Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions
Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: It is the only type of camera that can do any type of photography.

Ed Rizk wrote:

Midwest wrote:

Ed Rizk wrote:

Until after I bought my DSLR, there were not even any ultra wide zooms for mirrorless cameras. They still lag behind.

I don't shoot much action, but since I am an amateur, I like the option to shoot all types of pics. Only the DSLR can handle action.

I do some low light shots, as well as HDRs, on a tripod. Once you break out the tripod, the extra size and weight of the DSLR are negligible.

The mirrorless cameras don't have the multi flash features of DSLRs.

They don't have the lens selection.

Sure I have a P&S that I can use if I want to travel light, but I almost never use it because the DSLR is so much better in every way but size and weight.

Well said. DSLR's are designed for functionality first and foremost. They are no bigger than they need to be. On the other hand, cameras designed to be smaller have that as their first objective, and that means functionality is going to suffer in some way or other when it takes a back seat to size. It may be in the controls or in some of the other things mentioned above, but when the goal is 'smaller' something's gotta give.

Miniaturization is out of control. I would love it if the smaller systems could match the DSLR, but I doubt they will get there any time soon. Even if they do, as you say, there can't be as many controls on a smaller body.

Exactly. Not only that, but I am an adult male, certainly not oversized yet my hands work well with a camera the size of my Rebel T3i (600d). I just do not get this chant of 'it's got to be smaller, smaller smaller'. One person posted a comment from some review where they opened the box of a new T3i and were just astounded at how large the camera had grown - when in fact the difference between it and one of the very earliest was only a matter of a couple mm's, mostly because of the added size of the articulated screen.

I don't want a petite little camera because my photography depends on results, not convenience.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

DJF77 wrote:

The DSLR will definitely go the way of the DoDo in the not to distant future with the advancements of mirroless; if you cant see this or understand the reasons why then you need to take the blinkers off. I appreciate it maybe hard to admit when you have invested thousands in lenses etc.. but it will go this way.

On the plus side, the DSLR die hards will be able to pick up used equipment for peanuts.

Believe that if you like; I suspect you've not owned or used a DSLR and then found out that the autofocus and EVF of a mirrorless camera makes they vastly inferior or useless for shooting any kind of action. Great for landscapes, still lifes, things not moving very much, but not for anything challenging.

Why should DSLR's go away when there are plenty of us who are quite happy to use them and are not looking for a petite camera that can fit in our Dockers?

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PerL Forum Pro • Posts: 14,024
Still the only game in town
1

gdourado wrote:

Hello,

With the increase advancements in sensor technology and mirrorless cameras, I was wondering how many non professionals still use DSLR's as their travel cameras or just general usage cameras...

If I was a payed photo professional, doing either event shooting, sports, nature or fashion shoots, a camera with maximum speed, precision and control would be a must. But if you are just an hobbyist or an amateur, do you still feel motivated to haul around a big DSLR with lenses all day?

I was wondering because myself for instance, I really enjoy some pictures I got some time ago with my 20D and 5D, but when I think about the fact that I left the hotel in the morning with a big and heavy camera bag, only to return at night, having a big camera always hanging from either my neck or my shoulder, I wish I had taken something smaller and lighter.

What are your feelings on this matter?

Cheers!

There is no better camera in terms of handling, getting the shot and image quality.

Using a good OVF is a joy, using a EVF is a very artficial experience. The feeling is not there - besides all the serious shortcomings in terms of DR, false colors, low resolution, slow refresh in low light, "slideshow" instead of live view at fast sequences.

Then we have the superior PDAF  of DSLRs when shooting moving subjects.

The lens selection is way superior (I dont count all the frankenstein-solutions with adapters and MF you can get for many mirrorless)

Better image quality and even more important DOF control. I get bored with all the flat shots where everything is in focus you tend to get with the small sensors of mirrorless.

Finally - I agree that many DSLRs are to big and bulky, but now that the trend goes towards smaller and more affordable FF DSLRs, we will have the best compromise.

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Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Living in the past?
2

It seems to me, many of the DSLR afficionados posting in this thread... have not been keeping up to date with what non-DSLR's are capable of these days.

