Old cameras don’t die…

Kersey, Suffolk

Let me ask you a question - which camera did I use to take the above photo?

Can’t tell? No cheating now. I would be surprised if many of you could, so why am I asking? Well, lately Ive noticed several headlines on social media from various photography blogs, proclaiming that ‘DSLR is dead’. Obviously these headlines are clickbait and very successful judging by the ensuing comments involving lots of pointless argument over the technical merits of each, but it is the underlying sentiment that has me writing this post.

First of all I should point out that I don’t disagree that mirrorless looks to be the way camera technology is going, there’s lots of clever gadgetry built into some of these cameras - focus peaking, electronic viewfinder, live composites, live bulb mode, even the ability to start shooting before you press the button so you don’t miss the moment! So I’m sure new photographers are increasingly more likely to invest in a mirrorless system. Personally, I use both mirrorless cameras and DSLRs and each have their merits. The smaller mirrorless camera is great for travel photography when shooting in cities, where a discrete camera is an asset and a big backpack is a burden and I love the EVF. For landscapes however I much prefer my sturdy DSLR with it’s optical viewfinder, especially in winter when a larger camera is easier to handle with gloves on.

But, will all this new technology improve our photography? It’s the obsession over equipment and the implication that it’s the camera that makes a good photographer that bothers me.

Try telling a photographer whose work you admire that they must have a really good camera to take such amazing photos. Go on, I dare you. The response (if there is one) is likely to be a rant about how ‘it’s the photographer not the camera’ and rightly so, yet we still obsess over the latest camera technology as if it will make us better photographers.

Whichever camera you use, get to know it so well that you can change settings without thinking about it because then you can focus your attention on what you are shooting. This is what will make us better photographers, using our eyes, our brains and our imagination not having more dynamic range or megapixels. Good photography is about light and composition, the camera is a tool and that tool doesn’t become inferior or stop working just because a newer one is available. So is DSLR dead? Mine is still working and that’s all that matters to me.

Oh before I forget… the camera used for the above shot? Who cares!