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What Kind of Camera do you use at Theme Parks

Photo Taking has become one of the most popular things to do at theme parks.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:14 PM
After my last trip to WDW, I noticed that I love to take pictures at theme parks. In fact, I brought my brand new Canon Rebel SLR Digital Camera down to the parks. It will be my camera of choice in the future due to its near perfect picture quality towards animals. Here are my latest photos:


My question to all of you is: What kind of camera do you like to use at theme parks? Any tips or anything in paticular you like to take pictures of? What is the perfect camera for theme parks?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Terri Pierce
Posted April 7, 2011 at 6:05 AM
I use my Kodack z712. It's a pretty big camera but it takes great pictures. I usually only take it if I am already taking my bookbag for something.

I wish I had a smaller one that would fit in my pocket. I love taking pictures at a themepark and cannot carry about a lot of weight because of my back =(

From Anthony Murphy
Posted April 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM
One that I was really impressed with was the EasyShare Point and Shoot By Kodak. They have a couple of great settings including fireworks and "manners" which take pretty good pictures on rides without flash photography (as well as my SLR).

Good bang for the buck!

From Thomas Caselli
Posted April 8, 2011 at 8:48 PM
I have been taking pictures for 27+ years and have over 10,000 slides. I have a Canon EOS Rebel film camera(yes film)and I love it. I take it everywhere that I go when we go on vacation.

From Andy Milio
Posted April 9, 2011 at 4:35 PM
I use my new Nikon Coolpix S4000 with touch screen

From Joseph Catlett
Posted April 9, 2011 at 4:50 PM
My wife and I just bought a Nintendo 3DS, which has the ability to take 3D photos viewable on the system. We can't wait to try it out. I have these images in my head of some really wacked out 3D gimmick shots while riding on some of the dark rides at Disney. I'll let you know how they turn out after our next visit.

From Andy Milio
Posted April 9, 2011 at 5:43 PM
^lol 3D pictures from Disney. I'm a big Nintendo fan, but I haven't tried 3DS yet...

From Tony Duda
Posted April 10, 2011 at 4:43 PM
I have both Kodak and Canon small digital cameras and cannot figure out how to take low light movies using any of their settings. How do you take a ride video with a small digital camera in Peter Pan or Haunted Mansion so that what you see as you ride is what is recorded by the camera?

From Anthony Murphy
Posted April 10, 2011 at 5:35 PM
I will say that the best camera you can have is your eyes. Nothing can ever be as good as your eyes. The issue is that "manners" photos and videos (no flash or light) requires a pretty still camera to compensate for the little light. That does not work very well on rides where you and others are moving.

From Rob P
Posted April 11, 2011 at 3:38 AM
Good question Anthony. I've only recently moved into the digital world of photography ( Lumix TZ-10 ) as I've always preferred 35mm or APS film which I then convert to digital format later.
I love the quality of your photos. Did you opt for fully automatic or did you go manual ?. SLR definitely gives you greater control and creativity. But , having lumped around a heavy 35mm SLR and 28-80mm zoom lens for years, I decided that what I needed more was the convenience of a compact camera. For the past few years I've carried a Minolta APS camera ,which despite it's smaller frame format, delivered a sharpness beyond the capability of most compact digitals.
Low light situations where flash isn't an option always proved difficult and so I now have the Lumix. This also has HD and stereo movie capability and excellent image stabilisation. ( enhanced further if you have a Mac to process later ).
First impressions are that the TZ-10 processor makes full use of it's 12mp capability but I'm not sure if the images are any better than those produced on my old APS Minolta.
For me the lightweight convenience is a winner at the Theme Parks but for creativity and quality there's no doubting that Digital SLR's have it all.

From Victoria Jurkowski
Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM
i have a great kodak snapshot camera that has a ton of settings on it, especially great is the burst setting that takes 3 pictures in a row. it's especially good for taking pictures of rides or things on a stage. i really want to take a holga camera to a park sometime but i havent been on vacation recently without flying, and i dont want to hassle security with film.

From Russell Meyer
Posted April 12, 2011 at 2:59 PM
I'm a Nikon guy, and have been using a D-70 for over 5 years now with a variety of lenses and filters. I have just added a D-5000 to my arsenal along with a JVC HD video camera. I think the D-5000 will become my standard platform unless I'm covering an event when I don't have time to swap lenses/setups. Also, it's ability to take 720p video, albeit with limited functionality, makes the D-5000 a more functional body when I don't want to carry a lot of equipment through a park.

As far as what I take pictures of, if it's a park I've been to a lot without any new rides or attractions, I tend to find interesting angles and nooks to take pictures from. I'll also use my telephoto lenses to change the perspective or alter from my standard shutter priority to aperture priority to change the depth of field. I'll also play with focus sometime or with foreground blur to see what interesting pictures I can come up with.

