A little history lesson to get you up to speed. Please indulge me.
1. I enjoyed photography growing up, either using my own dinky point and shoot camera that my folks bought me, or those few instances where my Dad allowed me to borrow his old Yashica SLR. I even did some part time work as one of my high school’s newspaper photographers.
2. I also purchased one of the last APS cameras (mine was an Olympus model) right before digital photography exploded. I never said I had good timing. Good point-and-shoot overall.
3. In the early 2000s, I purchased my first digital camera – a Sony point-and-shoot. digital photography was so much easier and cheaper than regular cameras. No more photo development fees!
4. In May 2006, we purchased a beautiful, wonderful, fun, Canon PowerShot S80 digital camera after saving up for months. It was for the prosumer or professional amateur like myself. Great quality photos. It was no SLR, but it was good.
Sadly, I had one too many Jack Daniels, Indian chaat, and laughs with friends one night in October 2009, and I accidentally dropped it (while still on) and the extended lens met hardwood floor. I attempted to get it repaired, but every repair shop said it would cost $600 to fix a $500 camera. Much sadness.
4. We couldn’t afford a brand new camera with prosumer features so soon, so we made due with an ultra cheap Fuji FinePix digital camera. It did the job for the next four years, but the photos were flat and sad. Seriously. This camera also met its untimely death at my hands when I left it accidentally on the car roof after Easter 2013 church services. Notice a trend here? It’s a known fact that burn through electronics pretty quickly.
5. For the past year, my wife and I have gone without any real camera, and relied solely on our respective camera phones. I know many digital camera doomsayers have proclaimed in recent years that camera phones would supplant the need for a separate digital camera, but I have to disagree. Yes, having a built-in camera on your phone is handy, but it should be considered the “Best option on hand.” Although my iPhone 4 camera was pretty good, my Samsung Galaxy S4 camera doesn’t take good photos if there is even slight movement. Maybe the shutter is inherently slow, or I’ve dropped it one too many times, but I have almost a year’s worth of slightly cruddy and/or blurry memories captured on photo. It’s bugged me for months. Are we to resign ourselves to blurry memories?
I’ve been looking at reasonable DSLR cameras that would balance price, features, and ease of use for someone still wanting to be more than the amateur who leaves the camera on “Automatic” mode. I read a lot of good things about the 2013 Nikon D5200, but most of my friends with a DSLR were split between Canon and Nikon.
Lo and behold, my wife surprises me for my birthday with a D5200 camera and 18-55 mm lens. I was very taken aback, but in a great way. What a sweet woman she is.
Now I have to wait to get a camera case and eventually a telephoto lens. And find time to register for a basic photography class.