Could DSRL-less life be possible?

I have been lately thinking of life without a DSRL. Just crazy. But these new EVIL or what-ever-they-are-called-cameras (e.g. Olympus E-P3, Sony NEX-7) as well recent serious compact cameras (e.g. Fuji X100 and X10, Ricoh GRD IV, Canon S100 and so on) are really causing some new thinking in my modest brain. I am now constantly asking myself that for what will I need the bulk of a DSRL. Now many of these smaller cameras already have APS-C sized sensors and I believe there could soon be even a FF model.

I have Canon 5D Mark II which is a wonderful camera. But am I in the level of that camera as a photographer? Sometimes yes, mostly no. When the answer is no, I am just dragging that heavy beast around. I can drag smaller camera much more easily around. The shots I will get are on the same level from each camera. Of course full frame is nice to have. But I frequently ask myself, for what purpose? Fuji X100 somehow has opened my eyes in this matter. That camera has a phenomenal image quality and very low and pleasing noise at high ISOs. And it is so easy to take with you. The best camera is the camera you have with you.

So, I think I will go through those EVIL options. This question is really haunting me at the moment. EVIL seems to be most appropriate camera model for me. 😉

Serious compact I have already (X100) and now I may need some EVIL touch.

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4 comments

  1. Jonne: I understand your quandary but I think you’re making the mistake of looking at it as an all or nothing thing: you either have one or the other.

    Since you already have a nice DSLR kit why not keep it around and use it from time to time for images that you can’t get with the other camera(s).

    It’s great that these small cameras are evolving quickly right in front of our eyes and no doubt between you and me we’ll buy and enjoy many of them but when I have a serious photo shoot to do I will almost always reach for my DSLR and a decent lens. At this point I’m so comfortable with the kit I can get almost everything I want image-wise out of it where to get a smaller camera to do these things may not be possible.

    For example, while the image quality of the X100 is superb, I’m not sure I’d want a fixed 35mm angle of view for the architectural work I’ve been doing. It might work but then again, I might want something wider at times.

    The new Nikon cameras and your Olympus would offer that but given that I already have a working system, reproducing it in another form to save a bit of weight seems foolish.

    Best to keep the 5D and lenses, the X100, and maybe even invest in a smaller camera yet (like the S100 or X10) for your pocket.

    Use them all when appropriate and you’ll always have the right camera with you.

  2. Thanks Richard! I’ll always like and appreciate your opinions. I have been actually shooting with 5D Mark II frequently even now that I have the X100. And of course I have quite nice set of prime lenses which I like for the 5D. These camera ponderings need always lots of thinking and you have to be open for different options. This kind of discussions (like here with you) with more experienced photographers are very important and useful. Thank you very much for that.

    P.S. Your idea about X10 sounds very good. Maybe it is time for a good pocketable zoom compact. 😉

  3. Jonne: I think the idea is to not only have a variety of cameras but also to have cameras that you enjoy using and use often enough so they fall into the background. Then you can concentrate on the images, less the gear.

    This is why I’ve stuck with Canon all these years, even when Nikon seems to have come out with better cameras. For me, familiarity means the tool will fall into the background enough so I don’t think so much about it. A big change, like to a Nikon DSLR would mean another bunch of time learning the tool. It’s just not worth it.

    The fact that you’ve become comfortable with the X100 enough to have the thought that you could do without the 5D is very meaningful to me. That means you’re using it with ease. No doubt the X10 or a Canon S100 would also be easy for you to incorporate into your photo work too.

    Once you’ve made an investment in time in learning and using a system, it’s best to stick with it so you get a return on your investment. This is true of software too, as you well know with Aperture and Lightroom. I wish I could switch to Aperture, I really want to, but I’ve made such a big investment in getting my processing the way I want it in Lightroom a switch at this point would set me back.

    Who knows, maybe Adobe will piss me off enough that I’ll do it, you never know.

  4. Richard, that’s true about X100. I use it with ease and I think it has many nice features like a really good auto ISO system. It works so nicely and that together with a very low noise sensor is how auto ISO should be implemented.

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