Optimal Equipment for Photography

I was sent this link a few days ago and it re-kindled a few thoughts. This guy reached the conclusion I started to visit around Christmas 2016. I am becoming more and more convinced that small is definitely more beautiful and that the days of the BIG DSLRs are numbered like those of the dinosaurs. So small system camera or Cellphone? Who cares providing it does the business.


Interesting article. I find myself moving more in the opposite direction - whenever I do not have my camera wth me and I use my cell phone, I miss the features of my full-sized camera. But I suspect that I am in the minority…and that many people would happily abandon their camera for their cell phone… :smile:


I guess like most things in life there isn’t a black or white answer but rather “It Depends”

While in-phone cameras continue to improve they are essentially replacements for the Point and Shoot cameras. I do wonder why manufacturers still sell them.

The Fuji X100s or t that is mentioned in the article is a different animal. It is a great camera that takes exceptional pictures. For certain genres of photography it is a clear choice. What it does require is that the photographer must move their feet to get the best shots. There is no zooming. But what do you do if there is a once in a lifetime shot of an animal that is a ways away. A 300mm or longer lens is required for the shot and you will miss it. I have wanted this or a smaller mirrorless for some time but I have not pulled the trigger yet.

The new mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses are appealing. The lenses are no bargain but they are for the most part superb. I think the decision here becomes personal as cost and quality for a total kit are not too far apart. Weight is the one criteria where mirrorless have an advantage.

I personally think I will stick with my full frame Nikon. I have glass covering the range from 16-500 mm and accessories to go along with it.

I think there will always be a niche for DSLR’s or the equivalent in Mirrorless. Cell phones will render the point and shoot cameras obsolete and like DSLR’s the fixed lens Leica or Fuji will always have a group of followers.


The thing to remember is that cellphones can never have quality lenses because of their size. Cellphones are OK just for recording the moment.

Point & Shoot produce far better quality images and they are compact.

Personally I have Canon, a couple of DSLR’s, and a FujiFilm X100T as a walk around. As John said the sheer quality of the images (his is the S) is amazing.

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I think most people never make a print and do not enlarge anything beyond the ipad. For this the phones work pretty well and the declining point and shoot sales numbers seem to agree. It is like music compressed MP3 files are good for most. I still like to see the look on visitors faces when they hear a well recorded piece played through my Atma-sphere amps.


I have given up on all my other cameras (film, DSLR) because of my Ricoh GR.
It fits in my pocket.
Fixed 16mm lens(equivalent to 28mm).
APS-C sensor.
Complete control of everything with my own customized menus.
BEST camera for the money and the pocket!

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I still use my dslr (Nikon D750) a lot, but mostly for targetted shots. For general walk-about or travel I use a Lumix TZ100. The quality out of this tiny camera is superb. I doubt I will replace my dslr but will move towards the new breed of mirrorless cameras. Cleaning image sensors on a dslr is a real pain.

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A post was split to a new topic: Optimal Image Size for use in Topaz Studio & Plugins

Definitely not.

I think the Iphones take great shots, but I agree with Don. If you want a lightweight camera to just have with you, a good quality point and shoot - especially if it is waterproof produce far better images. I have made many art pieces and sold them, produced from a point and shoot. A Camera phone is not a favorite of mine.

A lot depends on the end use. For screens, I’ve seen some really enviable images I liked from the new Iphone, for printing? not so much. I have several point&shoots that I thought were good at one time but in comparison to the Iphone’s and new Samsung cell phone cameras today, it wouldn’t be worth carrying the extra piece. I do have a step up from point&shoot but not a DSLR bridge camera that I haven’t been tempted to upgrade yet. It’s claim to fame is it’s zoom lens which is fantastic if I can hand hold it without shake. It does get a little noisy let out to its full range but nothing that I can’t compensate for in post work. I do have a DSLR that seldom gets taken out unless I know I’m going to need speed because of its weight…the bridge is too slow for a flying bird or something in motion.

The problem with many cellphone and “point and shoot” is their JPG preprocessed output which clips detail at both ends of the tonal range. There are a few cellphones which give RAW full range output but many more smaller not necessarily “point and shoot” cameras with superior output.

I have those superior point and shoots, Terry. Have sold may prints from those…Camera output - nil for prints.

