personal photography

Why I Chose My Nikon D5100

August 9, 2012

Since I was in high school and admired the ease with which my art teacher took gorgeous photos of our paintings, sculptures, etc for our portfolio slides (Yes, I’m just barely old enough to have once needed to make slides for portfolio submissions. Crazy how much technology has changed in just 10 years, huh?), I’ve pined for my own DSLR camera. Photography is actually one of the few art forms I’ve never had a crazy love affair with, but the increased practicality of getting beautiful, professional photos of my work is undeniable. I always said “One day, when I can afford it, I’ll get a fancy camera”.

After graduating college and settling into a series of day jobs, I realized how much I would love to have a self-initiated business on the side to push myself creatively. Nothing fancy, but an active Etsy and blog and the occasional craft fair or convention would be lovely. In my mind, those dreams boiled down to one logical starting point. I needed that fancy camera ASAP.

I saved and researched a lot this past year. I have a very elementary knowledge of cameras and photography and didn’t really know where to start, so I thought an easy first step was checking out some bloggers whose photos I always loved and seeing what cameras they used.

1.) Ashley from Fancy Fine uses a Canon T1i
2.) Elsie from A Beautiful Mess uses a Canon EOS 40D
3.) Karla from Karla’s Closet uses a Canon EOS 5D
4.) Shery & John Young House Love use a Nikon D3000
5.) Veronika from Tick Tock Vintage uses a Canon EOS XSi
6.) MinnieΒ from The Stylish Wanderer uses a Canon Rebel xti

Phew. One thing that really struck me from this honorable list was the huge variation of price points! All such stunning photos and the camera prices varied from $350(used)-$2000+! I became hopeful that the right camera for me would be less expensive, but I could use it to great affect with proper knowledge and editing skills.

There are different opinions in the Canon vs. Nikon debate, but it seemed to me to mostly boil down to personal preference. I’d always fancied Nikon, but not for any real reason. I had a Nikon point-and-shoot that I loved in 2005 and I knew a girl who took the most amazing photos with her Nikon, so I think that’s where my bias originated. After my little blogger poll, I started to think I should just get a Canon. Namely, the Canon Rebel series.

At this point I was confused and couldn’t decide which model was worth the purchase. I was afraid to buy too inexpensive a camera and wind up with photos not more impressive enough than my point-and-shoot to justify the money.

For some reason, it took me that long to discover SnapSort, but I’m so glad I finally did! It’s a very simple, well-designed website that really broke everything down for me and helped me understand. Based on all their user reviews and opinions, the Nikon D5100 emerged as the smartest choice. The price combined with the handy flip-out screen and basic necessary features I wanted in a DSLR sealed the deal for me.

I haven’t had my camera long, but I’m really enjoying it so far and can’t wait to learn a lot while using it! Are any of you guys currently camera hunting or did you recently get one? What was your wish list and what helped you decide? Any regrets? Future hopes and dreams for upgrading?