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Author Topic: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?  (Read 6035 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 12:13:34 PM »
DSLR's are not for everyone by any means.
I'd say that many photographers want something to point and shoot, and they want everything to be in focus. 
 
A DSLR is for those who want more control over the final image and the ability to vary settings over a much wider range. Obviously, image quality is another reason, but point and shoot cameras can be very good there as is my wifes G1X.

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 12:13:34 PM »

Helevitia

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 02:31:43 PM »
What initially pushed me to upgrade from a P&S to a DSLR, was the focus speed and the amount of time it took to turn on my camera and take a picture.  I felt I was missing out on pictures because of those two issues alone.  What pushed me to upgrade to a 7D from my Rebel was picture quality and support of higher end glass to have crispy pictures :)  ISO noise isn't very noticeable with the Rebel because the MP was small and the pictures were rarely used for real pictures.  Once I started blowing them up, I started to notice the limitations of lower MP and image quality for printed pictures. 

And last, once I got the 70-200 II, there is no going back image quality wise.  Don't buy this lens because you'll never be satisfied with anything less.

But hey, your reasons for upgrading could be completely different, just thought I'd share mine.

Botts

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2012, 02:54:26 PM »
How about with the OM-D? If we just compare against P&S then DSLRs don't seem so capable, there's mirrorless now.
Small, lenses weight nothing, it's fast, has quick and accurate AF, good IQ and DR.
The body is well built, it's weather sealed, and has a nice tilt screen.

Good point, I'm seriously considering an OM-D to use when my 6D is simply too large.  It may be worth including mirrorless in this thread, but no mirrorless is truly pocketable.

To answer the underlying question, I'd respond, different strokes for different folks.
Several people are more than happy enough to shoot with their archaic BlackBerry or old-gen iPhone cameras.  If they only want the images for facebook, or 4x6's good on them.  However, if you want to print memories in larger format, then the DSLR advantages kick in.
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pdirestajr

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2012, 04:53:13 PM »
Lots of reasons have been stated. But there is also an organic connection when you look through an optical viewfinder and photograph a subject. With EVF's and LCD screens, I feel a little removed from the experience.
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pdirestajr

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2012, 04:54:27 PM »
You ever see a person take a photograph with an iPad?! That is the worst thing. Ever.
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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 04:57:43 PM »
Quote
What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
I don't think one can answer the question as it stands.

Advantage compared to what?
Advantage in which application(s) of propertie-/feature(s)?

Quote
"would have that gear been necessary" [...] "What shots can *only* be taken with this kind of equipment"

Ideally, one would pick a tool according to the task.
Sadly, in reality, people are limited by things like money, time, space, weight, availability ...  :(

Would you carry a point & shoot just in case one moment can be captured with it as well as your dslr, so you could take down your dslr and use the S100 instead?
Probably not. You'd use your point & shoot because you cannot afford a dslr, want to quickly take the shot, need to carry it in your jacket, go lightweight, ...

The property of being the camera most suited for a certain shot is in general of a far lesser significance than the other ones.

As there are a lot dslrs out there, the concept of them seems to be the best compromise.

CharlieB

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 05:38:10 PM »
So here it goes: When looking at a lot of sample shots, I'm wondering "would have that gear been necessary", and the inverse question "What shots can *only* be taken with this kind of equipment" and why is an expensive dlsr necessary at all?[/u].

Expensive, and DSLR are not one in the same, as there are a good many relatively inexpensive ones on the market.

Most of the small sensor point and shoot types have terrible image quality.  Even the least expensive DSLR will surpass that easily. 

I see the current Rebel T3 with lens for $399 at B&H, cheaper still at some other lesser known vendors.

For that kind of money, its not a whole lot more expensive than a "better quality" non-DSLR, and less expensive than the top end non-DSLRs.  I hate to call them point-and-shoot cameras when you get into the $300+ range on the non-DSLR's... they're just a cut better, but still way below what you'll get with an APS-C sensor.

If all you're ever going to do are moderate wide to moderate portrait type of shots, for your own fun, occasionally making larger prints, wanting creative control over exposure, there is nothing wrong with a sub-$400 DSLR... and I don't call that expensive.

I'd still be using my 10.1mp 400D (Rebel XTsomething), if it had not been stolen.  It produced image quality that was just wonderful for anything you'd ever want to view on a computer screen, or on any print up to about 11x14 or so.  I know, because I printed those... with very good results.


