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
RichardPalmer
By RichardPalmer (8 months ago)

I took this photograph of Paloma Faith from the audience, using a Panasonic Lumix TZ5.

http://s284.photobucket.com/user/Fame-And-Fortune/media/Paloma%20Faith/Paloma29.jpg.html?sort=2&o=16

I'm not suggesting that if I'd been able to get into the photographers pit and use a DSLR, then I wouldn't have got an even better result, but I have hundreds of photographs like this all taken under similar circumstances, and so to say that DSLRs are the only way to get good results is simply wrong. They often make the job easier, and I guess if you are relying on your camera to make a living then you can't take chances, but that's not the same as saying DSLRs are the only tool you should use.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

I have used (and still using) all categories of cameras; compact, micro 4/3s, APS-C and full frame DSLRs. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

It may not be the lightest choice but if I have to carry just one camera with one lens, it would still be my Canon 5D MkII or III with my Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 lens (or the Zeiss 25mm f2.0 lens).

Anything else is a compromise. Perhaps, I am so used to the much better image quality. The results alone is worth the slight inconvenience.

(Nikon users may use their D600 for the same benefit.)

0 upvotes
deano7000
By deano7000 (8 months ago)

I'm in a similar boat. Depends what you want to compromise on I guess. These days, I find myself walking around with my 6D with the 40mm pancake. It's light enough for me to be reasonably spontaneous, and the full-frame advantage means that I can still shoot at ISO 5000 at night on the streets and get a usable shot (web-usable anyway). I'd love a wider pancake (cos 40mm isn't _quite_ wide enough) but as a walking-around rig, it's OK.

2 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (8 months ago)

Personally, I would not be satisfied with the image quality of these photos. However, I can agree with 1: I hate carrying all that weight.

3 upvotes
Mcmx
By Mcmx (8 months ago)

"These photos"? There are totally different photos in the article, taken with different cameras. What's wrong with the Rx1 photo of the lighthouse, for example?

5 upvotes
maxola67
By maxola67 (8 months ago)

After Canon 5d + its bulky USM lens any ILC camera would look light as air.
But if you try Pentax K5 + Ltd lens the comparisons with ILC wouldn't be so impeccable.
Add attachable EVF to any ILC(to make shooting as comfortable as with DSLRs) and you will see dimension/weight values become rather close to middle range DSLRs.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (8 months ago)

No, they don't. K-5 (without the lens) is 3 times heavier than Ricoh GR. Add a lens, and it's maybe 5 times heavier, and doesn't fit in the pocket.

5 upvotes
Model Mike
By Model Mike (8 months ago)

@ET2 a GR with a poxy optical viewfinder... not a fair comparison. K-5 II with pancake is a good and flexible compromise if you prefer to use just one camera.

1 upvote
Marvol
By Marvol (8 months ago)

"Add attachable EVF to any ILC"

You're creating a false dichotomy, as if there are only DSLRs and ILCs with screens. Plenty of ILCs have a built in EVF or a hybrid VF. No need to compromise on size at all there.

If you think my NEX-6 with 16-50mm collapsible zoom has dimensions and weight "rather close close to mid range DSLRs", you should've gone to Specsavers. Plus an EVF is, to me, more useful than an OVF (overlay horizon, WB preview, exposure preview, peaking for MF...)

1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (8 months ago)

Hmm, washed out colors in the night shot and the distorted face of the woman?

I agree that it is nice to go light on a bike and sometimes hiking, but generally DSLRs are just so much more versatile and a APS-C DSLR with a good lens (let's say 35mm) is a lot lighter than your hiking boots. Also the extra weight will give you some healty excercise :-)

Btw. on my the last holiday in Prag and Italy/Piemonte 3 out of 4 people were using DSLRs. Besides DSLRs I only saw P&S cameras a few Nikon 1s, a single OMD and then of course some people using mobile phones which are only usable in good light.

I think the reason for using a DSLR is obvious because you get the best value for money.

And Barney, you can't be serious about the noise - a D3200 for instance is actually not noisy at all.

3 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (8 months ago)

There is plenty of analysis/speculation as to why DSLRs are still more popular than ILCs.

Two of the most likely sounding are the conservatism amongst the 'general population' of DSLR buyers - they basically follow your reasoning: "I see 75% of people with a DSLR, therefore, these must be good" and the marketing that the two most popular brands are putting into protecting their highly profitable DSLR sales, i.e. advertisements and making their DSLRs available in every outlet they can.

3 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

Fact is you couldn't be everywhere at once in Prague / Italy at one time, so you saw a very very small portion of people shooting with a certain camera. Across town people may have been using mirrorless and compacts -- you'd never know. Point is you can't say that the whole country would vote to legalize marijuana just because 50 people in California were polled for their opinion.

APS-C isn't a sensor size limited to DSLRs now, nor is good glass. The only thing lacking in the small camera segment is fast AF tracking for moving subjects, and OVF

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

Actually, my dSLR and lens weigh more than my current hiking boots. (Light boots make happy feet except in the most challenging terrain!) And the ASP-C sensor in my NEX 6 turns out IQ that rivals most of the dSLRs I have ever shot with (which has been quite a few). DSLRs are still the right tool to use sometimes. It is just no longer axiomatic that a mirrorless is not a viable tool if you are looking for excellent IQ.

0 upvotes
Thar
By Thar (8 months ago)

http://petapixel.com/2013/07/15/the-dslr-camera-market-is-now-bigger-than-point-and-shoots/

0 upvotes
Stitzer23
By Stitzer23 (8 months ago)

if i had the RX1, RX100, X100s at my disposal like the reviewer, I wouldn't ever need a DSLR, much less "for months"

4 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (8 months ago)

I do, and I do.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

@Barney Britton
There is no reason why a lowly GH1 could not easily do the Shame McGowan image, I've shot in nightclubs and at weddings for ages and usually get better shots than the canikon folks I'm working along side.Lose the myth.......

