The Point and Shoot Conundrum

Canon Rebel.

Canon Rebel.

I am trying to make a decision.

The kind of decision where you think of every possible related fact, feeling and eventuality.

Would you mind if I shared the latest conundrum here?

Sony Cybershot.

Sony Cybershot.

The pertinent question is:  should I buy a point-and-shoot camera?

The background:

Before 2008 I rarely used a camera.  Didn’t believe in ’em.  It felt like taking pictures interfered with the moment.  There you were, having a wonderful time, engaged in a wonderful moment, and you were supposed to put all this on hold and take a picture?  I mean, c’mon, people.  Let’s live life instead!

Rebel.

Rebel.

In late 2008 I started a year-long outdoor blog.  Barry told me to put pictures in the posts.  “People like pictures,” he said.  “They break up the text.”  (As a veteran newspaper editor, he knows things like this.)

I sniffed in disdain, having always been a word person, thank you very kindly.  Rarely glanced at photos or advertisements.  Just the words, only the words, forget all the la-de-da visual arts.

Of course–when one sniffs in disdain–one is usually ready to be educated. Thus, I fell head-over-heels in love with photography.  For an entire year, mind you!  Couldn’t quit shooting the little Sony Cybershot.  Loved the darling.  Adored her.  Thought she was a new extension of the typing fingers.  Could have kissed her sweet little lens.

Cybershot.

Cybershot.

Took her everywhere.  In public bathrooms, the beach, long hikes, the woods, everywhere, simply everywhere.  I loved the spontaneity, the smallness of the camera, the unobtrusiveness of it.

After the year-long outdoor blog ended, I started Lake Superior Spirit.  That’s when the yearning for a “big girl’s camera” grew.  I dreamed of a Canon or Nike where one might get better quality shots.  Where one might be able to better focus in low light.  Where one’s photography might be properly oooohed and ahhhhhed.  Where one would be utterly mesmerized by crisp, sharp, in-focus, delightful, wonderful, amazing pictures.

The Cybershot conveniently expired, so in Autumn, 2010, I took the plunge.  Bought a Canon Rebel.  And oh did the Canon take good pictures!  (Sometimes.)  Sometimes it took excellent photos–pictures that Ms. Cybershot could never attain.  Oh, did it glory with its long adjustable lens!  (Sometimes.)  Oh, did it take good close-ups!  (Occasionally.)  Oh, did it take better indoor shots.  (Yep, it usually did take passable ones.)

Rebel.

Rebel.

But here’s the nitty-gritty scoop.  A big girl’s camera is meant to be utilized.  One must learn to fiddle and adjust.  One must learn about f-stops and ISO and white balance.  One must learn technology.  One must, truly, dedicate oneself to studying a little photography, c’mon, get off your butt and learn!

The truth of the matter is:  even though I cursorily tried, I could care less about the technology of photography.  I like capturing the feel of what is being said.  End of story.  Point.  Feel.  Shoot.  Simple, huh?

Cybershot.

Cybershot.

In the past year or longer the dear sweet Canon Rebel stays mostly in her case.  (Except for rare exciting moments like the Nicaragua trip, or our sunset cruise on Munising Bay or the first snow or other memorable moments.)

Besides the disinterest in learning anything about photography?  What else keeps Ms. Rebel in her bag?

1.)  She’s too heavy.

2.)  She’s too awkward.

3.)  She’s too obvious. You can’t take her out unobtrusively and casually capture the moment.  It’s like you have to take baby out of her stroller.  By the time you’re finished unwrapping and adjusting and fiddling, the moment is past.

I still like the quality of her shots in certain instances.  They are generally clearer, sharper and more in focus. (That is, when I remember to focus.) But, the truth of the matter is:  I don’t take her out to play.  Hardly at all.  I don’t feel like taking pictures anymore.  The fun seems to have disappeared.

Rebel.

Rebel.

So.  Should we buy a Point and Shoot again?  A little dear with a sweet lens that can be casually clicked in conversation?  (Some of you may want to suggest an iPhone.  No can do.  We don’t have service in our neck of the woods.)

There is also the niggling question:  what if we buy the handy-dandy little camera…and I’m STILL not interested in taking photos, ever again?  It would be a huge waste of precious dollars, which have to fund a new laptop computer in not-too-distant days. I still have thousands of photos to illustrate any story which might arise.

Cybershot.

Cybershot.

Thank you for listening to my latest conundrum.  Am trying to decide the appropriate answer before the Florida trip because I simply do not want to lug the Canon Rebel down to the sunny beaches.  No matter what quality of sharper-image photos she can take. But how can one not take photos of dear family members boating along the Back Bay with wind in their hair?

Still unknown...

