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Camera Observations on Cruise


bigrednole
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We were on our first cruise a month ago. One thing I noticed was that I was about the only person with an actual camera. Most people just had their phones. I am fairly certain the only DSLR or mirrorless cameras were by the cruise photographers. I know my camera is lighter than my old DSLR and takes incredible pictures. I am now questioning whether it is worth even lugging this one around while traveling anymore.

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Always a debate, and really comes down to each person.  If regular travel photos are all you want or need, today's phones are very capable, as are cameras.

For me, I'm a camera guy and always will be.  Not because the phone is not capable of professional-grade results - which they certainly are in the right hands, but because I derive much pleasure from photography - and it's not just the results, but the taking of the photo.  Ergonomically, control-wise, and physical style, I just love working with a camera with a grip, an adjustable lens or lenses, a viewfinder to my eye, and various physical dials and controls to manipulate.  When I take photos with my phone, I'm just not involved and entertained enough - I don't like holding LCDs out in front of me, I don't like only touch-screen controls, and I don't like the lens limitations (even phones with multiple lenses are still usually fixed focal lengths, and the few new phones that are adding optical zooms still require touch-screen zooming and controls).

So much of it comes down to what gives me pleasure, keeps me more involved, and makes me more aware of what I'm shooting and interested in looking for opportunities...I only get that from cameras with interchangeable lenses and physical controls with viewfinders.  I'm still tempted to get the latest phones to upgrade my capability - yet, I've taken a grand total of about 100 photos a year with my phone, while with my camera, I exceed 30,000 a year (I'm a wildlife photographer, so I do a lot of tracking and action shots of birds in flight).

In the end, pick whatever gets you the results you want, while letting you enjoy your vacation the most!

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What they said.

 

I recently went on a 4-day to nowhere cruise with only my phone as an experiment. I recently bought the phone as a camera as it has an incredible photo module. For shipboard photos and casual snaps, it was fantastic.

 

Photos here: https://pptphoto.com/galleries/Travel/Cruising/2021-12 Navigator/index.html

 

To contrast that, we went on an Alaska cruise earlier this year and I took both cameras and 5 lenses and it was fantastic-er. 🙂

Photos here: https://pptphoto.com/galleries/Travel/Cruising/2021 Alaska/index.html

 

The new phone is more of a camera to me than a phone and takes the place of a high-end compact for daily and casual travel, but it cannot replace the mirrorless cameras and their various lenses for situations like family portraits, important events, grandkid sports and travel to interesting venues.

 

Besides..cameras are just fun to use!

 

My 2¢...

 

Dave

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If you only look at your photos on your computer, there probably isn't not much difference.  I have noticed however that often when I look at a photo on my large computer screen on my TV set, a photo that looked good on the phone screen looks bad on the computer screen or the TV.

 

I always try to do one large print that I can hang on the wall for each trip.  Print sizes vary from 11x14 to 16x20 and sometimes I crop it so it is effectively larger.  For this purpose, I suspect that the best cell phone photo would not do.

 

DON

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I always take my pro photo gear, but not all of it. I use a small bag with the DSLR full frame and a couple of good all-around lenses. When going on an excursion where having a camera doesn't make sense, I use my iPhone. Both have their place, but the images from my DSLR are always better.

 

When I have my DSLR, I am intentional in looking for photo opportunities. When I only have my iPhone, I often miss photo opportunities as I just enjoy the experience. Again, no right answer for either scenario.

 

Don - I love your idea of printing an image from each trip for the wall. I think I'll follow your lead!

Edited by 11Bravo
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3 hours ago, ski ww said:

I don't own a cell phone so I'll have to use a camera to take pictures.

 

Same here. Haven't had a cell phone since I retired and no desire to get another one. Survived 9-years without one, so far.

 

I have finally gone mirrorless, as I just bought a Canon R6 during the Boxing Day sales.

