Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nikon-ica Electronica

It's the holiday season - a.k.a. the electronic shopping season. All the good electronics are on sales that are totally affordable and probably the lowest they will be of the year. It's probably the best time to get that technological gadget of your liking.

Stores compete with other stores during this time. For example; Best Buy competes their prices with options that are known for their low prices such as Amazon.com.

In the electronics department, items are usually known to come out for completion and upgrades in the fall just in time to be out long enough for the big price drop for the holiday season, and to later be picked right back up to MSRP again for the new year.

I took advantage of the big sales! You all know I just got myself a new SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera which I purchase from Best Buy over Amazon.com since Best Buy dropped the price in competition. I'd rather have it right away then have to wait for shipping - which is still free from either website for the holidays.

I bought the Nikon D3000 which was released just this fall in September of 2009. Brand new model, brand new specs, brand new software and photo processor. The D3000 was made to replace the discontinued Nikon D40 and D60 which both achieved almost Guinness World Record numbers for positive reviews. (This is all information I've attained from doing my own personal research online).

Behold; my new DSLR



What is a DSLR?

D-igital S-ingle L-ens R-eflex

SLR's come with separate lenses, therefore the camera is not limited to taking photos with one lens, as are Point and Shoot cameras. If you are looking for specific specifications for a photo, you can change your lens to a lens which would be able to capture what you are looking for. It really may not even mattter what the body is, the lenses are what truly make the difference.

SLR's differentiate from everyday compacts by having a mirror inside the body of the camera that allows you to see exactly what the lens is doing through the view hole that you look through. Basically what you see is what you get...for the most part. Some SLR's have adapted live view screens where you can see what you are shooting on the screen, but usually you will be using your SLR through the view hole to only see the final picture on the screen once the photo is taken so you can debate wether the photo is worth keeping, or just tossable, or even to add some effects! In my opinion, live view on an SLR is kind of pointless, unless it is something you are very comfortable with being a compact point and shoot user.

I only own the kit lens - 18-55mm - which comes with the camera. You can get those big deals that come with 2 lenses...of some other specifications, but I just wanted this for now.


I'm a n00b, so I write in n00b language...
easier for the beginner and total nonner to understand.


Why did I choose the Nikon over the Canon which was the same price?

Nikon, Canon...whatever. They're both outstanding companies which are top of the line. You can't go wrong with either one. I personally chose the Nikon because it felt better in my hand, the pictures came out to my better liking, and it seemed easier to use. Also, the Nikon was a new model that had just been released this fall as opposed to the year old model of the Canon.


Canon EOS Rebel XSi on the left - Nikon D3000 on the right

Both images are great. Taken in the store with those beat up display models so I have no idea what settings they were on, which could make a huge difference in image quality and look, but I was sold on the Nikon anyway. It was exactly what I was looking for. Honestly...the Canon made me look like hell.

I was also very impressed with images I saw in the D3000 group pool on Flickr.com. To see a better (bigger) version of the D3000 shot, along with few others - check out my post with them - HERE.

Really, I don't think you can go wrong with either Canon or Nikon. They are both the top notch. So if you're looking for my opinion between the two - go research it for yourself. It's all personal opinion.


Why did I get an SLR?

I wanted that bokeh (blurred background) effect that SLR's give you. They just allow you capture images with more depth. Point and Shoots focus on the entire area of the photo, unless in macro, bbut the SLR focuses in on an object, just like the human eye would. The photos come out true to vision...or you can add cool effects while processing the image in the camera!

One key to remember about any camera is - it is not the camera, it's YOU!

It's not important what make or model a camera is,
as long as YOU are not limiting IT'S potential.

Companies have the most advanced technologies going into their products and they have specific instructions at times, but it is important to remember to keep your options open to new ideas and settings for your camera.


Another option for me was the D5000. This model was priced $200 above the D3000 and specifically for the swivel screen. Something I was not interested in one bit was a swivel screen.

I know within a week, that camera won't have a screen at all if I get my hands on swiveling it around all day.


Nikon D5000 - $200 extra for a swivel screen
Nahh...I'll pass.

Also, since its a swivel screen, it's so much smaller than the nice big 3 inch screen on the D3000.

The D5000 also has live view, which is nice is you are very used to being a point and shoot photo taker, but in my opinion, also something completely unnecessary for me - especially not for $200 extra. I'd rather look like a pro and look through the peep hole!

The pictures came out the same...I would recommend going for the D3000 over the D5000.


Okay...on to some more D3000 test shots. (If you still seek more - Click here)


Sock Monkey




Twinkle effect - makes the camera so much more fun!


Miniature Effect - makes things look tiny, almost like toys!



Nikon D3000 (left) in comparison to Canon SD1100IS P&S (right)

The difference - the blurred background and the filled in flash.

