Canon “Bring It” Makes Me Wonder- Should I Upgrade My Camera?

Canon Bring ItLast week Kim and I attended a really cool event hosted by Canon. Conviently for us it was at Brooklyn Bowl so we didn’t even have to leave our borough.

The event, Canon Bring It In Brooklyn was really interesting in that guests were allowed to borrow Canon cameras during the event for a couple of hours. (There was also the opportunity to bowl but we stuck to trying out the cameras.)

I was loaned the Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR and had no clue what to do with it so this was a fun and informative couple of hours.

Kim was loaned the Canon G7X which was pretty nice too but still more along the lines of a point and shoot. The cool part of the G7X was that the screen slid up and flipped over allowing you to take the perfect selfie (boy I hate that word) if that’s your thing.

Canon Bring ItGetting the chance to try out such a nice camera was really great. However, I’d consider equally important the amount of Canon reps/professionals and celebrity photographers there to give out tips and pointers on how to use the cameras and talk about photography.

Canon Bring ItSince there was only a short time to play, I stuck to mainly experimenting with the ISO settings. I also got a chance to test out a macro lens to get that amazing closeup of the strawberry which you can see above.

Here are a few of my photos from the event:

Canon Bring It Canon Bring It Canon Bring ItBeside the Canon reps, there were 3 or 4 celebrity photographers at different stations to give pointers.

I only spent significant time at one of these areas. Not so surprisingly it focused on food photography. Photographer Stefan Karlstrom was there to chat with and share some expertise.

Canon Bring It
Chatting w/ Stefan Karlstrom

This was a pretty popular area and it was fun getting a chance to test out the macro lens.

There were a few plates of food and drinks set up as props to practice on. My early shots came out like this dark photo below until I made some adjustments and got some tips on a better way to approach taking the photo.
Canon Bring ItObviosuly this photo is not a very good one. I’d bet that my 3 year old Canon S95 point & shoot could get a better shot than this. However, just a few minutes later I was able to take the photo at the top of this post!

It’s amazing to think how a good camera and some knowledge of photography could change things so fast!

A couple of photos taken with the Canon G7X:

Canon Bring It

Canon Bring It
Had to try one selfie…

With photos being such a big part of travel, I’ve been wondering if it’s time to take the leap and pick up a DSLR?

The positives would be the ability to take better, crisper, more detailed photos. With a DSLR the odds of getting better photos in low light like a rain forest would also be much better. I could also see the potential for getting much better photos of Lucas!

The negatives would be the cost of the camera and lenses, the learning curve which might lead to missing shots and carrying around a bulky, heavy camera.

Many times over the past 5-7 years, Kim and I have debated whether or not to pick up a DSLR but always decided against it. Canon’s Bring It definitely made me think a lot more since I had the chance to try out one of the cameras and got a taste of what a DSLR can really do.

I’m torn and not sure what to do. If money was no object I think I’d go for it but let’s be realistic, it is a major consideration and investment….

What kind of camera do you use? If you use a DSLR, would you recommend getting one or suggest just sticking with something a bit less complex?

FYI- Photos were shared to social sites like Instagram using #CanonBringIt from the event.

6 thoughts on “Canon “Bring It” Makes Me Wonder- Should I Upgrade My Camera?

  1. Unless your a professional photographer I doubt you’ll get full use out of a high level DSLR. I’d go for a lower level DSLR like the Canon T3i Rebel. Way cheaper and nearly as good (you won’t know the difference). If you go that route try to buy a factor refirb through a shopping portal. Also Dan’s Deals seems to keep up with many special price deals that come out on DSLR’s
    I will backup what Andy says in that they are big to travel with but with many cheaper lens to interchange it can be worth it.

  2. Andy- I’ve looked into the mirrorless 4/3 cameras in the past and have wondered how the cameras differ from a DSLR besides just being smaller. Many of them can be just as pricey so I wouldn’t look at it as a much cheaper alternative. Would like to hear about your experience using one if that is your go-to option! Thanks.

