Why you love your DSLR

Started Aug 16, 2013 | Discussions
paulj623
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to FrankyM, Aug 16, 2013

Well I started this thread so I will comment. I currently shoot with a FF dslr and I do have a NEX 6. The things I like about the dslr is 1. Quality is incredible with 5D3 2. Lens selection 3. The feel of a camera and being able to quickly adjust settings when shooting kids or anything for that matter. 4. Viewfinder 5. Once again the feel of the camera in your hands.

I have stressed this many times. Many say about carrying something big and heavy. I use to agree till I got a black rapid sling strap. Now with the FF dslr and my 24-105L with this strap I barely notice I am carrying a camera. With the standard strap I agree.

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Ron Poelman
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It works.
In reply to paulj623, Aug 16, 2013

and is a pleasure to use because it was designed to do a job,
not fit a marketing niche.

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huksywolf
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I have big lenses!
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

Both TS-E 17mm f/4 and EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS are big.

I have both 5D2 & M. They require the heavier 5D2 for balance.

And 5D2 OVF feels more natural to use, operation is responsive and battery last for a long time because you don't need LCD or EVF.

5D2 is full frame so it's irreplaceable for me. If one uses a cropped dSLR with slow lenses, they will be better served with any mirrorless cameras.

Also, it looks like many new (low cost) lenses are very bad optically especially wide angle and m43 has built in lens correction computation built in the system.

I prefer nice glasses if possible.

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Draek
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

Because I have one, and it works.

Unlike the overwhelming majority of people around this forum, I don't shoot either landscapes or BIFs -- I'm an amateur portraitist, and that means I not only don't care for AF speed, the only reason I even use the AF module to begin with is that the damned things have proved to be far more accurate than I could ever be with my hands and eyes. Likewise, I don't care at all for specialized lenses; super-telephotos, ultra-wides, tilt&shifts or fisheyes don't interest me beyond the obvious appeal of "new shiny toy!", with a fast normal and a fast short tele being more than enough to fill my needs.

So, why do I have a SLR? because they're an older, mature technology, which means if you're willing to step back a generation or two you can find some really nice stuff for very low prices -- my Sony A390 might use the even older sensor of the A350, but at base ISO (a portraitist's bread and butter) its files were a good match for any of its contemporaries, and still compare well against more recent cameras. And the SLR technology being older means you have access to a wealth of AF lenses available at prices close to its manual brethren, such as the nice and lovely Minolta 50/1.7 I use most of the time in front of my camera which cost me less than $100.

Would I be able to do the same work I do with a NEX-6 and a 50/1.8 OSS? yeah. An E-PL5 and a 45/1.8? same. A NX20 and a 85/1.4? hell yes. But my A390 works, my little Minolta works, and both of them were cheaper than the alternatives.

Still, I don't deride mirrorless owners -- the opposite, in fact: in my opinion, if you're going to spend money on costlier cameras, for most photographers it makes more sense to do so for the ergonomic advantages of a good mirrorless than simply to get a larger sensor or more shots per burst.

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ZorSy
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to Telhma, Aug 17, 2013

Telhma wrote:

Today we are connected a lot to social media, and not that much to the photobook annymore, we do not go show off our pictures when we get back home, but when we are on our holliday here the smartphones wins big, you take the picture, and 3min later you get your first like.

Sorry nothing much against your post in general, but this sentence got me thinking.

Don't we go on holidays to get AWAY from friends and relatives and FORGET about them while there, enjoying the moment for ourselves? Unless the holiday is show-off (that's what I consider FB is for). I go on holidays because I LIKE it there, don't need anyone liking me for being there (wouldn't you think?).

Actually, I don't even need phone on holidays.....(well, my 13 y.o REALLY got on my nerves few months back on Euro-trip, constantly being on the phone every time we sat somewhere (free wi-fi). In other words, if one is 13, I'd guess that's OK. If over 30, grow up...). This "social envy" used to be characteristic for small town mentality - now big city folk have to show off that something is actually happening in their lives. Small town folks meet in the local pub or at the BBQ....Big city people go to the pub, take selfie and send the pictures to their virtual friends....who, you guess,  "like it"!?