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

I didn't know you were at the show!

2 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (8 months ago)

I had a GH1. Biggest disappointment. Got rid of it.

ISO 12,800? Forget it. Wouldn't use it at ISO 1600 in decent light. FYI, GH1 only goes up to ISO 3200!!!!!

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JWest
By JWest (8 months ago)

There's nothing "lowly" about a GH1, but if you want to get a concert shot like the above, stick a 45-200 on the front and it's hardly light and compact any more is it? I'd also love to see how it copes with a low-light shot like the one shown. 3,200 ISO hardly cuts it for shots like that.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
herebefore
By herebefore (8 months ago)

Im still trying to put together a "day kit" that will fit into a large "fanny pack".
I should be receiving the smallest of the 4/3 "Pen" cameras today.. If I can fit it with the 14-42 and the 40-150 along with a spare battery and memory chip I will be a really happy camper.
Camera: Olympus EPM2.
I've got lots of DSLRs but I cant fit them anywhere thats unobtrusive and just walk around all day and grab whatever shots I want..
If it all fits and works out, I'll invest in better lenses (Like the 75 and a 30) and replace the kit lenses in the walk-around kit.

0 upvotes
Bill Donnell
By Bill Donnell (8 months ago)

35mm portraits at arms length, showing such an example and saying it is ideal is ridiculous. Take a look at the picture of the lady again. Look at her huge head on such a small body? Was she born deformed or was it caused by the distortion of a short focal length lens? I'll bet on the lens, but I'll give you the benefit of a doubt. Maybe she was a dwarf.

3 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (8 months ago)

A portrait can be taken with any lens. There isn't a focal length that is absolutely decided upon. You are the photographer, not the lens or the organisation of 85mm photographers. Shoot what you want, how you want.

4 upvotes
matty_boy
By matty_boy (8 months ago)

I can appreciate a lot of what the author says as its something I've wrestled with for quite some time. Im not sure this kind of overreaction is relevant though. There doesnt appear to be a great deal wrong with the picture, that i can see. Maybe what you saw was distorted by your rage?

2 upvotes
Marvol
By Marvol (8 months ago)

The author explicitly says he dislikes staged portraits.

Your ideal (or rather idée fixe) seems to be that every portrait should be taken with a 85 mm f1.4. Think about how that would work out in the situation with that lady in the pub.

My guess is that photo would have never been taken at all. Which would be a bigger shame than having some distortion in an otherwise very nice picture.

1 upvote
GarageBoy
By GarageBoy (8 months ago)

I agree that portraits can be taken with any focal length, but arms lengths with a 35mm equivalent is not flattering with most people. 35mm is awesome for environmental shots (full body in a setting)

2 upvotes
DVT80111
By DVT80111 (8 months ago)

OMG. I need to sell all DSLR lenses quick before the mass exodus.

0 upvotes
cosmerodrigues
By cosmerodrigues (8 months ago)

I already got a D90 and a D50 and severall lenses, flashes etc...but that gear is heavy, bulky, capts to much attention. So, most of the time I like to take pictures with my little Nikon P300, it's light, sillent, small, fits in every bag, has f1.8 at 24mm, and 24-100mm is more then enought for normal photography and a big reason to leave the DSLR at home.
So, next big buy: Fujifilm X100S or Nikon D600?
If I had the money, would buy both. Maybe the Fuji would give an "extra kick" in my photo hobby...

1 upvote
TrickTheLight
By TrickTheLight (8 months ago)

So, leave all that extra gear at home, and just use the camera, like you do with the compact. It's like an all you can eat buffet, take all you can eat, eat all you take.

0 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (8 months ago)

Your shot of the Seafire is very very nice. You clearly have good panning and trigger finger to get the good result of a very fast aircraft!

I like your 5mp Canon shot, low in resolution but very good quality lens.

Your Fujifilm shots are very, very good too.

Sadly, your good craftmanship was let down by the use of the iPhone. Trees don't move as fast as the aircraft, but the i phone just couldn't get it. LOL

I agree with you as far as DSLR usage. I bought an OM-D plus an adapter for Nikon glass. I tend to use this about 60% of the time now. However, I took the Nikon with an 80 - 400mm to shoot some very fast moving subjects, ..... Heaven to use, .... Love the pentaprism and crisp predictable shutter release!.
I also shoot with Linholf Karden Master "L" system 5" x 4" and medium format.
When you just nail the superb shot with dedicated equipment, It's a big let-down to look at even the best from phones. I think iphone is in the lower IQ of the phone brigade.

Regards, ....Baz

0 upvotes
icexe
By icexe (8 months ago)

I have both a Pentax K-5 and an Oly OM-D. I love them both, and use them about equally, but it is entirely dependent on the situation.

I love the controls, handling and responsiveness of the K-5. I also love using an honest to goodness optical viewfinder, no EVF will ever come close to an OVF IMO. It's a beautiful, well-made camera. But because of size it's a camera I only take with me when I specifically want to go out and take pictures.

I love the OM-D for it's compactness and the beautiful images it makes straight out of the camera, very little post-processing usually. I can pack the camera and 5 lenses into a ridiculously tiny shoulder bag. But I just can't get quite as comfortable with the controls, even with the additional hand grip, and it goes through batteries at a frightening rate. Forget fast shooting or tracking with it too. But it's the camera I grab when going out to dinner or on a casual stroll.

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

I'm with you on the OM-D. I don't have big hands by any stretch of the imagination, but I do find the controls a bit of a squeeze. I really don't like to power switch where it is; it's just not natural for me. Nikon power on is right at the Shutter release button, exactly where you need it for fast grabs. Not, "Turn round 180deg take one step, Go over the edge and follow the drop till you get to the bottom, Turn Left and move one step, change hands for support, switch it on, Reverse the process to find the shutter button again!" Like most of us, we pick up our cameras with our Right hand, shutter finger already on the button, {Thats where it should be} Your Pentax K5 is a very good camera I'm told, Pentax have always been good. Good Glass. Cheers Baz

1 upvote
herebefore
By herebefore (8 months ago)

I agree icexe..

