5 Reasons why I haven't used my DSLR for months

If you've been following my interactions in various comment threads and our weekly newsletter, you'll know that I've spent much of the past couple of months trying to finish our full review of the Fujifilm X100S. I finally completed that review the other day, and after the dust had settled I realised something - I haven't used my DSLR for months. At first, the explanation seemed obvious - I'd been shooting for the X100S review. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this wasn't the only reason. Recently, I've simply not wanted to take my DSLR with me. Here's why.

1: I hate carrying all that weight

 See? The sun does come out in Washington, from time to time! This was taken on a recent hike with the Sony Cyber-shot RX100II. The beauty of a small camera like this is that it's pocketable. I could have taken the same shot with my DSLR but carrying the weight of a heavy camera and lenses all day would have been a pain.

Everyone says that the weather in Seattle is dreadful, but it's not true! Well actually, it is true, but not for the whole year. We get great summers here, and this year summer came a little early, giving us some beautiful days in April and May (which was a welcome change from last year...). What possible relevance does this have to my camera choice, I hear you ask? Well, when the weather is nice, I like to hike and bike. And when I'm hiking and biking, I like to travel light.

A quick trip to Korea last year brought a rare opportunity for some 'street' photography - not something I normally do. The small, discreet Fuji X100 was a great companion camera for the trip. The woman in this candid shot did notice me, but only at the point when I tripped the shutter.

My DSLR is anything but light, even with a prime lens attached, but a camera like the Fujifilm X100S, or Sony Cyber-shot RX100II slips right inside my backpack, and can be slung around my neck without causing discomfort. With a zoom compact I can be more spontaneous as well - no need to fumble for a lens when I need to change my field of view.

2: Small cameras are really good now

Another shot taken with the Sony Cyber-shot RX100II, this was a handheld exposure taken at ISO 2500. Exposure is great, the colors are nice and there's little noise. The RX100II's 1-inch BSI-CMOS sensor is much smaller than that in a DSLR, but offers excellent image quality.

If you've been paying attention to our preview and review content over the past couple of years you'll know that if image quality is your main priority, DSLRs aren't the only game in town anymore. Not only are compact cameras getting a lot better, but smartphones are too, and meanwhile, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are getting smaller. Plus we're also seeing a new crop of large-sensor, fixed lens compact cameras which offer excellent image quality without the bulk of a typical DSLR.

I took this shot with the Sony Cyber-shot RX1, which features a sharp, fast 35mm F2 lens. Read our in-depth review for an idea of the image quality this camera is capable of. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, here's a shot taken on my old iPhone 3GS. I was out cycling, saw this car, and got the shot. The result (after some processing) is good enough for small prints and web use.

My current crush is the Fujifilm X100S, but there's plenty of choice. The Ricoh GR is a stunning little camera, likewise Sony's full-frame RX1/R (if you can afford it) and enthusiast compacts like the Canon PowerShot G15, Nikon Coolpix P7700 and Olympus XZ-2 (and others) are small cameras capable of great results. 

3: Most of the time, I don't need a zoom

I find 35mm to be a great general-purpose focal length, which represents my zone of attention. This shot was taken with the Fujifilm X100S. A wider angle of view would have let me include more of the scene, but would it have been any better?

Something I've realised lately is that most of the time, I really don't need a zoom. I'm happy shooting at around 35mm equivalent focal length. It suits the way I see the world, and it suits the kind of shots I like to take. 

An interesting combination of patterns and textures seen on a walk through my neighborhood in Seattle. 35mm (on a Fujifilm X100) was just right to frame this scene, before the dog started getting aggressive. I shot this candid portrait quickly and quietly using the Fujifilm X100S. I would not have felt comfortable with a larger, noisier DSLR (although I think my subject would have been oblivious).

Obviously this is hugely personal (I know some people who only shoot at ultra wide-angles, and some that reach for long telephotos) but for me, cameras with ~35mm equivalent lenses, like the X100S, Sony RX1/R or even my iPhone, do the job 90% of the time. And with resolutions of 16MP+ (OK, let's forget the iPhone for a second...) I don't mind cropping in a bit later if I need a more focused composition. It's good for my photography too. Shooting at a single fixed focal length makes you more disciplined, and more creative.

Of course, I could just slap a 35mm prime on my DSLR, but that combination is larger and heavier than something like the Sony RX1 or Fujifilm X100S.

