My Mom’s a Wanna Be Professional Photographer– JAZZ HANDS!

Jazz Hands!
Any day now I should be getting a check in the mail for work that I did on a friend’s book. (Did you know that Joelle and Kathy> wrote a book? Yeah. You should order one.)
The check will be enough to cover most of the cost of a new camera.
A new camera!
I’ve been dreaming of a new camera for years and now, that I’ve earned my own Chunk O’Cash, I have decided that I’m going to go ahead and finally get me one.
I enjoy taking pictures of my children immensely. Some might agree the use of the word “children” is a stretch, as pretty much every picture that I take if of my daughter, HOWEVER, that is because my boys ALL CAPS HATE for me to take their pictures. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have boxes and boxes upon boxes filled with pictures of my boys when they were younger, because I do. (Notice I didn’t say “photo albums? Because oh my God, I have 14 years of pictures in boxes! And don’t tell me that I would love scrapbooking and that I should go to a creative memories party! Because, been there, done that, have the $200 kit to prove it. And my pictures are STILL in boxes.) In fact, I’m pretty sure that I have more pictures of Andrew as a baby than I do of Gabby, if you can imagine that.
While I’m 100% certain that this little dream of mine to own a good camera is going to come true, I’m still a little torn as to which camera I am going to buy.
Nikon or Canon?
I’ve heard good things about both, but I’ve also heard a lot of negative things about Nikon. And, to be honest, I’ve not heard ONE bad thing about Canon.
However, I know people who shoot with Nikon. These people take amazing photos and they also love their Nikon’s almost as much as they love their children, I think.
I know people are pretty passionate when it comes to the old “Nikon, Canon” debate, but really, all I care about is that the camera is somewhat easy to operate, that it is reliable and that it takes pretty pictures.
I’m easy like that.
I am very excited to learn more about photography and to see what I can do with a good camera. Photography has been of interest to me since the time I took photography class in junior high and learned to develop my own film. (Oh my God, one time? I got to work in The Dark Room with this really cute boy and we were alone and oh my GOD, we totally could have made out and no one would have known, well, except for Jesus and really, knowing Jesus was watching me ruined a lot of great opportunities for me to get to some bases with some boys. *waves to Jesus*) My reasons for never pursuing photography range from “too lazy” to “OMG! That camera costs HOW MUCH?!”
However, I’m not getting any younger and I realize that “holy SHIT! My life is half over and I better start doing things that I want to do before my heart goes out on me!”
I’m going to ask for a little help from you guys. If you do own a DSLR, I’d love for you to tell me how you feel about it. What you LOVE about it, what you absolutely hate about it. I don’t really want it to turn into a Nikon/Canon debate, but I would appreciate some honest feedback to help me make my choice.
Just so you know, I’m leaning towards a Canon Rebel, so if you have one, I am REALLY interested in what you have to say.

121 thoughts on “My Mom’s a Wanna Be Professional Photographer– JAZZ HANDS!

  1. someone

    I’ve owned both the Canon Rebel and the Nikon D70. I prefer the D70. It just seemed more intuitive and it felt “right” to hold. I’d strongly suggest that you go some place where you can play with both and see which one fits you.

  2. Mary

    I just did a couple of posts on this very same topic, and I am also planning to get the Rebel XT (because I can’t afford the XTi). I was trying to decide between that and the Nikon D40. If you can afford the D80, it got great reviews from Consumer Reports, but I can’t, so I am going Canon.
    I joined a Flickr group of Rebel XT users and looked at hundreds of their pictures and really liked what I saw. And my husband left my camera in a cab in Cleveland a few weeks ago, which is how I get to get this exciting new camera. I also picked out several hundred dollars worth of accessories for it on Amazon, which I will add to my collection slowly.
    Honestly, the deciding factor for me was that the Canon has 8 MP, while the Nikon only has 6.1. Yeah, I am deep like that.

  3. Michelle

    I have a Nikon D80 and I love it, and I’m not as good a photographer as you. I don’t get the whole Nikon/Canon debate either, I don’t see that there’s anything to get all uppity over. It’s absolutely personal preference, neither one of them is a bad camera. I went to Best Buy and I held both a Nikon and a Canon in my hands to see which one I liked the feel of. I read research online, like “The Top Ten Best DSLRs” and also read user reviews on and places like that.
    I’m glad I got the Nikon, there is nothing about it that I don’t like, it got all the best reviews – from what I saw – and I when I actually held them and played with them at Best Buy, I just preferred the way the Nikon felt in my hands.
    Don’t let anyone push you one way or the other. Take your time and go with your gut. I can’t wait to see what you get! :)

  4. Carrisa

    I love my Canon Rebel, but I must be honest… I end up just using my small Fuji Finepix point and shoot for most thing. Except my BFF’s wedding. I totally photographed her wedding with my Rebel. And I’m not a photographer!
    I don’t use half of the features that the Rebel has because I’m too lazy. So um… probably not much help here.

  5. Amy

    I have the Canon Rebel XT. I simply LOVE my camera. I’ve never owned a Nikon so I can’t compare. I had one of those simple Kodak digital cameras before and it simply doesn’t compare. I love, love, love getting “that face” or “that move” of my children when it happens.
    The only complaints I might have about my camera are probably due to my ignorance but sometimes it won’t take pictures when I choose the No Flash option if it’s too dark in the room. Like, it won’t even try to take it, you just keep clicking the button and nothing. It does the same when you get too close to something. I know there is a macro (?) lens I need to get and would probably be solved that way.
    The quality of the pictures are exceptional and I do not regret a single dollar I had to spend on it.

