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How the dSLR changed Photography?




I earlier wrote a draft that looked into the photography business being diluted because of entry-level dSLRs. I scrapped the entry as I feel it’s more than just that — it’s so much more than just taking photos for a living.

The first time I handled a professional camera was back in my high school days where we had to do a photo-essay contest for one of our art classes. We bought film, took great time when framing each shot and had only 12 shots to spare (13 if you’re lucky). I remembered winning and our group getting a 1.0 grade.

Ten years later, I bought my very first camera — a 3.2 megapixel Canon Ixus 30. I was influenced by a friend how had a Canon Powershot and another friend who had a model that uses a 3.5″ floppy disk (I think it was a Sony Digital Mavica).

The film is gone. I can take as many shots as my 256MB SD card can handle and I need not have to go to the photo printers to see my shots. Looking back in the last couple of years, times have really changed the photography landscape.

  • We no longer store rolls of films but rely on terabytes of HDD space for storage.
  • Anybody and his dSLR can be assigned as the official photographer.
  • Shoot now, edit later mentality.
  • Photoshop is your best friend.
  • It’s becoming harder to identify who’s the official photographer during a wedding ceremony.
  • The Friendster-pose was invented.
  • Flickr is the new Photo Album.

What else has changed?

And who among you here knows that Nokia is the biggest camera manufacturer in the world?

Times have changed. The Polaroid has become the thing of the past. But, I still keep those 15-year old negatives locked in the box just in case.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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56 Responses

  1. Those where the days… yeah.. the digital age did change the landscape of photography… specially way people takes pictures. Since the film era being a professional photographers, just buy your SLR (film) is a very big investment what more when taking pictures say a wedding.. you need to have rolls and rolls of film, making it more expensive.

    Today… almost anyone that has a spare of 30k get get their own DSLR and 2 GIG of memory card which is the standard size for most DSLR and become an instant photographer.. as soon as you learn the basics of Digital Photography and how to get the correct aperture, ISO and shutter speed settings. :)

    But I could be wrong.. just like what the FB fan page say “HINDI PORKET MAY DSLR KA, PHOTOGRAPHER KA NA!”

    Just my two cents!!!

  2. daddy joey says:

    as they say, “owning a DSLR doesn’t make you a photographer, it makes you a DSLR owner” :)

  3. Bogcess says:

    Time really flies so fast. I’m excited when will the DSLR cameras will become a thing of the past.

  4. Gugol says:

    i enjoy film photography. one of the few who still do actually.

    you never really know what you’ll gonna get until the film roll gets developed. the anticipation between shots and the darkroom process is unparalleled.

    but, of course, digital cameras offer the convenience.

  5. deuts says:

    RE:”It’s becoming harder to identify who’s the official photographer during a wedding ceremony.”

    Nice one! LOL

  6. Jhay says:

    The one thing I miss about film cameras and taking photos with them is the thrill and excitement of taking that roll of film to be processed.

    Which photos would come out nice, which ones were ruined and of course, there’s nothing like looking through the negatives.

  7. lolipown says:

    @Yuga
    FYI, is back in business, both in instant cameras and instant film.

  8. RJ says:

    I’m just curious, what is “Friendster-pose”? Pasensya na di ko talaga alam. :( paki-describe po. :)

  9. Jon says:

    Yeah, I was about to ask that, sir Abe. What is the “friendster pose”?

    I find it kinda funny to see kids around starbucks and other hangout places sporting their new dSLRs, and most of those times, I get annoyed since they handle that expensive camera like it were a digicam, with flash and all. I was even surprised when I saw one trying to get a self-portrait using one.

    It is not bad to own a dSLR. Just try to learn the very basics, how to use it, just don’t rely on automatic settings so that you won’t look like an idiot.

  10. Kevin says:

    just because they have slrs, they think they’re already photographers. sigh, be a fan! –> http://bit.ly/dxgPMJ

  11. Victor says:

    The thing with Digital Photography today is that it already crosses ethical boundaries dealing with non-truthful images and the like. We all know this… When was the last time that photoshop was not used at all? There is something good with digital editing although I believe that it should be controlled at some point in order to maintain balance. People produce great images although when you think about it like “is this real?” or photoshopped?

