My camera – or I should say, “my good camera” – is a Canon Powershot (the one shown is almost (but not quite) the same model). And I know it’s not the fanciest camera in the world, but I love it. It’s less advanced than a digital SLR but vastly more advanced than the basic (and crappy) lesser-name point-and-shoot that I keep in my purse just in case I absolutely must take a picture when out and about and sans-real-camera. And it has a view finder, which I really like versus having no idea what I’m shooting when in bright light.
As a consequence of taking the photography course, I already know that eventually I’m going to get a digital SLR. Eventually. I’m not racing out right now, of course. They’re really emphatic on this point… if your camera lets you shoot in manual mode, you can use that for the course and decide what (if anything) you want in the future. And that pretty much all cameras are fairly well made these days. But that Canon and Nikon are the leading major brands and the ones it’s easiest to broadly find lenses for (and this matters since lenses are not interchangeable between brands).
If you want a new camera, they suggest, for now just go and look at them. Pick them up. See how they feel in your hand. The weight, the grip, the placement of the buttons compared to the size of your hands, the placement of the viewfinder. You can decide what features you most need based on what kind of photography you decide to pursue, they assure me, so for now just worry about getting a feel for them.
So today, since I was over in the vicinity of the Best Buy – Borders shopping center — where the Borders was hopping by virtue of the signs indicating “up to 60% off” for their closing (most items were 40% or less off) — I went to the Best Buy camera section. OK, it’s not a “camera shop” really. But I was there, and they do carry cameras. Quite a number of cameras, if memory serves. And anyway, the localish camera store looks like they, um, aren’t there any more.
Well, here’s the deal. My Best Buy has about 100 varieties of point-and-shoot cameras, from the very basic to the fairly advanced. DSLRs, on the other hand? Not so much. They do seem to stock Canon and Nikon and Sony. I like my current Canon, so I went to go check those out first. There were three models on the floor, on the security mount that lets you pick it up but not really tell how much it really weighs on its own or how much of the awkwardness is because it’s tethered. Plus two Sony’s. And there were ZERO Nikons even mounted to make the attempt, though there were something like 10 empty mounts on that display. I’m sure a staffer could have let me try one from behind the case, but no staffers were to be found anywhere in that section.
(You could say that maybe they could tell I was not buying today. Whatever. Meanwhile, if you stop in front of the science-fictionesque Dyson fans for a few seconds, someone comes up and gives you the spiel and hovers until it’s awkward and uncomfortable.)
I tried to get a feel for a potential new camera. I really did.
So much for that.