4: I'm trying to take more portraits

I find 35mm is an ideal focal length for 'arms reach' portraits, and the Fujifilm X100S that I used for this shot is small enough to be unintimidating to a non-professional model.

I love shooting portraits, it's probably my favorite type of photography, but I hate taking pictures of strangers and I don't want to take photos of models. Staged portraiture leaves me cold. For me, the pleasure of getting a really nice shot of someone that I know, which says something about them is one of the best thrills in photography.

And although I've got some really nice portraits of people close to me using DSLRs, I've had far better results with compact cameras, and even smartphones. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

This is quite an old picture, taken on a 5MP Canon digital compact camera. Essentially a snapshot taken in a coffee shop, I wouldn't have even tried to capture my subject with a DSLR in this situation. The near-silent shutter of the Fujifilm X100S let me capture this double-portrait unnoticed.  

Firstly, most DSLRs, even the small ones, are relatively big, chunky things that hide your face when you're using them (if you use the viewfinder, of course). Secondly, they're noisy. Even a quiet shutter is still pretty loud in an intimate setting. Once you've turned all of the stupid sound effects off, compact cameras, smartphones and even some mirrorless ILCs are almost silent. Both of these qualities make them less intimidating to non-professional models, and mean that you can click away discreetly in mixed social situations without anyone getting uncomfortable. 

5: I just don't need all that extra gear anymore. 

The ever-charming Shane McGowan, pictured a few years ago when I was still shooting commercially. Hardly the most interesting shot in the world, but it was captured at ISO 12,800, at 200mm F3.5, in light so low that I couldn't tell whether the image was in focus until I saw it on my DSLR's LCD screen. This is one situation where I really needed a professional, high-spec DSLR and some expensive fast glass.

I used to need a lot of photographic gear. I used to be a professional photographer, but now I'm not. Obviously, 'Pro' doesn't necessarily mean 'uses a DSLR', but in my case it did. A few years ago I was regularly photographing concerts, attending events and photo calls and routinely staying up to the early hours of the morning on deadline, editing hundreds of raw files. I saved up and bought some really great equipment, including a serious professional DSLR, a brace of fast zoom and prime lenses, and a couple of flashes (which I never used). 

A Supermarine Seafire, coming awfully close to the ground during an airshow a couple of years back. This is one situation where my DSLR, and a 300mm prime telephoto lens, were indispensable.

I didn't make much money, but it was a lot of fun. These days I seem to spend the majority of my time in meetings. I'm just an average enthusiast with a day job. I don't need ultra-fast AF, ten frames-per second and ISO 20,000+ any more. Photography is still a huge part of my life, but I just don't need that much gear.  


Please note: most of the images in this article are downsized for convenience, but if you want that 100% actual pixels thrill, many are taken from samples published as part of our in-depth reviews and previews of the cameras mentioned. 

Comments

Total comments: 590
12345
Keith
By Keith (8 months ago)

I save my DSLR for commercial jobs. Bought a Ricoh GR recently. For what I like and do - perfect!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Julio Sánchez
By Julio Sánchez (8 months ago)

You have to use what you have in this moment.
I was for hollidays in Viena and Y carry my DSLR and a small Panasonic TZ40.
I use a wide angle zoom in my DSLR most of the time and the TZ 40 with the zoom.
Yes it works with good light but shoot with maximun zoom with such small camera is very dificult. It moves in my hands and even the OIS is not enough.
When I left my DSLR at home I wanted to carried it and when I carry it I wanted to have left it at home. Very dificult decision

1 upvote
tallguy600
By tallguy600 (8 months ago)

Good article!
I also use a Sony RX100 but only when I'm on the go and not when I want the best picture quality. For that I use my D600 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4.
I don't mind buying a good fast lens but spending $,1300 for a camera that will be obsolete in a couple years? No.

0 upvotes
Alejandro del Pielago
By Alejandro del Pielago (8 months ago)

Ok, It´s nice Barnaby be happy.
I like his photos, for example, the portraits are very well composed and capture a personal touch, what is not easy to get. About some posts I would like to say that I don´t find that Mr. Britton consider that compact or similar cameras be better that DSLR precisely.
I try to take pictures all the time. I love doing it. Some weeks or months I just walk all the time with a mirrorless. It`s fantastic the sensation to do SOME photos I wouldn´t be able to do with a bigger gear. After that, I come back to my DSLR and I fall in love again with the optical VF and with the AF and the lenses, etc. I´m sure the path of photographic technology is doing smarter, faster and better small and light gear. I`ll remember this article and dialogue to tell it to my sons.