During this time of year, the wife and I often go to the local Beach and have dinner on the porch of the "Beach House" (out of the sun, but right on the water, with a splendid view).

If I were to bring one of my DSLRs with me, my wife wouldnt be a "happy camper", but a camera and a lens or two that hang in a pouch at my waist, or in a pocket.. She is OK with that.

1 upvote
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (8 months ago)

This article is meant to get attention..nothing more...sooo you've succeeded, this time. I believe that this article is short-sighted and irresponsible. You keep shooting with whatever you please..and I will continue to shoot with my 85 1.2L and 5DmkIII and amuse myself at the end of each day with a glass of rum, my images on my 27" iMac...and the ramblings of another so-called "photographer" that for some reason thinks that his opinion matters...all of these crummy little Pen Cameras and Mirror-less this and that cameras are meant to draw people away from Cellphones...Amen

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
SAERIN
By SAERIN (8 months ago)

Show some of your 85 1.2L and 5DmkIII images in your gallery.
There is lots of space for it because it's empty.

14 upvotes
waitformee
By waitformee (8 months ago)

Actually. what define a PRO is what photo they produce. U do not define a PRO just by having a expensive DSLR. A lot of PRO does not like small cameras but it is true that camera are getting smaller and better. It is really not about the camera. It is about the photographer.

If you insist on your thinking then is medium size is more PRO then full frame?

2 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (8 months ago)

Oh well, I suppose one day you will discover what a real screen can produce, .... imac is OK for the run of the mill I suppose. Dose nothing for an image out of an 80mp Leaf back.

Ai leas these guys and girls are out shooting not throwing bombs like one third of the world. Lighten up lad it's all democratic fun.

2 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (8 months ago)

It must be wonderful to give worship simply by looking in the mirror!

I guess you make sense considering you are using a mid-range camera, (no where near the Pro Canon equipment) I can certainly understand you requiring a Glass of Rum every day just before you look at your iMac. ..... Then I guess it'a back to the mirror for some more self-worship. Could you please post a pic of your self, ... I'm sure we would all like to see you.

2 upvotes
ClickJohnClick
By ClickJohnClick (8 months ago)

This article is an opinion piece. Barnaby Britton's actions and reasoning don't mesh precisely with the way I make pictures, but I still respect the effort he has gone to in producing this article.

It is articles like this that make DPR such a rich and entertaining site.

1 upvote
bgbs
By bgbs (8 months ago)

Do you shoot professionally? I do not bring a mirrorless to any of my client work, and they certainly don't expect me to. But I agree, mirrorless is my go to camera when I'm shooting around for pleasures sake.

1 upvote
waitformee
By waitformee (8 months ago)

what has shoot professionally to do anything with the camera?
U think small camera cannot be more expensive then a DSLR?
or small camera cannot produce a better photo then DSLR?

3 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (8 months ago)

As professional, you must have a website. Could you. please give us a link? I would love to see your work.

1 upvote
dutch3dmaster
By dutch3dmaster (8 months ago)

I fully concur! Several years ago I bought a Canon 5D MkII, but it was used only once. Quite a different experience compared to my Leica M6! The weight was killing me (and I did not like the image quality either, but that must have been my fault). These days I use Sony NEX's and Olympus PEN's. Wonderful camera's. And, oh, do I looooove that Sony RX100 :-)

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (8 months ago)

You bought a 5d MkII and used it only once? This is really weird.

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Unless you are a pro, you can really do just fine with Mirrorless system. I mean really, lets take for example E-P5.
1.You can shoot f2, ISO 6400 handheld at 1/8 second - thats pretty much pitch black. (due to great IS system)
2. You can shoot f2, ISO 100 at 1/8000 of a second, which means wide open in bright sunlight.
3. One of the fastest AF, sharp lenses, Wifi, custom buttons, easy MF, etc.
You can have a body with 24/2, 50/1.4, 90/1.8 all at around 2 lbs, and fit it all in a tinny little bag. I'd kill for this set up 5 years ago.

Just few month ago I gave similar advise to my relative who asked, what camera to buy. What did he buy?... an SLR of course... why? he said it looked Professional. How many times did he take it out so far? Zero... When I asked him why, he said, its too big and too heavy... I know... I carried 5D and 4 lenses with me on many vacations.

Mirrorless is really just getting started, first few years were more of a tryout, and no competition, but now - GAME-ON

4 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (8 months ago)

Vadimka, you mean you can have a body with 24/4, 50/2.8, 90/3.6? If you are using focal length in 35mm equivalent, why not use the equivalent aperture numbers (to compare DoF and image noise at given shutter speed). Otherwise it's better to use the actual numbers, e.g. 12/2, 25/1.4, 45/1.8.

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

You are correct my friend, from DoF perspective. I should have used those numbers instead. Here is the interesting fact. I shoot 24mm lenses at f4-f8 almost exclusively. I shoot 50mm lenses at f2-f4 almost exclusively and 80-90mm lenses at f2.8-f4 almost exclusively. I used to log around 5D with Leica 80/1.4 and mostly shot it at f2.8-f4 and this package weigh at 3 lbs. Now I can have similar results with m4/3 with 90/f3.6 at about 1 lbs.

Like I said before, if you are an FF user and can't live without it, then mirrorless is not for you, just yet.

2 upvotes
ppastoris
By ppastoris (8 months ago)

agreed

0 upvotes
Xoom
By Xoom (8 months ago)

DSLR? Heck, I haven't touched my compact camera in months. I just spent 2 weeks in California on family vacation. Took the compact camera but it was iPhone straight to FB everyday.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

Time to switch to Lumia 1020!

