Don’t abandon that DSLR just yet

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with my Nikon AW100 lately. It is small and light compared the D7000 so it goes with me more often, to more places. I’ve also been reading a lot of blogs and articles lately suggesting that the newer generations of mirrorless or “EVIL” cameras are getting to the point where they will replace the DSLR for most people. I’m not convinced.

I understand the technical advances are bring capabilities to this little cameras that are difficult or impossible in a DSLR. You can’t do 60fps with a moving curtain. It isn’t about the speed differences between phase and contrast based autofocus either. I know the little cameras will catch up soon in that regard. I can even live with an electronic viewfinder in place of optical.

Why won’t you see me give up the DSLR anytime soon? It’s size and weight. Huh? Isn’t that why most people want to give them up? Well it may be but when they do they’ll figure out what I found out when I tried to go from big, heavy video camera to tiny camcorder in the past and from DSLR to smaller compact digital lately. Within reason, a bigger, heavier camera creates a more stable shooting platform and results in better images simply by reducing shake and improving stance.

I held the Nikon V1 in a store yesterday. There wasn’t enough camera there for me to get a good grip on. In the pocket it is no doubt a delight. In the hands, it isn’t quite enough.

Don’t get me wrong, the little AW100 is going in my pocket when my reason for leaving the house isn’t specifically to go shoot photos. It is also the go-to camera in bad weather and for snorkeling while on vacation. If I had a V1, micro 4/3rds or really small APS-C like Sony’s NEX series, I’d find a use for that camera too but not as a complete replacement for the DLSR.

I like to think I’m an early adopter of new technology and not set in my ways. I don’t think “because I’ve grown up with this format and bulk” is as much my reason for sticking with the DLSR as the real shooting results. Maybe it is both. When it comes to budget, the more practical matter of not wanting to re-buy a lens collection, again, is also a factor. It seems like I just got close to complete on Nikon lenses for DLSR use after leaving my lifelong Pentax collection of 35mm film gear and lenses behind. I’m not ready to set these Nikons aside and start buying a new set all over again.