2 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (8 months ago)

Top 1 reason I have not used my compact camera for months:

1. I do not even own one. Too big compared to my smart phone.

1 upvote
Danel
By Danel (8 months ago)

Nice piece Barney. There are many high quality compact cameras out there now that will meet the needs of many photographers.

1 upvote
Ronald1959
By Ronald1959 (8 months ago)

I love to shoot with my dslr and different lenses. It feels special to me.
I love editing, though it cost a lot of time.
I have a iphone 4 and i do not care to shoot photo's with it. Sometimes is it fun to record video, but that is all. I do like shoot video and photo's with my iPad, but not professional.
I think, it feels for everyone different. There is no right and wrong for the photographer when you shoot within the possibilities of the .......camera.
Enjoy your style and surprise us with your best photo's

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
madeinlisboa
By madeinlisboa (8 months ago)

Time to change from DPreview to SPreview....

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (8 months ago)

?

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (8 months ago)

DSLR is a tool for a bad carpenter who tends to blame his tools.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

What a daft comment.

8 upvotes
MarcLee
By MarcLee (8 months ago)

There was a time when DPReview was not quite so much amateur central.

6 upvotes
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (8 months ago)

What I really think is that the Japanese Camera manufacturers..especially Sigma..operate in an altered reality/bubble/distortion field...i think they need to really ask people what they want...give it to us...and to stop "frikking" around with us. For yearrrrrrrs now 24x36 sensors have been the Holy Grail..they hold them over our heads....always trying to get us to accept something less....like the idiots at Kodak did with film...disc cameras, 110 etc etc etc ..and APS. The camera companies are going to fail and disappear because of their own arrogance...look at Hasselblad....they used to be a camera company..now they are nothing more than some kind of Electronic Brothel....yes...i'm going all over the place here...just like the camera industry

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (8 months ago)

I use both FF, and CX cameras, but no Hasselblad, even though they're designed just a few miles from here.

Higher resolution, means a possibility to take sharper photos, if your lenses are up to it.

Bigger sensors (physically, not pixel-wise) means lower noise in you photos, so if you have as much light you want, you can use 200 MP backs on your Hasselblad camera, but out in Mother Nature, you can always use bigger sensors, with big pixels, not least at dawn.

That's where I usually shoot, thus I do love big cameras with many pixels, unless I have to carry them a long way! So I want cameras like the D600, but have no urgent need for an optical viewfinder, thus a simplified version is OK with me.

I find no use for high-megapixel mobile phones, except attracting thieves! But many others love them! In Japan, and China, mirrorless cameras sell like hot cakes, in the US, and Europe, the DSLR is totally dominant, thus the Japanese make both kinds.

Very clever guys, indeed!

0 upvotes
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (8 months ago)

The camera that I want is not yet manufactured by anyone. The closest thing is a Leica M9 but I refuse to buy Leica anymore because they are built for collectors, not photographers. Leica and their relationship with Panasonic is bizarre and insulting (same camera with red dot on it costs magnitudes more) I want Fuji to copy the M9 as much as they can legally get away with..essentially come out with a x100s that is smaller and with some ultra fast glass on there...50mm ƒ1.0, 85 ƒ1.2, 135 ƒ2.0 etc... I want this Fuji to be full frame. I want it to have a rational price tag. I refuse to buy any Sony cameras...I truly hate Sony and the junk they make. I refuse to buy a micro 4/3 camera..i think they are beyond silly...i think that many APS Film Camera morons have also bought into this system.

4 upvotes
Byron S
By Byron S (8 months ago)

I know a lot of people seem to dislike Sony, but I think you're doing yourself a disservice not trying out their cameras. I was a Minolta shooter and followed their camera division to Sony and have been nothing but happy with their dSLRS. I recently started shooting a NEX 6 too and its is a killer camera. (Despite how it sounds, I don't believe I am a Sony 'fanboy'. I'm just a happy photographer that likes the tools coming out of Sony's camera works.)

1 upvote
jwinberg1
By jwinberg1 (8 months ago)

I'm delighted that Barney has been so open and sharing with us! I struggle with identical issues, and carry lighter gear whenever possible.

Regardless of your gear philosophy, it is refreshing to have such open sharing - thanks, Barney! :-)

Jack Winberg

5 upvotes
john10001
By john10001 (8 months ago)

Thanks! Very interesting article. I am stuck between advanced compact and dSLR with prime lens.