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After thinking about this a bit more, I thought I would add that while I saw only two "real" cameras on the little 4-day we were just on, the count on the Alaskan itinerary we did in July was much, much higher with a lot of pretty serious equipment.

 

Dave

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On 12/29/2021 at 8:00 AM, ski ww said:

I don't own a cell phone so I'll have to use a camera to take pictures.

 

On 12/29/2021 at 11:16 AM, Heidi13 said:

 

Same here. Haven't had a cell phone since I retired and no desire to get another one. Survived 9-years without one, so far.

 

 

😮

 

It was 1997 or 1998 and I was on my way home from doing some consulting work for a customer and I got a page from my boss. I pulled off the freeway in what turned out to be a pretty crappy part of town and tried to find a phone. Three stops later I gave up and finished the drive home after finding a total of 11 pay phones with the handset torn off and the last booth having been used as a toilet. The boss was upset that I hadn't called him right away and after explaining why, he agreed to pay half the expense for a cell phone. I signed up with AirTouch the next day and never looked back. A couple years later (different job) I got a deal with Verizon and signed up for a "family" plan. In about 2004, we were on DSL internet and decided that we no longer needed a land line. Haven't had one since.

 

Good on you for your choice, but personally I can't imagine being without a cell phone...I mean internet terminal...uh, camera...GPS...teletype?

 

🙂

 

Dave

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2 hours ago, pierces said:

 

 

😮

 

It was 1997 or 1998 and I was on my way home from doing some consulting work for a customer and I got a page from my boss. I pulled off the freeway in what turned out to be a pretty crappy part of town and tried to find a phone. Three stops later I gave up and finished the drive home after finding a total of 11 pay phones with the handset torn off and the last booth having been used as a toilet. The boss was upset that I hadn't called him right away and after explaining why, he agreed to pay half the expense for a cell phone. I signed up with AirTouch the next day and never looked back. A couple years later (different job) I got a deal with Verizon and signed up for a "family" plan. In about 2004, we were on DSL internet and decided that we no longer needed a land line. Haven't had one since.

 

Good on you for your choice, but personally I can't imagine being without a cell phone...I mean internet terminal...uh, camera...GPS...teletype?

 

🙂

 

Dave

 

In my case it was too many years of living with it 24/7 and having 10 mins to return calls from the VP Ops. My monthly usage was at least 1,100 to 1,200 min. They gave it to me on retirement, so I could keep the number, but never turned it on and to be honest, it was a relief not hearing it ring. Returned it after about 6 months.

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I personally really dislike my iPhone photo quality. I mean it’s fine if I just want to snap a photo or two here and there, but if I am taking a picture of something that I want to print, then I would never use my phone. I guess I’ve kind of become a snob that way lol.

 

I leave on the Magic in 2 weeks and I’m bringing all kinds of camera gear… Canon 5D Mark IV, 16-35mm 2.8 lens, 24-70mm 2.8 lens, 70-200mm 2.8 lens, a GoPro for those underwater shots, and even a drone. It’s going to be a good time!

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7 minutes ago, jnicktem said:

I personally really dislike my iPhone photo quality. I mean it’s fine if I just want to snap a photo or two here and there, but if I am taking a picture of something that I want to print, then I would never use my phone. I guess I’ve kind of become a snob that way lol.

 

 

For medium-wide shots in sunlight an iPhone turns out beautiful results.  Everything else is a computational photo - run through the equivalent of ON1 or Photoshop.  That's neither good nor bad.  I take a phone everywhere and sometimes it's my only camera.

 

But I'm a production photographer and need to shoot at telephoto in dark environments.  I just can't use something that's 12 MP on a small sensor.  And holding up a phone in the dark is one sure way to please the people behind you in a theatre.  When I can plan, I take my gear (Which is a LOT like yours, minus the 16-35mm lens).