1 upvote
biza43
By biza43 (8 months ago)

No surprise here. For the type of photo example in the article, people do not need a DSLR. Todays CSC, some compacts, and even smartphones, will do. This is not new. For decades people have been using smaller than SLR cameras, compacts are not new. Good compacts are not new. Mirrorless cameras are not new, we had them since the film days.

Horses for courses.

2 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (8 months ago)

Exactly. In the days of film we had everyone using the exact same sensor (so to speak) and there were still compacts, SLR's and mini cams. I don't know why everyone thinks this is something new. Phones are new in that respect though but those that needed a SLR's 15 years ago will still need one today.

0 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (8 months ago)

The sale of dslr is unlikely to slow down in the next few years. Nikon and Canon are making cheap consumer grade lightweight dslr. When the average consumer wants to buy a good camera, dslr offers the best value in terms of IQ, features and price.

1 upvote
limlh
By limlh (8 months ago)

The sale of dslr is unlikely to slow down in the next few years. Nikon and Canon are making cheap consumer grade lightweight dslr. When the average consumer wants to buy a good camera, dslr offers the best value in terms of IQ, features and price.

0 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (8 months ago)

The sale of dslr is unlikely to slow down in the next few years. Nikon and Canon are making cheap consumer grade lightweight dslr. When the average consumer wants to buy a good camera, dslr offers the best value in terms of IQ, features and price.

0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

Yes, DSLR is on a decline... its quiet simple... its a fact... it will take some time, but in a matter of 3-5 years we will have most of them gone. Those that remain will be only High-End machines, equivalents of todays' Nikon D4 etc.

I don't really know, why is it so difficult for people to understand. SLRs were created to solve the problems that View Camera, Rangefinders and TLRs had.
Today mirrorless systems solve all of those without Mirrors and Prism, annoying mirror slap and shake.

Is there any DSLRs today that better some Mirrorless cameras? You bet, but don't forget that SLRs has been around for 70 years and Mirrorless is only 5 years old. As we will get better sensors that can absorb the light more keen to an emulsion and as we get better view EVFs we will see more and more pro Mirrorless.

Canon and Nikon are dragging their feet and thats not surprising, they will try to milk that DSLR cow for as long as they can. Its hard to go from top to almost bottom of the order.

12 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (8 months ago)

I'll bet you a fine dinner you're wrong. Mirror-less will do fine and will improve, but it will not be the DSLR killer you imagine. The death of the DSLR has been predicted for decades ... but it just keeps rolling along. Mirror-less sales are way down, by the way.

7 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@veroman
First off, I'm not predicting death of DSLR, (I wish I was that smart back in 2008), its happening as we speak. We don't need Mirrors and Prism, its an inconvenience. You don't need sales numbers to know that. The better EVFs get, the less SLRs will remain.
Cinematography is adopting EVFs, and can't wait to drop the Reflex.

I don't need to bet, or to prove that I'm right. All I know is that, I sold my Olympus E-3 DSLR and $3K worth of lenses back in 2009. Two years later, in 2011 I sold 5D and almost $10k worth of MF Leica and Zeiss glass. (Do I miss FF? yes, once a year maybe) Do I miss DSLR? - NO, not really. (I'm saving for Leica M240 now for the purpose of FF and since I do have lots of M lenses already)

And Mirrorless sales is not really down. Its only beaten by its own numbers from last year. And even if the numbers is not quiet there, so what? The Mirrorless is only getting serious, after its initial tryout cycle and little competition. The game is heating up.

6 upvotes
bgbs
By bgbs (8 months ago)

To be a DSLR killer, A mirrorless has to come with a DSLR equivalent mount. That means, Nikon would need to release a mirrorless camera with full frame sensor and F mount, otherwise it will take some time for mirrorless systems to mature where they can comfortably provide a gallery of lenses and accessories. A mirrorless camera is simply not equipped for studio and for most professional work.

2 upvotes
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (8 months ago)

you simply have no idea what you are even talking about....thank you

0 upvotes
HawaiiVolcanoes
By HawaiiVolcanoes (8 months ago)

i predict in 3-5 years you will find a new hobby

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (8 months ago)

@Hawaiivolcanoes
have you even shot Mirrorless, or view camera, or rangefinder?
which point do you disagree on, or you just a "pro"

0 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (8 months ago)

Ergonomics play a big part. Something compact like Sony RX100 can be very good but still be difficult to shoot with, as compared to a small setup like D40+35mm prime. The speed with which one can look into the viewfinder, lock focus and fire 2-3 shots per second can't be replicated by the new crop of 1 inchers. Now fuji X100s is quite different. Rangefinders are back in business. Fixed focal length is still a shortcoming. I see a majority of people commenting here, have a backup DSLR. So there is always an alternative. Hopefully cheaper rangefinders come out in numbers so that everyone can have one.

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

1: I hate carrying all that weight
2: Small cameras are really good now

This is what it really comes down too. I didn't plan on replacing my DSLRs with MILCs, but I did, and haven't looked back.

8 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (8 months ago)

Sounds like more of the mirrorless nonsense.

At one point, mirrorless was the next big thing. Heavily promoted by cultists and websites. The DSLR was a dinosaur, they say. Today, mirrorless is in retreat even in Japan. Why is that?

Any camera is a tool. All it means is that Barney is doing snapshots at the moment for social sharing. Will he ever return to photography as an art? Will he ever need to zoom?

Stay tuned.

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

Wow. You sound bitter.

8 upvotes
bgbs
By bgbs (8 months ago)

Although sarcastic, but you have a point.

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (8 months ago)

haha, the idea that you need a DSLR to do 'photography as an art' has made my day. If that is the argument for DSLR, then I now want to sell mine! :)

4 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (8 months ago)

For Jimmy jang

I sound TRIUMPHANT!!!!!!

It feels so good to tell the cultists, "Told Ya!"

0 upvotes
LincolnB
By LincolnB (8 months ago)

This coming from a guy who owns every Nikon from a compact to a mirrorless to an enthusiast to a full frame. And his pictures speak louder than his words.

