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Old 11-26-2014, 12:58 AM   #1
Dailymeel
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Photography Tips: Camera dilemma? Maybe I can help.



Hello travelers!

Are you having camera dilemma on your upcoming trip? You don't know what to bring, and you really don't want to miss some of those amazing photo ops you might have. I'm making this post because I was also stalking the forums for advice about what kind of cameras I should bring, then I thought about my past experiences and thought I would share my advice. Pros and cons and whatnot. (I have a feeling this is going to end up becoming a long, detailed post.)

Let me just start off by saying, I'm no expert, but I am pretty good at taking pictures. I am definitely not a camera gear professional, but I do love doing photography. Usually when I travel, I end up going a bit too crazy with the gear, and end up carrying a LOT. I am also a practicing artist, so I also consider "sketchbook" a valid camera.

Gear:
On my 2012 trip to Disney World, I brought:
1. my Big Girl camera, the Canon 5D MarkII, along with these lenses: 35mm f1.4L, 200mm f2.0L, Lensbaby composer pro with sweet 35, and edge 80. I will show you how or where I used each of those lenses, and why.
2. At all times, I had my iPhone4s with me.
3. Occasionally, when I was tired of the Big Girl camera, I brought along my Fuji instax mini.
I get better over the years with more photos I take, so the 2012 Disney World photos aren't that great. (Even though I thought they were awesome at the time when I took them!)
What I left at home: 50mm f1.4, 24-70mm f4.0L
My friend brought a point and shoot with her, she shared her photos with me so I can give tips or advice on that here too.

On the Disney Cruise I brought with me:
1. Canon 5D Mark II with: 35mm f1.4L, composer pro with Sweet 35 and Edge 80.
2. Fuji Instax Mini

Advice:
I am going to Disney World again at the end of the year and the beginning of the 2015. (I'm going to run a full marathon! Yikes!) I am going to note some of the advice I am going to give myself, and maybe it will apply to you too. I get a little bit (haha, a little bit...) obsessive with taking photos, and sometimes the camera gets in the way.

1. Know when to put away the Big Guy.
I mean, am I really going to have that photo as a giant canvas gallery wrap? Is it even going on the walls at home? Will I be framing this photo? Am I even going to end up printing THIS MANY photos? Is it really going to end up in a national art gallery? Not to be a Negative Nancy, (no offense to people named Nancy) but probably, most likely not.

2. Don't obsess over getting THE perfect shot.
Truth is, out of all the thousands of photos I've ever taken in my entire life, my favourite shots have never been planned, and is never technically perfect.

3. Enjoy the moment!
I've actually gotten pretty good at this since my last trip. Some days I forced myself not to bring my camera with me, so I can enjoy spending time with my friends and family, instead of worrying about how many photos I'm going to take.

4. Choose ONE or none:
In ALL my past trips, I have been terrible at packing light when it comes to camera equipment. For most of my days in Disney World 2012, I ALWAYS had on me at least two lenses. 35mm and 200mm (I have no idea how I did that.) I usually ended up only using my 35. Some days, I had ALL my lenses on me (what?!) AND the mini instax! BAD IDEA. Not doing that again. It's probably why I sometimes have so much pain in my back.

5. Plan your days!
I think the big thing I'm going to do next trip is plan my days out really well, so I know ahead of time when I want to bring the Big Guy. Maybe plan which camera you will bring the night before. This is a good segue for....
Big Guy vs. Point and Shoot
1. Big Guy is obviously going to take better quality photos for you, but it comes with the price of it being cumbersome and heavy.
2. Point and Shoot is just so easy! And you can take great photos with it, especially when you have the right light. If you are really good at using a point and shoot, you can make it work for really good shots!
4. Suggestions on how to choose:
Is there a super special event you are wanting to commemorate? Big Guy.
Are you running a marathon? Point and shoot, or no camera at all.
Are you going somewhere where your camera might get wet? Point and shoot.
Are you taking photos of fireworks? Big Guy.
5. Big Guy and Point and Shoot both take videos, so you don't have to worry about missing out on videos when you switch them around.
6.On my last trip to Disney World, I didn't bring a camera to the water park, or the beach. On the Disney Cruise trip, I didn't bring the Big Guy to the pool, I brought my Mini Instax instead. For my upcoming marathon, I'm most likely bringing nothing.

