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

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions
Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Re: Living in the past?

Midwest wrote:

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.

For sure. But I don't think I personally suffer from that so much. I was a DSLR user for a very long time, and I am (mostly!) aware of what I gave up or compromised by switching.

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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I'm speaking of superzooms rather than system cameras - It's more about reaching levels of performance and image quality that are clearly not "the best"... but are a "high enough" standard for a non-professional to accept. The "can do" bit is the huge equivelent focal lengths in smaller, lighter, more convenient packages... at a fraction of the cost.

Yes, EVF's are weak. They are either high-res but too slow, or fast enough but too low-res.

However, the Panasonic FZ150 and FZ200 have rear screens that are fast and responsive enough to be usable for action photography, and even if they weren't, a red dot sight more than compensates. (I'd keep a red dot sight even if I still used a DSLR!).

And the Panasonics do indeed "get it in focus in an instant, before the shot gets away".

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

Hatstand wrote:

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.

Panny has had an undeserved negative reputation among some people because they're not first and foremost a camera company, but obviously they are trying to do more than pander to the 'sticker shoppers' who only look at MP and zoom X numbers.

I'll bet you find the FZ200 to be a big jump even from the FZ150, due to that constant f2.8 lens.

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

Hatstand wrote:

Midwest wrote:

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.

For sure. But I don't think I personally suffer from that so much. I was a DSLR user for a very long time, and I am (mostly!) aware of what I gave up or compromised by switching.

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.

I'm speaking of superzooms rather than system cameras - It's more about reaching levels of performance and image quality that are clearly not "the best"... but are a "high enough" standard for a non-professional to accept. The "can do" bit is the huge equivelent focal lengths in smaller, lighter, more convenient packages... at a fraction of the cost.

Yes, EVF's are weak. They are either high-res but too slow, or fast enough but too low-res.

However, the Panasonic FZ150 and FZ200 have rear screens that are fast and responsive enough to be usable for action photography, and even if they weren't, a red dot sight more than compensates. (I'd keep a red dot sight even if I still used a DSLR!).

And the Panasonics do indeed "get it in focus in an instant, before the shot gets away".

Obvious to me that you 'get it', know what you need and what works well for you. I'm glad you're finding Panny's latest to be quick enough for what you do also. Myself I much prefer using an optical viewfinder because tracking fast action and framing it as best I can works a whole lot better with an OVF than with an LCD.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Depends on the size of the DSLR

rsn48 wrote:

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.

450D is an excellent camera. I've taken and printed some really great shots at 13x19 inches. It may be a few years old by now but it's still a really good camera.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,012
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.

cool loved this response. i shoot pentax k7 and the fz150 , the fz150 for speed is very fast, the k7 gets left at home .

cheers don

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Pentax K7, Panasonic fz150, Olympus XZ1, my main toys.

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,012
Re: Living in the past?
1



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Pentax K7, Panasonic fz150, Olympus XZ1, my main toys.

Joao Mendes
Joao Mendes Junior Member • Posts: 34
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?

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!

Sure! D800 + 24-85 VR

 Joao Mendes's gear list:Joao Mendes's gear list
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Lena Hale Regular Member • Posts: 125
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Well it's not necessarily a huge load to carry. Not all equipment is bulky. My DSLR body weighs less than two pounds, and the new lens I plan on buying for it is less than a pound. When I add a tripod to that, the one I have my eye on is 5 pounds which isn't light (for somebody tiny like me at least) but it's not unbearable.

Even with a heavy lens, I personally wouldn't go on an outing with all of my lenses. I'd only carry whatever lens I'm most likely to need, and if I wanted to have the other lenses and accessories just in case, I would keep them locked in my car and swap things out as needed.

To be honest, the weight of the equipment is the last thing I question when I look at hobbyist photographers, including myself. It's one of the most expensive hobbies I've ever discovered. If somebody is passionate enough about photography to invest that kind of money in it, the weight of their equipment isn't likely to phase them. I can only really see it bothering somebody who just wants to take fun pictures with friends, and I don't really consider those people photographers, just... regular people.
And in the case of those people, yeah, I don't see why they would own a DSLR, but most of them don't anyway. In my experience those people go for point and shoots just like they should.

gooseta
gooseta Contributing Member • Posts: 707
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

I am no pro and use my DSLR, for a lot of reasons. I personally love my Pentax and it feels great in hand, whereas the teeny tiny bodies of mirrorless cameras are hard to grip and the buttons are tiny. They also mostly have one or no dials, which is bad for those of us who shoot in manual most of the time. Mirrorless cameras almost all use the screen or evf, with the exception of some lenses having an external ovf. While I do like a good evf, I prefer a good old ovf (PLEASE DO NOT TURN THAT INTO A HUGE ARGUMENT!!!)

