Do you need a DSLR?


Aspiring Novelist
I see many buying DSLR or wanted to buy one without knowing much about it or are is it status symbol? Most of the people using their mobile phone for making and receiving calls, yet they spend 30+ grand for a smart phone!!! Does DSLR becoming like that? There may be tons of justifcation, probably I will never get the depth of them.

Coming to the topic... DSLR (Read, interchangeable lens camera)

You looooveee to take photographs. You're shooting with your compact (or mobile) camera, thinking of picking it up as a hobby. And you see this friend of yours showing off his DSLR. You think that DSLR will help you take better photographs. You know... your camera is as good as you get. In fact, it may likely to produce worse photos than what you have been capturing with your compact camera if you don't know how to use a DSLR.

Like every product, DSLR has its own drawbacks. See if you can live with these...

DSLR has more buttons and knobs around the camera. Ofcourse, it's much useful for professional photographers. But is it a must-have for a beginner? I don't think so.

Maintaining a DSLR is like owning a ride. You keep it under regular check, it works best. If not, it's likely to cost more to fix the problem when that happens.

Owning and maintaining a system is expensive. If you want great results, you need quality glass. For different purpose, you need different lenses. You can very well slap an all-in-one 18-300 or even 18-500 (if it comes in future ;)), but that defeats the purpose of DSLR and the quality of consumer super-zoom optics is not great.

DSLR is bulky and heavy. It's not as portable as compact camera. You can't keep it in your shirt pocket or in your trouser pocket. Unless it's for professional work, taking it everywhere with you is not convenient.

DSLR is little complex to use. Though it's not a rocket science, it needs some effort from the user to make good use of DSLR. Yeah, you can put it in Auto mode, but again that defeats the purpose of DSLR.

Of course, if your skill or work demands a DSLR, go ahead and buy one and use it to its extreme limits. But if you're like most people, shooting when the spirit hits you, or for home use, you're better off with a compact camera.


Grand Master
Nac owning a DSLR is just like owning a Bullet see it with a friend, get impressed, buy it and then got to know how heavy it is ...and maintainence charges offcourse.

lot of people buy it just to get the high quality picture...but the reality is 90% of my pics are edited. yes P&S does not give the quality which can be edited a lot, but out of camera pic of DSLR are rarely superblooking.

The beginners do not estimate the cost of lenses. A guy gets a D5100+18-55 for 25k if he wants to take macro pics of pro quality he needs to get a macro lens which cost almost same as D5100kit. The same guy wants to shoot birds, he will again have to spend equal amount of 25k on a birding 70-300 lens ...soo actually cost of body is negligible.

I have seen the casual shooters putting DSLR very poor maintainence, no clean up...fungus growth in body and lens and no one notice...DSLR need an outing everyweek...even at home-out of the dark box ....a proper storage solution which will be dust proof and airtight ...if you can spend on a 50k dslr then better get a 300 rs lenspen and a 1000rs airtight box with some 200gm silica gel packets.


Broken In
Okk, so it's because you have started the topic, i am trying to get clear with some thoughts that are revolving in my mind for quite a long time..

DSLR has never been my priority since compactibility is my major concern. But one thing i always wonder is whether Mirrorless would be a good choice..

Now here are my concerns :
(consider compact as modern advanced compact and mirrorless as both mirrorless & dslr)

1. Considering that compact camera now support RAW format, is there any difference (or if yes, how much) between Raw files from a compact camera and that from a mirrorless??
What i am trying to say is that let's assume we capture a raw image of same scene from mirrorless and compact. Is there any limitation in post-processing in the raw file from compact as compared to mirrorless ?? Can we achieve the same image quality level ?? Or type of camera sensor (APSC or micro-third or those in compact) is a major determinant here??

2. Let's say focal range upto 200 mm will be enough for me and i will be mostly using only one lens in mirrorless. What should i go for - mirrorless or compact ?
Yes, as you have mentioned, it defeats the purpose of interchangeable lens camera; but shouldn't it be safe to opt for mirrorless as i still have the option to opt for different lens in future if i need any??

3. Regarding maintenance, how much actually is needed in mirrorless?? Is it similar to dslr or just little more than compact?

PS : Sorry if the whole writing is difficult to read. I am posting it from mobile.


