Nikon D3100 Unboxing: DSLR for Dummies (Video Below)

In an earlier blog, I talked about the awesome abilities of DSLR cameras. However, just picking up a DSLR and taking good images won’t happen without a fair bit of practise and maybe even some lessons. Trial and error when using a new DSLR that has lots of settings, knobs and dials and be a little daunting, maybe even discouraging, especially if you’re not getting the results you were expecting.

DSLR manufacturers have cottoned onto this, and identified it as one reason would-be purchasers might stay away from upgrading their point and shoot. Let’s face it, on a compact camera the only real variables that you would use are flash/no flash, zoom and maybe a few other preset options. DSLR is a totally different story – it’s all about taking control of every possible aspect of a shot.

That’s why a product like the Nikon D3100 is cool – it really helps bridge the gap from being an enthusiastic photo snapper to a more considered and creative image composer. You may not understand what changing the aperture setting does, but the camera will help you decide in plain English what you want the picture to look like. Instead of random trial and error, it gives you a chance to truly experiment with settings to see how they affect the final image.

This is a great example of embedded technology bringing new people into the fold. Before the age of “firmware” and affordable digital cameras, SLR’s were a mystery understood by the chosen few. Now software on the camera itself can teach, guide and complement face-to-face lessons or advice. Innovations like this don’t make us lazier –on the contrary, they challenge us to strive for improvement, and there’s nothing like that “buzz” when you produce a picture with a wow factor.

An interesting phenomenon I have noticed is on Facebook album uploads – there are those that share their random party and social event pics, and then those that present, (with a fair amount of pride, I imagine), their crafted images from a day’s shoot. The positive comments that these images attract then spur the creation and sharing of more great images. Years ago it would have been harder to make your pic available to such a large audience, but your friends across the globe can now enjoy your creative output.

Here’s the video we produced for Bing Lee on the D3100 – enjoy!

Nikon D7000 Unboxing and Feature Highlights

If you type the term “unboxing” into Youtube, you’ll get over 400,000 results. It’s a bit like a public way of unwrapping a present and sharing your joy with the world.

I used to love ripping the plastic off a new CD, examining the cover, reading the liner notes and checking the lyrics, so I totally understand where the thrill of unboxing comes from. It’s Xmas morning, the presents are wrapped, lurking under the tree and just begging to be torn apart. Unboxing is the adult version of that childhood adrenaline rush from frantically unpacking mysterious, promising gifts.

With that in mind, we decided to incorporate the unboxing video trend into our latest highlight video for Bing Lee, and I’m very pleased with the result. I wouldn’t call the Nikon D7000 segment an unboxing video as such because the focus is on the cool features like dual card slot, constant auto focus during movie mode and high speed continuous shooting – not just the unboxing activity itself.

That said, it has added an exciting element to the highlight videos and helps us explore the products in even more depth, and hopefully gives viewers more information and understanding about the products we’re passionate about.

And so, without further ado, may I present the Nikon D7000 unboxing and highlights video. Please feel free to comment on the segment in the comments area below, I’d love to hear your feedback.

In the Eye of the Beholder: Reflections on DSLR, plus a Canon EOS 60D Highlights Video

I am a huge fan of DSLR cameras. The quality of the images that can be created on these cameras are truly breathtaking. Of course, it takes a fair bit of effort, as well as trial and error, to extract the best from your DSLR.

Before I move into my gushing proper, I just want to talk about “the moment”. Every sport and hobby has one. In tennis, it’s when you hit the ball so well, it floats past your opponent and lands just inside the line. In golf, it’s the swing that you’ve been practising for hours on end that lands your ball exactly where you wanted it. It’s the moment when the guitar solo you’re playing feels so natural and inspired it takes your own breath away.

You’ll have plenty of those moments with your DSLR. Whether it’s spontaneous or a planned shoot, those moments will be there in spades, and I think that is why so many people are hooked. Every single moment is unique, and your perception of that moment is too. That is the beauty of photography.

So what does DSLR add to the photographic process that has made it such a popular pastime? In my mind, there are three main factors:

Quality: From the vast array of lens options, through to the sensor that records the image, to the engine that processes it and the body that carries all this premium equipment, there’s nothing quite like handling a hefty DSLR.

The build quality and technology that goes into these products come from a long history of SLRs, and professional photographers are very demanding when it comes to their chosen brand and specific models. This attention to detail trickles down to the mainstream models, meaning whatever you choose in DSLR, it will always be a step above a standard “point and shoot” camera.

Control: Once you learn about the different settings that you can adjust on a DSLR, you’ll forget there ever was an “automatic” option. You can play with aperture control to give your images a sense of depth, shutter speed for fast action or slow night shots, ISO for control in low light conditions, and white balance to give your images a warmth or coolness. I’m just scraping the surface here; there are a multitude of settings that you can explore. It will be a journey that will take years, so buckle in and enjoy the ride, at your own pace of course!

Creativity: This is the one that gets my palms all sweaty! Once you’ve gotten used to the manual controls, the picture is literally in your hands. You can experiment with different shooting angles, and different combinations of the controls I mentioned above. Your imagination will start to run wild and you’ll see a framed composition in the most innocuous of situations. It truly is all in the eye of the beholder. And let’s face it, in the age of social networking your Facebook pics will be a cut above the rest – you may even get a reputation for your uploaded albums.

So is it worth the investment? In my opinion, if you’ve ever strayed away from that automatic setting on your camera, then it’s time to upgrade. And entry level DSLRs are becoming much more affordable.

Here’s an example of a mid-range DSLR, the new EOS 60D from Canon. It has some great features for the beginner and enthusiast alike. We produced this video for Bing Lee and had a great chance to play around with the camera. 1080p High Definition video filming, vari-angle LCD with Live View, 6400 ISO, 5.3 frames-per-second continuous shooting and inbuilt special effects are just some of the very cool features. Just press the play button below to have a closer look!