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02-16-2016, 04:10 PM   #1
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What is "it" about a DSLR?


This whole thing started a couple of months ago, when my kids asked me what I wanted for my b'day. I told them that I wanted to update the old Lumix P&S camera we had (it's several years old) and they asked me "Which camera?".

I was torn between a Lumix FZ200 (I also have a really old FZ20) and a smaller P&S, theLumix DS70, but I ended asking for a silver DS70. While I was waiting for that, I pulled out that old FZ20, and after messing around with it, realized that I really also wanted an FZ200, and I coincidentally found a good deal for a new FZ200.

So, at that point, I had two new cameras incoming !!

I want to mention that I had had many film SLRs, but had avoided getting a DSLR for a long time, so all of this got me to thinking that I had a bunch of old Pentax lenses and stuff, so maybe I should give a Pentax DSLR a try, and I found a used K-r on Ebay.

So now I had 3 new/used cameras incoming!!

Anyway, I got all 3, but frankly speaking, for some reason, I've been spending most of my time with the K-r.

I've tried the FZ200 (which actually arrived first, and which I think is very nice) and the DS70, a couple of times, but I'm finding that keep coming back to the K-r, shooting everything around me (my wife probably thinks I'm crazy by now).

So what is it about this? Do any of you have other non-DSLRs, and do you still gravitate to non-DSLR vs. DSLR, or is it just me? And again, "Why?"?

The thing is that another aspect of all of this is that we have an upcoming trip to the Far east again, in a few months, and part of this whole thing for me was to get a better camera for the trip. I would much prefer to be carrying the ZS70 because of it's size, or the FZ200 because of its "all-in-one-ness", but I think that it's going to be a tough decision to go with the K-r because of its size, and also, I can't picture (sorry for the pun) carrying a bunch of lenses with me.

Thanks for listening to a semi-rant !!


02-16-2016, 04:21 PM   #2
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To me, DSLR is all about what you, the photographer, wants to do. That dictates settings, lenses and types of camera. I will ask people those kinds of questions and much of the time a bridge camera will be all they need - it's a step up in capabilities from the phone, but they don't need to spend many hundreds on lenses which they need to cart around. If they're going to stick with the super-zoom lens, a bridge is often the better choice.

If you like to dig into the settings and operate like the "good old days" of film, where you try to coax the most out of your equipment there's no substitute for DSLRs. If you want to switch between long telephoto or zoom, and a short macro you can stick in a flower's "face" then you need the body to allow that.

I still use the smaller cameras, the Q, the Olympus S&W, and my phone, but it's the K-mount which really is the passion.
02-16-2016, 04:52 PM   #3
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Maybe it's the Pentax feel over the Panosonic feel as well?

All I know is that I LOVE my K-50.
02-16-2016, 05:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ohaya Quote
So what is it about this? Do any of you have other non-DSLRs, and do you still gravitate to non-DSLR vs. DSLR, or is it just me? And again, "Why?"?
I have my DSLRs... and then I have a Panasonic DMC-TZ70 (ZS50 in the US), a Fujifilm XF1 and a Pentax Q7 + several lenses.

The TZ70 is my "take everywhere" camera (it lives in the glove-box of my car). It has a tiny sensor and a 30x zoom lens, which means that image quality is always going to be really poor compared to a DSLR (it's fine for screen-based images, but anything bigger would be pushing it). But, there's not much I can't capture with it, so it's great for snapshots of any type, and I've taken some photos with it that I'm really happy with. It will capture RAW, and that lets me do a suprising amount of post processing in Lightroom to squeeze the best possible results out of the images.

The XF1 is my better compact, with a bigger sensor and more limited 4x zoom lens. Again, it will capture in RAW. But unlike the TZ70, image quality is generally pretty good. Images respond very well to post processing in terms of shadow and highlight recovery, and resolution is decent (it gets worse on distant details such as trees on a hillside). If I know the XF1 will be suitable for what I'm likely to photograph, this takes the place of my TZ70 in the car's glovebox.

The Pentax Q7 is my "serious" small camera... Small sensor but interchangeable lenses (good quality lenses, too), and it operates just like my Pentax DSLRs. With careful use and post-processing of RAW images, I can get way better results than with the TZ70 or XF1. If I want to travel light - ie. a very small over-the-shoulder bag - but want to do some decent photography, this is what I carry with me. I've taken some great photos with the Q7.

If I had to narrow down my equipment (and I *have* thought about it), I think I'd keep my DSLRs and the Pentax Q7, and sell the other compacts.

All that said... None of these small-sensor cameras is capable of anything close to the image quality of a DSLR. And that goes for your cameras too... the K-r's sensor and lenses are simply streets ahead of your FZ200 and DS70 (not that there's anything wrong with those cameras - we're just comparing apples and oranges, that's all).

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-16-2016 at 05:19 PM.
02-16-2016, 05:42 PM   #5
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Hey Jim,

I generally use my FZ200 when size and weight is an issue but I am seriously attached to my K-5 and k-5iis. With a semi-blown rotator cuff, I've had to make serious choices what lenses come with me when I hike
but its do-able and I always love the photo quality and low light abilities of my Pentax cameras. In low light situations like a party, the FZ200 has issues locking focus and the flash tends to be too brutal and has over exposed
a good portion of my shots. Also Architectural shots need the Pentax and a good UW lens.