I would love a Pentax K-5 or similar and love the Pentax prime lens e.g. FA31, 43, 77 and so on, and quality you get from them.

However I also like small and compact something to take anywhere. Have used Lumix LX range in the past but I really want to move to something with bigger sensor and better, dynamic range and quality now especially to work with raw files afterwards.

Around 30mm would be my ideal focal length for most situations. I do like what I see at the moment from the likes of Ricoh, Fuji, Sony, Sigma.

Price though is a big thing. A lot of the advanced compacts squeezing in these bigger sensors are extremely expensive and getting well into dSLR prices now.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (8 months ago)

I left the K-5, and my glorious Pentax FA & DA* lenses, for the far more compact Nikon V1, and not regretted it one moment.

But, there are moments when a bigger sensor is essential, so I went the whole hog, and got myself a D600 - a good combination I think! The AF-S VR 80-400 II works just as well on the updated V1, as on the D600, and it is an amazing lens, as sharp from edge to edge, as in the middle.

0 upvotes
Ronald A Yorko
By Ronald A Yorko (8 months ago)

Agree with most of what you said. However, plugging the Fujifilm X100S as an alternative to a DSLR with a short lens doesn't really cut it with the points you are trying to make.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (8 months ago)

It's smaller - that's really the only point I was making.

0 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (8 months ago)

I don't think the point is that it is a replacement for a DSLR, just that you don't always need a DSLR..

Anyway, refreshing article - thank you. I also use my EPL-2 (bought half price in a sale) as my "lightweight" camera, rather than my APS-c Canon, it gets used more and more these days and to be honest the IQ is equally good for most (not all) situations.

0 upvotes
RogerCooke
By RogerCooke (8 months ago)

Barney is coming out! Great article, thanks.

0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (8 months ago)

Airline restrictions on baggage weight, plus the sheer inconvenience of carrying around heaps of stuff, are reasons many carry no cameras at all, but only their phones.

How does one set up a camera with a 300mm lens to capture a plane, passing near the ground at perhaps 150 mph, just as it crosses the frame? Shoot wide, then crop, would seem to be the only hope.

0 upvotes
john10001
By john10001 (8 months ago)

I think you're right because it can't have been panning on a tripod as the captured background doesn't have motion just blur. The propeller blades also have no motion they are just fixed and dead. It would be difficult to capture this panning on a tripod even with burst mode and allowing enough of a slow shutter to capture motion of the propeller and background and at 300mm.

0 upvotes
Gustav52
By Gustav52 (8 months ago)

Maybe there are many many reasons to prefer a small camera, but try to shot under the sunlight, or worst with the sun at your back. For sure you won´t see anything at your small screen. For outdoor shots you need a good real viewfinder, and it means a medium or large camera.

1 upvote
dokworm
By dokworm (8 months ago)

No, it really doesn't.
With the sun at my back the view through the Fuji X100 viewfinder is perfect. Even better, in low-light situations where I can't even see what I am shooting, the image is bright and clear in the viewfinder. These new cameras have excellent viewfinders, there is no need for a medium or large camera on that score.

1 upvote
Fatal Farter
By Fatal Farter (8 months ago)

I've been using digital cameras since 1999, and I can tell you that for sports photography, a DLSR is an absolute must!

9 upvotes
Fatal Farter
By Fatal Farter (8 months ago)

Anyone else thinks the colours for the rooftop party shot with the Sony Cyber-shot RX100II isn't so nice?

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

Actually my biggest issue with the RX100 II is the colours. They are sometimes not to my taste, and, if the RX100 RAWs are anything to go by, not well adjustable. May be just a personal thing, but I do prefer OOC Canon colour.

2 upvotes
alex904
By alex904 (8 months ago)

It's definitely a "personal thing" because raw "not adjustable raw" does not make any sense.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

Please read what I actually wrote. Why did you deliberately remove the word "well", as in "not well adjustable"? What I find with my RX100 raws is that you can make smaller adjustments than you can with other raw files before they begin to go haywire. I have recently sold my original RX100 to buy the Mark II. It is useful for portability. But I am not kidding myself about its IQ. And the raws are indeed less flexible in both Lightroom and Capture One.

2 upvotes
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (8 months ago)

Good article. I think I have one more 'large' camera left in me. By the time I'm done with that, 'small' cameras will have improved even further. Then I might 'go small'.