0 upvotes
FernandoMM
By FernandoMM (8 months ago)

Good article. However, the main problem I find with compact cameras is they are slow and noisy (at least the two Canon I have) for night shots. So, I have to use my DSLR for that. I would like to have one fast compact, but don't know what to buy.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

Try a tripod - cheaper than a new camera.

0 upvotes
SAERIN
By SAERIN (8 months ago)

Ricoh GR V

2 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (8 months ago)

In reply to @calking: BAD tripods are cheaper than cameras. Good, dependable tripods and heads really start at around 500-700$. Many cost much more than that.

0 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (8 months ago)

A NEX is 10fps and a 1600 iso who don't need de-noising. Not enough for you?
The only difference is the slower AF.

1 upvote
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

@ Shigzeo: you don't need a $500 - $700 heavy duty tripod for a compact camera. You do for a DSLR & big lens. There are numerous tripods that are more than sufficient for small cameras in the $250 range.

1 upvote
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (8 months ago)

@calking. You are right. However, to be absolutely safe, a good, solid tripod/head is necessary. Of course if you are not doing long exposures almost anything will do up to 1/15 second. It's after that, when the smallest of breezes and loose head/plate tolerances throw things off.

Anyway, point of course, is taken.

1 upvote
Brazilian
By Brazilian (8 months ago)

I'm going the same direction as most of you. I have an "old" Canon 30D that I don't know what to do with. I considered to sell it but for the money I could get I prefer to keep it. I have an excellent Canon 5D Mk II but its bulky and heavy (considering also the bunch of zoom and prime lenses I used to carry). Some time ago I bought an Olympus OM-D EM-5 with three lenses and it fulfills my needs perfectly: very good image quality, it's small, light and unobtrusive.
I only use the 5D on special occasions, when its size and weight are not a problem, generally when I want to use some of my prime lenses.
But I have to admit that I miss the feeling of holding the 5D, framing the shot in his wonderful viewfinder and hear the shooting. It's probably something like choosing from a BMW and a Honda Civic: the last perfectly fits the need for transportation and is a more rational choice, but the former gives much more pleasure (if you wish to pay for it).

2 upvotes
f8andshowup
By f8andshowup (8 months ago)

Not all types of photography yield to the "small-package approach". Anything requiring seriously long lenses, for instance. Sure, I could take my Sigma 500mm 4.5 and put a smaller camera on the end with an adapter, but the portability won't improve. There are no equivalent *serious* tele lenses for these small bodies, and they will be pretty large should they ever arrive. One good point, of course, is that if I did put a high-megapixel mirrorless body on the back of my "big Sig", I would get one hell of a long reach. I just may do that one of these days.

The smaller sensor cams also have a hard time competing when it comes to ultra-low DOF shooting. There is no small(ish) sensor equivalent to a full frame DSLR with 85mm f/1.4 lens, for example. The smaller designs just can't do DOF that thin.

I'm not saying I don't lust after that new Fuji system, however...

4 upvotes
daddyo
By daddyo (8 months ago)

If you're interested in what can be done for really long telephoto field of view, check out the moon shot linked below. I shot this using my Olympus E-M5, with an Olympus EC-14 teleconverter mounted to my Sigma 50-500mm -- and I used the 2X Digital Teleconverter Function of the E-M5. That is a 35mm field of view equivalent of 2800mm. I had to back off to 2380mm to fit the moon in the frame! The referenced image is uncropped, as it come from the camera. :-)

http://www.pbase.com/daddyo/image/145004189

1 upvote
f8andshowup
By f8andshowup (8 months ago)

Digital TC huh? I have one of those too! In Photoshop, it's called "crop, image size: 200%" Takes a bit longer though.

;)

0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (8 months ago)

@f8: "Not all types of photography yield to the "small-package approach". "

Of course not. And not all types of photography yield to the DSLR approach. So?

@f8: " There is no small(ish) sensor equivalent to a full frame DSLR with 85mm f/1.4 lens, for example. The smaller designs just can't do DOF that thin."

From today's dpreview: " Panasonic today announced the LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm F1.2 lens"

Your timing is terrible. :) And your argument is paper thin: as if photos with a few cm depth of field are somehow artistic or necessary. Ask your models if they like having half of one eyebrow in focus and everything else a blur.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Leok
By Leok (8 months ago)

Actually Panasonic make a very nice 200-600mm equivalent lens thats unbelievably small by DSLR standards - it has a 67mm filter i.e is about the size & weight of some SLR "kit" lenses.

You get optical stabilization, great AF & mega image quality from a compact lens. There is nothing even close for an SLR.

There are some great primes too - the Oly 45mm f1.8 - 90mm equivalent is around $400 and gives gorgeous bokeh. Has to be seen to be believed.

Panasonic also make 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8 equivalent lenses which take 58mm filters - again amazing size, quality, performance & price... a little over $1000 each and mega sharp.

0 upvotes
camerosity
By camerosity (8 months ago)

I can't live without my D700 when I need the best quality photo I can get. But all other times, my Fuji X100 and Nikon 1 V1 can't be beat for overall portablility and quality in a small package.

1 upvote
Paul3000
By Paul3000 (8 months ago)

I love all the mentions of RX100 in these comments. I spent a month in Asia (Phils. and Singapore) and my wife was worried about bringing the 60D (damage, theft). I brought my RX100 and it was just about all I needed. Granted, I'm a low-level enthusiast shooting mainly family documentation with about 10% "art"/street/architecture. RX100 gave me the performance specs that I had been wanting for so long: low shutter lag, wide max aperture, passable burst mode, autofocus video (not found on my 60D), and consumer-enticing sweep panoramic and creative effects (gimmicks, perhaps, but you've seen the popularity).

Now I'm thinking of ditching my 60D, or downgrading to an SL1 (possibly waiting for an SL2 if it has vari-angle LCD and only when it comes down in price in anticipation of an SL3!).