Still unknown…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in March 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to The Point and Shoot Conundrum

  1. sybil says:

    I do all my photography with a “point and shoot” that I got for $40 on eBay. I’d like to be able to do a bit more with it. I’d like a better zoom and I’d like to be able to take time lapse shots sometimes. But I don’t want a big camera. Used to have an SLR in the bad ol’ film days. Our mutual chum, Lynne (Five Good Things) has a zinger of a big-girl camera that she carries in a neat holder/slingy thing in front of her so her hands are free and the camera handy: but I love being able to keep my camera in my pocket. SO, I think my next camera will still be a little one BUT with the features I’m looking for. And it’ll probably be purchased used.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, how cool that you were able to get that camera for $40 on eBay! I admire all you folks who sashay around eBay and get Deals. Lynne’s holder/slingy thing sounds cool, too. My little case is actually halfway handy–Barry borrows it when he takes his work camera out on the ice. But it still feels cumbersome to me. Do you know specifically what kind of camera you’ll be looking for next time?

  2. I use a DSLR and always carry a compact too. I have bags of DSLR kit and it’s not always with me, the compact is. The best camera is the one you have with you. I love my DSLR and stuff but I recommend buying a good compact too.

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Island Dweller, I like how you say, “The best camera is the one you have with you.” Sounds like you have the best of both worlds!

  3. Celine says:

    I think most your your Rebel shots are beautifully crisp and clear compared to the rebel. The pictures of the butterfly and white bird creature are perfect. They have so much more punch and impact than some of the other shots. I say keep the rebel and maybe carry it in an easier to access case..or around your neck. the shots with the cybershot all seem a bit blurry. The ones taken with the rebel while some are blurry (the group shot of three kids), the focused ones are better than any you’ve shown.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathy says:

      Celine, I agree with your assessment. The Rebel shots are much more crisp and clear and have more impact. However, having said that, my choice in the last year is not to take pictures at all. I have a fairly easy access case (and it’s kind of light) but in the end it appears that the quality of the shot isn’t enough to keep me interested. Darn… Thank you for sharing!

  4. Kathy – What happened to your Sony Cybershot? Can you still use it?

    If not, I agree with Sibyl’s suggestion of getting a point and shoot from eBay — one that fits in your pocket.

    • Kathy says:

      Two Sony Cybershots died on me, Laurie. They were both badly overworked, thousands and thousands and thousands (OK, I exaggerate) shots in a few short years. They actually got little spots on the lens which couldn’t be removed. Am pondering the point and shoot, but my real indecision comes from the fact that I don’t know if I’m still interested in taking pics at all…

      • Kathy – It’s been my experience:

        As a blog WRITER, I like to combine a concise word picture with at least one vivid photograph that supports my post.

        As a blog READER, I’ve always enjoyed the photographs you weave throughout the verbiage in your blog’s tapestry. They invariably provide P-squared: pizzaz and panache!

        • Kathy says:

          Laurie, I will not quit using photographs. I agree with the weaving of verbiage and visual arts. The photos break up the text, making for easier reading. However, there are several thousand photos filed away on the computer. New ones aren’t really needed. Most readers don’t even have any idea that they’re not current. That is the crux of my indecision. To continue to use old photos (like I’ve done for most of the last year and a half, with certain exceptions) or see if a point and shoot will somehow spark a desire to take more current photos?

          • Ahhhhhh, I see. Well goodness, definitely make use of what you’ve already got on hand. That will (a) provide you with the opportunity to showcase them, and (b) give you time to determine what type of camera you want if or when the time comes.

            Make it a shiny penny kind of day 🙂

  5. Fountainpen says:

    Well, I just got an iPhone 5 with a camera and I find that I am taking wonderful pictures of my birds….new bird feeder attached to my front window about 36 inches from my front room desk and computer….so I am delighted with finches, cardinals, doves, sparrows, chickadees all day……so I say, “Go get the camera, Kathy…..it will make you happy, and it will make all of us, oh, so happy, because you are so very good with a camera in your hands!”
    Fountainpen

    • Kathy says:

      Some of those iPhones with camera take lovely pics, Fountainpen. They surely do! I am feeling your joy and delight with the birds so close to you. It’s funny–I do know that people enjoy looking at my photos. So many have shared that. But do I enjoy taking them enough to continue… ?? That is the question which still remains unanswerable…for now.

  6. I have, and use, a Canon Powershot as my second camera, as does a pro whose blog I follow. Several friends have purchased one on my recommendation, and all have loved them. They are great little and affordable cameras.

    • Kathy says:

      Quietsolopursuits, I have written down the name you suggested and will check out this brand should I decide to purchase a point and shoot. Thank you!

