I am going through an internal debate that many bloggers and amateur or wanna-be photogs probably do at some point. I’m considering whether or not to get a DSLR camera. These bad boys are NOT cheap. Not in the least. Therefore, it means that I am going to be hemming and hawing over the decision to invest in a “fancy schmancy” camera as I’d like to call it.
While I enjoy using my “point and shoot”, it occasionally bugs me. When you blog primarily about food and travel, you want the pictures to be as inviting as possible. I’m occasionally surprised at some of the shots I’ve ended up with like this:
From last year’s wedding anniversary dinner. Check out the rest of the meal here.
In Cappadocia, Turkey – no photo editing. Not too awful, right?
At the same time, occasionally I’d just like a little more camera power. I’d love to be able to take more pictures in settings with low light (Restaurants at night have mood lighting). I’d love to be able to get crisper photos. I want a little more, and I feel like you guys deserve more, too. Oh fine! Who am I kidding? I also have blogger envy. I want my pics to be pretty, too. (Insert pouty face)
My current camera
At the same time, I realize that it’s not just about the camera. It’s also about the technique. Is this just an issue of me getting more out of the camera that I already have? Do I need to learn about some of the manual settings on my point and shoot? They do actually exist. I’m not sure how to use them, though.
Here are some of the issues holding me back from making the DSLR plunge:
1. DSLRs are pretty big.
Did I mention that I am lazy? A DSLR may turn me into a pack mule, and I swear there is a cottage industry out there just for camera bags. Since I walk everywhere, especially when I’m at home and often when I’m traveling, the thought of adding yet another bag to my shoulders doesn’t really seem so fun. I want a more powerful camera, but do I have to sacrifice my shoulders to do it? I like to throw my current camera into my purse or travel day bag, and just go. Plus, I find a big camera can scream “TOURIST”, and sometimes I just want something I can hide away quickly when in certain places.
A cloudy day at Copacabana Beach. I liked not having the big “Look at me” camera in Rio.
One day after reading one of my favorite food blogs (especially for food photography), Cumi & Ciki
, I recently found of out about micro four thirds cameras
designed by Olympus and Panasonic. They have the power of a DSLR but are more compact and can fit suped up lenses just like a DSLR. I’ve been loving Cumi and Ciki’s pictures now for months, and I was completely sure they were using a big honking DSLR. Nope. I was shocked when they revealed that they have been using an Olympus EP-3
Olympus EP-3. Pretty, isn’t it?
There’s a nice write up on the relatively new Olympus micro four thirds Pen line here
At the same time, I’m sure if you add a good lens or a special flash that might negate the weight issue, so maybe a micro four thirds camera might not be the answer?
Uh…retailers are not exactly giving these cameras away. Even the Olympus EP-3 isn’t exactly cheap (EP-3s are actually the top of the line for Olympus micro four thirds cameras, so maybe it’s not a good comparison). I recognize that to get more out of technology, I’ll need to invest in it, but even I get a little nervous about big purchases (Don’t shake my hands after I buy an international plane ticket. My palms sweat). Most DSLRs start at about $400 USD for older models but can go above $1,000 USD. I’m DEFINITELY not spending $1,000 USD on a camera unless I’m changing my name to Annie Liebovitz
. Even $700 still makes me cringe a bit.
A Nikon D5100, another camera option
This Nikon D5100 above is retailing for about $650 USD for just the body.
3. Sweating the technique
As I mentioned above, if I’m going to invest the money, I guess I need to invest the time to learn how to use an expensive camera correctly. I know that buying a DSLR doesn’t make you an expert photographer overnight. I’ve seen some pics taken with DSLRs, and let me tell you that I don’t know if I really saw much of a difference from “point and shoot” quality.
Does this mean that I have to invest in a class or spend more time that I might not already have (or make sure that I free up the time) to learn how to use my future camera?
4. Everybody’s got a favorite.
Sometimes I wish I could get a straight answer about which camera to buy. There’s no right or wrong answer because everyone’s got a favorite. One person swears by Canon, while another would never give up their Nikon.
So, I ask you, my lovely online community, do you own a DSLR? What brand? What you do like most about your DSLR? What do you like least about it? Any words of advice for a camera buyer? Anyone own a micro four thirds camera? I have to admit I might be leaning towards one of those….