, I deleted literally thousands of pictures, but with every mistake, I was learning. By the time I truly figured it all out, I had already outgrown it, and was ready for a camera with a bit more control.

I spent weeks looking for every bit of information I could find that would help me decide which camera I should choose. I have to tell you that the information out there is pretty overwhelming. With so many professional photographers using terms and phrases I didn’t understand, I started to believe that a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera was probably going to be over my head, which narrowed my search considerably.

Sony DSC F828
I finally decided on the Sony DSC-F828 (8.0 MP) with the Carl Zeiss lens. It was love at first sight! Or, maybe I should say love at first touch, because the moment I held that camera in my hands, I just knew that I had to own it.

Once again, I worried that I would never be able to learn to use it and was right back to deleting thousands of pictures while I practiced.

When it comes to photography, I don’t think we ever stop learning, but I pretty much have the Sony figured out, and again, I am finding myself wanting more control. Of course that puts me right back to scrounging every ounce of information I can find on the net.

This time, I will be choosing a DSLR but now, not only do I have to figure out which camera to choose, I also have to learn about different lenses! Of course I feel that overwhelmed feeling coming back, but I am determined to figure it all out.

Which one will I choose this time? I have to tell you that I am really liking the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. As an entry level DSLR it doesn’t seem half bad. I am also learning that the lenses I choose make a huge difference. Amazingly, many of the lenses that impress me the most, cost more than the camera does! Welcome to the world of photography, huh?

So, why haven’t I bought it yet? As quickly as I thought about the Rebel XTi, I started falling in love with the Canon EOS 5D. Of course that one is about three times the money though!

If I were going to eventually end up with something like the Canon EOS 5D should I have just started with that one?

In the end, I think we learn in steps and stages, as we are ready for the information. Maybe it is okay to buy cameras in stages too, until our skills and comfort level catch up to the next level.

Meanwhile, my daughter Haley is already eyeing up my Sony, so I guess I better decide soon! Unless I find something else that I just simply have to have, I will probably go with the Rebel XTi, and worry about the next level when the time comes.

J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and Scenic Photographer
Copyright © 2007 J. Cricket Walker of Online Photography Magazine All Rights Reserved

  1. Marlon

    This is dated for Nov 2006. So which did you chose ? I bought a Rebel XTi in January of this year and love it. I’ve taken so many amazing pictures with it. However, just like you, for every 10 great pics I kept there were about 200 that I had to delete. It really is a learning/growing experience. Now I’m shopping around for more lenses.

  2. Douglas Robertson
    Douglas Robertson03-17-2008

    First, let me say that I really enjoyed your bird photographs. They are really nice. Second, thanks for the tip on “A Picture A Day.” I can relate to your feelings in that blog. I think I will follow your good advice.

    I recently purchased a Canon EOS 5D camera with a Sigma DG f/3.5-6.3 28-300mm lens. I’ve always been a 35mm guy and have a passion for black & white photography. Digital is all new to me. I’m an outdoors type of guy and decided to experiment with digital and birds (they’re so cute!). Color is SO different!

    Did you purchase the 5D? If so, can you pass along any equipment/exposure technique advice?

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