Looking at digital SLR alternatives - small cameras for serious photographers
Looking for a lightweight camera? Something smaller than a DSLR but better quality than a run-of-the-mill compact? Andrew Fildes weighs up the options.
In the relentless pursuit of image quality and ‘features’, some of us move up the scale buying more and more professional-grade cameras and lenses.
Eventually we come to the conclusion that the average pro must be pretty fit!
Just recently I had a Nikon D4 in for test. I lifted it and gasped – and then weighed it. With the standard 24-70mm zoom and the flash, it weighed just over 3kg; enough to kill my arm and shoulder in a day’s work.
There’s no way I want to carry that and a couple of extra lenses for a day’s personal, casual shooting.
So what are the alternatives? If you work as a pro or semi-pro you might drag along the ‘proper’ kit for a purposeful shoot like a wedding, location portrait, special landscape or an event – but what’s your daily walk-around going to be?
Perhaps you’re a dedicated enthusiast and you need a lightweight camera you can take on holiday or on a hike without it being a drag?
It all depends on your needs of course. I never go anywhere without a camera and I have no problem carrying a camera bag – my wife claims I got into photography so that I could have a handbag as well. It’s got my netbook and all my other stuff in it anyway – so a mirrorless three-lens kit is not a problem and my big Canon EOS 5D can stay in the studio.
But you might want something smaller still that fits in a handbag or a briefcase, or even your pocket...
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Creating images with lens flare effect; How to achieve a three dimensional effect with your pictures; Photoshop's Adaptive Wide Angle filter; Profile - David Knight; Fujifilm X-Pro 1; Nikon D4
This story was first published in the Digital Photography + Design June-July 2012 issue of Digital Photography + Design > June-July 2012.