When Don gave me half of his Christmas bonus and told me to buy something I really wanted, I could only think of one thing: a new camera.
I did a Google search on “best cameras under $500” and started reading. The first choice I had to make was whether I wanted to save up to buy a more expensive camera or buy one now that I could learn on. I didn’t consider the option of waiting for very long. I can be patient about some things but I’d been using the Canon PowerShot for four frustrating years. I was ready for a change now. (Well, really more like two years ago!) Plus, Don and I are talking about a trip to England some time in the next two years and I want to take a camera that I know really well and I would feel uneasy taking an expensive camera on a long trip. So, that decision was pretty easy. Now.
The next decision was DSLR or mirrorless. I’d planned on getting a DSLR but, after reading about the mirrorless cameras, I was intrigued. The articles I read said the image quality between DSLRs and mirrorless is pretty comparable but the mirrorless are much more compact. I thought about how much I hate lugging around my Canon PowerShot (it’s the size of a DSLR) and how much trouble I have holding it still. I have small hands and an incurable weakness in my arms. They tire very quickly and the PowerShot feels like it gets heavy fast. My hands shake and bob and weave when I’m holding it and often it tips down when I press the shutter button. Not good. Plus, I don’t like taking it with me when I go places. It’s too big, heavy and awkward for me. So, mirrorless was looking good.
I read good things about Sony’s entry-level mirrorless cameras so I focused on those. My first digital camera was the Sony Cybershot and I like the way everything is set up on it, unlike the Canon PowerShot. After four years with it, I still can’t find the menu to adjust manual settings! It’s there. I found it by chance one time but then it vanished into Canon technology, which apparently is indecipherable to my brain. After more reading more reviews, I settled on the Sony a5000, last year’s model, which, lucky for me, was $200 off the week that I was camera shopping.
My camera arrived two weeks ago but with all the fatigue, sickness and dreary weather plaguing us the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to get out and take many pictures. I did buy some flowers to try out its macro capabilities and I tried to get the cats to pose for me.
Taking macros with the a5000 is going to take some getting used to because the lens has to be fully extended and I’m used to taking macros close up with the lens in. I didn’t feel the macros I took with it turned out any better than they do with my little CyberShot. But, I was impressed with its ability to make Trouble pretty! Being a black cat, he’s difficult to get a good picture of. This one I took with my new camera is the best one I’ve ever taken of him.
Next, I’m getting a book that (hopefully!) will help me understand shutter speed, aperture and all that fun stuff. One of the things I read about the Sony a5000 was that it was a good camera for people wanting to move up from a point and shoot. And that’s definitely where I am: at the beginning of the beginner stage.
I think I’m going to love this camera but I feel a little guilty when I look at the old, small tablet Don is using. He could have (and maybe should have) used his Christmas bonus to buy himself an iPad. I feel so spoiled!