  6. Terry

    I waited YEARS before I bought my DLSR. Two years ago I bought the Rebel XT and I LOVE IT!! I’m a picture nut and sometimes it drives my wife crazy, but even now she picks up the camera and uses it witout any problems at all. If you visit my blog you will read how my wife isn’t that comfy with electronics so her using this camera says A LOT. Truth… The only thing I don’t like about it is where the button for the “timer” is hahaha.. see my nose hits it once and awhile when I’m shooting hahahah.. not the camera’s fault.. It’s my BIG nose =)
    I’m sure you will live either one, I just preferred the Cannon.

  7. fly

    i recently purchased an olympus E-500 i love it!!!
    however if i had it to do all over again i would go with the canon rebel .it has tons of do-dads that you can buy and they are less expensive than the olympus or the nikon from what i can tell.

  8. ambrosia

    Sony is another option you should really consider – Sony’s really shooting up the dSLR ladder. I use the Sony Alpha A-100 – extremely similar to the Canon XTi. The greatest two advantages that the Alpha has over other cameras in its class is that it (and its lenses) are quite a bit cheaper and the image stabilization feature. However, I only decided on the Alpha after I went to a camera store and held both of them in my hand.
    Join the groups on Flickr for the cameras you’re interested in, check out the photos, the threads, and ask questions.
    They’re really all good cameras though. I doubt you’ll regret whichever decision you make.

  9. Jenine

    I was comparing the two a few months ago when I had decided on getting a DSLR and I had settled on the Rebel. That was until my husband surprised me with a Fujifilm F31 for Mother’s Day. I was disappointed when I unwrapped the paper and discovered that it was decidedly NOT a DSLR. But that was before I took some pictures. I take pictures mostly of my kids, my dogs, and things going on in our lives so I realized that I really didn’t need a camera that can do professional photographs. I now love my F31. The closeups are great. And it has a bit of a zoom so that works too.
    Anyhow, just thought I’d throw out that option if you were considering other cameras in the not DSLR category.

  10. Melissa

    I can’t really add to the Nikon vs. Canon debate since I’m still trying to figure out what I want. I do suggest going to the store and trying both of them out. I tried the Nikon D40 and Canon XTi out at Costco and was still confused as to which one to get!
    I will add this, though, your pictures are so great with your current camera that no matter which camera you end up with, the pictures you take will be amazing!

  11. hello insomnia

    My debate was between the Canon Rebel XTI and the Canon EOS 30D. I ended up with the 30D because I didn’t want to run out of options when my photography skillz grew (whenever that’ll be). I prefer the Canon lenses to Nikon, but that’s just a personal preference.
    Also, if you really want to get an awesome Canon, wait until September or later this fall when they roll out the new 40D model. It’s supposed to be amazing and also super expensive ($1200 is the rumor).

  12. DJ

    I have never used a Nikon but I was a long time Fuji fan until I bought my Canon Rebel XT – I’ve not had it a full year yet and I want to upgrade to the Rebel XTi – that’s how much I love it.
    But, honestly, I don’t think it matters which one – it’s not the camera that makes the photographer (although, I admit it does help!) your talent will shine no matter which one you choose.

  13. lizinsumner

    Well, I don’t have a DSLR, but I do have an all digital Cannon 5mp camara that I absolutely love. I’m too lazy to go the SLR route, so this one was a nice compromise – it has a lot of settings to monkey around with, does sepia and black and white and short “movies” and stuff like that….so I can play around some without having to be as knowledgeable as an SLR user needs to be. Plus – the coolest thing about it: the little view screen is on an “arm” that can swivel out, away from the body of the camera (I LOVE that part – not sure why, but I do)! Cannon still makes their own lenses, here in the good ol’ U.S.of A., and I just like the way their cameras feel and look. So, it’s Cannon for me! If I was getting a DSLR, I’d still pick Cannon over Nikon. And, apologies to the above posts listing the “off” brands, but I wouldn’t buy them….only Cannon or Nikon are worth the price, in my (humble) opinion……

  14. Kristina

    I purchased my first SLR film camera and chose Canon because I “Knew” the name. It takes great pictures, but I couldn’t wait to develop film. I then purchased a Kodak Easy Share Digital SLR and I loved it, but I still wanted more so I purchased the Canon Digital Rebel XT last fall and have not been dissapointed at all. My sister went with Nikon and we both agree that she should have gone Canon. Plus we could have shared lenses. Pictures are lovely and that is just in the auto settings. I can’t imagine what all of mine will look like when I venture out of my comfort zone!

  15. Megan

    I have a Nikon D80, which I love. I’m not a pro photographer by any means (only had it since June), just did a lot of research, including going to the store to try out both the xTi and the D80. The Nikon just felt better in my hands, that’s just me. My father-in-law has the xTi, and he does great with it.
    I second the recommendations to go to Flickr and join or at least read up on the different user groups for each. Also check out this site, these reviews are terrific. They’re slightly Nikon-based, but I find them to be pretty objective:
    Good luck! The Nikon-Canon debate is never-ending, so go with what feels right to you.

  16. Joelle

    I really love my Nikon D80. It takes some getting used to, but it’s pretty awesome. i haven’t even begun to tap the depths of it’s awesomeness, I’m sure.
    p.s. my link is broooooooken. :) heh.

  17. Shamrock

    I got the Rebel XT last Christmas and love it. Amy above already voiced the same two minor complaints I have with it, but those features are probably preventing me from taking bad photos anyway. I’m looking to add a macro lens and the zoom with image stabilization (which costs as much as the camera did . . . ).