Mika Y.
Mika Y. Senior Member • Posts: 1,063
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Sure I do, no particular need to change a proven good solution personally (other than the upgrade from 40D to 5D mk III half an year ago ;).

Regarding the size and weight, it hasn't really ever been unpleasant for me, not even on 20+ km mountain walks on vacation trips.

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Janoch
Janoch Veteran Member • Posts: 4,233
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:

It seems to me, many of the DSLR afficionados posting in this thread... have not been keeping up to date with what non-DSLR's are capable of these days.

If they don't ring any bells, how does it matter, what they are capable of...?

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Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Re: Living in the past?

If they don't ring any bells, how does it matter, what they are capable of...?

That's exactly my point - they are ringing the bells now!

I keep seeing "only a DSLR can do action photography". But that is simply not true any more. I stuck to a DSLR (my last was a Canon 600D) for a long time just for action photography, but finally I switched when I saw non-DSLRs (Panasonic FZ150) that ticked the action photography boxes:

Shutter response: 600D 0.1 sec, FZ150 0.05 sec
Focus - wide, shutter response: 600D 0.2 sec, FZ150 0.15 sec
Focus - telephoto, shutter response: 600D 0.25 sec, FZ150 0.25 sec
Shot to shot - without flash: 600D 0.4-0.5 sec, FZ150 0.6 sec (~)
Shot to shot - with flash: 600D 0.6-0.7, FZ150 0.8 sec (~)
Continuous shooting - JPEG: 4fps, FZ150 5.5 fps
Continuous shooting - RAW: 600D 3fps (6 shots), FZ150 5.5 fps

These figures are from tests by ephotozine.com. I don't know how they measured those, but I can say subjectively, that I found little difference in performance between 600D and FZ150 for action photography. The image stabilisation on the FZ150 (subjectively again) is as good as I got from Canon lenses.

My only issue was the FZ150 rear screen and EVF are nowhere near as good as an optical viewfinder, but a cheap red dot sight fixed that for me.

I do not deny that DSLR's have significant advantages in several areas, and always will. But as a non-professional (as per topic!) who is happy with "great" results not "professional" results... those advantages are superfluous to my needs.

PerL Forum Pro • Posts: 14,024
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:


If they don't ring any bells, how does it matter, what they are capable of...?

That's exactly my point - they are ringing the bells now!

I keep seeing "only a DSLR can do action photography". But that is simply not true any more. I stuck to a DSLR (my last was a Canon 600D) for a long time just for action photography, but finally I switched when I saw non-DSLRs (Panasonic FZ150) that ticked the action photography boxes:

Shutter response: 600D 0.1 sec, FZ150 0.05 sec
Focus - wide, shutter response: 600D 0.2 sec, FZ150 0.15 sec
Focus - telephoto, shutter response: 600D 0.25 sec, FZ150 0.25 sec
Shot to shot - without flash: 600D 0.4-0.5 sec, FZ150 0.6 sec (~)
Shot to shot - with flash: 600D 0.6-0.7, FZ150 0.8 sec (~)
Continuous shooting - JPEG: 4fps, FZ150 5.5 fps
Continuous shooting - RAW: 600D 3fps (6 shots), FZ150 5.5 fps

These figures are from tests by ephotozine.com. I don't know how they measured those, but I can say subjectively, that I found little difference in performance between 600D and FZ150 for action photography. The image stabilisation on the FZ150 (subjectively again) is as good as I got from Canon lenses.

My only issue was the FZ150 rear screen and EVF are nowhere near as good as an optical viewfinder, but a cheap red dot sight fixed that for me.

I do not deny that DSLR's have significant advantages in several areas, and always will. But as a non-professional (as per topic!) who is happy with "great" results not "professional" results... those advantages are superfluous to my needs.

Superzooms has huge DOF which makes for rather unispiring shots.



DSLRs has much better isolation.





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mgd43 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,322
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:


If they don't ring any bells, how does it matter, what they are capable of...?

That's exactly my point - they are ringing the bells now!

