September 16, 2013

Nikon D5100 | New Camera Get

*cough* So a few weeks ago, Best Buy had a one day flash sale on DSLRs. And of course while I was working hard at work, I took a peak during a much needed break, only to find some pretty great deals.

Now, I haven't really been considering getting a new camera any time soon since I got my D3100 fairly recent (3 years = recent), but there's certain things about the D3100 that was lacking that pushed my decision to get this new camera.

My past 2 DSLRs have been considered "beginner" models—basically budget friendly, under $1000 and limited functions. I thought it was time to finally upgrade—although granted I paid under $1000 for this camera too.

What sold me?

Wireless Remote Ability

My D3100 does not come with the option to use a wireless or even an attached remote. This bothered me because I've been wanting to try some long exposure shots that would be easier to take with the use of a remote to reduce shaking or even possibly portraits and what not. My D50 also has the ability to use a remote, but that poor guy is collecting dust in one of my old camera bags. (Not to mention it's kind of ancient with its massive/heavy battery and super tiny LCD screen) I immediately went onto eBay to purchase a super cheap Nikon wireless remote in orange—hell yes—for a mere $2! (plus another $2 for shipping, but still)

Flip Screen

Not even going to lie, taking selfies is hella hard when you have to hold your camera in one hand, while twisting your fingers to press the shutter—not to mention trying to make sure that your camera is focused on your face and not on the floor/what's behind you. So much trial and error. Sometimes I would get to the point where I'd turn my camera onto Live View mode, grab a small hand mirror, position it in front of the LCD screen and angle it so that I could see if it was focused on me...quite silly no? This flip screen solves this problem for me so well. It's the same size as my D3100 so I didn't have to sacrifice that at all. I can now focus of my face quite easily and clearly! The flip screen is also great for filming and taking low angle shots. Also, I like that you can flip it inside. No need to get one of those tacky plastic protectors!

Button Reorganization

The buttons on the back of the camera are spread out a lot differently than both my D3100 and D50. It's taking some getting used to, however I really love where they placed the Live View and Record buttons. They're now both sitting on top of the camera, near the shutter button, which to me makes sense! I didn't like how they were placed behind the camera, beside the LCD screen on my D3100. I also keep accidentally pressing the zoom buttons when trying to delete images because that's where it is on the D3100. Kind of silly, but I'll get over it.

Higher ISO Sensitivity
If you don't know/remember what ISO is, it's basically the camera's(film's) sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to picking up light. Now, I'm a huge high-setting ISO whore. I love setting my ISO to the highest settings possible because I find it easier to judge light that way when dealing with my aperture and shutter speed settings. I also actually manage to not pick up a lot of noise with it either, so it works well. I also find it easier to manage light when in dark places. The days are getting shorter now and the light fades fast, so with a higher sensitivity, I can still capture natural light fairly well at a closer sunset time. It also works out great with my prime lens with its aperture of f/1.8 *swoon* This camera's ISO range is 100-6400. My D3100's range goes up to 3200 and even that was a pretty big deal compared to my D50 max of 1600.

VR Lens

This one isn't such a huge deal to me as it would be to some others, but my current kit lens on my D3100 is not a VR lens. VR lenses are designed to reduce vibrations in the lens when taking photos. Some people are super picky about that stuff, but I'm not so much. It's definitely useful though when you don't have a tripod or a sturdy place to put your camera down on however. It was also a good/better deal for me to buy the entire kit instead of just the body, which was being sold for $50 less on Henrys at the time. I do however love my 50mm prime lens and generally keep it on all the time; this is just backup.

Additional Mics + Settings

The reason why I don't like to film on my D3100 is because there aren't very many controls or options for the sound quality. With the D5100, I am able to adjust the sound settings/volumes and I can even attach an additional mic! I don't plan to do much filming with it since I'm not too interested in video, but it's super awesome to know that if an opportunity arises, I actually have a camera that will cooperate and be good enough to use.

Somewhat Useful "Effect" Modes
I noticed that this camera came with "effects" that you can actually shoot in. While I find this to be a kind of novelty and separates the really pro cameras from the consumer cameras, I thought it would be neat to play around with. I probably won't use them that often though because I can replicate a lot of them in photoshop during post-prod. I just didn't like how they added it to the mode wheel on top.

Overall, I'm in love and I'm glad that the impulse buy was well worth it. Which reminds me, I bought this kit (body + lens) for sale for $499.99CAD from its original price of around $600, which even then was cheaper than what I paid for my D3100, 3 years ago ($629—on sale too)

I haven't gotten too much of a chance to test it out. The fall season is coming and it's almost time for my yearly fall photos that I've been doing since 2009. I'm also planning on visiting a friend who moved to a town, 2 hours away and lives near a park. Should be great.

Anyone planning on buying a new camera soon? A DSLR?


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