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

    The hubs just bought me a DSLR (I chose the Pentax K-x) for finishing my MBA. I have no clue how to use it, but I’m slowly working my way through the manual. Good luck!

  2. Yvette says

    Wow, this could not be better timing. I have been saving for a new camera and am so torn on what to get Canon/Nikon!!! I’ve been leaning toward a Canon Rebel. How was that you decided what type of camera to get? I might just copy you two since you all seem to research so well and find the best deal for your buck.

  3. Chantalle says

    I told my friends having a baby that one of the things you NEED (along with diapers) for a new baby is a DSLR :) We had the point and shoot until last Christmas, when I got a DSLR for my birthday/Christmas/any other holiday- present. Our new baby has much better quality pictures than my son’s baby pictures…I wish we had saved and bought one years ago since her baby book is going to be better than his! (I do it online so everyone can order a copy) Have fun!

  4. says

    I’ve had my Canon Powershot for years and have loved it. My husband recently purchased the Canon Rebel T1i from Amazon. We absolutely love this one too. We take pictures of our furbaby all the time :) We might take a photography class at the local community college to learn more about the features.

  5. Lisa says

    You MUST get the Thrifty Fifty lens. 50mm f/1.8 – runs around $100. It is by far my favorite lens. Perfect for portraits and awesome for low light.

    I also love my wide angle for shooting things like interior rooms (I have the Sigma 10-20mm). It’s wide enough that I can stand in my front yard and get the entire house in a shot, facing straight on. Wide lenses tend to distort though, similar to a fisheye, so you have to be into that look. Personally, I love it.

  6. Sophie says

    You guys made a great choice!
    I have a Nikon myself, and it’s the best investment I’ve ever made.
    The only thing I can say about getting the most out of your camera when photographing a child, particularly a baby, is switch things up. Try different angles and when the Beanette gets a little older and starts toddling around, try to follow her and take pictures of what she does, as opposed to waiting for her to do what you want her to.
    I really recommend checking out because she’s a wonderful photographer, especially of children. She has three little boys and a lovely baby girl so I take a lot of inspiration from Ashley (:

  7. says

    I’ve had a Nikon DSLR for three and a half years, shot almost 40,000 pictures and it still looks and acts brand new. It’s easy to use, takes great pictures, and is super upgradeable (when the time is right!) I love the comparison shots. My mom has a Powershot and it’s a great little camera but she gets so mad when we are taking pictures side by side and she can’t get one shot off in the time I can do five! It’s not a huge deal until you’re trying to catch sneaky, fast kids (then you’ll extra appreciate the DSLR!)

  8. says

    I recently purchased the Nikon D5000 which is not all that different from the D3000 and I absolutely love it! Your new camera is much faster than a point and shoot at capturing the shot you want. Once your little one is active you will appreciate this feature. I was actually so impressed with the photo quality I decided to start a blog of my own to share my Charleston adventures. Congrats on the purchase! No buyer’s remorse here!:)

  9. says

    This is the first time I’ve commented here but I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and wanted to say I love your site!

    My fiance just bought my a D3000 for my birthday and it’s amazing, you will love it – it’s a brilliant beginners’ DSLR.

    He also has a photography basics guide on his blog which might give you a bit of an overview to get started – it’s at

  10. Sarah says

    Congrats! I got the same camera for Christmas this year, my first SLR, and I’m LOVING it. Can’t wait to see more beautiful photos!

  11. says

    awesome! I’m going to second the other comments–definitely definitely invest in a 50mm. It’ll also be a huge help when you take pictures of your little one sleeping since it is good at low light.

  12. joni says

    finally! so happy you guys went with Nikon! I’ve been looking at the D5000 but can’t make the plunge until i have enough saved up :)

    enjoy it!

  13. Allison says

    DSLRs are the BEST!!! We just got one and absolutely love it. I highly suggest going to your local bookstore or online retailer and picking up a book specifically for your model. This way you’ll learn only about your camera model and its capabilities. Books like, David Busch’s Nikon D3000 Guide to Digital SLR Photography which is $20 on Amazon can be extremely helpful when starting out.

    Good luck!!!! and have fun!!!!

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