Well - after much whinging - I finally did it. I broke down and bought a new camera.
And - I went and bought exactly the kind of camera that I said you don't need. The fancy-schmancy D-SLR with all the bells and whistles and doodads and geegaws and foufaralle that I said you really don't need.
Sorry 'bout that.
Now - I am NOT a "research everything to death" kind of gal - I have friends who are, and generally - I just cop their opinions on stuff. However, at this point in time, none of them are in the market for a camera, and most certainly, none are photo'ing beads. Sooooo - I figured I'd better do some research.
So I went and bought a photography magazine with a year-end review of all the cameras and features and price points and etc. Ha - I'm still getting someone else to do the hard work!
Good thing too - as there's been a wee bit o changes in the past few years. Remember - when I was into photography seriously last time - we used to put funny strips of plastic in the camera to record the images on. We called it "film." It was seriously limiting - it only had enough memory to store a handful of images, it was volatile - it lost it's data if you exposed it to light!!!!! - and the readers were so expensive - mostly there were stores with specialized equipment to get your data off and print it. Hard to believe, I know!
Any way - I'd been compiling a list of "must haves" and "nice to haves." And so I tackled the magazine - ruthlessly eliminating stuff that would not serve my purposes. I soon narrowed the list down somewhat, and boned up on some of the new terms, and figured out what the alphabet soup of acronyms stood for. More or less. Photo mags could take a page from our beloved bead mags and include a page or two of basics for the newbies in every issue.
Armed with this knowledge - I headed for a camera store - recommended to me on the strength of the advice of a friend of a friend.
And I have to say at this point - the folks at Merkle Camera were absolutely first rate. Knowledgeable, friendly, not at all patronizing - super, super helpful. For a purchase like this, there is no way I would want to go to a big box store, and these folks were absolutely the epitome of why I prefer independant-owned, small businesses.
So, what did I get? I got the Nikon D5000, with an additional lens - a Macro lens. I've taken a few experimental pics so far - and I'm still trying to get my head around all the things it does - but I have to say - I think there is potential here for some mighty fine photography. And - if I can't get it figured out - well - I can exchange it.
Here's some of the initial pics so far. So far - I'm working on all the automatic settings - I've figured out how to turn the flash on and off, or rather, how to stop it from coming on. And that's about all I've figured out so far.
This is the Dude - is he not a handsome fellow? I cranked up the contrast in photoshop after to make him more abstract - more of a dogscape.
Here's some upcoming beads - some Red Canyon Jasper. I still have to get my head around the depth of field issue. Which means I need to figure out the controls for aperature and speed.
And some of my own lampwork.
The angle is not flattering to the bead, and I think I got the focus better on the background than the bead.
More, getting the focus in not quite the right place.
So - you can see - I have some reading to do. I've read novels thinner than this manual. I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile - my dh has laid claim to the magazine and is now wandering around the house with it muttering "... can't believe it ...," "need that!," and even more ominously "... gotta get me one of those ... ."