Buying a DSLR doesn’t make you a photographer

Published: September 10, 2011

Owning an expensive DSLR is kind of like having the best backpack in the 2nd grade, and the best Pokemon cards in the 8th grade

Don’t do it. I’m not asking you to not jump off a cliff (though you shouldn’t do that either). I’m asking you to not commit the most heinous crime in the history of photography.

Don’t buy a Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera (DSLR)

In a new trend, that is spreading like wildfire around Pakistan, almost everyone is ditching their old Sony Cybershots for state of the art cameras with the ability to zoom in perfectly on their ex-girlfriend’s facial hair. This is all in a bid to capture the same moments you normally would – except in higher resolution.

But is there really a point? I don’t think so.

This isn’t an article about the practicality of the purchase; it is an article bringing to light the mentality of the purchaser.

More than half the people who own an expensive DSLR do so because somehow it is the new iPod – a necessary item to be possessed by anyone who wants to feel ‘accepted’. It is kind of like having the best backpack was in the 2nd grade, and the best Pokemon cards were in the 8th grade.

The worst part is that most of the people who own a DSLR have no real knowledge of how to properly use their device, but just because they own one, their entire posse exalts them to the level of some great photographer.

Suddenly, a picture of the sky will seem gorgeous. A stray dog on the corner of your street will seem like the perfect picture to represent the “conditions of your mulk, yo.”

Naturally, you run around everywhere with your camera – poking it into random areas and trying to look sophisticated adjusting settings (of course you are  just fiddling with the buttons figuring out their functions.)

Possessing this camera is going to make you feel like a god.

It doesn’t matter whether you take a picture of your friends striking awkward poses or a picture of an open sewer line, they will be filed under the same folder. That folder will ingeniously be named ‘Randoms’. No matter what picture you upload, it will be showered with praise. The pixels will transcend all worldly boundaries and attain a level of absolute beauty. Plato will roll over in his grave.

Beneath your photo of the gutter will appear generous comments:

“This picture is beautiful, bro. It speaks to me”

“You are so talented, man” is the comment you will receive on the 1,200 consecutive picture you have taken of the same cloud.

Yes sir, your photographic talent will break all known conventions. You are probably as talentless as you were without a camera, but in the race for social ranking your reputation will ascend by leaps and bounds. You will attach irrelevant meanings to everything you see; becoming one with the universe through your lens.

You will scoff when your friend will pull out an old, traditional digital camera.

Very few of you will ever go through the hassle of learning techniques and improving skills to turn the hobby into a career. But for the majority, this niche of individuals will be forgotten. Their expensive Nikons and Canons are the loves of their lives – for a while.

So if you’re not on the bandwagon yet, save yourself the 15 minutes of air-headedness you’ll feel as you race around town taking pictures of stray cats as part of your ‘Wildlife’ catalogue.

Wait for the iPhone 5 to come out instead.


Ovais Munshi

The author is LUMS undergrad majoring in Biology who has previously coached an A'level debate team and is now making slow progress towards a grad school portfolio. He tweets @grumpcoach

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • RS

    So true. Just like everybody and their mothers becoming a designer these days. Just because you have an embroidery wala doesn’t make you a designer.Recommend

  • Doesn’t Matter

    What’s the point of this article?

    Are you against people trying to progress? Are you against technology? Or are you just a hater?

    This article reeks of cynicism. Jealousy is a sin bro.

    I was once that “guy with a camera”. Believe it or not, I’m now a professional shooter and photography is my primary (only) income. I went from photographing my “awkward friends” to being flown around the county to photograph celebrities for Fortune 50 companies and working with some of the largest advertising agencies in the country/world.

    You mad bro? I think so.

    Beginners, keep shooting. Gear heads, keep learning – and find what equipment works for you.Recommend

  • Bearson

    @Noman Ansari:

    Your article is very shallow. Not all people are trying to attain the status of “Pro” photographer but instead are being misled by marketing hype and cheaper equipment. Photography is not a one trick pony that can be obtained by purchasing entry level DSLR’s, it is art and talent that takes time to develop and earn. People will read this article and come away feeling that you are trying to knock them back to the dark ages, as if being a “Pro” photographer is some kind of enlightened being or status. Being a “Pro” photographer is not just learning how to shoot but about what to shoot, how to light, what to look for, and how to do business. In the end what separates the professional from every day people is that they have all these qualities and more. It’s how they make a living and strive for a higher quality. People pay for that and see that and it doesn’t come in a box or can’t be bought.Recommend

  • Alain

    Wow. What a mean-spirited post. I don’t necessarily disagree with everything you’ve said, but talk about being haughty and snobby about it. I suppose those gifted with true talent were born with a camera in their hands. And I suppose you can’t ever be a “professional” if you’ve ever enjoyed photography as a hobbyist. I’ll give you some reasons why I’m not so down on these “talentless amateurs” like you are.

