Art and Photography

Debating on getting a used DSLR for vacations

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 18th, 2017 3:43 pm
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
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Kanata
I have found that the pictures from my Nikon D70s and D40 were way better than any smartphone that I have owned. Obviously, they did not do video but for photos, much better.
If it is just for picture taking, I wouldn't be scared to use a camera from 2012 and up. I still found the pictures from my D5100 to be very good.
The body will get changed, typically the better investment is in the lens. So long as they are good, you will end up keeping them and changing the body.
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Jan 27, 2006
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hdom wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 11:22 pm
Many similar threads of late, started looking for DSLR but eventually find out what they need is a mirrorless camera, especially for travel.
The case for mirrorless becomes less and less compelling especially if you consider:

1. DSLRs over the years have gotten smaller and lighter especially if you look at the entry level stuff.
2. Mirrorless, while improving over the past few years, they start are suffering from the lack of market share causing few accessories (especially from 3rd parties) to produced resulting in an even lower adoption rate.
3. For pixel peepers, mirrorless still isn't there so for those looking at 'quality' it's not there.
4. Camera phones have been improving a lot so the difference between mirrorless and a number of phones have shrunk to the point that for the average person who just shares photos on the screen, the debate is more about physical size of the phone/camera than anything else. Of course, with the push to larger phones, it starts making mirrorless look downright small.
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Aug 29, 2006
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^If that is true, Nikon and Canon wouldn't be trying to get back into the Mirrorless market and Sony wouldn't had over taken Nikon for full frame body market in US.

The facts are Mirrorless market continues to grow, there will be old thinking that mirrorless isn't "good enough" but there are more stories of pros switching to mirrorless, at least for personal travel since that is where Mirrorless has a clear advantage still.
craftsman wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 2:13 pm
The case for mirrorless becomes less and less compelling especially if you consider:

1. DSLRs over the years have gotten smaller and lighter especially if you look at the entry level stuff.
2. Mirrorless, while improving over the past few years, they start are suffering from the lack of market share causing few accessories (especially from 3rd parties) to produced resulting in an even lower adoption rate.
3. For pixel peepers, mirrorless still isn't there so for those looking at 'quality' it's not there.
4. Camera phones have been improving a lot so the difference between mirrorless and a number of phones have shrunk to the point that for the average person who just shares photos on the screen, the debate is more about physical size of the phone/camera than anything else. Of course, with the push to larger phones, it starts making mirrorless look downright small.
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
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hdom wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 3:42 pm
^If that is true, Nikon and Canon wouldn't be trying to get back into the Mirrorless market and Sony wouldn't had over taken Nikon for full frame body market in US.

The facts are Mirrorless market continues to grow, there will be old thinking that mirrorless isn't "good enough" but there are more stories of pros switching to mirrorless, at least for personal travel since that is where Mirrorless has a clear advantage still.
The camera OEMs have to push mirrorless or they won't have a product line in the lower/smaller segment of the market with the traditional compact cameras constantly under attack by phones and their camera apps. Canon's mirrorless numbers in the past year has been throwing out new products left and right in order to catch-up. In the past year, Canon introduced two new mirrorless products - the M5 (September 2016) and the replacement M6 (February 2017). Prior to that, Canon had the long in the tooth M3 which was introduced in February 2015. As for the 70% increase over the previous year, they had a 1 year old product (the M3) last year which typically means declining sales due to an older product so the 70% is really a comparison of an old product sales versus new product sales.


Speaking of facts, you are better off using the numbers for the entire industry rather than one OEM that is based on ONE product. Have a look a the following slide from a CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) and pay attention to the middle graphs which shows shipments of products of DSLRs and Mirrorless. Mirrorless numbers for the past few years have been basically FLAT while the DSLR segment is declining.

Image
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Aug 29, 2006
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^Thx. Your graph shows the overall mirrorless market share is growing, while the actural units produced are declining. However, it would be interesting to see where the market is heading since there are yet more new Mirrorless model from the big players scheduled to come out.

However, I am sticking my original point that mirrorless is a good suggest for OP. knowing travelling is a requirement.
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hdom wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 8:25 pm
^Thx. Your graph shows the overall mirrorless market share is growing, while the actural units produced are declining. However, it would be interesting to see where the market is heading since there are yet more new Mirrorless model from the big players scheduled to come out.

However, I am sticking my original point that mirrorless is a good suggest for OP. knowing travelling is a requirement.
A better indication of growth would be to see how many mirrorless sales are repeat customers or are they new to the system. DSLRs have probably topped off not because people aren't using them but owners are forgoing the upgraded model as their current product gives them the results they like and the advancement of sensor technology has slowed to a crawl in recent years. A good example of this is myself. I've owned multiple Nikon DSLRs (from the D200 to D7000 to D600) - I don't feel the need to upgrade at this point as the image quality and feature set is enough for me at this point. I was speaking to a few other photographers who, while impressed with the recently introduced D850, are necessarily running out to buy it as it's hard for them to justify the incremental improvement in picture quality and feature set for the price difference from the D800/10.
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Nov 24, 2004
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Some of these points about mirrorless vs. DSLR have a lot of merit.

I used Nikon DSLRs for a number of years (most recently a D90) and switched to a Sony A6000 about 18 months ago. The main motivating factor for the switch was the lower size and weight of the A6000, and it has indeed proved to be an advantage in that department -- but at the same time, the A6000 feels more fragile than my D90 did. There is a more limited range of lenses available for the Sony (especially on the used market), but the Sony still takes fantastic pictures and there is a lot of versatility in the design.

Camera phones are getting better every year, but can't compete with the image quality of a good recent APS-C type DSLR or mirrorless camera -- and IMO the advantages are apparent even when said camera is used in "auto-everything" mode.
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Feb 21, 2013
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hdom wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 3:42 pm
^If that is true, Nikon and Canon wouldn't be trying to get back into the Mirrorless market and Sony wouldn't had over taken Nikon for full frame body market in US.

The facts are Mirrorless market continues to grow, there will be old thinking that mirrorless isn't "good enough" but there are more stories of pros switching to mirrorless, at least for personal travel since that is where Mirrorless has a clear advantage still.
From a purely anecdotal standpoint, and talking about beginner/novice photographers, I'm finding that a lot more of my friends/acquaintances are jumping on to mirrorless. They usually go with Fuji because that's what gets recommended among my group of friends, but one grabbed a Sony A6500 because they liked the video more, and one bought a Canon M5... I don't know anyone who has gone the M43 route these days.

I did a quick count and out of 11 friends who purchased a camera in the past year, only 3 went with a DSLR - one because she's already on the Nikon system of lenses, the other because she got a good deal on a Canon and was convinced that "professionals" used DSLR (even though she's a beginner), and the other acquaintance because they needed a telephoto lens that was reasonably priced for a trip.

Two of those 8 who bought mirrorless already owned DSLRs... one guy bought a Fuji X100F as his everyday shooter, while the other sold her Nikon stuff in favour of a Fuji XT20 because she was sick of the bulk.
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Nov 14, 2003
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XtremeModder wrote:
Aug 30th, 2017 1:13 pm
Thanks for that. As for shutter count is there usually a way to check the count on it?
If you have a Mac, easiest way is to take an image in Jpg format and view it in Preview.

It's under Tools > Show Inspector > i


I'd like to add that I no longer bring SLRs with me on vacation. Nowadays, I find phones take much better images with less effort. One of the biggest issues with SLRs is image composition. Good image composition doesn't come naturally, but usually through experience. If you want to get better, take as many photos as possible with whatever camera you have in your hand. Then take a look at which ones you like and don't like. Maybe take a photography course. Regardless, take lots of photos.

It is said, the best camera is the one you have in your hand.
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Oct 10, 2005
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Mississauga
From my personal experience the best DSLR (used) for travel is the Canon SL1. It is the lightest and smallest DSLR ever made.
I travel a lot and I have had this camera for 3 years and am very happy with it.
The replacement (Sl2) just became available this summer so there should be some SL1 cameras available used.
The kit lenses; 18-55mm and 50-250mm are actually very highly rated and are very light also.
The other option is to invest in the 18-135mm lens which is perfect for travel.
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1. while mirrorless may be getting heavier, they're still significantly lighter and less bulky than mirrors and a beefy body. simple physics...there's many advantages of DSLR in that fact (less dust on sensor, can take a beating, better ergonomics)
2. Suffering market share? couldn't be further from the truth. They're growing at a healthy pace. Lenses and used market will simply be lackluster compared to DSLRs but it's made solid headways the recent years...arguably versatile enough to cover the non-pros
3. I pixel the peep the crap out of my a7R II...the dynamic range is still unrivaled 2 years later. It's only let me down when doing astro photos because of the aggressive hot pixel filtering algo
4. P&S yes, interchangeable camera in the MFT/APSC range...sure daylight photos but low-light will not happen in the foreseeable future unless there's a major breakthrough moving to a new medium

there are still very valid arguments against mirrorless..you just chose some of the worst ones :) IMHO there's less and less reasons to grab DSLR for casual users/hobbyists as tech catches up...I am convinced mirrorless will take over DSLR except for the niche pro or retro market
craftsman wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 2:13 pm
The case for mirrorless becomes less and less compelling especially if you consider:

1. DSLRs over the years have gotten smaller and lighter especially if you look at the entry level stuff.
2. Mirrorless, while improving over the past few years, they start are suffering from the lack of market share causing few accessories (especially from 3rd parties) to produced resulting in an even lower adoption rate.
3. For pixel peepers, mirrorless still isn't there so for those looking at 'quality' it's not there.
4. Camera phones have been improving a lot so the difference between mirrorless and a number of phones have shrunk to the point that for the average person who just shares photos on the screen, the debate is more about physical size of the phone/camera than anything else. Of course, with the push to larger phones, it starts making mirrorless look downright small.
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

