NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?

Started May 10, 2012 | Discussions
Mofongo
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NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
May 10, 2012

Hi folks, I'm making my first ever trip to New York City for a weekend next month and am trying to decide whether I should bring my DSLR and a lens or two or keep it simple and just bring my compact P&S. My Panasonic compact had a decent wide angle of 25mm to 200mm but I love to use my Sigma 10-20mm on my Nikon D7000 as well as an 18-200mm VR as well as a 35mm, 50mm and 85mm prime lenses...

Is it worth it to lug a DSLR and look like a tourist and open my self up to possibly being mugged or should I just keep it simple and light?

I'd appreciate any help from those who have traveled to NYC to take photos...

Thanks, Bob
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Deleted1929
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Mofongo, May 10, 2012

I can't help thinking that an awful lot more people wander around NYC with DSLRs and don't get mugged but that you never hear about the happy majority, just the unfortunate minority.

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Mofongo
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Deleted1929, May 10, 2012

sjgcit wrote:

I can't help thinking that an awful lot more people wander around NYC with DSLRs and don't get mugged but that you never hear about the happy majority, just the unfortunate minority.

Thanks for your input. I was not just thinking about the possibility of being mugged but also the weight and having to lug gear around vs a small compact in the pocket as we will be walking around quite a bit. I agree that most people don't have problems with thieves and most I'm sure have no problems.

Bob

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jon404
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Mofongo, May 10, 2012

I'd go with the compact. Lighter the better. If you want to travel really light, leave them both at home, and, when you get there, go to one of the camera stores in Manhattan and get a new Olympus SZ-31... fits in any shirt pocket, along with a spare battery, has an amazing 25mm to 600mm zoom... here's the DPR link --
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/02/08/Olympus_SZ-31R_announced

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baxters
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to jon404, May 10, 2012

I would go with the DSLR. After all, you bought it to take photos and now you're going to be in NYC where you can use it with a lens or too. Leave it in the hotel, in the safe if necessary, when you find it too much to carry at times.

I always felt pretty good visiting NYC carrying a camera. It's full of tourists. Why deny being one.

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alarc
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Mofongo, May 10, 2012

Your question prompted me to describe an experience that I had in NYC.

Three years ago I happened to be visiting the city and found myself in the middle of a crowd of thousands of Puerto Ricans celebrating and watching the Puerto Rican Day Parade. I had a drink in one hand and food in the other. Hanging from my shoulder was a bag full of expensive photo equipment. As I walked through the crowd on Fifth Avenue I could feel my camera bag slipping from my shoulder. I had visions of my cameras and lenses spilling onto the sidewalk. Then, this Puerto Rican teenager runs up to me and grabs my bag before it hits the sidewalk. Instead of taking off with my gear, he held the bag while I slipped the strap back on my shoulder. He then disappeared back into the crowd before I could thank him.
Not a big deal, but you remember things like that.

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drusus
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Mofongo, May 10, 2012

I think it's worthwhile to take a dSLR if you yourself know that it's worth it to you for specific reasons, such as wanting to take pictures in low light, or extreme perspecitive photos like with the 10-20 mm lens, or shallow depth of field with your bright primes. The fact that you are not aware of such needs for yourself makes me think you'll be happier with the P&S.

Is this going to be a trip mostly oriented towards photography? Are you going to have time to change lenses, wait for that cloud to move to a better position, even use a tripod for a nighttime or sunset shot? And do you want to come home with a booty of phenomenal pictures, which not only you would enjoy but which other people would ooh and aah about? Then dSLR.

Is this trip going to be with other people, who will get annoyed every time a corner is turned because neary every corner in NYC can be a good photo opportunity, and then your friends/family will have to wait for you to move your heavy bag around your shoulder, unzip it, think for a moment which lens that is not the one on the camera do you want to change to, remove the lens hood from its storage position to its vital flare-preventing position, choose EV compensation value, and bracket? If so, then P&S.

I don't think you'll regret the experience of blending in the with crowd, eating a pretzel while you're walking, and still take out your P&S in a flash when a good moment presents itself. All those pictures NOT taken with the DSLR you left at home will soon be forgotten, whereas the experience of taking in the city with all your senses and your attention will be unforgettable.

