I recently visited Disney World in mid June and it marks the very first time I brought my DSLR with me on a Disney park vacation. I usually only carry a point & shoot camera because I cannot stand carrying a lot of stuff throughout the parks. I was totally excited by the images I was able to capture with my DSLR and very glad I brought it. It was definitely worth the extra effort. Having said that though, my camera, the Canon 5-D Mark II is very heavy. I did use a Tamron zoom lens which is lighter than my regular Canon lens but STILL it is a very heavy camera. In full Florida summer heat & humidity, plus the fact that we were in the midst of a tropical depression, it became very challenging to stroll the parks with that camera slung across my body. We also had intermittent rain showers almost every day and on a couple days I left the camera behind because I knew it was going to be way too wet and the lighting was going to be iffy at best.
Of course I always had my cell phone with me and in recent years, particularly this past year I have loved using my I-phone to take photos, particularly in low light settings, surprisingly! I often incorporate these photos into my layouts either on their own or mixed in with regular sized images. I am a regular Instagram user. I also use several other camera apps for I-phone such as: Hipstamatic, Snapseed & Camera + to name just a few. These apps allow me to play and dabble to my heart’s content to create photos that have become to me – little tiny pieces of instant art. There is something so immensely satisfying to me to whip out my cell phone, snap the shot and then manipulate it into something else entirely different. I had so much fun looking for unusual angles or filling my frame with just some detail of either park artwork, a ride, people, or something classic like Cinderella’s Carousel.
Several tips to consider when using your cell phone camera in the parks:
1. Use your native camera for all your cell phone photos.
You can then later pull them into any app you desire to edit and add special filters, frames and textures. Your native camera will use the highest resolution available unlike some of the apps. I know it is tempting to want to use Instagram right in the moment so you can share your photos instantly but resist that urge. The advantage to using the native camera, besides the resolution, is that later on you can pull the photo into Instagram and make your edits but you will also have a copy of the original photo in your camera roll so that if you want to change it or edit it in your computer software once you get home you then have the option of doing so. In addition, I often would rather have the full size photo later on for my scrapbook pages instead of the cropped square. Another advantage to waiting is that your battery life will be preserved if you resist playing with Instagram while you are in the park! Then you can take more photos! At times if I was in a really long line for a ride I would take a few moments to play with several photos so that I could share them and entertain myself during the wait but I was always mindful of my battery life!