Why you love your DSLR

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
fmian
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, 11 months ago

I'd have to say I love the SLR design and what it does in general as opposed to just narrowing it down to a DSLR.
I do prefer using manual focus 35mm film cameras. A DSLR won't hold a candle to it in terms of size, weight, viewfinder, ergonomics and most of the time lens quality. There is a greater sense of having a 1:1 relationship with a manual SLR. I can concentrate on the subject instead of so many buttons and options on the camera. While I am totally aware I am losing out in terms of ISO performance, instant review and a cleaner output, I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice these things for the benefits I get otherwise. I use medium format SLR's as well, mainly for studio use and while I enjoy the output from these I prefer the freedom that 35mm gives outdoors. Plus I have more lenses for the 35mm format.
As for what I like about SLR's and DSLR's over say, rangefinders and the new breed of mirrorless digital cameras, it's that instant and pure feedback from the lens through the finder. I don't want to be bugged by the distractions that are imposed on changing this optical through the lens viewing design. A rangefinder is great for keeping the camera small in a fixed lens design (even though I have a 6x9, see below) The viewfinder can be made to suit the lens perfectly if fixed, but as soon as you make it an interchangeable lens then a whole host of complications and limitations are put on the system.
I don't think I need to say anything about EVF's here, as there isn't anything nice for me to add in that regard.
Below, 6x9 Fuji Rangefinder besides an Olympus OM-1

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Rob Sims
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, 11 months ago

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.

Although I have just sold my last dSLR (Nikon D700), I can still point to a number of reasons why people would stick to them, or why I'd recommend a dSLR over a mirrorless even for a newbie photographer:

1- AF speed.  My D700 was lightning quick, and accurate, and if I were shooting sports why would I want to compromise?  Some are pretty good, especially the top end m43, but if you have to start the sentence with 'close to dSLR speed', then why not just get a dSLR?

2- Lens choice.  That Nikon mount has been alive and well for over double my own lifetime, so it's not surprising there's so much glass available for it.

3- Battery life.  Having the sensor only active when the photo is taken, and the LCD only active when reviewing means battery life is amazing.  I used to go for 3 day weekends, carrying a couple of spare fully charged batteries, but finding that I still had 30% left on the original by the time I came home.

4- Buttons! Bigger bodies, means more space for intuitive button placement.  Not everyone wants to have to dive into a menus system to get to some functions, and not everyone wants to have to cherry pick their favourite functions to assign to a custom key/menu. It's taken some getting used to my NEX-6 (and even more on my NEX-5N!).

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.

It depends what a vacation is for you.  If you're a complete photo nut, then no - you are probably going on vacation in order to get those photos - in which case you would never leave your DSLR at home.

For the rest of us, photography is just part of our lives, and vacations are prioritised around say relaxation, doing sports, spending time with families/friends, experiencing a new culture ...etc.  Lugging 3-5kg of full frame DSLR and the associated lenses and tripods works against those goals.  If you downsize to APS-C then you've lost any image quality advantage vs. mirrorless and it becomes harder to justify the size/weight.

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MJJSevilla
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Re: mirrorless are less serious . . .
In reply to tko, 11 months ago

You could equally turn that round and say the only advantage of a DSLRS is fast Af.  Since I was talking mostly about landscapes, that's not a factor for me, and  I understand that "me" isn't everyone.  A tripod is fundamental for landscape work - for compositional precision, if I want to shoot with an IR filter with the long exposures that entails, If I have a high contrast scene and I want to bracket and combine different exposures, if I want a longer exposure for a number of reasons.  Why is leaving a DSLR at home a sign of unseriousness but leaving a tripod isn't when it has far more impact on he overall rsult?

As for weight, well I went through a period of buying and selling gear on ebay and tested out loads of different equipment types and I've carried all kinds of cameras up mountains ranging from large format to DSLRs to mirrorless and it does make a difference. Joe Cornish is one of my favourite photographers and  I was reading his book on Scotland's mountains not long ago and my admiration was only increased thinking about the sheer physical effort involved dragging his Ebony view camera up those mountains.  You're right, theoretically it won't limit how far you can go but it sure does affect how long you can go before your backpack starts to hurt and your muscles ache  and consequently how likely you are to get out of bed he next day and repeat it!

The point you make about controls depends on the camera.  I had an Olympus Epl1 which had terrible controls.  My X Pro has more manual controls than most cameras.  Other points fepend on the user.  I realised using , y X Pan and Voigtlander Bessa rangefinders that the numerous aevantages of an SLR simply werent relevant for much of my photography.  I think these debates are misguided because they assume there is one ootimum solution for everyone.  There isn't.   Ive found my solution after a lot of experimenting.  For other people, for most, that solution will be a DSLR for sure.

