Come today, notebooks and memory cards are cheaper, DSLR camers have longer lasting operation hours with better batteries. Also big major difference then and now: DSLRs are affordable to the consumer group formerly using digital compacts.
Yes, now whenever I visit a shopping center, I see people, be it local or tourist, slinging a DSLR on their neck or toting a camera bag about. Times have certainly changed.
The same goes for me too. My DSLR is now reserved for shooting events or activities that requires a higher level of quality. On a day to day, I carry the NEX-5 and snap photos in “dummy” mode. So the recent occasion after Japan trip that I took effort to carry the heavier gear was AFA X (Anime Festival Asia) and STGCC (Singapore Toys, Games and Comic Convention).
Had it not been for free tickets, I do not think I would have paid the $$ to enter. Interestingly and not surprisingly, I only took 1 cosplay photo for AFA. Reason was the venue was way too crowded to have the ambience for fun photo taking. There wasn’t open spaces outside the suntec halls for the cosplayers to roam as it was utilised for other events. I heard one empty was opened later for them but given the low lighting, it would be tough to produce good photos. I spent my time taking the figures and gashapons using my macro lens, handheld.
As for STGCC, it was a more quiet period over that weekend, there were space for cosplayers to hang around the corridors and open areas. Less crowded too and hence I had some fun shooting. So instead of stopping in 10 years of cosplay, I had taken photos for the 11th year.