Mirrorless also doesn't have many good lenses. The three I can think of that have WR is the 12-50, 12-35, and 35-100. The UWAs are mediocre and there are no good standard zooms, almost all are 14-42, the only good lenses that stand out are the panasonic wrs, the oly 12-50, oly 17, and oly 45, and oly macro 60. None of the telephoto zooms seem amazing, but DSLRs have way more options, when you buy a uwa you have the Sigma 10-20s and 8-16, the Tamron 10-24, Samyang 8/14mm, Pentax 12-24, Nikon 16-35, Canon 10-22 and 17-40, CZ 16-35, Tokina 11-16, Pentax 14mm, Pentax 15mm. We have way more telephoto options too, which will not be extremely unbalanced when mounted.

Thirdly, I personally think that the current and next gen mirrorless will not compare with a mid-range DSLR. All M4/3 cameras are not as good with noise as a D5100 or Canon 650D or Pentax K-30 or Sony A-37, all of which not only are better with noise but have better dr and sharpness in general.

Most DSLRs are pretty small, so don't play the "compact" card. Even an EP series camera wont fit into a coat pocket because it has a big-*ss lens on it! Even the little 14-42 makes it feel front heavy. Panasonic are now making larger m43 cameras, and the fact that there is a big lens makes any m43 camera feel unbalanced. DSLRs aren't too much bigger. The A37, A55/57, K5(ii), D5200, and rebel are all pretty small but still have a lot more external controls than m43 cameras.

Finally : The price.

OMD (which everyone loves but I find tacky and WAY too expensive) - $949

7-14 f4 - $900

12-35mm f2.8 - $1,150

35-100 f2.8 - $1400

17mm f1.8 - $500

100-300 - $500

Total : 5.4k

DSLR setup - Nikon or Pentax

D7000 - $1100

Sigma 8-16 - $650

Tamron 17-50 f2.8 - $500

Tamron 70-200 f2.8 - $770 (usually $1.3k)

Nikon 28mm f1.8 - $700

Nikon 70-300 VR - $600

Total : $4.3k

K-5iis $1150

Sigma 8-16 - $650

Pentax 16-50 f2.8* - $1,050

Tamron 70-200 - $770

Pentax 21mm f3.2 - $600

Bigma - $1500

Total : $4420

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Angad S. aka gooseta
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K5iis with DA 17-70/4, 35/2.4, M 50/1.7, Tamron 70-200/2.8, Sigma 70/2.8 macro
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SonyForNow
SonyForNow Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

I use it for my photography, family, vacation. The less shutter lag/dof control/larger flash/lenses choice which slr's have vs point and shoot are primary reasons. Would an OMD EM-5 be smaller than my Sony A33 or other dlsr? Not when you have to find a spot for it at a crowded table in a restaurant. Yes EM-5 and lenses are less size and weight to carry than other dslr's, but it still doesn't fit in a pants pocket. I do use a flat p&s for that and don't expect outstanding photos, just expect the picture is ok.

Honestly though I'm not one who has to have a camera all the time everywhere. On vacation or events I only photograph about third of the time. The rest is sightseeing w/o camera. Ending up with over 4000+ photos to go through when back from vacation? Just shoot me!

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ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

gdourado wrote:

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?

SLR does not give more precision and control compared to mirrorless and large sensor fixed lens cameras. what it gives you is better AF tracking, better battery life and better VF. It is only a matter of time that non-SLRs will catch up in these areas but as of today they have not. And I do not think they will within the next few years.

More importantly though, is that SLR system has better lens line up and value.

Take Sony NEX for example. they use larger sensor and they are small, they have been around for three years now. I was interested in getting one a few month ago but then I looked at their native E mount lenses - they are atrocious. To date sony has not released one lens with top optical quality, most lenses suffer from terrible corner resolution. The reasonable is simple, sony made Flange-back distance too short so that light has to bend too hard to hit sensor. that destroys sharpness.