1 upvote
skysi
By skysi (8 months ago)

These arguments are futile and a waste of time. For what I care you can shoot with a soap box after you drill a hole in it. I'll be shooting with my Canon 5D mark III or my Panasonic pocket cam if I feel like it. Or even my phone.
And I do not feel any need to justify my choices or bash other cameras, DSLR or otherwise.

11 upvotes
John Cal
By John Cal (8 months ago)

What a wonderful Seafire shot.

6 upvotes
Anirut J
By Anirut J (8 months ago)

Well ... Just use the right tool for the right job.

There's nothing to preach (or brag about), really. It's simple common sense that doesn't require any 'big names' to tell us what to do.

3 upvotes
AlexCHStudio
By AlexCHStudio (8 months ago)

Any camera is just a tool. The only thing that matters is to have an appropriate tool for a job. You can do everything you need with just a screewdriver - that is totally fine with me, but I need a whole bunch of other instruments, including a hammer, to do my job. What we are talking about?

7 upvotes
Alternative Energy Photography

"What we are talking about?"

Bubble levels. :D

1 upvote
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (8 months ago)

When people stop smoking, find God or lose a great deal of weigth a certain Messiah-like spirit comes over them..

They feel compelled to tell everyone about the error of their ways, and how they know the only truth.. That they are right.

Freakin' tirin' is what it is.

Let people enjoy what they use. Can't help but feel that many of you posters feel the need to justify your purchases to everyone else. That's fine. But stop bashing others choices.

I have a Fuji X, a Nikon Dslr and a Oly M43.
There is no chance in hell of the latter eclipsing the Nikon in any way shape or form. It is however refreshingly fatigue-free to carry around all day.

Stop kiddin' yourselves.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Cal22
By Cal22 (8 months ago)

I totally agree to Barnaby Britton! It has always been a privilege to enthusiasts to shoot just for fun without having to carry around a heavy-weight equipment. And now, as mirrorless cameras are competing with DSLRs as to image quality, I guess more and more professionals begin to wonder why to stick to bulky DSLRs and all that heavy stuff they come along with. Of course, there are situations you'd still prefer a DSLR to a compact, but they are becoming fewer.

I have suggested Ricoh lately to give its GR a sibling with a short tele lens (or short tele zoom). Such two compacts with accessories (wide conversion lens, EVF ...) could be chosen as companions by many street and travelling photographers and other photographers, by enthusiasts and professionals likewise.

1 upvote
Cal22
By Cal22 (8 months ago)

Oh, sorry for my mistake in the name: It's of course Barney Britton I agree with!

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (8 months ago)

Barnaby is my full name - I go by both so don't worry!

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

Simple. If YOU can't see the difference between a little pocket camera and a DSLR, you don't need a DSLR. Personally, I need a DSLR. (And yes, I do have plenty of "pocket" cameras).

12 upvotes
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (8 months ago)

Sigma Merrill - pocket camera with MF IQ. With the exception of the D800, you can keep your pathetic DSLR.

3 upvotes
uwarow
By uwarow (8 months ago)

It's maybe because one can understand that he/she is choosing a expert compact camera.
the resume of your comment = only rich people can make good pictures

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (8 months ago)

Pathetic?

You sound bitter Jimmy.

The Merrills have first class IQ - concurred. But everything else (noise performance, handling and cam performance) is "pathetic".

Weren't you lauding the superior quality of MILC a posts below.

To rephrase you: You sound bitter. Seriously bitter.

1 upvote
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (8 months ago)

SNAP HAPPY

You need a few cups of coffee. I was lauding the superior 'build' quality of MILCs to the cheap entry level plastic toy like DSLRs. Magnesium alloy (Pentax Q, Nikon V1, Sony NEX) vs plastic entry level DSLRs by Canon and Nikon. If you can't see that, you're just another blind guide of the blind, posing as a messiah with attitude.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

"the resume of your comment = only rich people can make good pictures" A rather stupid summary, as a DSLR doesn't necessarily cost more than many of the compacts.

It's also a straw man argument. There are times I use a compact. I just don't try to kid myself that the IQ is (a) the same or (b) better. When I don't care as much about the IQ and portability takes precedence, that's one thing. But people trying to convince themselves there is IQ equivalence here, are either fooling themselves or simply unable to tell the difference. In which case a DSLR is meaningless to them.

3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

"With the exception of the D800, you can keep your pathetic DSLR." As I said, if you can't see the difference, be happy.