Frankly, the power of the RX100 is a better match for my level of interest in photography. Also consider that many forum members will remind you of the photography possible with an iPhone.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Paul3000
By Paul3000 (8 months ago)

Because it's not the gear; it's the photographer, right? Or are we talking from both sides of our mouth?

Another thing about the RX100: I'm using a knock-off leather case, suspended by an Op/Tech sling for compacts and a Sun Sniper bolt. While you can stuff the RX100 into a loose jeans pocket, if only for a momentary free hand, you can hang it on a sling and wear it inside your jacket for a "concealed carry".

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (8 months ago)

Reads like a promotion for the cameras named, particularly the X100s.

In any event, there's something to be said for the weight of a quality DSLR. Brought to the eye, they dampen vibration, including the natural movement of one's hands and arms. Lighter cameras don't do this as well and small cameras without a viewfinder don't do it at all.

My small take-anywhere cam is the Pentax K-01 ... a superb tool. But it doesn't replace my DSLRs. Their solidity is important to me.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (8 months ago)

Reads like a promotion for the K-01

4 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (8 months ago)

Now, now ...

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (8 months ago)

K-01 isn't take anywhere camera anyway.

Pentax K-01 is 4% (4.2 mm) wider and 13% (11.7 mm) shorter than Canon Rebel SL1.
Pentax K-01 is 15% (10.4 mm) thinner than Canon Rebel SL1.
Pentax K-01 [560 g] weights 38% (153 grams) more than Canon Rebel SL1 [407 g] (*inc. batteries and memory card).

To add insult, SL1 has a viewfinder (K01 doesn't) and much better proper PDAF AF.

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

I'm pretty sure the X100S is on neverending backorder, so I'm not sure what good my 'promotion' will do anyone ;)

2 upvotes
veroman
By veroman (8 months ago)

You seem to be forgetting that the K-01 is a better camera than the SL1 ... despite its lack of viewfinder and other shortcomings. The SL1 still has that mediocre 18MP sensor, a holdover from the t2i, t31, t4i, t5i, 7D and 60D. And Pentax lenses, even their kits, are better than Canon's similar offerings. The 40mm f/2.8 that came with my K-01 is simply great edge-to-edge. Small size, light weight and a viewfinder are all very nice. But what about the image? Have we forgotten about that?

Ok ... I just wrote a promotion for the decidedly unusual K-01. And it IS a take-anywhere camera. I know, 'cause I take it anywhere!

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (8 months ago)

Funny your claim that K01 is better is based on numerical numbers posted on Dxomark (ignoring others facts that it is missing viewfinder, PDAF AF even though lenses were designed for PDAF system, etc).

But on the exact same site, most (if not all) Pentax lenses are rated lower than Canon. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

And I could have posted some other random DSLR ... for example A37 or D3100 and they aren't much bigger (if at all) than K01

For example D3100
Pentax K-01 is 2% (3 mm) narrower and 18% (17 mm) shorter than Nikon D3100.
Pentax K-01 is 21% (16 mm) thinner than Nikon D3100.
Pentax K-01 [560 g] weights 11% (55 grams) more than Nikon D3100 [505 g] (*inc. batteries and memory card).

And these cameras not only have viewfinder but proper AF too ...

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

Loved the read Barney. It's refreshing to know what one's needs are.

For myself I find that every type of camera, including film SLR's, has its place at the right ... time. I use them all but for the appropriate setting. Some I use more than others, but I don't discount any of them and find that need often varies so its good to have a variety. ;)

Carl

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (8 months ago)

Reason No. 7

I have too many cameras, I don't know what to do.

I gave them some thought, without any breath.

And clicked them all soundly, and sent them to bed.

.

6 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

I'd never have understood your reference had I not been a father and read that story about a billion times to my daughter. ;)

1 upvote
Sarciness
By Sarciness (8 months ago)

I purchased an RX-100 a few months ago, my old IXUS 220 having packed up (although, I got it fixed and I'm giving it away- labour is so cheap in China!)

For me, the RX100 was bulkier than I wanted to go- I know people here say how compact it is, but compact is relative. I want something that fits in my front pocket! However the image quality boost over something like a Canon S100 or something even smaller like my IXUS... was too large to ignore for me. I love candid shots of people as well as landscapes and night scenes, so my camera phone just doesn't cut it.

For the first time, I'm getting shots that are of decent quality. Manual controls mean that for the first time I am thinking about settings and what features of the subject I want to bring out. Essentially, the RX100 has brought me into the entry levels of photography and I'm now much more likely to purchase a DSLR becasue of that.

Let's face it, it's a great time to be a photographer!

3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (8 months ago)

The problem, of course, is high ISO performance. Quantum mechanics put a hard limit on how small a lens (or mirror) diameter can be to get a desired SNR. So even if a camera can be made tiny, the lens cannot. That's why those who build telescopes don't dream of making them pocketable one day.

2 upvotes
Joe Marney
By Joe Marney (8 months ago)

http://xkcd.com/1240/

3 upvotes
calking
By calking (8 months ago)

Except that low light shots with the fuji up to ISO 6400 are fantastic.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

"I'm getting old and not so serious about photography any more."

9 upvotes
GeraldW
By GeraldW (8 months ago)

This article resonates with me. I'm 75 now and have had a "good" camera since 1955 when I got my first 35 mm, an Argus C4 rangefinder.

Having a DSLR was THE way to go for decades. Ever since the Nikon F in 1960 and the Pentax Spotmatic series starting in 1962.

However, whether or not I can carry a full SLR kit is moot. The question is really whether or not I prefer to. I'm not a professional, I'm a hobbyist; so I don't "need" a pro level DSLR and several pro level lenses. I get to define my hobby in my own terms. If I decided my hobby consisted of trying to duplicate the feel of Cartier-Bresson's work with a Fuji 100S; would you insist I need a Nikon D4?