Oh, BTW, people across the Europe, when it comes to the use smartphones in public (read cafe, restaurants and god forbid pubs), are not even close to what's happening here in Sydney - I reckon we no longer know how to enjoy the moment, just  for ourselves....

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FrankyM
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

paulj623 wrote:

Well I started this thread so I will comment. I currently shoot with a FF dslr and I do have a NEX 6. The things I like about the dslr is 1. Quality is incredible with 5D3 2. Lens selection 3. The feel of a camera and being able to quickly adjust settings when shooting kids or anything for that matter. 4. Viewfinder 5. Once again the feel of the camera in your hands.

I have stressed this many times. Many say about carrying something big and heavy. I use to agree till I got a black rapid sling strap. Now with the FF dslr and my 24-105L with this strap I barely notice I am carrying a camera. With the standard strap I agree.

I appreciate the emotional attachment you have for your DSLR. The point I was trying to make is that I don't personally like carrying a lot of gear on holiday. It's more to do with how I approach photography than the gear itself.

Having said that I find that the OMD (with the grip) has a wonderful 'feel' too and great IQ so in that sense I don't miss a DSLR-

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tko
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mirrorless are less serious . . .
In reply to MJJSevilla, Aug 17, 2013

MJJSevilla wrote:

People who haven´t used recent mirrorless cameras can exaggerate differences between DSLRs and mirrorless. For example, I see a comment implying that bulb mode or filters are the sole preserve of DSLRs (¿!?) and the line in the OP about "why would you leave your best camera behind on vacation" which is certainly news to me because I´ve had no problem using filters or bulb mode with my Fuji X Pro compared to a DSLR or once felt that I was missing out by not using a DSLR after a month´s photography trip to Iceland.

On the other hand, the only benefit of mirrorless is weight. They're even more expensive.

The ops point is that the dSLR IS the best camera, although a mirrorless might be . . . adequate. Why would you leave you best camera at home if your serious?

But I think many mirrorless users don't own a dSLR, in which case their best camera is a mirrorless, rendering the implications moot. The question only applies to dSLR owners who take a lesser camera on vacation, a question I've wondered.

Let me see. Use a point and shoot in Bali, Hong Kong, Guilin, Taipei, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand, but use a  dSLR to take photos of my cat and dog? That's the issue the op brought up.

The Fuji´s advantages are weight and size. One crucial factor which I never see mentioned in these discussions, is the weight not just of the camera and lenses but also the tripod. The tripod I use for my X Pro is substantially lighter than the tripod I used to use for my Hasselblad X Pan rangefinder (which is a rather heavy and brick like body even though the lenses were light) or my Nikon D2X both of which I sold. When you get up at 2am and then do a 20km round trip up and down hills in the middle of nowhere, that becomes extremely significant - and I´m younger and probably fitter than a lot of DPR users going on the comments I read.

I'd never take a tripod around the world, and ISO 12,800 helps me avoid one.

While that's great you can on a hike like that, the weight is certainly not highly significant. One pound for mirrorless, three pounds for a dSLR. The average male weighs maybe 170 lbs. A 0.6% weight penalty versus a 1.8% weight penalty. So, you can walk 1.2% farther w/a mirrorless. It's a convenience.

Relative inconspicousness is also a factor. People simply react differently - less defensive for want of a better word - when they see me with an X Pro, compared to a DSLR. I get comments if its a Lomo camera or something I´ve inherited from my father because it "looks old". I attract less attention.

You say you get less attention, but you attract comments. I've never had a comment, except maybe "nice camera" a few times a year. You do NOT stand out w/a dSLR.

In maybe 200,000 photos, I'd never had anyone act defensively with my SLR, and would have no idea where this type of comment come from. Actually, I get more respect. In Bali, you get better seating at some events. In a slot canyon tour, you go to the head of the line. Tour guides and others know you're more serious. Beauty queens look your way. You can act weird in public because your more serious.