  18. Meryl

    I graduated to the Canon Rebel XTI this spring (from a pretty nice digital point and shoot) and have no complaints so far. I’m still learning, but overall the controls are pretty intuitive and I like the feel and weight. If you click through to my photo blog ( you can see some of the pictures I’ve taken with it.

  19. Julia

    I’ve had both, have the Canon Rebel now and LOVE it. lenses are interchangeable, and the camera is easy to learn and use. I went on Amazon and read every single review of every single camera I think. I loved my film Canon and should have stayed with Canon. The problem with my Nikon was that it wasn’t an SLR and was too slow. by the way, I have 16,000 pictures in boxes and I’ve been diligently doing Creative Memories for eight years.

  20. Maya

    I have a Nikon D80, which I just got in March or April. I chose it over the Canon because every time I saw a picture that I loveloveloved, it was taken with a Nikon.
    I have A LOT to learn (like, everything) about photography & Photoshop, but I love my camera and have not once regretted the amount of money I spent on it.
    Have fun!
    I got it primarily to take pictures of my daughter, which you can see on my blog/flickr pages. I love the “feel” of the photos and look forward to next year, when I plan to take a class to learn how to use it better.
    Here’s a link to one of my favorite photos, which I then used a Photoshop tutorial to jazz up:
    And here’s another simple photo that I just like:
    But it is a good idea to see if you can find a shop with both models you’re thinking of so you can try them out.

  21. jonniker

    I have a Nikon D40 for my personal camera, and part of my job involves photography (I’m a journalist, and sometimes I have to shoot my own stuff if it’s small-time, or there’s no photography staff available). For work, I use a D70 and, at times, a super high-end out-of-price-range-for-even-rich-people Canon.
    My favorite? The D40. Honestly, it’s the cheapest of the bunch — and it’s price is why I chose it over the Canon Digital Rebel — and for what I need, it fits the bill perfectly. Most normal amateur photographers don’t need more than it offers, and the price reflects that. It has way more settings than you’re used to with a point n’ shoot, and it takes a picture WHEN YOU PUSH THE DAMN BUTTON.
    However, the biggest feature selling point of the D40 over the Rebel for me was the screen. The screen is effing HUGE, and you can see immediately whether the picture you took is worth anything. For my job especially, that’s the most important, and it’s why I’ve been known to bring my D40 on assignment instead of the D70, because nothing blows more than taking a bunch of photos and finding out later that SHIT, the lighting blew out a bunch of them, and this angle sucked, but the MOMENT HAS PASSED OH FUCK I AM SCREWED.
    So ah, an earful for you. Sorry. D40 all the way, man.

  22. Norma

    I’ve been researching for months and I can’t decide on either one but I’ll probably go with the Nikon d40x which is the latest upgrade from the d40. The main reason I’m taking so long to make the switch is because the Canon Powershot S2IS that I currently own is still a great camera and because I love having the capability of switching to video if I want to. Good luck!

  23. Angella

    Canon! I have the Rebel XT and LOVE it. I had the Canon Rebel as a 35mm, and looked into both Nikon and Canon when switching to the DSLR. They seem pretty comparable, but I find the Canon really user-friendly :)

  24. Erica

    I have a Canon Powershot. Of course I don’t know the exact #, but it has 8 megapixels and it takes damn good pics. I really wanted the Rebel but my husband would go apeshit bananas if I spent a mortgage payment on a camera :) I take a ton of pictures and it fits the bill. You can also put different lenses on it as well. I think it is a 750 or something like that. I know that was a great amount of help. Good luck and happy camera shopping!

  25. Lucy

    I have both the Canon Rebel XT and XTi. I love them both. I think they are relatively easy to use and take pretty pictures. I did have to have my XT repaired recently though, which I guess happens to most cameras at some point. Good luck!

  26. Amanda

    I have a Nikon D50, which I ADORE. I love it with the heat of 1000 suns, but I’ve also never even tried any of the Canons. For the record, I’m also a total photography noob, so all I was looking for in a camera was that it take a freaking picture when I clicked the shutter, not three seconds later. I think the nikon takes amazing photos with very little effort or understanding on my behalf.
    Good luck and congratulations! you’ll love whatever you end up buying!

  27. Kimberly

    I have the Nikon. I’ve had it for a few years now and love it. I really don’t know how to use it but that goes with the blonde hair so whatever.

  28. Amanda

    I have the Nikon D80. OH MY GOD I love this camera!
    In the past, I’ve had everything from Sigma, Sony, Kodak to Olympus, but I found ‘the one’ in Nikon. I have nothing bad to say about Canon, but I thought it awkward to handle. Nikon fits me well and I feel very confident using it.
    Whatever you choose, you’ll take great pictures. The camera will take you so far, but talent makes great shots!
    Good Luck!

  29. Much More Than A Mom

    My two cents, having used both and being addicted to Canon:
    They’re both great, but I’d go with the Rebel, simply because it’s easier to use a Canon. Nikon seems to have some kind of a “we’re professional and you’d know how to use this if you were too so fuck off” attitude so it’s harder to figure out their buttons etc and harder to get help. Canon has the same features but is very user-friendly and easy to get help for.
    Did that make sense?

  30. carolyn

    I just bought my Canon XTi in March and love, love, love it! It is waaaay more advanced than I am, but I look forward to growing into it with practice! I went Canon as opposed to Nikon, simply because for the mega pixels, it was cheaper than comparable Nikon pixels!
    Congrats on the check! You will love the DSLR no matter which one you chose, i’m sure!

  31. tiffany

    I have had my rebel for about a year and a half and didnt love it until I upgraded the lens in April. My very amatuer opinion is that it’s more about the lens then the body and the thing is, the rebel comes with a not so hot stock lens. :( But now that I have the 28-135 USM IS lens on it, I do love it. So I would skip the stock lens and splurge on a nicer lens for it if you go that route. :)
    I agree though that it’s more about who is behind the camera and you will LOVE whatever SLR you end up with!

