Monday, October 15, 2007

As exciting as they day I got my first car

I FINALLY BOUGHT A REAL CAMERA! Introducing my new Nikon D40:


This has been a longtime coming. I've wanted one for years, but it just seemed like such a huge splurge -- and for someone who freaks out about one too many lights being on in the kitchen or the amount of money it takes to make a tray of water turn into ice in the freezer, I just couldn't justify the expense.

An SLR camera seemed like the equivalent of air conditioning the house in the summer by opening the refrigerator door and cranking it to the coldest setting -- a senseless waste of money.

And yet, I couldn't let it go. I found myself researching them all the time. My lowest moment came when I was visiting my parents this spring and I found an old Consumer Reports magazine in a basket in the downstairs bathroom on cameras. I was in there so long I wouldn't be surprised if my family thought my colon exploded. Rather than bring the magazine out to the living room, I just sat there on the toilet, completely enamored and immobile.

Then there were all the weddings I attended this summer. I'm not joking when I say I talked to every last photographer among them. I bombarded them with questions like: What do you use? Why do you like it? What are the pros? Cons? Is it easy to operate? Would you recommend it to someone just getting started? What? Oh sure, get back to the newlyweds. Right.

And then there are the photographers at my newspaper. More than anyone, they will be most excited about this purchase. Probably so I will leave them the hell alone about it. (Little do they know the questions are just getting started.)

It wasn't any one thing that finally encouraged me to make the investment, more like a small series of events that all pointed to the eventual realization of "BUY IT, YOU MORON."

The first was when I found out I was pregnant. Although I'm going to try desperately not to be the type of parent who whips out a wallet full of photos of my daughter to any passing stranger who lingers in my general area long enough, it never hurts to have high-quality images to show off if the opportunity arises, right? And just because my new camera will allow me to make a wall-sized print of my baby's face without distortion or pixilization, doesn't mean I'm going to do it. But the option makes me feel drunk with digital power.

Besides, seeing a newborn's eyeball blown up to the size of a pizza box might just be the finishing touch our dining room needs. In a tasteful frame, of course.

The second indication that I should make the plunge came when my pocket digital camera bit the dust while we were on vacation last month. It still works to a degree -- enough to get a picture out of it -- but the steps it takes to get even just one image is too complicated. I wouldn't trust anyone else to be able to use it, and that's not an option in the delivery room. If I don't have pictures of our seconds-old wrinkly goopy alien baby, I'll be more than a little pissed off. I mean, that's a rite of passage for modern moms. Gross pictures of your vernix-covered infant with umbilical cord still intact. (Another poster-sized candidate for the dining room wall.)

I'd love to be able to introduce my camera with actual photos taken on it, but the brilliant sales guy at the electronics store informed me that all memory cards are universal and I would be able to use the one from my old Olympus.

Yeah. Not the case.

I'd have to shave about one-eighths of an inch off to get it to fit into the slot, and I'm pretty sure that would damage its photo-storing capabilities to some degree. (Just call it a hunch.) So I'm hoping to be able to talk Jerry into stopping at the electronics store on his way home from work today, which I don't think will be a problem. That's like asking me if I'd like a scoop of ice cream. The answer is never no.

In the meantime, I will just stare at it lovingly with admiration and respect.

But I can't wait to take it out for a spin.


Aisha said...

he told you memory cards are universal??? BAD salesman!

Olympus uses XD, and I think everything else uses SD. I bought 2 gigs worth of memory over the summer and have accepted that if I ever get a different camera, they will be mostly useless.

I am so jealous of your camera. I have been drooling over DSLRs since my sixteenth birthday-hoping someone will get me one for the holidays/my birthday this year. Can't wait to see the awesome photos you take with the new camera!

gorakagaz said...

oooh...i've been wanting one too! except i have to save up for it, and since i just bought a camera last year, it's kinda hard to justify the expense. but nothing will make you want a new camera like taking a photography class =]
have fun taking pics...maybe you should start a daily pic post? that would be wonderful, and it would give you a chance to gauge your progress.

its_just_ang from Xanga said...

Good choice! My husband does photography and he's really good at it, I might say. : ) If you ever have any questions, you can go to my husband's Myspace page and ask away. He's always happy to talk about photography. It's his "crack habit." His page is and his photography myspace page is I can't wait to see pics of your little one. You'll be glad you splurged on that camera!

the plainsman said...

"Besides, seeing a newborn's eyeball blown up to the size of a pizza box might just be the finishing touch our dining room needs. In a tasteful frame, of course."

