In August of 2007 I decided to purchase a small, lightweight point-and-shoot digital camera. In a post about the camera I said, “…I’m a purist… I would never give up my film camera for digital….” Over the past year and a half I learned quite a bit about digital photography. I also learned how to eat my words (they just need a little salt), and recently decided it was time I make a digital SLR my primary instrument. Last week, after many weeks of reading, research, and thinking, I purchased the Nikon D90.

First, let me be clear, I’m not giving up my film camera. However, at this point it is no longer my first choice for photography. That may change when I have access again to a darkroom, but for now the old equipment is going into the closet.

After a year and a half of shooting with the Leica D-Lux 3, I decided that I enjoy digital photography enough to make a small investment in higher-end equipment. The Leica takes great shots, and I’m not giving it up – it’s perfect for travel, days when I don’t want to lug around a big camera, and long walks on the beach. But, more and more, I’ve found that the Leica isn’t meeting my expectations as a photographer.

I found it too difficult to use the LCD to judge things like focus, depth of field, and composition. Making adjustments to the focal length of the lens is too clumsy, it’s handling in high contrast situations is poor, and its low light abilities are lacking. It is a fabulous point and shoot camera, but it doesn’t give me the control I have become accustomed to from shooting with a SLR camera.

That being said, it was a great introduction to digital photography. I found that I love the instant feedback that a digital camera gives. I love being able to make on-the-fly adjustments to exposure, white balance, color tone, saturation, ISO, etc. More importantly, I found digital photography to be a wonderfully useful communication tool.

I picked the Nikon D90 for a number of reasons and am thrilled with the results. I won’t go into all the details, but the D90 is a full featured prosumer DSLR. I’m still in the process of putting together my kit, but I had a great time taking pictures over the weekend with the inexpensive Nikkor 50mm prime lens.

Expect to see my first Nikon D90 gallery up in the next day or two.