SLRs will blur backgrounds for a 3 dimensional in-depth image, where as point and shoots with focus on the entire are of the photo. Flashes on point and shoots light up the entire image area where SLR's fill in light where needed. The Canon image might look brighter, but I had the settings on Manual with vivid color, when the Nikon was set on Macro with decreased flash and no color settings. That can all be altered and is not important, take note of the details.


Since I have a baby, I need a camera that will take a clear picture even when sudden movements can ruin it...I need quick shutter speed.


Even with the incredible super speed moving baby - I got a nice pic!


A great item to have if you do own an SLR is a lens filter. These help keep your lens clean of any dust, scratches or any other kind of debris that can damage your lens. There are many different lens filters that can give off different effects, so definitely shop around! They are cheap and worth it. One that you absolutely MUST OWN is the Ultraviolet HD filter. I use it everyday.

The D3000 lacks video mode so you cannot record any videos with this camera. Some SLR's have HD video which is cool if you wish to record different videos using the effects of certain lenses, but it was not necessary for me since I already own a seperate HD camcorder. Whereas it would be cool to take HD video on a camera that I will probably be holsting around with me everywhere, but I also do not need to be filling up my memory card with video when I could be snapping some great photos. HD videos will be taken with my camcorder. For those of you wondering when my YouTube page will finally be stacked with vids - I'm working on finding some time to do so...you know, without a baby screaming and breaking toys in the background.


Now back to the camera...

My Rating : 5 Flashing Stars


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Great images
  • Wonderful quality
  • Sturdy body
  • Great kit lens
  • Quick shutter speed
  • Great performance in low light
  • Fun to use
  • Cool effects
  • Not too heavy...just right!

I love it!


Nikon really hit the nail on the head with this one.

They have excelled in the SLR realm...
Now they need to focus on making their compact point and shoots better.
(cuz we all know they could use a little work...)



You know what really helps when you want to buy a camera?

Looking at test shots!

Go to Flickr.com and type in the make and model of the camera you want and look through all the shots. Compare them to another make and model and you can see which images you like more.

Also, bring your memory card when you go to the store to check it out. Put it in the cameras and snap away. This way you can compare your pictures at home on your computer and see how they really look. Sometimes an image can look a lot better on the LCD screen of the camera than it will once uploaded to the computer, and other times, an image can get blurry and unsatisfying once uploaded or processed by the camera.

It might not be much of a big deal to you, but if I will spend money on something, I want it to be on something that is exactly what I wanted. I've learned my lesson from buying cameras because of the hype. Never again will I do that. Hype is hype...people are paid to hype things up. The facts are the facts though, and you can' deny them.

I am more than happy with my purchase. I could never get a better deal for that price! I love my Nikon DSLR and I will expand my lens collection once I get some more mooollllaaaaa.

Disclaimer: this is just a post I made to help anyone out there who is in the market for an SLR. The camera is my own, purchased by me. Images of camera models D3000, and D5000 have been obtained from Google images. All other photos are my own.

xoxo,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday Funday

I woke up with a purpose today, and that purpose was in the name of photography. Yes people, I'm not over it. I don't think I will ever get over it, which is a good thing for blogging since everyone loves great images...and lots of them!

If not, what is there to look at? All the words?

One thing I learned from blogging is that people hardly read everything that you write. I can't even count how many times I've been asked questions I clearly answered in the post if only that person would have actually read it. It's even gone as far as someone e-mailing me asking me something that I could swear was answered and typed up in the first sentence of the post. People, I tell ya.


I don't think I will ever get tired of snapping ornament pics. Besides being a lil' bit of a pro at it, it makes me happy to see those little pieces of Christmas become wallpaper worthy.


I'm so proud of myself for this shot.
Gingey looks happy!




To keep you warm on those chilly nights.



No one said Christmas had to end on the 25th.




Woke up today to another sunny and warm day towards the end of the year. Makes me love living here so much more. I couldn't stand if it were cold and snowy for longer than a week. It's pretty too look at, that white snow, but once it gets in your shoes and makes your feet cold and your socks wet, it's no fun anymore. When I was in college in Ohio, I would skip classes if it were too cold out...screw the A, I'm stayin under the covers. Typical me and my cushy ways...Jerrid never skipped unless it was necessary. He's such a goody goody.

We took a walk out to the tagged rubber tree again today. Since laying out isn't an option right about now...it is in the 70's which is still a little too cool for me, so I wore a belly shirt in hopes of getting the slightest bit of a tan while the sun was out and beaming.

I didn't fix the resolution size on the camera, so the pictures were set to a very small size...which is not good. The smaller the pic, the less clear it will be once it's uploaded to the computer...so my pictures weren't as great as they could have been, but I learned, so it's a positive.


The grass is greener on my side







I got up there easy, but Jerrid had to carry me down.
I'm such a chicken with heights, even if its 2 feet off the ground.