I keep seeing "only a DSLR can do action photography". But that is simply not true any more. I stuck to a DSLR (my last was a Canon 600D) for a long time just for action photography, but finally I switched when I saw non-DSLRs (Panasonic FZ150) that ticked the action photography boxes:

Shutter response: 600D 0.1 sec, FZ150 0.05 sec
Focus - wide, shutter response: 600D 0.2 sec, FZ150 0.15 sec
Focus - telephoto, shutter response: 600D 0.25 sec, FZ150 0.25 sec
Shot to shot - without flash: 600D 0.4-0.5 sec, FZ150 0.6 sec (~)
Shot to shot - with flash: 600D 0.6-0.7, FZ150 0.8 sec (~)
Continuous shooting - JPEG: 4fps, FZ150 5.5 fps
Continuous shooting - RAW: 600D 3fps (6 shots), FZ150 5.5 fps

These figures are from tests by ephotozine.com. I don't know how they measured those, but I can say subjectively, that I found little difference in performance between 600D and FZ150 for action photography. The image stabilisation on the FZ150 (subjectively again) is as good as I got from Canon lenses.

My only issue was the FZ150 rear screen and EVF are nowhere near as good as an optical viewfinder, but a cheap red dot sight fixed that for me.

I do not deny that DSLR's have significant advantages in several areas, and always will. But as a non-professional (as per topic!) who is happy with "great" results not "professional" results... those advantages are superfluous to my needs.

The FZ150 must be one heck of a superzoom because none of the superzooms I've used come near most of those numbers including a FZ35. Do you know anything about ephotozine.com? Who are they? How reliable are they?

Don't get me wrong. I like superzooms. They offer a lot for the money and I often recommend them, but I've used a few and their focus speed and shot to shot speed were considerably slower than any of my DSLR's. They also produce considerably more noise at high iso's than DSLR's and their focus speed can become painfully slow in low light.

Still, they are relatively compact compared to a DSLR with a couple of lenses, and they produce very good results under most conditions.

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Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Re: Living in the past?

PerL wrote:


Superzooms has huge DOF which makes for rather unispiring shots.



DSLRs has much better isolation.

Yes, I'm aware of the weaker DoF. As I said, I don't deny teh advantages of a DSLR. But my point is - DoF that's "not as good", does not equate to "can't do action photography".

By the way non-DSLR's are capable of a bit better than the example you chose eg. These are from FZ150/FZ200:



http://www.pbase.com/gary/image/139453355/original.jpg

https://vaillantmartien.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/fz200sample02.jpg

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Seung_M/Finlandia%20Trophy%202012/P1200106b.jpg

In my case, DoF is another sacrifice I'm happy to make in light of the benefits of not using a DSLR... and besides - most of my action photography involves panning with fast moving subjects, and slower shutter speeds for motion-blurred backgrounds. Like these (my own FZ150 photos):

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Seung_M/Finlandia%20Trophy%202012/P1190482b.jpg

http://www.birdynumnums.webspace.virginmedia.com/20120902/P1090809a.JPG

In those cases, I don't think a DSLR gives any major advantage in "subject isolation" or "dynamic" appearance.

Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Re: Living in the past?

mgd43 wrote:

The FZ150 must be one heck of a superzoom because none of the superzooms I've used come near most of those numbers including a FZ35. Do you know anything about ephotozine.com? Who are they? How reliable are they?

Don't get me wrong. I like superzooms. They offer a lot for the money and I often recommend them, but I've used a few and their focus speed and shot to shot speed were considerably slower than any of my DSLR's. They also produce considerably more noise at high iso's than DSLR's and their focus speed can become painfully slow in low light.

Still, they are relatively compact compared to a DSLR with a couple of lenses, and they produce very good results under most conditions.

Well, yes - it IS a heck of a superzoom. As I said, it was only when the FZ150 came along, that I felt able to let go of my DSLR.

ephotozine, I know nothing about them - but the figures must be pretty close, because as I said - I have owned and used both Panasonic FZ150 and Canon 600D, and I find their performance very similar (not image quality though, of course).