At the end of the film era, the Hasselblad X Pan was a popular option for travel and landscape photography and I see my X Pro as a direct successor. Simply put for my style of photography my X Pro (and before that my film rangefinders) put me in the right place at the right time more than my SLR equipment, which for me outweighs certain disadvantages. This is why I don´t get the implication that mirrorless cameras or photographers are inherently less serious.

Well, convenience over performance is a choice you made. Sorry, they are less serious. The better the camera, the higher your keeper rate. Since my FF dSLR, my keeper rate has gone up enormously. Those hard to get shots simply look better, with less noise, and more crop potential. 99.9% of shots are sharp, clear, and usable, and that includes difficult action, low light shots.

People always say the image quality of mirrorless may be good enough. I believe that. But they don't realize quality is a small part of it. Focus speed, operating speed, turn on time, low light, buttons and controls, instinctive operation, lens selection - those are the tools you need if you're a little more serious. Agreed, many don't use their dSLR's to their full potential, and might be better off w/a mirrorless.

Remember, the OP's queston was why would you leave your dSLR at home - not which system is better for you.

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Martin.au
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Re: mirrorless are less serious . . .
In reply to tko, Aug 17, 2013

tko wrote:

MJJSevilla wrote:

People who haven´t used recent mirrorless cameras can exaggerate differences between DSLRs and mirrorless. For example, I see a comment implying that bulb mode or filters are the sole preserve of DSLRs (¿!?) and the line in the OP about "why would you leave your best camera behind on vacation" which is certainly news to me because I´ve had no problem using filters or bulb mode with my Fuji X Pro compared to a DSLR or once felt that I was missing out by not using a DSLR after a month´s photography trip to Iceland.

On the other hand, the only benefit of mirrorless is weight. They're even more expensive.

The ops point is that the dSLR IS the best camera, although a mirrorless might be . . . adequate. Why would you leave you best camera at home if your serious?

But I think many mirrorless users don't own a dSLR, in which case their best camera is a mirrorless, rendering the implications moot. The question only applies to dSLR owners who take a lesser camera on vacation, a question I've wondered.

Let me see. Use a point and shoot in Bali, Hong Kong, Guilin, Taipei, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand, but use a dSLR to take photos of my cat and dog? That's the issue the op brought up.

The Fuji´s advantages are weight and size. One crucial factor which I never see mentioned in these discussions, is the weight not just of the camera and lenses but also the tripod. The tripod I use for my X Pro is substantially lighter than the tripod I used to use for my Hasselblad X Pan rangefinder (which is a rather heavy and brick like body even though the lenses were light) or my Nikon D2X both of which I sold. When you get up at 2am and then do a 20km round trip up and down hills in the middle of nowhere, that becomes extremely significant - and I´m younger and probably fitter than a lot of DPR users going on the comments I read.

I'd never take a tripod around the world, and ISO 12,800 helps me avoid one.

While that's great you can on a hike like that, the weight is certainly not highly significant. One pound for mirrorless, three pounds for a dSLR. The average male weighs maybe 170 lbs. A 0.6% weight penalty versus a 1.8% weight penalty. So, you can walk 1.2% farther w/a mirrorless. It's a convenience.

Relative inconspicousness is also a factor. People simply react differently - less defensive for want of a better word - when they see me with an X Pro, compared to a DSLR. I get comments if its a Lomo camera or something I´ve inherited from my father because it "looks old". I attract less attention.

You say you get less attention, but you attract comments. I've never had a comment, except maybe "nice camera" a few times a year. You do NOT stand out w/a dSLR.

In maybe 200,000 photos, I'd never had anyone act defensively with my SLR, and would have no idea where this type of comment come from. Actually, I get more respect. In Bali, you get better seating at some events. In a slot canyon tour, you go to the head of the line. Tour guides and others know you're more serious. Beauty queens look your way. You can act weird in public because your more serious.

