I did it again. I decided to forego my DSLR for my iPhone 7+ during a recent back country trip with my family.
My 55 litre backpack was stuffed with the usual back country necessities – food, fuel, sleeping bag, tent, and extra socks. Quite literally, I didn’t have the room for my Nikon beast. I’d have to buy a bigger backpack. The hike itself is touted as one of Garibaldi’s Provincial Parks toughest climbs – a 7 km hike with over 1200 + meters of climbing over rocks, roots, ridiculously steep climbs and a 500 meter scramble at the end.
I realized that the only people who will see my photos will be my family, and you via my blog. Most likely, these photos won’t be published so I really didn’t need the bulk and the weight of my DSLR. I decided that having a lighter backpack, and spending less time getting the camera out of it and ultimately upsetting (enraging?) my boys outweighed the benefits of a cumbersome camera.
It’s important for me to have memories of our trip and the camera phone is the perfect tool. I can record short videos, take photos as well as panoramic shots and it’s quick and easy to take out and use. I found I took more photos than I would have with the DSLR tucked away in my backpack. Plus, there’s the added bonus of charging one phone versus a phone and a camera, so my portable power pack lasted that much longer.
Most of my photos will be printed in a 4×6, 4×10 and 5×7 format and put into a family album. I may use a few photos for a potential future article. As long as they aren’t printed too large or zoomed in too much the camera phone pics will work perfectly well. If I was on assignment for a client by all means I would have bought a larger backpack and clipped my DSLR onto my packs shoulder strap for easy access. But, it wasn’t a photo session. It was a good old fashion family trip.
Did I miss my DSLR? Yes and no. I did miss it on our last morning before the descent. The light had a surreal quality to it and I would have loved to have my Nikon for fine detail, range dynamics and shutter speed and aperture options. However, when I think of the climb up and the tough downhill that was ahead of us I’m glad I chose my iPhone for weight, speed and ease of use.
All in all, the camera phone did a great job. It’s all I need for my intended use. The photos are perfectly fine for my family to view on a computer or in a printed album.
As for the trip…it was one of our most memorable. It was definitely a challenge but the hike up was worth the hard work. The weather cooperated despite the clouds constantly blowing in and out. More importantly, it didn’t rain! The look on my boys faces when they saw and touched the glacier, and realizing its age, was priceless.