Drusus

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JulesJ
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Deleted1929, May 10, 2012

sjgcit wrote:

I can't help thinking that an awful lot more people wander around NYC with DSLRs and don't get mugged but that you never hear about the happy majority, just the unfortunate minority.

I agree, I lugged mine there all the way from England. if you want to take nice large files, take the DSLR. If you want snaps take the P&S, it's a no brainer.

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scorrpio
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to drusus, May 10, 2012

Take the DSLR. Otherwise, you'll be saying to self 'I wish I brought my DSLR' every time you take a picture. But I would advise also getting a nice sling strap for it. Or maybe a cotton carrier. Be sure to visit B&H on 9th and 34th. Don't worry about looking like a tourist. There's no helping it even if you don't have ANY camera on you. It's the energy, the vibe. Besides, at 3pm on a weekday on 5th Avenue, about 95% of people are tourists. Lots of cameras of every imaginable caliber. Well, except maybe for MF/LF.

In NYC, you are more likely to get mugged for blocking a subway entrance around 5pm than for your gear.

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DLGW
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I was in NYC two weeks ago..
In reply to Mofongo, May 10, 2012

.. My wife and I both brought our DSLRs with us. I think I easily saw over 100 other people walking around with DSLRs while we were there. If you like architecture then you'll want your wide angle lens (my wife has a blast with a fish eye)

NYC is one of the great cities in the world to photograph -if you have the time to spend taking photos, take your DSLR.

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Mofongo
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alarc...
In reply to alarc, May 10, 2012

Thanks for sharing your story. I decided on bringing the DSLR. I would hate ti have regrets once I start shooting...

Bob

alarc wrote:

Your question prompted me to describe an experience that I had in NYC.

Three years ago I happened to be visiting the city and found myself in the middle of a crowd of thousands of Puerto Ricans celebrating and watching the Puerto Rican Day Parade. I had a drink in one hand and food in the other. Hanging from my shoulder was a bag full of expensive photo equipment. As I walked through the crowd on Fifth Avenue I could feel my camera bag slipping from my shoulder. I had visions of my cameras and lenses spilling onto the sidewalk. Then, this Puerto Rican teenager runs up to me and grabs my bag before it hits the sidewalk. Instead of taking off with my gear, he held the bag while I slipped the strap back on my shoulder. He then disappeared back into the crowd before I could thank him.
Not a big deal, but you remember things like that.

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Mofongo
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drusus
In reply to drusus, May 10, 2012

drusus wrote:

I think it's worthwhile to take a dSLR if you yourself know that it's worth it to you for specific reasons, such as wanting to take pictures in low light, or extreme perspecitive photos like with the 10-20 mm lens, or shallow depth of field with your bright primes. The fact that you are not aware of such needs for yourself makes me think you'll be happier with the P&S.

Thanks I am aware of specific needs for bringing my DSLR I just did not post them in my OP. I would love to have my 10-20mm and 85/1.8 for the reasons you stated...

Is this going to be a trip mostly oriented towards photography?

Socializing, visiting and photo taking...

Is this trip going to be with other people, who will get annoyed every time a corner is turned because neary every corner in NYC can be a good photo opportunity, and then your friends/family will have to wait for you to move your heavy bag around your shoulder, unzip it, think for a moment which lens that is not the one on the camera do you want to change to, remove the lens hood from its storage position to its vital flare-preventing position, choose EV compensation value, and bracket? If so, then P&S.

My wife has the patience of a saint and encourages me to shoot as much as I like...

I don't think you'll regret the experience of blending in the with crowd, eating a pretzel while you're walking, and still take out your P&S in a flash when a good moment presents itself. All those pictures NOT taken with the DSLR you left at home will soon be forgotten, whereas the experience of taking in the city with all your senses and your attention will be unforgettable.

Thanks for your input. As much as would love the convenience of just carrying a P&S I think I would regret not having the expanded envelope of photography that a DSLR offers...DSLR it will be!

Bob

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Mofongo
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Thanks everyone!
In reply to Mofongo, May 10, 2012

I appreciate everyone's input and decided I would bring my DSLR with my 10-20mm and 85/1.8....

I'd rather not regret having it with me...

Bob
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Braxton7
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Mofongo, May 11, 2012

I recently bought a Panny SZ15 and took it downtown for some shots. Surprised me how good they turned out for architecture. Wouldn't use it for wildlife or landscapes but I think in the city it does very well.

