We are trading in one of our point and shoot cameras that we originally bought for it’s zoom capabilities. Costco currently has the Nikon D3300 DSLR camera in a convenient and money saving bundle. For entry level DSLR and a little more the bundle is impressive. The kit includes:
- AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm VR II Lens
- AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm Lens
- 32GB SD Card
- Camera Bag
- WU-1A Adaptor
- Nikon School Instructional DVD
- 2 Year Extended Warranty on Camera Body Only
This camera is great for beginners, it packs great features from professional cameras, probably more automation than the more professional ones which helps eliminate some of the guess work in learning it, and even has a handy guide mode. The 18-55mm VRII lens is great for photos that do not need a lot of zooming, and the 55-200mm lens provides quite a good amount of zoom. Everyone has their own preference on their style of carrying case/bag to keep everything in. The bag that it comes with is very capable of storing the camera, all of the accessories, and has room for a few more. The Velcro dividers on the inside keep the lens from moving around too much and getting scratched up during transit.
We did order a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens to our kit which was recommended for astrophotography. This is something we have been really interested in but never really had the proper equipment. There seem to be many opinions about gear to purchase if you are interested in astrophotography. We asked for advice from friends and watched several YouTube videos. The general consensus seemed to be that if you are a very serious about astrophotography you might need to invest quite a bit of money into a camera system. For our needs, and our knowledge, it made more sense to us to get a better all around camera and get a lens that could take some pretty decent astrophotography pictures for the time being. John and I are planning on traveling to more remote areas where we can get away from the majority of the cities ambient light which greatly helps your ability to capture some of these images.
The Mode Dial on the top of the camera allows you to choose Guide, Automatic adjustments, No Flash, Portraits, landscapes, child photos (surprising Nikon took away the little pet option, I really liked that feature), sports mode, close up mode (this may require a different kind of lens than provided), and night portrait mode. There are also Effects on this dial where you can choose Manual settings, Aperture priority, shutter-priority, and programmed auto mode.
I will continue to use and update this as I learn more but below are some sample pictures of our pups that turned out quite nicely for our first couple sessions using the camera. We like that Nikon has kept things so simple with this camera.