One question I get asked a lot as a blogger, is unfortunately not “Can I date you?”
It is, “Eh Kenny, which camera you using har?”
Ever since I started blogging, kennysia.com has always been a blog that relies very heavily on photos. I like it that way.
Pictures tell a better story and contrary to popular belief, I’m not very good with words. So, my most valuable blogging arsenal is my digital camera.
When I heard Ben and Phat Fabes on the radio debating over which is the better camera between pro SLRs and compact slim cams, I felt compelled to give them my dua puluh sen.
Throughout these four years blogging, I have tried and tested many different digital cameras. It started with the ancient 3-megapix fatty I bought second-hand off eBay five years ago, to the big ass pro SLR that I use now.
I have used many different types of cameras, the one thing that never change is this love-hate relationship I have with them.
Over the years, I kept abandoning them and getting new ones. If you asked me which one is my favourite, I can’t really tell because each of them their pros and cons.
These days, depending on the occasion, I could use up to three different types of cameras.
If I have no cameras with me, then obviously I use my phone to take picture lah.
If I’m moving around a lot I’ll slip a slim camera into my pocket before I go out – just in case something interesting happens.
If I’m travelling or going to places where I expect to be taking lots of photos, then I’ll have no choice but to lug the hideously fat pro cam with me.
I have no choice because my pro cam takes far better quality pictures than my slim cam anytime.
Lemme show you an example.
This is a photo taken using a compact camera, at the cliffs near Uluwatu, Bali.
This is the exact same scene taken using an SLR camera.
There’s no fight there, isn’t it?
Under the right conditions, it’s very possible to take really amazing photos using an SLR that literally jump out and scream at you.
I especially enjoyed playing with the shutter speed during night time to produce effects like this.
So, it doesn’t matter where I go. I knew I’d regret if I didn’t bring my SLR.
As much as I admit SLRs take fantastic photos, there is something I must confess.
I HATE USING AN SLR CAMERA.
Yes, SLR takes fantastic pictures. Its ugly and humungous size aside, there are many reasons why I think SLR cameras seriously suck.
1. SLR cams cannot do videos. How the heck is it that a RM500 cheap camera can take videos and a RM3,000 supposedly “professional” ones cannot even do the same?
2. SLR cams do not allow me to compose a shot using the LCD screen. My only choice is to see my picture through the ‘hole’.
Sadly, many times what I see through the optical viewfinder is completely different from what I get when I hit the shutter button.
3. SLR cams are notoriously cumbersome to use for people who are not familiar with it. You’ll know what I mean when you ask a restaurant waiter to take a photo of you.
Half the time they fumble looking at so many buttons on the machine. Another half the time they were staring at the blank LCD screen confusingly.
4. There is no way I could bring an SLR camera into a club or a stadium. I almost got my SLR permanently confiscated when I brought it to Old Trafford earlier this year. How silly is it that I pay so much money to attend an event, but only allowed to snap photos of it using a cheap cam?
I maxed out the zoom already still cannot see the player’s faces!
5. Have you seen people camwhoring using SLRs?
It’s ridiculous. And stupid.
For that reason, I much prefer to go out with my slim cam in my pants.
I leave my SLRs at home because there’s no way I could fit it in
my pocket without looking like an idiot.
It’s a real pity I couldn’t have the best of both worlds.
Digital cameras are a bit like girls.
You know the heavy ones can do a great job, but it’s the skinny ones you really wanna bring out in public.
That’s why lah. After years of using an SLR for kennysia.com, I again flirted with the idea of going back exclusively to compact cameras.
Point-and-shoot compact cameras have come a long way. Image quality has improved. Pixel counts have gone up. Many also come with pre-programmed ‘scene modes’ to make it easier to take good photos without fiddling with manual settings.
All these, and still they managed to go on a diet and slim down in size.
Of course, I’m gonna miss my 200mm zoom lens and the ability to snap brightly-coloured photos with awesome depth-of-field.
But it’s a compromise I shall have to bear.
Besides, 99% of the pictures I take ended up downsized before they’re uploaded to the Internet anyway. I’m not working for National Geographic (yet). So all those effort lugging around an SLR ain’t gonna justify the end result.
For me, for now, it’s goodbye SLR, hello compact cameras.
Big Cameras vs Small Cameras, whose side are you on?
Music of the Week: ‘Sugarless Girl’ by Capsule, an electro-house collective from Japan.
Cheesie and I normally have vastly different tastes in music, but when she introduced this song to me recently I got hooked onto it right away. Psychedelic yet fun and cheerful, it’s the perfect soundtrack for a good run.