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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 05:38:10 PM »

Don Haines

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2012, 06:20:43 PM »
You ever see a person take a photograph with an iPad?! That is the worst thing. Ever.
I went on a photoshoot this fall and one of the ladies brought an Ipad..... and she took wonderful pictures... never underestimate what a real photographer can do with a simple tool. And before people start making comments about this, she is a professional photographer and studied photography at R.I.T. .....
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 06:36:18 PM by Don Haines »
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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2012, 06:43:58 PM »
macro capability, tilt-shift lenses

Added, and maybe a valid point atm, though I originally left it out because you can also screw these on an eos-m. My point is rather "for what is a $3500 camera good instead of a sub-€1000 one", so it's not just about €100 p&s.

With EVF's and LCD screens, I feel a little removed from the experience.

LCD - yes. EVF - no, not if it's a good one you cannot tell from a OVF except for the battery drain and the option to add useful information on the fly like focus peaking....

You ever see a person take a photograph with an iPad?! That is the worst thing. Ever.

Actually I frequently see tourists taking pictures with their iPads and oversized smartphones in Berlin, even today in the Zoo. The only explanation I can imagine is that people either don't realize what possibilities a decent camera offers or - that's what the post is about - it doesn't make a difference for the pictures they take. We should do a "blind test" comparison poll - iPad vs. 5d3 for web-sized shots :-)

Better video.

Better, yes, best, no considering the recent developments - that's why I didn't include video in the list.

Filters. Cpl, grad nds etc for landscape. Guess you could do that with a p&s but you'd look a bit silly!

Indeed - that's why you're probably just as old-school biased as I am, but does it matter how it looks if it gets the job done and you cannot tell the result from a dlsr? The only reason to look "pro" is if clients pay you more.

@ Marsu - It sounds like you are talking to yourself into 6D and some "L" lenses for 2012 ;D

You're actually reading my posts :-) ... it really still depends on the 6d/5d3 price after 2-3 month, the 6d just went *up* €100 in Germany *above* the Canon retail price :-p

bycostello

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2012, 08:25:48 PM »
a slr gets you control over depth of field and fast focusing.... 

seta666

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2012, 09:33:36 PM »
Well, I would not compare DSLR to compact cameras but to mirrorless cameras.

The Reflex cameras advantage.
-Superior AF
-Better balance on hand with big lenses and/or flashes
-Bright optical viewfinder


Mirrorless advantage
-Very light system
-On par output quality
-Discrete cameras, good for street photography, journalism

In my opinion Reflex cameras are better when you need fast AF and use tele lenses  (Weeding, Sports, fashion)
Mirrorless cameras are better for street photography and perfect for travel photography (Travel, trekking, Street photography)

Mirroless cameras are one or two generation away of surpassing reflex cameras in some areas
A future FF NEX with improved AF would be much better for some kinds of photography than any reflex; same as Leica today but with more affordable price
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 09:43:36 PM by seta666 »

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2012, 10:32:43 PM »
someone at a restaurant with an i-phone trying to take a picture: "Ugh, this phone is such a...." and he trailed off.... I said loud enough for people to hear my responce "phone?"

High image quality needs large sensors, large sensors need larger lenses, and more space. I like the ruggedness of an SLR, and the holdability, speed and low-light abilities, A mirrorless does not interest me unless it would fit in my pocket, otherwise i want an SLR
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7enderbender

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2012, 11:23:59 PM »
This question has been bothering me for some time, esp. after procrastinating in forums while trying to decide what expensive gear is eventually "worth it" to me :-) ... please not I'm not trolling and applaud everyone who puts his/her money into expensive gear to get shots just for the sake of remembering his/her kids or such.

So here it goes: When looking at a lot of sample shots, I'm wondering "would have that gear been necessary", and the inverse question "What shots can *only* be taken with this kind of equipment" and why is an expensive dlsr necessary at all?.

My guess is that a good part of the dslr market segment is populated by 30-40+ year old males who made their first photographic good experiences with analog dslrs (me, too). They just stick to the good ol' ways while the companies know these customers are rather well off by now and will respond to "quality" and "feature" upselling, so they exploit these suckers pushing the next $3500 camera or $2000 lens to customers who feel secure when having expensive gear.

I think I'm not alone with this question, and the difficulty often results in pro photogs either recommending "just get a [enter latest model name here], you'll never regret it" or the exact opposite "no need for the latest equipment". So here is my list that a dslr with proper equipment is good at, i.e. as a pro shooter you are well advised to take it into consideration or you'll end up being asked "My grandma could have shot that with her p&s"...

