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My street is a tourist hub—Mulberry Street in Little Italy here in New York. It was a lovely, mild summer day today and I was out walking around and noticing our visiting tourists snapping pictures. Many were using their cell phones and some their iPads. (That's an odd thing to behold.) These people are, in the oldest tradition, capturing themselves on their holiday. They don't see lighting; they don't know how to make a snap look in the least bit interesting; they don't know anything. But they're harmless.  :)

 

The next very large group are carrying DSLR's, big heavy things with big heavy zoom lenses. They look as if they think they know what they're doing, but most don't. A small group of these people with DSLR's do seem to know how to take a picture. Hmm. 

 

What I have yet to see (not so far), except for a few, are people carrying the newest light small pro cameras, like my NEX and the like. 

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A friend approached me last week.  She asked what camera I would recommend because all she and her boyfriend ever use is their cell phone camera.  She said she was willing to spend up to $3,000.  I asked her what she's looking for - a DSLR, a point and shoot, etc.  I also asked what she wanted for features and if she wanted a view finder to look through or if she wanted a live view option.  She asked what a DSLR was.  I said it was one of those "big" cameras.  She said she didn't want a big camera but she wanted something with a lot of megapixels because she wanted to make the wildlife appear bigger in the photos.  I recommended a Sony RX100...wasn't sure what else to recommend.

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The NEX cameras disappear off the shelves quite quickly here in Vancouver, at least camera stores always seem to be out of them. However, I seldom see tourists with mirror-less cameras. Most, like you say, are using their i-gadgets (which seem to be replacing point-and-shoots) or DSLRs. I guess those Canon commercials really do work.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Likewise, Salisbury is a major tourist draw here in the UK. Take a walk around the Cathedral on any day and its wall to wall with people taking pictures. Similar story, iPhones, iPads and DSLR's.

 

Although, this year for the first time, I saw a couple of Japanese girls carrying silver NEX's. And I bumped into an old bloke who had come from London for the day with a Fuji X100.

 

Given the (apparent) popularity of Sony and Fuji mirror less cameras, I'm surprised I don't see more on the streets.

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Seeing many more people carrying DSLRs these days, generally with a kit lens. Only the very occasional CSC, probably as many using a tablet. 

 

Recommended to my best mate that he bought an RX100. He likes the camera and the results, but it has had to go back for warranty work, and is still not properly fixed. They won't give him a new camera so he's a tad dischuffed.

Edited by Bryan
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I was getting my car serviced last week and spent a day walking round a Peebles in the sun - this is actually a tourist town and well laid-out to waste four hours. On return, I had to sit for half an hour while the car was finished off and noticed the other customer also waiting had a Panasonic GF1. Got talking, and he showed me contents of his very small camera bag - 14-45mm zoom, 45(55?)-200mm zoom, 20mm f/1.7. The GF1 was well worn, metal showing on all corners, but at least the body is solidly made. Turned out his son has just started writing reviews for ePhotozine and he knew Pete Bargh (ePhotozine's owner). Small world.

 

But - enthusiast, didn't ask if he contributed to Alamy (I never do, no desire to raise further curiosity and increase the photo pile!). Also owned DSLRs (D200 kit). No longer bothered to use, but given the far superior performance of the GF1 sensor over the D200 that is not surprising.

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I was taking pictures at the Nottingham Pride Parade this morning. I was the only photographer I saw using a CSC (Fuji X-E1) the rest were either compacts/ phones and the serious people using DSLRS and big lenses. I have hardly used my EOS 1Ds3 since getting the Fuji with 18-55 and 55-200. I am enjoying getting in amongst it with a small light camera and a tiny bag. My neck and shoulders are MUCH happier!

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The public has been a little slow on the pickup, but the changeover will happen. I think a lot of people get off on the "look at me, I'm a photographer" that a DSLR projects. 

 

I used the NEX-3 for at least six months before getting an NEX-7 and then an NEX-6. And I actually got comfortable shooting without a viewfinder; I could deal with most subjects but not all. My problem with Sony and NEX is that I'm beginning to realize that they seem unable to design a very good wide-angle at a reasonable price. Am I wrong?

 

I use my Sony Zeiss 24 f/1.8 (36mm view) for over 90% of my shots. It focuses to 6.5" for closeups. My Sony 50 (view of 75mm) is also a useful, wonderful lens. This wide-angle gap is the only reason I've not yet sold all my Nikon gear. Understand, I only shoot stock, never do assignments anymore. 

 

http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/sony-preparing-the-launch-of-many-new-mirrorless-cameras-within-the-next-2-3-months/

Edited by Ed Rooney
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I've always been a member of the chameleon school of photography. I used to carry my old manual focus Minolta(s) with a wrist strap, keeping the camera tucked up and out of sight.  Unfortunately, autofocus SLRs and then DSLRs become too bulky to keep from view. So I'm really happy with the mirror-less revolution (if you can call it that yet). It doesn't pay to look like a photographer IMO. In fact, it also doesn't pay to be one any longer. But that's another story.

 

Come to think of it, I have seen Japanese tourists in Vancouver using NEX cameras. The Japanese have a fetish for small things. So perhaps mirror-less cameras are more common in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Edited by John Mitchell
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