Friday, March 22, 2013

Does Size Matter?

Does size matter? That's a question that seems to be the focus of some camera manufactures today. With cameras being in almost all our electronic devices today, from computers, to cell phones and tablets one has to wonder what is happening with the camera market. The trend over the last few years has been toward smaller, lighter cameras. This trend is evident if you look at compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, and now even APS-C sensor DSLRs (Canon's New EOS S1/100D).

I often see posts on technology forms, where photography is not the focus of the site, that DSLR's are out of date, old tech that needs to be retired because they are big and ugly. I find such comments somewhat humorous, and ignorant.  Then again I can understand, considering that these comments are coming from people who are completely satisfied with, what I would often consider poor quality, cell phone images. After reading those comments I pause and think, what difference does it make what the camera looks like or how big it is? People today seem to be obsessed with form over function. I think many DSLR's look very nice, but I agree that some (Pentax K-30 anyone?) are ugly.

On the other hand, if you visit photography sites, you'll often see people who want bigger, more comfortable cameras to hold. Interesting twist isn't it? People who take casual snaps want small devices, while people who take photos for a living, or just for the fun of it, tend to use bigger, more ergonomically designed cameras that are comfortable to use for hours at a time. So where does that leave us?

The lingering question is, does making cameras smaller solve anything?  Some would say yes, and answer that DSLR's are dead, because mirrorless is the only way to go. After all, they are smaller and lighter. My answer? If I wanted a small camera I'd use my cell phone or a point and shoot. I had a m4/3s camera for a year, and thought it was a nice camera, but it was still kind of bulky, thus it did not solve the pocketability issue that DSLR's have. So I asked myself, what's the point? I also realized that it is more comfortable to shoot with a DSLR, due to the design. Weight and size loose their meaning if you have to grasp the little camera like it's a slippery fish!

Conclusion? If you need pocketability, use your cell phone or a point and shoot. If weight and size aren't an issue, don't worry about it! Let trendy people do what they do, and enjoy your big "ugly" DSLR!