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Digital SLRs – Capturing the Outdoors

I’ve never been one to take many pictures. I have my smartphone for my cat, dog, and food photos and the occasional lovely tree (with an Instagram filter, of course), a small point-and-shoot, and a digital SLR. It never occurred to me until now how differently I use these cameras; My smartphone gets the most action by far, and my point-and-shoot is barely ever used, and I’ll explain why:

I bought my Sony 10.1 megapixel point-and-shoot a few years ago . Before the days when smartphone cameras were boasting 5 megapixels and above, I figured that I should have a small handy camera for when I was traveling. Here’s what I’ve found, though – it doesn’t, and has never, taken very good pictures. On the rare occasion that I used to bring it out (see: first two weeks I owned it) I’d shove it in a little purse thing and take pictures of nights out, live concerts, my friends and I, etc.

90% of the time, though, I’d forget I even had it on me. It then dawned on me that having a camera you keep hidden in your pocket “just in case” you want to take a picture of something isn’t a very active, intentional way of capturing things via photography, at least not for me. I realized that if I wanted to take photos that would mean something to me, I would need to carry around a camera that could do more. So, I found myself using the DSLR that’s in my house more and more often.

I have a Canon PowerShotSX40 HS and it takes amazing photos, which is great for when I want to take scenic pictures while out on outdoor climbing or canoe trips. It seems that what my point-and-shoot was always lacking was the ability to capture a wide range of colours, especially in direct sunlight. It also had a tendency to make most photos look flat and blurry when the zoom was being used. Not so with the DSLR; In fact, shots that are zoomed in look great and the depth perception is incredible. Sure, it’s kind of a big thing to carry around, but I won’t bring it unless I know I’m going to take pictures – and when I have it, I do.

canoewaterpaddlemushroom  tentdark

About Judy

I am a digital media and posthumanism scholar researching how technology affects our conception of the body and helps us to redefine the physical and digital spaces we occupy. I am currently completing my Ph.D at the University of Waterloo.

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