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James Cafferty
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to Mofongo, May 11, 2012

Good idea to take the DSLR. But, the compact P&S doesn't weigh very much and is relatively lightweight. Why not take both? Maybe wifey could shoot a few images.
Also, if you don't have a list of places to visit, here are some suggestions:
Uptown
The Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Av. at 89th St.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (5th Ave at 82nd Street)
Grand Central Terminal (Main entrance is at 42nd street & Park Avenue)

The Chrysler Building (42nd St & Lexington Ave) (One block from Grand Central Station)

Midtown
UN Headquarters (1st Avenue at 46th Street)
The Empire State Building (5th Ave at 34th St)

Fifth Ave. (from 49th to 59th Street – is covered with stores representing some of the world’s most magnificent designers.)
Central Park (between 59th and 110th street and between Fifth and Eight Ave.)
Central Park South (5th Ave. at 60th Street)
"The Plaza" (Hotel) (Corner of 5th Ave. at 60th Street)
Rockefeller Center (between Area bordered by 5th & 6th Av. and 47th & 51st St.)
"Top of the Rock" at Rockefeller Center (see above address)
St. Patrick's Cathedral (5th Ave at 50th St)
Trump Tower (5th Ave at 56th St)
Times Square (42nd St & Broadway)
Circle Line Cruise Ship (42nd St at 10th Ave)
International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street

B&H Photo, 420 9th Avenue (between 33rd and 34 Streets) Tel. 800-221-5743 or 212-239-7765,
closed Friday afternoon at 2PM and all day Saturday

Downtown
Statue of Liberty (take the Statue of Liberty Ferry from Battery Park)
Ellis Island (take the Circle Line - Statue of Liberty Ferry from Battery Park)
New York Stock Exchange (southern tip of NYC)
Financial District / site of new World Trade Center - (southern tip of NYC)
Brooklyn Bridge

Remember to allow time for Security checks at Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry, etc. Also, you can avoid waiting in long ticket lines if you buy your tickets or a "package deal" in advance. They will also allow you to reserve your trip to Liberty Island and nearby Ellis Island via the Internet, so you don't have to stand in long lines at the Ferry dock. Here is a link that should help you: http://www.nycvp.com/TicketOrder.htm
Have a wonderful trip & a great time. Please post some pictures when you return.
All the best

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All the best,
Jim

Photographers take pictures; the camera is only a tool.

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ggeinec
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to James Cafferty, May 11, 2012

James Cafferty wrote:

... snipped ...
Also, if you don't have a list of places to visit, here are some suggestions:
... snipped ...

Excellent concise list of things to see in NYC. I'm saving this for future reference.

Thanks!

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James Cafferty
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to ggeinec, May 11, 2012

ggeinec wrote:

James Cafferty wrote:

... snipped ...
Also, if you don't have a list of places to visit, here are some suggestions:
... snipped ...

Excellent concise list of things to see in NYC. I'm saving this for future reference.

Thanks!

You're very welcome!
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scorrpio
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to James Cafferty, May 11, 2012

Also interesting:
The Intrepid
Columbus Circle
Greenwich Village for nightlife
Soho for lots of private art galleries
World Trade Center.
Pier 17
Union Square.

Be sure to hit the Brooklyn Heights Promenade (2 or 3 'red line' subway to Clark Street) for absolutely the best pictures of Manhattan skyline. Especially at night.

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James Cafferty
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Re: NYC trip- DSLR or P&S?
In reply to scorrpio, May 11, 2012

scorrpio wrote:

Also interesting:
The Intrepid
Columbus Circle
Greenwich Village for nightlife
Soho for lots of private art galleries
World Trade Center.
Pier 17
Union Square.

Be sure to hit the Brooklyn Heights Promenade (2 or 3 'red line' subway to Clark Street) for absolutely the best pictures of Manhattan skyline. Especially at night.

Thanks! for adding some other great spots to see & photograph. For future reference, I would like to add your list to mine. OK with you?
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Jim

Photographers take pictures; the camera is only a tool.

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Mofongo
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Thanks James!
In reply to James Cafferty, May 12, 2012

James Cafferty wrote:

Good idea to take the DSLR. But, the compact P&S doesn't weigh very much and is relatively lightweight. Why not take both? Maybe wifey could shoot a few images.

Great list, I appreciate that...

Bob

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