I went to the local camera store after several email exchanges, Facebook convos, and chats with my old camera folks at ASAP and took my SD card along. I took pictures with both the T1i and D5000 and uploaded them at home. I didn't even need to print them, Canon was, hands down, the clear winner. From there, I just needed the green light from Chandler since we'd had a few other projects in mind - thankfully, he know how much I wanted this and three clicks later, it was on it's way to VA!
For anyone looking at DSLRs, I promise, I was very unbiased. To prove that, this is my SLR collection - one of each (plus my new love).
My first SLR was a Canon Rebel G - very basic, but as my first, I wanted to go slow and learn all the ins and outs. Once I got the hang of it, I bought an all manual Nikon FG. The FG is actually a 1982 model and took AWESOME pictures. I've not used either of these since buying digital, but I looooved them both. Each took very different pictures. The FG was actually one if Nikon's first three compact SLR camera bodies. I had a lot of fun playing with it and learning out to take a good manual shot. Today, I couldn't tell you half of what I used to know... so sad. Digital has pure ruined me.
I used to go to the beach twice a year, spring and fall, to have a quiet weekend of just me, my camera, and my journal. I'd sit on the beach, walk by the boats on the waterfront in Beaufort, explore what was left of Radio Island... it was a magical time for me. I loved taking pictures and being by myself. When I picked Nola up in April 2007, I stopped going - apparently Gram wasn't a fan of having puppies at the condo. I've not been since 2006 and I SO miss it. It was my time. I often learned a lot about myself just sitting on the beach with my camera and journal.
But back to my original writing purpose...my camera bag. It was big and heavy and while highly functional, since I only plan to have one camera now, I don't need to lug around two plus lenses and accessories. So... I had to make another purchase. I don't consider this an optional purchase though and at $40 (plus 10% off, thanks Best Buy!) it was worth it. What's nice is that it's a shoulder bag style so I can make it double as a day bag if necessary. It's not my usual day bag (yes I have a obsession and I don't really care, it's the BEST company), but it works and I LOVE the colors - so cute, right!?
For compairson purposes, this is the difference: I have a feeling I'll really enjoy the compact nature of this bag. So, that's my splurge (camera, not the bag!). I am SO glad I did it - no regrets whatsoever. I have a feeling it will come in quite handy pretty soon as this year is going to be an adventure! We have a lot of exploring to do in our new state and there are sure to be some great things to photograph. I'll still keep my Coolpix handy for everyday purposes but my T1i will be the main go-to for most things.
If you're in the market for a DSLR here's a post that pulls the highlights of some popular models. For me, I knew I wanted a video and live view option - that is why I changed the original two. That meant a price jump, but I was willing to pay for it after ranking importance. With most all new models of DSLRs the specs are usually good - overall, the Canon T1i had better specs than Nikon's D5000. The one think the D5000 had that I wished the T1i had is a pivoting screen. That is a very nice feature - but I can always get a film for the screen to remedy that little issue. Another tip is to take your SD card and do what I did to see how you like the image quality. It was a marked difference - granted the T1i has 15.1 pixels, which is much more than D5000, but it also gives you a chance to play with the difference functions and test it out before you buy - and you can manipulate and print the pictures to see what you really like best.