DSLRs used to be the answer to high-quality images, but they’re not the only devices that are capable of offering that anymore. Smartphone cameras are slowly catching up with intelligent algorithms and advanced features like 108MP mode, 100x zoom, micro lens and more.
So, in this day and age, do you still need a DSLR? We don’t think so, and here’s why:
DSLRs are costly
Getting a DSLR is expensive, especially for beginners; the camera body itself will already cost you at least a thousand or two, and that’s before you consider the extra lenses, flashes, tripods, and any other accessories you may need.
And when it comes to lenses, you’re unlikely to stick to one; you have your telephoto lens, macro lens, wide lens, fisheye lens — that’s apart from your more common prime lens with a fixed focal length and standard zoom lens.
Each of these lenses are priced differently — some will even cost more than the camera body itself.
Let’s take portrait photography as an example. If you’re into beautiful, blurred backgrounds a.k.a the bokeh effect, you’ll want a lens with wider aperture.
One of the more affordable lenses you can get is the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 — this is priced around RM1,200. Even if you get a used one, you’ll still be spending about RM800 for this lens.
And that’s only one lens — imagine if you want/need more lenses in the future.
There’s a steep learning curve when it comes to DSLRs
Learning the ropes of photography doesn’t mean you have to own a DSLR. In fact, it may be harder for you to find your own photography style because learning about your DSLR is another tough challenge.
It’s more than a ‘point-and-shoot’ camera; with a DSLR, you want to maximise its potential by learning about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance and more.
This may be confusing to those who just started venturing into photography because the more controls you are given, the more knowledge you’ll need to make the right adjustment for each setting.
Starting off with a less complicated shooting device like a digital camera or even a smartphone will simplify things, so you can focus on discovering the type of photography you’re interested in and master fundamentals like photo composition and lighting.
Maintenance is a must and a fuss
Yes, DSLRs are professional-grade cameras that offer complex yet useful features that can capture top-notch photos and video, but with great power comes great responsibility.
Maintaining and cleaning your DSLR is necessary because they have many sensitive components that will cost you a fortune if they’re damaged.
Not only do you have to keep your camera dust-free, but you also have to store them in dry areas — some will purchase a dry box to control the humidity level to prevent fungus growth in their cameras.
All these cleaning and maintenance require money and time, so unless you’re a full-time professional in photographer, you may not want to spend so much effort on a camera.
When it comes to social media, your photos and videos will always be resized if they exceed the photo upload size set by social media platforms.
So, even if you want high-quality photos on your Facebook and Instagram, you don’t need a DSLR to do so — a good smartphone is more than enough.
This is because social media platforms will send your photos through their compression engine no matter what. Although the DSLR photo will still be slightly better after compression, the difference is not noticeable to the untrained eye.
DSLRs are bulky and heavy — not the most convenient gadget to carry around
Sometimes, speed is key when it comes to capturing moments that happen in a split second. A DSLR camera will not make it unless you’ve already set up your camera beforehand and adjusted all the manual controls.
In comparison, your phone is always with you and there’s no need to play with the settings to get a good shot. Phones are so advanced these days that they’re able to capture sharp and beautiful images without much effort, and they can do it instantly.
Plus, smartphones are much lighter and fits right in your pocket. That’s just impossible with a DSLR.
For beginners, a smartphone will suffice
There’s no doubt that DSLRs will always be an essential for camera professionals, but for us newbies? A good camera smartphone will do the job.
For those who are starting out and want to dive into photography, you can do so using your smartphone. One of our recommendations will be the new Xiaomi 11T that was recently launched with a 108MP camera.
Again, you won’t need a 108MP photo for your social media, but if you want to crop your photos or print them out as posters, the 108MP camera on the Xiaomi 11T will do wonders.
You’ll even get an 8MP ultrawide lens and a 5MP telemacro lens — that’s right, you don’t need to fork out more cash for additional DSLR lenses.
Plus, the phone is not just made for photography; it also comes with One-Click AI Cinema, a feature that lets you shoot movie-like footages with creative effects — this is all possible with a single tap.
You can even edit your photos and videos on the phone itself, so you don’t have to spend on subscriptions like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
At only RM1,699, the Xiaomi 11T can last you for years with its impressive camera setup, powerful processor, and massive battery.
This article is sponsored by Xiaomi Malaysia.