Michael Rammell

Can we get on with making photographs now?

Gear, MicroFourThirds, Olympus, PhotographyMichael Rammell4 Comments

There has been so much debate lately surrounding DSLR vs Mirrorless.

DSLR's are too big. Mirrorless are too small. DSLR's are too heavy. Mirrorless have small sensors. 

Enough already! 

The fact is they're all cameras, whether you're shooting Medium Format, DSLR, Mirrorless or even iPhone they all take photographs. Sure, each camera approaches the task in a slightly different way and as such they're all suited to different things. But people ask different things of their cameras, therefore we don't all need the same camera or put the same priority on the same elements of a camera.

On different pages

I've seen debates between sports photographers and portrait photographers: one claiming that anything less than a Canon 1Dx or a D4s isn't worth the money and the other saying that those high end DSLR's aren't worth what they cost. The thing is with those photographers both requiring very different things of their cameras it really wasn't a debate that was being had on the same page so to speak.

Its like saying my apple is better than your banana. Sure they're both fruits but they're incredibley different!

The proof of this is portrait and architectural photographers may need megapixels so could be using a medium format (not known for it's low-light performance). They're likely to be indoors using controlled studio light. I'd argue that frame rate and weather sealing perhaps aren't at the top of these photographers' list of requirements when choosing their camera.

A sports shooter needs fast and accurate tracking. Therefore a Canon 1Dx would be a suitable camera. It's weather sealed and built like a brick. Although it's perhaps not ideal for street photography. It's maybe overkill for a portrait photographer.

A street photographer will be out all day on their feet walking the streets trying their best to blend in and be incognito. A Mirrorless camera,  being light and small and not fitting the description of the typical DSLR is a great ally allowing them to photograph daily life without arousing suspicion. It is less intimidating. 

So, my point here is NOT that a DSLR is only good for sports, or that a Mirroless is only good for street, because I've seen people use DSLR's for street, I've seen people shoot weddings with Mirrorless and I've seen people shoot a great many other things with a series of different cameras, my point is that we really need to stop debating it and accept the fact that people have choice now. That new cameras that are different from DSLR's are available and that people like them. Choice is good. Choice forces innovation in an industry. Even if you don't use or like Mirrorless cameras you should be pleased that they are here so that we can see new things from the old guard camera manufacturers.

 Does it have to be 'or', or can it be 'and'?

One thing people often forget is that it doesn't always have to be an 'or' situation. Canon or Nikon. JPEG or RAW, DSLR or Mirroless. Apples or Bananas. I'll be out today in Central London with over 20 photographers shooting street. I have 2 Mirrorless cameras with me. In a couple of weeks I'll be back shooting weddings again. I'll be using my DSLR for that.

The Future

With regards to the future of the form factor of cameras? That will all depend on the consumer and the manufacturers of course. If these camera makers keep producing DSLR's and people keep buying them; they're not about to all of a sudden stop and change they're strategy. They'll make what they can sell.

As for the consumers: us photographers - we'll keep buying what we like and what we need for the job, whatever camera that may be and whatever camera suits them most. It's all about preference. 

That said, can we please get on with making photographs now and get back to being creative's?

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