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Do you really need a DSLR?

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  • 4 min read

I’ve seen many people buy DSLRs over the pretext of starting to learn photography only for them to eat dust later in the closet. For some reason, people seem to think a DSLR will magically make their photos better.

However, in a time where smartphone cameras are catching up quite fast. Do you even need a DSLR anymore? Before you go ahead to buy one, ask yourself a question. How often are you going to use it?

If the answer is anything less than 4-5 days a week, you probably don’t need one. You see, DSLRs are big investments, and unless you have some hobby or professional work associated with them, your smartphone camera is probably enough for the job.

Getting a new DSLR won’t just magically make your pictures better. Yes, these cameras can churn out great pictures, but just like any other machine, they need someone to operate them.

On the upside, a good photographer can get a great picture from any camera. Note that it’s the skill and vision of the photographer that makes for a great photo. Not his/her equipment.

Also read: Cinematography 101: Why should you use Manual Focus?

Do you really need a DSLR? When should you get one?You also need to keep in mind the learning curve of using a DSLR. They can get intimidating real fast, and if you’re planning to rely on the auto mode, we suggest sticking to your phone’s camera.

Remember, there’s a lot to a photo than just a big camera. Composition, focus, vision and most importantly, light play a huge role in taking a good picture.

Then come the optics. With a camera, you might have to buy more lenses to take your photos to the next level. If you’re not willing to further make that investment, again, sticking to your smartphone’s camera is probably the best bet.

There are also several other barriers to using a DSLR unless you’re using it solely for photography. You see, once click a picture on a DSLR, you have to move that picture over to your phone to be able to post it anywhere. Depending upon what phone and what camera you have, this can be quite a cumbersome process.Do you really need a DSLR? When should you get one?

Post processing is also one of the factors you might want to consider. To get the most out of a DSLR picture, you’re going to have to edit it in software like Lightroom properly. Now sure you can slap an Instagram filter on it, but it’s going to look nowhere close to what it would have if you had edited it correctly.

When should you buy a DSLR then?

Unless you’re buying your camera intending to get into photography, we recommend sticking to your phone’s camera.

Smartphone cameras have come a long way from being those pesky 2 MP shooters. Using flagship phones such as the iPhone X series, you can get pretty close to what a DSLR will give you.

So again, if you’re only buying a DSLR to get that perfect Instagram picture that’s probably overkilling. However, if you’re really looking to get your hands dirty in the vast world of photography, by all means, go ahead and get one.

Also read: DSLR vs Mirrorless camera: Which one to choose in 2019?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: