Does Size Matter? - New Horizons in the Kitchen Blog at - 252691

New Horizons in the Kitchen

Oct. 6, 2011 7:56 am 
Updated: Aug. 27, 2012 6:10 pm
Several things inspired me to write my first blog.  We'll be heading off on vacation next week, so I'm starting to think about what to pack, which then made me think " ... and don't forget to take the camera."

Years ago, we both would have been taking a camera bag packed with a camera (of course), lenses, canisters of film, light meter, filters, etc. (and I mean BIG and HEAVY bags). Today, I take a small digital camera that fits into the palm of my hand with a 12X zoom lens (about 300mm).  Tradeoffs, yeah a few, but a camera that I can drop into my purse is just what  I'm looking for these days.

I must admit that I'd rather be looking through a view finder than at a screen on the back of the camera, and there are many times when I'd like to manipulate/control the photo more.  But I don't miss it so much that I'm going to carry one of the large digital SLR cameras that are on the market today. Less is best, at least for me.

Now the next part of the inspiration.  A friend gave my husband a Digital Slide & Film Converter for 35mm slides & negatives for a Christmas gift. Now that we're both retired, he decided to tackle the many carrousels of slides that were sitting in our garage for nearly 30 years.  We had a slide projector, but it broke so many years ago that I can't even remember.  So the decision was either pitch the slides or convert them to digital images.  He decided on the latter.  And considering the summer temperature of our garage in Florida, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the conversions.

We very recently bought a refurbished Apple TV box (an internet deal at $85), so now we can view all of our photos on the large screen TV with background music selected from my iTunes library.  And the installation of the small box was easy (at least according to my husband).  We simply open iTunes and iPhotos on the computer in my small office, turn on the TV in the family room, and then control everything with a small Apple TV remote. What a treat it has been seeing all of those old slides now organized into albums on iPhoto on the big screen TV.  As you can tell, we're Mac users, but I think similar programs are available for PC's.

It's a great way to share memories with family and friends.  Trust me, they'll enjoy it a lot more than looking at a photo album.  And for many of us, who has the time to put together a photo album in the first place?  Maybe it was a special holiday celebration, perhaps photos taken of high school or college graduations, family pets in action, vacations, and of course, all the food photos from your Allrecipes gallery (who wouldn't want to see them, right?). It's so cool being able to put together a slide show sync'd with music you've selected, sit down in your favorite chair with a "cold one," and let the show begin...pure entertainment!

So what's your choice ... is it a SMALL digital camera that will give you great results or a BIG SLR digital camera that most likely will give you the best results?  Is the small camera a compromise that you would make or DOES SIZE MATTER?