  32. Kelly

    Hi! I have read your blog for awhile but have never commented before now.
    I just bought a dSLR, and I purposely did NOT go with either Nikon or Canon. I instead purchased a Pentax k100d. I LOVE IT! It has gotten fantastic reviews since it came out a year or so ago and it is sooo much cheaper than a Nikon or Canon. It also fits any lenses that were made for pentax film cameras after 1975, some of which you can find on ebay for less than 10 bucks.
    Good luck with your new camera, whatever it may be. I am still learning how to use mine and am constantly surprised at how DIFFERENT it is from using a point & shoot camera. I hope you have fun picking one out! People had told me and it is sooo true- if it is a dSLR it is going to take good pictures, period. :)

  33. Pam

    I have tons of pics of my boys too, mostly though, with pillows, folders or hands in front of their faces, all in boxes. I HATED scrapbooking too. And have all the acutriments, also in a box. Somewhere.
    I have the Nikon D80, upgraded from the 40 and I am orgasmic over the results every time I use it. I would suggest an external flash though, you’ll be able to achieve fantastic dreamy effects like Dooce. Very nice.
    Good luck with the camera purchase!!

  34. BSUR

    Far be it from me to deny someone a little joy in their life, but I’ve got to say…. You’ve had some financial issues that have forced you to move in with your folks, but you’ve got 500 or better for a camera?? Lucky girl!

  35. Y

    where did you read that financial reasons were the reason we were moving in with my parents?
    We moved in with my parents because the landlord sold our house and gave us 30 days to move out and that wasn’t enough time for us to find a new place to move into that was in the same price range we could afford.
    It was a matter of getting kicked out of the place we had lived in for 10 years and not being given enough time to find a new place to move in 30 days.
    And one more thing, did you miss the part where I said I am getting paid for work that I did? Also, I have a job now, so it has nothing to do with luck.

  36. Jamie

    I have a Sony A100, but I bought it rather than a Nikon or Canon because I already had two zoom lenses from a film camera that would fit on it, so I chose the Sony over added lense cost. I do like the camera a lot, though, and take pictures of the kids as well as “artsy fartsy” ones, too. I think in my next life I want to be a professional photograper.
    That being said, there are two professional photographer’s websites that I peruse that use Canons. Sure, you wouldn’t be doing photography like this right out of the box, but anything’s possible! Their websites are and . They both have sections on their websites where they talk about the cameras they use, etc. It’s a very interesting read and their pictures are just gorgeous! Makes me want to get married with an unlimited budget all over again… so not going to happen!! Anyway, I’m sure you’ll love whichever camera you get and will have a ton of fun taking new, great pictures. Happy shopping!

  37. txhorns

    I just got my dream camera this year and I love my Canon (EOS). I now take pictures that rival real photographers…not all the time, but more than occassionally. I am amzed at the difference the camera has mad ein my pictures. I am attached to it and my friends ask me to take pictures at all our gatherings and kids’ birthdays, etc. The only issue is that my camera lens falls off sometimes in the camera bag. You will love it.

  38. Y

    Also, I just wanted to thank you all for your input, advice and such. It’s more helpful than you know.

  39. hil72

    I got my Canon Xti last year and left the store giggling with girlish glee….nothing makes me do that. I’ve been a Canon person all along though I admit to Nikon envy…those pro Nikons have such big lenses :) Seriously, the Xti is amazing. My hisband loves that I no longer have to develop film and I have a 16 month old that can pose like “Zoolander”. Hmmmm, happiness.

  40. Kelley

    Hi Y — I’ve been reading you for a long time but I’m not sure I’ve ever commented before. I figured now was as good a time as any — I actually am a professional photographer, my Dad and I have a wedding photography business together. We use Canon 20D’s, and we love them. (Of course we’d like to have a 5D which is a full frame sensor but that’s about 5,000 dollars) Anyway, my fiancee has owned a Rebel and now owns a 30D. The Rebel is a good camera, and I’m sure it would stand up well to pretty much anything you ask of it.

  41. Ginny

    I don’t know about cameras but wanted to comment in your most recent posting that I just read about Judy? And I nearly wet myself, I was laughing so hard. I honestly cried from laughing. You are hilarious. Thank you so much!

  42. E

    Hi Y. We have the Rebel XTi and love, love LOVE it. It is so easy to use and it seems to make even my worst photos come out better. I’m only just being brave enough to take it places, as it is a whole heap heavier (and more expensive to replace if I drop it in the lake) than my tiny minolta, but hubs has loved using it from day 1. Whichever way you go, DSLR will change your life for the better!
    Love the site, btw, thank you for the too funny Judy posts!

  43. Nicole

    I have the D70 and love it. I recently borrowed my friends XT (not the XTi) for a wedding that me and the hubs shot and I by far loved the Nikon more. The Nikon pictures seemed way sharper and it didn’t need as much adjusting as the Canon ones did (even though Nikon’s are known for “softer” colors). Just my 2 cents, I would defintely get the D40 (more user friendly but also more basic) or if you can – get the D80. I think you would love it.
    Either way – I can’t wait to see what pictures you can capture with s DSLR. I always love the ones of Gabby in her Tutus!

  44. E :)

    Canon Rebel’s are awesome. I bought one for my Dad a few years ago and he takes brilliant photographs with it. I firmly believe you can’t go wrong with a Canon. (And no, I don’t work for them! I just don’t buy anything else!)

