Smile and say, “Wow!”

Nikon D3200An awesome gift arrived at work the other day. What’s ironic about this gift — a Nikon D3200 — is that I didn’t take a photo of it, but I’ll be taking lots of photos with it.

Nikon promises this camera is capable of creating “simply stunning photos and videos in any setting.”

It creates:

  • Images that are 24.2 megapixels, which refers to the size of the digital image.
  • High-definition 1080p video with stereo sound. Its resolution is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, and all the lines of the image are visible at the same time, making the best video picture currently available.

This camera is so sophisticated that it’s questionable if I’ll ever fully figure out how to use it. But we bought it because we need a better camera.

Last year, MCSA conducted a successful fundraiser that required me to take photos on Sunday mornings of the congregations at several churches in our community. It was especially difficult to take these photos in churches with lots of natural light coming from multiple directions because neither my old digital camera nor the camera in my iPhone were sophisticated enough to adequately read the light.

Also, we saw the need for a better camera when we started to produce new promotional materials and update the organization’s website. We didn’t have a camera that could shoot quality portraits of our staff and board members.

To remedy this, we wrote a grant application to the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine that included a $500 request for a new camera. The grant was approved and we watched sales until we found the camera we bought. For the $500, we bought the camera body, two lenses (an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm) and a camera bag.

The fact we could buy for $500 a camera that shoots such high-quality photos and videos is the purpose for writing today’s blog post.

From 2000-2004, I was editor of the daily newspaper in Winona, Minn.  In 2001, the chief photographer and I put together a capital request to the newspaper’s parent company to buy the paper’s first digital camera equipment. I’ve forgotten the details — the number of camera bodies and lenses that we purchased. But I remember that we spent $21,000. And we thought that was a great deal because a larger nearby newspaper in the company had spent twice that sum the previous year to go digital.

It’s worth noting the camera we bought back then shot images that were 2.7 megapixels. It did not shoot video. No one at the time would have imagined shooting video with a single-lens reflex camera. (As I write this, I feel like a dinosaur.)

So, yes, we’ll be producing photos and video at MCSA that I would have once thought impossible. It’s an exciting opportunity and we can’t thank enough our friends at the Community Foundation for making it possible.