Grand Master
Ok let me answer your queries

1. Image sensor on mirrorless and DSLR are much more bigger and that makes them great for low light image making also quality of RAW image depend on image sensor...and have you ever thought that a compact can carry a 28-500mm lens inside its body but for dslr we need to carry a special bag with 3-4 lenses for same focal length...why? because lens have the ability to capture sharp and contrasty pics...Now if you add DSLR and good lens togather you will obviously get much better RAW pics then any compact cameras....Nowdays 1 inch sensor by SOny fuji,sigma and nikon 1 series are trying to produce dslr/mirrorless quality pics on compact cameras..maybe in 1-2 yrs u will see that kind of compact in budget soon.

2. A mirrorless is although small , but not small enough to carry in your will need to carry it in a saperate bag. and if the lens is slightly big then it defeats the purpose of small and handy..If I have to get a mirrorless, it will be with a small prime lens or maximum retractable kit lens possible...else I have lot more choice with my DSLR with lenses ...Mirrorless have the advantage of multiple adapters to use all kind of old lenses in manual mode.but thats a diffrent story and only for advance enthusiasts ;)

I think amlan can answer the 3rd question


Broken In
I do not think there is any maintenance cost as such in any of DSLR or Mirror less but if you have to use your gear to full potential then you will have to spend on various accessories like Tripod, Filters, lenses etc. that may make owning a DSLR or any scalable system more expensive than a P&S but then that is the reason you mostly go for it.

All my friends including me have spent lot more money on accessories than the money spent on the camera.


Broken In
Thanks for your replies...
Regarding the compactibility of mirrorless, yes, i was also doubtful about it's size..
So, it seems compact is still the way to go for me..
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In search for Tech Gyan!
An eye opener that is. I'm not sure if I need a dSLR, but, I surely want one. Maybe, I do not have any clear vision as to whether I'll ever go on to become a pro, but then, I'd definitely would like to try. Having used cellphone cameras, which increasingly have been bridging the gap between a super compact cellphone camera and the compact point and shoots, I guess, my priorities grown beyond using a regular point and shoot, though, no doubt, the quality between the two is really different, with a decent P&S overperforming than the sensor packed insides of our cellphone cameras.


The problem with DSLRs I have encountered is while traveling with substantial luggage , you have to be very careful. Specially if you have pair of lenses.
Also , a DSLR is not easy to use. I don't mean the understanding, I am trying to refer to the complications involved in changing lens kits , putting filters , etc. Its time consuming and requires care.


Grand Master
@upadyay there is maintainence cost...either you keep your gear safe in dustproof place..clean regularly... or u get fungus on lens and dust particle inside body and lens...the cleaning by pro cost a lot

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BTW if I need a compromise between great video, great pics, great size and good price it will be Panasonic GH3 or Sony A6000 ....awesome both


Aspiring Novelist
BTW if I need a compromise between great video, great pics, great size and good price it will be Panasonic GH3 or Sony A6000 ....awesome both
What happened to the idea of RX100? ;)
I don't see D3100 in your signature. Sold? (Remember you were thinking of selling it...)


Sith Lord
Staff member
Hmm interesting question. And I agree, for most uses a prosumer is better. There are two aphorisms
one is that Amateurs worry about Equipment, Professionals worry about Payment and Masters worry about Lighting.
the other is the best camera is the one available when you need it.

For enthusiast photography, prosumers or bridge are not only good enough, they offer some advantages over dSLRs. They cheaper than dSLRs, but they are also incredibly versatile, you can go from shooting a macro of a flower to a landscape to a bird on a distant tree without having to switch out lenses. You can also put your hand out of a bus or take it close to the water leaning out of a boat, being able to operate it in one hand is an advantage.

Now dSLRs are not replaceable for high quality studio shoots of products, portraits and fashion photography. But it's not likely you will be needing these unless you are a professional. Also it is a lot of investment, not just a body and a couple of lenses. It involves batteries, memcards, flash lights, reflectors, tripods, filters... plus traveling around with all of these is a pain.

I stopped using dSLR because of the bulk and weight and this show off thing. I go on treks regularly, there are anywhere between 10 to 70 people in each. Most have dSLRs, many with one default lense or a zoom lense. The photo albums of all these people, and of all the people who go to the same location are exactly the same. Same framing, same subjects. There was only one memorable picture in 7+ years of trekking, of a disc shaped rainbow, called a glory/ indravajra, and it was taken on one of those Rs. 250 point and shoot film cameras, and the guy who took it got a scan resolution negative.

The most fun I had with photography was with an old FM10


Broken In
Hey Sujoy, Fungus, dust, humidity do not understand the difference of P&S, Mirror less or DSLR. This is a common problem for any camera and lens, it’s just that sometimes P&S owners do not care about the thumb print, dust or fungus on the lenses or dust particles on the sensor.