  45. Gry

    I’ve got the Canon Rebel XTi – I LOVE MY CAMERA – IN ALL CAPS!!!!
    I’ve had it for little less than a year and I’m still learning a lot, and still have a lot left to learn, but I would like to say I’m getting better! (And better at post-editing, too, heh!)
    I spent many months dwelling over which one to get, Canon or Nikon – I was pregnant and wanted to be able to take pictures of the little one when she came. I ended up with a Canon, I think, because of the lenses being less expensive and more compatible, plus the sensor cleaning seemed to be a big deal amongst the photo-nuts…
    Yeah, so.. I don’t think it matters what you end up with. I think you’ll love your camera to bits no matter which brand you get!

  46. Lena

    I’m just glad to see that your daughter is not wearing shoes. This is money that is much better spent elsewhere. Well done.

  47. kim

    i ordered the book weeks ago. i didn’t know you were part of it. i will bring it when we meet and have you sign it for me. how’s that? :)
    PS: i still have my (really not that) old (and kinda) crappy, tiny first digital camera so i have no idea what to tell you. stomach-wise i would say canon. that’s what i would go with i think [/dreamingoutloud]

  48. Maria

    Great shot! I’m currently lusting after Canon 1D or I would settle for the Canon 5D. I have had so many different cameras over the years, cameras that I loved and were great, but I favor Canon.

  49. Vickie

    If you do decide to go with the Canon XTi which retails for around 1400, you can get it new on Amazon for $698.
    Check out reviews as well. I’ve been using them because they thoroughly investigate the pros and cons of the item, rate it 1-10, and there’s a bunch of user/consumer reviews as well. I ended up with a simple Kodak Z712 for only $250 but its not a DSLR, it’s a point and shoot with 7.1 mp and a 12X SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON Optical Zoom Lens (haha that sounds so professional) Anyway, for the price, I couldn’t be happier. You mention you’re not looking to be a photo-techie…maybe checking out the more advanced point and shoots out there, plus having a little pocket change left over might be the way to go.

  50. robyn

    You know one honest to God good test — do you prefer to drive German or Japanese cars? It seems almost hands-down, Nikon owners prefer German. (I still miss my VW.) And Canon owners prefer Japanese. We had a poll on a forum once and it was literally amazing how the lines were drawn.
    That said, if you can’t afford the 5D — go Nikon. Muuuuuch better glass. (I don’t see you being able to fork over the $$ for L-series glass — $1000 and up — that would make a Canon worthwhile.) Many good Nikon lenses to be had in the $90-300 category. Stacy / Sekimori jumped ship and got a 30D last year after using a D70 for years — and less than a year later, sold it on eBay and went to the D200.
    So happy for you — it’s about freakin’ time! (I owe you an e-mail, btw. Again. I suck.) :-)

  51. Nance

    I have a Nikcon D-70 and a shiny Canon Rebel XTi 10.1 just walked in my door on Monday. The Canon is lighter/smaller than my D-70. No matter what you choose, you’re going to love it and you’ll take great pictures – because you already do!
    I’m convinced (and my pathetic pictures prove it) that good photos take talent and having a good eye. Some people have it (YOU), some people don’t (ME). No matter what, enjoy whatever you get and take lots of pictures!

  52. Mir

    Otto says DO NOT get a Rebel. He recommends a Nikon D80 instead. (He’s a photographer, for what it’s worth.)
    LOVE LOVE LOVE that shot of Gabby. So cute!!)

  53. cbrks12

    I agree that you need to go somewhere and play with both cameras. We have a photography store here that offers free classes if you buy your camera from them. You might want to see if a store in your area offers that so that you can play with all the features and fun stuff.

  54. Bunny

    Wow, that was a lot of comments to scroll through. I didn’t read any of them, so for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents:
    I just bought a Nikon D40x and I LOVE IT possibly, as you said, as much as my children.
    I went Nikon pretty much just because my dad has a Nikon and I can use all of his stuff. From what I have heard about the whole Nikon/Canon thing is that they are both really really good, and the differences aren’t significant. I have friends on both sides of the camera coin)
    I got mine at Costco where they had a good price on a good boxed set of stuff.

  55. BSUR

    I’ve lurked for a long time, I’ve read the archives, and I’ve enjoyed your writing. That being said, perhaps I’m wrong. I’m positive that you’ve got every dime you need to purchase a home all saved up. Because I always thought that if you couldn’t “afford” a house, you put more cash down on it so you could. But again, I’m sure that I’m wrong. I’m sure that I’m mistaken when I conclude that not being able to “afford” a home is a “financial issue”. I’m positive that out of the roughly quarter of a million listings in your state, there just isn’t any home that meets your personal criteria. And, I’m sure that your husband earns so much dough that any money you earn is play money…….. yeah…….I’m sure…….just like I’m sure you’ll ban me right after this post…..

  56. Katie

    Congrats on the check! Cute picture!
    (Can you totally tell I have no idea on the camera thing and I’m covering up for it? Although if I had to pick a brand I’d go with Canon because I have a PowerShot Digital Elph that I love.)

  57. Heather

    I’ve got the Rebel and I ADORE it. Of course I’m not all that great at using it, but it’s pretty easy to figure out and takes great, clear shots. It’s my recommendation.