At the end of the film era, the Hasselblad X Pan was a popular option for travel and landscape photography and I see my X Pro as a direct successor. Simply put for my style of photography my X Pro (and before that my film rangefinders) put me in the right place at the right time more than my SLR equipment, which for me outweighs certain disadvantages. This is why I don´t get the implication that mirrorless cameras or photographers are inherently less serious.

Well, convenience over performance is a choice you made. Sorry, they are less serious. The better the camera, the higher your keeper rate. Since my FF dSLR, my keeper rate has gone up enormously. Those hard to get shots simply look better, with less noise, and more crop potential. 99.9% of shots are sharp, clear, and usable, and that includes difficult action, low light shots.

People always say the image quality of mirrorless may be good enough. I believe that. But they don't realize quality is a small part of it. Focus speed, operating speed, turn on time, low light, buttons and controls, instinctive operation, lens selection - those are the tools you need if you're a little more serious. Agreed, many don't use their dSLR's to their full potential, and might be better off w/a mirrorless.

Remember, the OP's queston was why would you leave your dSLR at home - not which system is better for you.

I don't think you can judge whether someone is serious or not by the camera they use. There are other factors involved.

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

paulj623 wrote:

Well I started this thread so I will comment. I currently shoot with a FF dslr and I do have a NEX 6. The things I like about the dslr is 1. Quality is incredible with 5D3 2. Lens selection 3. The feel of a camera and being able to quickly adjust settings when shooting kids or anything for that matter. 4. Viewfinder 5. Once again the feel of the camera in your hands.

I have stressed this many times. Many say about carrying something big and heavy. I use to agree till I got a black rapid sling strap. Now with the FF dslr and my 24-105L with this strap I barely notice I am carrying a camera. With the standard strap I agree.

Yea, I've really enjoyed the 1D, 10D, 20D, 40D, 5D 5D2, for all the reasons one would. I've been just as pleased with using them as I am µ4/3 right now, for different reasons (of course, it's a different format).

Nothing about any of this says anything about how well either of us apply our tools - it only speaks of our respective enjoyment of field practices. We both could be the most pedestrian producers of photographs that ever lived - and our respective kits are just wasted on us. When others see our photos, they won't be judging our gear. . . interest in the kit used might come if the photos inspire or impress.   Got anything like that?

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Midwest
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Not sure I love it but -
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

I'm not sure I would say I love my DSLR but if I do, it's not because it has 'classic styling' or 'fits in my pocket' or is 'stealthy'. Other people value those things in their cameras and that's fine by me. I don't need them.

I love knowing that my DSLR is likely to get me the photos I want and it's not going to let me down because its abilities are hampered in some way by design compromises that sacrifice functionality for appearance or compactness I don't need.

I love knowing that my OVF is the best possible tool for seeing what I am photographing, and the big real-time uncompromised view it gives me.

I love a camera that works with me and for me, instead of making me work around it.

I have to admit I love knowing it seems to give so many users of lesser cameras the inferiority complex they have while insisting their camera is as good or better. Why should they care anyhow?

My Canon 7D (like the Rebels which preceded it) is not stylish or 'styled' but it makes me smile to look at it - not for how it looks but because I know what it let me do - and that it is mine.

If I do love my camera, it's for much more substantial reasons than 'classic styling' or 'fits in my pocket'... it's because its top design priority is taking great photos, not something to do with appearance or size.

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Midwest
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Re: It works.
In reply to Ron Poelman, Aug 17, 2013

Ron Poelman wrote:

and is a pleasure to use because it was designed to do a job,
not fit a marketing niche.

EXACTLY!

You hit the nail on the head.

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Because of $$$$$ that's all
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

My DSLR is a tool to make money. This is why I love it. I would make less money without one.

