I often try to write posts that indirectly answer frequently asked questions we receive via email, but for a new weekend series (hopefully…depending upon how many emails we get!), I wanted to do posts that directly answer your reader questions with quick-hit blog posts. I posted about this Friday on Facebook, and thought we’d get started right away with our answer to a reader question. If you have a question you’d like us to answer in a blog post, please send it Questions@DisneyTouristBlog.com.
Reader Nancy L. asks:
“…I have a point and shoot camera, but it’s several years old and I don’t like the quality and I wasn’t happy with my photos on our last trip…I’m going to WDW this summer and want a better camera before then. I am willing to spend $500 but don’t know what I should buy…”
One thing not mentioned in your question is how serious you are about photography. I ask because, while the equipment you use is important, it’s more important to know how to use whatever equipment you own. Your current point and shoot may be able to do everything you’re looking for in a camera, it may just be a matter of learning more about it and photography and unlocking its potential. To that end, I highly recommend reading the manual if you haven’t already, and grabbing a couple of books on photography. My top recommendation is Understanding Exposure, which is an absolute must-read. Beyond that, I have a list of recommended photography books that will help. Your local library should have most of these, so you might not have to spend any money to capture better photos.
With that said, you might already know all there is to know about your camera and a good amount about photography, and may still be unsatisfied with your camera. Or, you may not want to learn about photography, and just want a camera that does better in auto mode. There’s nothing wrong with that, and while every camera will perform better with the photographer choosing the settings, it’s also true that nicer cameras in auto mode will produce better results than in auto mode than lesser cameras.
Since you’re using your camera for travel, size might be a consideration, so I’m going to provide a couple of different options with that in mind. Essentially, you’re going to be making a trade-off of either smaller size or better quality. Regardless, either solution can capture great photos (I shot all of the photos in this post with an entry level DSLR or point & shoot). As far as budget goes, $500 may seem like a lot, but in the world of photography, it won’t get you too far. In fact, for my two main suggestions, you’re going to be just on the cusp of needing to spend a tad more to accomplish what you need.
Let’s take a look… (more…)