Jan 30, 2018620 views

Do you carry a camera daily?

I'm wanting to implement a camera into my daily life. I know "cellphones have cameras", but I don't really enjoy the experience of using my phone for photography. Ideally I could put a point and shoot in my pocket and have that with me to capture moments of my son in daily life. But I've also thought about carrying around my old rebel with a 50mm on it or even carrying my 6D with a 50mm. Does anyone daily carry a DSLR and if so, how do you carry? Do you get strange looks from people in Target and stores? Does your spouse tell you to "put that thing away"?
I'm just looking for ideas for myself on how to integrate a camera into my daily carry and if possible, without spending money.
steve and Tyler

I carry my D7100 with me 99% of the time. Depending on where I'm going, I'll carry in a Lowpro backpack with a side pull out, or an SLR sling. I got over being self-conscious about it early on but it is a hassle sometimes. People really don't give you strange looks unless your shooting in their face. If I was ready to spend the money, I'd go with some less conspicuous like the Sony a6000/7000 like Tyler points out. Great quality in a smaller package.
Yeah, I'm interested in the Sony a6000, but I don't know that I really want to change camera systems quite yet. I don't want to have now useless lenses. I'm thinking I might got the point and shoot route so it can fit in my pocket. I'm looking at a Canon G9X for the size.
I used to, back in the 90s. I wouldn't leave the house without it. Film was expensive, so I didn't always trip the shutter. But film was expensive, so I didn't feel this huge compulsion to justify my carrying it by using it every time I took it out. Having it there meant I didn't miss opportunities when they arose.
These days the only camera I carry 99.99% of the time is my phone. For grab shots it's not bad. It won't have the dynamic range of my DSLR shooting RAW, but it's... okay... Okay-ish, maybe. Those times when I really do want to get a good solid photograph of something, I always wind up a little frustrated during processing. No cell phone can replace what an SLR or DSLR can do. I can understand why you want to carry yours.
The best way to see if you like carrying your camera is to carry your camera. Just try it out and see how it works for you. Back when I was carrying my SLR, I kept it in a flip-top bag. I don't like straps because they just get in the way when working from a tripod, so mine was just a brick in a bag. If I saw something, I'd reach in and pull it out. It worked for me. See what works for you.
As far as people in Target saying anything, it didn't really come up back then. At least no one said anything. These days I still carry around a flip-top shoulder bag, but most of the time it's loaded with sound gear. It looks like a camera bag, only... no camera. People still don't really say anything about it, but I live in a tourist-heavy area. No one really notices cameras and camera bags here. It's par for the course.
Not sure how your spouse would react to your carrying a camera around on a daily basis. My wife's never said anything, but we both do photography. She's more likely to reach over and say, "Gimme that. I got a nice shot here."
This doesn't really help you at all, but I always have my Ricoh GR II with me. I used to have a D7000, but sold it to go smaller, as I never wanted to take it anywhere (probably similar to what you're facing). Having easily portable cameras have made a huge difference to me.
My go-to is the camera on whatever cellphone I am carrying at the time. But I do keep a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS6 in my "go" bag. It has an excellent zoom for a point-n-shoot and resolution somewhere between my Nikon D7000 and D80. I have taken many nice photos with it. Just wish it had RAW format as an option, only has JPEG.
I'm using the wrong PC to find some of the better shots, but here are some from 2013 I took with the camera.
From Miller Park, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount shaking hands

Crazylegs Classic start line for walkers (Madison, WI)

I would not have taken my DSLR into the grandstands of a baseball game, and I for sure would not be trying to walk the Crazylegs with a DSLR hanging from my neck. Small, pocketable, and lightweight for both of these events.
I do drive a lot for my job, and I do occasionally stop to take photos of something I see. I like having the step-up from my camera phone available in the seat next to me. But I would never hang a DSLR on my belt full-time.
I've been thinking about this a lot actually and trying to implement this practice into my daily life as well. Recently picked up a little Olympus XA (rangefinder film cam) to feed my recent film addiction but also because it's legitimately small enough to fit in my front pocket each day.
I know you don't want to spend money, but you could potentially sell your Rebel or 6D and pick up a smaller, mirrorless camera which could be more practical for this use-case? Something like the Sony a6000/6300 would be great due to the size and the images are quality too.