Busting Myth – SLR v/s non-SLR

Rat Snake Tongue Flicking

BEWARE … the deafening honks of DSLRs is  a sweet trap laid by camera companies …walk into it with caution.

Buying an SLR camera as a beginner is like buying a Ferrari car to learn driving !

With the advent of digital technology, computers and internet, it has become very easy to do most of the self-learning and that is why photographers have mushroomed many folds (I feel 50,000 times than what it was ten years ago).

Also, in India it has become easy to buy cameras off the shelf and the youth has money to spare now. About 15 years ago, it was hard to see a brand new camera in India, only lucky few could get from overseas who had relatives coming to India.

Most of the photographers who are novices have no clue about how to choose equipment, what they actually should buy for their photography, especially as beginners. Most of them think that to capture good photos its the high end gear which does the magic, that is the root cause for most to land up at a camera store and ask for an DSLR only and live with a fallacy that one starts getting promoted as a great photographer overnight. To an extent they are right as well, as in some groups and forums, where this kind of showbiz makes a difference, buying an SLR may promote them. Sadly, don’t understand the simple thing that their photography shall not get promoted where it should have been, means that is not a place for learning and showcasing. Stay away where there are photographers with ‘disorder’ to acquire equipment only to boast off.

I keep getting mails and phone calls, almost three to four a day on an average, to consult me while rookies are making vital decisions about which DSLR they should buy. After a few questions, I find that the person has no idea about what is the difference between SLR and non-SLR camera, especially in the times of digital technology as a beginner. And they think camera means DSLR. Most of them end up making blunders and buy DSLRs with a kit lens – a sweet trap laid by camera manufacturers. Why I say blunders, because one does not need an SLR to learn basics of photography and by the time one hones one’s skills to reach a level of basic photography,  camera gets outdated, especially at a crucial time when you need an SLR but it has become an outdated piece of equipment (though I don’t agree). You start getting breathless once again! And this disorder gets embedded in most and people keep losing all their hard earned money and time. And they don’t get what they are supposed to get from photography. – the happiness. They keep running around from one senior photographer to another, one forum to another, one review to another and camera stores.

I would like to say the killer concoction is prepared by the digital cameras, internet, computers and credit cards! 

The DSLR and non-DSLR cameras have almost the same quality of output for beginners, at least in the modern times. Yes, in the film-era, there was a vast difference between the quality of film non-SLR and SLR. We must be careful in assessing our requirements considering what kind of subjects I am going to handle step by step. Also, we can not afford to replace cameras and lenses often, only professionals can afford to add often, for they generate money with the equipment.

Rat Snake Baby with S5

Rat Snake baby Shot with Canon S5 IS, point and shoot or say non-SLR camera

I have used these two images in this post to encourage you to reconsider your decisions about SLRs if you are a beginner. I have captured the fast flickering tongue and the image which is sharp enough with basic cameras few years ago. Today, non-SLR cameras have come very far. In fact the future belongs to mirrorless cameras, though expensive as of now.

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10 thoughts on “Busting Myth – SLR v/s non-SLR

  1. I agree with what you say for the most part. Now a days a larger camera doesn’t always mean better pictures.

    My personal issue is cost. So many mirror-less cameras out there, with a viewfinder, are more expensive than a basic DSLR kit. So if you can invest the time learning SLR’s its a good place to start. But most of my friends and family are better off getting a nice mirrorless camera.

  2. Sir, its very true…

    I also bought my dslr in 2014, before that used P&S and mobile camera.

    Learn all basic but very much important things before buying dslr.

    recently my friend bought dslr but he cant get his focus right, i several time told him to learn basic n make yourself comfortable wih basics and buy dslr.

    For me still mirrorless out of reach, i still shoot with kit lenses and gives fantastic results…

    on lighter note i did buy ferrari but first i learned how to drive with basic skills !!!

  3. As an amateur photographer I also think that photography cannot be learnt with equipment but with a passion in yourself and a zeal to learn . Equipment comes later.

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