Pet Peeve of the Year: DSLR’s Hanging On Necks Inside Malls Everywhere

(I was never happy with the original intro, so here’s an edit [01-13-09])

If you have a brand spankin’ new DSLR camera, its just natural to want to use it all the time. There’s a ton of people subjects to take pictures of: your kids, husband, wife, the entire family, girlfriend, boyfriend, barkada, etc. You’d probably even take self-portraits, and of course you’d need to blog about what you ate today, and you need an accompanying photo of that meal. Your beach vacation, business travels, road trips, class activities are all events to take that much-desired gadget of these times.

Who said professionals should have the sole privilege to use these things? Of course not! (Then you’d note that the photographers at the Manila Zoo and Luneta are still using their trusty and rusty 80s film SLR, which they rely on to put food on their respective family’s table, but thats a different topic altogether.) However, these days, I’ve spoken to some (annoyed) people, and have observed this first-hand, DSLR cameras are too prevalent in places you won’t usually see and use them in. Case in point: malls.

Here’s my list of 5 reasons why I think hanging a DSLR camera on your neck inside malls is a BAD IDEA.

  1. If you shop and wear your DSLR on your neck for no purpose at all, KEEP IT IN A BAG. Fungus anyone?Yes, you may be just too proud that you’ve spent your bonus on your new gadget, and you just have to show it to everyone. Here’s a couple of phrases to take to heart: Malls ARE air-conditioned, and going in and out of any mall complex WILL introduce condensation to your camera, and can do SERIOUS DAMAGE. Consider packing your camera bag with silica gels, or even just sealing your gear in zip-lock bags. And when you get home, TAKE IT OUT OF THE BAG, and store in a drybox. Keep your expensive gear clean, and dry.
  2. Bought the latest and greatest DSLR? Heavy ain’t it? Splurged on the most expensive lenses? Oh wait, you still have the strap that came with the camera! Do you plan to live long?Usually, the camera strap that comes with your DSLR is fine. However, the heavier your gear gets via battery grips, zoom lenses, you’re much better getting a neckstrap with better support. And why the hell didn’t you buy the basics first, favoring and prioritizing the pogi accessories more? Personally, the must-buy’s after getting your DSLR kit: the strap, a tilt-and-swivel flash unit, and eventually backup batteries.) OR, as previously suggested, put the damn camera in the bag when its not in use.

  3. Save your shutter life. Would a casual, weekend mall shopping stroll be the best photo-op to take pictures of your family and friends?A DSLR’s shutter can only handle a maximum number of actuations, and after that, it will be unreliable. Save the snapping say, for nice-looking food you ordered at a restaurant, goofy situations during lunch with officemates, etc.

    Take personal photos all you want when you’ve finally settled somewhere. There would probably be less than a dozen situations you’d find yourself in when you must take out the camera for a shot walking around mall complexes.

  4. Psst! Psst! Bawal dito yang camera!Really now, why hassle yourself and waste time with arguments with the security guard over NO PHOTOGRAPHY mall rules? You don’t own the place, do you?

  5. Protection from the massesThe season of deluge of people going in and out of malls should be over by now, but there is bound to be something out there that can cause physical damage to your camera, from umbrellas that can poke through your camera lens, grocery carts, someone’s elbow, etc.

Ultimately, when not in use, leave the camera in a bag. Get a good bag, too, and it doesn’t even have to be expensive, or even branded. I use no-name camera bags made from China in basic black, no screaming labels. As long as its properly cushioned, and is customizable to fit your gear, who cares if its not “a million dollars” worth, right?

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