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Hatstand wrote:

Nope. For travel and everyday I've been using a superzoom for the last few years instead. I still clung to a DSLR for airshow and action/sports photography (Canon 600D)... until I discovered the Panasonic FZ150 superzoom which gave me the same levels of performance in the critical areas of autofocus speed, shot-to-shot speed, continuous/burst shooting rates, low shutter lag, and optical image stabilisation. After that, I finally sold all my DSLR gear.

I moved TO a DSLR because I wanted good action shots (I shoot junior rodeo). Actually I've seen FZ150 shots of rodeo-type action and they were really poor but one poster on the forums has taken some really fine kids' soccer shots with his. I expect that the FZ200 will be even better for action because its fast lens will negate some of the disadvantages of the small sensor - almost certainly it will beat any other bridge camera out there for action. That said, the large sensor of my DSLR gives me a lot more exposure latitude and better high ISO, while the manual zoom and optical viewfinder are very important to me for framing and composition of rapdily moving subjects.

I lost a chunk of image quality, but as non-pro who doesn't pixel-peep, views mainly on a computer screen, prints A4 or less, and reduces photos for web forums... I don't miss it. I lost an optical viewfinder, but don't miss that either - I use a red dot sight for action photography, and I'm comfortable with the screen/EVF for everything else. And I lost the really tight depths of field that DSLRs are capable of - well, I can live with that.

If that's what you are photo'ing then the FZ may well do the job to your satisfaction. You should look into the FZ200 though - that fast lens is proof to me that Panny is trying to actually do something to improve bridge camera IQ and not just cram stupid ever-longer zoom lenses onto their camera.

On the other hand, the gains were enormous in versatility, size, weight, convenience and video capabilities. I have no regrets on the compromises I made. If I wanted to duplicate what my superzoom can do (I'm on a Panasonic FZ200 now), using a DSLR... I reckon I'd need about 3 different lenses (one of which would have to be monstrously big), it would cost me in excess of 15,000 UK pounds, I'd need an extra rucksack on top on of my "day bag" to carry it all, and I'd have to start working out in a gym to wield it.

I also have a 600D (well, Rebel T3i, same thing) and I don't do video really. I do have the impression that this camera is actually quite good at it - what was the gain in the FZ for video?

The argument about needing a zillion dollars worth of lenses however is definitely beyond bounds. The ability of the DSLR to allow cropping while maintaining good IQ makes it unnecessary to put an enormous expensive zoom or tele lens onto it, and for that matter even a kit zoom will probably allow cropping sufficient to compensate.

As a non-pro, and given the type of photography I do... DSLR's have simply stopped making sense for me.

Quite possibly they have, and that's fine. Once again I suggest checking out the FZ200, IMO the best bridge camera out there for image quality.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Living in the past?
2

Hatstand wrote:

It seems to me, many of the DSLR afficionados posting in this thread... have not been keeping up to date with what non-DSLR's are capable of these days.

And conversely, some mirrorless boosters are not aware of what DSLR's CAN do that mirrorless CANNOT.

What's the big 'can do' with mirrorless? The fact that it has an APS-C sensor? Well and good. Of course the potential image quality is going to be equal to a DSLR... IF you can get the shot framed properly with an EVF, and IF you can get it in focus in an instant before the shot gets away.

Action shots are one reason a mirrorless APS-C would be a total failure for me.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:

PerL wrote:


Superzooms has huge DOF which makes for rather unispiring shots.



DSLRs has much better isolation.

Yes, I'm aware of the weaker DoF. As I said, I don't deny teh advantages of a DSLR. But my point is - DoF that's "not as good", does not equate to "can't do action photography".

By the way non-DSLR's are capable of a bit better than the example you chose eg. These are from FZ150/FZ200:

With all due respect... the first couple of shots are good. The ice skating shots are to be frank not good at all, and the airplane shot would not please me either.

You are mentioning the FZ150/200 but the 200 I believe would be much better for these shots, allowing higher shutter speed without bumping the ISO into 'noise' territory. All these shots as far as can be determined came from an FZ150. With a small sensor, the ability to shoot at higher ISO has improved but much of that is due to JPG processing that is bound to nibble away at some of the fine detail.