But, if I decided to be a professional wedding photographer and show up at your wedding with a Canon A590IS; I'm certain you would say something; probably pretty loudly. With "professionals" there are certain expectations on the part of your peers and customers. The "artsy" types are a different animal.

4 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (8 months ago)

I enjoy all the ant-dslr, small/mirror-less camera owners calling for "more op-ed articles like this". It would be especially enjoyable if a dpreview staffer wrote one with the opposite viewpoint.

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

Now there's an interesting idea... ;)

1 upvote
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (8 months ago)

Using the Nokia Lumia 1020 instead?
;-)

3 upvotes
nofumble
By nofumble (8 months ago)

Count me in. I have not touched my DSLR for about 4 months after purchase a RX100. I did touch the DSLR for couple occasions since, but that was about all.

I don't want to sell my existing DSL. In fact, I probably upgrade to Canon 70D in the future. But I stop dreaming about 6D (FF), and develop a strong allergy to heavy lenses.

I hope Canon is taking notes.

2 upvotes
Paul3000
By Paul3000 (8 months ago)

I hear you. I also have the RX100, and it's 'working' for me! All I ever wanted was low shutter lag and wide max aperture. Bonus: autofocus video, sweep panoramic, spot focus when desired, and all sorts of consumer-level perks for added fun. Canon just doesn't do "fun": I started in DSLRs with the XSi then upped to the 60D; I also gave the S95 a whirl for the f/2. Sure, a 'serious' photographer knows how to work these, but why make it feel like work? Sony and Panny seem to agree. (Not to say that business is great for them http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/global/sony-sharp-and-panasonic-report-significant-losses.html).

Love my RX100.

2 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (8 months ago)

Thanks Barnaby for that personal take in modern photography. I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of your professional career experiences with the everyman's simple pleasure of taking photographs.

The rusty car shot is my favourite.

Greg :)

2 upvotes
tko
By tko (8 months ago)

So, is Road & Track going to start reviewing tricycles? Field and Stream magnetic fishing games? Better Ammo rubber band guns? High Fidelity USB sticks?

Is there is any hobby where people choose their gear based on how convenient it is, and not how it performs?

In no other enthusiast area do I see such pandering to laziest hobbyists. I don't use the word "lazy" as an insult - I'm lazy in many areas, no big deal. There's a lot of stuff in the world I just don't care about as long as it basically works. It's perfectly OK for people to feel that way about cameras. A minimum performance tool for a job.

But why have a web site that glorifies low performance? Why not write articles about the coolest and the best?

Road & Track will occasionally test a Yugo. Once they tested a blimp. Good clean fun. But they sell magazines with test of exotic supercars. They don't write articles on why a bike is all you really need. This site, seems to want to appeal to the Yugo drivers.

13 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (8 months ago)

I don't totally disagree with your sentiments, but in it's defense DPR is hardly as esoteric as Road & Track, nor is it pretending to be something it's not. There are plenty of forums dedicated to the "dream machines".

2 upvotes
RPJG
By RPJG (8 months ago)

Way to miss the point.

3 upvotes
golfzilla
By golfzilla (8 months ago)

Went to China with my 7D and kit three years ago and swore I would never do that again. In January of this year I bought a Sony NEX-7 and a few lenses. The 7D has not been touched since. I'm trying to talk myself into selling it.

2 upvotes
ross attix
By ross attix (8 months ago)

As small cameras get better and better, this is an interesting perspective.
Great food for thought.

4 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (8 months ago)

I agree somewhat with the laziness thing, even though I've taken to using my Sony NEX-C3e more than my Nikon D5100. How many times have I heard people comment in the forums "I want better IQ but I don't want to have to learn f-stops etc." Well sorry, but yes I think that's lazy. Not everyone is an f-stop fanatic etc, but I think there's something to be said for people making at least an EFFORT towards learning the techniques, and also lighting, posing, and how to think up new ideas & such--you know, making an effort towards improvement of their skill-set vs expecting miracles with no effort made at all.

The way I figure it, if I managed to learn how to work a manual-everything Pentax K1000 35mm SLR at age 13 simply by reading books in the library (pre-Google mind you) & playing around with them in the stores, there's no excuse for people not at least TRYING to learn SOME of the techniques. Show some respect already.

LRH

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
ptox
By ptox (8 months ago)

Dull, rote snobbery.

But I'm sure you're a GREAT photographer.

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (8 months ago)

And there you have it. Striving for excellence, suggesting that maybe someone who wants to become good at something might have to actually learn some techniques and, heaven forbid, not just do the Kodak "you push the button, we do the rest," such is SNOBBERY.

Okay. I get it.

It's "snobbery" to say Tiger Woods is (or was) good at golf because he spent hours PRACTICING his techniques. Hey, I want to be as good as Tiger Woods, but WITHOUT doing ANY of that.

It's "snobbery" to say a good chef makes those special cuisines because of going to culinary school & spending hours in the kitchen. Hey, I want my food to be JUST AS GOOD but I want it in 3 minutes right out of the microwave.

I want to be a doctor but I shouldn't have to go to medical school. I want to be a journalist but I don't want to study journalism in college. I want to be an attorney but I can't pass the bar.

Yes, we're "snobs" for having some STANDARDS huh.

2 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (8 months ago)

Regarding your use of 'laziest', I must disagree. Why? Today's DSLR is much larger than SLR/rangefinder cameras of yesterday. Ditto lens size & weight. A 1990 SLR camera was light, small, and had a much better viewfinder. Today's tech is easier to use in some respects, but it requires much larger bodies.

It's not laziness that is turning consumers from the modern SLR, it's the laziness of manufacturers who think it is most important to put every single technology in a camera and lens system. They no longer really separate consumer from pro usage.

I think that last sentence will probably trip someone up, but its essence: that every available feature packed into a plastic box forces that box to get bigger.

Today's mirroless camera is closer in ergonomics to yesterday's consumer SLR. Some are much smaller, but many are similar in size whilst keeping technology high.