 

I guess it's a matter of what you're going to do with the final product.  For a good percentage of shots that just end up on 72 dpi monitors I could probably use the phone, but a paying customer might not appreciate the difference between an 8x10 on a cropped initial image taken with a phone and I just don't want to take that chance.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/29/2021 at 7:27 AM, pierces said:

What they said.

 

I recently went on a 4-day to nowhere cruise with only my phone as an experiment. I recently bought the phone as a camera as it has an incredible photo module. For shipboard photos and casual snaps, it was fantastic.

 

Photos here: https://pptphoto.com/galleries/Travel/Cruising/2021-12 Navigator/index.html

 

To contrast that, we went on an Alaska cruise earlier this year and I took both cameras and 5 lenses and it was fantastic-er. 🙂

 

Photos here: https://pptphoto.com/galleries/Travel/Cruising/2021 Alaska/index.html

 

The new phone is more of a camera to me than a phone and takes the place of a high-end compact for daily and casual travel, but it cannot replace the mirrorless cameras and their various lenses for situations like family portraits, important events, grandkid sports and travel to interesting venues.

 

Besides..cameras are just fun to use!

 

My 2¢...

 

Dave

What phone are you using for this? 

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I typically use me phone onboard, but camera on land. Noting my avatar is a selfie taken waiting for the tender back to the QE.

 

On the QE, i did wait until late at night and dragged the camera around photographing all the Christmas decorations.

 

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On 12/28/2021 at 2:04 AM, bigrednole said:

We were on our first cruise a month ago. One thing I noticed was that I was about the only person with an actual camera. Most people just had their phones. I am fairly certain the only DSLR or mirrorless cameras were by the cruise photographers. I know my camera is lighter than my old DSLR and takes incredible pictures. I am now questioning whether it is worth even lugging this one around while traveling anymore.

 

Computational photography is so good in phones these days that you can't beat the convenience and quality of these Smartphones with their advance chips and sensor inside.    They iterate them every year with volumes of > hundreds of millions to amortize their development.  The pace has been unrelenting and draws progress in any other industry.  

 

Camera manufactures rode the digital age too and every mom/pop had a pocket camera than DSLR, but since traditional cameras now have production runs of a few hundred thousand to millions and can't afford the RD or design to compete with smartphones.     

 

The only reason to carry a traditional camera / is lens prospective.    

 

I recently shot some sports 1st time in a two years, nothing can replace the reach of a traditional camera, but for wide angle and simple snapshots an even creative photography a phone is pretty good for 99% of the people.   I also brought the camera on the cruise, didn't take it out once, never once felt limited by the iPhone. YMMV depending on why and what you shoot.

Edited by chipmaster
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3 minutes ago, chipmaster said:

 

Computational photography is so good in phones these days that you can't beat the convenience and quality of these Smartphones with their advance chips and sensor inside.    They iterate them every year with volumes of > hundreds of millions to amortize their development.  The pace has been unrelenting and draws progress in any other industry.  

 

Camera manufactures rode the digital age too and every mom/pop had a pocket camera than DSLR, but since traditional cameras now have production runs of a few hundred thousand to millions and can't afford the RD or design to compete with smartphones.     

 

The only reason to carry a traditional camera / is lens prospective.    

 

I recently shot some sports 1st time in a two years, nothing can replace the reach of a traditional camera, but for wide angle and simple snapshots an even creative photography a phone is pretty good for 99% of the people.   I also brought the camera on the cruise, didn't take it out once, never once felt limited by the iPhone. YMMV depending on why and what you shoot.

I am starting to get that feeling. I had DSLRs for 10+ years. I was never a photographer, just a picture taker. I find that I don't even take it out of the bag much. I am trying to determine if it is even worth having a $1,500 camera in my bag that never gets used. Maybe I am getting older and don't care as much. I may sell my gear and be done with it. I don't use it often enough to justify keeping it. 

