For the longest time i had always wanted to take up the hobby of photography. I have always wanted to take breathtaking pictures! pictures i could be proud of, but which route should i take? Digital or 35mm? I wanted to take traditional pictures on film so i could get the best possible photography experience this is why I chose the 35mm route and the camera i purchased to get me on my way with my new hobby was the Nikon N55 SLR camera. I have had this camera for a few months now and decided that now as the time to post my opinions on this neat little camera!
As soon as i saw the N55 i knew that this was the camera for me. It looked very stylish, with it's shiny silver and black casing! It was small, in fact it looked a lot smaller than some of the other SLR cameras that were on display! It turns out that the N55 is Nikons smallest SLR camera and it was designed for the budding photographers of the world. This is a entry level SLR camera that offers beginners that are used to point and shoot cameras the chance to move up to a more versatile platform that offers it's users interchangeable lenses and all the features that you would find on the more expensive SLR cameras that are available.
I purchased my N55 from a local camera store for $189.99. It came with the camera body itself, a 28mm - 80mm zoom lens, two cr2 batteries, a lanyard and some very good hints and tips books from Nikon on how to get the most from this camera. I also purchased another zoom lens 70 - 300mm and a camera bag so i could protect my latest purchase. When you first take the camera out of the box and attach the lens, which is very easy to do, (simply put the back of the lens into the camera and turn anti-clockwise until it clicks) the camera looks complicated compared to the normal easy to use point and shoot cameras that I had been used to in the past., but do not let this fool you, this is one of the easiest cameras to use. The first thing you notice when you pick up the camera is how comfortable it feels in your hands. It is very well designed, I have very large hands and I have no problems handling this small SLR camera.
On the top right hand side of the camera you will see a large easy to read lcd display. The lcd display tells you everything you need to know about the current set up of your camera including what aperture the lens is currently set to and what speed the shutter will operate at when you take your picture. It also displays if you have the flash enabled whether or not you have red eye reduction engaged and of course it also tells you how many pictures you have left on your roll of film (the counter counts backwards) and how much battery life you have remaining. On the top left hand side of the camera you will find a dial that lets you chose the different modes the camera has to offer, these range from fully automatic operation so you can just point and shoot , right to a completely manual mode where you have to set the aperture and shutter speeds yourself.
There are other setting you can chose so you can take the best possible pictures. There is a setting for portrait pictures, when selected the camera will change the settings so that the person or object you focus on will be very clear and very sharp, but the background will be slightly blurred so the main object stands out! I have taken some wonderful portrait pictures using this option. There are also settings for night or low light pictures, action or sports pictures, landscape pictures and close ups. Whatever setting you chose the camera will automatically select the optimum settings for the type of picture you want to take.
In addition to the fully automatic and fully manual modes you will also find Semi-automatic. This is great for when you want to start tweaking with the settings by yourself. You can chose if you want to take control of the aperture settings, if you choose this then the camera will take care of the shutter speed, and if you want to learn to use the shutter speed the camera will control the aperture. This is a great feature and it really let you learn as you go. Also on top of the camera you will see the flash. The flash is a pop up flash. When it is not needed the flash is tucked in flush against the body of the camera. When you start to take a picture and the camera thinks that there is not enough light the flash will pop up automatically, another great feature of this camera.
This camera is very, very easy to use and operate. One of the features I love about this camera is the eye piece. Within the eye piece is another version of the lcd display that you find on the top of the camera. The display in the eye piece is green and it is down the bottom as you look trough the eye piece. It will again tell you what the aperture is currently set at and what speed the shutter is set at, whether or not you have the flash engaged. This is a great feature because every time you want to change a setting you do not have to take the camera away from your eye so you can look at the lcd because it is right there in front of you. Taking pictures took me a little while to get use to.
Unlike point and shoot cameras where you just press the shutter button, you have to first press and hold the shutter button half way. When you press the shutter half way the camera springs into life! The lens will start to focus on your selected person or object, lights within the eyepiece will tell you whether or not the camera is ready to take the picture. Once you get use to this you will be taking pictures like a pro! If you do not like this feature you can turn it off. On the front of the camera there is a small switch that allows you to switch from automatic to manual focus. I prefer the automatic focus as you are pretty much always guaranteed perfect results.
OUTSTANDING PICTURE QUALITY
I have been totally blown away by the sheer quality of the photos that this camera is able to produce. I had a very expensive point and shoot camera, one that cost far more than this N55, and that did not produce pictures that are as good as the ones that the N55 does. Every picture I have taken has just been wonderful. The pictures are very, very clear and they are ultra sharp, the amount of detail captured in the pictures is simply amazing. When you get comfortable using all the settings, like adjusting the shutter speed and the aperture, the quality of the pictures that you take will just get better and better, You will be amazed at the difference between this and a point and shoot regular camera.
The Nikon N55 is by far, the most amazing camera I have ever owned. I am so glad that I decided to take the plunge and switch to an SLR camera. If you are in the market for a point and shoot camera or an SLR camera, the N55 is the perfect choice. You can buy this and use it as a point and shoot camera and you will be stunned by the amount of improvement there is in the quality of your prints, or if you are like me and want to start photography as a hobby, this camera will offer you most of the features found on the bigger more expensive SLR cameras that are available. There are so many accessories available for SLR cameras, you will be able to every kind of picture imaginable with ease! This camera is quite simply amazing and I highly recommend it.
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Amount Paid (US$): 189.99
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Easy Enough for Anyone to Use