Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Recommended Products

The Basic Mom Kit

The Nikon D40 is the perfect camera for moms.  It's a few years old, but still perfectly suited for what moms need.  It's six megapixels which is plenty; it's small and light weight; it can do everything in automatic mode, but allows you to take control if you know how.  It comes with a battery, battery charger, strap and the lens listed next.  You can get it at Amazon or B&H.

The Nikon 18-55mm Lens comes with just about every entry level Nikon DSLR (so don't add it your cart separately.)  It's a great lens to start with and will do most of what you need.  It's good quality even though it's made with cheap plastic.  If you need to replace one (or you never got one) click these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.

The Nikon 55-200mm Lens is a great companion to the D40 and 18-55mm kit lens.  Together, these two lenses get you from 18mm to 200mm.  Most moms will be completely satisfied with this range.  This lens has VR, it's sharp, it's small and light.  Click these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.

Nikon SB-400 Flash.  This flash is the perfect companion for the D40.  It's much smaller than the alternatives (and less expensive) and still does what you need.  It even rotates so you can bounce it of the ceiling.  Click these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.

You should get a clear UV filter to protect each lens you get.  (Get one per lens.)  This one will fit both of the above lenses.  Or get it here at B&H.

You will also need a memory card to put in your camera.  The 4GB size is a good balance between capacity and price.  You can also check out the 1GB, 2GB or 8GB.

Upgrading the Camera

The Nikon D3000 is newer than the D40 and its possible replacement (though the D40 is still available for now.)  For an extra $150 or so you get a bigger screen on the back (3" instead of 2.5") more megapixels, and some other bells and whistles.  The D40 is fine, but if you want the latest and greatest, get the D3000 at Amazon or B&H.

Lens Choices

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX Lens would be the first lens I would add to the basic mom kit.  It has a larger maximum aperture and will let you produce images with blurry backgrounds that so many people love.  Click on these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.

The Nikon 18-200mm VR DX Lens is a good choice if you want one lens to cover everything.  It's more expensive, though.  Click on these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.

If you want to go longer than 200mm, get the Nikon 70-300mm VR Lens.  Click on these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.  Get it in a kit with the D40 and 18-55mm lens here.

If you want to go wider than 18mm, get the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 DX Lens.  It'll cost you, but it will be wide.  Click on these links to get it at Amazon or B&H.

These are books I have read and think are helpful.

Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson