I was very good this year . . .

Well, maybe not this good! My hubby gave me an amazing Christmas present this year ~ a DSLR!! I have been drooling over these for almost a decade. But they are expensive . . . so I just admire them from afar. But this year my sweet husband sold his iPhone (as work changed to a new provider)….encouraged me to save my birthday money from everyone….and used all the Chase Reward money we’d saved up… and offered to get me my dream camera!! I couldn’t be more excited or thrilled!!

So then I began doing research, talking to people, and getting in to camera stores to hold & ‘play with’ various DSLR. There are LOTS of wonderful cameras with great features, but I decided on a Sony A35. I really thought I would buy the popular Canon Rebel, but when I went & ‘played’ with it I was surprisingly unimpressed with it compared to the Nikon or Sony. So why did I pick the Sony A35?
  • Construction – not plastic like the comparable Canons (T3 and T3i)
  • Not big/bulky – because of this camera’s new technology there is no moving mirror which translates into a smaller, lighter camera
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  • Ease of use – This incredibly intuitive camera has loads of features so it will ‘grow with me’ but also has an Auto & Auto+ setting so I was able to being shooting right out of the box with MARKED better pictures! They have a great menu system, information, and I love the placement of all their menus too.
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  • Translucent Mirror Technology – I am no expert, so if you want more info go over to Sony, but what this means to me is the mirror doesn’t have to move so it takes twice as many pictures per second as the comparable cameras!!! (And also why it was named Camera of the Year in 2010) It can take 7 frames per second!!
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  • HD movies up to 30 minutes! I love that I don’t have to carry around a separate device. If the moment is better captured with a movie- I can easily switch over. Plus it continually focuses throughout the movie, unlike the nice point & shoot I had been using.
  • Sweeping Panoramic Mode (this is waaaaay cool!!) You hold the button down & move your camera right & the camera stitches the picture together seamlessly!! I tried to take a picture to show this….the 1st picture is a ‘normal’ picture. The next picture is standing in the exact same place, but using the panoramic mode. Cool, huh?!
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  • Hand-held Twilight mode – Even at night, no flash, and holding the camera by hand you will get a great image! It takes 6 pictures and fuses them together for an amazingly clear image! Sorry there were no fireworks or parades going on to demonstrate this. But in this dark street look what a nice picture came out.
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  • It has lots of other great features, but these are the ones that set it apart for me from the competition!
  • I LOVE the blurred edge effect I get from using my f1.8 lens!!  (Note the camera is smart enough to do that effect when in portrait or auto+ mode too!!)
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I love that I get to choose where I want the focus! Notice the picture on the left is focused on Goofy’s hand and his face is blurred while the picture on the right is focused in on Goofy with a blurred hand!
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Here are some more cool pictures I took choosing the focus of my picture. (The foot is Minnie’s)
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Shooting in black & white – classic!
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So many functions!! Here is used the black & white with red composition (there is also one that just shows the color green, yellow, blue, etc)
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I was really torn between the Sony A35 and A55.  They were so similar it was hard to pick! The A55 has a flip down screen (but it flips down & not out so a tripod would cover it up), GPS (don’t think I need/want it), and costs $100 or so more). The A35 is a year newer, fixed overheating problems (only an issue for long movies), ratings say better color, and $100 cheaper. So I went with the newer, cheaper one =-) I read TONS of reviews before choosing & am 100% satisfied with my choice. It is an AMAZING camera!!!

We found prices to be comparable from store to store to online. We decided to buy it through Amazon for two reasons: #1 no sales tax (on an item this big that adds up!) and #2 warranty. The store warranties were very expensive & didn’t cover as much. We were impressed by the coverage and amazing reviews of Square Trade. We got a 3 year that included accidental spills or dropping for less than a 2 year at Best Buy or Ritz. Want to check it out for your self – head here:
Here is one of my favorites!! Daddy & Tinkerbell chatting during one of his coffee breaks. Tinkerbell loves making this funny face & noise!
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Thanks hubby for the best gift (I could wrap up) ever!! You are so thoughtful! We are blessed to have such an amazing, caring, loving, husband/Dad who works to provide for not only our every need, but our biggest desires too! I love you!
Beth Gorden
Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is a homeschooling mother of six who strives to enjoy every moment with her kids through hands-on learning, crafts, new experiences, and lots of playing together. Beth is also the creator and author of 123 Homeschool 4 Me where she shares 1000+ free printables, creative homeschool lessons, crafts, and other fun ideas to help preschool and homeschooling families have fun while learning and exploring together.