Are DSLR's 'Cool'

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by shieldyoureyes, Nov 13, 2006.


What do you think?

  1. People really utilize and need all the features SLR's bring

    35 vote(s)
  2. They are the 'cool' to own right now / status thing

    36 vote(s)
  3. I have no idea

    9 vote(s)
  1. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Uppsala, Sweden
    I've been seeing more and more people carrying around DSLR's, and it seems like a lot of people are buying them. It kind of seems like apple just see them everywhere now, or at least I do in my town. Just wondering what you guys thought. Are people buying them because they truely need them and the features they provide, or is it more of a status thing.

    I bought my D50, simply because digital has some advantages over my film SLRs, I outgrew my digital camera and needed more control over my photos and the ability to use different lenses for different applications.

    Discuss. I'm interested if you people have noticed this trend and what you think.
  2. wisredz macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2006
    I do believe that coolness factor counts when people buy a DSLR. Prices are getting lower each day and this combined with the coolness factor makes people buy DSLRs. I don't mean to say that everyone who buy a DSLR just because of these, I didn't.

    SLR system in general has a lot of advantages for serious photographers. Complete control over what your camera does is the first thing that comes to mind. But a whole lot of lens selection is just as important as that, I believe.

    Either more and more people are getting interested in serious photography, which I don't think is the case, or that coolness factor really has some impact on people's decisions to buy a new DSLR.

    PS: Here's an anecdote. Last day I saw two girls drooling over a poster of D200 and they were saying it is "coooooool". I'm not living in the US, but in Turkey and even here where people are not that much interested in photography the DSLR thing is fast becoming a trend.
  3. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    I think a lot of people used to shoot with film SLRs (even if just casually), they probably migrated to digital P&S cameras due to the ease of use, but probably missed a lot of things about their old film SLRs (like quality pictures ;) ). Those people now have seen prices fall dramatically on DSLRs and are buying them up!
  4. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    i had to answer both of the first two. some people, such as myself, actually utilize the benifit of manual controls, interchangeable lenses, and RAW files. i have also seen people who suck at photography buy an SLR (film or digital) just because 'it looks so professional and cool.' i know a lot of professional news photographers through my parents who are journalists who always carry around a P&S in their pocket and get much more nicely composed than some rich kids I know who buy D200s and 10Ds on a whim and never learn the finer aspects of photography like the rule of thirds and how the eye jumps to light colors first and subjects need space around them to "breathe" and a good contrast of busy and quiet space is needed. that said, i only bought a DSLR last saturday. then again, I'd been shooting with a film SLR for 2 and a half years before that.
  5. b0tt094 macrumors 6502


    Sep 2, 2006
    I bought my d50 because first i out grew my powershot was too slow for me and I wanted more control over manual mode because for some reason i despise all auto controls (for reasons beyond me)

    and i will be first to admit it does make you seem more professional but the was my second thought after i bought

    Its really not a question of coolness its a question of what statement comes to people heads first

    "Wow i could do alot with this camera"
    "Will this make me look pretty fricken cool" :p
  6. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    It's both. Obviously their are pros and amateurs shooting dSLR's for the hobby. Then there are the people who want to look cool. Then there are the people who want the absolute best. And then there are the people with more money than sense.

    On another forum, a person bought a Nikon D2X, slapped a Quantaray (Ritz brand and probably the cheapest thing he could find), and complained about how horrible the camera was. Never exposed correctly, had no "program modes", could not preview the picture on the LCD like his P&S, too heavy, bad image quality, etc., etc.

    Example 2:
    At a HS football game, one of the shooters on the sidelines had 2 Canon 20Ds and looked like a yearbook student. One had a 70-200 mounted and the other looked like it had a 17-40. She would hoist the telephoto lens and camera up on her shoulder so it stuck straight up as high as it could go when she was not taking a picture. She was also clicking away at everything. I would guess about 40-50 images a minute. Yup, had the little-pop-up flash working like mad also.

    The same holds true for film SLRs. At a recent football game, I saw a D50 and an N80 in the stands. Both had their little kit lenses on and both had their little pop-up flashes strobing happily away.

    Edit: Oh yeah and dSLRs are way cool. :D
  7. Jay42 macrumors 65816


    Jul 14, 2005
    Being a pro-photographer is a glamor profession. There are plenty of people who like to walk around with a big DSLR even if they never take it off the green auto mode.