  • lighting: multiple off-camera flashes that are reliably triggered with fast x-sync or hss give a distinct "non-p&s" impression
  • thin depth of field and/or strong bokeh: can only be done with expensive lenses with large glass elements, and esp. fast primes
  • shooting reliability, i.e. more "keepers": while you can take good shots with nearly every equipment, it is seldom or never known how many shots or opportunities were lost. This concerns button layout, af precision, ...
  • shooting moving objects: pro dslrs are faster, at least at the moment. That concerns af speed/tracking, shutter release time and fps - the latter being better on mirrorless.
  • shooting in extreme natural conditions: pro dlsr equipment is sealed and sturdy, but for many usages throw-away equiment might make more sense and outodoor/underwater p&s will be there sooner or later.
  • shooting in difficult lighing conditions: the best sensors will always be the most expensive and eventually end up in dlsr equipment, meaning more dynamic range (well, with Nikon :-)) and higher iso capability for faster shutter speeds or low light shooting
  • (super)tele shots: longer focal lenght with decent quality is and will be a domain of expensive equipment
  • sharpness for large prints: while the next iPhone will probably have more mp than the current Canon crop cameras, attaching a $1000+ lens will still make a difference.
  • composition: a large ff viewfinder enables you to concentrate on the shot, at least as long as there are no dencent electronic viewfinders for p&s around

... added, though imho only slightly valid because a eos-m takes ef lenses, too:

  • macro capability: true 1:1 (or higher), not just 'close focusing' as 'macro' has come to mean in the P&S world
  • tilt-shift lenses: ability to correct for perspective distortion, and manipulate the DoF/plane of focus in a way other that a uniform linear distance from the camera

Let me know if anything else comes to your mind what's the sense of buying a dlsr system.


All very valid points. And of course it all depends. For me personally it comes down to sensor size and for having the shallow DOF option available. The non-DSLR choices are way out of my price range still - Leica M9 and medium format alike. In other words if money was no object I wouldn't have a SLR...

Are there other ways to get wonderful pictures, including P&S cameras and phone cameras? Yep. Just not for a lot what I'm interested in unfortunately.
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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2012, 11:23:59 PM »

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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2012, 11:51:52 PM »
Speed, speed, speed. Focusing, fps (though mirrorless are surpassing DSLR's here, putting aside focus tracking) write speed (due to CF cards over SDHC), shutter lag (and no EVF lag like on mirrorless); just faster everything meaning you have a higher chance of getting the shot.

IQ wise, the bigger individual pixels equate to better images all-round - better dynamic range, colour accuracy, low light, etc. It's not just about megapixels when it comes to the bigger sensor in a DSLR.

RAW Files - yes, some upper range p & s cameras shoot RAW, but there's more to the puzzle than just that - DSLR's are designed to handle all that data even in burst mode, with faster write speeds and deeper buffers. Most p & s cameras with RAW capability mean you compromise on speed, which is critical in many situations.

Ergonomics - intuitive button layout that lets you operate the camera without a magnifying glass and tweezers. The extra size and weight can also help in stabilizing photos. 

More control - yes, some p & s cameras and most mirrorless give you full manual control, but this goes hand in hand with ergonomics. DSLR's let you make changes instantly and blindly with ease, rather than digging through a maze of menus or trying to hit a tiny little button without also mashing every other button.

Lens choice - You say that this is a moot point because of mirrorless, but that's not entirely true. AF performance can suffer, sharpness can drop (due to pixel density & the crop factor which essentially magnifies any lens flaws), FOV changes and balance can be effected (which effects the ergonomics) when using DSLR lenses on a mirrorless camera.

Connectivity - need to operate the camera remotely through a PC? Or need multiple external flashguns? or you want to synchronize multiple cameras? DSLR's are your friend when it comes to these complex applications and workflows.

Additionally there are all the other little things that make the cameras "more professional" - dual card slots for redundancy, durability, battery life, custom filenames, copyright info in the exif data, etc etc. Of course any of these things can be built into just about any camera - but not without compromising the things that make those cameras attractive in the first place such as compactness and price.
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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2012, 10:55:42 AM »
macro capability, tilt-shift lenses

Added, and maybe a valid point atm, though I originally left it out because you can also screw these on an eos-m. My point is rather "for what is a $3500 camera good instead of a sub-€1000 one", so it's not just about €100 p&s.

Durability and speed.

If you're making money on your photography getting the shot is what counts.  Let's look at a hypothetical, even if the IQ between a T2i and a 7D/5D3/1DX were identical, if you're shooting an event, and the weather decides to wreak havoc, that weather sealed body has a much higher chance at getting you that money making shot.  With the T2i you may choose to put it away to prevent sacrificing a body, or choose to try and use it in the weather just to have it die from the rain.

Alternatively, if you're lined up on the sideline at a sports game, and you know that a piece of key action is about to happen, if it's coming right for you, and you can't really predict the time, a 2 second burst at 6+ FPS gives you a much better chance at getting that winning shot as well.
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Re: What's the advantage of shooting with dslr equipment?
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2012, 10:55:42 AM »