An Expensive New “Toy”

By | January 7, 2014

For Christmas this year, Wyatt and I tried to follow a new little gift giving guide for each other, in an attempt to take some of the guesswork and excess shopping out of the picture, at least for our own presents.

I came up with a little rhyme to help us remember it, similar to the four gift guide I’ve seen on Pinterest that a lot of people are using with their kids. ¬†We chose to do six gifts (although it’s really only four things to buy):

Something you wear, something you eat, something that warms the soles of your feet.

Something that’s fun, something that’s planned, something you made yourself by hand.

We’ve already shown you a few of our other gifts, but today’s the day to reveal our planned gift (one big thing we get for the house instead of a present to unwrap on Christmas).

Here she is, our little black beauty:

Nikon DSLR

Yup, we sprung for a new camera and made the upgrade from a little point and shoot camera to a DSLR!

After talking to some photographer friends and doing a bunch of research online, we decided to go with the Nikon D3200. It is a big upgrade from our Canon Powershot (that I’ve had since high school) but that upgrade came at a big price increase.

Nikon D3200

Thankfully, we were able to use some saved up gift cards and cash to purchase this model on sale at Target right before Christmas, which made the expense a lot more manageable.

We’re currently shooting in auto mode but we’re hoping to learn more of the advanced techniques that go along with having a camera like this. We practiced over Christmas a little bit (enough to know our way around the basics) but we’re both hoping to really learn to utilize all the awesome features this upgrade offers.

For an example, here’s a photo we took in low light with the old camera recently:

Old Camera Book Photo


And here’s how it looks with the new one:

Mary Poppins Books

It’s still not a perfect photo (we have lots to learn!) but it’s already so much crisper and clearer! Super exciting!

We’ll probably still use the little camera for a few things because it’s easy to pack around in my pocket and we’re super protective of this new one (since it’s so expensive) so we might opt out of using it near the paint sprayer or on long hikes. I’m sure we’ll get more comfortable with the new one in time, but for now, we’re trying hard not to break it.

We need to invest in a good bag to store the new camera in (we’re currently storing it in the box it came in) so feel free to offer any suggestions for features we should or shouldn’t look for in a protective case for her.

New Nikon Camera

Also, we plan to eventually purchase another lens (to add to our camera confusion!) which will allow us to shoot even better low light photos (that’s mostly what we use this for–inside photos of our house and DIY projects), but we’re taking things one step at a time and trying to learn how to use the lens that came with the camera first.

All in all, we’re both pretty excited about the Christmas gift to ourselves. How do you do gifts for your family? We’d love to hear your ideas!

3 thoughts on “An Expensive New “Toy”

  1. Jill

    Congrats! Prices for bags can be very expensive ($75-$150) I bought our Canon bag on ebay for $7.00.

  2. Gabby Bladdick

    OOOOO Exciting! We got the Nikon D3100 for our wedding and we LOVE it! We’ve found a bunch of free tutorials online and every time I want to take a picture of something specific, say “food” or “Christmas tree” I literally Google “DSLR Christmas tree tips” and there are hundreds of people who posts tips. Understanding the basics even has taken some time, but it’s worth it!

    1. Melissa Post author

      That’s a good tip! I’ll have to try it! (I’m excited to learn but it’s intimidating!) Thanks for the encouragement– we can learn “together!”


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