    I would like to think that since DSLR's are getting more accessible, the technology is in more people's hands to do cool, creative things. Sometimes, though, I'm not sure....
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Most DSLRs offer the quality one needs for the photos they want no matter how appropriate the outside world thinks they are.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Some photographers are cynical. ;)

    I know that some people who buy DSLRs only buy one because they think it's cool and trendy, but I'm sure they're also doing it partly because the results are better. It may not be their main reason for buying one, but it IS one of the reasons. Not many people would buy one only because it's cool. It's not small, pocketable, and easy to show people. It's a rather large camera, and not many people will end up seeing that you have it, so it's not a great way to show off. They'll buy it for mixed reasons, namely the cool factor, and the results.

    Then there are a 2nd group of people who buy it because they want a great camera that gives better results, but who either never use it and keep it in the closet because it's so big, or only use it as a big, fancy, 3x optical zoom point-and-shoot because they always leave it on auto and cringe at the thought of buying anything more than the 18-55 mm kit lens since the other lenses seem so expensive, and they don't matter anyway. They own an expensive camera, after all. Why do they need good lenses to get good results?
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I don't even call myself a photographer because there are so many people who hold a camera and take "pictures" who say they are. I always thought that you used pencils or pens or crayons to draw pictures.

    At current prices, I don't see digital SLRs as being cool, just expensive.
  11. shieldyoureyes thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Good point! I know my dad wasn't too into photography, but did still have an SLR. However, I also notice younger people getting excited about DSLR's, and doubt they are old enought to have enjoyed film.
  12. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    A lot of people run into problems with digital point 'n' shoots they never had with film P&Ses - severe lag, exposure problems (color negative is about as forgiving as possible), funky handling as they get smaller.

    I've handled a dozen of them over the past few years, owned by family or friends. It's only when you get into the larger models, the near-SLRs, that you eliminate those issues, and then the viewfinders are still terrible and handling isn't great. So why not shell out a couple hundred (or less) more for a low-end SLR?
  13. xPismo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    I'd rather they be a bit less 'sexy' really. I get a lot of questions when I have my SLR out and I'm not shooting. Most of the time its good, but sometimes its conflicting with the reason I'm there. To shoot.

    The same type of person attracted to the tech always comments on how badly I treat them. To me they are tools and the photo is most important. For others, it seems the shiny piece of kit is #1.
  14. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    Same here. My lenses roll around on the ground every single time I shoot, and I roll around on the ground with them.

    I don't know about photography being a glamour profession....unless maybe you are doing glamour portraits.
  15. EastCoastFlyer macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2006
    North Florida and Northern Delaware
    I'm definitely cooler since purchasing my D50. My hair looks better and my teeth are whiter.;)

    In all seriousness -- I bought the camera as a creative outlet, having been a performing musician for years who threw that over in favor of a regular pay check, a suit, and a frequent flyer card -- I can carry a camera around the country on planes much easier than a guitar and still get that buzz that I have to have that only comes from an artistically creative process. To me that's cool, but probably not the definition of kewl the OP had in mind...:D
  16. Buschmaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2006
    I wouldn't say in my age group. I'm a college student and I have a friend who bought an "slr-like" (What the heck is that anyway?) because he didn't want to seem like a dweeb. Now he wants an SLR that he's seen all the extra stuff he can get from it.

    So, in summary, he didn't buy an SLR because it would make him less cool. Now the extra impact from an SLR is enough to be worth not being cool.

    Personally, I have never viewed myself as cool carrying around the ol' Canon SLR. I guess to a certain group you feel cooler and to a certain group you feel less cool. But I could easily replace the word "cool" with "comfortable."
  17. matt311rocks macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2006
    I bought my D50 because my sony F717 crapped out and I have been waiting forever to get a DSLR as I have been using film SLRs for awhile now. I bought my mac because I was tired of windows and with a MacBook I can run xp if I need to anyways. So DSLR's and Mac's ARE cool but that is not the reason I bought them.
  18. Teddy's macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2006
    Personally, I have never viewed myself as cool carrying around my Canon DSLR.
    I think the coolness would be those fancy cellphones with Cameras:

    DSLRS: big, bulky, Good quality of pictures - not many people have them.
    Phones w/cameras: small, sleek, baaaaad quality of pictures (it's a phone, not a camera primarily!) - lots of people have them.
    Digital cameras: ok
    iPods: kings of cool
  19. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    My current camera, which is "slr-like". It pretty much means a camera that is the size of an SLR camera but doesn't have the mirror so the viewfinder is electronic. The Fuji S6000 I have doesn't have a great viewfinder, but it works, and overall the camera feels solid and SLR-like.

