Why I Don’t Have a DSLR

When I made the decision to upgrade from our simple point-and-shoot digital camera, I had to decide whether to make the jump to a DSLR. I knew that I wanted the ability to control aperture and shutter speed. I definitely wanted a camera with macro mode so that I could continue my exploration of street art.  I also wanted the ability to shoot RAW in order to gain finer control over post-processing.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to make the financial investment in a DSLR. I do not have a “gear-head” personality – all those lens options and accessories simply serve to make me sweat. I had enough choices between aperture, shutter speed and ISO – I didn’t need focal length and lens choice added to the mix of options.

I wanted to retain the portability and size of a point-and-shoot. As I have explained here, I’m not comfortable being “noticed” as a photographer and the thought of shooting with a DSLR with a long lens just didn’t seem  to be the right fit for me and my photographic disposition.

So I chose the Canon G11 fixed-lens digital camera. And for the most part, I have been extremely satisfied with my choice. I am the only student in my Advanced Digital Photography class not shooting with a DSLR and I think I’m holding my own against the full-featured cameras.

But, the biggest downside to my camera choice? Even at the full telephoto setting and with my wide-open aperture setting of f2.8, I struggle with most attempts to render a background that remains muted and out-of-focus.   Shots like the one below are simply beyond the capabilities of my camera. And I simply LOVE this shot – thanks to betsyblue  for this wonderful photo.

52 by 2 Week 9: Empty

With my G11, I can create a very shallow depth-of-field, sending the background out-of-focus, only when I am in macro mode as the shot at the beginning of this post demonstrates.

So I will continue to savor the gorgeous shots of my fellow DSLR photographers. And I will wish that I could isolate a subject like you can. But all in all, I am happy with where my G11 has taken me. After all, when it comes down to it, it’s not the gear but what the photographer does with the gear that really matters.

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Posted on May 6, 2011, in Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. its not about the camera it is all about what you envision and see and bring to life through the lens. keep up the good work

  2. It is so true it’s the eye that makes the photograph, but I agree macro well you just have to have it really you do. I love all things macro and i love that hazy out of focus background look too. I have a DSLR my husband bought it for a few years back and it took me 2 years to actually get brave enough to use it. I did a workshop summer school that taught me so much about all the techy stuff and I still mess it up sometimes. I carry my point and shoot with me all the time though because sometimes a big camera is too much for people. It makes them nervous I think haha!! Dropping by from Kats Eye View, I like your place thanks for sharing.

    • Kim, I just finished an Advanced Digital Photography class and it really helped me become comfortable with the technical side of things. Now I can concentrate on the creative. I don’t think I will ever upgrade to a DSLR – it is simply more camera than I want or need. So I try to work within the limits of what my camera can do. I am so happy that you stopped by from Kats Eye View – please do stop by again! I love hearing from new readers. BTW – your “She Art” creations are simply stunning.

  3. It’s not the camera that sees and creates the pictures, it’s the person behind the camera. You can have the best camera in the world with all kinds of accessories and take the crappiest photos. And vice versa.
    I do own a DSLR – I made the change to digital very late because I loved my film SLR. I’ve been owning (D)SLRs for thirty years and I never had the feeling of “too much”. However, I do understand your point and I think everybody has to chose what works for them. I also love my point-and-shoot and carry it with me all the time.
    I came over from the Kat Eye View, love this site.

    • Carola – I do appreciate that you stopped by and left your thoughts on this subject. For me, my Canon G11 is perfect – I get the extended control that I wanted plus the ability to shoot in RAW. And I feel comfortable behind its lens. I recognize the limitations that I have versus a DSLR so I try to work within those limits, using them to drive, rather than restrict, my creativity.

      I am thrilled to meet another artist from Kat’s Eye View! Please do come back.

  4. I am totally impressed that you do so much without a DSLR and I appreciate your process at coming to that decision. Absolutely your eye is distinctive and that matters more than any gear you could buy!

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