    Some people like to tinker and explore different hobbies. So what if they buy a DSLR and only use it a few times before losing interest? They’ve contributed to the industry and give the camera companies reason to continue building and improving their products. Those of us who truly love photography get to reap the benefits by having the industry progress and maybe even score some good, lightly-used 2nd hand equipment.

    No, buying a DSLR doesn’t make you a photographer. Likewise, being a photographer doesn’t make you a classy human being. You’ve definitely proven both points to me today. Recommend

  • RF

    Totally agree that a large amount of “posers” are all over the place. But its like saying that Buying a new Les Paul doesn’t make you a musician. Passion my friend. Looks like you have not had that feeling in a while. The posers who think they have a business model behind their D90 will likely waste time and money trying to get something off the ground. If “Photographer” means a paying gig then don’t worry you have your experience in your photo bag. But….. if “Photographer” means your only chance at being cool (pre DSLR days) then it looks like your screwed. :)Recommend

  • Saib

    “Writing Such articles DOES NOT make u a WRITER” is yet another topic for someone to write about.Recommend

  • Dan

    Writing a condescending blog post doesn’t make you a photographer, either.

    Honestly, I’m amazed at how pretentious this post is. And I’m unsettled by how many people here are writing “You’re so right. This is so true.” Do you all realize how unappealing your comments are? Might as well write, “This blog post is beautiful, bro. It speaks to me. You are so talented.” See the correlation?

    This post makes so many assumptions about people. For example:

    …trying to look sophisticated adjusting
    settings (of course you are just
    fiddling with the buttons figuring out
    their functions.)

    What kind of elitism is this? As if you could even know what they’re thinking? Seriously, this whole post (and the supporting comments) reads like the author is jealous that amateur photographers are getting more praise than the he thinks he deserves. What makes you better than anyone else? Who are you to say whether someone’s photography is less valuable than yours?

    I’m being completely serious. Tell me what makes you better. I want to see the reasons. What, you went to school for photography? Ah, that makes you a real photographer. Oh, you’ve even been paid to take pictures for other people? Well, that doubles your cred. Now I will laud you with the praise you so rightly deserve, and I will mock my friends for even bothering to express interest in photography.

    Judging by the character you’ve expressed so far, I’m sure none of this is getting through to you. You’re just brushing off my comments, as I’m clearly someone who doesn’t comprehend the true art of photography. That’s a level of understanding that only photographers can reach, and anyone who buys a camera and doesn’t employ the same method as you should keep their pictures to themselves instead of sharing them.

    You’re circle jerking each other with your pretentious-as-hell opinions on photography. I can’t believe anyone can be so narrow-minded as to think this is an opinion that adds anything of value to the field of photography. Look at yourselves. This conversation is purely negative, and you’re acting like this is something that needs to be said. As others have commented, here’s no humor in this article that doesn’t come across as cynicism.

    Back to my question: What makes you better? What are your criteria, exactly? How are you qualified to make judgments about people who dabble in the field you’re apparently so passionate about (if belittling others can be called “passion”)? And why the hell are you being so exclusive towards people who take pictures and those who share positive comments about them?

    Is this the spirit of photography?Recommend

  • D

    Just one question. When did you buy your first dSLR. Its like people talking about over population totally forgetting the fact that they too were born.
    You are partly correct, but you cant paint everyone with the same brush. My two cents.Recommend

  • Jared

    A pretentious photographer; don’t see that every day…

    It’s fine to write an article like this and have a bunch of hobbyist snobs say, “Oh my god, I know what you mean.” and “I know so many people like this.”, but you don’t really seem to understand a lot of things.

    First of all, these people rock my world and I couldn’t care less what they do with the 5D’s they purchased immediately after seeing other quirky hipsters and their quirky hipster photos in a well manufactured EOS ad. They are fuelling features and tech for us. My first D/SLR was a 300D and the bodies I’ve purchased over the past 7 years have continuously been impressively geared—specifically in the last three generations, reflecting the boom in D/SLR’s..

    Secondly, people aren’t retarded, just lazy. Contrary to what another commenter posted here, the learning curve of a D/SLR is not steep at all. There is a tolerable amount of knowledge to take on and none of it is complex or hard to understand to those patient enough to read up. “Figuring out what the buttons do” is an inevitable process and setting the dial to ‘the green one’ when needed is fine. Whether the user breaks or prevails during this time doesn’t define a worthwhile purchase or not, that decision is up to the person who purchased it only.

    Lastly, photographers don’t have talent either and only the ones with egos borne from excessive hours in Photoshop could disagree. Arguably, the only association would be the ability to generate successful ideas for an image. And lets cancel out the laughable “keen eye” because that comes only from experience. Everything is based purely on knowledge, and trial and error, which obviously means anyone can get there and obviously they do. Did you forget we all started out as absolutely garbage? The progression to becoming a photographer is riddled with different paths to get there. Motivating your dreams of being a photographer by purchasing a big ass camera you know nothing about is a popular and very successful path. How you and other people here somehow manage to find offence from this is mind-blowing and really embarrassing because—with our faces hidden behind a hand—we have to explain to the outside world, “No, it’s fine. This one’s just a dickhead.”

