Dec 172013



…for me 🙂 !


O.k., that headline was a bad trick to catch your attention. But anyway, now that you are here…let me give you a quick insight into why I believe I just bought my very last DSLR – ever.


Which camera did I choose?
The Nikon D7100.


Why did I not choose full-frame?
I do not have great need for the benefits that can be achieved by using full-frame sensors. At least not at this moment in time. No need for shallow depth of field nor for extreme wide-angle shots with my DSLR. No need even for super high ISO capabilities. A comparable full-framer would have cost twice as much – I did not think the benefits could equal the equation in this respect.


What did I buy the APS-C sensor DSLR for then?
I think a DSLR is still the best camera for studio shots (apart from medium format of course), tele work and for everything moving at a fast pace e.g. for kids or sports photography. And when it comes to flash photography IMHO there is nothing like the Nikon flash system. It just works. On camera, off camera or whatever you throw at it – the Nikon flashes just never disappoint.


Why Nikon and why did I choose the Nikon D7100?
Apart from being convinced the Nikon flash system is the best available out there in DSLR land, I have a great stock of Nikon lenses that wanted to get some more use. All of them are FX, so they can still not be outresolved by the big Nikon sensor. The Nikon D7100 is quite compact (compared to other DSLRs) and is ergonomically unsurpassed. It even has fully customizable U1/U2 user settings that can be of great use in the field. Paired with that outstanding 24mp sensor this camera is the ideal workhorse for my purposes.


Why did I not opt for the great new Sony Alpha A7 or Sony Alpha A7R or other mirrorless cameras like the Fuji XE-2 or Olympus OM-D EM1?
The new Sony mirrorless offering no doubt can be seen as a new milestone in the photography business, offering full-frame benefits using the best full-frame sensor available in this category of cameras at this moment. It can also be used quite effectively in studio settings and for most kinds of photographic situations. BUT there are not enough native E-mount full-frame lenses available at this point in time. Especially the missing fast tele and super wide lenses make me watch this new camera from the sidelines. I tested the Sony Alpha A7 with my Leica Super-Elmar M 21mm f/3.4 and must confess I was very disappointed by the results. Color shift and vignetting is nothing I take too lightly. See my article about the use with this Leica lens here.  For further reading concerning legacy lens tests on the Sony Alpha A7/A7R check out the great articles at Sonyalpha Rumors or follow this link to one of the legacy lens test roundups on that site. Maybe in a year or two Sony will have filled the lens gaps and the system will offer all that photo geek hearts desire – but for now I believe the lens offering is far too little for far too much. Spending almost 3.000 Euros for a Sony A7R plus 35mm 2.8 lens is simply uneconomical in my opinion. But as always your mileage may vary here. As for other mirrorless solutions. I have already invested in other systems like Fuji X and Sony Nex and am very happy with the benefits in size and weight. I am especially pleased with the Fujifilm XE-1 and the native 21mm and 35mm primes. Even the „kit zoom“ 18-55 is quite outstanding. All in all this system would be all I would need – except for when I need big tele lenses or when I want the ergonomics only a bigger DSLR body can offer.


So why am I convinced, the Nikon D7100 will be my last ever DSLR?
That is because I truly believe, the more compact mirrorless camera systems will only need a few more years to evolve. In only a short time manufacturers like Sony, Fuji and Olympus will be able to perfect their offerings. There will be no more real benefits left for DSLR users. I will use my Nikon for special purpose work until this time. But for hiking, street photography, and to carry everywhere I go…there will always be a more compact mirrorless camera at my side. I just would not want to schlepp a heavy backpack all the time anymore. For further reading please refer to my previous article “The DSLR is dead, long live mirrorless!”.


There you go. That is why I believe I just bought my last DSLR – ever. I will be quite happy putting it to use when necessary. But most of the time I will probably pick more lightweight  alternatives to do the job.

Nonetheless the Nikon D7100 is one hell of a camera.

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