Photography Random rants

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy a DSLR Camera

We are living in exciting times. The sort of technologies we now take for granted would have been unimaginable a decade or so ago. While it is great that this constant ‘technological advancement’ has definitely made our lives easier, it has over time, also changed the way we purchase things. Nowadays, we tend to buy a lot of stuff we don’t actually need and the Digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) is one of them.

Friends and colleagues have asked me more than once if they should buy a DSLR camera. Reason: it takes good photos!! I have answered this a significant number of time. I still get asked the same. Hence this post.

nikon d3100 tokina 11-16 dx II
My Trusted Nikon

1. DSLRs don’t take photosContrary to what many people think, just buying a costly DSLR does not entitle you to great photos you can drool over. The learning curve required to move from non-DSLR to DSLR photography is steep and you can only make the journey if you are ready to put-in at-least a certain amount of effort. There is no point in buying a DSLR and then shoot in the Auto mode.

2. DSLR’s are VERY heavy on the pocket: When I say this I don’t just mean DSLRs are costlier than simple point and shoot cameras. Truth be told, the purchase actually is just the start. The reason one buys a DSLR is in order to have the ability to be creative by being able to use different types of lenses and accessories (depending upon the type of photography you want to do) et al. Lenses cost big money and you will end-up shelling more on these than what you would have actually paid for the camera itself, sooner than you will realize. If you don’t want all this, you are better-off with your simple point and shoot camera.

3. Pain to carry: DSLRs are not zoom cameras. In zoom cameras — which are point & shoot — you can shoot subjects without having to do anything to the camera. This is not the case with a DSLR camera. You need various lenses for shooting subjects in different ways and at different distances which means, carrying multiple lenses. This increases the size and weight you have to carry whenever you want to go shooting, as opposed to carrying a sleek point & shoot which can comfortably slip in a jeans’ pocket. Heck, I actually get to carry one cabin-baggage less every-time I fly because my bulky camera bag is the second one, always.

4. DSLRs limit your photography: Not in the creative sense but DSLRs limit the scope of your photography significantly as soon as the ‘shooting conditions’ change to anything from ideal. Dust, drizzle, moisture, improper handling; you name it. All these can make your costly DSLR go defunct in no time. Comparatively, point & shoot cameras are more agile and can take more beating than a DSLR. And after all the careful usage, you still have to devote time and resources to keep it in perfect condition.

5. Risky to carry around: I have always felt a little concerned whenever I have travelled with my bulky camera-bag (which I mostly do) to certain places or in trains. The big bag straightaway gives away what is inside it and almost always, the first question from the people around, once they have noticed the bag is, how much does the camera cost? Now this might not be the case with everybody out there but I for one, get a little uncomfortable because of the attention the camera attracts.

Now that I have shared my point of view about why you should not buy a DSLR, let me also tell you that, I by no means, am a photographer. I take photos just because I enjoy doing it so and the reasons I have shared are some of the (the list is longer than this, believe me) real problems I have learnt from and faced. If you still feel you should buy yourself a DSLR, go ahead, you will not be disappointed.

Good Luck!!

Still want to buy a DSLR? Well then, jump right in!

Nikon D7100

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6 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy a DSLR Camera”

  1. While I am trying to promote the usage of DSLR for exploring creative aspects you are negating my efforts 😀
    I agree to all of it except 4th point. Contrary to what you have mentioned DSLRs are weather sealed. All Nikon semi pro/consumer grade camera from D7000 onwards are weather sealed. The level of beating these cameras can take in rain/hot/cold/dust is matchless. P&S can not stand the front of DSLRs here.

    Battle between DSLR and P&S boils down to trade off between quality vs convenience.
    As a matter of fact Rajiv bhai, P&S is dying breed. Excellent phone camera have outgrown the place of P&S cameras. And this take over is not marginal. Check these stats published by Flickr.
    You can clearly make out the downfall in the P&S market.

    1. Haha… I am not trying to negate you aspects Ankur bhai.

      I am, to be honest, frustrated answering people who expect their photos will turn out to outstanding as as soon as they start taking using a DSLR. They are paying much more than a vanilla camera after-all. They are also entitled to 50-60x of ‘zoom’ because it’s a BIG camera. Huh!!

      And about the #4th point, in general, I might not be very correct. These are my own observations after-all and I have always found dust on my camera even if I shoot in a clean environment which I have to get rid of. Not so is the case with my P&S (or may be I care much less about because its way cheaper than its bigger cousin 😉 ).

      And I guess, I should have mentioned ‘non-DSLR digicam’ instead of P&S.

      All in all, this post is for the people who want to buy a DSLR just for the sake of buying it!

      Buy it if you know why you are buying it.

      **UPDATE: Man this statistic on Flickr is interesting. Never thought so many people use the iPhone camera seriously. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Great post! I like the points that you have made and you are a photographer. Why I say so? Cos any one who takes photos is a photographer. Isn’t it? 🙂
    Having said that – I call myself a family photographer and I don’t have a DSLR neither do I intend to buy. Reason? I think photography is a skill and finding the right frame and light an ability. Now a camera can only do a bit – one needs a bit of creativity to brings things to perspective and that cannot be taught. 🙂

    1. You are absolutely correct Parul, about the ‘…a camera can only do a bit…’! I had written this post because I found it irritating to repeat it to people who think ‘all you need is a BIG camera’.

      It’s all about how you see things, the technology can just help you, not create the ‘frame’ for you.


  3. Hi Rajiv,
    This is just the perfect truth about DSLRs. I love taking photos and videos, but a travel blogger like me who fits a whole world in his backpack, DSLR is a poor option. I agree with your post to a great extent.

    1. Hey Jey!

      Thanks for stopping by. I am glad that you agree by most of my points. Carry any sort of dedicated gear is totally a tradeoff. It’s what matters over what. In my case, my camera bag is always heavier than the luggage I carry when I’m traveling. Thar is because I WANT to take photos in certain ways and not just take ‘good’ photos.


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