  58. chris

    I want a new camera too.
    Just let me know what you decide so I can be a big copycat and get the same camera. My attention span is too short to read all the comments

  59. steen

    As you know from the many, many e-mails that went on about this, I have a Canon XTi. I absolutely love it. The variety of lenses is amazing, although they can get a little pricey. (Photography is an expensive hobby!)
    While I can’t say it’s better than a Nikon, especially since Nikon just came out with their D40 and I have NO experience with a Nikon, I would strongly recommend going to Best Buy or somewhere and holding the Canon and the Nikon, take a few test shots, see which one feels more comfortable. I was deadset on the Sony A100 until I actually held it and compared it to its rivals.
    Also – price out accessories and a few basic lenses. (I can help you figure out what kind of lenses you might want, if you like.)
    I personally chose my Canon over the Nikon because I liked the available shooting modes better, the higher resolution, and a few other technical reasons. Plus, I got a great deal on it.
    ANYWAY. If you have any questions, lemme know. You know where to e-mail me.

  60. Amy

    I bought my DSLR in February and instead of hopping on the Cannon/Nikon bandwagon, I went with Pentax. I owned several film SLR’s that were Pentax and I LOVED them. I am loving my Pentax as well. It has great heft, feels good in hand, easy to work and figure out, takes great photos, love, love, love it!

  61. DeannaBanana

    I would suggest finding a good camera store and asking them to let you use one of each. most will, for a while. Then you can decide based on what feels right for you!
    I use a Nikon and have loved it, until I dropped the mother fucker.

  62. geeky

    I’m a Canon girl (own a 20D, have used all the Rebels and the 5D), and while I highly recommend them ALL, I have to say…
    You can’t go wrong with a Canon OR Nikon dSLR. Really. They both come from reliable companies and they both take nice photos. It really comes down to personal preference. Your best bet is to go to a store and play with both of them. See which one fits your hand best, has the most intuitive menus and buttons for you, and then make your decision. When it comes to taking nice photos, the lenses matter far more than which dSLR you have.
    FWIW, Popular Photography just put out their 25 Best Buys of 2007 that you might want to check out.

  63. Jennifer

    Canon Rebel xti SLR digital. Hands down amazing. We bought it right before a trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior in February. We managed to catch a drop of water falling off of the ice on top of the rocks on the shore. We have an HD computer monitor, and the pictures have been amazing. We sprang for the next to largest zoom lens as well that gave us the greatest amount of flexibility with the best resolution. We walked out about $1400 poorer, but we’ll have this bad boy for a very long time. We did a lot of research and went to a specialty camera and video store and got a lot of good feedback and information from the people that worked there-I would highly recommend at least talking to someone along that line rather than the kid in camera’s at big box electronics store.

  64. Brandi

    We just bought our first grown up camera – a Nikon D40. We LOVE it! It’s so easy to use and feels so… right… in my hands. :) Our friends have an XTi and they are wishing they’d bought a D40 instead. Both are great cameras though. Good luck!

  65. Lisa

    I’m going to be one of those oddball ones and recommend Sony, as well. Sony’s DSLR technology is actually Konica-Minolta’s…Konica decided to get out of the digital camera business and sold all of their tech to Sony.
    I have a Maxxum 5D and it is AMAZING. The picture quality is incredible. I never even contemplated Nikon or Canon. I had a Maxxum 70 SLR originally when I was a film user, and all the lenses fit my DSLR. The 5D is a workhorse. And it’s even better with a zoom lens. 😉
    Your best bet, though? Go to a camera shop and test drive something right there in the store. I bought my latest point and shoot online without testing anything and it was a piece of crap. I went to Circuit City and ran a few of their cameras through the wringer and finally settled on one that way.
    I ended up with something that most places rated as crap. Funny thing, that.
    Go with what YOU’RE comfortable with. All of us have our own opinions, but what if you end up hating the camera? Seriously, if you can, go to the camera store and test out a bunch of them. They’ll have all the latest ones in stock for you to fondle!

  66. ~T

    I got to pick my first grown up camera for x-mas. The D40 just came out and the D50 is being phased out. I bought a D50 instead of a Cannon and I have no regrets. It takes deliciously beautiful photos, it’s user friendly, and all of my mom’s old 35 mm lenses fit the new body. And truthfully the lens is what counts. The D70 & 80 were more expensive and had features that I know I’ll never use. The D50 and I are living happily ever after…

  67. Becca

    Canon Rebel owner here. LOVE IT. It’s been neglected recently though, just because I’ve been busy and lazy.
    Whatever camera you do buy? Get some extra not so expensive lenses, that’s what I am lacking.

  68. Suburban Turmoil

    I have a Digital Rebel and it’s awesome. Plus, anyone can use it. Later, I wondered if I should have gotten the Nikon 80, so I’m so glad to read all these positive Canon reviews. :)

  69. AmyM

    I am so glad you asked this! I have a “fan-cee DSLR camera” on my Christmas list. (My father in law always says “you have not because you ask not”, so I figger’d I’d throw a $600+ camera on there to test that theory.)
    $600 says I’m going to have to buy my own.

  70. Laura

    I would have to say ..don’t pick a camera based on pictures others have taken. Everyone’s photos are different because we all see things differently *durrrr* and if you use that as your basis in choosing camera and lenses you are setting yourself up for disappointment. And don’t forget a lot of editing goes on in the digital darkroom!! I can recommend some great actions 😉
    I love Canon. I tried Nikon and didn’t like it. Canon colors are PROVEN much better than Nikon.
    Make sure you grab the book Understanding Exposure and read it cover to cover! I’d try to get the newest edition as it coveres digital cameras whereas my copy is for film (but still helped enough)
    Beware that the lenses are more important than the camera itself. I recommend NOT getting the lens that may be offered at a discount with the camera. My fav lens is a 50mm f1.8 lens that cost me around $70 which is a steal for such an awesome lens. The photos are CRISP. I would love an IS or L lens but can’t afford it. I hardly ever use the 18-55 lens that came with the camera. It’s very poor quality.
    I’m a big fan of yours (omigawd i want your autograph!) and I think you take AMAZING photos already so this shouldn’t be a big deal for you to learn I’m thinking! I love to help others so PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions. I’d be honored to help you out!