You DO have a way with words! LOL

Anna said...

We bought a Nikon D40 in the summer and love, love, love it. It's awesome. It really lets us take the most wonderful pictures of our daughter without really even trying, which was so hard with our old camera because the second she moved (which is all.the.time), the picture would come out blurry.

Timre said...

Good for you! I love my Nikon...and with a new baby coming you will go crazy with photos...especially since digital is so cheap.
I agree that you should start a photo blog just with pictures of the baby.

Shalini said...

is that an SLR? I really want a new camera and might have to look into this one! Post some pics that you take with this camera to see the difference from you other camera :)

Tiffany said...

Ahh, that's the one I want!! I can't wait to see pictures from it. :-) I just got a new digital, so I won't be able to justify a d40 for awhile... sigh.

petra said...

Oh, you'll thank yourself for getting a D-SLR when you want to capture those wonderful moments with your daughter. Most pocket cams are too slow to really capture quick kids (or pets for that matter). And since you already have a camcorder, you won't miss the fact, that your D40 only takes stills.

Hubby has Nikon D70 and he really likes it. And he's been able to take some wonderful pictures of his nephew, thanks to having a D-SLR. A reference pic.

Erin in Scranton said...

I second Aisha's comment ... Olympus has its own memory card system (Fuji also uses xD) -- but everyone else uses SD. I learned this when my Olympus broke last month at the beach ... and had to get a new Olympus because I didn't want to buy a new memory card. Suck it, Olympus.....

chelsea said...

Nikons are great! I'm looking at cameras too, since next year I'll be starting college and the two seem to go together so well =) Take some practice action shots on Toby!

LeslieAnn said...

My sister-in-law always liked to take photos but after her daughter was born she got serious about it and has her own photography business. Her photos are really wonderful.

If you want to check it out it is

Joanna said...

So I'm a bit torn about this purchase. Congratulations on the purchase of the camera- it's always really exciting, but I would have definitely suggested a Canon. I've worked for a photographer for a while, and have TONS of photographer friends, and a majority of them would agree. Yes, I know that this last sentence was a run-on, no judging Kelly haha. Anyways, congrats! And your due date is my birthday!!

Emilee said...

We're learning all about photography and cameras in the Yearbook class that I'm taking this year. There's so much information you need to know just to take a really good picture for a yearbook! And all those complicated terms, like the f-s, apperture, shutter speed and ISO, are so hard to memorize and learn about. But I can't wait to see pictures of the baby! I'm sure your new camera will come in very handy. :]

Janice said...

YAY! That's so exciting! I just bought a Canon Powershot sd750 and it's amazing with all of the image extras and whatnot... I take it with me all the time. <3

Anonymous said...

It's the camera I love and have wanted for a while now too. I am waiting until we are pregnant and close to due before I invest in it.

The memories you make are amazing to hold within your heart but to have an equally amazing photo to share with others is priceless.

Ray said...

Awwwww, you lucky woman! I want a Nikon TOO, but the one I want is the Nikon D-80. But I suppose any Nikon would be great. And all your reasons for getting the camera all incidentally lead back to "baby" ;o)! Which is not bad at all. Hell if I ever have a kid I'd be going "picture happy every 5 seconds!" I do it now every time I see my 3-week old cousin Alyssa. Imagine my own child. Nonetheless I'm very happy that you made this purchase. You won't regret it because you'll have so many beautiful shots of your baby to remember those first days, weeks, months and years by. It'll be fantastic and you'll be more than happy that you finally when through with the purchase.

Also, it's nice because now you can take a picture of her from every month until her first year to look back on. That would be awesome. Okay! I'm getting too excited here.

Take care & SPIN AWAY! =)

Anonymous said...

I bought a Nikon d50 a little more than a year ago and it has paid for it's self over and over again. I love it!!Don't consider it a splurge...consider it an investment. (And just wait until you find all the fun toys that you can get to go along with it!!)

Dr. Carasco said...

If nothing else, I like having pictures from when I was a kid, even though I'd still hate it if my mom or dad whipped out a picture of me for their friends. And you should still be able to test the camera out without the memory card, at least as far as getting a feel for changing settings and the balance.
What was the name of the store you purchased the camera at? Because that salesman should never have suggested that memory cards are universal.

Silverwolf said...

SLRs are always awesome! I've got a Nikon D80 and I absolutely love it! It's easy to use and takes *great* pictures. Hope you enjoy!