I will start with the Canon 5D mark II 35mm f1.4L:
1. pro: It's a great lens for taking photos in low light. Shots I took in low light with the 35mm:

2. pro: It's not too heavy compared to the other lenses. (Side story: I took my 24-70mm on my trip to New Zealand. It was the only lens I brought, but I really did regret it. It wasn't as sharp as my prime lenses, and it was really heavy. It resulted in me taking less photos because it was just too cumbersome to bring along.)
3. con: You have to carry it with the big camera, and it can be tiring to lug around all day. Some days, I really do wish I could just drag my camera on the floor. Maybe someone should invent wheels to put onto DSLRs.
4. pro: This is a great lens because you can use it for almost anything! Low light, bright light, portraits, landscapes, etc.

personal note: This is my favourite lens, I have it on 80% of the time when I use the Big Camera.

Canon 5D MarkII with 200mm f2.0L:
1. pro: It's great for animal photos! Look at all the great animal shots I got from Animal Kingdom!

2. con: It's so darn big, long, and heavy!
3. pro: It does great bokeh (That blur in the background or foreground from depth of field)!

4. pro/con? Animal Kingdom was actually a great time for me to break out this lens. But that's because I didn't spend too much time in Animal Kingdom. With that said, I didn't go back to the hotel in between, so I carried that big 200mm with me ALL DAY! I am definitely leaving this lens home on my next trip.


Canon 5D MarkII with the lensbabies:
1. pro: I didn't bring a point and shoot with me, this lens was SO GREAT for the days when I didn't want to bring a heavy camera. Even though my camera body itself is heavy, this still felt like a relief after carrying those big lenses around all day.

2. con: It takes a lot of practice to get used to. Focus is hit or miss if you are bad at using it (like I am).

3. pro: It takes a lot of fun photos.


Instax Mini:
1. pro: Makes super awesome souvenirs if you get them signed. This is definitely my favourite for taking photos with characters.
Side note: the characters look really cute signing them.


2. pro: It's kind of magical and nostalgic in the way the photos just appear before your eyes.
3. pro: It's so LIGHT!
4. con: The exposure and exposure is hit or miss, since you basically have next to zero control over the settings..
5. con: It's terrible at night. I used this a lot at night because it was light, and I just didn't want to carry the Big Camera anymore. It was a poor choice because I ended up getting photos of just my face, and darkness around me:

Sketchbook:
1. pro: a great way to make your own souvenirs and really sit down and remember what it feels like to be in that place at that time.

2. con: I never had time to sketch in Disney World. I was too busy going crazy over and being excited that I never actually took a quiet moment to sit down and relax.
3. con: Depending on what kind of sketcher you are, you might end up bringing way more things to the theme parks than you can carry. (Water colours paints, paintbrushes, etc.)

4. pro: This was great for the cruise because you can go back to your room when ever you want, and the cruise is soooooo relaxing. I just had so much time to sketch and draw the beautiful scenery around me.

Point and Shoot
1. pro: It can actually take some great pictures. It takes great photos in good light.
2. con: very slow in low light.
3. pro: It is so light, small, and convenient!
4. pro: You can get a cheap waterproof one to get great underwater or beach photos!
personal note: I recently just purchased my own point and shoot. I am definitely bringing this on my next trip.

iPhone4s as a camera:
1. pro: It's light.
2. pro: Phone camera nowadays have really good quality photos!
3. con: I'm not a phone person, I hardly ever use my phone, so it was kind of dead weight to me.
4. con: Another personal thing about me not being a phone person. I took a few photos with my phone, might have shared one or two on instagram. Never saw those photos again.

