We have always loved photography, and our traveling lifestyle has made it possible for us to study and improve our skills. Scanning this website always makes us chuckle, because we have come such a long way since we started!
This past weekend, while staying with our friends, a baby barn owl fledged and hung out in a tree near the patio, screeching plaintively long into the night. Mark took this wonderful image with his Nikon D5100 with a 55-200mm lens.
Our hosts were really surprised he could get the camera to focus on the owl in the pitch dark and that he was able to capture this image.
They had been thinking about getting a nice new camera for a long time, so we hopped online to see what the latest prices were. Lo and behold, Nikon has discounted these cameras A LOT to make way for the replacement model, the Nikon D5200. They are bundling the cameras in all kinds of ways, with different types of lenses, tripods, memory cards and other things.
If you have been in the market for a “good” camera for a while, this might be a great time to get one. Obviously, Nikon makes all kinds of models, both higher and lower priced, but we have found that this model is ideal for our skills and what we do. I have had mine for two years and Mark has had his for a year, and they are still going strong with 40-50 thousand photos on each one.
Why the Nikon D5100?
There are tons of great cameras out there, but we have loved the Nikon D5100 for these features:
- Wonderful overall image quality and colors.
- The articulating screen – you can set the camera on the ground or hold it overhead and still see the image on the back.
- In-camera HDR – the camera takes two photos at different camera settings and merges them, creating awesome effects.
- Bracketing – the camera takes three photos at different settings so you either choose your favorite one or pump all three through a software package that will merge them… for cool HDR effects!
- The fun in-camera “color sketch” and “outlne sketch” photo converters – these turn a photo into a sketch or colored drawing.
- The modest file sizes coming off the camera. JPG files are up to ~8MB and raw files are up to ~17mb.
Here are a few of the bundles we found at Amazon. The basic gear I purchased two years ago is the second kit in the second row, but I paid 60% more!! Mark got (essentially) the first kit in the second row for 50% more last summer. The basic camera without a kit is the first item — so you can see what a smokin’ deal the bundles are!!
These deals just seemed to good not to share. Obviously, there are lots of other models and options, but I wanted to let you know about these in particular because we have enjoyed our Nikon D5100’s so much, even landing a few magazine cover photos with them.
And of course, if you end up making a purchase (of anything!) after clicking through any of these links, please let us know so we can personally say “thank you” — and so Mark can give you any pointers you might need, and most importantly so we can stay in touch and find out how much you love your new camera!