a bit confused: practicality of DSLR vs non DSLR cameras

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
ARShutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 8,978
Experience more important than type of camera

The first problem is that you're not defining which dSLR and which compact camera you're talking about.  A cheap pocketable camera is not the same thing as a Leica M9, and a cheap dSLR is not the same as a Canon 5D Mark III.  Likewise, any dSLR with a cheap or inappropriate lens is not the same as a Mirrorless camera or a Leica M9 with an appropriate lens.  Buying a dSLR doesn't instantly mean better image quality.

Yes, when you have no requirements, and your only purpose is snapshots of holidays for yourself, you can use any camera and lens that you want.

The requirements of digital photo distributions that may be spread across huge displays, monitors that are viewed at less than a 2 m distance, are much higher than those of paper prints that are viewed as normal viewing distances.

The second problem is that any camera will require that you know what you're doing with the specific camera kit that you choose.  Do you know what you're doing, such that you can look at a scene and instantly know which exposure parameters and which JPEG processing parameters to tell the camera to use?  Are you prepared to apply that experience to a new camera's control layout?  If not, you can't expect to get good results from those "out of the box" photographs.  You need to know your camera, and be experienced enough such that you don't need to think about the photography basics, so that you can quickly concentrate on the overall compositions while not leaving your holiday.

I am much more comfortable using a dSLR than a pocketable camera, because all of the controls that define the composition are where I need them to be, and usually in one hand.  I also use a pocketable camera, but it has some significant negative compromises that can cause frustration and an increase bad results when total concentration and both hands are not available.  I only use the pocketable camera when I haven't brought a dSLR kit because I didn't expect to be taking photographs.

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