The other day I shot an exterior at dusk for a client. The D700 with a Nikkor 16-35/4 was mounted on a sturdy tripod and I made a few shots. While I waited for the light to change I picked up my Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 14/2.8 attached and walked around taking some shots at different angles and distances. My client asked me "Why are you using your P&S? I thought I was hiring a pro?" He laughed because we've worked together for years. But most clients expect you to use a heavy, large, loud, camera with a huge lens. This seems to make them feel good.

Guess what? The Fuji images were every bit as good at the Nikon's. I doubt anyone could tell the difference.

I hate everything about my DSLR's except that clients are impressed by them and bring me repeat business.  I an envious of anyone who doesn't think professional photography does not involve some degree of show business. Their clients are more sophisticated than mine.

If I shot sports I know I'd feel differently. If shot a couple of thousand frames a day, 5 days a week for 40 or so weeks a year I know I'd feel differently. But I get no joy when I pick up my DSLR. WHen I pick up the FujI I smile inside..

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Midwest
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Re: Because of $$$$$ that's all
In reply to wchutt, Aug 17, 2013

wchutt wrote:

My DSLR is a tool to make money. This is why I love it. I would make less money without one.

The other day I shot an exterior at dusk for a client. The D700 with a Nikkor 16-35/4 was mounted on a sturdy tripod and I made a few shots. While I waited for the light to change I picked up my Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 14/2.8 attached and walked around taking some shots at different angles and distances. My client asked me "Why are you using your P&S? I thought I was hiring a pro?" He laughed because we've worked together for years.

Easy solution. Just point to the camera. "Look, it says PRO right on it, well duh!"

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Midwest
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to v1fan, Aug 17, 2013

v1fan wrote:

Let me preface by saying that I'm only talking about mid-to-upper level DSLRs.

For me what sets DSLR, a good one, apart is the viewfinder. Even APS-C DSLRs with a VF magnifier offer a huge window to what you're photographing, something that no EVF or let alone a LCD can do.

Even when I had my Rebel cameras I had no complaints at all about the OVF. No, not as big and bright as say my 7D's is but I never felt like I was using the terrible device some described it as. And it was still real-time, lag-free, without tearing or freezing.

The worst DSLR OVF is preferable to an EVF, for me anyhow.

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Clayton1985
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Re: mirrorless are less serious . . .
In reply to tko, Aug 17, 2013

I wonder if perhaps your formula is flawed because you are using your vacation and photography priorities in the formula instead of realizing that others have different priorities. I can tell you 100% that I will trade some IQ if it means that I will spend more quality time with my family during a vacation. And I've done it enough both ways to know that you will lose some quality time and enjoyment carrying FF DSLR gear depending on the type of trip, who you are traveling with, etc.

No amount of talk about how you manage your bag of DSLR gear and how you aren't sacrificing anything will convince me otherwise. It might convince me that your circumstances are different than mine -- different types of vacations, different priorities, etc.

That being said, I try to balance the gear I take with the primary purpose of the trip and sometimes that will be FF gear but sometimes not.

The OP said and I think you seem to agree that "I think it is funny that people say they want to leave their best cameras home for vacation which is the opportunity to get your best once in a lifetime shots."    I happen to think it's sad to think what you might be giving up in that effort to get your best once in a lifetime shots.  I also think many once in a lifetime shots are achieved because the focus of the trip was not photography first.

I'd also suggest that not carrying a tripod around the world is an example of convenience over performance.   ISO 12800 is certainly sacrificing IQ for convenience in this scenario.

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Clayton1985
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to 69chevy, Aug 17, 2013

69chevy wrote:

People who love their cameras escape me. Do such debates occur over other inatimate objects elsewhere?

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw your post and was about to respond to say that of course these debates occur over boats, houses, cars......  and then I saw your user name

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DenWil
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My SLR generates amazing originals.
In reply to wchutt, Aug 17, 2013

wchutt wrote:

My DSLR is a tool to make money. This is why I love it. I would make less money without one.

