On the very first post on a photography blog or channel, you would expect to see camera and lens talks. Or, at the very least, something about a new camera.
We don’t do that here.
On this blog (and channel), my first post isn’t about buying a new camera. It’s about selling one.
Before I dive into it further, let me clear up first that just because I’m saying adios to DSLR cameras doesn’t mean I think they’re suddenly worthless. So, DSLR enthusiasts (if that’s a thing), please don’t be mad at me. Hear me out first.
Are DSLR cameras obsolete in 2022?
…mirrorless is more convenient and has more features that I enjoy for my hobby.
I believe DSLR cameras will still be around for a long time even if manufacturers like Canon stop making them. DSLR cameras may not have the latest and greatest features like their mirrorless counterparts, but that wouldn’t stop most people from doing great work with them. In fact, there are still times when a DSLR will be better than a mirrorless camera.
That is to say, I haven’t moved from DSLRs because I’ve outgrown them. Rather, I’ve moved because mirrorless is more convenient and has more features that I enjoy for my hobby.
With that out of the way, let me talk about my photography journey so far.
How I met…photography
I’m a hobbyist photographer and a passionate blogger. YouTubing isn’t my thing, my thing is writing. And I like to take pictures to go along with it. I especially like taking portraits and product photography with a little bit of travel and nature on the side.
I started my photography when I was a little kid. I bought a film camera for a ridiculously cheap price. I didn’t have any money so I had to save here and there from my allowances to buy films and pay to develop them. However, that passion went into hibernation for many years.
It wasn’t until my first visit to the US in 2013 when I was going through this shopping mall they call an airport.
During a long layover, I bought my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D3100. And my passion for photography was awakened.
Of course, I learned a lot by using this camera in all conditions: Nature, travel, portrait, even a couple of weddings (not as a paid gig, of course).
During that time, like any photographer learning this craft, I also started dreaming about better cameras and better lenses.
As you might know, the Nikon D3100 is a crop-sensor camera. Nikon calls their crop bodies DX. I lusted over FX bodies for so long! I also drooled over common photography desires like the 70-200 f/2.8 lens and off-camera flashes.
Moving to Camp Canon
Eventually, because Nikon gears were crazy expensive in our city, I moved to a Canon 700D. There are a lot of Canon shooters here and so the Canon gears are comparatively cheaper and plentiful. I started acquiring lenses and eventually bought some flashes as well.
In hindsight, the more gear I was getting, the less I was out there shooting.
Admittedly, I’ve shot more than my Nikon D3100 than any other single camera. I’m breaking that bad record with my current mirrorless cameras, though. But more on that later.
I moved from Canon 700D to a Canon 7D. I wasn’t happy with the 7D so I sold that and got myself a Canon 80D (mostly because it was great for HD video recording). Not that I’ve shot a lot with that camera, I’ll shamefully admit again.
These days, shooting HD is a mistake. Even though I didn’t have any active YouTube channels, I didn’t want to shoot in 4K.
Oh, I forgot, I played with Fuji for a while, too. I absolutely loved using my Fuji X-T10 with a 35mm f/2 lens. I stopped shooting in RAW and was very happy with Fuji JPEGs.
If you venture into the Fuji camp, you’ll know that it’s a thing there. However, I personally wasn’t happy with the responsiveness of the X-T10. And more importantly, because Fuji is somewhat of a niche market in this country, the gear was very expensive.
So I jumped back to the Canon camp in 2019 with the Canon EOS R, Canon’s first foray into the full-frame mirrorless world.
A new era with the EOS R
To be honest, the Canon EOS R made me enjoy photography again.
I know, I know. You’ll say, I’m not a true photographer if I’m doing it only for the camera.
But then again, what’s the harm in that? I know a camera is only a tool. But if the tool makes me want to use it to create content, what’s the shame in that?!
I’ll admit, I’m not an artist. My photography is anything but art. But it’s a hobby. And I see no problem in enjoying photography because I like using a particular camera.
My EOS R came bundled with the EF to R mount adapter. So I used my existing Canon DSLR lenses (called EF or EF-S) with the EOS R.
As anyone with experience will tell you, the adapter is surprisingly good. Not only that, it kind of breathes new life into your old lenses. Suddenly, using those lenses became fun again. I started enjoying my old 50mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, and 24-105mm f/4 lenses in a new way.
The EOS R, although not a perfect camera, made photography fun again.
After some time, I started saving and opted for native R-mount lenses. For those unaware, Canon EOS R comes with a brand new mount for Canon’s mirrorless cameras. You can use an adapter to use any of Canon’s existing lenses, but you can also buy native lenses so that you can mount them directly to the camera without any adapter. Canon’s R-mount lenses are called RF lenses.
Look around YouTube and you’ll see that nearly all RF lenses get extremely positive reviews.
Into the RF greatness!
My first RF glass was, believe it or not, the RF 70-200 f/2.8. Yes, every photographer’s childhood dream, the 70-200 f/2.8, became a reality for me, that too in Canon’s latest and greatest version, the RF.
I’ll admit, I got a stellar deal (about $2300) and I didn’t give much thought to it. Boy am I glad that I didn’t! Not only is the RF 70-200 f/2.8 incredibly sharp, but it also renders everything so beautifully! It is a little heavy, but because it’s shorter in size, it’s also very convenient to carry.
I haven’t used it all that much (I’m mostly afraid of attracting unwanted attention), but the two portrait photoshoots I took it to, I came back with extremely high-quality photos that even today make me happy.
Realizing how amazingly good RF glasses are, I eventually replaced the EF 24-105mm f/4 with an RF 24-105mm f/4 and added a 35mm f/1.8 macro to my collection. Needless to say, I’m very happy with all of them. And I don’t see myself ever going back to an EF lens, or a DSLR camera, for that matter.
What got lost beneath all that praises for the RF glass is the performance of the EOS R. It didn’t get the perfect reviews from the experts, and I agree with them. It’s not a perfect camera. But if you compare its performance to an identically-priced DSLR, I think you’ll be surprised. It’s especially noticeable in ISO performance.
When I was learning photography with my Nikon D3100 back in 2013, everyone said never to go above ISO 800. Maybe 1600 in very rare cases, but never above that. Heck, I even had photos rejected from stock photo websites because they had too much noise at 1600 ISO.
Today, not only the EOS R, but any mirrorless camera released in the last 3-4 years will give you stellar ISO performance. I see people shooting comfortably at ISO 3200, 5000, and even 6400.
ISO 1600, the absolute limit of an era not too long ago, isn’t even a thing people are afraid of these days.
Why I’ll never move back to DSLRs
Better ISO performance, lightweight, amazing lenses, and superior feeling at hand are just some of the reasons why I would never want to go back to a DSLR again. As I said in the beginning, that doesn’t mean DSLRs are dead.
Although Canon said they’re going to stop manufacturing some lenses that are made for DSLRs, and there are rumors that they may stop their flagship DSLR lineup as well, you can rest assured that the world isn’t going to run out of DSLR gear anytime soon.
But for me, it’s time to move on. In fact, I’ve already moved on. It’s time the camera moved on from my shelf to someone’s hand so they can make use of it better than I did.
And that, my friend, is why my last DSLR camera is for sale.