A little camera in hand or SLR left at home?

I recently read an article on EyeVoyage, that stirred a question inside me – which is better: a little camera in hand or a SLR that is left at home?

This question has crossed my mind on several occasions particularly in the past few months of travelling – feeling the extra strain on my shoulders while tackling trails, or the fatigue in my forearm for holding my SLR to my face for far too long, or being afraid to photograph candid shots head-on for fear of being indiscreet. This meant that I would not always have my SLR on me, and there were moments I wish I had a decent photography tool at hand to capture those spontaneous, fleeting moments. Whilst there is no doubt SLR’s remain the gold-standard for photo quality and creative control, there are currently plenty of high end offerings in the small camera spectrum with impressive specs rivaling those found on SLR’s.

Do you have an SLR and a smaller camera on hand? Which do you prefer?

Below are a few snapshots from my first experience with a quality small camera late last year at a photography session with Ewan Bell and Fujifilm‘s XM1 at Crown Conservatory. Whilst I am yet to own one for myself, it is something I have begun to take interest in (opens webpage and begins trawling through reviews…).

Photo tips from Ewen Bell to consider when next taking photos of food: consider framing the dish rather than excess zooming, aim for natural window lighting where possible, vary the standard angle you have gotten used to, and obviously one should play around with the aperture.

Camera: Fujifilm XM1.
Lenses: XR18mmF2 R and XF35mmF1.4 R.

A short blurb on the Fujifilm XM1: mirrorless, 16 MP, 3 inch tilting display with built in wireless sharing. The pictures are DSLR sharp, but it weighs only 330g. The price tag is comparable to mid-range DSLR’s.

Disclaimer: event courtesy of FujiFilm, Crown Conservatory, Media Moguls.


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3 Responses to “A little camera in hand or SLR left at home?”
  1. Jess Carey says:

    wow, those photos came out beautifully – great quality! I’ve gotten lazy and have been relying more and more on my iPhone; its just so much easier than lugging around the big, “real” camera! Might need to invest in something in between!

  2. John says:

    You know I recently thought about this also before deciding to stay with the smaller format. In all the reading, the suggestion is that the best camera for you is the camera you are going to have with you. Smaller cameras are certainly making incredible advances and will satisfy even rather discerning users.

  3. Ewen Bell says:

    You’ve got some great images to show for the outing on the XM1, it handles well in your hands 🙂 My only comment is that the Fuji X-series lenses offer exceptional value compared to a full sized DLSR, so you can save money and weight when shopping for quality. I did buy one in the end, here’s why…

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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