Universal Studios:
A lot of the rides won't allow you to bring stuff onto it. I probably won't bring the Big Guy to Universal studios anymore.

Final Words:
I just bought a brand new Nikon Coolpix S32 for my upcoming trip. My brother is currently testing it out for me while he's visiting Japan this week and next. I can't wait to have another camera other than the Big Guy to bring with me next time I'm at Disney!

full blog posts with lots of photos:
Here's some shameless advertising for those who want to read my full blog posts:
Epcot
Animal Kingdom and Epcot
Magic Kingdom
Hollywood Studios
More Magic Kingdom
Universal Studios and Final Magic Kingdom Post

Disney Cruise:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Mordecai's Report

Questions and new advice are welcome!
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Old 11-26-2014, 06:15 AM   #2
AussieCaribou
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Thank you Dailymeel. This was a helpful post.

I am going to be taking two Sony cybershot T's with me this year (along with the three phones...). My big guy is being left at home. EEP! but we are trying to travel with carry-on only. Here's hoping it works.

I love your sketch book idea and now plan to stop off when we get to the US and pick up a book and paints...I'm not as accomplished as you, but I do love to sketch.

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Old 11-26-2014, 01:24 PM   #3
Dailymeel
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 38

I still have attachment issues with Big Guy. Hopefully on my upcoming trip I will learn to leave him on some days, so I can relax and have fun : ) I love having the sketchbook. I still have so much fun looking at old sketches I did on trips when I was 5 or 6. I think the best part is that you can tell people you're just "being expressive" on a really bad sketch :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieCaribou View Post
Thank you Dailymeel. This was a helpful post.

I am going to be taking two Sony cybershot T's with me this year (along with the three phones...). My big guy is being left at home. EEP! but we are trying to travel with carry-on only. Here's hoping it works.

I love your sketch book idea and now plan to stop off when we get to the US and pick up a book and paints...I'm not as accomplished as you, but I do love to sketch.

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Old 11-26-2014, 03:11 PM   #4
HizMinnie2015
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I have a Nikon d5300 24.2 mp and the 18-55mm VR II and AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm ED VR lenses.

I also own the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and I have to say that when we are on the go, I tend to never bring my big camera. The Note 4 can do 95% of the things my big camera can. I have learned how to use the different areas on my phone first, using them on the not so great camera with the Note 3, before I got my camera.

I love using my camera when I can just sit and capture spontaneous things... kids, grandkids etc. Being that we will probably be moving around so much while at Disney I'll stick to my phone... I'd be heartbroken if something happen to my Nikon and I'm ok with not lugging it around lol
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
Dailymeel
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I hope you have loads of fun! I'm too attached to my Big Guy to leave it home!


Quote:
Originally Posted by HizMinnie2015 View Post
I have a Nikon d5300 24.2 mp and the 18-55mm VR II and AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm ED VR lenses.

I also own the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and I have to say that when we are on the go, I tend to never bring my big camera. The Note 4 can do 95% of the things my big camera can. I have learned how to use the different areas on my phone first, using them on the not so great camera with the Note 3, before I got my camera.

I love using my camera when I can just sit and capture spontaneous things... kids, grandkids etc. Being that we will probably be moving around so much while at Disney I'll stick to my phone... I'd be heartbroken if something happen to my Nikon and I'm ok with not lugging it around lol
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:02 PM   #6
CdnSquirrel
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I decided to not take my big Nikon with me on our upcoming trip. Instead I purchased an Olympus rugged point and shoot which is pocket sized and also paid for memory maker. In my family I am known for taking hundreds of photos on vacation and this time I want to be able to enjoy myself and not work, if you get what i mean.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:05 PM   #7
Dailymeel
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I've never done memory maker! Do you just ask photopass to take photos for you?
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:40 PM   #8
Joanna71985
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I like your review! I use the Nikon D5100 with a 18-270 lens (it's currently my only lens). I love it because it's not too heavy, and has nice zoom. However, I am looking into getting a prime lens. I may have to look at the one you have
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