Tonight was our Avatar date. Everyone keeps raving about it, and we are that curious breed that needs to check it out. Having a big group come along, it was a pretty big deal to save a few bucks on concessions and pick up some of our own from Walgreens. Why spend close to 3 bucks for a pack of Sour Patch Kids when you could get 4 packs for that price elsewhere and sneak it in with a big bag. Don't go telling on me now...it's a recession. I'd sneak the popcorn in for the whole group too if I could. I don't own a bag big enough, or else nothing else would stand in my way. I'd wheel in a suit case if I could.




I wonder...are these hot dog flavored, or just shaped?
They look more like baby carrots to me.

Jerrid got a new phone.

Welcome home HTC TouchPro 2.




Man and machine

Now to figure it out...



On to the theater after all the stalling while playing with the new phone. We thought we were in luck by getting a spot first row in the parking lot and seeing that the ticket line was pretty empty, but to find out that we were too late to get the last tickets. The line was empty because everyone was already inside, in the cool A/C and licking their buttery fingers.

We were in a group of 6, and there were no tickets left for us at the 7:10 showing, and since Melissa had an early event the next morning, any later of a showing was not an option.

I refuse to this this movie in anything but 3D.

Ticked off and sleepy we were ready to...

EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What else is there to do in this situation?
Eat your feelings!


Kimura Japanese Hibachi Steak & Sushi
545 N Congress Ave
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
(954) 704-2500








Meet our chef - Jennifer.

Jennifer had a wacky sense of humor, decided to be called Jennifer for laughs sake, but never gave us his real name even though we asked about 10 times. Instead he told us to call him Jenn for short.

It just got wackier over time. "Jenn" brought out who he liked to call "Britney Spears", a doll that squired water out at the unsuspecting hungry customer.



If you're confused, it's totally okay...we were confused as hell!

Where do you find a doll like this? It looks like a drag queen baby doll and it has a pee pee hole to squirt out water. Oh, and a very strange alligator mask...or Godzilla, since he or she is Japanese after all.




Fernando


The boys. Always sitting together and gossiping.


I was stuck in the corner!




Onion volcano. Jerrid's favorite part.

We were too stuffed for sushi, one of the main reasons we came in there.

Jerrid has never been to a hibachi restaurant, so he finally lost his hibachi v-card.


Jennifer might have been a tad strange, but the food was delicious.
He threw it down on that hibachi!

Chowin' all that down gave me a severe case of the itis, so I'm off to bed.

Hope you all enjoyed your Sunday!

xoxo,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Daydreaming

The post title basically sums it up. I'm totally spaced out right now, wandering inside my mind and lost in the television. I guess this is what is going to make up for the fact that I wasn't really planning on posting today at all, but this will do in the case. Better to leave something than nothing.

Lack of beauty posts much?

I'll have a little something lined up in that category for the beauty crazed to lurk at in the next few days.


Now since I'm a n00b photographer with a growing little passion for all things artsy fartsy, I took some pictures of J.J. in his car seat on our way to the mall today.




JJ in monochrome


I never knew the after Christmas sales could transform regular people into angry crowd tacklers. Don't get me started on the parking lot.

While on the hiatus for a spot, we saw about 20 kids wearing their shiny new Space Jam Jordans...2 of which were girls. Jerrid poitned out the fact that the girls shoes looked so tiny. In fact her shoes did look extremely tiny and you could clearly see her uncomfort in them. She probably got them tiny since it's presumed to be "cute", especially in those middle school/high school ages. I think comfort is cuter than walking pigeon toed like a bear in discomfort and enhancing the chances to get ingrown toe nails. Maybe she was a little late to the line to buy them and settled for a smaller size to fit into the crowd. You live and you learn.

I'm just sayin'...


Anyway, back to the mall...all I really wanted was a bag for my camera. My mom had given me one, and it does the whole bulky camera protection thing...but I wanted something cute to throw my camera in and get going.

Aldo's 30% off accessories sale lured me in - when does it not? I found this studded little satchel with an over the shoulder strap. Not much for protection, but you can never be too careful with anything, so it will do for a nice easy day without much travel.



I like the worn rocker look and genuine leather never hurts, especially for $18.




Forever 21 finally has the pink face brushes back! I just wanted it just to have it.

It's pink = it's mine.



Bad habits are hard to break...

but it's cute!! It's freakin' pink and much less expensive than a Guerlain.



Using your lens cap as a prop is very artsy


JJ at the Rainforest Cafe


Looks tasty...

I' trying out all the effects that the camera can do to the pictures. Look at this cool twinkle effect it can place onto the light sources.

I used it on my ceiling fan light...helped me realize that one of my bulbs was out.


Artsy - Fartsy


I'm off to bed...the exhaustion has set in.

xoxo,