DSLR wins easily though. The ice skating shots and even the airplane shot need their white balance adjusted, by the way.That would at least help them.



http://www.pbase.com/gary/image/139453355/original.jpg

https://vaillantmartien.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/fz200sample02.jpg

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Seung_M/Finlandia%20Trophy%202012/P1200106b.jpg

In my case, DoF is another sacrifice I'm happy to make in light of the benefits of not using a DSLR... and besides - most of my action photography involves panning with fast moving subjects, and slower shutter speeds for motion-blurred backgrounds. Like these (my own FZ150 photos):

http://i1033.photobucket.com/albums/a413/Seung_M/Finlandia%20Trophy%202012/P1190482b.jpg

http://www.birdynumnums.webspace.virginmedia.com/20120902/P1090809a.JPG

In those cases, I don't think a DSLR gives any major advantage in "subject isolation" or "dynamic" appearance.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:

mgd43 wrote:

The FZ150 must be one heck of a superzoom because none of the superzooms I've used come near most of those numbers including a FZ35. Do you know anything about ephotozine.com? Who are they? How reliable are they?

Don't get me wrong. I like superzooms. They offer a lot for the money and I often recommend them, but I've used a few and their focus speed and shot to shot speed were considerably slower than any of my DSLR's. They also produce considerably more noise at high iso's than DSLR's and their focus speed can become painfully slow in low light.

Still, they are relatively compact compared to a DSLR with a couple of lenses, and they produce very good results under most conditions.

Well, yes - it IS a heck of a superzoom. As I said, it was only when the FZ150 came along, that I felt able to let go of my DSLR.

Panny took the first real steps to improving small-sensor bridge camera IQ with the FZ150, reducing the number of MP if I recall correctly and fixing some of the mush that the FZ100 was making out of the photos. The FZ200 keeps up that trend with its much faster lens. If there is a superzoom that can do a decent job of shooting action, at least under some circumstances, it's going to be the FZ200.

ephotozine, I know nothing about them - but the figures must be pretty close, because as I said - I have owned and used both Panasonic FZ150 and Canon 600D, and I find their performance very similar (not image quality though, of course).

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PhD4
PhD4 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,616
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

gdourado wrote:

Hello,

With the increase advancements in sensor technology and mirrorless cameras, I was wondering how many non professionals still use DSLR's as their travel cameras or just general usage cameras...

If I was a payed photo professional, doing either event shooting, sports, nature or fashion shoots, a camera with maximum speed, precision and control would be a must. But if you are just an hobbyist or an amateur, do you still feel motivated to haul around a big DSLR with lenses all day?

The weight and heft of the larger cameras give more stability in the hands.

The IQ of the larger sensors is important too.

Speed and lens selection matter to me too.

hea
hea Regular Member • Posts: 354
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

no money to start all over again, no problem with current gear

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rsn48 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,680
Depends on the size of the DSLR

I use my Xsi (450D) as my point and shoot when travelling, often with just the Canon 35mm f2 lens on it, nice small foot print and easy to carry.  I use my first DSLR, big and klutzy, the 300D Original Digital Rebel for railfanning as I am often "off the beaten path" and if I fall and break a camera I will cry least over it.

My 5D 2 is for my more "serious" work like night street photography, BIF's, and urban night city landscapes.

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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,887
No, because

both were stolen, and I didn't have the cash to replace and get the OM-D I wanted.  But I just might get another down the road.

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I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Midwest wrote:


I also have a 600D (well, Rebel T3i, same thing) and I don't do video really. I do have the impression that this camera is actually quite good at it - what was the gain in the FZ for video?

As a non-pro, and given the type of photography I do... DSLR's have simply stopped making sense for me.

Quite possibly they have, and that's fine. Once again I suggest checking out the FZ200, IMO the best bridge camera out there for image quality.

Yes, I have since upgraded to the FZ200.

FZ200 video: full 1080p HD 50/60, (no rolling shutter effects, able to grab perfect frames), High speed (100/120 fps) at 720p HD, stereo mics (and socket for external mic), virtually silent zooming while recording, better image stabilisation, autofocus, and focus tracking, manual controls, gimmicks available while recording (eg. hilarious "model effect"!). I also find that the motorised zoom gives less hand shake than manual zoom.

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