    If a person purchases a D/SLR with your narrowly construed “mentality” and becomes a photographer, then I get to enjoy another you. If not, then there will be a kid waiting for that camera to be posted on eBay in hopes of taking the same journey and that’s a much better thing.Recommend

  • Mike Warot

    For me a DSLR was the solution when it took more than a second for my camera to auto-focus, thus missing the Bride as she walked by…. real auto-focus, a decent viewfinder, and the ability to get great low-light shots are why I bought a D40 years ago… and it’s still going after more than 100,000 shots.
    It’s a tool… and some people actually do know how to use them… don’t start a war against them, please.Recommend

  • Shaun

    I did have a chuckle at this. I even have friends that have bought a DSLR and have never taken it off auto. But then I also know that after a while a lot of these same people start wondering what all these different settings do. Some even go on courses or buy books. It doesn’t matter how they get there in the end, what matters is they get there. Being a photographer is not an elitist hobby for others to belittle othersRecommend

  • freelife

    I am a photographer, i do lots of photoshoots ……but i totally agree with this article and the author. whoever owns a camera think they are photographers………..sometimes they dont even have the eye for photos……..Recommend

  • Fajja

    I know most of the people who bought a DSLR so that they can have a better facebook profile picture and thats itRecommend

  • Humayun

    Haha, everybody who is bashing the writer otherwise is deeply hurt with the article because this DSLR sin is everywhere, and now some are pointing out the writer’s skills and credibility, its just humor people, relax, you should be able to swallow some bashing if you own a not act like molvi’s please.Recommend

  • Omar

    Is this about you not having a DSLR camera? I don’t own one, but I would like to someday. The resolution increased by quite a significant factor, the light sensors are terrific and that’s really all I am looking for in a good camera. It’s like saying, don’t buy a Merc; a Mehran is just as good. It’s got wheels and it works on the same basic principals.

    What’s the point of this article? You sound like a kid making fun of your friends bigger and more expensive toys because you don’t have them :PRecommend

  • syed husnain

    yar owais…. its a very good article… loved it… kasam say ma tang aa gya tha photography pages dekh dekh k fb py… yar jisko kuch nai aata wo b photographer bna phr ra ha… :p Recommend

  • DPStudent

    I completely agree. Buying a better camera will not make you a better photographer.

    I have covered similar issue in the article below:

    I have noticed tyat buying a better camera e.g. DSLR only makes your mistakes more obvious. It is commiting to learning about the photography that will make you a better photographer, even with a crappy camera.Recommend

  • Jawad Bt

    Its not just the DSLR Cameras its everywhere nowdays.. Wanna bees want to have it even in there Fashion Description if it carries a camera, they will have it.. most of the People in this class doesnt have an idea why they have it.. and even if they have it they dont use it.. and if you ask them why do you ant to have it they would reply its in Fashion.. Look at the amount of Cars and how they keep on changing there home decors, DSLR’s are just a Toy in there cupboard.. It was a good Article and i hope people get the message through..
    It doesnt matter what camera you have its the Eye Behind the Camera that makes the Difference..Recommend

  • Duncan

    Hear, hear. A few times I’ve told people to put aside the bulky behemoth, and get a basic camera (as Fahad said), so they can learn to see first, then go back to the DSLR and use it with some understanding. I suspect my advice has never been followed. DSLRs do allow full control of the shooting process, but most images can be shot with a fairly simple point & shoot camera.Recommend

  • Duncan

    @Omar (and particularly, Sajid): On behalf of the author, I think I can fairly say this is not about whether or not he owns a DSLR camera. I trained for 3 years, then worked for 15 years, as a professional photographer. I have been taking photographs since the early 1970s. What is important is NOT the camera you have, but how you use it. Cartier-Bresson used a simple Leica; Ansel Adams used large format plate cameras; Sam Haskins a Pentax 6×7; and so on. The common theme was not their choice of camera, but what they saw in their mind’s eye first, then how well they knew their chosen camera, to be able to turn that mental image into reality.

    To draw an analogy with a woodworker: owning the finest set of power tools will not make you a craftsman, but they will allow a craftsman to work more quickly, and perhaps more flexibly; he still has to become a craftsman first.

