My Camera : Nikon D5000 with 50mm Lens


Prior to 2011 the most frequently asked question I received was “Who takes your photos?” …and the answer was & is me. But since the beginning of the year, the question has changed to “What kind of camera do you use?” And here, my friends, is the answer to that question.

* click the large fonts below for more product details

I use a

Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera

but it doesn’t stop there. The camera is fantastic, but the lensas well as the right settings creates the blurred edges and backgrounds that so many of you ask me about.

I use a

50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime Nikkor Lens

for 99% of the photos you see on my blog. The only time I use the standard lens that came with the camera is when I am too close to the object or objects to get a full shot with the prime lens and I need more of the composition in focus {like in my closet post}.

I waited several years before buying a digital SLR because as crazy as it sounds, I sort of didn’t want to step on photographer’s toes and also, I didn’t want to learn how to use a more professional camera when I thought my little Canon powershots were working just fine. In 2009 I upgraded to what I thought was a better powershot but I was wrong. It does have more options but still couldn’t give me what I was looking for. Every time I see an old post, I kick myself for not purchasing a DSLR sooner. I finally get the photos that I’ve visualized in my head all these years that a powershot and photoshop just could not produce.

Here’s a great example: LeRoy on the LEFT is via the Canon Powershot & LeRoy on the RIGHT is via the Nikon with the prime lens on manual settings. {sans photoshopping}

IMG_4698 DSC_0456

I’m still learning what all the settings on the Nikon do but have at least found the settings I need to get the photos I want. I learned easily by watching the DVDs that came with the camera and getting a few tips from my brother as well.

Here’s one more example of the difference between the powershot left & the SLR right

Nikon D5000 slr camera taken with a powershot, IMG_4672 photo of a canon powershot camera taken with the nikon d5000, DSC_0444

*Note: Canon makes sensational DSLRs as well. I just happened to go with Nikon. And now, after I set up the shot, my husband takes all of my outfit photos.


LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • Dusk

    March 13, 2011 |

    This is my camera of choice too!
    …but I have ony recently started using a dSLR. It’s not always about the tool, most people with dSLRs don’t take it off Auto! And I have created some fabulous (if I say so myself!) images with my Point & Shoot. I read up about lighting and exposures and shutter speed and ISO etc so I ‘milked’ my P&S!

    dSLRs do create beautiful depth of field and I’m glad I know how to work them properly. Now I too don’t know how I did without!

  • lauraa

    March 13, 2011 |

    I have a Nikon too and I love it. Wish I could afford a new lovely lens as I know it would make a huge difference but thats out of my league right now.
    With the focussing for timed shots I had the exact same problem… Basically it focusses when you press the button not when the photo is being taken so when you arent in the pic it doesn’t like it and blurs you. Have you got a remote? If not 20 bucks on amazon, and seems to solve the problem! You’re in front of the camera so it focusses on you where you’re gonna be in the pic even using delay remote.

  • Kelly

    March 13, 2011 |

    I use a Canon Point & Shoot, and I can very obviously see the difference between my photos and most of the other fashion bloggers’. Its just so expensive to buy a DSLR… Maybe in the future.

  • Bree

    March 13, 2011 |

    I got the nikon d3100 for christmas and while I love it, I’m still so overwhelmed by all the functions and features! I really need to find a day once exams are over to read the book and study some things online. Well, it’s obviously going to take more than one day.. But it’ll get me started.

  • Liana

    March 13, 2011 |

    omg that is so crazy, i literally have a post exactly like this queued up in my blogger draft posts! weird…but informative as well. i have a canon dslr, just the cheap one but i bought a prime lens too and it works amazing! just not for too close objects 🙂

    Fashion Bag 411

  • Collections

    March 14, 2011 |

    Great post. I just took a photo class myself and my teacher said there’s really no huge differences between canon and nikon, i use a nikon myself as well! Your dog is seriously adorable.

  • Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries

    March 14, 2011 |

    🙂 It makes all the difference doesnt it!? Little tip… I bought a remote on Ebay for my Nikon (from China for about $2) and it’s working like a charm. With that you can focus before you take the shot… made my outfit taking life soooo much easier! 😀

  • Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries

    March 14, 2011 |

    oh and not to mention that you dont ahve to run back and forth between two pics… you can take as many as you want staying at one place without touching the camera 🙂 Trust me you need this thing!

  • Zarna

    March 14, 2011 |

    thanks for sharing this! i use a nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lense and i love it!

  • Ife'

    March 14, 2011 |

    Thanks for the tips, Megan! I can’t afford an SLR just yet, but it is on my wish list! When I started blogging, i was taking pictures with my iPhone, then I upgraded to a Nikon point and shoot because that’s what was in the budget and I just couldn’t do the iPhone for a second longer. (I can’t believe how awful my old pictures were Lol.) The SLR is next!

  • Marisa

    March 14, 2011 |

    I do not know much about cameras. I do know that your dog is the cutest in both photos 🙂

  • Julie

    March 14, 2011 |

    half the time my husband takes my outfit photos and half the time I use a self timer and tripod on my nikdon d80. when I do use the self timer, i’ve found that using something to focus on that’s already in the scene and then stepping into the shot helps a ton. Sometimes, I might just focus on a leaf on the ground and sometimes I get my dog to serve as a stand in. it takes practice but with a little trial and error it can really make your self portraits look like someone else took them. good luck!

  • Behind the Lashes

    March 14, 2011 |

    I use the SAME camera and am in loooove with it, was such an investment for me. I use the Nikon 35mm 1:1.8 though. I just LOVE the flip screen and video option. It’s helpful that my bf shoots Nikon too (D700 and D300) so sometimes I’m able to steal lens from him muaHAHA.

  • bananas.

    March 14, 2011 |

    point and shoots hold nothing to SLR cameras. i love my nikon! love LOVE her!!! life is not the same without her capturing the beauty and essence of it. btw i adore the pic of your frenchie. melts my heart!

  • Huda

    March 14, 2011 |

    wow, I see the difference. I’ve been planning to buy a good camera for my tour of East Africa and Nikon might be worth the investment.

  • Mary Ann

    March 14, 2011 |

    This is a great post; I especially love the side-by-side comparisons!

  • Lisa Petrarca

    March 14, 2011 |

    Isn’t it amazing the difference? BUT it can be a little overwhelming. I still haven’t been able to get my night time shots very good (I don’t have a big flash attachment) but was still hoping to figure something out…sigh…

    CONGRATS on your amazing photo’s & camera!

  • Trina

    March 14, 2011 |

    Yes, Canon does indeed! I got the Canon Rebel T2i for Christmas and it takes amazing photos. I also got a fixed lens, the 50mm f/1.8G and it’s fantastic for beautiful bokeh {background blur} 🙂

  • Allie

    March 15, 2011 |

    Ahhh thank you for this! I’m looking to treat myself to a SLR for graduation 🙂

  • Gwen

    March 15, 2011 |

    You know my thoughts on the camera itself but I think I need this lens!!! My fixed lens is manual focus and my eyesight just isn’t good enough to always get my subject in focus. I definitely added this one to my wishlist along with that super expensive zoom that I should be able to never buy. LOL!

  • April

    March 16, 2011 |

    Thanks for much for posting this info! I just started a little blog and the quality of pictures make such a difference. Your pics look great!

  • Nathyness

    May 4, 2013 |

    Is it a problem at all that the camera does not include a vr setting? Is vr necessary in a lens of this magnitude? I’d really appreciate your opinion on this, since I’m thinking of purchasing this lens. Thanks!


    P.S. Here’s my email, just in case you prefer to email me your answer: nathy[dot]isla[at]gmail[dot]com

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