Should I buy a nicer, fancier camera? Pros and Cons of DSLR

It wasn’t until I was making a photobook for my parent’s Christmas present that I realized, “Whoa, I need a better camera.” My pictures in my earliest photo books were pretty grainy, and they looked much better in my later books when I had a slightly better digital camera. Even then, they weren’t crystal clear, but I assumed it was because of the printing. Well, little did I know.  I had to weigh the pros and cons of a DSLR.

Photo books! This is why I need a better camera
This isn’t even my total collection of photobooks. Obsessed much?

My dad’s pictures were incredibly detailed and were crystal clear even when they took up the whole page. I couldn’t believe it. Since my next big trip was going to be the Galapagos, I knew I needed to up my game.

As with any big decision, I needed to look at the pros and cons. I looked at a lot of websites (here’s a link to my favorite one), but a lot of them were very technical. So to avoid having to do all that research yourself! Here’s a visual of the

Pros and Cons of DSLR!

Pros and Cons DSLR and point and shoot
Pros and Cons of Point and Shoot Digital Camera and DSLR

 

So, for the winner… I feel like that’s a personal choice you have to make! Sacrifice quality for portability or price? Or is quality the most important thing? How do I handle it?

BOTH!

Yikes, I’m that monster that brings like 3 or 4 cameras! My phone (Gosh, do selfies look good any other way??), my fancy pants camera (Canon Rebel), a 360 camera and a waterproof camera. The waterproof one is great for easy and quick shots and for, obviously, water situations. I bring my waterproof one for times when I don’t have the time to fiddle with settings! I bring my fancy pants camera for times that I know it’ll be ridiculously gorgeous, and I’ll want a large picture in my book.  Here’s the exact bundle that I got, and it’s a crazy good deal!  If you click below and decide to purchase it, I do receive a small kick back at no cost to you 🙂

It’s a good system while I’m still figuring out the camera because I’m nowhere near a professional. But I’m glad I got the nice camera. I went on a training trip to Paris for my EF tour, and I got some pretty ridiculously beautiful pictures. Let’s compare my picture of the Eiffel Tower from my first trip in 2007 and my training in 2015.

Point and shoot vs DSLR
Old crappy camera versus new nice camera

Yea. I think I made my point right there.

But because I had no idea how to use my new Canon Rebel, I found some awesome cheat sheets! I ended up buying them from a professional photographer here (he has them for tons of different types of cameras!), and then making them into an adorable booklet at school because I’m a weirdo. Color code much? I’ve brought that little guy with me everywhere.

Color-coded, laminated, and bound photo cheat sheet cards
Color-coded, laminated, and bound? Nerd Alert!

 

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22 thoughts on “Should I buy a nicer, fancier camera? Pros and Cons of DSLR

    • Carly Wayward says:

      Thank you! It seems hard to take a bad picture of the Tower, but you’re right… the second one definitely looks way better larger!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      Oh, absolutely! I remember at the time of the first one, I thought it looked so cool… but when I tried to put into my travel books, it was all distorted! The new one looks incredible all the time. It’s almost surreal; like I didn’t take it!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      Oh yes, those cheat sheets helped me so much! I was at a total loss on how to break out of Automatic! Now, I’m still a beginner, but I understand the functions better. So, I use it as a start and then make adjustments from there! I think they have digital ones so you don’t have to have an extra things to carry!

  1. Ro says:

    You make some really good points here and the difference is definitely noticeable between the first and second picture. Going through the same process as I try to decide which video equipment is best for vlogging… totally overwhelmed with info!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      Well I hope you make a blog about it! I’m hoping to transition to that one day! I just returned a camera that I thought was going to be so great, but ended up being quite terrible. So many options can be wonderful, but overwhelming!

  2. i had the same problem with you ! i think that for a travel blogger the best camera is a priority. The second image of Eiffel Tower looks better! 🙂 Nice post!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      Thank you! Yes, they can be bulky, but I think ultimately, worth it. I have friends that just use their iPhones, but they don’t do anything with their pictures other than Instagram.

  3. It’s such a hard decision. I ended up going with a top of the line point and shoot because at the end of the day I wasn’t going to learn all the fancy settings. It’s all worked out though because now I have a husband who knows how to use the fancy pants camera! Happy photographing!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      Haha, see that’s what I need! A hubby that knows cameras better than me! Maybe he can carry all the stuff too lololol

    • Carly Wayward says:

      I know, I’m such a color coding nerd! I’ve heard a lot of good things about Mirrorless cameras, but not until I’d already bought my Rebel. I asked my professional photographer friend what he suggested for me based on my ability and interest, and that’s what he steered me to. And then as luck would have it, I got a bonus from good test scores from the county I work for!

  4. Great advice! The variance between those two images is huge! I feel bad now for always using my iphone camera! Haha. Honestly I have never known where to begin when looking for a new camera to buy but I’ll bookmark this page for when it comes around to it so I can use it as a starting point – thanks!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      I know, the choices are overwhelming! What I ended up doing was just asking my professional photographer friend what h recommended based on my ability and goals, and that’s what he suggested. I use my Galaxy S7 for selfies. Mostly Snapchat beauty filter hahah. Need that!

  5. I love my DSLR but although I’ve been using it for half a year some of the settings still overwhelm me! I’d love to have a look at those cheat sheets! Whenever I go travelling with only my phone camera now I feel so lost and sad, knowing i won’t be able to capture it in the same way haha.

    • Carly Wayward says:

      If I didn’t have those cheat sheets, I’d probably still be on Automatic!! What I also did, is take a picture, and then change one setting just a little bit and take a BUNCH of pics just changing that one setting. Then do it again with another setting. Just to see how those settings can change the image. Now that I understand my Rebel, when I use my Galaxy camera, I go to advanced settings and make some changes there, and it makes my phone pics look even better! All else fails, use Snapseed to edit pics! They make them GLORious!

  6. You should check out the Fuji X line of cameras! They’re smaller and lighter than traditional DSLRs since they’re mirrorless, but the quality of the camera body and lenses is exceptional. I probably sound like a Fuji ad right now, but I switched from Canon about two years ago and it’s been key in upping my passion for photography to the point where I can’t leave the house without my camera!

    • Carly Wayward says:

      I’ve been hearing a lot about mirrorless, and I’d really like to check it out! But right now I’ve been trying to invest in drones, waterproof, and 360 cameras. Maybe one day if I get internet famous, I’ll be able to check it out :p

  7. I like the cheat sheet.I had the same problem. After using my phone for a while, I just decided to buy a DSLR. Learned the settings one at a time the eventually combined everything because trying to learn everything can be overwhelming. Nice post.

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