So you've had a day to think it over and you're still hanging around, which must mean you are thinking about, maybe, wanting to, sort of, try, might get a “real' camera.
Now you know how I feel about the high priced spread, owning a Nikon makes you a Nikon owner not a photographer, it makes you pay more for lenses and accessories and it takes longer to learn about all the bells and whistles, cause they just know you don;t need any help cause you are a Nikon owner.
But if you still have your heart set on a Nikon, you picked a pretty good time.
So let's start with the basics...
How many pixels do you really need?
You can get a camera with enough pixels to make a warm blanket and still have a coupla dozen left over. That won't make your pictures any better. In fact the forty megapixels in your phone won't make your pictures any better cause they are dinky.
To get all those pixels in a phone sized sensor they have to be tiny. You want enough to make wall-sized enlargements if you want them but not so many that you have to get a new hard rive to store them. In fact if you shoot RAW you will have to think about getting a larger hard drive anyway, but we'll deal with that later. For now we're talkin pixels.
Twelve of'em. That seems to be the magic number, enough so you can make BIG prints and still have enough space on your hard rive for the new Katy Perry MP3.
Now there are a lot of cameras lurking about with that sort of pixel count and if you are looking at a Nikon them a good place to start is the D90.
What makes the D90 such a good deal? Well for starters you can get your hands on one for under three hundred dollars, two hundred and eighteen to be exact today through KEH. Sure there are other places where you can get a camera and you should look at them too, but KEH offers one of the best all around deals. (They also have a D5000 starting at $175 so you can pick and choose.)
Now remember the golden rule, ELECTRONICS work are they don't. With cameras the real marker is shutter count. A Nikon can stand 100K shutter activations. Now if you get one with less than 60k on the clock you'll be dead long before you push it past the 100k mark.
(I didn't know all this when I got my Pentax K-x. It had 46K on the clock and a shutter rated at just 50k. Doesn't seemed to have hurt it or me, it is still clicking away and looks like it will for some time to come. So a Nikon should offer even better durability.)
I won't go into all of the bells and whistles there are sites all over the Net you can find that sot of thing. I'll just say that you can do almost anything you can think of with one of these babies.
But as with all things there are some liabilities.
The lenses will cost you.
Fortunately there are a lot of guys who wanted a Nikon and if you shop around a bit you can get your hands on one for under a hundred dollars. And that is if you shop local.
Our friendly, neighborhood pawn shop in North Bend, World Pawn has a hand full of Nikon brand lenses and a coupla nice aftermarket guys.
What to get?
For your first lens, and this is where buying by the component, (That means a body only) is a big help. Nikon often ships their kit lens which is a 18-55mm do-nothing special piece of glass. You can do so much better and for the first piece of glass on your camera I recommend a 55-200 or a 55-300. This workhorse will get up close and personal when you want it to and reach out and grab those wonderful birds we are so lucky to have living in our neighborhood. You might as well have a lens you can learn on and do a lot of stuff with while you are making friends with all of the dials and switches.
Oh yes, when you get your new baby you can set it on Auto and walk away and it will take wonderful pictures. But do yourself a favor and set it on P for Program. This is a lot like Auto but better. You won't notice a thing but you'll take better pictures.
So let's review.
Don't shop on Craig's List
They want more than any of their stuff is worth and you will have absolutely no guarantee that any of it will work and if it doesn't you have no recourse.
You can go to Wally World or Freddy's and plunk down four bills and get a kit with last year's discontinued model and a lens that's really a paper weight or...
You can go to KEH
I cheated, that's the page for all of the twelve megapixel cameras so you won't even have to poke around.
Or you can go to B&H
Or you can go to Adorama
Or you can go to
Any of these guys will do you a solid. And for less than the cost of a kit, with a lens which you don;t want anyway you can get a camera which will take better pictures than you do and you can work your way into actually understanding it and live with it for the rest of your days or...
You can see what you have been missing and maybe buy a newer model and get into the main stream and spend more than the gross annual product of the Arch Duchy of Findyke. It is up to you, but while your deciding and in this dreadful, upcoming election year when all of the good programs will be preempted for debates, commercials and scandals you will want to be outside taking pictures and away from anything which can carry a political speech and you will be surrounded by Nature and all that is green and good and you will live happily ever after!