Keep my old film SLR or buy a new DSLR? going to India.
Been a while since I've posted on BnA—nice to be back!
So, I'm looking for a little advice. The situation:
I'm an amateur photographer (here are some of my faves from my last trip). The last time I travelled, I was using a film SLR (Canon Rebel series), which I adored: I loved the interchangeable lenses, loved how light it was, loved the control it gave me. The one drawback was the cost of purchasing and developing film enough to take 1000+ shots (whoops). This was the camera I learned on—I've never used a point-and-shoot.
I've used other cameras in the intervening years (an old Nikon F-Series manual from the '70s, which was so heavy I never carried it, and a Canon PowerShot, which, since it was digital, was cheaper than the film camera, but which I hated because I had less control with the SLR and because of its horrible shutter lag).
The PowerShot recently died, though. This leaves me camera-less except for that original film SLR, so I've been doing my research into dSLRs, and I've made up my mind to save towards a Nikon D7100 or a Nikon D90—eventually, when my budget can afford it!
The thing is, I'm about to head off to India for six weeks. Obviously, I want to have *some* kind of camera while there. My dilemma: do I say, "okay, whatever, film will be expensive, but use the tools you have," and bring the old film SLR? It has the disadvantage of being expensive—film & development aren't cheap. But it has the advantage of a) being a camera I know and love, b) being incredibly light, which is important since I'm backpacking, c) being pretty beat-up and relatively cheap—no fancy electronics to attract potential thieves. And if I lost it'd, I'd be sad, but for sentimental reasons; they cost I think $12 on the internet right now.
Or, the other option, do I take the money I'd spend on film & development and put it towards a new Nikon? (Imagine for a minute that I can handwave it and somehow magically afford it.) This seems logical, in terms of finances—why spend money on film that I could use towards a new camera which I will eventually be buying anyway? But—then again, I'll be taking an incredibly valuable piece of machinery with me, and do I dare take a camera that costs more than my entire airline ticket? Plus it weighs seven pounds, which is ridiculous.
(I suppose a third option is to buy a little point-and-shoot, but honestly, I think that since I'm accustomed to the control of an SLR, a point-and-shoot would frustrate me more than its low cost and tiny size would be worth.)
I know a lot of folks on these boards say leave the expensive, valuable items home—so I'm inclined to bring the film SLR. But then again, I know a lot of folks travel with their dSLRs and laptops, so—while I think I know what I'll do, I thought I'd see what other folks say. If you travel with film, do you wish you had a dSLR? If you could wave a magic wand and buy a dSLR to bring, would you? In short: any advice?
Sorry for the tl;dr post—hope some of you managed to wade through it. And thanks!
Renee wrote: My suggestion would be for you to take what you know....
Thanks, Renee! That's where I was leaning, but it's always good to hear other people's experiences.
dcw wrote:I suppose you're gone already, but just in case another option would be to buy a used dSLR. A Nikon D40 or Canon Rebel 350/400 can be had for a song, and they still take pictures that are just as good as when they were the newest things out. The Canon would have the added advantage of taking all the lenses you use on your film Rebel. You could bring the film as a backup (or as primary and the dSLR as a learner). You could probably even sell it back to someone for about as much as you paid when you do get around to buying a new top-of-the-line dSLR.
Thanks for this—it's good advice!
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