Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I Changed My Mind About a DSLR

Almost two months ago I posted here about deciding not to buy a DSLR. My mind was firmly made up to buy the new Panasonic FZ35. I'd still like to get that camera, but this morning I bought another one.

After I made that first decision back in August, I continued to hang out at the DPReview forums. I mostly frequented the Panasonic forum, but checked out others as well. After a while I noticed something: Most of the photos that really caught my attention were taken with DSLRs. Of course, it makes sense that the better photographers had invested in the better cameras. And in the end it's the photographer's skill that matters more than the equipment. Or, as someone put it, "It's not how big your sensor is, but what you do with it that counts." :-)

Still, I was intrigued. Most of my favorite shots on those forums were taken with a higher-end ($2,000+) Canon or the Olympus E-520, which sells for considerably less. The Olympus images were mostly shot with an expensive ($1,000) 50-200mm lens or the more reasonably priced ($400) 70-300. But I learned the kit lenses that can be bought with either Olympus are a cut above most kit lenses, and eminently usable.

I could buy the E-520 with the two kit lenses for under $600. I could buy the E-520 with a camera bag and a couple of UV filters, plus the Panasonic FZ35, and still be under $1,000. dad had many good cameras. My son has several sophisticated ham radios. My daughter and her SO have a speedboat, a luxury pontoon, a kayak, and a jet ski.

I just bought myself a DSLR.

PS: While hanging around DPReview I entered a photo in a Leica challenge. (My camera has a Leica lens.) It won first place. So I think that alone justifies a new camera, yes?


Dona said...

You know -- I had nearly exactly the same process getting my DSLR. I wanted a Nikon D60, but talked myself out of it and purchased a point-and-shoot that was recommended by a photographer blogger from my hometown ( Then I looked at his photos and my photos and changed my mind and begged for a Nikon D60 for Christmas and Santa Claus figured I was a good enough girl this year and sent me one.

I'm still only using the automatic settings on my DSLR though -- I need to take a class in photography.

Enjoy your camera (and check out James' photographs.)

Susan said...

Thanks for the link. I also checked out his Flickr photos. Some very nice stuff. I can see why you were inspired. I love his self-portraits. I'm surprised he doesn't do more with black & white. I'm looking forward to doing more B&W, perhaps because I so admire my dad's photos.

I'm sure you're enjoying that camera! Good for you (and Santa). Do you feel a lens addiction coming on? I do. My Amazon order hasn't even been processed, and already I'm contemplating my next lens. Fortunately, I can be happy staying in the contemplation phase for a long time. Thank heavens I'm frugal.

crystal said...

I'm looking forward to all the photos you're going to post :)

Indigo Bunting said...

Sometimes you just need to invest in a great toy/tool. I love your photos. Can't wait for more.

Mali said...

Good for you. You've got the eye, you should have the camera to match.

PS Did we see the winning photograph?