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twitchyzero wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2017 1:04 pm
1. while mirrorless may be getting heavier, they're still significantly lighter and less bulky than mirrors and a beefy body. simple physics...there's many advantages of DSLR in that fact (less dust on sensor, can take a beating, better ergonomics)
2. Suffering market share? couldn't be further from the truth. They're growing at a healthy pace. Lenses and used market will simply be lackluster compared to DSLRs but it's made solid headways the recent years...arguably versatile enough to cover the non-pros
3. I pixel the peep the crap out of my a7R II...the dynamic range is still unrivaled 2 years later. It's only let me down when doing astro photos because of the aggressive hot pixel filtering algo
4. P&S yes, interchangeable camera in the MFT/APSC range...sure daylight photos but low-light will not happen in the foreseeable future unless there's a major breakthrough moving to a new medium

there are still very valid arguments against mirrorless..you just chose some of the worst ones :) IMHO there's less and less reasons to grab DSLR for casual users/hobbyists as tech catches up...I am convinced mirrorless will take over DSLR except for the niche pro or retro market
You are mistaken if you think they are the worse ones... They may be to you but your justification isn't seen in the market place at large - at least not yet.

Everyone who likes mirrorless talks about market share and how it's improving but yet no-one has put forward numbers to counter the industry, CIPA, info graphic I posted which states that mirrorless sales have basically been flat since 2013 (ranging from 3 million to 3.2 million units)... heck, an argument can be made that the total sales of mirrorless has been trending DOWN from it's peak in 2015. I would like to see your numbers that point to growth at a health pace and don't point to Canon's last quarter results as it's mirrorless in general not one specific OEM.

You can't necessarily compare the top end of the market (and price range) for one product and spread that over the entire market - ie just because one $3,500 camera body has good results doesn't mean the whole line of products in that category will have similar results. This especially true when you look at the OP's original query - a consumer level product to take on holidays... a $3,500 camera body for most people is not a consumer level product.
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Feb 21, 2013
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I think OP can clarify a few things too so that we're not all arguing over the merits of dslr vs mirrorless vs p&s vs smartphone...

1. What type of vacations do you envision going to? Cities, countryside, beaches?

2. What type of photos do you wish to take? Family photos, photos of yourself, street photos, architectural photos, landscape photos, beach photos, animal/bird photos, astrophotography, macrophotography?

3. What kind of zoom do you need? Are you going to be extremely far from your subject (like maybe you're going on a safari or want to take photos of birds in the wild? Or will you be within like 20 feet of your subject?)

4. What will you do with the photos? Post them on instagram/Facebook? Get them printed?

5. How interested and committed are you to learning more about photography, and how much time will you spend taking photos on vacation vs just enjoying the surroundings?
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May 5, 2007
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Interesting to see the points brought up in this thread are the same as 5 years ago when I was looking for advice on a travel camera.

My favourite was the rx100 iii but couldn't justify it along with my 6D. Nowadays my LG g3 and wife's SE do the job on vacations as my shoulders are occupied with diaper bags instead of camera bags. The 6d is starting to get more use though now that the kids are out of diapers ;)
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craftsman wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2017 2:12 pm

Everyone who likes mirrorless talks about market share and how it's improving but yet no-one has put forward numbers to counter the industry, CIPA, info graphic I posted which states that mirrorless sales have basically been flat since 2013 (ranging from 3 million to 3.2 million units)... heck, an argument can be made that the total sales of mirrorless has been trending DOWN from it's peak in 2015. I would like to see your numbers that point to growth at a health pace and don't point to Canon's last quarter results as it's mirrorless in general not one specific OEM.

You can't necessarily compare the top end of the market (and price range) for one product and spread that over the entire market - ie just because one $3,500 camera body has good results doesn't mean the whole line of products in that category will have similar results. This especially true when you look at the OP's original query - a consumer level product to take on holidays... a $3,500 camera body for most people is not a consumer level product.
at your CIPA post...it's growing market share...but overall sales is still declining
just because Sony overtook Nikon in the US for a mere quarter doesn't mean it has solified its position...but it sure lit Nikon's butt on fire and got them releasing their own sensor for new bodies
almost every tech-oriented reviewer/'techtuber' is using a Panasonic or a Fujifilm/Sony...no I don't think those whose livelihood depends on tens of thousand dollars of Canon glass will make the switch easily but where do you think majority of the newcomers (for vacation, or for a hobby) will look into for advice?

mine's a flagship body from 2 years ago but most of the tech has trickled down into the mid-range stuff as of last year (IBIS, backlit sensor, hundreds of phase-detection AF points)
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

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