What to look for in buying a DSLR

This past week, my wife and I have been dabbling a bit in this whole blog sensation and we thought, one of the most key elements to a successful and fun blog is having an excellent, well crafted camera, preferably a DSLR over a basic point and shoot.

You may be wondering, what the heck is the difference?

Canon t6i

Image courtesy of Canon.com

Canon Power Shot

Image courtesy of Canon.com

The Camera on the left is a DSLR camera or a digital single-lens reflex camera that is typically used for higher end photography where you have the ability to always upgrade a compatible lens as you wish. As for the camera on the right, which is a basic point and shoot, it is aimed more for beginners who are more into taking pictures closer up. This camera would be ideal if you are just trying to take pictures of family and friends, taking something light to a party or if you just want a camera with low maintenance, light weight and cheaper.

We knew for our needs that there was really no need for a point and shoot due to the fact that our cell phones basically are point and shoot cameras.

After determining we needed a DSLR to help capture every moment in the most perfect way possible, we had to do our research as to which one we wanted.

Sorry in advance to all Nikon lover’s, nothing against Nikon who makes an excellent line of camera’s, but we are definitely Canon people so we were looking strictly for a Canon.

I then decided to get a little aid from a friend of mine who has been a photographer for most of his life owning multiple high end camera’s. After much consultation, he and I agreed that the Canon Rebel series would be the best fit for us given that is a bit more affordable than most DSLR camera’s as well as a little easier to use given that I am only a bit moderate when it comes to knowing how to use them.

We then went ahead and did further research as to which Rebel would be best:

Obviously, just by looking at the pricing alone, I ruled out the Canon Rebel EOS T5 given it is the same price as the T6.

Canon Screen

Image courtesy of Canon.com

The biggest difference I found between the T5i & T6i with the T6 was that the T5i & T6i came equipped with a Flip Touch Screen which can be very handy when it comes to taking pictures that might be easier with the ability to tilt the screen for a better visual.

At that point, it came down to the T5i and the T6i. Obviously, the T6i is a newer model and more ideal, however it is $200 more than the T5i so we had to decided if the differences really outweighed the price.

When comparing, we found the T6i is a 24 megapixel camera as opposed to the T5i which is an 18 megapixel camera. Other than that, the only other main difference we could truly find was the T6i came with WiFi capabilities which in essence, we are able to connect our phones, computers or even printers to it wirelessly to transfer/print photos directly from the camera.

With all that said, we wanted an excellent camera and thought the extra $200 was worth those differences and ultimately elected to get the Canon Rebel EOS T6i.

So far, we absolutely love it and cannot wait to take it out on beautiful days to take wonderful and amazing photos of the world!

We highly recommend though that if you are going to buy a camera of this magnitude, look around, compare prices and even check places like Amazon.com for bundles that may include a bag, tripod, or even extra lenses.

Once again, we would like to thank a friend of mine who was very helpful in helping us determine the right camera for us. Please check out his website at CuddlebumDesigns.com!

How to buy an affordable PC

Recently, my wife and I visited her parents in Houston for the weekend and while visiting, we were in need of using a laptop. A few years ago, we upgraded my wife’s laptop from an older Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop to a newer 13″ Apple MacBook Air.

Rather than attempting to sell the old Dell, I thought I would upgrade the hard drive, install 2 more GB of RAM and replace the existing cracked shell with a sleek black casing around it and give it to my mother-in-law for personal use.

Well, 3 years later, the Dell appeared to be nearing it’s end with a battery, which can be replaced by the way, having roughly a 20 minute life to it and issues with the track pad.

My wife and I decided we would help to upgrade her mom’s PC as a Mother’s Day gift this year so she could go back to having a fully reliable laptop.

Bear in mind, the Dell provided my wife with 4 good years while in Undergrad and another pretty solid 3 years with her mother.

Now it was up to me to search for the perfect and most affordable laptop out there to fit my wife’s mother’s needs:

  1. Surfing the Web
  2. Word Processing
  3. Creating Spreadsheets
  4. Viewing and Storing Photos
  5. Watching Netflix

With that being said, I looked at a few options:

Asus 1

Image courtesy of BestBuy.com

1. Asus – 15.6″ Laptop – Intel Celeron – 4GB Memory – 500GB Hard Drive – Chocolate Black – ($250)

 

  • PROS
    • A PC with a reasonably sized screen
    • More than enough RAM and Storage
    • Lightweight
  • CONS
    • Processor with noticeable lag when using
    • Difficult to Multitask
    • Relatively Slow when surfing the Web, especially Facebook
lenovo 2

Image courtesy of BestBuy.com

2. Lenovo – Ideapad 100s 14″ Laptop – Intel Celeron – 2GB Memory – 64GB eMMC Flash Storage – Silver – ($200)

 

  • PROS
    • Decent amount of RAM
    • Solid State Drive for a quieter and better way to store necessary files
    • Sleek design while very lightweight
  • CONS
    • Once again, using the same processor as the previous Asus, noticeable lag when using
    • Smaller Screen at 14″
    • Much smaller hard drive due to being an SSD (Solid State Drive).
Asus 3

Image courtesy of BestBuy.com

3. Asus – 15.6″ Laptop – Intel Core i3 – 4GB Memory – 1TB Hard Drive – Silver – ($300)

 

  • PROS
    • Once again, very nice large screen
    • More than enough RAM, twice the storage than the previous Asus
    • Lightweight
    • Core I3 processor which has a very noticeable difference over the Celeron
  • CONS
    • A little more expensive than the previous 2 laptops mentioned

After narrowing the search to these 3 PC’s, I had to go to the store to give them all a test drive.

I personally am not used to using a PC with an Intel Celeron Processor, and after reading plenty of reviews, I had my doubts.

After attempting to try out the two laptops with the Celeron Processor, I found it to be quite irritating and frustrating to even do anything as simple as logging into Facebook.

Granted those two laptops are very affordable but in the end, I thought it would be worth the extra money to go with the Asus 15.6″ with the Intel Core I3 Processor due to the sizable difference it really makes. Even with the intention of needing a PC for only simple needs such as Web Surfing and Word Processing, I do believe that you need at minimum a PC with an Intel Core I3 Processor.

I also believe you will need at least 2 GB of RAM in case you are into multitasking.

As for storage, I do prefer SSD’s over traditional HDD’s due to it being lighter weight, quieter and cooler, however they tend to be a bit more expensive and have smaller storage. With that being said, I would advise at least a 128 GB drive of some sort, plenty of space to store photos, musics and any documents you may have with room to spare.

When it comes to screen size, I personally would never get anything less than a 15″ screen, but that’s just me.

With all of that being said, the 3rd option for the Asus 15.6″ with a Core I3, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD was the most ideal PC to choose for the basic use of surfing the web, storing documents and streaming video.

So remember, especially now-a-days, it is very possible to purchase very high performing laptop to fit the most necessary needs for every day use when using a computer while not breaking the bank.

Always do your research and I strongly recommend before ever buying any computer to try out the PC or Mac and make sure it works for you! The last thing you want is a computer that is to bulky, to heavy, to slow or even to loud.

If you anyone has any questions or may need help picking out the right computer for themselves, please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.