3 upvotes
dokworm
By dokworm (8 months ago)

I *can* see the difference. The Fuji 100S photos are *better* in nearly all respects than those out of my D90.
A DSLR is irreplaceable for sports photography and other 'long-zoom' shots. But image quality is not an argument any more, the newer cameras all have image quality far in excess of what is actually required, whether for work (I am a sports photographer) or for art. Some of the world's most famous photographs were taken with less resolution, less DR and a less sharp lens than the consumer X100s. Nearly all cameras are good enough now that the photographer is the limiting part of the equation, not the gear.

0 upvotes
Abdallah II
By Abdallah II (8 months ago)

My NEX-7 left my 5D at home then my RX100 left my NEX-7 at home

5 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (8 months ago)

Next logical step : your phone leaves your RX100 at home )

3 upvotes
uwarow
By uwarow (8 months ago)

the real high tech part is the person behind the camera who is able to see, to feel, to pack an emotion in to the becoming picture and then put in the box.

6 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

Don't tell most of the crowd here stuff like that. For them, it is ALL about gear.

6 upvotes
jimread
By jimread (8 months ago)

My FF DSLR's in the loft, I can get a just as good 16" x 20" print from my Panasonic G2.

No need to say anymore

2 upvotes
Simonsimon
By Simonsimon (8 months ago)

Has it been naughty? Do you go up there and beat it every night with the tripod?? Only joking:-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
tjbates
By tjbates (8 months ago)

I have to agree with the author and add a couple of observations that apply to my needs.
Focus
For me it's all about capturing the moment and capturing it in focus. I used to use a DSLR to capture my young kids running around playing as well as family portraits.
For years I struggled with the DSLR trying to quickly select the right focus point but found this process too slow. Also the focus points on DSLR’s don't respect the rule of thirds. I tried selecting the most accurate centre point but found my compositions were compromised when shooting action shots.
Now with my mirror-less camera, face recognition technology nails the shot in all but the most challenging situations and my compositions are way better. How is it that face recognition magically focuses sharply on the eye-ball?

Quality
The image quality of mirror-less is really good. And what's more, there should now be the question, how good is good enough?
How many of us print larger than 8x10 anyway.

2 upvotes
lds2k
By lds2k (8 months ago)

As usual it depends.

If I'm shooting something that's really important to me I take my DSLR and gear. As someone said before me you don't see the Olympics being shot with iPhones or MFT.

If I'm walking the streets I usually take MFT.

I have to be fairly desperate to use my iPhone

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

Maybe you could switch to Lumia 1020+grip?

1 upvote
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (8 months ago)

The majority of MILC sales stem from people who've been around the block and tired of packing all the bulk and weight. This is why the build quality of even the cheapest MILCs will rival a Rebel.

The 'greater portion' of people who still buy DSLRs are not photographers; they are first time ignorant buyers of entry level junk who think bigger must be better. The build quality of such DSLRs is on par with disposable film cameras of yesterday--very cheap, plastic, toy like.

14 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

Dream on.

3 upvotes
Valerie11us
By Valerie11us (8 months ago)

There's no need to insult people. Different people make different choices. There's no need to be disrespectful to people who make, in your eyes, the wrong decisions.
In the end the picture is all that matters, who cares what gear was used to make it.

4 upvotes
riknash
By riknash (8 months ago)

There are no rules saying one can't use both. It seems to be the most logical perspective to have. Perhaps one feels uncomfortable that smaller, lighter, pocket fitting cameras are quite capable in many regards? Others seem to have limited their scope of photography to exclude anything which does not work well with such a small camera design. In the case of the author, it seems the later decision was made. The author understood that some photo opportunities will not be as successful or attempted at all. Why did the author choose to cast a shadow on the use of a DSLR by stating that he hasn't used one for quite some time? The author no longer cares to photograph in situations where the DSLR would be the preferable tool. OK, good for him. In the meantime those who don't feel a need to limit their choices of tools can continue on using DSLR's when it is the right tool for the job and using also a different camera when it makes sense and fulfills some other photographic purpose.

3 upvotes
jwg63
By jwg63 (8 months ago)

I think you're reading into it things that aren't there.

The author did not indicate that he has decided to limit his "scope of photography to anything which does not work well with such a small camera design." He indicated that DSLRs had no advantage for the kinds of photography he was already doing, and that smaller cameras actually opened him more to new kinds of photography (e.g. street photography).