1975 England - Slide Converted
Photo Detail
2011 Oregon Fisherman (Lincoln City)
Photo Detail
Oct. 6, 2011 8:10 am
I purchased an inexpensive digital a few years ago, deciding beforehand that I wouldn't like it. Hubby and I still have the $$$ Canon from the '70s that still takes excellent pictures. Such a chore to lug around and just try and find somewhere to get photos printed from film these days. Digital is so much easier. Hubbys complaint is I don't print any of the pictures. Just can't seem to do that, but I have them all!
Oct. 6, 2011 8:18 am
I'm with you Sassy. I just don't want to be walking around anymore with a heavy camera around my neck.
Oct. 6, 2011 8:18 am
It's rather annoying to have a large, bulky camera, but the photo quality of a digital SLR camera is unbeatable. Absolutely unbeatable. :)
Oct. 6, 2011 8:30 am
I carry my digital even to work..I like the quickness of being able to view asap over waiting for film to develop plus digital is zero cost to just the camera..:O)
Oct. 6, 2011 8:39 am
I purchased a Nikon a few years back and I love it! It has a 15x zoom lens and a food setting...I was really into food photography at the time. I learned, not too long ago, that food photography is not my first love, that I'm a much better nature photographer (prize-winning). Different cameras do different things, so I don't think that size really matters, I think what the camera is capable of doing is what matters...great blog!
Oct. 6, 2011 8:46 am
With a young child and many places to go see (small or big) in Cali, my small Cannon travels well. My husband also use it for work when he travels. We do need to upgrade though but we'll probably end up with another small camera.
Oct. 6, 2011 8:48 am
FNChef, I certainly don't disagree with you. The tradeoff with the smaller camera really is in the bottom line quality of the photo. And I know if you ever wanted to do an enlargement, that's where it really would show up.
Oct. 6, 2011 8:49 am
Mine is never far away either Jayashiangel. Sometimes those shots taken at the spur of the moment are the best, and you just never know when it's going to happen.
Oct. 6, 2011 8:54 am
Witchwoman, you're right in that food photography is an art in itself, as is nature photography. I printed the 142 page manual on my camera, and one of these days, I'm going to really sit down and read ALL of it. But everything you buy these days comes with a manual; it just wears me out. I know my camera can be doing more than I'm doing with it now.
Oct. 6, 2011 8:57 am
Moaa, don't ever miss that special shot of your child. And I know what you mean about living in a photographic state. Lots of Kodak moments in Florida, too. So take them all, you can always hit the delete button later.
Oct. 6, 2011 9:14 am
Lutzflcat...I guess that I'm lucky in the aspect that I have a new neighbor who is a professional nature photographer. He doesn't know how to cook. I do. Trade-offs are awesome!! He critiqued some of my photos and gave me the most excellent compliment of "you're definately not an amateur!" I thought that was pretty cool!! I never did read the NOVEL that came with my camera. I'm not really into that, I'm more of a hands-on, learn-as-I-go type of person. But my photographer friend showed me a couple of things that I didn't know and that was cool. I'm working more with black & white and sepia right now. Picasa is a great photo program and it's free.
Oct. 6, 2011 9:41 am
I just can't carry our bigger camera anymore ever since she started walking lol. Have a great day and thanks for an awesome blog.
Oct. 6, 2011 10:44 am
I prefer 22 inch thin crust Pizza to 14 inch Pizza
Oct. 6, 2011 11:00 am
King Sparta, pepperoni or extra cheese???
Oct. 6, 2011 12:25 pm
Lucky you witchywoman. If I had a neighbor like that, I'd invite him to my kitchen every day. To be able to have somebody share that kind of expertise is priceless. I go crazy in flower gardens and want to photograph everything. I took so many photos at Butchart Gardens in Vancouver and Mintner Gardens in Chiliwack when we were in British Columbia several years ago that I could have filled up several photo albums just with flowers. I just couldn't find it in me to delete even one photo. I'm seeing more and more black and white photographs at art shows these days, and I say bring it on, as I've always loved it. I actually like that Oregon photograph in this blog which basically ended up mostly black and white (little orange with the bag over his chest) and framed it. Photography really is a good hobby, so soak up all the knowledge that you can from your neighbor.
Oct. 6, 2011 1:05 pm
Moaa, keep that camera nearby because when they start to grow, it happens quickly. You just might be able to carry that heavy camera sooner than you think. Thanks for the compliment.
Oct. 6, 2011 1:52 pm
It don't matter as long as it is huge.
Oct. 9, 2011 4:26 pm
