A couple of months before the start of our Round-The-World travels, I purchased a Canon Rebel T7i DSLR. Knowing that we had nine months of travel ahead of us, it seemed like the perfect time to invest in a good quality DSLR camera and practise my photography. I spent nearly $1,500 on my camera and an extra lens — a big purchase, given that we were completely in money-saving mode for our upcoming trip.
Even though I’ve been blogging and sharing photos since the start of my Vancouver lifestyle blog in 2008, I never actually owned a DSLR camera. Prior to my camera purchase, I took most of my photos with an iPhone, most recently, an iPhone 7 plus.
The first few months after I bought my Canon Rebel T7i DSLR, I barely used it. To me, taking a ‘good’ photo on my familiar iPhone (with the luxurious big screen where you can see exactly how your photos will turn out, a ‘tap to focus’ feature, and the amazingly professional portrait mode feature), was better than taking a bad or blurry photo on my DSLR which I didn’t quite know how to use yet.
For the longest time, I wondered if there was any value in my DSLR purchase. My iPhone photos were turning out so well, and with app or lightroom editing, even better! In fact, for most of our time in Colombia, I was using my iPhone to take photos because of safety reasons; I didn’t want to carry around an expensive camera and risk being robbed. I wondered if I had made a good investment — I needed some ‘proof’ that my new, expensive DSLR camera could do something my iPhone 7 plus couldn’t. I needed something to justify my purchase!
Every few seconds, hummingbirds would fly onto their feeder, or onto the tree branches, and stay for a few seconds before zipping off again, flapping their wings so rapidly they made a humming sound. I knew there was no way my iPhone could focus quickly enough on ‘portrait’ mode to take a photo of these fast little birds. So, I put my Canon T7i on “macro” mode, and snapped and snapped and snapped. I probably spent 15 minutes in a half-crouched position, snapping photos of hummingbirds over and over again.
I was very happy with how my best photo turned out. After taking this hummingbird photo, I was convinced that I had made the right decision in purchasing a DSLR. From that moment onwards, I felt more comfortable using my camera and practise could make perfect.
Here are my ten favourite photos from Colombia and a bit of insight about using a DSLR vs an iPhone. I have indicated in the captions which were taken with my iPhone 7 Plus versus my Canon Rebel T7i.
However, for top-down flatlay photos (Read more: How To Design Your Perfect “Flat Lay” With The Right Props), I still love using my iPhone because it’s a smaller device that’s easier to hold, and the big screen allows me to frame the photo better.
Also, if you’re out to meet a friend (say, to get ice cream) or doing something near water, it’s more convenient to bring a pocket-sized iPhone rather than a full DSLR camera.
A mobile phone camera is also compatible with a selfie stick, so if there’s no one else around to take a photo, or if you can’t be bothered to ask a stranger, you can take good selfies on your own.
For me, writing and photography has always been my method of capturing memories in a creative way. I’m super happy with my DSLR purchase, and I’m excited to keep playing around with both my iPhone and my DSLR to take photos on our world tour!
More Colombia travel blog posts on Modern Mix Travel: