Trying to decide on a new camera.
� Are you looking for a compact point & shoot camera, a DSLR, or something in between? (Or perhaps you haven't decided yet � that's okay!)
I've had a Canon A620 for 6 years now. I want to get a DSLR, but I'll still keep the A620 for situations where a smaller camera will be more convenient.
� Is this your first camera? First ever, or first digital?
� Are you interested in a high level of control, or would you prefer to let the camera do as much "thinking" as possible?
Let the camera do the thinking, but with some manual controls in case I ever become savvy about manual controls.
� If you had to choose, would you prefer a more versatile (large "�") zoom lens, or top-notch image quality with no zoom at all?
I am interested in taking nature photos. Mostly closeups. Flowers, fauna, critters, hummingbirds, rock formations. I do a lot of hiking in the woods. And I have many flower beds in my yard. I need a close-up zoom and top-notch quality. I like to photograph interesting things such as dew drops on a flower petal.
� What size of camera do you want? To what degree would you be willing to sacrifice other features for compactness?
Size does not matter.
� What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.
Less than $1000 for camera AND accessories
� Do you plan to spend more on additional accessories now or in the future? (Lenses, lighting, tripods, batteries, memory cards, camera bags... it adds up!)
yes, lenses, memory card, and remote control
� How long do you plan on keeping this new camera?
I hope it's the last camera I ever buy, unless it becomes useless
� What will you generally use the camera for?
I am interested in taking nature photos. Mostly closeups. Flowers, fauna, critters, hummingbirds, butterflies, rock formations. I do a lot of hiking in the woods. And I have many flower beds in my yard. I need a close-up zoom and top-notch quality. I like to photograph interesting things such as dew drops on a flower petal. Generally not many action shots, except for hummingbirds and running horses. I am interested in photographing hummingbirds so perhaps I need a distance zoom lense?
� Are you going to photograph sports? What sport, and from how far away?
� Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos, or other low-light photos?
� Will you make prints, or primarily view and share images on a computer screen? If you make prints, will they typically be small (up to 5�7") or medium sized (8�10"), or are you interested in larger sizes as well?
primarily view on a screen, maybe print a few small
� Are you interested in spending time post-processing to make an image "perfect", or would you prefer to use images basically straight from the camera?
I am willing to post-process
� Are there particular lenses or technical features that are interesting or important to you?
close-up (is that macro?)
� Are there particular brands or models you already have in mind?
I have read the reviews on the Nikon D5100 and the Canon Rebel T3i, but I have no clue what to buy, it is all overwhelming.
Here is a good place to start: http://www.dcresource.com/buyersguide/
It lists 5 dSLR cameras in the $600-$800 range. But you can get a good dSLR for much less if you are willing to buy used or refurbs. For example here are two deals that include a 1 yr warranty:
Refurb Nikon D5100 16MP DSLR w/ 18-55mm Lens for $440 + $11 s&h
Refurb Nikon 1 J1 10MP Mirrorless Camera w/ lens for $270 + free shipping
Sony NEX 3 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Canon 300HS, Fuji F70, Panasonic ZS19.