    Shoot with a Box Brownie, a Hasselblad, a Nikon F or a modern digital marvel; shoot with what you wish, but you will not take good photographs until you understand the essentials of photography – and they have nothing whatsoever to do with pixel count, ISO, noise reduction or anything else invented since 1980. If that were the case, we would not have seen the great works of photography created between 1826 and the birth of the digital age.Recommend

  • Katie

    You’re an idiot. Are you a “serious professional photographer”? Are you feeling an ickle bit bitter that the exclusive photographers world is suddenly less exclusive? Am I making the exact same sort of assumptions that you did?
    Really, what difference does it make if people are embracing their hobby? Because, despite what you’ve tried to tell me, that is what people are doing. Maybe they’ll stick with it, maybe they won’t, but either way the interest was there and the desire to take wonderful photos was there.
    Your superior attitude is unfair to so many people. And why does it bother you so much? People who pen a poorly thought out article and then consider themselves a proper writer (ahem) get my goat far worse than people taking an interest in photography.
    Dslr’s are far more attainable these days, they’re not for “professionals only” anymore. And that is fine, there’s no harm in that at all. And very few amateurs make any attempt to pass themselves off as anything more.

    Oh, and since you didn’t want to do the research, dslr’s do far more than just take high resolution pictures.Recommend

  • East

    I find that very true, that having a blog that is read does not mean that because over 51% of people agree, you’re right, insightful or even remotely speaking some kind of ‘unspoken’ truth.

    I find it even more offending that you imply it is insulting to ‘photographers’ that you DON’T take the hassle of learning techniques and turning it into something more than a hobby. Not everybody doesn’t have a proper paying job or family that can just be shoved off into the backseat and into some near poverty whilst you ‘learn’ the full ropes to justify you having an expensive camera, so you can then look down at people other ‘newbies’ to that cliche of being a ‘photographer’.

    In closing; It’s their money. It’s their opinion. Who the hell is anyone else for calling someone else’s masterpiece just a pig in make-up – Just because years ago photography wasn’t so straight-forwardly appealing that not many took the chances or risks on a more high-end camera, doesn’t make them some glorified invisionary.

    East of a thousand words.Recommend

  • Aly Shah

    I think its good to be a critique, but what you wrote is crap.. you re not emphaseizing on the creative part, you re just telling people they shouldnt show off by buying a dslr.. You arent a blogger not even close, but you wrote this article right.. not a guitarist but I do own one. I tried!

    We should try and see what we good at rather then failing without trying. You my friend re a failure..

    And there is no good camera or photoghrapher, only a good photograph.Recommend

  • East

    Just to add to my last comment; You’re killing your own meme here. You’re discouraging potential leaders of the photography world from taking any type of serious entrance into the ‘trade’. You’re aiming to discourage people from keeping photography alive, both as a trade and as intellect.

    You, I am surprised, have not been dropped from the photography world. When you started, you obviously weren’t so hypocritical to not take your future advice, and to stick to the camera on your flip phone. Recommend

  • Taimur

    Very similarly, having the opportunity to write an article/blog for the tribune doesn’t make you an authority on the latest trends in buying behavior or make you very creative! It seems anyone can today pick up their laptop and start posting their views on about anything e.g. this senseless rant on people buying a camera. Recommend

  • neutral one

    There is no problem buying a DSLR my dear…even if someone buys it just for being in,,,whats the problem in that .. The writer seems to be “out” because of the “in” people due to their DSLRs. You are hardly 20-21 and you are so grown up that you make opinions about the behavior of the society, very nice… Let me say what you said in above article in this way,” If you have blog, this doesnnot mean that you are a master of everything and you know about everything…Recommend

  • iqra

    Lol. One of my friends handed me his dslr camera for safekeeping I could hardly figure out anything :p he’s figuring out everything on that camera too I guess :p
    And if ur good u can take good pictures with a cellpohne camera. I’ve seen people catching amazing pictures with just that Recommend

  • Hasan

    Wait for the iPhone 5 to come out instead.emphasized text

    ^ hahahahahahahahah!Recommend

  • Waqas Rasool

    wow.. very well said :)Recommend

  • jane

    iphone 5 is crapRecommend

  • Hasan

    Sometimes, you don’t need a good camera for photography. Photography is an art, not a race of whos got a good camera!Recommend

  • Hamza

    Exactly my point ! I’m an amateur photographer, and i’ve captured better shots with my Nokia phone or my Pentax point & shoot than a show off does with a DSLR. Photography’s all about creativity and vision.
    A DSLR just gives clarity to whatever you capture, but wont give a different meaning to it !Recommend

  • Hamza

    Creativity and Skill do not require expensive equipment ! I’ve captured better shots with some of my digital cameras than my friends who carry around expensive equipment. It’s all about creativity. The camera does little to enhance it.Recommend

  • Rick Hanlon II

    Right; and posting on a blog doesn’t make you a writer.Recommend

  • iphraa

    your article comes as a much needed relief . at least some one has the same thoughts as me on the these mushrooming pseudo-photographers.!! Recommend

  • umar

    so true, voice of thousand ppl you spoke outRecommend

  • Tayyab Tariq

    I think what you are trying to talk about is CONSUMERISM. Its not just true for DSLRs. Step back a little and you’ll see that the problem is more general. “Wait for the iPhone 5 to come out instead” is the very same problem.Recommend