At parks I don't visit very often, I typically will have all of my gear (including multiple lenses, filters, and my underwater camera if it's going to rain or at waterparks), and I will spend some time taking "stock" shots over the entire park. However, in between those standard shots, I try to force myself to take a few pictures from off-center, kneeling, above my head/on a bench, or through windows/trees supports. I often don't publish those photos, but it's always fun to look through them at the end of the day. I'm trying to work on incorporating people into my photos, but I do prefer to get "clean" pictures of building and attractions. When I cover events, I try not to go too artistic, and limit myself to the way an attraction looks to a guest walking up to it. I will use some "tricks" to enhance the height, depth, or size of something to create an interesting picture for "above the fold."

SLRs can be a lot of fun, but can also be frustrating. Make sure you are always aware of your focus point or use field focus if you find yourself focusing on trees or plants instead of an animal behind them. Use the focus lock function if your point-focus wanders. Don't use Liveview unless you absolutely have to because you're holding the camera over your head or your taking video. Also, learn how to use the manual functions of the camera that make it superior to those point and shoots out there. Always allow as much light enter the camera as you can and use the lowest ISO for the conditions. Play around with the white balance to make your pictures more vivid and deep, and don't be afraid to make mistakes, remember, you're not paying for processing anymore, so your only limited by the size and number of memory cards (I carry over 32 GB of memory with me at all times,and probably should get some more now that I'm shooting video and duel format---RAW and JPEG--shots). Use the zoom function when reviewing photos to make sure they're sharp BEFORE you walk away from your subject, or you'll kick yourself later when something looks blurry or out of focus on your computer screen at home.

From Carrie Hood
Posted April 13, 2011 at 1:05 AM
Frankly, I have a basic camera. I like basic, I like knowing what my camera can and cannot do. I also like being able to DO those thing without having to dig threw a book to find out. So needless to say I like basic cameras! I let my husband with the big, expensive toys do the artsy/fartsy thing as I call it.

I have two that I use.
Samsung SL600. For a whopping $114 it takes great, easy photos and if anything happens to it I don't feel badly over it's death.
My new favorite toy, Samsung Fascinate Galaxy S smart phone! A bit more pricy at $150 plus $10 insurance fee per month but it takes shocking GREAT photos and video in one handy little bundle that's always on me anyway!

I just can't see myself spending the money on an expensive camera. Let me list my reasons.
1. I'd never, EVER be allowed to play with it anyway as my husband would snatch it in .03 seconds.
2. Price. I'm cheap. If I break my little camera I don't feel horrible. If I break a very expensive camera... yeah you get the picture.
3. Does it REALLY need to do that? To me, it's a camera. It takes pictures and maybe video. I don't need the camera to be smarter then me and my phone (which is already smarter then me) put together.


So, I'm pretty simple when it comes to my cameras. As long as the pictures are clear, I'm a happy camper!

From Mike Seary
Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:31 AM
My droid phone camera. I hate lugging around ANYTHING that I don't have too, but I consider a cell phone a necessity for myself and anyone else I am with. That way, we can break off and do our own things for a bit and joining back up is pretty easy.

...plus, the pics don't turn out too bad at all.

From Rob McCullough
Posted April 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM
Always take the best camera you have with you. Apologies to others in this thread, but Cell phone cameras, no matter how good they are geting, are NOT going to provide you with images that will last a life time. My other tip - take enough memory with you so you don't have to delete anything. No matter how bad it may look in the view finder, upon returning home and viewing on your computer, you may find things in many shots that make them keepers when they didn't appear to be so at first glance.

From Nathaniel Banks
Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:52 PM
Kodak just released a new camera that looks like it'll be great for theme parks - the Kodak Easyshare Sport. For $79 you get a 12 MP camera that's waterproof to 10'.

I should have one in my hands soon; I'll try to post a review of it after I try it out.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:04 PM
The Easyshare brand seems to do very well for the price. That would probably be my recommendation for the average trip to the parks.

With my new camera, I feel that certain parks use certain cameras. The SLR seems to get the best workout at AK and EPCOT, but not so much at MK or DHS. The quality is better with the SLR of course, but at what cost?

From James Quattlebaum
Posted April 17, 2011 at 7:59 AM
I have had great success with the various waterproof versions of compact digital cameras. With so many attractions involving water (not to mention water parks themselves), I found myself getting paranoid with my normal camera and missing out on some great photos. Most of the major camera brands have at least one consumer-level waterproof digital camera model available.

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted April 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM
I have a Canon PowerShot S5 IS. It works very well. I've gotten some great shots from that camera. . . and it didn't cost an arm and a leg.

From Ron V
Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM
This is what I brought to Universal Studios Hollywood yesterday.

Nikon D90 with 70-200mm
Nikon D7000 with 17-55mm

Yes, I walked all day with these two items.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted June 11, 2011 at 8:29 AM
The big question is: How big is too big for cameras in the parks?

My SLR camera is not small!

From Andy Milio
Posted June 11, 2011 at 9:03 AM
My camera is quite small, but I enjoy that I can fit it in my pocket or in the palm of my hand!

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