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19 minutes ago, bigrednole said:

I am starting to get that feeling. I had DSLRs for 10+ years. I was never a photographer, just a picture taker. I find that I don't even take it out of the bag much. I am trying to determine if it is even worth having a $1,500 camera in my bag that never gets used. Maybe I am getting older and don't care as much. I may sell my gear and be done with it. I don't use it often enough to justify keeping it. 

 

Trying to sell DSLR is a lose lose proposition.  They become near worthless once a new model comes out.    But if you have any camera from the last 5 years, combined quality lens they still produce wonderful images, but for general snapshots not worth the trouble as I discovered on my recent cruise, didn't find one time I felt lacking for my phone.   

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On 12/31/2021 at 2:50 PM, jnicktem said:

I personally really dislike my iPhone photo quality. I mean it’s fine if I just want to snap a photo or two here and there, but if I am taking a picture of something that I want to print, then I would never use my phone. I guess I’ve kind of become a snob that way lol.

 

I leave on the Magic in 2 weeks and I’m bringing all kinds of camera gear… Canon 5D Mark IV, 16-35mm 2.8 lens, 24-70mm 2.8 lens, 70-200mm 2.8 lens, a GoPro for those underwater shots, and even a drone. It’s going to be a good time!

 

My point exactly.  Very often I have a photo that looks good on my phone screen so I think that I might want to print it.  I export it to the computer and bring it up in my photo viewer and look at it on my 34" computer screen and it looks really lousy.  Then when I try to crop it to make it a better picture, it looks even worse.  There is a big difference between taking snapshots and taking photographs.

 

DON

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9 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

My point exactly.  Very often I have a photo that looks good on my phone screen so I think that I might want to print it.  I export it to the computer and bring it up in my photo viewer and look at it on my 34" computer screen and it looks really lousy.  Then when I try to crop it to make it a better picture, it looks even worse.  There is a big difference between taking snapshots and taking photographs.

 

DON

 

So true, I occassionally print some images on canvas at 2'x3', so I'll stick to my cameras.

 

Recently decided on a cell phone or a new mirrorless (Canon R6). Haven't used a cell phone in 9 yrs and have no desire to have another, so the camera was an easy decision.

Edited by Heidi13
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the feedback. It was just something I observed. I am down to only my mirrorless Panasonic G2 with the 14-150mm lens and a GoPro Hero 7 Black. That is all I really need. The bulk of a professional lens is not something I need when traveling. If I need a picture to be "better", I just have to focus more on stability and dialing in the ISO, Aperture, and steady.

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Interesting debate really… I will always have my phone with me and lately I use a gimbal for my phone.  I still like to take along my Nikon D750 and one lens. I’ll have my GoPro hero 7 (debate ongoing if I need to upgrade to the 10) and on my next cruise in a few weeks I’m planning on taking along my drone… I keep telling myself to minimize but I think I may have a problem… 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/29/2021 at 6:27 AM, pierces said:

What they said.

 

I recently went on a 4-day to nowhere cruise with only my phone as an experiment. I recently bought the phone as a camera as it has an incredible photo module. For shipboard photos and casual snaps, it was fantastic.

 

Photos here: https://pptphoto.com/galleries/Travel/Cruising/2021-12 Navigator/index.html

 

To contrast that, we went on an Alaska cruise earlier this year and I took both cameras and 5 lenses and it was fantastic-er. 🙂

 

Photos here: https://pptphoto.com/galleries/Travel/Cruising/2021 Alaska/index.html

 

The new phone is more of a camera to me than a phone and takes the place of a high-end compact for daily and casual travel, but it cannot replace the mirrorless cameras and their various lenses for situations like family portraits, important events, grandkid sports and travel to interesting venues.

 

Besides..cameras are just fun to use!

 

My 2¢...

 

Dave

Your pictures are amazing!  Did you use a tripod on the ship?  I feel like it won't be worth it.  Also, on the excursions-at least the helicopter ones-you cannot bring a bag.  I was thinking of bringing my 25-70 lens.  Do you think that would be adequate?

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