  71. Tricia

    I have a Canon Rebel and I like it….but I’m one of the few who doesn’t LOVE it. I really thought it would change my life as far as photography goes. The results…so/so. The pictures often turn out darker than I’d like (even when shooting outside in the auto mode) and although I love the feeling of being a ‘professional photographer’ (I’m not) I sometimes feel like I’m missing out when I don’t get to look on the screen to line the picture up. I don’t always want to use the viewfinder and I find that annoying.
    Granted, it might be user error and I just need to play with it for a little longer, but so far it’s not what I thought it would be. I still keep reaching for my Sony Cybercam with 5.1 mp.
    Now that I’m reading some of the comments I think I may look into a few suggested books and lenses and see if I’m missing out on something!!

  72. Julie

    Delurking to say congrats on the paying gig! I’m really excited for you to buy a new camera–you will produce even more amazing photos with whatever you choose!
    I just bought a really nice ‘bridge’ point and shoot, and cannot WAIT for three years from now, when I will do the same thing you’re doing now. :)
    I agree with the others–go to a good camera store (if you’re ever in NYC, come to B&H Photo!) and play with the cameras, then go home and read reviews, then go play some more.
    So anyway, you rock, keep up the good work, and hope some good luck comes your way very soon!!

  73. superblondgirl

    We (I say we, but really it’s the husband’s and I am not really allowed to touch it) have the Rebel and it’s nice, easy to use, etc. etc. I need my own digital, though.

  74. girlplease

    I have a Canon Rebel and it is awesome.
    I take that back. It was awesome.
    It is not a super-falling off of a cliff, onto rocks, and into a crevace -repellant.
    So if you don’t drop it down 8′ and break a fucking $1,000 camera, you’ll love it

  75. Julia

    I just looked at the photo again and it’s so cool! do you see the frog in the shadow? or am I nuts…..

  76. amanda

    Although I already commented on your flickr, I wanted to state in here that canon has more options down the road. Say you do become a professional and start drooling over the really expensive professional line of canons (like all the nikon users are doing now for the canon 5d because it handles noise and iso so much better than a nikon!), then you won’t have to reinvest in lenses and whatnot when you decide to switch.

  77. Jessie

    Hi Everyone, I am a regular reader of your blog and also a digital camera fanatic. That said I also work in a Senior National Sales Role for one of the brands that you mention above (starts with C), previous to this position I also was with the other brand that you mention above (N) (I was headhunted, what can I say!) what would I recommend after 10 years of training, testing, shoot-outs, launches, shot reviews, well none of the above actually, I would recommend the new Olympus E410 or E510 10MP Digital Camera (but don’t tell my boss I said that!). These just launched here in Australia and they have taken our country by storm, the E410 in particular is the worlds smallest and lightest 10MP camera, pefect for ladies or even newbies (think upgrading from your compact camera (all of this is not so good for me!) here is a link if you are interested, and In addition, I just wanted to comment in regards to Amanda’s post above Olympus have more (true) Digital Lens than any manufacturer (14 with three new lenses announced for this year) and are the only manufacturers to offer Live View (go check this out if you are into Macro shots) and a true Dust Cleaning System (no-one has actually mentioned this, it is expensive to clean a D-SLR and it means you are without of the camera for a while), I will buy my husband the E510 for Chrissy this year (I know the local rep) 10MP with a true image stabiliser built into the body (bonus all your lenses now become stabilised) for less than $1,000 (that is also with two amazing lens, not the crappy lens you normally get with a kit.) I do have access to many idependant lens/flash and body tests, so if anyone would like any extra factual information (versus my opinion) feel free to drop me a note.

  78. Maddie

    I totally don’t have a camera to recommend but I thought I’d tell you how funny my little mental image of you *waving to Jesus* is right now. BWAHAHA!

  79. robyn

    Actually Amanda “all the nikon users” AREN’T “doing now for the canon 5d”. This Nikon user had the option of upgrading from the D70 to the D200 or 5D and chose the D200 hands-down. Most Nikon users are actually drooling over this now. Full-frame goodness AND Nikon glass. There’s no right or wrong with either camera depending on the user and preference. But not all Nikon users are waiting for the chance to go Canon either. In fact, I left Canon for Nikon in 2004 and my photography has done nothing but improve since.

  80. bunky

    i’m old school… i have an old nikon, F series (non digital). i LOVE it. it’s very easy to use, and the photos always look wonderful. i took photography in h.s., got to use the darkroom (no cute boys to swoon over in the dark, though), and have sort of dabbled now and then w/ taking pictures. for me, the nikon feels solid, as if it can go survive most any conditions and still result in beautiful images. my sister always begs me to bring my camera b/c the photos always look so much better than ones she takes w/ her small point and shoot digital.
    good luck!

  81. Dani

    I prefer Canon images to the Nikon. I used to work in digital photography and I could spot the difference easily. It isn’t so clear cut now, so whatever you choose would be just fine.

