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The Big Camera Question (Advice Welcome!)

This post is something a little bit different; kind of factual but mostly a plea for help! After beginning my Diploma in Professional Interior Design and deciding to pursue a further foundation degree in Interior Design I have come to the conclusion that I need to bite the financial bullet and buy a good camera. With a final goal of a career doing interior styling or working for an interior magazine, blog or website I want to start building a basic portfolio of any work I do, to improve the quality of my own images for North Leads to Home, because nice cameras take pretty pictures, (and because I stupidly lost my other basic point-and-shoot camera) I’m able to justify it to myself.. just about.

So it has come to pass that I’m sacrificing a ticket to a festival this summer and instead investing £200-300 on a reasonably good quality camera with manual focus and the option to buy extra lenses if I can afford it at a later date. The problem is: I know NOTHING about cameras. DSLR or a compact system camera? How many megapixels? Do any of the flashy features matter?

nikond3100with18-55vrThe current top DSLR contender is the Nikon D3100. This camera is really at the top of my price range as it comes in at over £300 including the lens, but it is an attractive option if I decide to go for a DSLR. Nikon is a brand well known for delivering quality, ad my cousin’s Nikon has withstood the test of time and still takes amazing pictures several years on. The D3100 has a generous 14.2 megapixels and all sorts of flashy in-camera editing features on paper this camera looks awesome. The question is, will I ever be able to use it?! I’m a total novice at photography and ease of use with a camera is a must. Obviously there will be a lot of learning to do anyway as I’m learning to use a DSLR for the first time, but if this camera makes it extra complicated I don’t want to end up taking awful photos forever! As with most DSLRs this camera is also pretty chunky compared to a compact system camera, and an especially large jump from the skinny little Canon I’m used to.

l_11875767The Olympus E-PM1 is my other realistic option. As a compact system camera it’s cheaper than the Nikon D3100, coming in at just over £200 including a lens. Because the Olympus is slightly cheaper, it has 12.3 megapixels but I still think that would suit me fine as the photos will never be blown up to be absolutely huge and its a compromise I’m willing to make to save money. Honestly, I’m attracted to the smaller size and lower price, but I don’t know enough about cameras to make a proper decision!

I thought I’d include a sample image from each camera, because I think seeing the quality of image produced from a camera before you buy it is one of the most important bits for me.
images (3)Nikon D3100 (found here)images (4)Olympus E-PM1 (found here)

So after that ramble, if anyone has any advice for me in my dilemma then please let me know!



7 thoughts on “The Big Camera Question (Advice Welcome!)

  1. I’m also looking to buy a camera, as I want to take better pictures for my blog (using my iphone now which isn’t ideal…)and I don’t know anything about cameras either! so i’m looking forward to comments on your post from people who do 🙂

  2. I am in the same position too! I really want to buy a DSLR but I have zero money and can’t quite justify it just yet! Please do a follow up post, I’d love to know the advice you get because I have no idea where to start! 🙂

    • I really want to get mine as cheaply as possible but I don’t want to end up with a camera that I wish I’d spent the extra £50-100 on.. So much money but I’m trying to think of it as an investment for the future! I really want to make sure I’m getting my moneys worth though so hopefully I’ll have a bunch of research about whatever I do get to share 🙂

  3. Pingback: Book Review: Young House Love | NLTH

  4. Pingback: Review: Nikon D3100 Photos | NLTH

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