Camera Search: Part 1

{Brooklyn Bridge}

So the search for a camera is on!  We are getting some money back from our taxes, and I've earmarked some of it for a new camera.  I'm not an expert on cameras - so I've been doing some research.  I wanted to share it with all of you in case you're in the same position as me.

First, I asked my brother-in-law.  He's really knowledgeable about all sort of technological gadgets.  He started out by asking me a few questions about what I was looking for in terms of size, lenses, and controls.  I want something that will take very good quality photos and that I'll have more control over than a point and shoot.  I also want to be comfortable holding it, and so it can't be too huge.

He explained to me that there are a few types of cameras (with generalizations about their features):
Compact Camera -  Pocketable, minimal control, not great for low light.
Advanced Compact Camera -  Similar to a compact but probably too big for a pocket.  More manual controls.
Mirrorless Interchangeable Lense Camera - Bigger and with a bigger sensor, better in low light, manual control, multiple lenses, better autofocus and dynamic range, may have an optional viewfinder.
DSLR - Big, best lowlight, dynamic range, and autofocus, multiple lenses, has an optical viewfinder.

He has a Nikon D90 (DSLR) but mentioned that if he could justify buying a new camera right now, he would get an Olympus E-P3, which is a mirrorless interchangeable lense camera.  It is smaller than the
 D90 and has a number of physically small but fast (large aperture) lenses.  The large aperture compensates for the slightly smaller sensor in low light performance and also allows you to have the subject in focus while the background is blurry.  

His other big recommendation is to go to a camera store and try a bunch of cameras to see what is comfortable for you to use.  I will definitely be doing this! I want my new camera to feel perfect in my hands.

Do you have any other advice or recommendations?  I'd love to hear from you!  I'll be posting more about my search next week.


  1. The TV production guys at work told me to get a Cannon T2i because it also shoots 1080HD video. But I shot video a lot. I know that the rebel is a great entry-level DSLR. It's all about the lenses from what I hear! Good luck on your hunt!

  2. I have a Nikon D40X (DSLR) and a Canon compact and love them both but if I was buying a new camera I would definitely upgrade to the new Nikon D2000 which looks super amazing!

  3. I loved my Nikon D40 but wanted something even more compact for traveling. I didn't want to give up picture quality, though. I started looking into the micro 4/3 format (not a camera expert at all) and finally bought a Panasonic Lumix G1 display model on eBay, plus the G 20 1.7 pancake lens. My priority is shooting food and people (fairly close up) and I'm thrilled with the results. Good luck with your search!

  4. Thank your all for the advice! I'll be looking up these cameras this weekend.