It's true that the image quality of a digital SLR is unparalleled. Point and shoot cameras are great for taking photos outside in bright light, and for people who just take snap shots. They can't take photos in low light without flash, and their on-camera flashes cast harsh shadows and underexpose backgrounds. DSLRs can take great, low noise photos at high ISO levels, so with the right lens you can shoot in practical darkness without flash. Point and shoot cameras also lack the aperture controls that more sophisticated cameras have. As a photographer, one of the most powerful tools you have is depth of field. Separating subjects from distracting backgrounds is practically impossible without it. It gives real depth to photos. I bought my first DSLR three years ago, and I haven't regretted it for a second. While I was getting decent results with a larger Kodak point and shoot with a 12x zoom lens, nothing can compare to the type of images I get with my Nikon d700 and 70-200mm 2.8 lens combo. Yes, it weighs six pounds, but for nature photography there is absolutely nothing better. It really just comes down to what you're shooting, how often you're shooting it, and how much you want to carry! A small DSLR with a kit lens isn't too large or heavy, but it won't fit in your pocket.
Oct. 10, 2011 7:20 am
Doe, thanks for the good explanation of what a digital SLR really can do the better than a point & shoot camera. I don't think I ever really had the commitment to photography that you obviously have, and you're right, it's all about what suits your needs the best. And honestly, the thing that I miss the most is the depth of field. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Oct. 10, 2011 12:13 pm
I have your standard point and shoot camera. I love to take pictures. I always have my camera with me. However, I also think my love for taking pictures is my cameras downfall. I have been going through a point and shoot an average of 1 every 1-2 years for the last 5/6 years. O_o I must admit that aspect of it is rather annoying but I love being able to just grab it and go. My latest one is starting to go now. I've been looking for a new one but think I want to go with a big bigger and nicer model. Shopping online is my thing, I am a review junkie. So far I haven't been able to decide on one, so I am still searching. In all honesty, all the features do overwhelm me a bit. I'm hoping my new one lasts long enough for me to figure them all out ;-) I have an old expensive 35mm one but that has become one big hassle in itself. Great blog! Lots of good thoughts :)
Oct. 10, 2011 2:20 pm
Interesting question! My husband has a Nikon DSLR and I have an old point & shoot. I use mine for times when I want to take "overall, non-detailed" pictures to remember memories by, like overall landscape, meal we ate, at where etc. He uses his DSLR for all his photos because he loves to take pictures and is good at that. So his standards of an "acceptable" picture is rather high... unlike mine... So, it works out well, he uses his fancy camera, I use my old, but still working P&S!
Oct. 11, 2011 6:57 am
Merlion, lucky you, you're covered either way. And best of all, he carries the "heavy" one.
Aug. 27, 2012 6:10 pm
I grew up in Lutz and loved it. We were there not long ago and it sure has changed in 50 years! Seems so funny to see that name again. Enjoy the recipes!
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About Me
Retired from a high-stress sales career which involved lots of travel. I now have the time to relax, turn off the alarm clock and sleep in, read a book, magazine or the newspaper (every day, not just Sunday) and, most importantly, take in everything that the Florida lifestyle offers, and that's a lot! And, finally, I have the luxury to really pursue a lifetime passion, cooking.
My favorite things to cook
Enjoy all kinds of food and cuisines, and I literally can't think of one food that I would refuse to eat. And that even includes liver (don't like cooking it, but sure like eating it). I love good food, but you won't find me making a recipe that has 40 ingredients. I just don't have the attention span for that.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband's grandmother was from Bavaria, and his mother learned to cook many of her old-country recipes which she then passed on to me. Our traditional Christmas dinner is sauerbraten (which marinates for at least five days) with gravy, homemade egg noodles sauteed in butter, potato balls (which float to the top of the boiling water if prepared correctly), sweet and sour red cabbage, and freshly cooked apples (gotta have something healthy). It's an exhausting meal that literally takes all day to prepare, but it's worth the effort. Yeah, I know it's also a carbohydrate nightmare, but what the heck, we only have it once a year.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering the Christmas sauerbraten meal was a victory. Also, making homemade goetta, a breakfast meat from Cincinnati. My version is made with all pork, equal portions of boston butt and loin. Today's goetta in Cincy has beef in it, as does the recipe on this site, but I'm sticking with ALL pork. It is totally unhealthy for you, but it's a treat, and I don't make it often.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a number over the years like the potato balls mentioned above just disintegrating into a puddle of potato shreds. There's no recipe, it's just a matter of "feeling right" when you're mixing. Not long ago, I made a peach pie and got so caught up in trying to make the pie crust work that I forgot to add the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, etc.) to the peaches that were sitting in a bowl on the counter. Cooked it anyway, it was ghastly, and then threw it away. My ongoing tragedy is making pie crust. There must a black cloud hanging over my head when I'm making pie crust because I ALWAYS have problems. But I'm not giving up, one day this tragedy will turn into a triumph and be listed above!
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