Monday, August 22, 2011

Click, Click, Snap?

...decisions, decisions.  I hate making them and wish someone else would put me out of my misery and decide for me.

With less than 20 days to go before I leave for Paris, I came to an outstanding realization....Mama needs a new camera.

My 5 year old Sony PowerShot 870SD that I purchased my sophomore year of college has run its course and now its time for a much needed upgrade! I love photographs and I admire the process of photography but for once I want to be the person behind the camera taking great pictures instead of the person in front of the register dropping serious dough on some nice pictures.  I figured my fast approaching European excursion would be a great opportunity to upgrade to a DSLR photography as well as truly make photography a hobby of mine.  I have been admiring the image quality and "artsy-ness" of DSLR cameras for a while now.  The problem is I don't know how to properly use them and $600 is wayyyyyy to much money to speed to use the camera's automatic setting.  Plus, I don't know how to use Photoshop, nor do I have l'argent to buy that's out of the question.

I like DSLR cameras because if used properly with a good eye and good composition, you can capture the pure essence of a moment in time.  I love photography, because each story tells a story, for example, this picture was taken by my very talented friend Beth Fortson.  I've seen photos that have ignited a passion in me, made me feel happy, sad, angry...a wide variety of emotions.  For me, I feel like there is a rawness that little point-and-shot cameras can not express.  Sure, you can get pretty and clear shots, but sometimes I crave more than that.

But another issue for me is the size.  Good grief, those things are chunky!  Because of my inexperience, I am not used to holding a heavy camera, so a special camera bag is needed.  Well, me being the research whiz that I am already found an alternative to this issue:

Voila! Ultra feminine and super fabulous camera bags that actually look like women's handbags! These particular bags are from Kelly Moore.

But it gets even more complicated; what do I do when I just want to go out with friends to a bar or a club?  Hauling a big $600 camera would not make because there's nothing artistic about being completely inebriated with your friends in a dimly lit bar plus there's the concern of losing it or breaking it, so a point-and-shoot will do.

grrrrrr....I just don't know what to do! Should I replace my poor PowerShot with another point n' shoot or should I take a bold step into the world of DSLR photography???


  1. I'll answer here too :-)
    I'm digging my new DSLR but a few caveats - you want to make sure you have something portable for more casual shots (point and shoot on the side or good phone). Plus, while there are some cheap zoom telephoto lenses they're not rated very w...ell. So I'm using my point and shoot for that to save my money for other things (plus video as my DSLR doesn't have it). Also, the DSLR has a learning curve so you may not be 100% happy with all your photos at first. But it's great to be able to grow and learn with it in a very photogetic city. And another warning - once you get your foot in the door, the photography wish list never ends: lenses, tripod (not really optional), bag, filters, external flash, photo editing software, etc. It's easier to be content with a point and shoot :-) And as for point and shoot recs if you want some of the quality and advanced controls - mine's a Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5 which is very well-regarded.

  2. Oh! Another thing - you can go cheaper than $600! Get a used version of an older model like I did - the Canon Rebel XS which I found on Amazon from a major electronics seller for $330. I had messaged Sergei beforehand and he said the older models are more than fine - 10 megapixels are way more than fine. There are quite a few of these large used electronics sellers who seem to be pretty reliable - have lots of good feedback plus return policies. My camera doesn't look like it was used at all - many of them have access to cameras that never got sold or refurbished ones. If you're prepared to spend $600 then you'd have money left over for another lens, other accessories, or even a point and shoot! (get that one used too and you can get a good deal on a good one).

  3. Go for a DSLR! I also purchased one in June with all of my graduation money. It was a hard bullet to bite because of the price, but the photo's come out amazing! I bought it because the last time I went to Europe my pitures just simply did not capture the beauty I saw and I swore I would not return without a better camera! It's worth the money. Just keep your point and shoot for those nights out ;)


  4. I'm still torn! I also have a great point and shoot that I purchased recently (the Lumix LX5 like the poster above) and am pretty happy with it... It's small and the pictures are great... But I also want to take the next step... But those cams are so big... Such a tough decision!

  5. I'll be an assistant next year and I found this in the assistant blogs! I hope you're as excited for France as I am. :)

    I'm a DSLR user since this October. I thought about the decision for about 3 years and finally caved since it was beyond time and photography is a SERIOUS hobby for me (I'm starting to photograph weddings on the side!). I don't regret the decision to get an SLR, but that doesn't mean it comes without downfalls. The biggest one: it's heavy. When you're traveling all day, you've really got to keep that in mind. The second one that you might not have thought about: lenses. You'll need more than one to get the results you want: at least a portrait lens and a zoom (telephoto) lens. Those are additional costs and weight to add.

    That said, the last time I was abroad long term I had a regular point-and-shoot and got great results! Not as good as an SLR, of course, but satisfying, clear, and good quality (enough to fool people into thinking I had an SLR!). It's really about knowing how to use your camera, no matter which one you have. A new point-and-shoot camera these days has a big light sensor and can take really nice photos.

    If you still want to upgrade, another option is called a "superzoom," like my old camera. It looks like an SLR, but it's smaller and lighter and you don't need to change the lenses. Here's an example:

    There are also new "hybrid" cameras like the Sony NEX and the Olympus PEN but I'm not sure what the consensus is on those. Just another option to throw out!

    Good luck! Whatever you do, try your best to learn about your camera's functions... just play around with it as you take pictures! :)


  6. Hey! I'm quite a newbie in photography, but I love it. My best friend got a DSLR and she took the best pictures of us ever, it's incredible what beautiful shots you can take and customize! But yes, it's impossible to take your bulky DSLR to a bar or something like that, plus it's much more difficult to get a good shot in dark places at night. So, what we did last year was using her Nikon DSLR for daylight shots, and my pocket size Canon point and shoot for night outings (well, I used my point and shoot during the day too! hehe). Sooo, maybe you can buy the new one, to take your photos to the next level, but also keep your old point and shoot for nightly fun sessions that do not need to be that artsy... Or, we can always use mine when we go out together dans la nuit Parisienne! ;)

  7. Thats a really good idea Emi! Gracias!

  8. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog...I love yours! The background is super cute.

    Good luck in your camera search...I just got a Sony H70 point-and-shoot and I love it, but I'm not a serious photographer. I think Emi has a great idea. My roommate last year was very into photography and had a Canon Rebel, but she missed out on a lot of pictures because she obviously couldn't take it out to the bars, and she also didn't take it out when it was raining or snowing. She often mentioned she wished she had a little point-and-shoot. Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your blog!!

  9. Salut Ugomma!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! :) And yes, I went to UVA and my brother actually goes to GW. Definitely let me know whenever you want to visit Lille or even go to Belgium. I've never been to Paris, so I will definitely be visiting!