M43 has better lens line up but their good lenses are very expensive. Also of the two M43 players, one is serious financial trouble and their future is very uncertain (Olympus), the other (Panasonic) uses very old tech in their low to mid line up, only use good sensor in top range expensive bodies (GH serious).

Samsang's lens line up problem is worse than Sony, Fuji's cameras are way too expensive for what they are. X-pro1 is priced at 1399, that is too close to what D600 and 6D cost after you sell their kit lens (6D with 24-102 $2399, D600 with 24-85 $1999 two month ago).

So for me at the least, SLR still represent the best value and best lens selection. the better VF, AF tracking and battery are just icing on the cake.

ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:

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

This list missed one of the most important criteria for Action shooting - high iso quality.

600D can maintain "an SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits" at iso 793 while FZ150 can only do the same at iso 132.

chopsteeks Senior Member • Posts: 1,443
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

I bought my brother's Oly E-PL2 with 45mm lens....

But I find myself still using my Oly E-3 with 14-54mm attached.

Why ?

I actually love the size of DSLR. I do not mind carrying this. Heck I still lug around my trusted Mamiya RZ67 ProII on some out of country trips.

I also love the AF speed with the DSLR...

Will only use Oly E-PL2 for casual photos such as parties, or when walking the dogs.

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

Donald B wrote:

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Pentax K7, Panasonic fz150, Olympus XZ1, my main toys.

Not bad - I like the kid photos best, don't care much for ducks, don't care at all for bugs or flowers, and am not sure what the first shot is.

FZ150 can take some very good shots. DSLR level? No.

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

Joao Mendes wrote:

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!

Sure! D800 + 24-85 VR

Really... a DSLR isn't all that huge, and one certainly does not need to lug around every lens he/she owns everyplace they go. I set out with specifics in mind of what I'm shooting, and usually my camera with one zoom lens attached is ALL I take. I use a very small camera bag that just fits the camera w/lens mounted, for when I'm not actually shooting.

People who think you need to take all your lenses along (and I only have four anyhow) everyplace you go, I don't know why they think that but it's just not necessary in reality.

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 18,309
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?
1

gooseta wrote:
Most DSLRs are pretty small, so don't play the "compact" card. Even an EP series camera wont fit into a coat pocket because it has a big-*ss lens on it!

I get such a laugh out of the people with their compact sized cameras (as opposed to what they call big, bulky, oversized etc. DSLR's) who then post pictures of their little cameras with enormous lenses hanging off the front, topped off by a lens hood that looks like a toilet plunger.

Looks like a Munchkin who took an overdose of Viagra.

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

ultimitsu wrote:

Hatstand wrote:

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

This list missed one of the most important criteria for Action shooting - high iso quality.

600D can maintain "an SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits" at iso 793 while FZ150 can only do the same at iso 132.

I didn't put it on the list because a) I consider that a factor for image quality, not action photography and b) I don't consider it important.

It has not stopped me taking photos of high speed action, and the FZ150's image quality is sufficient for my (modest) needs.

chopsteeks Senior Member • Posts: 1,443
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

Midwest wrote:

gooseta wrote:
Most DSLRs are pretty small, so don't play the "compact" card. Even an EP series camera wont fit into a coat pocket because it has a big-*ss lens on it!

I get such a laugh out of the people with their compact sized cameras (as opposed to what they call big, bulky, oversized etc. DSLR's) who then post pictures of their little cameras with enormous lenses hanging off the front, topped off by a lens hood that looks like a toilet plunger.

Looks like a Munchkin who took an overdose of Viagra.

I had seen folks during some of my hikes with a 'compact' camera with a 80-200mm size lens attached to it mounted on a big tripod really to support the lens...

Kinda hilarious ..

RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 29,018
Re: Living in the past?

Hatstand wrote:

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.

Those are nice numbers, but the quality of focus, image sensor/lens clarity are much different from an SLR to a P&S superzoom.

Hmm, are you sure you shoot action photography?  Image stabilization is of little to no use for action photos because shutter speed are needed to be fast enough to freeze action which will also eliminate camera shake.

And you can always slap a better, higher quality lens on an SLR but with a P&S camera you are stuck with the lens that's on it.  A teleconverter on a P&S isn't worth it for the results.

Donald Duck
Donald Duck Regular Member • Posts: 308
Re: Do you non professionals still use DSLR's? And why?

This sounds to me as a provocative question. You must know that we do. You must have seen us, we are everywhere.

Now, if you ask whether we use MF or LF, then that would be a good question.

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