DSLR’s are dead.
Wait… not really.
I just happen to think they’re mostly unnecessary for the average tourist, or family picnic scenario. Every time I see folks out shooting sunsets or gatherings with these giant DSLR’s and telephoto lenses, I just think… “look, life could be easier for you and your hand right now, in this moment”. The game has changed and the power available in smaller-bodied mirror less cameras has made the need for DSLR’s mostly redundant for the average happy snapper, and, even some professionals.
Sure, mobile phone cameras have improved along the way and many of us transitioned over to using those day-to-day, but still, they’re not quite there yet: lack of accessible manual controls, lack of depth of field control thanks to their tiny sensors, and poor flexibility in post production.
Point and shoots are back, and in a big way - and if you’re thinking of purchasing a DSLR I encourage you to head to a Ted's store and try out some of the smaller cameras available, to see if the smaller alternatives out there bake your muffins.
Here’s two great ones i’ve used at length that I recommend checking out, along with some other recommendations by trusted friends.
Sony Cybershot RX100 III
The RX100 is my current personal choice for a point and shoot camera, and is a joy to carry around.
It’s tiny, beautifully designed, and the perfect carry-around camera to capture candid moments. While it has a 24-70mm equivalent lens, I love to use it fixed at 24mm as a pure wide-angle documentary camera. Recently, I’ve taken it to unicorn house parties, street shooting in Bali, evenings in New York, and it doesn’t miss a beat. It’s not the cheapest point & shoot out there, but its one of the best and most uncomplicated.
- Insanely sharp Zeiss lens that goes down to f1.8 at 24mm: perfect for shooting in low light.
- Due to a smaller sensor, even when shooting at f1.8, the deeper depth of field means more things are in focus. This makes it the ideal camera for street shooting in high or low light.
- Flip-out screen for shooting from the hip, just like the oldschool twin-lens-reflex days. This is how I shoot my RX100.
- Beautiful, large raw files and one of the more pleasing cameras for digital noise when it occurs.
- Fast burst mode so no moments are missed
- Also consider... Sony RX100 IV, Fuji X100T & Panasonic LX100
Sony RX100 III
The Fuji X-E2 sits rather quietly between Fujis range of even smaller point & shoots, and its more robust professional options, the X-T1 & X-Pro line. The X-E2 enjoys the same sensor as the X-T1, which from my tests delivers far greater dynamic range than even my Canon 5DMKIII’s. I was shocked to see just how much detail is able to be pulled back in from images blown 5 stops over: so much so, that I shoot this camera on Aperture Priority with Auto-ISO - making it literally, “point and shoot”.
The files are nothing short of incredible, and given it’s an interchangeable lens system, you can also remove the lens while shooting to still enjoy crazy techniques such as freelensing, as I discussed earlier in the year HERE.
If this quality was available in a smaller body with a flip-out screen, I’d be using this instead of the Sony.
- While not a pure "point & shoot", the X-E2 is small enough to fit inside the average handbag or shoulder bag, or even some divinely well-endowed pockets.
- One of the best sensors available in any digital camera at the moment, and Fuji deliver wonderful colours
- Made with the professional photographer in mind so you can treat it as a point and shoot, or use it more as a manual-control camera
- The Fuji system has one of the best ranges of lenses available. I personally rock the 35mm f1.4, but I recommend the 23mm (which is a 35mm full-frame equivalent - in other words, your standard go-to documentary focal length) f1.4 as a carry-around lens.
- Also consider... Fuji X-E2s, Fuji X-T1 & Fuji X-Pro2