Confession: I am fed up with my camera. My Nikon Coolpix L18 point-and-shoot just isn’t cutting it. The time it takes to auto-focus is way too sluggish, and the number of frames it takes per second (more like minute) is laughable. Granted, I know I’m talking about a point-and-shoot camera. I shouldn’t really expect much from this rinky dink device. But now that my camera use has matured past the days of college sorority events and random party pics, I feel like I’m in need of a grown-up camera.
My dad has been listening to my camera complaints for a few months now. He’s a great outlet to vent to because he’s quite the shutterbug himself. In fact, photography has been a family hobby of ours for three generations now. My dad inherited one of the Nikon cameras that my grandfather used to shoot with, and Dad now has quite a collection of film and digital cameras under his belt too. So asking him to accompany me to the camera store as my wingman was a given.
And so today, we ventured to Schiller’s, a local St. Louis camera store, that sells a full range of cameras and equipment. Since my family’s loyalties lie with Nikon, I asked the sales guy to give me his pitch for the Nikon entry-level digital SLRs. And he didn’t have to say much to sell me on… (drumroll, please)…
The Nikon D3100
For those of you not familiar with Nikon’s line of cameras, this is light years away from my L18. And so is the price tag. We’re talking $600 for the body and lens. And that’s the sale price. It’s originally $700. Nikon also has a promotion going where if you buy the D3100, you can get an additional 55-200mm lens for $150 (regularly priced at $250). So together, I’m looking to spend $750. Which is a really good deal, but yikes! Do you know how many pairs of shoes that could buy?
I didn’t want to make any rash decisions, so I left Schiller’s empty-handed but with a lot on my mind. Buying a camera of this magnitude isn’t like buying a car with the intention of it getting you from point A to point B. Buying a camera like this buys you into a hobby that requires more than just the camera itself. You need to think about a carrying case. (Hmm… wonder if Coach makes camera bags.) You need to think about printing. (Do I need a decent photo printer?) You need to think about editing software. (Too bad my old college computer that houses Adobe Creative Suite is now property of my parents’ basement.) Moral of the story is, photography is an expensive hobby!
On the flip side, there are a lot of hobbies I currently have that already justify the investment — 1) blogging, 2) scrapbooking (yes, I’m a bit of a fanatic), 3) traveling, and last but certainly not least, 4) The Bear and all his crazy antics! I need a good camera to capture shots like this.
So I’ll be contemplating the camera buy a lot over these next few days. All signs are pointing to yes, but unlike the impulse shopper I usually I am, I’m going to sleep on this one.