Who Can Help a Girl Out?

This is the camera I have, a Canon PowerShot SD 450. I have had it for almost 3 years, I think. Isn't it cute? It was my first digital camera (my white knuckles had to be pried from my film camera). I love how small it is, I can carry it in my purse easily or even in my pocket. Since I AM NOT a techie I have only learned to do the basics with it. Maybe it only does basics anyway, I'm not sure. I skimmed the manuals, but soon my brain went numb and I just started taking pictures.

I have to confess something though.

I dream of taking breathtaking pictures. Pictures that make you stop and stare. Pictures you can almost feel. I want to take extreme close ups, action shots, all kinds really. I don't think my handy dandy Canon is going to pull it off. So.

I know some of you use the Big Dogs. Like, with attachable lenses and a hefty neck strap. Some of you I have learned use a Canon Rebel or Nikon D80. Even though they scare me, I have to admit I'm intrigued.

I drool over your pictures and dream of learning how to take better photos.

Now I understand I'll most likely have to upgrade. Even though my wallet is crying, I'm thinking of the possible end result. Better pictures.

Should I do it? Can I do it? Pretend to be a photographer?

Here is where you can help my feeble techie brain. What kind of camera do you use? Is is fairly easy to learn? Do you change out lenses? What are the VERY BASICS I need to buy? Is it easy to take with you without too much of its own luggage?

Okay, please discuss. Thanks!


  1. Oh my, I have the exact same camera, and also love it for the purse convenience, but also long for days of pretty pictures. I look forward to seeing what you get! Let me know what you find out!

  2. i have the d80 but also a small nikon that is in my purse. the d80 makes anyone a photographer seriously worth every penny!

    i was so excited to tell you my secret - thanks for you kind words and comments.

  3. I desperately want a digital slr, but for now I just fantasize about them.

    Instead of buying a "kit" which is the camera body and a lens (among other things), you may want to consider buying the body only and then a lens that has a bigger range. Usually the default lens is like 28-70 mm and as far as I'm concerned that just doesn't quite cut it.

    Also, Sigma lenses work just as well as the name brand ones but they're a bit cheaper. Just make sure you buy the sigma lens that is made specifically for the brand of camera you end up purchasing. Oh, also, buy a filter for your lens. That way, if you get scratches, it's on something replaceable!

  4. Just ran across your blog and thought I'd give you my opinion...i have the canon rebel xt and I love it!! I also purchased the 85 mm 1.8 lens which is the portrait lens that blurs the background.

    pros: take great pictures from the start, it practically takes great pics itself. I used auto settings for a long time and I'm learning the other settings as I go.

    cons: bulky! I was tired of carrying around the camera bag so i just bought a bigger purse and throw it in there now.

    you will LOVE it! I have a pile of little digitals that all had some quirk (battery would die, bad pics etc) but this takes the place of all of them. i even sold my film camera because these pics are so good. we took family pics and blew them up to 20 x 30 and you can't even tell it's digital.

  5. Nikon D50. I love the thing so much I'd have its babies if I could. Love, love, LOVE. Have the kit lens which works great for most purposes. And we have a portrait lens that takes awesome close-ups. It was only $100. If you end up getting a Nikon, let me know and I'll find a link to the portrait lens.

    Worth every. stinkin'. penny. Don't wait another day! :-)

  6. I have the Nikon D40 and I love it. I do miss a small digital, though, and I hope to get one soon.

    I did buy it as a kit because that's how it came (it's at the low end), but then I purchased a 50 mm lens because I love portraiture.

    Thanks, Anne, for the tip on filters. I need to purchase one.

    And I have to agree that my digital SLR change my life. I have even had someone ask me for a jpeg so that she could blow it up and put it on her wall...and I am no photographer.

  7. I have the Canon Rebel xt, and I do love it. I have the sigma lenses that Anne mentioned, and for my skill level and purposes, they do work great. I think it's great because you can use the auto mode and get really great pictures, and you can keep learning more and more to use the manual mode. I have so much to learn, and haven't taken much time to do it. That said, do keep your little one. I have one just like yours and love it for it's small and convenient nature. The big ones are heavy and bulky. So, I like having a choice of which one to use, too.

  8. I have a Nikon D70. I used to have a regular SLR from Nikon that I loved and did NOT want to go digital. But I love what I have. I've tried out some Cannon's that seem to be a bit quicker. But are way more expensive. My DH got me my camera for Christmas with a wide angle lense and a telephoto- which I LOVE LOVE LOVE. All my favorite pics are with my big mama(the telephoto).
    Advice for you- when you can, take a basic class. Around my neighborhood they have a class- like a one dayer- for digital SLRs. Or check our your local photo store and ask if they have a class.
    I have always LOVED photography and love it even more now that I have better equipment. I think it makes all the difference.
    good luck and keep us posted.

  9. OH GIRL. Long long ago I had the same dream. I bought all the stuff and really had some great years making a little extra money. I still do play with alot since I have excellent models handy but you need to talk to Ash ASAP. She is way into it. Just bought into all the gear, books, equipment and did her first bridal shoot this weekend and it was awesome. You'll have to call her and look at her stuff too. She wants to go to a workshop in Houston. Nikon and Canon are the best. Don't give up your dreams. Even if it is just a hobby and not a job. Do it. Lynn

  10. oooh- i'm no help here, but it's nice to read the other comments and get an idea of what to look for should i ever be brave enough to make true photographs!

  11. I just found your blog (linked from Mique's). I am a professional photographer and I use the Canon Rebel XT. As others have said, I would just get the camera body and ditch the kit lens. I would get a 50mm 1.4 or 80mm 1.8 lens, take some classes, like Mique suggested, and head on over to www.ilovephotography.com. You will get loads of inspriation and help from other photographers, from super professional to super amateur. Good luck!

  12. This is all great advice, it's definitely worth the money!

  13. Buy a Canon Rebel XT. They have come down dramatically in price. You can find them in Costco or for cheaper at a place like "http://www.pricegrabber.com". You can get it there for as little as $425 (without a lens).

    This by itself will make a dramatic improvement but to take even more breathtaking pictures you'll more than the lens they come with. You need a telephoto lens which can cost twice as much as the camera and makes it even bigger--but you'll get the pictures you seek!

    at least get the camera, once you get good at using it (its not hard, its automatic mode make it as easy as your current camera) you can start saving for that telephoto.


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