When you put more money you automatically take more care and you should but that is not a maintenance cost it is all to avoid any maintenance need.

Sensor cleaning & fungus can be easily avoided by taking good care of the equipments.


Grand Master
Nac RX100 is still in my mind ...but A6000 and GH3 are leaders in video and fast focus ...I am not going to buy then anyways ;) I will go for RX100 only :D

yes D3100 is sold now..sold for just 11k :( current market rate is 21k ..and I had shot 25k already soo gone cheap

raja manuel

In the zone
Wait, are you guys actually agreeing with me on not recommending DSLRs to people because they don't need them? :)

One other reason I would add to many users not being ready for DSLRs is that they don't realise it is just one component in a system. Many people see a photo taken with a DSLR and assume that the excellent quality is because of the camera and forget the large number of (expensive and bulky) accessories that went into taking the picture.
Even worse, they completely ignore the guy on the other side of the camera. It is very common for wannabes to ask 'Which camera?' rather than 'Who's the photographer?' when they see an impressive picture. They will later try to compensate for this by uploading very mediocre photos from their DSLR to Facebook with a 'First Name Last Name Photography' watermark. Meanwhile, a guy with a mobile phone is taking far better photos because he works on improving himself rather than upgrading equipment.


Grand Master
what I can add to you raja is that commonly people dont really care which lens is used ...many of my friends almost ask me every time if I will carry my expensive 150-500 for picknic :D ...but they get disappointed when I carry a 4 times cheap tamron 17-50 with me ...LOL ...what and how to explain them ..its almost impossible to tell them all technicalities in 2 mins.

now some guys with incomplete knowledge may laugh at me if they come to know that I have 17-50 , 55-200 50mm prime and a 55mm macro ...why soo many 50mm ranges...and why not just get a 18-200 macro :D

I mean leave the photographer's ability ...they give 100% importance to the DSLR only...and even buy one with a kit lens...but fail to understand that it need lenses, flash, reflector, tripod, monopod, and what not for producing all those images

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
DO I NEED A DSLR??????:twisted:

I can only go to a hiend mirrorless when I reach above 60,till I can carry the load I see no point going the other way. But thats me.

Now I want Canon 8mm fish eye L,14mm ultra wide L, Canon 24L F1.4, Sigma 35mm F1.4, Canon 85mm F1.8,Canon 135mm F2, Canon 200F2 L, Canon 500mm F4 and the 800mm L....... So all of you bless me for the next 5 years.:twisted::-D:wink:

ooh i forgot apart from a few flashes I also want the Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses for the ucoming...ahem ahem then a Aputure VS-3, Arca Swiss Ballhead and a Gitzo Tripod....please lord listen to this prayer. Amen.
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Back to school!!
Okay, after some inner turmoil, I agree that the image quality of a dslr cannot be approached by a POS, no matter what.

I have proof:

Left pic taken by a D5100, and taken by a complete newbie who upgraded from a 4000/- pos to that directly, it took him 3-4 secs to take. Right pic taken by me with fz150 after fighting with the AF for minutes and wasting 2-5 clicks. I have a few more samples like this, Though the dslr wielding monkey got a lot of lousy shots due to the auto mode he was using, most pictures came better than mine, specially under low light.

I need a dslr.

raja manuel

In the zone
I mean leave the photographer's ability ...they give 100% importance to the DSLR only...and even buy one with a kit lens...but fail to understand that it need lenses, flash, reflector, tripod, monopod, and what not for producing all those images
Exactly. And let us not forget: a couple of assistants to help you carry stuff, set up the shoot, hold the reflector…

I have a colleague with a D3100 who takes his camera to every outing with friends. The large number of out-of-focus images is quite painful to see, especially when you consider they could have very easily been in-focus if someone took a few minutes to understand autofocus points and how to use them. Using a DSLR isn't difficult but you do have to put in some effort.

And then there's the guy who puts down a lot of cash for a DSLR with a kit lens and feel really stupid because all the girls want to take group selfies and his arm just isn't long enough…


Grand Master
[MENTION=52329]tkin[/MENTION] I understand your point...if picture quality is the factor then DSLR is the way to go ...and as I said you should learn the manual settings and modes..its not like all three metering option will produce same pic..or all focus options will give same results a photography enthusiast learn things slowly and deeply..
[MENTION=133607]raja[/MENTION] I know many guys who got DSLR and dont use it 1-2 times after getting it cause its complicated and big own mama and mausi got one after looking at my pics and there dslr in the shelf for too long now..the guy to whome i sold my previous dslr knew nothing about photography and came to me to learn the auto modes :D
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