DSLR's Are Dead! - Oli Sansom

12/02/2020 11:13 am

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 DSLRs 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 mirrorless 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 it's one of the best and most uncomplicated.

Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
  • 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 old school 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
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead

Fuji X-E2

The Fuji X-E2 sits rather quietly between Fuji’s 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 in an earlier blog.

If this quality was available in a smaller body with a flip-out screen, I’d be using this instead of the Sony.

Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
  • 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.
  • Note: The X-E2 has now been superseded, with the latest model in this line being the Fujifilm X-E3. Some other recent Fuji models to consider are the X-Pro 3 and the X-T3.
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead
Oli Sansom - DSLRs are dead

More from Oli Sansom

Don't forget to check back for more handy advice from Oli Sansom and our Masters. To inquire about any of the gear mentioned in this story, shop online or head into your local Ted's camera store.

1 Comment

I have to agree, new compact cameras are really making their mark.
I recently visited a couple of theme parks in America. My DSLR was way to big and bulky, so I purchased a Nikon S7000.
It is a fantastic little, I can adjust almost all settings. And it does time lapse as well as full hd video.
The bonus is the built in wifi and nfc, making uploading a breeze.
Plus, it fits in my pocket, which is important when upside down on a roller coaster.
Comment by Darren - 10/02/2016 10:57 pm
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