  7. Karen says:

    I have a Canon Rebel T3 with three lens (I basically only use 18-55) for all my food photography as I shoot those photos at night. I take a new Canon point and shoot when we travel because of its size. It fits in a pocket or purse, is light and when I’m in a restaurant I want to be inconspicuous. I bought it because it works well in low light and I can use it on auto or manual.

    • Kathy says:

      Karen, it sounds like most serious photographers/bloggers do have both. It does seem like the Canon Rebel can really do more with things like food photography, but I am strongly leaning toward getting a point and shoot like yours. If only I knew if my interest in photography would revive. If it’s not going to revive, why get another camera at all? Such a conundrum!

  8. Hi, Kathy! Today’s point and shoot cameras are so much better than they were when you got the Rebel. I only suggest you invest in a good one which will give you excellent results. Canon has several.

    It will depend on what you like to photograph. 🙂 Do you need a long zoom lens on it? Do you want a fixed lens which will give you better quality under low light but you would have to “zoom” with your feet? Do you still want interchangeable lenses? (look into the Micro 4/3 cameras. Small, pricey but give dSLR camera results)

    Cameras are made to be used and to have fun with. If the Rebel does not meet your needs, time to look at alternatives. Enjoy the journey. You should be able to sell your camera which will give you all or most of what you will need for your next one.

    As always, dpreview.com is a good place to start looking.

    • Kathy says:

      Scott, thank you for all the helpful advice! These ears especially perked up at your suggestion that the point & shoots have improved tremendously in the last few years. I’ll bet they have. You are right about selling the Rebel, but will probably keep it in case the passion with photography revives. Because we’d hate to do this all AGAIN, wouldn’t we? Thank you again for your input.

  9. Robin says:

    This is interesting because I have been pondering the opposite question of whether or not I should get a big girl camera. I’ve been holding out because the technology is changing, and they are now making good, interchangeable lens cameras that are smaller and lighter than the DSLR’s (the Micro Four Thirds cameras). Basically, I’m holding out a bit for the smaller and cheaper, waiting for technology to do it’s thing and catch up with what people want.

    My current camera is a point and shoot, BUT it’s not a lightweight camera. Santa brought me a little Panasonic Lumix waterproof/shockproof/everything proof camera this past Christmas and I love the way it fits in a pocket and I can take it anywhere, although I do have trouble with the LCD screen (I’m used to looking through a viewfinder), especially in bright light. I can take it places I can’t take my bigger P&S (cross-country skiing, canoeing, the beach), and I don’t get neck pain from lugging it around. The image quality isn’t as good as my bigger camera, but a little tweaking in a photo editing program (Picasa, Photoshop, Pixlr) usually does the trick. 🙂

    • Dayna B. says:

      I am actually in the market for a point & shoot “bridge” camera and was contemplating getting the Sony Cybershot. It sounds like you would recommend it, but is there a reason why you aren’t keeping that one as your go-to camera?

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, this is so fascinating to read everyone’s thoughts. Santa wanted to bring me a little point and shoot, but I talked him out of it. (Have an “in” with the North Pole, you know.) Just can’t decide if the Universe wants me taking pictures or not. If the Universe does, it’s obviously time for a point and shoot kind of like yours. That might jump-start the enjoyment of photography again. Thank you so much for sharing everything you did here. I am taking notes.

  10. the bells and whistles no longer fascinate me–give me a point and shoot any day — probably comes from the days of not only being a reporter but a photographer too — when I had to fake it to make it look like I knew what I was doing–

  11. Heather says:

    I agree with Scott – the point and shoots available today are far superior to their just-a-few-years-ago predecessors. But here’s the real kicker: if you purchase one from an actual store – you can take it back if you decide you’re completely done (for the time being until the Universe decides you’re not) with photography.

    • Kathy says:

      Howdy, Ms. Heather, so glad that you and Scott made this point about the better quality of point and shoots. People have said this. Actually, I will probably go to a store to look at the models, should a decision become imminent. Have to hold them in the hand, you know, to get a better idea.

  12. May I be so bold as to suggest that you might want to embrace your photo free leanings? Will you not remember the dear family members with wind in their hair? I usually do not suggest with comments but I felt so encouraged by this line –
    “Of course–when one sniffs in disdain–one is usually ready to be educated.”
    it so reminded of the paradoxical beauty with which we humans navigate life.
    It seems to me that you have come full circle, education complete. Now you take pictures or you don’t. Your intuition always guiding you, sometimes with sniffs of disdain, sometimes with complaints of camera bulkiness and sometimes with choice paralysis.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your beauty.

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, littlestoryblog, how I adored your comment! My dearest heart leaped as it recognized what you were saying! Choice paralysis…yes…the mind feels that way. (What I didn’t really write is that I’m waiting for something deeper than the mind to make a decision. Letting the mind and all the commenters throw out a hundred thoughts, and then seeing what happens.) The ego is paralyzed. The excitement is to see what something deeper decides! Having said that, sometimes I do get very excited and joyful while taking pics. Friends and family, therefore, cannot understand this latest disdain. I truly, truly, truly, appreciate that you saw this part of the conundrum. It felt good to be so deeply recognized at this level.