  • Yawer

    lol, you sir are an idiot, and one of the people the writer meant to point out in our society. mentally affected my the over-flow of “burgerness” in our society, people like yourself buy these cameras as status-symbols, whether you can use them or not, im sure they make you look very “kewl” among your friends.

    haha, it makes me laugh, really.Recommend

  • Maryam

    Simply loved it. Interesting:-)Recommend

  • Mudasar

    SO true !!!
    i”m too am sick and tired of ppl flooding Fb pages with crappy pics and then posting silly messages for their freinds to like their pics !! I mean get a life dude !!Recommend

  • Bob

    Achooo-hipster sniffles

    Sorry, I think I’m getting a cold.Recommend

  • Syed Anwer Bakht

    Hilariously true.Recommend

  • Muhammad Sarmad Hafeez

    @Ovais Rasheed “Point taken and a good point for that matter” !Recommend

  • Jae

    In my experience, it’s not the people who buy DSLRs as novice consumers who are pretentious. It’s “photographers”, especially the ones who spent more time writing comments and reading about photography than out taking photos, who are the most pretentious. Recommend

  • Naveed

    Wow Wow Wow …hit the brakes folks ….enough bashing of the poor writer he is just an ungrad…cmon.. …. it was good write up and he did manage to point out some rich bourgeoisie tendencies which take certain art forms for granted….lets appreciate his effort …it was a good article Ovais …just be sure to be little less critical the next time …and even if you intend to come down hard on anything…do it in a humourous, witty way ..hope to read you again soon!Recommend

  • amir

    people who got DSLR have positive feelings about it…. who doesn’t have it are cynical here… well its about passion. why people use smartphones, while a normal phone will work good?? its matter of choice and affordability. i have DSLR, i cant use it like a professional photographer, still a beginner. i have never bragged about it, i never thought of it as a show off thing, but a camera i love to have with me. Recommend

  • mOmo

    Mr. Munshi. You cant stop ppl entering in this field by posting such articles.Recommend

  • Usman Sajjad

    Damn! i was about to buy a DSLR for Rs130,000/-. your article has made me look like an idiot. i hate you, and I’m not buying the camera. I think i will save it for the car repairs and the wooden flooring that needs to be done in my room. I hate i-phone’s, HTC ROCKS,but since i already have it, the rest of the money, i will just unwillingly put back in my bank account for rainy days! Recommend

  • Jawad Bt

    Lets cut the Crap..
    Good photographers don’t fight they Teach.. We believe sharing is Caring.. for Guys who have bought DSLR or are interested to buy one of the good Pro Machines or want to learn how to shoot with these machine guns can always refer to the under given Websites.. We always keep ourselves updated.. So if any one finds it hard to understand, they can always mail it to us.. Its everywhere in the world if someone doesnt have a knowledge of a product we should always try to solve his/her problem.. We should not try to find problems everywhere but rather give good solutions. If any one has good suggestions please do add..

  • TK

    SO TRUE!!Recommend

  • Yasser Anwar

    This article is really discouraging. Dude it’s their own money they’re spending, not yours! If you feel jealous that they are spending their money on crap, try not to focus them from now on, everyone has the right to buy anything they like to or love to. Having said that, it’s your own opinion and like everyone in the world says it their way, i really don’t agree to it! Recommend

  • Sultan Saadat

    Writing on a blog doesn’t make you a writer too :) and can you please explain how can an iPhone 5 be a replacement for a DSLR?Recommend

  • Talal Masood

    I pretty much agree with you, that people just own a DSLR because of being called as an “elite” or they just want to be a “Yo!” kind guy. Naturally, a DSLR result will vary from a simple point-and-shoot camera, but behind all this I would like to add one more thing. Unless you own a DSLR you can never know how to play with it :) so my dear writer, you have to jump in the pool to learn swimming :)Recommend

  • Muhammad Faizan

    Don’t worry the DSLR hype will soon be over. But the thing i hate the most is how those people get so many likes on their Facebook page and on pictures when the photographs are as amateur as 7 years old kid. All the pretending world!
    Nowadays people buy DSLR later and make FB page first :P Recommend

  • Mossawir

    hahaahahahah I like it. well at some point you became sarcastic :D but soo the truth..
    i truly like the title of the Article :D.Recommend

  • Gunblade

    …and dslr’s are used for videography ! It depends on how you use them. This is but one example.

    link textRecommend

  • neutral one

    you ET,,,,I demand an explanation…what was wrong in my yesterdays comments on this article….what have you been smoking these days Mr Admin….this is total rediclus….Recommend

  • Farhan Zaheer

    Couldnt agree more, Lincoln. Everyone has history of learning. some learn slowly some learns fast. I think the author is over cynical.Recommend

  • Rabia Pervez

    I remember being told by our PHOTOGRAPHY teacher to stop uploading these photos on facebook and not only that but commenting and praising these highly edited version of photographs uploaded. For one, these “oh my god such a lovely photograph” not only limited our creativity and hunger for exploring more but also made us rebel our teacher who criticized us later for how bad that photograph was or could have improved by saying “you should visit this photograph on my facebook it has more thn 100 likes!”Recommend

