Monday, November 06, 2006

3 Reasons NOT to buy a DSLR

So there's an article on Digg about 10 reasons you should buy a Digital SLR camera. A friend of mine keeps telling me its a great idea, especially if I like photography. Usually I can think of lots of reasons not to do it. So here's my rebuttal list.

  1. Creative Control can be a curse. While you get to tweak to your hearts content, you'll end up just becoming more OCD about how your photos aren't turning out just the way you want them even though you have the power of God in your hands.

  2. Size & Grabbing the shot. With all the greatness of larger sensors and fancy electronics so your photos have zero noise, it all ends up being stuffed into a package about 10 times the "normal" size of a point and shoot camera now. Also, this package is now more durable because its usually wrapped in a nice weighty metallic body. Which would be great if you're on a studio or doing pro job, but who the hell wants to lug all that equipment (weighty body and 2 or 3 different lenses) around on a day out with your friends or family? Its just one more thing to weigh you down and probably actually take away from enjoying the day. Of course you'll get great shots of the day which is great if that was your main goal, but that's usually not mine.

    This probably isn't the best photo I've taken, but its just a good example of having something I can whip out and unobtrusively take a photo to document what's going on while people are having fun. Could I have taken this photo with a DSLR? Sure. Would I have gotten the same spontaneity? Maybe if I was 20 feet away with a telephoto lense and the room wasn't crowded full of people. Also I'd have to deal with people giving me weird looks on why a guy at a bar is taking paparazzi-style pictures.

  3. Price & Accessories. Sure, the camera bodies are cheap now and there are a million accessories out there to customize your DSLR. But with those accessories comes more cash to throw out the window. Two thousand dollars for a great wide angle lense? Another thousand for a telephoto one with anti-shake technology? Again, if someone is paying me thousands of dollars for my great photos to support this habit, great. However, the return on investment is not worth it for your average photographer.

Again, I say this as someone that on occasion likes to go out and take photos for the sake of pretty pictures, but not as a passion that I'd like to pour tens of thousands of dollars into.

1 comment:

commahater said...

I will add some more to your list

3a. You can get a very good P&S for less thatn $200. You can get an amazing non-dSLR for less than $500. No matter what people tell you, a nice, entry-level dSLR outfit will run you between 500-1k.

And yes, you can reuse your old lenses to bring down the cost, but I think anyone who already has lenses doesn't need a list like this to help them choose a dSLR. Further, for all those people who say you can pick up lenses for cheap, the cheap ones don't have auto focus or auto aperture. Therefore you can't use your dSLR as a P&S, or in full (or partial) auto mode.

4. Any current camera will print excellent 4x6s, very good 5x7s, and good (under the right conditions) 8x10s.