I recently did something that’s the total opposite of what most bloggers or I guess, people with an interest in photography do: I got rid of my DSLR.
I know! Years ago I would have thought this was a crazy idea. A huge step backwards. But since I bought my DSLR camera technology has improved so drastically. There are now way more options than there used to be and frankly, the purpose of my photography had changed.
I’m no longer just capturing pictures for this blog. Now I’m taking pictures of my family and there are shots every day that I don’t want to miss. They are the pictures I know I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. It felt more important to have something that would really work well for me.
The DSLR I Had
I purchased my DSLR about six years ago and decided on the Nikon D5100 (now discontinued but you can still buy it used online). It was very similar to the Cannon T3i (I believe) but overall I felt it had better reviews. I did tons of research before I finally decided on this model. When I finally got it, I was overjoyed.
It was easy to use and I loved it but after about a year of not getting those blurry background pictures I so longed for, I realized I needed to buy a lens with a wider aperture. I wound up buying a 50mm 1.8 lens which did the job.
I took a photography class at a local community college and overall felt comfortable using this camera in manual mode.
The Problem with My DSLR
I loved the pictures my Nikon took and when I used it, I always enjoyed the experience. That said, it was bulky.
I don’t know if I ever got over feeling a little obnoxious pulling it out or carrying it places with me and taking pictures of the people in my life or worse, having pictures of me taken. Hats off to you fashion bloggers who can shoot a pic of your outfit anywhere with no shame. I am not that woman and it never wore off for me.
I tried remembering to throw it in the bottom of the stroller on outings but still, I felt like a paparrazi for my own kid. It was just so much easier to pull out my iPhone, especially as the iPhone cameras have improved. I guess it felt like every time I used my DSLR it wasn’t just snapping a picture of life. It felt like a full on photo shoot. As much as I wanted to make using it a habit, I just never managed to.
Why I Wanted an iPhone Alternative
Even though I think my iPhone takes pretty decent photos, to get a crisp shot it has to be well-lit and the subject has to be fairly still.
Since my subjects are usually a dog and a toddler, this is a struggle. I have thousands of slightly blurry photos on my phone and even a few that would be instant favorites if they weren’t blurry. My heart breaks a little every time I take the perfect picture with my iPhone and find it isn’t crisp.
To get the pictures I really want (and treasure most) of my family, I need to have a legitimate camera with the option for manual settings and a fast shutter speed.
What I Bought Instead
I put my husband on this case. He loves watching tech review videos on YouTube and I asked him if he would keep an eye out for a smaller camera with fantastic reviews. We wanted something that had the ability to be adjusted in manual mode, had a wide aperture, and would be easily portable for our family.
After extensive research, there was a clear winner in our eyes – the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 series. We decided on the Sony Cyber-Shot RX 100 V, though if you’re looking for a cheaper option, the RX100 III or IV are still available and have many of the same functions. The RX100 V just has little upgrades like the ability to move the viewing screen 180 degrees and a few other perks. There are now at least one or two newer versions of this camera available.
We were planning on saving slowly for the camera. It wasn’t an urgent expense for us; it was very much an extra. But for my birthday (right after he’d gotten his work bonus) Nav surprised me with it. I insisted it was too much but he pushed back – he loves the photos I take of our family and he treasures them just as I do. It was a gift for both of us.
Using the Sony RX100 V
The RX100 V is small – it fits in my back pocket. It’s easy to throw in the cupholder part of the stroller and a breeze to whip out and snap a picture whenever the mood strikes. It’s amazing how a good camera can take a quick picture my toddler and make it look professional.
This little guy has a wide aperture (as wide as 1.8 – I can still snag those blurry backgrounds!) and it can function fully in manual mode, just as my DSLR did. Overall, I don’t miss my DSLR. This camera does everything that I need it to do and is probably 1/6 of the size.
The best part? It has its own wifi and you can easily send the photos you take from the camera to your phone. It takes literally one minute to do.
Now I leave it sitting on the kitchen table all the time so that I can grab pictures quickly as they happen (you know, those cute Archie and Ben moments). It turns on quickly and I rarely miss a shot, though I still instinctively reach for my iPhone sometimes out of habit.
Why You Still Might Want a DSLR
You might still want a DSLR. And that’s okay! If you have a serious interest in photography and want to see how far you can take that, a DSLR is the way to go. But if you just want crisp photos with those blurry backgrounds or you’re just capturing shots of your family, you no longer need a DSLR the way you once did.
How I Sold My DSLR
Once I had my new camera, I knew there was no reason to keep my DSLR. I had been super careful with it and it was in nearly new condition so I decided to sell it.
I considered selling it locally on Facebook Marketplace or offering it to followers on my Instagram first. In the end, I went with what was easiest – I sold it through B&H Photo.
The process was super easy. You can get a quote from them online and if you choose to proceed with selling it to them, they give you a mailing label. I felt I got a fair price for my camera and lens. It was six years old and the model is discontinued so I was happy to get what I did. I probably could have gotten a little more if I’d sold it another way but the ease of the sale to B&H Photo was worth it.
Overall, I’m super happy with the decision and I’ve used my actual camera (vs. iPhone) so much more.
Now tell me, do you have a DSLR? Do you use it as much as you’d like?