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Rod McD
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, 11 months ago

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 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'm a DSLR and mirror-less and compact owner and use them all.  I don't think I "love" them - I got over that a long time ago.  I like them and like using them, but it's the best tool for the job.  My K5 DSLR is excellent for many purposes.  But the best tool for vacations may not always be a DSLR.

I used to drag a SLR and then DSLR kit around the planet and enjoyed my photography as a solo traveler because I could indulge my hobby as much as I chose.  These days I travel with my family and have less contemplation time than I used to.  I wind up carrying half the kids' gear as well and they just won't wait while I change lenses, change again, get out a tripod, wait for the light......  and yawn, c'mon Dad hurry up.

I also got sick of the size of DSLRs and their IQ per kilo equation when you have to carry them for a long time.  It's not good for general travel - not any more - and I don't follow international sport or motor racing where a DSLR's capabilities stand out.  I just got sick of the kit - the bulky black thing - that I dragged through every plane, customs line, immigration line, taxi, hotel, restaurant, museum and public toilet, day after day after day, for weeks on end.  I don't travel with it any more.

Today, the IQ of mirror-less is no less than a DSLR, as long as the shot is of a type the camera can get.  I recognise too that I'm seeking vacation memories and I'm not publishing or selling.  Do I miss the DSLR on vacation?  Yes, occasionally, but not as often as I thought I would.  And does it really matter, if I miss a macro or a sporting or a telephoto opportunity that held my attention for a tiny fraction of the time?  No, not at all - just take the occasion in a different way.

I've found too that having traveled a little lighter, I enjoy our holidays a little more in the sense of 'being there'.  After so many years traveling with photography as a passion, that's been a revelation.

Rod

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mp2011
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to Rod McD, 11 months ago

I just posted on another forum about how I was really feeling weighed down by and tired of my DSLR (5DMIII). I am shopping for a second smaller camera (looking like it may be the SL1). I own a G3, and I rented a X100S last week. And this is why I am trying to sell the G3, and have ruled out mirrorless for my second camera for now:

I like having access to actual buttons/controls (I know that there are mirrorless cameras where you have this, but it is fussier to me, and not as easy to change).

Ergonomically just feels better.

Yes, battery life- at least as far as my G3, it eats batteries so quickly I can't even believe it. I shoot with my Mark III for weeks.

The biggest one for me- faster AF. I can't keep up with my kids with any mirrorless camera I have tried.

I do wish I had a camera I "loved", and I know exactly what that means. I have felt that way about two lenses (both of which I sold due to upgrading to FF). The cameras I see people have the strongest emotional attachment to are the 5D classic, and the D700. I hope someday I get to the point where I have a camera that works really well as a tool for me that I also feel really attached to in that way. It is NOT the 5DMIII, and I can't imagine it would be the SL1.

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Rob Sims
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to mp2011, 11 months ago

mp2011 wrote:

The cameras I see people have the strongest emotional attachment to are the 5D classic, and the D700. I hope someday I get to the point where I have a camera that works really well as a tool for me that I also feel really attached to in that way. It is NOT the 5DMIII, and I can't imagine it would be the SL1.

Funnily enough, I had an emotional attachment to my D700... sold last week.  Even though I'd hardly picked it up in the last 6 months due to a full time move over to mirrorless, it was still slightly painful letting it go.

I think it probably comes down to having used it to capture so many memories over the last 5 years (owned since launch end 2008!), and the worry that it's not something that'll be easily replaced if I change my mind later down the road.  Best camera I ever bought, and never had G.A.S. over those 5 years.

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Rexgig0
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Re: Hand-filling grip helps to get the shot I want.
In reply to paulj623, 11 months ago

Whether it is a camera or a pistol, a hand-filling grip helps me get the shot I want. A bit of weight can help, too, especially if well-balanced. Training and familiarity can help overcome bad ergonomics, but if one starts with a good fit, that is one less impediment to a desirable outcome. (See my signature line to see why I used the pistol-shooting example; nothing political was intended.)

Weather/dust-resistance is important for some of my shooting. SLR systems are, generally, better for some environments, though there is at least one CSC/MILC that has sealing, and rumors of more in the future.

Then, of course, there are the lenses and flashguns. Nikon and Canon both make wonderful lenses and flashguns, and my range of photography includes low-light/night shooting as well as distant birds, for which the CSC/MILCs are not best-suited, at least at this point in time. I am not opposed to compact cameras. My last purchase was a Nikon Coolpix A, and I have been following the Fuji X Pro-1 and its lenses, with interest, especially for future air and rail travel, to keep luggage to a minimum. Notably, the X Pro-1 has a quite good grip for my right hand.