    But the reason I got it instead of an SLR is cost, and to get me comfortable with size. I've had several point-and-shoots, and the picture quality has let me down, so the Fuji sensor is the closest I can get to SLR without getting one. I'm still getting used to whole "are you from the local newspaper", but as I get more comfortable using the camera, I find that the people around get more comfortable with me.

    But I wouldn't buy one to be "cool", just better features and IS.
  20. kevinliu4 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2006
    Whatever the reasons, they are evidently getting more popular. I was walking in the mall last weekend and was surprised at the number of people carrying them around or wearing them around their neck.

    When I got home, a mom walked into the elevator with her daughter and was wearing a Canon 400D around her neck. She looked around 40 years old...the soccer mom type. I felt rather inadequate as I only had my 350D...but my 24-105mm L lens blew her kit lens away. :cool: She probably has the thing on auto all the time.
  21. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    Spoken like a true gearhead..... It's not supposed to be a pissing match.

    Truth is for me, if I could possibly get the same quality pictures out of a compact camera as I can out of my DSLR, then I would DEFINITELY opt for a compact camera. I hate the conspicuousness of walking around with a DSLR, I hate the looks I get from people, I hate the comments like "do you work for the paper?" or "that's a serious camera!" or "how much did that cost you?" but I LOVE the pictures I get from my DSLR, so I put up with everything else. I just want to mind my own business and take pictures. :)

    I wish more people had SLR's, it would probably make me stand out less.
  22. wisredz macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2006
    Hehe, that's exactly what I think, people come and tell me that my DSLR is a really professional machine and ask me how much did it cost me etc. I tell them it's a gift from my father and I have no clue about the price. and answer all their other questions "yeah, you're right". I definitely stand out in the crowd with my D200 around my neck and I feel like everyone's looking at me. It is part psychological and part reality.

    Anyway, I don't see the point of using a DSLR in Auto mode all the time because it is against the point of buying a DSLR. And I also don't agree with those treating their equipment badly, like rolling glasses on the grass :) I wholeheartedly agree that photos matter a lot more than equipment and that the equipment is just a tool that makes the creative process easier but I find it unresponsible to treat my equipment in a bad way just because pictures matter more, like I will never let my lenses roll on the glass or be harsh with my equipment unless I am missing an extremely important shot.

    And I don't think kevin meant to be a gearhead at all, that made me smile and I don't think it is to be taken in a serious way.
  23. Buschmaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2006
    Oh, that makes sense. So nothing technically speaking is like an SLR. But in the way it feels, it's almost a transitional camera?

    I can certainly understand the price comparison being a big factor.
  24. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    If I had a dime (okay, maybe $10) for every time I hear "Do you work for the paper?!", I'd have a new DSLR... :rolleyes:
    Admittedly, most times I say "yes" because I shoot for my college paper, but that's not the point :)

    I started out on a semi-SLR 3 years ago, the fuji s5000 :D
    It was a great camera, taught me about how a camera works because I could go full manual. It wasn't a huge investment (though a fair amount for a college student), so if I didn't take to it for as long as I'd like, I wasn't going to be out (at that time) $1000-$2000.

    This summer I finally had enough money, and put down for a canon 20D. When coupled with my 70-200f/4.0 (white) lens, it gets me a number of looks (but not from pretty girls my own age :( )

    I am certainly not "cooler" for having a DSLR. If anything it earns me (sometimes unwarranted) respect as a "Pro Photographer". I have a decent portfolio, but I'm not a pro :). However they brush off the "pro" as being above them and I'm too smart for them, like when they find out I'm a CS major. It's just something they don't understand, and hold no belief that they ever will.

    Also, when taking pictures you are NOT cool when you have a DSLR (or any SLR shaped camera). Try this, go to a party and wip out a disposable or little shiny silver camera and watch as people jump in front of it to get their picture taken. Now pull out a DSLR with a fast lens on it and watch as people scatter and turn into camera shy people that are critical of exactly what you are doing.

    Cameras scare people. DSLRs really scare people.

    I think it can all be attributed to DSLRs price falling like mad. Not too many years ago P&S digitala cost $500+.
    Now you can pick up a refurbished DSLR for sub 500.


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