In Defense of the DSLR

Started Sep 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: What do results say?

paulkienitz wrote:

MarkJH wrote:

You can cry about how great DSLRs are until you're hoarse, but if photographers using mirrorless gear are redefining the art--with their results--in ways that clients find more compelling, then no one will (or should) really care what you have to say.

How about you get back to us when or if this scenario ever manages to happen.

You don't pay much attention to the fashion press, do you?

Mirrorless photography is *everywhere* in the ad copy and editorials.

That's why I asked about results. Since I'm starting to see mirrorless photography in places that, two or three years ago had been the exclusive domain of FX DSLRs (or medium format), I can't help but be skeptical of the OP's "defense," which doesn't talk about results in any way.

Or are you seriously claiming that DSLRs actually produce poorer pictures than today's mirrorlesses? Oy. Under what scenario would that ever happen?

Here's one example: under any scenario in which a big camera is conspicuous, either literally or symbolically. Environmental portraiture would be one case. It's not that DSLRs aren't technically capable; it's that they're big and noticed. So that wonderful dusky street shot you're trying to nail on the 5th avenue sidewalk with Karlie Kloss for Bottega Venetta? I'd rather get out there and grab it with an OM-D / 75 f/1.8 than a 1Dx / 70-200, for obvious reasons about which combination will attract distractions.

Here's another: I'm a serious climber headed up Everest.  What kind of gear am I taking?  (a) D4 or (b) OM-D?   It's not that the D4 isn't capable.  It's that I'll so freakin' tired at the top I won't want to lift it.  Or carry it down.   Which means it will produce poorer pictures.

Here's another: I'm shooting stills and video from embedded positions--maybe a crane, maybe aboard a drone.   (a) 5DIII or (b) GH-3?   Well, we know which one will be flight-worthy.

So yeah, I'm seriously claiming it: there are plenty of circumstances in which a DSLR will produce much poorer results than today's mirrorless.  Mostly because there are plenty of circumstances in which a DSLR won't produce any results at all.

As long as DSLRs stick around, they're probably going to be strongly linked to the elite professional end of the photo gear market, and built to take pictures at least as good as any non-DSLR can take. Why else lug around the extra weight?

I wonder if reporters shooting Speed Graphics made similar arguments when Lecia M3s and Nikon Fs started appearing in the late 50s? Do you think they did?

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