    DaninMCI- The Canon reps said the T6i is an entry level camera. Is this not really the case? As for the size, that has always been one of my main concerns besides knowing how to actually use and take great photos with a DSLR!

  3. Stepping up to a DSLR won’t result in better pictures by itself. A camera is only as good as its user, so I would put value on learning about photography over getting a new camera. That being said, with those skills, a good SLR will definitely out perform a compact. In some scenarios, you won’t see the difference between the G7X and the DSLR. There are differences, but you’ll only see them when you get to that level of detail in your photography. I can speak from experience that I see my own photographs differently now than 10 years ago. I go back and look at hose old images and it surprises me how much I’ve changed.

    Indoor photography is an area where you may see more of those differences, but it’s not as much about a DSLR as a bigger sensor size. The Fujifilm X100T would get you similarly better results. Equally, a micro-fourthirds camera will not get as good results (generally speaking) as the APS-C Canon Rebels. It’s all about the size of the photo receptors on your sensor. Generally speaking, the larger the sensor, the larger the receptors (this is not universally the case as the number of receptors packed into a sensor also impacts this).

    The T6i is considered an entry level camera. The T3i is just an older model, hence can be found cheaper. Another great entry-level alternative is the Canon SL1. I own one as it’s the smallest, lightest DSLR. The SL1 is actually one of the reasons I’ve never gone to mirrorless. For $6000+ I could buy a mirrorless setup that would be about the same weight as my SL1 + lenses and maybe half a pound lighter than my Canon 6D full frame gear. The SL1 has fewer features than the T6i, but takes high quality pictures still. It probably is better than the T3i, because of the more modern sensor. But as Danin said, you will not likely notice the quality difference. And the SL1 combined with the $150 Canon EF-S 24mm Pancake lens would make a very nicely portable camera setup. I often walk around with the Canon 6D and the 40mm Pancake. It’s a liberating light combo, the lack of zoom engages my creativity in ways a zoom lens does not. And it has very high quality for as cheap as the lens is.

    As for mirrorless, they can save you weight. Primarily if you use a lot of prime lenses. Their primes can be quite smaller and more compact. However, as I’ve discovered, when you are looking for a good zoom lens with good glass that delivers a sharp image, the size and weight is about the same. For the equivalent lenses on all mirrorless lines, my primary travel lenses (a 16-35mm wide angle and a 70-200 or 70-300mm telephoto) come in at the same weight whether it’s a mirrorless camera or a DSLR. And even sensor size does not seem to matter. The same has been true for the micro-fourthirds Olympus system, the APS-C Fujifilm, and the full frame Sony A7 series. That being said, I am already invested in a DSLR system and lenses, so making the shift is hard to justify. But, if you are just starting out, you don’t have all the baggage I do of knowing a system and already owning all the gear. So the choice for you is a different one.

    Hopefully that all is helpful in your search!

  4. Hey Michael
    After flirting with the idea of buying a DSLR for years, I finally took the plunge in July of last year, and haven’t regretted it. In fact, I’ve had a lot of fun with it! Ironically, I bought the Canon Rebel T3i (with the kit 18-55mm lens), as DaninMCI recommends, and am only now starting to eyeball features of higher-end cameras that I might like to have. It was a great segue camera into the DSLR world and will facilitate learning all the photography essentials, if that’s where you want to take it. I’m a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to post-processing, so the only thing I would do differently is start using RAW much earlier (it’s now all I use). I decided to start a picture site when I bought the camera, to track progress, keep the extended family happy etc., so you’re welcome to check it out if you’d like to see what the camera is capable of. http://realfocus.smugmug.com/

  5. Jon Anscher & Josh- Thanks for all of the great info, it’s definitely a lot to digest! 🙂 I’m still debating which way to go- do nothing or go for a DSLR.

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