Travel Photo Thursday: Junk Your Camera!

January 10, 2013

in Travel Photo Thursday

  • SumoMe

View CameraFor the last 15 months, in “Travel Photo Thursday” I’ve given you tips on how to come home with great travel photos.

So you’ll no doubt believe I’ve gone “round the bend” and “off my rocker” when I offer this travel photography suggestion: Junk your camera!

And I’m not talking about replacing an “antiquated” camera with a nice shiny new one. I’m telling you to throw away the digital point-and-shoot or DSLR that you recently purchased or received as a gift this past Christmas.

While you may think that I’ve been spending too much time out in the noonday sun with mad dogs and Englishmen, there really is a method behind my seemingly insane proposal.

And I’m not suggesting that you not take travel photos. I’m just saying do it without a “camera.”

Too Many Camera Choices

Canon SD970 ISWith the myriad of consumer or “pro-sumer” cameras on the market today, finding the “right one” to purchase is probably mind-boggling to most prospective buyers.

And unlike the film cameras that we all used to tote along on vacation, there isn’t much standardization of controls and functions among digital cameras, even between different models made by the same manufacturer, let alone those offered by different companies. Unless you are always going to shoot with your digital camera set on fully “Automatic” mode, you’ll have to spend a fair amount of time learning how to use a new camera-cum-computer.

Throw out the Old, Bring in the New

Dissatisfaction with the quality of one’s travel photos has a seemingly simple cure: Just buy a new camera.

After all, if my current camera has 8 megapixels, one with 12 MP must produce better photos! If the camera I’m using has 5X optical zoom, one with 1 X zoom must be twice as good!

You probably kept your film cameras for 5-20 years. In the digital age, are you going to buy a new camera every 2-3 years? If so, each time you “trade up” you’ll be spending $200-$400 (or more) on camera gear, and your photos probably won’t be any better for having done so.

The “Best” Camera for Leisure Travelers

Ask a lawyer any question and the answer is likely to be “It depends.”

The answer to the question of “Which camera is best for me?” is similar. It depends on how you are going to use the photos produced by the camera.

Photo AlbumToday, most leisure travelers do not have prints made from their travel photos. They aren’t placing those prints into scrapbook-like physical photo albums. And unlike travel writers and professional photographers, they aren’t planning on selling their photos to newspapers and magazines.iPhone 5

These leisure travelers are simply posting trip photos in online albums, on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, or sending them to friends or family via e-mail or text message.

If you are one of those modern-day leisure travel “snapshooters,” you needn’t run out and buy a new digital camera.  You already carry something else with you that will do everything you want, everywhere you go.

Just reach into your pocket or purse and pull it out: Your smartphone.

(Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots from other travel writers.)

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