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I wear a badge and pistol, and, primarily with 7D cameras, with 10-22mm and 100mm Macro L lenses, shoot evidentiary images at night, which incorporates elements of portrait, macro, still life, landscape, architecture, PJ, and occasional action.

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mp2011
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to Rob Sims, 11 months ago

Rob Sims wrote:

mp2011 wrote:

The cameras I see people have the strongest emotional attachment to are the 5D classic, and the D700. I hope someday I get to the point where I have a camera that works really well as a tool for me that I also feel really attached to in that way. It is NOT the 5DMIII, and I can't imagine it would be the SL1.

Funnily enough, I had an emotional attachment to my D700... sold last week. Even though I'd hardly picked it up in the last 6 months due to a full time move over to mirrorless, it was still slightly painful letting it go.

I think it probably comes down to having used it to capture so many memories over the last 5 years (owned since launch end 2008!), and the worry that it's not something that'll be easily replaced if I change my mind later down the road. Best camera I ever bought, and never had G.A.S. over those 5 years.

I do love a lot of photos taken with the D700, and I have a feeling that if there was an updated version of the D700, I would seriously consider buying it. And I could maybe even love it. No interest in the D600 or D800 though.

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Rexgig0
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Re: It works.
In reply to Ron Poelman, 11 months ago

Ron Poelman wrote:

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

Well-said!

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I wear a badge and pistol, and, primarily with 7D cameras, with 10-22mm and 100mm Macro L lenses, shoot evidentiary images at night, which incorporates elements of portrait, macro, still life, landscape, architecture, PJ, and occasional action.

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Ubilam
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Cuz I can take pics like this...
In reply to paulj623, 11 months ago

Whats missing is the 'boom' sound.

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"Hey, don't blame me."

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Dave Luttmann
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Re: Cuz I can take pics like this...
In reply to Ubilam, 11 months ago

Ubilam wrote:

Whats missing is the 'boom' sound.

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"Hey, don't blame me."

Nice shot.  Of course, it could have been taken with virtually any camera.

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Telhma
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to ZorSy, 11 months ago

Hello,

I get your point, and in fact, i am not realy having that habit. The camera on my phone is even having less then 1MP, so i never take a picture with it. but if you look around, you just can't deny that the social media is taking part of our life. and it's only there in your free time. I never see messages on my facebook like: I have a wonderfull day att work, in 5 minutes i have a meeting with my boss. the things i see on facebook are like: Tomorrow I am off for 2 weeks to the north. or you see those images with the weather on, taking on all kind of locations around the globe.

And, after all, why we take pictures, and put the efford in it. well: first because it is fun, 2the because of the memory, and 3the because we want to share it with our familly and friends, that's why you put so much time in your picture, you want it to look nice, and not only for your eyes.

So, after all you also use your DSLR to show your pictures to your friends or the world.

BTW, about my post abouve. i mixed up a mirrror less camera with a point and shoot camera a little. I do not even understand people buying a mirror less camera btw. if you still have to cary 3 different lenses, or you have a 70-200 on your camera, the camera will not fit in your pocket annyway, A poiont and shoot with a pancake lens i can maybe understand, but more, no, sorry

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susee
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to paulj623, 11 months ago

There are many reasons frst rEASON DSLR breaks and the cost of repair is more LESS THEN OTHER. Advanced features and better control.

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ZorSy
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Re: Why you love your DSLR
In reply to Telhma, 11 months ago

Telhma wrote:

I hear what you are saying.

Generally, I don't have a problem with social media (to make this clear), just lack of  time to virtually socialise with way too many people. Actually, the whole concept of 'networking' became such a hype and I even (professionally) stopped almost all activities on LinkedIn. When I was a kid, we used to collect pins, stamps and stickers of animals, later motorbikes....today, 'collecting' people in pastime became almost obsession.

Many here got annoyed with Picasa when it rolled over to G+: loss of privacy and 'unlimited' sharing became concern (until we learnt how to deal with it). When it comes to photography, I still do share it with people I care for: interesting individual photos via email, group via private album and link. It may to a certain degree look as show-off or 'look at me' moment - yet with a though behind, not an impulsive one. And as much as I care when taking photo, selection and some PP is important to finish it off before displaying. As this process does not require instantaneous access to online sharing place , ultimately leaving unrestricted choice of 'tool' to do 'the job'. And even if they are to be deemed as snaps, I somehow like them to have at least technical qualities. Luckily, the 'man bag' has stopped being 'gay' (in times when it was derogatory comment), so I finally can have decent tool with me most (all) of the time.

cheers

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