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Cruising with Cameras

Between choosing which swimsuits to pack and what camera to pack for my upcoming cruise, the camera is causing me far more strife. I’m going on a cruise with my husband, not my camera which means I should probably leave the DSLR at home. On the other hand, we’re going to be on tropical beaches with fruity drinks and possibly even some monkeys! That kind of stuff requires a real camera doesn’t it? I have to take a deep breath and realize that as long as I have a camera, that’s all that matters. It still doesn’t stop me from weighing the pros and cons of all my choices however.

Struggling to decide what camera to bring on your cruise? Come, stress discuss the pros and cons with me.

Phone Camera-

PROS: Almost every phone has a camera now and most phones have a really decent camera. You can upload and share quickly and effortlessly and you have a whole world of apps at your fingertips. It’s small, super portable and a total multitasker. If you have the ability, you can upload photos immediately to the cloud or a photo service, that way if anything happens to your phone on the trip all your photos are not completely lost.

CONS: Um, it’s your phone. You’re on a boat on vacation, who are you going to be calling? No one, that’s who. My phone was kind of expensive and it’s kind of really super important to me that I don’t lose it. I’d really rather not risk such a thing for convenience.

Point and Shoot-

PROS: Small! Easy to use! Easy to carry! Inexpensive (well, they can be.) Point and shoots have come a really long way in a really short amount of time. Mine was only about $150 and it takes really good photos in almost any well lit situation (or with a flash.)

CONS: Most point and shoot cameras really struggle in low light. Depending on what kind you have and what your expectations are from a camera you may be frustrated with the lack of creative possibilities (like a good bokeh or being able to choose your focus points.) Point and shoots also don’t handle zooming very well since their zoom is not a true magnification but rather a digital one. If you don’t mind pointing at a little tiny lump in a photo of the ocean and telling all your friends “SEE THAT DOT! IT’S A WHALE!” then a point and shoot may work just fine for you. If you somehow lose it? All bets are off, you won’t have any photos from your vacation unless you upload them regularly on a computer (but who’s bringing a computer on vacation?)

Waterproof Cameras-

This one is tempting. I know their quality isn’t the best, but you can take photos! Underwater! It’s kind of an expensive commitment for one week and maybe three beach trips, but UNDERWATER PHOTOS! A possible alternative is a disposable waterproof camera, then again, what will you do without instant digital gratification? If you’re truly interested in waterproof cameras and can see one being used in your everyday life, go for it! (Ask around first to see if someone has one you can borrow. eBay? Craigslist? All possibilities.)

DSLR -

PROS: Best chance of getting the photos you want (assuming you know how to use your camera properly, if you don’t know how to get off the green square? Leave the DSLR at home and stick with a point and shoot. Sorry, hard truths here people. In general I want complete creative control from my camera and a DSLR is the only thing that will give it to me. Most DSLR bodies and lenses are dust proof and moisture proof meaning a little trip to the beach with a bit of sea spray and a bit of sand won’t hurt it.

CONS: Big. Expensive. Tragic if something happened to it. Multiple pieces if you want to get a variety of shots and you’ll struggle with the debate “Bring it? Leave it? BRING IT OR LEAVE IT?” when it comes time for shore excursions. The other crummy thing is most of the people on your cruise won’t know what the heck to do with your camera, so if you want someone else to take your photo with your DSLR? Who knows what you’ll end up with.

In the end I’ll probably end up bringing my trusty point and shoot and my older body DSLR and 50mm lens. I’ll just have to accept that I won’t be taking any 300mm shots of a whales’ eyeballs and there will be times when I won’t be completely happy with either camera. But I will have one, I will take pictures, and I will love all of it.

What are your thoughts on cameras and cruises?

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A big thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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