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A Sort of How-To / July 23, 2016

Moving to a DSLR

I had been tinkering with my bridge camera for little over six months. While I had a good time exploring photography with it, I had this growing feeling that I should be moving to a DSLR. I was learning a lot attending the DPEG photowalks every weekend, and I felt that if I had to genuinely draw benefit from these photowalks, I must have adequate gear with me.

But, I knew that moving to a DSLR would entail incurring higher cost of gear, and above all, accepting the challenge to up my game. To be honest, I went through my phase of having self-doubts. But, my wife, brother and friends really encouraged me to go for it.

Then came the daunting task – which DSLR to buy? I am sure most of us must have gone through this phase of finding the ‘right’ DSLR. There I was facing the “Nikon vs. Canon” dilemma. I read online reviews, watched YouTube videos, and what not. Net result, more confusion. The next camera brand, model, seemed better than the previous one.

If this was not enough, I, as a photographer, was unclear about the genre I would like to hone my skills at. But, this was not lack of clarity, rather preference to remain unbounded by genres for the time being. I wanted to pursue every genre to get better at my craft. So what to do? Prepare a list of what I wanted and what I did not, basis my understanding of photography at the time.

What I wanted?

  1. DSLR that is good for low light photography
  2. That had an internal focus motor – it would allow backward compatibility to a wide range of older lenses with autofocus
  3. Camera that has a kit lens with decent focal length
  4. Not too heavy to carry
  5. A good brand that has a wide range of lens line-up – native and third party
  6. Of course, good after-sales service network

What I did not want?

  1. Full frame camera – simply because they are way too expensive
  2. I did not want to control aperture, ISO and shutter speed through software – I found it quite cumbersome
  3. Too technical software – wanted to focus on my photography rather than learning the technical words upfront

Being part of DPEG acted as an added advantage. I had made some friends who were regular with the photowalks, and all of them had a DSLR. So I tried my hands at different brands and models of DSLRs.

Finally, I decided on buying a Nikon camera because I found them having a more user-friendly interface and boy, their cameras can shoot in low light.

I have been using my Nikon D7000 for more than 5 years, and I so love it! Majority of the photographs on this website have been taken with that camera.


Authored by Shivendra Lal

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