August 28, 2013

Should I abandon DSLRs entirely?

Answer: No. (Not yet.)

I tried, man—especially after lugging my 5D & big lens around Legoland (and, through constant effort, somehow not accidentally braining my young sons with it). I tried a whole pile of Micro Four Thirds cameras & talked to all the brainiac shooters who build Camera Raw & Lightroom. In short these new small cams, while impressive overall, are just not DSLR-quick at focusing & firing the shutter, meaning I’d inevitably miss shots of the kids & curse every time. Getting there? Absolutely. There yet? Not for me.

Meanwhile autofocus during video on the Canon 70D worked pretty darn well in my limited tests, and AF for still work at least matched the 5D. Video AF is the big draw for me: I struck out completely trying to shoot video with a (manually focusing) 5D Mk. II & Rebel I’ve borrowed, but object-tracking AF Servo promises to make all the difference—and it works with my existing lens. Verdict: 70D is better for stills, and at least as good for video.

Thus a 70D is winging its way from B&H to me. God-willing Wi-Fi connections between cams & phones/tablets will only improve (I’m looking at & pulling for you, AirDrop in iOS7!), so I can start spamming your Instagram feeds with bokeh-rich kid-vids. (You may commence holding your breath in 3, 2…)

Posted by John Nack at 10:53 AM on August 28, 2013


  • olivier — 11:19 AM on August 28, 2013

    Fuji Xpro1 is soooo perfect … i’ve sold my whole canon gear (5DmkIII and 8 L lenses) … no regret

  • michael jahn — 11:20 AM on August 28, 2013

    humm – i use a canon sure shot ( when i ‘plan’ to take pictures / videos ) or my smartphone (when i didn’t ). All images of my wife are run through the ‘make me look 20’ filter before posting – so sharper lens and improved CCD arrays are not welcome here in “nearly 60-land”.

  • RobC — 1:07 PM on August 28, 2013

    If you’re looking for a very small, lightweight and inexpensive walking-around lens, check out the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Surprisingly good optics.

    This spring, I treated myself to a Fujifilm X100S because, like you, I wearied of schlepping around a DSLR (in my case, a 5D Mark III) on extended outings. It’s nice to be able to drop into a pocket or messenger bag for times I don’t want to be weighed down, but the image quality doesn’t compare to the DSLR. One gets spoiled.

  • Dennis B — 2:08 PM on August 28, 2013

    Absolutely, chuck the DSLR! I got rid of my Pentax KX and all the extra lenses that I bought some time ago and went with a Kodak Z990 Max bridge camera last year (2012). After a one month trip to the UK this July (2013) I wasn’t satisfied with all the results and I took over 4,000 photos in a period of 28 days. The killer reason for dumping the Z990–the camera is too BIG to lug around! Recently, (after much research on my part)I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 that is marketed as an advanced “travel zoom” point and shoot camera. Fits in my pockets right fine. Does everything I want. I virtually memorized the advanced camera manual for the DMC-ZS25 and I have no disappointments. I’ve been a Photoshop hobbyist since version 2.5 and ended my upgrade path at CS5.1 (going to the cloud was/is a serious mistake for Adobe). Allied with Photoshop I can produce more in the way of satisfactory photography than I could ever wish for. My conclusion for you sir is, “dump the DSLR.”

  • ed — 10:37 PM on August 28, 2013

    i have a canon and with L lenses 135 and the 70-200 its very good,but gets heavy for travel. so i got a fuji x-e1 this past spring. its great but.

    Give me a camera with the quality and movements of LF, exposure, speed and, auto focus of dslrs, weight size and cost of small mirror-less. throw in great lighting easy clients that pay well and on time and models that take direction…

  • Trevor Dennis — 4:21 AM on August 29, 2013

    The only DSLRs I own are both Canon 1D (a 3s and a 4)and I’ve carried one or the other on various trips together with a couple of lenses and a speedlite. Now I just take a G1X, and I barely miss a shot, my pictures are every bit as sharp, and holidays feel like holidays again. It’s very liberating – I love that little G1X.

  • David Brugge — 10:33 AM on August 29, 2013

    The slow shutter lag on point and shoot cameras is what made me a wizard at Photoshop. At the close of the last century, the choice of a digital camera with external flash sync was a 20K Kodak or a Nikon 900.
    I shoot children fashion photography and was excited to get into digital, but where the child was when I pressed the shutter was not where he was on the shot.
    I learned how to grab a smile here, copy open eyes from there, warp, distort, stamp, smudge, and anything else needed to salvage a shoot.

  • Beau — 11:33 AM on August 29, 2013

    I always have my Canon S95 with me and it’s pretty solid overall, but when I get my hands back on my 7D, I’m always happier.


    I hate lugging the big boy around and have gotten some great panos (via stitching) of some mountain hikes from the little S95 raw files

  • Alex — 12:50 AM on August 30, 2013

    i have canon powershot sx500IS. and it satisfy all my basic photography needs. I hate big lenses. carrying them is a big headache.

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