Take the Camera, You Won't Be Sorry

I continue to advocate that photographers have a camera with them when they walk out the door. It can be any type of device, as long as it's capable of taking the types of pictures that fit your style.

As an example of this, here's a self-portrait I shot while waiting for a train in Munich with my friend Oliver. I had a Canon S90in my pocket (which has been recently updated to the Canon S95), and when I looked up, I saw this great reflective surface on the roof. Using the S90, I was able to frame one of my favorite portraits of Oliver and me in Munich.

Self Portrait, Munich Self-Portrait in Munich. Click on image for a larger version. Photo by Derrick Story with a Canon S90.

The thing is, whether I'm in Munich, San Francisco, New York, or at home in Santa Rosa, I have either the Canon S90 or the Olympus E-P1 1 with the 17mm f/2.8 Lens in my pocket or in my messenger bag that also holds the iPad.

When we had a recent discussion about this on the TWiP podcast, some folks commented that they didn't want to be in "photographer mode" all of the time. I agree. There are many moments in life that I just want to enjoy without a camera in my hand. The thing is, there are also other moments when I really want to take pictures. And I don't know ahead of time what the day has in store.

So I stand by my recommendation for photographers of all types. Have a camera with you, even if it's your smartphone. Because you don't know when a wonderful opportunity will present itself.

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Most of the time you will be doing the "V8 head slap" and saying "I shoulda brought my camera!" Whereas if you have a camera and don't want to use it, no problem don't take it out.

I carry an S90 in my purse. My phone has a camera, but it's very difficult to operate, so I prefer a separate camera. I always carry a purse or have a pocket - it's light - I seldom leave home without it and if I do, I regret it every time.

I always have my LX3 with me. And guess what? I've taken a similar photo of myself, myself: http://flic.kr/p/7rrLL6

I bought a Canon S95 for just that purpose, but two weeks ago I upgraded my phone to an iPhone 4. The iPhone's camera is quite good, and I just wasn't taking the S95 with me like I hoped I would, so the S95 is sellingon eBay. (Getting amazingly good bids, too!)

My iPhone 4 is THAT camera for me, as was my 3Gs.

If memory serves, you had a G11. Do you carry it or have you decided that the S95 is the better overall option.

A couple replies here...

Spiros, reflection shots are fun. I really like yours too.

Dan, I like the S90/95 better for me because of the faster lens (f/2) and smaller size. It's my current favorite for "shirt pocket" cameras.

After talking to you some time back I ended up with an S90 which I carry. This morning I was very pleased I had - I was walking from my daughter's school to catch the bus to work and I physically stopped in the street - the colours in the sky were so arresting. Got http://bit.ly/9QMJ9c as a result - there really is no better camera than the one you have with you ;)