  13. Carol says:

    I was very happy with my Panasonic Lumix, although it was not a pocket-sized camera, but much smaller and lighter weight than the Rebel. Now that I’m using the Rebel, I do see a difference in picture quality. But – my friend just bought one of the newer, smaller Panasonic Lumix with a long zoom and it does a great job. Kathy – when will you learn to follow your heart? Buy the little point and shoot, carry it with you, use it when you wish – keep the Rebel, use it when you wish. You can get a nice point and shoot – in a store – for under $300 and laptop prices have come way down.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I do think the Rebel has a much better photo quality. It just remains in the closet, no matter how lovely it’s quality… It’s interesting that you think that buying the point and shoot is what my heart wants. Wish I felt that confidence! The conundrum does not feel like it’s between the Rebel and Cybershot (although the blog may have made it look that way.) It’s really whether I continue to take pictures at all. Could simply continue to use the thousands of photos already in folders here (have been doing this mostly for a year and a half, anyway, with some exceptions.) Or do I somehow try to jump-start the lethargy/opposition to photography by getting a camera and seeing if that works?
      P.S. Do you find it always easy to know what your heart wants? Sometimes I find it is, but other times it seems that different parts of the heart wants different things. It wants to not take pictures and take pictures. (Just not exclusively with the Rebel, apparently.)

  14. lisaspiral says:

    I had this conundrum as well years ago. I have a lovely nikon that shoots real film. I eventually bought a long lens that was ultra light to help with the “it’s too heavy” argument, but it’s still too heavy and film is expensive. With the advent of digital photography I really had to decide if I wanted another “real” camera or a point and shoot. I thought about how often the photos I take were quick “candids” and how many were camera in hand or take the time opportunities. I opted for the point and shoot and never looked back. Now my poor camera is dying and I’m again debating the quality of photos vs the convenience of stuffing a camera in my purse. They do make an “in between” that can be set to do either and isn’t quite as big as a “real” camera. If money was no object………… Let me know what you find and what you decide. Maybe you’ll help me make my own decision. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Lisa, I am really glad that writing all this out may be helping others with their own camera conundrums, as well. Don’t we often learn that we’re not alone in our indecision–so many others are feeling similarly? Yep, if money was no object…understand you totally. Will keep you informed what decision the Universe makes. (If I leave it to my thoughts to make a decision, they’d probably never decide…)

  15. Very enlightening. I have groused over not having a “good” camera to take photos with because “everyone else has such great photos” and I have nothing to show but what is in my head. Your photos have all been great ones.
    I’ll wait and see what the universe decides for you and perhaps if I listen carefully, I will find my own answer as well.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for liking the photos, Linda. Gosh, am hoping the Universe decides soon! Don’t you hate it when you’re in the middle of a conundrum? *grin* Hoping your listening will provide you with your answer, as well.

  16. elmer says:

    One thing why I prefer SLRs, they are more humanize. Images they capture are much more similar to what is seen by the eye.

  17. dorannrule says:

    Another great post. You have helped me form a warmer attachment to my little point and shoot Canon Power Shot 595. It has an “automatic” setting where it stays. On the other hand, it has a huge list of other potential technological features. I went for instruction on those, but forgot everything the moment I walked out. So, it remains a little, pocket sized, point and shoot camera that takes good enough pics to illustrate my words. I was thinking of joining a camera club, but that seems fairly ridiculous since I only point and shoot. 🙂 Thanks, and BTW, your photos are grand. It’s your words I mostly love!

    • Kathy says:

      Here’s what I’ve been wondering. Nothing to do with cameras. Is your name Doran? Or Dorann? Can you share the secret? 🙂 Laughing that you read the instructions and forget them all. Yep, yep, been there, done that. I ADORE that you adore the words!

  18. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I have a little point and shoot that I keep in my pocket when I walk just in case. However I often miss shots like dear in the next field that took like brown smudges because the zoom isn’t powerful enough. My bridge camera is very light and I use it almost exclusively on auto.

    • Kathy says:

      You made me laugh, Kerry. Yep, those brown smudges in the next field… Been there, done that, too! Am not sure what people mean by a “bridge” camera… Suspecting it means halfway between a baby point and shoot and a bigger one like a Rebel?

      • Kerry Dwyer says:

        A bridge is a half way yes. It is better than a little point and shoot but you don’t have the high end stuff like the ability to change the lens. Mine is a Lumix FZ48. It is lightweight and simple to use but has a zoom of x24 (36) and a lot of functions that I rarely use. It is mostly point and shoot with knobs on.