  • Jase

    Your rant was pretty useless…sounds to me like someone you despise is getting attention on their photographs and you cant stand it. Maybe someone with an DSLR should have shot your photo for your blog…Recommend

  • M Ali

    Hilarious! This article perfectly describes ME! And I have no shame in admitting it either :) Wish I had known how complicated this camera would be before I bought it. Now Im thinking of investing in a new point and shoot, as the DSLR is too big and bulky to carry around everywhere. Thankfully I’ve refrained from taken ‘artistic’ photos, but the urge to do so is still there ;)Recommend

  • tehz

    untill and unless someone who wants to learn photography wont buy a camera – a DSLR ,how will they learn! Didnt really like the article! very pretentious, sorry!Recommend

  • Chris

    Respectfully disagree. Buying a DSLR doesn’t make you a GOOD photographer. Any using a camera, however, is most certainly a “photographer”.

    In this comment pool, it’s easy to see how those who got their DSLRs (or SLRs) are feeling threatened by the lowering of the barrier to entry of what was once considered pro-class equipment.

    Why is non-pros buying DSLRs such a hot topic for photographers?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari


    Dude… I totally didn’t write this article? But thanks. Recommend

  • Maham Ali Abbasi

    Thank You for viewing the situation through our eyes! Pseudo photographers will be heart broken..Recommend

  • Usman

    Why does the author want everyone to be restricted to puny little point and shoot cameras such as Sony Cyber Shot or Canon Power Shot or Nikon Coolpix? There is something known as image quality which cannot be obtained from small sensor cameras.

    The article is supposed to say something about photography but eventually turns negative about DSLRs for no reason. Recommend

  • Kilgore Trout

    Owning a pen doesn’t make you a writer! Ha, just messing. Really well written piece! I agree almost fully, too many self proclaimed ‘photographers’ out there but then again if one is adamant on buying a DSLR and can afford it then good for them. Too bad social media and networking makes it almost impossible to ignore novice photographers who refuse to realize how painfully mediocre and uninspired their photos are. That being said, I say let them be and tire themselves out and surely, they will move on to the next big nothing soon enough. Lets reserve positive reinforcement only for worthy.Recommend

  • Tehreem Iqbal

    Dude, your article speaks to me! Seriiously. Yay i love photography and i DONT use a DSLR. Normal digital camera for the win!Recommend

  • Umer Zameer

    “This article is beautiful, bro. It speaks to me”

    “You are so talented, man” … ring any bells !!!

    Pablo Picasso said, Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.

    And we are blessed by the miracle of technology which is also affordable, for some photography it is a profession but if you can afford a DSLR, why not enjoy the fruits of technology and find the artist within you.

    Also, why bother which technique is used and what functionality of camera we dont know… Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

    God and other artists are always a little obscure. ~Oscar Wilde

    Peace and Allah hafiz. Recommend

  • Vinesh

    no wonder Canon & Nikon sales sky rocketed in ast couple of years!! ;)

    nice one dude!Recommend

  • Omar

    Agreed. However, not everyone is looking to pull off a Dorthea Lange. You are viewing this from the angle of an artist, someone trying to capture moments worthy of applause from maestro’s who understand the trade just as well as him.

    I am looking at this from the perspective of an average Joe who just wants to take some high quality pictures for the sake of preserving memories. Pictures that reflect colors, expressions and minute details in the background as accurately as possible. I have used plenty of point and click cameras and it is quite hard to find one that has the perfect balance b/w megapixels and quality light sensors. Quite a few of them work on the principal of abnormally inflating the pixel count even though the light sensors in them fail to complement it.

    There is no substitute for a creative minds eye, I completely agree. But to crucify the layman for carrying a bulk DSLR is elitist and unfair to say the least. I mean, if I take two shots, one each with a DSLR and a regular Point and Clicker, which one do you think will come out better purely in terms of the superficial quality? :P Recommend

  • Minerva

    What I’m interested in finding out is what the author intends for his article’s outcome to be. Should people stop buying SLRs? No one stopped buying Pokemon cards or iPods just because everyone else was buying them. Or does he suggest that if someone buys a DSLR they should also attend some photography classes? Or does he not see that Facebook has turned praise meaningless, and that happens regardless of whether someone does or does not possess a DSLR…

    It’s a nicely written article but it left me wondering what the bottom line is.Recommend

  • Faheem

    Everyone’s a newbie at some point, We all started from somewhere! You don’t get a camera because you’ve learnt every possible thing about photography and then go buy a digital camera :)… it all starts with buying a camera…. I don’t understand what’s the problem with buying one? People buy an over-priced computer just to surf the internet… we computer scientists never complain about that :) Let us have our gadgets and stop whining about it :P It’s not like you are paying for it? If you are a good enough photographer you don’t have to worry about competition ;)Recommend

