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Thoughts on buying my very first DSLR camera

I did it. I bought a SLR camera today.

I’ve always had a complicated relationship with photography. If you asked my Dad, he’d probably tell you that I never liked taking photos. In fact I used to debate whether taking photos was even worth it. I preferred the idea of living in the moment…

Maybe I’m just less of a free spirit these days—I like the creature comforts of living in a 21st century world. I’m proud to be a part of one of the most commercial generations in decades. Even the label “millennial” is starting to grow on me. We may buy a lot but we also donate a lot.

Regardless, I decided it was finally time to upgrade my camera. Rather than go the regular point-and-shoot route, I’ve opted to finally embrace my creative side. I’m putting the small Canon camera I purchased outside of Angkor Wat over a year ago and now putting a Canon EOS digital strap around my neck: the Canon EOS Rebel T3i. The 400+ reviews on Amazon were fairly convincing, but also asking photographer friends and spending countless hours in photography stores pushing buttons, playing around and testing testing testing—all factors in making the decision.

It’s a big purchase—an investment, really. But as this blog has grown into a relatively stable business, I figured it was about time to invest even more in myself. After traveling so far around the world and seeing so much, I realized how wonderful and exciting it is to capture so many little moments. It doesn’t matter if you see it through a lens or not, and even when the memories fade, photos will hopefully last longer.

So now that you know I’ve finally purchased a new camera—and a professional one, to boot—expect to see the photography on this site improve. Over the past two years I’ve grown to really love taking pictures, everything from Polaroids to videos. I may have had a complicated relationship with photography in the past, but now with the right tools, I can really embrace my new hobby. And I’m sure I’ll have a good time with it, too.

This blog’s about to get real.

  1. Amanda @ Farsickness says:

    I made the jump from point and shoot to DSLR a couple of years ago with the T1i and it’s been a great camera. I’m sure the 3 is even better!

    I also have a complicated relationship with photograph as I’m far too much a perfectionist to ever be happy with anything I shoot :) Good luck and have fun playing around with it!

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Amanda! Should be fun—glad to hear the T1i is still going strong for you… very encouraging!

  2. Jay says:

    I bought the t4i this summer and have been loving the quality of photos I’ve been getting. Learning to take it off automatic is a whole other story ;-)

  3. Cheryl says:

    YAY! Welcome to the club. Can’t wait to start seeing your new photos – I’m sure they’ll be be great. :)

  4. Excellent purchase.
    Now you have the ultimate hipster accessory, wear it with pride. (oh, and take a few photos with it too)

    I’m looking forward to seeing your new photos.

    • Adam says:


      Ultimate hipster accessory….yessss! I think because I’ve already invested so much in the purchase, I’ll definitely be taking photos with it.

  5. Lane says:

    You will be amazed at how much better your photos will become. The difference in crispness, colors and depth will make your jaw drop open.

  6. Congrats and enjoy the new camera! I bought a DSLR a few years back, but now I find that I use my smaller digital camera more, because the basic digital actually gets better zoom and it’s pocket-friendly. I don’t even know the difference between DSLR and SLR, so clearly photography is not my forte.

  7. Unisse | Little Girl Travels says:

    Oh wow! Congratulations! :) Having a DSLR really helps in making your photos pop out and imagine the editing and wide range of lenses you can invest in to make unique photos.

    Though photography might not be your best bud, you just have to point and shoot at what you think is beautiful rather than over thinking the composure, lighting, and all those complicated photography terms. Experiment and enjoy!

  8. Lynette says:

    good choice! I bought my Canon Rebel SLR about 5-6 years ago, and still love it.

  9. Ayngelina says:

    I have heard great things about that camera, if I can suggest something…get Bethany from Beers and Beans ebook on getting out of auto. It’s THE best book I have ever read on teaching people how to use a camera. I wish I had it when I learned.

  10. Priyank says:

    Hey Adam, Congratulations on the purchase. I was skeptical about travellign with a DSLR but it’s been three years and the investment is totally worth it. (I’m a Nikon guy though…)
    cheers, Priyank

  11. Arti says:

    This is cool!! Looking forward to captures from the new camera :)

  12. Tom @ Waegook Tom says:

    Ooh get you, Mr Fancypants! I recently-ish purchased my first “professional(ish)” camera, too (a Sony Nex-3, mirrorless) and love that I can now take decent pictures, as opposed to the ones with my point and shoot. Have fun with it, and looking forward to the shots you’ll take with it :)

  13. Jaime says:

    EEEEeeee CONGRATS!!! I love that you bought this one, because this is the same one I will buy when I am in Singapore or I may just wait till I get home. Still not sure, but like you also love taking photos and want something more than my p&s. I know nothing about DSLR so yeah I will like you learn along the way. Have fun with your new toy!!!

  14. France Stocker says:

    Photography is ART. Thx Adam for the article. :)

  15. michael says:

    Nice one. I have the same camera. I do have to say that the new lens seemed to have more issues with fringing than the old version. But every camera has its problems I gues.

  16. singapore property, new launch says:

    Usually I don’t learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article.

  17. goodstack says:

    Excellent purchase! I’m considering whether to get a DSLR or a mirrorless camera myself.

  18. Hristo says:

    Hi Adam.
    I hope you still enjoy your DSLR Camera. You have it for about a year now right?
    I bought my first DSLR about 7 years ago and it was an incredible experience for me, and it still is by the way. I love photography.
    Did you make any upgrades?
    I did upgrade pretty much everything after a year or so.
    Best, Hristo.

    • Adam says:

      Cheers Hristo,
      Yep – still a big fan of this camera! I’ve got a new lens which I enjoy using… and definitely have picked up quite a few tricks

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