Yes and I feel we have not yet seen the full extent of the developments. The DSLT will be the way of the “large” camera and the CSC will be the way of the rest. Let’s face it the three important bits in a camera are

  1. the glass on the front
  2. the sensor
  3. the on-board processor and its software
    The box could be a recycled beer can
    With manufacture of lens now from polymeric glass rather than silica the quality is poorer but the inherent faults can be corrected by the software in the camera or in the PP because so much data can be transferred in the EXIF
    The convergence of the technology has already seen cameras which double up as cellphones and cellphones which have the sophistication of cameras by shooting in RAW
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I think there is no right or wrong. For me personally I never want to miss the options I have when shooting RAW. Yes, all kinds of cameras are shooting good quality today. From mobile phones to point and shoot, but I will stick with my DSLR even though it is heavy and big compared to others in the market. I don’t mind. The possibilities you have with RAW files and the right converter compensate for quick results - in my opinion.

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Just so you are aware Peter…there are reasons to stick to your DSLR but shooting in RAW is not one of them. For me, it is speed. I have been able to get better images on my bridge camera than my partner has using his DSLR with a relatively expensive lens shooting the same scene, at the same time and place, in the same conditions. It’s drawback is that it is not fast enough to capture a bird in flight except by luck while the DSLR has shot numerous ones and more likely to have at least a couple that are good. Many better Point & Shoots have the capability of shooting RAW today. Here is a list of some:

Eleanore, the first reason IS to shoot RAW because this is the only way to utilize the high dynamic range capabilities of your camera. I am not a professional photographer so speed is not an issue for me. And if I miss out on something from time to time, ok. And as Terry @el48tel pointed out earlier if you shoot jpeg the camera (also the DSLR) is already preprocessing the image the very moment you press the button. But yes, other people - other opinions. I am totally fine with this, however my DSLR shooting RAW and Capture One Pro make a great team.

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As I started to read the article linked in Terry’s OP, I thought it was going to be a reductionist kind of thing. To me, all the guy did was trade in some big, really expensive stuff, for just as many moderately expensive - though less weighty - things. :smiley:

I have 4 lenses and usually pick one for the camera and maybe carry a second. The second needs to fit in my pocket, hence a typical situation was like today on my hike. The 12-24 f/4 was on the camera and my 50mm 1/8 was in my pocket. If something else is on the camera, the 12-24 stays home; it’s too big for the pocket. I can reduce weight by either switching from my D7000 body to my D40 or by not carrying a second lens. I choose based on what I think I might see and/or what I feel like doing. This is what I do to enjoy my photography. It means I might miss something or not be able to easily get a certain shot because of the lens(es) I chose, but that’s OK. I spend very little time deciding what gear to take; I don’t have any worries about forgetting something. I don’t always have my tripod. Often I have the tripod but never take it out. I figure you’ll always miss shots no matter how prepared you are, so the low stress solution is not to care - catching THE moment at a wedding you were hired to shoot and similar situations notwithstanding. But alas, I’m not paid to do this so I’m free not to care and therefore truly free. And in the end, I’m there - where ever there is - to see first, photography just seems to help me see better - and to remember.

Best regards

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Very nicely written. My partner thinks along the same lines too. We always have a tripod in the car. When we set out we often do not have a predetermined destination. It’s North, South, East or West. The North offers wooded areas, beautiful estate grounds, coves and bays. The South offers beaches and oceanfront. The East is farmland and colorful farmstands, orchards and grapevines, water scenes as well. The West is citylife, architecture and grunge. Any one of these areas can offer a surprise on any given day. My DSLR is the D7000 but more times than not I’ll be toting my bridge camera. Sometimes, I’m sorry that I don’t have the D7000 like at a horse show we went to a week or two ago. Focusing at just the right moment called for a speed I didn’t have. The photos taken are the icing on the cake, it’s the experience of the day and what we may come across that I enjoy.


Might be worth checking out …

and as for gear

So the DSLR / CSC / “point and shoot” you purchased 2 years ago which this year is gathering dust and languishing in the bottom of the closet … it took perfectly good pictures when you bought it and you were proud of it ---- often seen at the corner of the block around your neck and not in the bag … so why aren’t you using it now?

My guess is that new one which cost more for that go faster stripe on the top and that 4K video facility is the one YOU MUST HAVE … and really how much faster is that stripe? and how much did you pay to purchase the 4K display unit? was it justified? … more importantly how much better are your images?
I thought so … I rest my case