  • Omar

    @Jawad Bt:
    LOL how is that for some shameless advertising? :DRecommend

  • Saad Saeed

    i am not like others u see shwing off with an expensive cameras, i dont show off about my camera, i show off about my work, but people here just want to a DSLR hanging in their neck and posing infront of the mirror, and this article here makes the art of photography go bad, like i have friends they post me this article, some of the people dont really get it what the author is trying to say, i agree with ghazanfar mirRecommend

  • Faheem


  • Ovais Rasheed


    Don’t buy an uber-expensive camera just for the sake of showing off. Of course, its your money and you’re free to spend it any way you like.Recommend

  • Minerva

    How does the writer know that the DSLR bought was intentionally to show off or to simply try their hand at photography?

    Maybe they’re pretentious twits but what if – just what if – they aren’t?

    Disclaimer: I’m still waiting on an SLR. Don’t have one yet but I would love to find out how you can categorize enthusiasts and pompous idiots separately.Recommend

  • Sohaib

    I had the same mentality when i bought a camera few months ago but if you’re really into photography, you’ll realize what how much it empowers you when you start experimenting. Well written but if people buy a camera for the sake of a camera, then this article pretty much holds true
    And you’re right about iPhone 5, i have seen excellent shots taken from a iPhone 4 as well so it might even get better :D :D :DRecommend

  • Muhammad Mohyuddin

    So I agree that some people do buy DSLR to show off and get bored of it the second theyve uploaded their first batch to facebook. But who are we to judge? Specifically who are you to judge? and are you a great art lover and tend to get horribly disturbed by people like these?
    or is it just that you don’t have the pleasure of owning a DSLR?
    or something of that sort?

    its like making a point…. Buying a BMW doesnt make you a race car driver! or writing an article in tribune does not make you a journalist

    Its better that we let it be. Recommend

  • Saad

    “I’m asking you to not commit the most heinous crime in the history of photography.” is what the article starts with, and then the author insists on this point by dissing those who own a DSLR!

    your article rather sounds like: ” I DONT HAVE A DSLR. SO YOUR NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER”Recommend

  • Safyan Kakakhel

    I disagree. I think pictures taken with a DSLR or any other hi-res camera have wonderful colors. Since cell phones started having camera’s, there’s been billions of digital photo’s around everywhere which are much like the regular digital camera’s you mentioned, and have become sorta bland now. Why wouldn’t you wanna take pictures that look really beautiful even if it’s something normal like your friend or your mom sitting on an arm chair having tea?

    But yeah, once they think they’re Photography God’s or something, it obviously gets really annoying. Recommend

  • Ovais Rasheed


    I don’t. I’m leaving it to the integrity of the buyer.Recommend

  • IftI

    HAHAHAHA :@ :@ I hate them idiots!
    “More than half the people who own an expensive DSLR do so because somehow it is the new iPod – a necessary item to be possessed by anyone who wants to feel ‘accepted’.”.. TRUE THAT!!!Recommend

  • Waseem

    Well thats totally pointless.. Earlier doing it with film camera was cumbersome as well as expensive hobby. If digital technology has made it easy to have better quality “memories”, whats wrong with that. To me it sounds like “why to buy expensive LCD TVs when there are traditional fat CRTs.. they fulfill the purpose”. Recommend

  • Sohaib

    different gadgets different use…..i have a DSLR too but I always carry a small one due to its handiness or i need to be more mobileRecommend

  • amna

    oh man,so true.I’m truly SICK of these “semi-professional” photographers with fb groups,one calls itself the zenith, and a stupid fan-following Recommend

  • Eric

    You people ought to get a life.

    “I hate it that someone has a DSLR and they try to take cool pictures…”

    Grow up. Live your life and stop being so concerned about what other people do with themselves. Really. Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    Interesting write up Ovais, but full of generalization, I dont agree to a lot of claims you have made in your article. Here goes my two cents!! photography is a hobby a past time for many, DSLR or Point and Shoot!!! So, what is hype, why it is so different then any other hobby!! People play cricket with a pice of wood (Phatta) and also with expensive bats!! The people who love gardening can have few pots and grow seasonal flowers, many import expensive plants and have huge lawns. This stands true for a lot of hobbies and interests

    Where does the term Ameteur stands here?? Why do you think these people with DSLR never make an attempt to learn or take up a course?? Where is your data? Do you know I learned photography course from a prestigious Art School, and the teacher among the top ten Pakistani photographer did not go to any school or took up courses and said he learned by doing. So these button fumbling young people with a passion to capture any images let it be dog or their GFs, or thinking they can do a good job promoting Pakistan, if passionate they will learn and be good at the art one day. Does every kid playing cricket on the street becomes Imran Khan, but they do play!!