  19. Dana says:

    We have both a ‘big girl’ camera (also a Rebel) and a portable point and shoot, which just happens to be a Nikon Coolpix. I LOVE the way the Rebel takes photos, but like you, I find it to be cumbersome and a bit too fancy for what this particular girl is willing to learn. Our little Nikon is awesome as well, though. We take it on all of our hikes and it only cost $119 brand new (just a few months ago!) Like earlier commenters have said, cameras are much less expensive now and can do way more of what we want them to do. (And laptops are coming down in price, too.) Get thee a point and shoot, Kathy, and worse case scenario– you can either return it to the store or gift it to one of your children. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dana, it is so fun to read what everyone is sharing here. We could afford $119! (Strangely, I just typed $199….hmmm…) It is cool that others have said that the new generation of point & shoots are more savvy. Am probably going to get one. Hmmm, this is the first time I’ve typed that sentence. We shall see..

  20. Colleen says:

    Good morning Kathy, it sounds as if you might have already made your decision.

    I tend to the spontaneous pocket-size approach to photography but also appreciate a good zoom and light handling capabilities. And it has to be light weight as I carry my camera even when not carrying a bag or when hiking/walking without a pack. Technology seems to be changing very quickly right now, many excellent features in much smaller packages.

    Thinking about the wind in their hair and sun dancing with waves and those breathtaking pink birds!

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, it’s interesting about whether a decision was made even before typing out this entire conundrum. (Yes, it was probably already made, although not the brand.) It was very helpful for me to write this all out. My “real” challenge is whether it will be worthwhile to buy the point and shoot, not really knowing if there will be any future interest in taking pics at all. OK, thinking of breathtaking pink birds now. But…there’s already 20 pics of breathtaking pink birds in my files…are new ones necessary? *grin* You see how this goes…

  21. sonali says:

    I agree. The P & S cameras are very convenient. You don’t need to break your head – simple to use, easily portable. Go for it Kathy, camera can never be a waste.

  22. When I bought a “better” point and shoot before we traveled to Italy, I bought a Canon PowerShot (SX130IS) that also had the option to set to manual settings. Of course, that means I really take the time to learn how to use them, but I figured that was the compromise behind big, heavy, obtrusive, hard to take while hiking and not to mention expensive, DSLR and the little point and shoot. I still had DSLR envy, I admit, when I see the quality of some of those photos. But, in reality, most of the time I can capture a pretty darn good shot and most importantly I can capture the “memory” which sometimes I do want to freeze through a photo rather than just tuck away in my mind. I get such joy in reviewing the imagery from some of our travels and family time together, that as long as you do not let it overcome and overly interfere with enjoying the moment itself, I cannot imagine not having a camera along for most of those times. Of course, a DSLR is still on the bucket list . . .

    • Kathy says:

      I suspect that someday your bucket list desire shall be fulfilled, Kat. We bought mine used from a fellow who was graduating to a better camera, so it’s been perfect for us. Your pictures look pretty darn good to me. Have written down Canon PowerShot as one to research. Thank you for sharing!

  23. me2013 says:

    point and shoot, quick and simple…a bit like me 😀

  24. Lori D says:

    I love photography and also have a Canon Rebel. I can NOT get all the settings fiddled with in time. I know what you mean there. My husband has a point and shoot and I use that when I don’t feel like messing with the Canon. I’d find I’d need some kind of camera if on vacation in Florida, but that’s me. My heart calls, “look there’s a picture, and there’s a picture, and there’s a picture, and there’s …” Well, you get the drift. What’s your heart calling?

    • Kathy says:

      Glad you know what I mean, Lori. Gosh, it does feel good that lots of folks seem to understand this conundrum. As for my heart calling…that’s the problem, girlfriend. My heart is equally divided between “not take any more pictures at all” AND “buy a point and shoot.” Yikes! But what’s funnier yet is that since posting this blog post I’ve suddenly had a little jolt of photographic interest and have used the Rebel twice already today! (To photograph a ladybug on parsley, and the return of the first Mourning Dove.)