He openly said there was a time when he needed DSLR capabilities (e.g. for the Shane McGowan shot), but that he doesn't do that kind of photography anymore because his circumstances changed, not because he can't do it with smaller cameras.

The author described his own experiences, and clearly says "I do this" (hiking and biking), "I don't like that" (e.g. studio photography). If you take this as some kind of attack on you, or an attempt to "to cast a shadow on the use of a DSLR", I think that's something you should discuss with a therapist.

2 upvotes
Ross Murphy
By Ross Murphy (8 months ago)

Perhaps the main reason you don't carry a DSLR anymore is because you have access to all that other gear, heck I would leave my 5D Mk III at home a lot to if I could own a x100s, RX1,RX100II.

But like you say, there are times when a DSLR and fast glass is indispensable and they wont be going away anytime soon, at least not with out some new technology, perhaps one day.......

1 upvote
John De Bord Photography
By John De Bord Photography (8 months ago)

It all depends on what you shoot in the end. For wildlife subjects, obviously the Fuji is a no go. Mirrorless is awesome but it lacks the focal length of dslr's for things like sports and wildlife. I have yet to see any long exposure star shots done with the system though I am sure it is out there

0 upvotes
sigala1
By sigala1 (8 months ago)

So the author of this article is using a very expensive RX1 to take mediocre photos. I haven't learned much.

7 upvotes
RDCollins
By RDCollins (8 months ago)

I think you'd take great photos with a Brownie Instamatic!

0 upvotes
rowlandw
By rowlandw (8 months ago)

I may have bought my last dSLR (Canon 6D). I doubt that future dSLR models will make any improvement at _my_ level of ability/talent. However, I'll still watch for good lenses.

Increasingly my point and shoots are driving my dSLR usage to the margins where low light, bokeh, fast response and convenience are needed. Mostly I use my s100, EOS-M, sx40HS, and Panny LX7, and eagerly await how they or their equivalents will evolve in the future.

0 upvotes
showmeyourpics
By showmeyourpics (8 months ago)

Once again, the best camera is always the one you have with you. It often ends up being something that is easy to schlep around and fun to use. There is a never-ending supply of photographic subjects in the world for any camera system, smart phones included. i. e., try working in manual with an advanced compact for a while. Complex, expensive systems are very powerful but it's easy to trick yourself into thinking that that's all that it takes. A $10,000 Dx body and humongous tele will not get you amazing bird pics unless you firstly learn animal behavior and know exactly where and when to be (Frans Lanting shoots wild birds portraits with a wide angle lens). My part-time pro humble suggestion is: work with a compact system, participate in good workshops, be active in your photo club, learn how to properly process your pics in a decent piece of software (i.e. PS Elements), and print your very best pics with a good tabletop printer.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

"a good tabletop printer"
which is..?

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (8 months ago)

I wouldn't say PS Elements is decent piece of software, more like basic, no-thrills, kind of software.

0 upvotes
taktak91
By taktak91 (8 months ago)

It's all about right camera for the right needs. If you don't absolutely require a DSLR, and you don't want to lug all that weight around, you'll be better off with a mirrorless. I take a DSLR with me only when I feel that I'll be taking once-in-a-lifetime shots. Anything less, I'll take a mirrorless.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (8 months ago)

It's also about understanding that every camera is a compromise ...

2 upvotes
Vergilius
By Vergilius (8 months ago)

Thanks for the article. The arguments were concise and clear. You made a few points that I hadn't thought about.

1 upvote
GeminiH
By GeminiH (8 months ago)

Great article that rings true with me in many ways.

The photos are all good in their own right.

I am waiting tfor the right 'replacement' for my DSLR, to bridge to gap between it and the smartphone (which inevitably gets more day to day use, bacause its in my pocket)

In that new area, there is a new range of opportunities, and style of photography, to explore

I'd probabaly still use all 3, in different ways, as it suits me

1 upvote
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

Maybe you could switch to Lumia 1020?

1 upvote
vFunct
By vFunct (8 months ago)

People need to STOP buying so much damn equipment.

All the "photographers" need to learn the art of photography before learning the technicals of photography.

Sell ALL of your camera gear, learn to take consistently beautiful shots on your cell phone, and THEN start to worry about your gear.

There is no excuse for anyone to care about gear, when they can't even take a beautiful shot on their cell phones.