    There is something about photography, the truth, and digital manipulation.

  12. Ryan Ang says:

    Nung una natawa din ako (being an enthusiast myself) with the proliferation of people toting DSLR’s and handling them as digicams. Even I, myself is guilty of using it to take self portraits (handling it on one hand, shoulder length away from the subject/s). But one thing I noticed from these new wave of DSLR users is that they just want better IQ from their cameras which they can’t get with an P&S, especially in low light situations.

    Maybe that’s why manufacturers made a new segment to the SLR category by introducing mirrorless cameras such as the Olympus Pen, Pana GF-1 and Samsung NX10, which all of them show great potential. P&S convenience with SLR IQ.

    Hmm one thing changed for the better? People are now more critical of their photographs; they won’t settle for anything less. This is a great thing. Hopefully manufacturers can develop their P&S line to be match (or near) DSLR in terms of picture quality.

  13. VeeBoi says:

    Well literally a photographer is a person who takes photographs using a camera. It doesn’t matter what type of camera you own, dslr, p&s etc. but you can always distinguish the pro between a noob photographer :D

  14. Jay says:

    this is positive for me
    the more SLR enthusiasts
    the more interest into photography
    the more people will appreciate photographs
    then, more people will appreciate the works of the hobbyists, semi and professional photographers

  15. Aja says:

    @some of you

    so what if someone owns a dslr and can’t shoot like a pro? eh kaya nga may dslr para pagaralan eh, di nyo ba napapansin na puro entry level lang ang binibili ng mga yun? may nakita na ba kayo naka EOS 1D na beginner?

    alangan naman point and shoot ang gamitin para magaral ng photography. kitid ng mga utak. and what is it with you anyway? does it hurt your photographer’s ego when you see someone walking with a camera similar with what you have?

    It’s better to try and fail than to have never tried at all

  16. yuga says:

    @rj & Jon – Friendster pose is the usual profile photo you see in Friendster where the user takes his or her own photo.

  17. Ricardo says:

    It’s been a year now since I planned to buying a dslr at hanggang ngayon plano pa rin hehe. Di ko alam kung anomaganda D90 o D3000. Sana may magoffer ng review tungkol sa mga ito. Thanks Abe.

  18. Jay says:

    friendster pose: with one or both arms raised or extended filling the frame hehe

  19. jill says:

    Come now, that “friendster” pose has long been gobbled up by the “facebook” pose. Hehe!

  20. jill says:

    On the topic however, no photography strain here. Contented with my P&S.

  21. manong says:

    @aja

    you don’t need dslr to learn photography. taking a picture is an artform, effects may make it prettier but the angle and the subject are most important.

    heck! a great photographer can use a celfone camera and the photo still end up priceless..

    @s’yuga

    dSLR didn’t change photography.. the d(digital) did!!!

    … SLR is an old tech, btw!

  22. manong says:

    i hope you agree w/ me.. but most people (like me) look better in a photo taken from a VGA resolution, with the blur and the wash-out colors adding to the perception of clear skin, lesser blemishes..

    just imagine what HD-Digital brodcasting will do to mike enriquez’ and diether ocampo’s career…

    more make-up please!

  23. aja says:

    What about manual controls? What’s wrong with owning a dslr really people?

  24. aja says:

    And are you trying to justify the arrogance of these so called photographers?

  25. anino says:

    @aja most P&S cameras have manual controls. they don’t give as much control over settings as dSLRs, but then again it’s not really that important when you’re learning the basics.

    FYI, the winner of the Lee Make History contest used a P&S camera: http://www.calvinshub.com/2009/10/pinay-wins-40000-from-lee-make-history-photo-contest/

    Like many people who are annoyed with the dSLR fad, I don’t have a problem with dSLR owners who are really interested in learning photography. What we are against is how some people blatantly use dSLRs as status symbols without even caring for the basics of photography.