  82. kimberly

    Um, I don’t have any input as to what camera you should get and holy cow you have a lot of comments so I won’t read them all right now but I just wanted to say it is about freakin time someone recognized your GENIUS!!! and paid you cash money for your writing and/or photography skillz. (Which was it? Writing? Photography? I’m going to have to buy this book aren’t I.) Good for you, YAY! :)

  83. someone

    I have to agree with robyn. I am another Nikon user who has not looked at Canon since I went with my D70. I’m so happy with my D70, I’m not even thinking of upgrading yet. (lenses are another story…I want that 18-200mm VR one that’s consistently sold out)

  84. Jeanette

    Another Canon user here – I have a very well loved (read fairly beaten up) 20D, and lust after the creamy goodness of a 5D with L Glass – but all in good time. My reasons for Canon over nikon have everything to do with the realities of natural light shooting – Canon just handles high ISO’s better than Nikon – even with my lowly 20D I can shoot at 1600 ISO and if I nail the exposure, hardly any perceptible grain. Plus, if you’ve got the money, L-glass lenses are incredible.
    The 40D will be out next month too – if you’ve got a little extra money and are serious about photography – I would look into it. Many more features than the XTI – including spot metering, improved high ISO handling and (I think) live LCD view.
    If not Canon, I’d actually look into Fuji over Nikon, the s5 is a seriously amazing piece of equipment.
    Really though, it all comes down to the photographer. I’ve seen some truly kick ass photos taken with point and shoots, and some truly bad photos taken with Nikon D200 and Canon 5D. What really matters is how the camera feels in your hands, if the controls seem intuitive to you and how much work you put into learning the craft.
    I have not gone through all the comments, so don’t know if anyone has mentioned this – but I wouldn’t bother wasting your funds on the kit lens. Buy the camera body (no matter what brand) and then invest in a good lens (50mm 1.8 is a great starter for around $80). The kit lens is just not fast enough for serious natural light shooting and the variable apeture while zooming makes manual shooting very difficult.
    Here is the link to my flickr – all taken with Canon 20D and either Canon 50mm 1.4 lens ( a brilliant prime to learn with) or Tamron 17-50 – wide angle fun for a decent price.
    Last but not least – best place to learn photography

  85. Norma

    OK another reason I’m going to go with the Nikon, the viewing screen is bigger the the Canon and as I’m getting older, I getting as blind as a bat! As a matter of fact, I’m ordering my camera tonight!

  86. pookie

    I have the Canon XTi hubs bought it as a graduation present…he did the research. I love it! The quality of pic is awesome and it’s lightweight…oh and I heard it does a self screen cleaning..Nikon doesn’t…I have no frikn’ idea what that means…but great! Something that CLEANS itself!? HOT DOG!!!
    The neg–not sure if I just haven’t learned how to do it but…the damn flash pops up when I’m taking a close up…and it’s not bright enough…if someone knows why it does this? Let this girl know! 😉

  87. becky

    I have a D70 and hubby a D50. We can swap lenses. I really enjoy my Nikon. Truly.
    I can’t speak to the Canon, because I’ve only taken a few shots with friends’ cameras.
    I did read a review recently that gave the Nikons a slight edge because of their features. If I can find it, I’ll send it to you.
    But just get something you think you can grow into & be happy with. When I got mine, I swore I wanted the best for my money so I wouldn’t have to upgrade for a loooonnnngggg time. And almost 4 years later, it still works for me.
    And the 6.1 vs 8 MP? For what most of us use the cameras for, it really won’t matter. Are you going to make HUGE posters? Probably not.
    At some point, it comes down to YOUR eye and YOUR technique, not how fancy the camera is. Remember that.

  88. Joe Pennant

    Oh, I forgot one of the most important things to do before you buy any camera…
    Go to the camera store and fondle your intended and other cameras.
    If I hadnt done that I probably wouldnt have gotten the Fuji or Nikon D50 cameras. Made such a difference.

  89. Maya

    They give us those nice bright colors
    They give us the greens of summers
    Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
    I got a Nikon camera
    I love to take a photograph
    So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

  90. sheSaid

    I have a cannon rebel. When it came time for a digital slr that was the only option for me…. because I had a film cannon rebel that I loved like my own child. When I got my first ‘real’ camera (aka SLR) what it came down to for me was feel. I held both a nikon(that was comparable at the time to the rebel) and the cannon in my hands and pretended to shoot with them. Both were good/great cameras for me. I liked the Cannon, it felt more substantial in my hands, more like the old school SLR of my dad’s.
    I have had the DSLR Cannon for a year now and I don’t have a single complaint other than I want more lenses! I have yet to experiance something this camera can’t do for me. Sure there is lots more out there I am not yet doing, sure other cameras might do more, but for me it does everything exactly how I want and expect it to PLUS.
    Congratulations on buying yourself a camera… you totally deserve it. My husband bought mine for me as an anniversary gift because he knew I would never get myself it (felt too guilty) and I love it everyday… OH and I love him every day too 😉

  91. Nicole

    Oh and like Becky said – 6 vs 8 MP doesn’t matter. My D70 is only 6.1 MP and I have printed 24 x 36 canvas prints from them and they are perfect & crisp – and also the largest canvas print I could buy :)

  92. Brenda

    Hi! We use Nikon’s and absolutely love them! My hubby has the D200 and I have the D80 ( I prefer something a little smaller since it is lighter!) We have never had a problem with ours and my hubby takes thousands of pics (he is a professional photographer) We have several lenses for the cameras and just absolutely LOVE everything that they do! Hope this helps! Both of them are 10 megapixels.

  93. amalah

    I have a Canon, and it documented you doing the worm at BlogHer 06, and it did a damn fine job.
    The lenses do make all the difference, tho. I have a honking huuuuge one with image stabilizer and a crazy zoom and omfbeeflog, I love it so much.

  94. sylvia

    I found the Nikon much more intuitive than the Canon (and the Olympus), simply standing in the shop and going through the options and menus. I chose Nikon based on that and love-love-love it … but reading through your comments, everyone (except maybe BSUR who appears to be wielding an axe instead of a camera?) loves their camera. Maybe it’s like kids … 😉

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