Getting over my DSLR fear

Dollar Flipper Ask the Reader 12 Comments

I’m embarrassed to say this, but up until a few weeks ago, I was still using a point and shoot camera for my eBay selling. I like to think of myself as a forward thinker. Someone who isn’t afraid to try new things. This is all well and good in my head, but when it goes to implementing that new thing, I’m like a huge boulder. I need to build up my momentum. For some reason, this change was a while in the making!

It was a good run, but the Canon PowerShot only had 8MP. Looking back, it was a perfect camera, but probably not the best option for eBay. It’s really made for things like family outings and other events where you don’t want to have a big camera on you.

This embarrasses me for a few reasons.

Smart Phones

I have two smart phones on me at all times. The first is my personal phone: the Moto X from Republic Wireless. I’ve had this thing for coming up on 2 years now and it’s only gotten better. Republic Wireless had a few hiccups to start, but their new “pay you back” option for billing is just fantastic. I’m on WiFi at home and at work, so I barely use data unless I’m traveling or out at yard sales.

My wife and I were paying $62 after taxes and now have gotten it down to $45 with the possibility of money back if we don’t use all of our data. Just unbelievable that I was paying over $120 after a 20% discount just a few years ago. I did sell our old iPhone 5’s on eBay to cover some of the upfront cost for RW. If you ever do that, just watch out for fraud. High end electronics are the most likely to have issues on eBay.

My other phone is an iPhone 6 Plus for work. Just to show how out of touch I am with the real world, I ordered it because I thought “Plus” meant better. I didn’t realize that it meant “REALLY FREAKING HUGE.” It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be since the phone is really skinny, but I probably would have ordered the regular old 6 if I could do it over again.

The point of all of this is that both of these phones, the 1st gen. Moto X and my iPhone 6 Plus have better cameras than the PowerShot. So I could have been getting better pictures using either of the phones that were on me, but instead I was using the PowerShot.

DSLR – What was I waiting for?

Onto the big change.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try out my wife’s DSLR camera.

Canon EOS 1000D Rebel XS 10.1 M Digital SLR DSLR Camera

The one negative about this camera is it can’t make me look any better.

When we bought the camera, it was on sale for somewhere around $4-500. It came with the 18-55mm lens. I hate this even more because she’s had this thing for YEARS.

I don’t know why, but I was intimidated to use it. I’d tried it out a few times taking pictures of the kids and it was easy enough, but imagining using it for eBay just didn’t sit right. I was comfortable with the point and shoot.

I guess what finally pushed me over the edge was that I had grabbed a camera from a garage sale for $10 that can re-sell for $50. I tried it out but didn’t like it over my point and shoot since the controls were a little goofy. That loosened me up a bit and let me work up the courage to try out the DSLR.

This DSLR though, why the hell did I wait so long?

I’m able to take pictures so much faster! I can manually adjust with the lens, and the auto focus works even better than the point and shoot. I can take pictures of close up logos while standing up.  As I get older, the bending over isn’t feeling any easier!

The pictures are clearer. With the PowerShot, I would use Picassa to crop and adjust the lighting on items. After using the DSLR for the first time, I didn’t even have to mess with the lighting. I just had to to a bit of cropping. Much easier.

I’m pretty pissed at myself for taking this long to make this change.

But then again, I look back at this eBay journey and I realize that we all have to start somewhere. Whether that’s printing out labels on paper at Office Max because you don’t own a printer, cutting the label and taping it onto the box in the car, or whether it’s something else, we all have issues even if we don’t see them.

The switch to the Dymo label printer has saved me a ton of time. I don’t have to cut any labels anymore, and I love it. On top of that, I don’t use as much printer ink (the paper printer one I ended up buying is not a laser).

Doing it the hard way did help me save money while I was growing my business, and it also lets me appreciate how much easier it is to sell now.

I look back and think of myself as a caveman.



I have to remember that I’m looking back with 20-20 hindsight.

In the moment, even though something isn’t working well, it’s all you know. You can’t fault yourself.

Maybe now I’ve evolved a bit and made the whole process a bit easier. Who knows what the next thing will be that will save me a ton of time or make my life easier?’

What routine/habit did you look back and say “what the hell was I thinking by doing that for so long?”

Image Credit: Sodahead

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Comments 12

  1. Hey Chris, a redesign of your site again? Looks good! I have several DSLRs for my portrait work and I used to use them for ebay. Then I got the Iphone 5s and started using that. Now we’re with RW also and I have the Moto X 2nd Gen (which is also freakin huge) and that’s what I use now. It’s really great, has easy exposure control too. Love it. What I don’t like about the DSLRs (I use the Canon Mark II) is that they are heavy and bulky. I much prefer my phone actually. I still have my Iphone and wanted to sell it on ebay to recoup some of the cost of buying the phone with RW, but I still use it alot. It’s battery is much better than the Moto X, so I basically use it as an Ipod..LOL Still thinking of selling it though.

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      Yep, updated again. Should be set with this for a while. Still trying to figure out the e-mails for new posts. Looks like some code is showing up and I don’t know why!

      The DSLR is heavy but the neck strap seems to help a bunch and I can’t seem to get the same quality on my phone. Maybe the 2nd gen would help.

      Sell that iphone! That’s $200+ depending on the size of it!

  2. I bought a DSLR or something similar a few years ago for eBay. I ended up bringing it back when the Best Buy guy really nicely told me I overbought my skill level. Haha. I have a 13MP Canon Powershot and I love it. I was doing everything on an iPad for a while and now looking back that was a what was I thinking moment…..although I know exactly what I was thinking. I didn’t know how to upload pictures from camera to computer LOL

    1. Post

      See? Everyone’s progression is a little different. The important part is to try new things if you’re struggling with something!

  3. What is your lighting set up? I got a DSLR and I have a terrible time shooting unless I can set up outside. Which in Ohio can only happen for like two weeks :p (okay more than that, but its not happening now!)

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      I actually just use the regular lights in my room. We live in a three story town home and the bottom floor is a walkout under our deck. That’s where I have my setup. The way I work with this is to take pictures of all my items on a foam board. Clothes are laid flat, and it really provides a nice contrast. Makes the poor lighting moot!

      1. I would love to see a pic of your clothes laying flat.
        I have this big production I go through with a heavy mannequin, backdrop set up, etc. it honestly keeps me from taking pics sometimes. I have so much “inventory” I need to get listed ASAP and need a quicker way to take pics. TIA!

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          Sure! I only do about 4-5 pictures per shirt/pants. Some of the bigger items are harder, so I have a 2nd white board to use (it’s just my old one so I only use it if I have to since it’s kind of beat up).

          Here’s a sweater.
          Here’s a t-shirt.
          I used to use a black one for bright colored items.
          Here’s some pants. (Now I would use two of the white boards. I didn’t in the past).

          I know this defeats the purpose, but scavenger life interviewed a couple who has a lot of luck selling on etsy. They model their own clothing though.

          You can also check out my store for more!

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    1. Post

      No worries! I don’t think it’s as perfect as some of the mannequins but it’s a pretty quick process and good enough for me. 🙂

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