As a photographer my craft is always evolving and adapting due to undertaking new experiences, snapping more pictures and constantly wanting to work harder to outdo my previous shots. I am thankful that my travels around the world take me to new cultures, giving me a large amount of satisfaction when I retire for the night, open up my laptop and go through that days photographs. However, that satisfaction can easily be turned into dismay and frustration if the shots were subpar or even worse – having none.

I will, one day, sit down and write about my camera gear I use, but todays post has been sitting on my mind ever since I wasn’t able to photograph Suva, Fiji during my recent cruise around the South Pacific. This article is about toying between putting down my large and expensive DSLR camera and instead using my cheaper point-and-shoot whilst travelling.

I want to share a quick backstory about my day in Suva, not too long as I am wanting to save the full story for another days blog post.

During our most recent trip to the Suva, Fiji I found myself awkwardly exploring the town with my large DSLR camera either around my neck or sleeping comfortably, unused in my backpack. I will admit that there were moments when I was nervous to take out my camera and click the shutter and other times felt that I could’ve easily captured the moment just as well with my smaller camera.

We arrived back on the boat with only 3 photographs – all which were taken with my smallest and cheapest camera. To me, as a photographer it felt like a failed day, so over dinner I mulled over why and how I could fix it as I attempted to get some food in me. I was able to write down some notes in bed and put together this post about why in the future I may use my small point-and-shoot Sony over my large Canon DSLR.

Comparing DSLR and Point and Shoot weight

It is less confronting

With the large adoption rate of smartphones the need to buy a dedicated camera is becoming less desired, not only by travellers but by everyone. I find that when I am on location with a large camera that has detachable lens I am always in the minority when compared to everyone else whipping out their iPhone to snap a picture.

So, when you are in the minority you look different and when you look different you stand out amongst others. To the locals all they see is a giant camera pointed at them instead of a phone, and at certain times I can feel more confronting than the traveller next to me.

Show picture of holding the DSLR and the Point and Shoot around my neck.

It is cheaper if it gets stolen

 There are a lot of safety precautions you have to worry about when travelling and having a large camera around your neck is just screaming out to get stolen. Luckily we have yet to travel somewhere or headed down a route that has felt unsafe or dangerous. I can report that I am yet to get robbed *knock on wood*.

In the end if I had to choose between the two cameras getting stolen, I think we can all agree it would be the cheaper camera.

It is lighter

After walking around all day in the heat you can get very tired holding your camera out, letting it hang around your neck or even the annoyance of having it in a backpack. Travelling should be about enjoying the location you are at and not primarily about being behind the lens, so once your camera gear becomes a burden you begin to become grumpy and lose interest in the sites you are seeing.

Show a picture of what my two cameras weigh.

Personal preference

In the end it is all down to personal preference. We do get a lot of compliments about my photography on the website which I am always very humbled to hear about. These are primarily taken with my Canon 5D Mark III camera, with the odd on my Sony RX100II. Some expectations do sit at the back of my mind.

I am thankful I have a platform to share my photographs on, hear all your feedback and even write about simple thoughts, such as this one. Knowing me, I will ignore all of my own advice and be exactly where I left off and go back to primarily shooting on my DSLR, I might have to bookmark this on my phone as a reminder.

How do you take photographs when travelling?

Stephen and Jess signoff


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