    It’s like seeing someone play a sport (tennis, golf, shooting, etc) wearing and using the most expensive gear around to show off but failing miserably when pitted against “normal” players.

  26. @bi3L says:

    hehe… now we have the term “Pang FaceBook”! :)

  27. manong says:

    @aja

    hindi naman siguro arrogante… ignorante pa lang.

    kung manual controls ang aaralin, definitely DSLR. paano kaya mag-friendster pose pag manual control?

  28. aja says:

    @manong hahaha natawa ako dun ah
    @anino simple fact is it`s not our money and it`s not our lives. people get their happiness from different things, are you going to take it away from them because you feel that they don`t have the right?

  29. anino says:

    @aja and the simple fact is that no one’s taking away things from anyone. It’s not like you’re seeing professional photographers walk up to people with dSLRs and smash their cameras on the ground.

    Naninita lang kami: kung sila may karapatang magyabang ng kanilang dSLR kahit di naman sila talagang interesado matuto, meron rin kaming karapatang sitahin sila. Don’t say we don’t have the right to do so. :D

  30. aja says:

    @anino

    And what made you think na nagyayabang sila? Mas nakakahiya pa ngayon dahil sa mga haters. But who cares really? basta I think we should accept this as a norm. Wag n lang pansinin. Live and let live. Peace

  31. aja says:

    Btw abe, pwede mo bang habaan ang article na ito. Madami ka pang pwedeng ikwento
    Please? I like this blog post kya fan mo na ako

  32. junior says:

    la naman kaso na may dslr ka. but ang problem, may mga owner na di “dinadala” ito ng ayos. like ung example nga dun sa sports thing. bihis na bihis ka nga, alam mo ba laruin ung game? ung iba nag-aaral talaga but i think ung ‘iba’ pasikat at payabang lang. (^^)V

  33. anino says:

    @aja

    “And what made you think na nagyayabang sila?”

    Madali naman malaman kung sino yung mga nagpapasikat lang:

    – ilang oras nakalabas yung camera habang kasama mga kaibigan, hindi naman kukuha ni isang picture. kung kukuha naman, parang ginawang celphone camera lang yung camera
    – pinagyayabang mga kuhang litrato, pag tingnan mo naman, pangit ang composition, lighting, etc. kahit na-photoshop na yung picture.
    – masyadong OC sa manual controls, kinakausap pa sarili habang linilista sa papel. pag pakinggan mo naman, hindi bagay sa weather at location yung mga settings na sinasabi niya.
    – and the list goes on…

    Though I’d admit it’s better to accept this phenomenon as a norm, just as we should accept that people will point out mistakes where there are mistakes, and that people lump critics and haters together when they don’t want to listen to criticism. :D

  34. Aja says:

    @anino

    it doesn’t really matter if one is flaunting his camera, car, new outfit or whatever. to sum it all up, it’s none of your business! inggit lang yan! tanggalin! you can’t tell people to buy point and shoot camera because you feel that they are not in your own league or don’t have the common sense to operate a dslr. kaya nga nagaaral at may pera sila to buy dslr. kung may 2 million ba ako at gusto ko ng SUV bibili pa ba ako ng sedan dahil di pa ko marunong magdrive?

    goodness people grow up! if you want change, start with yourself. come on, who the frack cares if i have a brand new everything and i want to play tennis?

    may gumawa pa ng fan page sa facebook na HINDI PORKET MAY DSLR KA, PHOTOGRAPHER KA NA!” nahahalata tuloy ang mga insecure at TOTOONG MAYAYABANG!

    @junior

    is there a proper way to flaunt something? really?

  35. Josh says:

    I really don’t get this whole BS about people ‘who shouldn’t have DSLRs’

    I’ve been shooting for five years, and I know my way around a camera. You can hand me any DSLR and I’ll know what to do with it. But I have NO problems with all the other people who own DSLRs and don’t know how to use it.

    So what if they don’t know how to use it? That’s like saying you shouldn’t wear basketball sneakers unless you have the same talent as an NBA player. In other words, it’s idiotic.