Just my $0.02 worth ....
02-16-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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My first SLR was a Pentax H1a in 1965, and I used film SLRs through the century, along with Leica rangefinders. But I've never clicked with dSLRs. I have a K-5, but the tiny tunnel-like viewfinder (compared to any of my old film SLRs) is near useless for judging sharpness. Plus, all my old Pentax manual lenses lose much of their angle of view.
So I'm much happier with my Leica M9 for digital: great manual focus in very dim light, real aperture and shutter speed dials, and it feels and works like a film camera.And, of course, my old 21mm lenses have the ultra wide view they should have.
I know Pentax is coming out with a FF that would cure my angle of view issues with old lenses, but I already use them on my Sony A7, and I doubt if I'd like the new Pentax as well.
I don't see another dSLR in my future.
02-16-2016, 07:23 PM   #7
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Whatever feels right is it. I have a WGIII and have used a X100 and although they are good they are not it. I started with a brand new Spotmatic F and now use a K5iis and to me they feel like I can do more and are more comfortable to use. Having said that when I use my Hasselblad 500 CM with the waist level finder now that feels just right! I have only used it for 8 years and not as often as the Pentax models but to be it is perfect.

I think one of the reasons that some there are choices is that each of us find what is right for ourselves. The Kr was the first dslr I owned having used Nikons from work before and they are great cameras, I have around 27000 shots on mine.
02-16-2016, 07:28 PM   #8
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The DSLR is a necessity for shooting sports for the obvious reasons, and that is unlikely to change. Also, having all the knobs and buttons where you can easily see them is helpful for all photography. Regardless, is is easier to take a smaller and lighter camera for travel, backpacking, while skiing, etc. I have a Q7 and have taken some good photos with it, but would prefer something with a larger sensor for the future, perhaps one of the FUJI offerings. I want to continue to take a "barbell" approach for the future, with the upcoming K-1 (if I can afford it) and something much smaller and lighter (but with a larger sensor than the Q7).

02-16-2016, 08:03 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I have a Samsung phone and 1" MILC, Canon superzoom, Sony and Pentax APS-C, Sony FF. They get used for different things, like clubs in the golf bag. :-)
02-16-2016, 08:54 PM   #10
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I exclusively shot the k7 for years then picked up a GR. I have not touched the k7 since. It is a combination of immage quality, same size sensor, and convenience. In the end though I think it is the interface. The GR is so quick and intuitive for me that I don't miss any of the k7 manual controls...which is saying alot as this is why (along with lenses) I went to a dslr in the first place. Prior to the GR, I had every intention of buying the k-1 after the 2nd firmware update. Now I am happy to wait....if I can keep from getting swept up in the moment. I have a few Pelican cases full of FF glass so it may be a true test of will power.😁
02-16-2016, 09:12 PM - 1 Like   #11
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For me DSLR is primarily an SLR camera but with a digital sensor instead of film. Of course with that goes all the other properties and benefits and drawbacks of digital. It is the SLR part that is important to me.

These are in order:
  1. Through the lens viewfinder and metering.
    • I simply detest using a rear screen for taking any photo with the possible exception of when using a tripod. Sometimes this feature is invaluable and one of the great boons from the Digital technology but it is useful to me only in certain circumstances.
    • I can not hold a camera steady at arms length.
    • To see exactly what you are shooting is vital for focus and composition and metering.
    • Electronic viewfinders are not in favour with me. Admittedly I have not tried one for some time and presumably they are now better that they were 5 years ago. I have had no reason to try one since and no real desire or need to.
    • Range finders work OK as far a steadying the camera goes but suffer from not being TTL in regards to parallax, focus, metering and composition. I would prefer a rangefinder digital to an EVF digital any day.
  2. Multi-lens capability.
    • Primarly a SLR capability now available in mirror-less cameras but was not around when I made my first SLR purchase.
02-16-2016, 09:53 PM   #12
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Sensor size and a variety of lenses is a plus for DSLRs. I have a P&S in the car. Can't recall when I last used it except at a 3rd-row Elton John concert including on-stage video :-)
02-16-2016, 10:25 PM   #13
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Original Poster

My original post was probably a little rambling. I guess that I've been surprised how hard it is to get even what I would call "proficient" with the K-r. I was a film photographer a long long while ago (like 30+ years) including doing dark room duty and weddings for a few years and when I go the K-r, I figured it'd be like "riding a bike", but at least for me, that has definitely not been the case, and it's taking a lot more effort (and work). I suppose that that it being difficult is making it more of a challenge for me ("challenge" in the good sense, i.e., something difficult that makes me want to overcome it).

Thanks for all the comments/replies!

02-16-2016, 10:46 PM   #14
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I got a used dslr Pentax K10D [ less than 100 ] and am overwhelmed, as I have been using cheap point and shoots, my current one is getting boggy from a melted choclat on the lens so went ebaying. The thing has a ton of buttons and needs lens[ hope to borrow some zaiss from a friend] and my old ME smc A 55mm is too small so ordered a m42 adapter but thinking I gt to get a kit or better lens eventually as the options are killing my appetite lol like need software disk firmware -etc and ordered a sd card . This is not a pocket camera and not sure how unobtrusive I can be taking quirky shots of local life I was looking at mirrorless but 'won' the K10D I am sure it is going to teach me a lot and I hope I can snap some good pics. I got picasa on my desktop but heard its being phased out for poorer google photos? Also have apple photo morphed from iphoto currently using on desktop but dont know which is best as picassa sucks info for google cheers all
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02-17-2016, 09:14 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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A DSLR was my way to get control of the process. Without a darkroom, film annoyed me (still does). The DSLR removed that roadblock for me, so I could get better at the roots of photography: see, capture, present.

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