8 upvotes
GeminiH
By GeminiH (8 months ago)

Yes, a good photographer should be able to take a good photo with whatever they have at that time, no doubt about it

0 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (8 months ago)

completely ignoring your equipment is as stupid as obsessing about it.
Yes, a smart phone can work.
But if you find yourself cursing at the blasted thing then you might have hit the limit if your gear and should be looking for an upgrade.

8 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (8 months ago)

(JaFO) nailed it dead on the head.

My take--I agree if one is arguing that you don't need a Nikon D4 that a Nikon D3200 will work. Heck I got my wife a Nikon D3100/18-55mm kit with 700 actuations, a 16G SD card and a spare battery for $270 last month. That's really all you need to start taking quality photographs. Obsessing about how it compares to a D3200 or D7100 etc if you're new at photography is pointless. To that end, I agree. Or, you can pick up a Sony NEX-C3 kit for cheap & it's smaller.

But a smartphone? Come on already. We're not teens posting selfies in the bathroom mirror for crying out loud. If you were taking up golf, would you go to the golfing range with broom poles & 25 cent balls from a bubble gum machine?

3 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

Yes, I would -- but I'd also wear my clown suit to go with the gum machine balls.

1 upvote
TrickTheLight
By TrickTheLight (8 months ago)

I thought "stop buying so much equipment" was going somewhere I could agree with, but no. Stop buying and lugging so much equipment. When I lug a lot of gear, 90% of it stays in the bag, so now I just unpack what I need. Usually that's the camera, and maybe one spare lens in a belt pouch. The camera on a black rapid strap, and a spare lens in a belt pouch just isn't that much to carry around. It gets heavy when you add 15 pounds of camera bag, and an 8 pound packpack of other stuff, but the camera itself isn't a burden.

I've done 4 18 hour days at a convention with my 1dmk4 and 24-70 lens and not felt burdened in the least. In fact, the compact camera that I was also carrying was more in the way, because I kept pulling it out when I thought I was getting my phone.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

It's harder to take a good shot with a cell phone than a camera!
Get a grip!

1 upvote
hassan10s
By hassan10s (8 months ago)

At the end of the day photography is about the image and what that image does for you. If you like the image, and enjoyed taking it, who cares what you took it with?

6 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

You're correct 100%. Perfectly spoken.
As to the question, well -- everyone who wants to know what the gear was after reviewing the photos on a sub-atomic microscope so they can argue about whether something else wouldn't have done a better job in online forums like this one.

0 upvotes
Tandua
By Tandua (8 months ago)

watch worldwide shipment report (DLSR vs MR)

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/7424/camera-sales-history#Item_2

Trend up : DSLR
Trend down: MR ...and compact (for smartphone IMHO)

if you like light camera..buy it
if you want...take it easy..smartphone

golden hour? for others
lee filters? for others
study the light? for others
portrait made by steve Mc.? for others

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Eurodynamica
By Eurodynamica (8 months ago)

............and the camera in your hand is the one that gets the shot. Something that slips into your pocket is more likely to end up in your hand.

4 upvotes
TrickTheLight
By TrickTheLight (8 months ago)

With the right carry system, my hand is on my camera when it is at rest, while the compact in my pocket is slow to come out, and slow to turn on.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

And I have a friend who explains that a NEX is so light that he carries two of them and doesn't change the lens
...too slow!

1 upvote
lmtfa
By lmtfa (8 months ago)

A sensible article. Wow, the Sony RX100II sure makes some nice photos. Its so expensive though @ $749 or even getting the older brother RX100 @ $629.

1 upvote
Shunda77
By Shunda77 (8 months ago)

Photography is about compromises, you choose your gear and you makes your choice.

These articles are always written like some revolution is afoot, well sorry, the laws of physics don't change.

What does change is technology and that simply means more choice in choosing your compromise, which is great.

7 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

A compromise:
(A) amateur photographer
(B) best photographer
(C) cheap photographer
which one will an average person choose?
hint: (A) works for free...

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (8 months ago)

I guess articles like this tick off all the people that have sunk a load into a DSLR system and think they should carry it all around all day to justify the investment.

But CSC cameras for the most part have IQ indistinguishable from DSLRs. In fact in some cases better because the AF is generally more accurate, even if not so good for moving stuff.

As a travel camera I don't see my Fuji X-e1 as a compromise, I see it as an entirely viable alternative. And I have owned six APSC DSLRs over the years.

The D800 does of course have the edge, but not all the time. Sometimes it's like trying to drive a Mercedes S class through little mountain roads in France.

8 upvotes
Total comments: 590
12345