That Dogwood picture must be a good one, because I've had two people (one on my blog and one on Facebook) ask what kind of camera/lens I have! Well if you must know...
I have a Nikon P80. (Sorry Katie, I definitely told you an S80. I knew it was one of those letters!!) :) This is the P90, which appears to be just about the same thing. Mine is a year old (in fact, she just had her birthday yesterday!), so I'm guessing the P90 is this year's model.
Can I just tell you how much I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this camera???? We bought it with our Economic Stimulus money (we did our part!) and it was worth EVERY cent that we paid!! In order to truly understand how wonderful this camera really is, you have to understand what I had before!
I was dealing with something like this pitiful excuse for a camera, which was over 10 years old. The plastic around the shutter button was cracked, which meant that the shutter didn't always go off when you pushed it.
The viewer had gotten knocked off center somehow, so you had to compensate a few centimeters every time you took a picture or your picture wouldn't be centered! This resulted in MANY cut-off heads or unsymmetrical pictures (which I despise...)
The rechargable battery pack was more or less dead because the charging dock didn't work well. This meant that I had to constantly buy photo batteries and keep them in my purse, because it gave you NO warning when the batteries were low!
The LCD screen was so ridiculously small that you really couldn't even look at the pictures on the camera. This also meant you couldn't take pictures very well looking at the LCD either, but that's okay because doing that used up the batteries in about 10 minutes!
So what's different about my Nikon, you ask? Well...it has an 18x optical lens that allows me to zoom way in on pictures. In Macro close-up mode, I can get a clear shot 1 cm away from the subject! That's how I got such a great shot of the Dogwood blooms. It also allows you to take pictures in black and white so that you don't have to switch it over when you edit the pictures. I find that the color is much truer when it is taken in BW from the camera. You can EVEN set it to take the picture in BOTH black and white AND color!
I have a Sports Mode which is incredibly useful when trying to take pictures of a rambuncious two year old. Whenever I want a good shot and he's all over the place, I set it to Sports Mode and let the "rapid fire" do its thing! 9 times out of 10, I get at least one good shot that way! The only problem is that you have a lot of pictures to delete afterwards! :)
The automatic red-eye reduction is amazing. Basically, the camera corrects the red eye as it takes the picture. I have never had a SINGLE picture have red eyes in it since I bought the camera!
The LCD screen is a 3-inch square, which means I can see the pictures even without my contacts in! I take ALL of my shots from the LCD...it is wayyyy easier.
Oh, and did I mention that the battery lasts FOREVER??? AND I have two of them!! (Long story that involves leaving my poor newborn camera out in the rain...but I had an insurance policy from Best Buy and it was replaced for free...got to keep the old battery...got a new battery with the new camera...and so now I have two!)
The editing software is great too (at least, it was until Caleb broke my USB and I could no longer load pictures onto my computer...) Seriously though, it is very user friendly and I thought it did a nice job of editing my pictures.
Needless to say, this little baby is a big step up for me! I have learned a lot about photography since I have gotten it, and really feel like it takes some good shots.
So...that's my camera. As you can probably guess, I would highly recommend a Nikon!!! So go do your part for our struggling economy and go buy one! You know you want to!!! :)