  25. John Kuttenberg says:

    There is no right or wrong. Get a good point and shoot, but save the Cannon for times when you want to go on a photographic adventure. If you’ll pardon the old saying, “Size doesn’t matter, it is what you do with it that counts”. What is special about your photographs is your keen eye and unique perspective. Once the inevitable grandchildren start coming the point and shoot will be essential for those fleeting moments of insight into the little ones world.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I love whatcha said. No right or wrong about this conundrum. (BUT, if I buy a point and shoot and never use it…now, that would be wrong, wouldn’t it?) Thank you for liking the “keen eye” and “unique perspective”. Yes, I think that’s what people seem to like. It’s certainly not anything technical, lol…

  26. Elisa says:

    Well, I have to state that the awesome gift of the sigma sd10 is awesome, several lenses and FREE!!! I have yet to use it in the way that I should. They way that I point and shoot and the results that I get, doing the focus and distance on my own and deciding my own angle and feeling of light generally get me amazing images. There have been compliments about a certain ‘style’ that I have, some involving depth of field…I have to ask what they mean and I go…oh. Then I just say thank you. I often wonder if my images would be any better if I tried to do it the ‘right’ way. The thing is, the ones looking get snared by whatever it is in a moment that entangles the senses and the mind. There might be posh talk of composition and raising the pinky on the cup of tea from the lookers, but I just trompt along and image what brings me joy.

    That said, the point and shoot did/does seem to suit AND sometimes even the fancier ones that still allow manual, have a larger optical zoom with options for width and perspective that are quick fast like a bunny and light light light. Some lighter than the old point and shoots, that hold the same bells and whistles. I haven’t heard you state in any of your posts of the joys of imaging for you, for you it often comes thru as a should or work. The joy doesn’t shout at me YES YES camera shots YES. I had to walk the circle at the Tree Place, and create other times to choose to take images. I did not like nor wish to give up the moment. My purpose was to move energy and to pray. Sometimes I take my camera along, locked in the car or in a special pack that allows me to be hands free but not have to unpack the baby for spontaneity. Anyway, if I see something along my circle, I decide if I want to go back. Do what feels good Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      You do have a lovely and unique style with your photography, Elisa. That’s kind of what I meant about the reference to *point* *feel* *shoot*. (Although later thought that maybe it would be more accurate to say *feel* then point and shoot.)

      No, your images would probably not be any better if you did them the “right” way. The uniqueness of your photography comes from you and your eye, she said, pretending she knew what she was talking about.

      Good question about the joys of imaging. People who see me taking pics (Barry and my friend Catherine) think that I LOVE photography. They say my face shines with joy and excitement. Am usually mesmerized and going with the flow of something beyond thought. They then are completely befuddled when I mutter something against taking pics. (Barry also can not understand my happiness and excitement while out ice fishing. He then thinks I LIKE ice fishing and can’t make sense out of it.)

      In the moment, I do love lots & lots of things. Become abandoned in the moment. When thought is in control–well, it doesn’t like as many things. Sigh. Don’t know… but thank you for this exploration.

  27. I Wilkerson says:

    I bought a “purse camera” right before Christmas last year. I was so tired of missing opportunities for pictures. It is a bit better quality than a camera phone (other than an iphone I suppose) and best of all–I always have it with me.

  28. Karma says:

    Oh, poor Ms. Rebel! She must be sad going unused for all this time! 😉 You’ve gotten a lot of good advice here Kathy, which I suspect won’t necessarily make your decision any easier. Ultimately, you must go with what your heart tells you is right, but I will put in this word for Ms. Rebel: shutter-lag – you will never have that problem with your Rebel. You can leave the camera in P mode and not have to make all those decisions and usually still come up with lovely photos. Point and shoots will often miss the moment as auto-focus tries to get everything straight in its little computer mind.
    One money-saving thought before you make your final decision: there are cheap camera apps available for your Kindle Fire. I’ve never tried one because I’ve never felt the need, but it would be something you could easily play with before your trip to Florida. The apps use the camera that is meant for use by such programs as Skype, so you wouldn’t have a little window to compose the shot in, but maybe it would be enough to give you the time to make your camera decision and not feel pressured to make a choice before your trip.

    • Kathy says:

      I remember that problem with point and shoots, Ms. Karma. Yes, Ms. Rebel does offer some wonderful potential. I have gotten shots on her that were never possible on Ms. Cybershot. And I do use the mode where you don’t have to fiddle hardly at all.

      The strangest thing has happened since writing this blog and the ensuing photography discussion–I actually took the Rebel out twice today and enjoyed taking pis. Strange, huh? The plot thickens. Will probably look at cameras next time we’re in the city. Barry keeps nudging toward getting a point and shoot. I just don’t want to buy it and not use it. That feels like it would be 100% wrong.

      • Karma says:

        Try playing with the Kindle photo apps – you might find something you’d like, and while the Kindle is bigger than a point and shoot, it is still thin enough to slip in your purse for the trip to Florida. Glad Ms. Rebel got a little play time! 🙂

  29. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy, perhaps you could go on a picture taking sabbatical and just not take any pictures for awhile. See what your heart says then….if it’s truly happy by not taking pictures. If it is…that’s your answer. If not, then decide which type of camera you would be comfortable using. As far as my lowly opinion…I love the rebel shots…wow…they are so crisp and clean. But I know it must be so complicated to learn all the ins and outs of using that camera in the most effective way. I would certainly be intimidated by it. Listen to your heart and look closely at your lifestyle…do what fits comfortably for you. ♥

    • Brenda Hardie says:

      ps…in my experience, if an answer isn’t clear and I just don’t know what choice to make, I choose then to do nothing. So far, it has worked beautifully. A very dear friend told me once, if the answer is not clear…perhaps that IS your answer. Do nothing. Change nothing. Leave it just as it is. So, this has been my mantra and it has helped me many many times.

