Reasons to Stick to Your DSLR Over Mirrorless Camera


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The internet is abuzz with professional photographers and enthusiasts who are dumping their DSLR to switch to mirrorless cameras such as the Fujifilm XT-1 or Sony A7s. The high performance and image quality provided by these small, compact cameras are convincing many photographers to switch not only models, but brands.

There are no shortage of articles that showcase that advantages of mirrorless over a DSLR and visa versa, but such comparisons alone are usually not enough to convince someone to make the change. The reality is that many photographers may not need to regardless of either the hype or the definitive advantages provided by mirrorless. Here are some reasons why you may want to stick with your DSLR.

You’re Invested in a System

If you’ve been involved in photography for even a relatively brief period, you have likely already made an investment of several thousand dollars worth in gear including a camera body and several lenses. Even if they are a few years old, this gear is still quite capable of producing great photographs.

You Are Not Being Limited by Your Kit

It’s likely that your creativity has not outgrown your current system. The equipment is not limiting you in any real way and so you could continue to develop as a photographer without worry that your gear is going to hamper or stall your creativity.

Chris Gampat Digital Camera Review Nikon D7100 product photos (1 of 7)ISO 5001-200 sec at f - 5.0

Money Would Be Better Spent Elsewhere

Rather than investing in new equipment, it might be a better opportunity to spend it on an experience that will allow you to make photographs with your existing equipment. Consider a photo weekend or workshop that will allow you to dedicate time exclusively to your photography.

Lens Choice

The system you are currently using may have a larger selection of lenses than the mirrorless camera you are considering. Even if you aren’t interested in purchasing them, you can easily rent a 50mm f1.2 or a 600mm f4 at any time.

You Know Your System

You have probably spent enough time with your gear to know it almost intuitively. It allows you to focus more on the images rather than the camera. You lose all that as you have to learn a completely new camera layout, menu scheme and camera-specific quirks.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 product photos (5 of 7)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.2

Lighten the Load

If bulk and weight is a concern, you can easily remedy this by simply taking less gear with you. Photograph with a single body and lens rather than toting around everything you own in a shoulder bag or backpack.

You’re Not Shooting Enough

Though you may own a good amount of gear, you are not consistently shooting anyway. So, rather than spending all that time and money on a new piece of kit that may not increase your creative productivity, focus more on making time in your schedule to practice photography.

Focus on What You Actually Need

Rather than fixating on features that you think you might need under some rare circumstance, learn how about you can use your current system to achieve the look you are going for. In the end, the photograph is going to have to speak for itself. Nobody except other photographers are going to care about what camera you used.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A99 review images (4 of 32)ISO 400

You Don’t Have to Keep Up with the Jones

Even if your friends and fellow shutterbugs are upgrading their equipment every 18 months, it doesn’t mean you have to. This may keep camera manufacturers happy, but such regular expenditures rarely make the person a better photographer.

Would You Be More Excited About Owning It than Using It?

This can be a hard thing to admit, but sometimes the real thrill comes from the new purchase itself rather than the satisfaction of creating new, exciting and innovative work with it. If your last big purchase didn’t change or improve your photography, this next one may not either.