The other day I shot an exterior at dusk for a client. The D700 with a Nikkor 16-35/4 was mounted on a sturdy tripod and I made a few shots. While I waited for the light to change I picked up my Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 14/2.8 attached and walked around taking some shots at different angles and distances. My client asked me "Why are you using your P&S? I thought I was hiring a pro?" He laughed because we've worked together for years. But most clients expect you to use a heavy, large, loud, camera with a huge lens. This seems to make them feel good.

Guess what? The Fuji images were every bit as good at the Nikon's. I doubt anyone could tell the difference.

I hate everything about my DSLR's except that clients are impressed by them and bring me repeat business. I an envious of anyone who doesn't think professional photography does not involve some degree of show business. Their clients are more sophisticated than mine.

If I shot sports I know I'd feel differently. If shot a couple of thousand frames a day, 5 days a week for 40 or so weeks a year I know I'd feel differently. But I get no joy when I pick up my DSLR. WHen I pick up the FujI I smile inside..

They make people go wow. I like applause... and of course the money.

I read this and smile, wondering what my clients might  say   if I  showed up with a little D700 after all these years. I can't even speculate on the response to a Fuji.

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Midwest
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Re: it's an amzing machine, and still...
In reply to tex, Aug 17, 2013

tex wrote:

the one that gives me the best results of all the cameras I've owned except MF and LF cameras---and it gives MF a run for its money. It's a Sony A850

It's a REAL Sony DSLR you have there. Gosh knows how many times I've seen those fixed-mirror EVF things passed off as 'DSLR's' when they simply are not. One doesn't have to say they are better or worse - they are just different than a DSLR.

I'm sure you enjoy your real honest to goodness OVF too!

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Mahmoud Mousef
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, Aug 17, 2013

paulj623 wrote:

There have been a lot of threads lately about never using a dslr again and going mirrorless etc. besides a fast auto focus of the dslr please share more reasons why you love your dslr and have chosen to use it as your main camera as well.

I use both; I can't say which is my main type of camera, but I like:

* optical viewfinder

* after taking a photo, you get back to the scene faster (less blackout time).

* battery life generally far better when not using LCD consantly

* ergonomics is not much of an issue to me since you can get some nice grippy mirrorless models

* some lens choices are cheaper and/or better (mirrorless choices have some good ones too so it's a mixed bag on value for performance)

I think it is funny that people say they want to leave their best cameras home for vacation which is the opportunity to get your best once in a lifetime shots.

Depends on many things here.

Lens choice varies (some better on mirrorless, some worse). Size of lenses (portability). Cost of lenses (pros and cons). Sensors vary and many are very close. Whether you want a silent shutter for the type of shooting you are doing (some mirrorless models offer this). Whether you want 100% live view or work better like this...whether video plays into it and whether you are making use of high-speed captures found on many mirrorless models, etc.

You can get better results than DSLRs just as you can get worse, depending on what you are doing and the DSLR and lens (and how much you know the camera, which is fairly important).

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tex
tex
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Re: it's an amzing machine, and still...
In reply to Midwest, Aug 17, 2013

Midwest wrote:

tex wrote:

the one that gives me the best results of all the cameras I've owned except MF and LF cameras---and it gives MF a run for its money. It's a Sony A850

It's a REAL Sony DSLR you have there. Gosh knows how many times I've seen those fixed-mirror EVF things passed off as 'DSLR's' when they simply are not. One doesn't have to say they are better or worse - they are just different than a DSLR.

You seem perturbed about this.  I am not.

I'm sure you enjoy your real honest to goodness OVF too!

Not as much as you do, i don't think.  I also have, and very much enjoy, my NEX 7.

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tex_andrews, co-founder and webmaster of The LightZone Project, an all-volunteer group providing the free and open source LightZone photo editing software.
"Photography is the product of complete alienation" Marcel Proust
"I would like to see photography make people despise painting until something else will make photography unbearable." Marcel Duchamp

 tex's gear list:tex's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Pentax 645Z Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Rokinon T-S 24mm 1:3.5 ED AS UMC +15 more
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