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This article was written by the New York Institute of Photography, America’s oldest and largest photography school. NYI provides professional-level training via home study for photographers who want to give their images a professional look, and perhaps earn extra income with their camera.
WHY I BOUGHT A DIGITAL SLR
My introduction to digital imaging began in 2002 with the Nikon Coolpix 990, a sort of "house camera" at the School that I got to play around with. Personally I didn't care for the odd swivel design but I was impressed with the sharp pictures the 3.2mp sensor was able of capturing and it was certainly compact. By early 2003 I had my own digital compact, the Olympus C4000 (4mp), and it is still taking great photos (it belongs to my wife now). In late 2003 I bought an Olympus C5050 (5mp) which I occasionally use even now, mostly for low-light work. It's my "take everywhere" camera, still quite small but packed with features. This was followed in 2004 by the Olympus C8080 and now we're up to 8mp. The C8080 was quite a bit larger (and heavier) than previous models, so much so that the word "compact" doesn't really apply anymore.
Ok, so which DSLR did I buy for my own use? Well, I did a lot of research, looked at all the reviews, talked to actual users, read the various camera specifications, and finally, got to handle several models. I settled on the Pentax K10D, a 10.2 MP beauty that was introduced in late 2006. I won't go over all the features; just the particular ones that attracted me. One, shake reduction built into the camera body. I'm not as steady a shooter as I was in my younger years and a tripod isn't always practical. Nikon and Canon have image stabilization built into some of their lenses and some folks say that type is more effective with long focal length lenses. Not an issue for me, though, because the longest focal length I currently use is 70mm. It works great with the lenses I use.