    Let me inform you, why this recent frenzy on photography, in the past decade the media sciences departments have come up in almost all universities, they department of journalism is renamed as Mass Communication. There are courses of Photography and Animations, new photo editing software are coming up every day. My teacher at my photography class asked me to throw my very cute pink SONY cyebershot out of the window and get a real camera he meant DSLR. last take it easy, it is just the changing times and that is it. Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    @Saad: like your comment!!Recommend

  • Eagle

    yes, there are people whose core purpose of buying a cool cam is to make others jealous with their camera. One of my relatives used to have an “awesome” 3.1 megapixels olympus (non dslr) camera which he buyed at 16000 rupees and kept on showing while keeping it away from us… I later bought two 4.1 mega pixels cameras (one was a pro one) after that he never brings his one out infront of me! :D

    But I’m not a pro photographer, I don’t even like to show-off my photos to people and my main purpose of a camera is to take snaps of books-pages that I feel like reading (camera is a handy scanner for me) If I buy a dslr my idea would be to have it because

    I’d need less light to take pictures (don’t have to use flash for taking pictures of pages)
    the shots wont take too much time (new cams write data quickly to memory)
    most cameras dslrs come with an easy interface with computers (unlike an ipod) and they can be charged without their batteries unplugged which is a facility most other cameras don’t offer.

  • Eagle

    @Farah Kamal:
    I think Ovais has no problem with people with dslr(s) using it as a hobby but he dislikes people who just have a dslr and they show themselves off like pros!!! As I’ve mentioned in my comment too. People often want to have the best camera in their hands just to show off. They have no interest in photography or the science of photography and they don’t need it anywhere, their sole interest is to snap some pictures and get appraisal for it and for having such an awesome camera! Recommend

  • R

    I’m getting a DSLR, not to show-off but because I can NOW actually afford a good camera and I will put in time to learn the mechanics as well so I think you need to stop being so waspish in your writing.Recommend

  • Omar

    Well said. I have been photographing for over 15 years and now I just want to get rid of my DSLR because I don’t want to be associated with the DSLR crowd here. Recommend

  • Ahmed .M

    Haha so true bro !!
    loved your article :pRecommend

  • Meharr

    “Plato will roll over in his grave.”

    Hahahhahahahahhahahahha! AMAZIMG.Recommend

  • Nouman Younas

    My Some friends have bought DSLR camera just for taking routine pictures.
    The get many likes and comment on fb :) but i think photography course is must before you get DSLR.Recommend

  • Ali

    Personally, I’m failing to see why the article was written in the first place. Its coming across as having been written by someone who is a little ‘obsessed and possessed’ by Facebook….and is belittling those who have made a certain purchase (with hopefully their own money and not the authors).
    The author advocates the use of mobile phone cameras or even the basic point-n-shoot digital camera over the DSLR. Why?
    Yes, the point-n-shoot will take a picture as well as the DSLR….but than why buy a Corolla when the Mehran will get you to your destination as well. Why travel First Class when cattle class will land at the same time….why go to a state of the art hospital when the local government clinic also provides medical care. This argument can go on and on.

    This is a personal choice and the author needs to learn to respect people and their choices. The author has not uttered a single reference to a technical issue in photography to support their stance. Simply trying to make owners of DSLR’s look like idiots fumbling with buttons is not enough. I’ve known people who fumble with their shirt buttons….so would the author advocate them to go around topless?

    Please write….but write about something that you know about…and can substantiate beyond your ‘opinion’.

    Currently, it all just looks a bit too much like envy.Recommend

  • `Nabil Hasan

    So true a well written article !!!! I’ve met so many people buying an expensive over sized DSLR and yet they don’t know the capabilities of it. Shooting with a kit lens in auto mode, taking bokehlicious DP’s for facebook that’s their goal. It is like learning how to drive on a Ferrari. If you really want to start off in photography buy an old film camera, so that you may know what is photography. Filling your memory card with those burst modes and hoping that a good picture might turn out is not photography. LOL I’m so sure half of the population who own a DSLR might not even know what does it even stand for.Recommend

  • JT

    Im glad i can buy a DSLR now and actually take the same pic a pro could take and discover the illusion that you have to be special to take a picture of something, that conveys art? Just like music at one time you were under the illusion that only a few could be producers , now everyone can produce their art or take their pictures without the hassle of learning a “technique”. How much technique or talent does it take to snap a button and keep in focus, about as much as it take to record a song with autotune. NONE what so ever. I mean how many “professionals” are there anyway, very few. Just like myspace flooded with a million crap bands with the dream someone will hear them, look at photography the same way, only a few will make it even your sought after “professional” photographer. when it comes down to it, art is subjective to whatever pop culture wants. A pro will take a pic of a landscape and try to sell it as an art piece, pop culture will take a pic of vomit and get paid millions. Since when do the “pros” own art, scenery and a market. Get used to us with a camera and an ipod to take your work from you, cause technology has caught up to the illusion of what “pro’s” really do, and that just take a picture , not cure cancer.Recommend