      • Kathy says:

        As I told you yesterday, this answer really resonated with me. Sometimes we think we must decide. But if no clear answer is coming, perhaps we just need to sit with our indecision for a while longer. The longer I sit with this indecision the clearer the possible answer becomes… Thank you so much for sharing. So inspiring!

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, BOTH of your comments were so wise. I love that everyone here offered a reflection of what my thoughts are thinking. Aren’t the Rebel shots crisp and clean? They are beautiful. But…it has been so challenging to use in other ways. Thank you sincerely for your advice!

  30. Gillian says:

    Hi Kathie!

    As you know, I am a birder and nature enthusiast, and all the photos on my blog were taken with a Sony Cybershot. I am still using the DSC-HX1 which has a 20x zoom even though there is a newer model on the market which has a 30x zoom (I may get that when it’s time to upgrade). It’s light (a key consideration with my neck/back problems), fits in my purse, and is simple to use. I can’t recommend it highly enough, though I use mine mostly for outdoor shots and don’t do a lot of indoor photography.

    I don’t consider myself a photographer because I can’t be bothered learning all the different settings….I only use a couple of them and still manage to take enough great pictures that unrelated people wanted to buy the calendars that I create for my family for Christmas presents. 🙂

    Here is my post about the highlights from 2012 which show off some of my favourite photos from last year:

    http://meadowhawk.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/highlights-from-2012/

    Hope this helps!
    Gillian

    • Kathy says:

      Gillian, it’s so good to hear from you! I saw (and attempted to photograph) our first mourning dove of the season. How I LOVE the sound these birds make. 20x zoom sounds wonderful. The Sony Cybershot I bought didn’t have anywhere near this capability. Will keep all this in mind! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate all this advice.

  31. My sister Cheryl, on the beach on Beaver Island several years ago, said, “Oh, darn it, I forgot my camera…that would have been such a beautiful sunset!”
    I said, “It’s still beautiful, Hon, just relax and enjoy it!”

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, THANK YOU so much for sharing this viewpoint! I love that you said this to your sister. It cuts through so much. So often it’s just enough to be present with a sunset. Often our minds are too busy to realize that…

  32. Dawn says:

    We have a heavy duty ‘point and shoot’ that is designed to be in places like sandy beaches. I know what you mean about trying to be unobtrusive. There’s a place for the big camera and a place for the small one. They make them small and really good these days. I say go for it! Shoot the way you love to shoot!

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, so glad you understand about the unobtrusive angle! Good to know that perhaps the “answer” does not have to be one way. Will be seriously considering that new itty bitty camera…

  33. I hear ya Kathy! I don’t like the idea of carrying around a big and heavy camera either. But if I did, I’d probably go for a film camera and I’d go all the way with my own dark room and everything. I once had a dark room and though I really didn’t know more than the basics about it, THAT is where the fun was – developing and all the variables with that. In the meantime I too carry my little Sony Coolpix camera everywhere I go because when I don’t, I invariably miss something. But yes, they have their limits. (Not too helpful, am I? Sorry. I agree, it is a conundrum!)

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, REALLY? You like all the thought of the dark room and all that? Gosh, my husband loved that part, too. I almost flunked Photography 101 at college because I was so bad in the dark room. Very, very bad. It’s funny, for some reason, this is seeming less of a conundrum all the time–even though nothing’s been decided yet. Thanks for your input!

  34. And may I add, thank goodness for programs like PAINT.NET!

  35. bearyweather says:

    It is simple … if you are not having fun with your camera, you are not going to use it. You need one that fits your lifestyle and the point and shoots are much better then they used to be. Sounds like your Rebel needs to find a new home with someone who will love her …. if you trade her in or sell her, it would help a lot with the cost of a new camera and she will find love.

    When I was in the same conundrum, I decided against a new big girl camera … instead I put my dollars into the upper end Sony Cybershot ($450) that gives me the ability to adjust some settings when I really want to. I need to take quick shots (nature does not sit still) and a powerful zoom (nature does not always come close) and I was extremely tired of lugging around a camera bag of lens in the woods. My current Sony does not fit in my pocket, but I like the weight and feel of a bigger camera.
    I love my current camera, but I have been saving for a new one … my eye (and heart) are focused on the Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera HX300 (50x zoom … wow!)

