Stop Or I’ll Point-And-Shoot (Our New DSLR Camera)

We broke out a little secret weapon for our nursery reveal yesterday, but after this post it won’t be so secret- we got a new digital camera! Here it is playing newborn…

We’ve long sworn by the (often underestimated) power of a point-and-shoot digital camera (in fact, here’s a recent post about how we get the most from ours). Just about every picture ever featured on this site was snapped by our Canon Powershot, and while we never claimed to be the Annie Leibovitz of shelter blogs, we were pretty satisfied with the flash-free, color-adjusted-in-photoshop pics we churned out each week. They seemed to do the job well enough.

But like many parents-in-waiting, we suddenly felt the urge to upgrade our photographic equipment before look-how-cute-our-baby-girl-is documentation became a top priority. Plus with the moolah that we saved from our under-budget nursery makeover, we already had enough in savings to splurge for a nicer camera (since we definitely believe in buying things after we have the money in the bank).

So after some research and a few conversations with our camera-savvy friends, we ended up snagging a Nikon D3000 DSLR off of Amazon for just about $450 beans (note: we noticed that listing prices routinely went up and down, so you might want to watch for a bit before taking the plunge to ensure the best deal). It boasts a lot more control than our current camera (and has already given me several flashbacks to high school photography class – f/ stop wha?) but there are really two main upgrades that we’re the most excited about:

  1. Being able to shoot in lower light (which will come in handy since a moving child + a low-lit house = blurry baby pics on our old Powershot)
  2. Using the slightly wider angle lens to capture more of room in each pic – a difference you can see clearly in the side-by-side comparison  shots below, which were taken from the exact same spot on the exact same tripod.

Hopefully it will mean better shots for our baby book and our blog (everybody wins!). But we still have a pretty healthy learning curve ahead of us, so any and all photography tips would be welcomed with open arms. ‘Til we get more comfortable with it, we’ll probably be using our tried-and-true (not to mention purse and pocket-friendly) Powershot for the majority of our blog pics. But nevertheless, we’re excited to have finally reached the 21st century of digital photography with our new purchase and we look forward to learning how to use it a bit better so we can get ready for the bambino and upgrade the ol’ blog. Here’s hoping we don’t drop the darn thing…

Psst- Some of the links included above are Amazon Affiliate links.

Update: Over two years later we’re still loving our camera. Here’s the 50mm lens that we got for better photos of moving things in low light (aka: Clara & Burger) along with pretty detail shots, and an update post about how we’re liking our camera in general here.


  1. says

    I somehow missed the brand of camera that you were using before. Knowing only a little about photography, I’ve always been impressed with what can be done with a point and shoot, too — which is why I’ve dragged my feet on upgrading ours (plus, they’re so easy to take everywhere).

    I have to admit, though, I love the wider shots that your new Nikon is capable of. It wouldb be especially handy in smaller rooms, which our older home has a few of. Maybe it’s time for a replacement!


  2. Pam says

    Oh, the burden of envy…I splurged on a point & shoot (and I do love it) when my first digital camera broke and I so wish I had saved a few more months to buy this camera. I know you’ll love it and learning to use it will be a great adventure!

  3. says

    Congrats on your new pre-baby, “baby”! I bought my Nikon (D90) last fall and have been completely in love with it. I still haven’t completely figured out how to use it, but I’ve been pretty happy with my results thus-far (when they’re not blurry). It’s definitely time for me to invest in a tripod and a wide-angle lens.

    Have fun with it! Your blog photos will look even better now!! And if you’re worried about dropping it, you might want to get yourself a clear filter to keep on the lens at all times. It makes me feel a little more secure about my lens and makes it less likely to crack if I drop it (I’d rather replace a $20 filter than a $300 lens!)

  4. Cassie says

    My husband and I purchased a Nikon D90 before our honeymoon last fall. It has been hands down worth every penny. You’ll find the more that you practice and experiment with the SLR the more you’ll love it. I think you guys made a great move in buying the D5000.

  5. Jill says

    Photoshop will be your best friend. The main things I needed to figure out were aperture, white balance settings, and ISO speeds for shooting in different light conditions. I like Pioneer Woman’s tutorials too. Good Luck – you’ll love it!

  6. V. says

    I recommend the book “Understanding Exposure”.. you can get on Amazon new or used for a great deal and it goes back into F/stop and all that (and gives great example pictures in the book that demostrate how changing these settings can change your photo). Also, i’m not sure what lens you have, but I LOVE my 50mm 1.8 (mine is canon) they are around $100 on Amazon and worth every penny!!! It is great for baby pics as it has a sharper focus area and will do the lovely blurred background (bokeh, sp?) in close up pretty baby shots. Good luck with your new “pre-baby” :) I am in love with mine and with a baby on the way for me too (due in Oct) I know it will get plenty of use. There are some really good photoshop actions for baby pics if you are interested. Ok, sorry I wrote a novel. I love photography!

  7. says

    I’m not ready for the upgrade, but I’m bookmarking this post for when I do! I’m still too trepidacious as a picture taker. I hope to see some tutorials maybe?
    –Elle Sees

  8. Erica says

    I just got the same camera for Christmas! As boring as it is, I would recommend reading the owner’s manual. When you spend that much money on something you should make sure you’re using it to its full potential. I’m still learning how to use mine, but one thing I recently learned about was changing the ISO setting to get rid of blurriness when shooting in dark settings. Here’s a link that helped explain it all:

  9. V. says

    Oh and a quick note: if you are on Babycenter, there is a board called “Photographing Your Family” There are a lot of pros on there and they are great with advice about cameras and editing. Since you are already familiar with photoshop the tips they give could be helpful. :) Hope this helps

  10. Kate says

    Ah fun! I also have and love my Canon Powershot, but am looking forward to the day when I can buy a nicer camera (I’m also waiting until we have kids). I think the best thing would be to have both…so you can always have your Powershot with you, but then take really nice photos with your SLR when the mood strikes.

    It’s funny because I noticed your nursery photos seemed sharper but I just assumed you sharpened it in photoshop. Love the nursery by the way!

    Photo question, what do you do with all your photos? Do you print them out and put them in albums? Where do you store all your albums?

  11. Gretchen says

    Just chiming in to say I LOVE my Nikon so much. You will too! Got an upgraded lens for Christmas and I LOVE using it — I warn you now about the number of baby pics you’ll be snapping away. ;)

  12. says

    Hi!! Best tips any photographer has given me (a new professional photographer) Read your manual. Shoot in Manual. Watch the white balance. Practice alot. :-) Have fun with your new purchase!!

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