I came across a good article today by one of our inspirations, Desk to Glory, titled "The Best Camera for Overlanding". It's a good article on a subject I've been wrestling with recently so I figured I'd share some thoughts.
I've heard the phrase, "The best camera is the one you have on you", several times over the years. But, I've only recently come to respect the truth behind it. (Apparently the actual phrase is, "The best camera is the one that's with you", and, come to find out, it was coined by Paul Jarvis; which, for some reason, makes me feel like I respect it ten times more.)
Knowing we were going to start adventurin', I knew we were going to want a decent camera. I had an older 35mm Canon Rebel G somewhere in the apartment, but it hadn't been used for years and I wanted a digital camera for the ability to quickly import, edit, and upload pictures to social, the blog, etc. Not being able to afford a brand new DSLR and lenses, I turned to craigslist which is either a fruitless effort that ends with sore eyes or a "holy crap, Iago, I found a diamond in the rough" kind of deal. Luckily, after a day or two of searching, I had an experience like the latter and found a sweet deal on a Canon 40D with two Canon lenses, three batteries, battery grip handle, a wired remote, a Canon backpack, a cool plasticy-cover-so-you-can-take-shots-in-the-rain thingy, a couple filters, lens shades, the manual, and some other freebies for $450. I asked my good friend, Ernesto (of Overland the Americas), to check it out with me and validate my suspicions of said deal. I ended up buying it.
Fact: I use it about 10% of the time.
Lame, I know. But, honestly, unless it's a low light situation, or I need to zoom in on something, or I have time to kill, I find myself using my iPhone or Danielle's Nikon AW110.
BUT, the pictures on the Canon are better, for sure. I'm not ready to give up on it! I think I put too much pressure on myself to be "good" at something too soon. It's ridiculous to think that within a few times of using the DLSR I'd be even semi-proficient at it, especially with something like photography! So, for now, I plan to force myself to learn something new every time we go out until I'm able to know what lighting situations call for what settings. Then I'll gauge whether the juice is worth the squeeze. What's that theory about 10,000 hours again?? :)
Like Desk to Glory and countless other adventure travelers, we plan on getting a GoPro (or two) in the very near future to take wide angle shots, video, bring with us in crappy conditions, and mount for interesting angles.
Speaking of video, I really want to start making videos for the blog as I feel like people connect with them more. I know the GoPro will be key for that, but don't discount our favorite little device - the iPhone. Alright, alright, pipe down! Before you start poo-pooing that idea, think about it. The same saying, "the best camera is the one that's with you" doesn't specify if it's referring to a video or still camera because same is true for both. Case in point - this Bentley commercial:
The video, titled "Intelligent Details", was shot with iPhone 5s' housed in $75 BeastGrip lens adapter/rig system, with $38 Neewer 0.3X Baby Death 37mm Fisheye Lens' and Schneider iPro lens', using the $5 FilMic Pro app, and edited with iMovie on iPads inside the Bentley's themselves! How cool would that be for overlanders?
So, the plan is to keep the camera and try to educate myself or find someone who can help me learn, get a GoPro (Danielle will want one too, but we'll probably wait until the new one gets release, rumored for later this year), research iPhone videography a bit more, and to just get out there and start shooting!
Here's a link to:
- Desk to Glory
- Desk to Glory's post, "The Best Camera for Overlanding"
- Article on iPhone videography gadgets used to make Bentley's "Intelligent Details"