    • Kathy says:

      Bearyweather, I don’t think I’m ready to give up the Rebel yet. Seems like it would still be helpful in certain situations (have enjoyed it maybe a dozen times over the past year very truly, and probably will continue to use it in those instances.) However a point and shoot does seem like the way to go now. I think. *grin* You take such good pics with your Sony; I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t something like a Rebel. May your eye and heart find the new camera of your dream–when it’s time… Thank you for your good advice.

      • bearyweather says:

        I found it, (see link I included in my comment). My point and shoot has the ability to change the settings … I used to use a big girl camera … I now prefer the quickness and easiness of the point and shoot … and, like you said .. you can not tell if you have a quality one. I hope you find the camera that you are looking for, too.

  36. emaclean says:

    I feel your conundrum having gone through this myself several times. Eventually end up back in the same place: DSLR. Love, love, love it and pretty much pack it with me whenever I think I’ll need it. And when I don’t or can’t, I have my trusty iPhone camera. Not as good, but I ALWAYS have it with me, so I can always take a picture if need be.

    Sometimes I wish that I had the big girl camera with me instead, mostly for high res stuff, but maybe you can do that on a p&s. Photos tell a different story than words. They provide visual context. And while any camera can take a photo, some tell the story better than others.

    • Kathy says:

      Erin, thank you for your input! I am fascinated with what everyone has to say. It sounds like you totally understand this current conundrum. It is also such a good point about the different kind of story told with photos. So interesting!

  37. Stacy says:

    I don’t like the way photography interferes with the moment either, Kathy. But when I decided to blog, I needed a better aim-and-shoot (my old one was only 3 megapixels!), so I bought a nice and easy Panasonic Lumix. You don’t need to know about anything because any dolt can figure out what the icons mean….I mean, this photographer dolt did. Even so, if you already have thousands of photos and you’re heart’s not in it, why bother? ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, I’m kinda laughing softly to myself right now. Whenever I read a comment from someone here, I can totally see their point and really agree with them. Yep, that’s true. Yep, that’s true. And yep, that’s true too! It’s almost like I forget the opposite view entirely until the next person writes a comment with an opposite suggestion. (Does this ever happen to you?) The trouble is…after writing this post…suddenly my interest revived! At least temporarily. The heart can be so fickle. Who knows what it will want tomorrow?

  38. Connie T says:

    I like this little Nikon, it is tiny. I have a big Nikon D80 but you are right, it is heavy. It takes beautiful pictures but I like using a little camera that I carry with me all the time, put in my pocket and even take video with.
    I want this: http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Compact-Digital-Cameras/26347/COOLPIX-S01.html

    • Kathy says:

      Looks like a very cool little camera, Connie. Relatively affordable, too. I have a list of five point and shoot cameras on my list that others have recommended. Will look into this one, too. Thank you!

  39. Janet says:

    You have helped me to make up my own mind. I’ve been contemplating the same questions. I’m not too interested in learning photography, don’t want to lug a big camera around but still want great photos. I have a nice little point-&-click that I guess I should continue using (at least until it dies). 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Glad to have assisted, Janet! It seems like this topic interested quite a few people. We’re in the same boat about this issue, it seems…

  40. Reggie says:

    When my point-and-shoots died, I begged Santa to buy me a Canon Rebel (EOS 550D) with interchangeable lenses. I LOVE my camera, and take it with me *almost everywhere*. I know it’s bulky and conspicuous, and that it puts some people off; luckily, true friends don’t mind! (Of course, it helps if you send them some really NICE images after any get-togethers or hikes or parties, etc. ;-)).

    Since playing with the Rebel, I tend to become frustrated when I borrow a point-and-shoot from a friend, because – by the time it’s switched on and focused properly and ready to take the picture, the fleeting moment is gone. Particularly when you’re trying to take pics of little children, who move very fast, and whose facial expressions change in a flash! That said, I have sometimes considered getting a small p&s to tuck inconspicuously into my pocket!

    I’ve always loved your blog writings, Kathy – whether they’re a series of images, or lots of text, or images and text all mixed together… But the ones where you interweave your story with pictures that *just fit perfectly together* – those stand out.

    I say – get yourself a nice little point and shoot, Kathy! 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, if you don’t mind carrying Flat Kathy wherever you go–lol!–I can see that you wouldn’t mind carrying the Canon Rebel! Much of me longs to be a minimalist and carry hardly anything. Since we do need a FEW things, it’s impossible to travel without a purse, at least. Thanks for the advice about getting the point and shoot. Still a wee bit afraid that I’ll buy the new little camera and it will never be used… But, who knows? Since writing this blog post I’ve had a revived interest in photography. Thank you!

  41. That rebel makes amazing pictures. That said, point and shoot pics are better than no pics!

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