I'd love to see mirrorless makers design rangefinder lenses rather than small SLR lenses- for even more compact cams.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dale Garman
By Dale Garman (8 months ago)

At one point in the last couple of years I moved to a smaller camera (it even had RAW output) thinking all the things the author thought in this article especially as I traveled internationally. However, I was often disappointed with the images as the limitations of the smaller sensor and low light just made too many pictures with noise and sharpness issues. So I put it away and concentrate on my 7D. You won't get a second chance so if the image is not good, the opportunity is gone.

7 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

Plus, it depends on how you like to travel. I travel very light for clothes and stuff. I don't need two pairs of shoes. Rtc.

In a 31L pack, I carry a DSLR, 15/21/77mm lenses, compact tripod with 28mm legs, 3-way head, and enough clothes for a 2 week trip. I sometimes add a 135/2.8 or 70-300. I have to wash clothes once. I also take a Canon SX230 for fun.

Now all this weighs about 22-24 lbs. ~35 and I have three season trekking gear as well.
On the other hand, some people want daytime clothes and evening clothes and etc. If I had a suitcase full of clothes, I probably wouldn't want to carry 12-14 pounds of camera.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
NancyP
By NancyP (8 months ago)

Different cameras for different uses? Fine.

3 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (8 months ago)

I think they've run out of gold stars for such eloquent observations Nancy :p

0 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (8 months ago)

Yep, I'm with you. I'm in the process of pairing down my DSLR gear to the minimum and investing in m43 bodies and lenses due to the size, weight and IQ they have which is very much good enough for about 1/2 of what I do. It won't replace my D800 in many situations, but now my D800 doesn't need to come out all that often.

Now I'll have my FX gear for when focusing speed and IQ are a must and a m43 kit for everything else.

It's nice to have good options and be able to exercise them when appropriate.

1 upvote
Mcmx
By Mcmx (8 months ago)

And different cameras for the the same users. I have a DSLR and an x100, I'll never understand why many DLSR users react so hostile that there is something else out there. Do they feel threatened? Probably also a lack of understanding photographic history.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (8 months ago)

Horses for courses. It's perfectly feasible for someone getting out the business to shed some pounds in the gear department. We all gravitate to the tools that meet our expectations and do the job. However, this is nothing new. Even my five year old LX3 and ten year old Canon G5 produce remarkable images for casual use. You accept their shortcomings in speed and features in lieu of convenience.

However, there's nothing wrong if you're the type whom worries and must have 3 lenses and two bodies to cover all possible encounters on an outing. Whatever makes it enjoyable to you. We all share a common interest.

8 upvotes
Kendunn
By Kendunn (8 months ago)

.....and the downward spiral continues. First it was digital was better than film. It wasn't and often still not, but its easy. Now its phones instead of DSLR's. I used to take a lot of pride in using the best possible tools and materials for the job. That meant if I was at Maroon Bells I was behind my 4x5 camera. When I was doing sections of the Appalachian Trail I was using medium format. Heck it was unheard of to not even use a tripod back 15 years ago, even at moderate shutter speeds because most photographers wanted the utmost in quality.

Digital is great when I am doing something for my commercial clients or portraits, but NOT a phone camera. I have lost interest in photography thanks in part to the shortage of film supplies. Digital is just no fun and now just a job.

1 upvote
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (8 months ago)

You fail to realise that even fifteen years ago, there was a large section of population that just wanted a photo. Fifteen years ago there were small point and shoot cameras just as there are today.

There will always be the bloke/bloket who values quality first. Conversely, there will always be the snap shooter. Time won't change that. Technology won't change that.

Also, you are a pro. Not everyone is a pro. It's like a studio engineer badmouthing people on the bus listening to iPods when really they should, at the very minimum, be carrying around high-end personal recorders, external headphone amps, and using closed electrostatic or high end dynamic headphones, no matter the weight.

(BTW, the above example is realistic.)

Why can't people simply enjoy what they are using? If you enjoy and MUST always use 4*5 systems, that is great. Ditto the kid with snapping away with *gasp* the very same iPhone they are using to listen to Justin Bieber.

2 upvotes
nkarytia
By nkarytia (8 months ago)

It is awesome how much a scrappy opinion of someone from the editorial team of the dpreview affects almost anybody in here.

P.S.: Mr. Author, do you really believe that your $1000+ x100 will get through unnoticed? Really?

Shake your head and think with reason.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (8 months ago)

It seems to be a timely topic as people start to realize how good smaller system cameras and compacts have become. They are perfect for side kicks to larger systems or total solutions without a great sacrifice in breadth of uses. The venn diagram "convenient" and "capable" are overlapping more and more.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

This totally makes sense. Except having a photo test site in Seattle. For the majority of people, convenience trumps all else. And with smaller cameras being so good, you give up little, sometimes nothing. This was Oscar Barnack's plan when he built himself a small camera for mountain climbing. And looking at those shots of the Bay Bridge, I'd say you can do rather well with a compact camera.

Someone used to backpacking an 8x10 Deardorff with think a D800 is light as a feather but how many recreational photographers need or want this? Someday there will be a museum for the straps, belts and harnesses sold by ThinkTank, Tamrac and the others. I still need SLRs but if something small comes along that will work, that would be great.

2 upvotes
AmandaLynn
By AmandaLynn (8 months ago)

I totally agree on the portrait point! I've always try to take more photos of people, but I find staging and using strangers just doesn't do it for me. The best portraits I have are of people I know. Too bad I have no good photos of myself. #photogproblems haha

1 upvote
Rod McD
By Rod McD (8 months ago)

It's certainly also true for me that my DSLR is getting used less. I already use both types of camera. The DSLR is faster and more versatile at the expense of size and weight. I use a mirror-less for travel, hiking and social occasions, and the DSLR for macro, birds, wildlife and so on. It's horses for courses, and not either/ or.

1 upvote
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