    The more people who buy DSLRs and lenses, the better for everyone, since it drives prices down.

  36. junior says:

    uy, siguro isa ka sa mga photographer wannabe ano? napaghahalataan eh. ^^

  37. aja says:

    @junior
    hahaha can’t get over it ah. Haayz you are just enhancing my argument

  38. mwuaks says:

    @manong… A+ for your comments. Owning a $5,000 worth of DSLR is NO match for a gifted eye.

  39. blackmanray says:

    @aja & @Josh, I agree with you both. it just shows the insecurity & immaturity of some people. we all should grow up. lahat naman tayo mayabang talaga in one way or another. mayabang sila dahil parang sinasabi nila na “i can afford to buy this,” at mayabang ang iba dahil parang sinasabi nila na “magaling ako sa photography”. what a sick mentality!

    i hate to comment further as it will only be a futile effort considering the ego of the “professional” photographers here who are against the owning of dSLRs by non-enthusiasts.

    peace out!

  40. jade bryan says:

    But for me I will not judge any persons (especially ung teens at kabataan) na may DSLR as a PRO or a good photog… Di ko na pinapansin ksi pasikat lg tlga ung iba pro as a whole sight sa Pilipinas, start na talga ito ng trend ng DSLR at even sa ibang country gaya ng Malaysia common na common na ung DSLR.

    *Note..trend are touch phones, P&S cams, mid-cameras (bridge) and DSLR mag ingat na lg kayo ksi ung mga masamang loob na aarouse sa mga ganyan. Baka masayang lg 30k mo so paalala lg.

    @aja
    u have a point there and I like it in some ways but I suggest to all beginners na may pera na may balak na bumili ng DSLR na i TRY ung SLR first…in that way they will learn much about more manuals and especially will be able to APPRECIATE photog even sa OLD and CheaP cams. plus ok lg pagnanakaw. So kpag my DSLR kna mas ingat kna.

  41. Lolo Tasyo says:

    mga iho, wala namang dapat pagtalunan. yung mga mahuhusay sa potograpiya wag dapat sumama ang loob sa mga baguhan na bumibili ng mga haytek na dSLR cameras. wala namang batas na nagbabawal nito. kung gusto nila ihambalang ang kanilang cameras, kung mas mataas ang antas ng kanilang cameras, huwag magtampo. sabi mo nga mas mahusay kang photographer. dapat pasensyahan na lang. hindi naman ekslusibong libangan ang potograpiya. ito ay para sa lahat.

  42. Nemo Trinidad says:

    to all pro-photographers who hate to see wannabe newbs flaunting their ne dSLRs:

    May mga point din naman kayo. Being photographers, cameras are more than a tool, they are essentially a part of who we are. Kaya naiintindihan ko kung maiinis kayo sa mga taong may DSLR na hindi naman ito ginagamit ng tama. Then again, you just have to live with it. Everyone’s entitled to what they want (basta they get it through legal means cympre), but even as experts in your field, we have no right to dissuade or prevent people from buying DSLRs if they really want them, regardless of how they will use it. Yes most of them will suck at taking photos but we already know that, you just have to keep it to yourself and don’t be a braggard (like the true professional that all of us are)

    to the non-pros/learning to become pros/casual photographers/dslr owners:

    It’s your camera, and you know best what you want to do with it. If you take awesome pics with it or you just flaunt it, no one should care. Only you can decide what to do with it. And if anyone points out or criticizes you over your usage of your DSLR, you can either say “pake mo, camera mo ba to?” or take it and turn it into something constructive to improve your skills. Say and do whatever you want. It is a free country :)

  43. You only use 256MB SD? :o

  44. clyde says:

    one word, inggit!

    i am a beginner as well and i bought a dslr para makakuha ng magandang shots (bokue on portrait)… ang quality ng photos ay talaga namang praise-worthy… dito sa singapore, ang mga pinoy walang inggitan, instead we support each other pa nga eh… we always say, “keep on shooting bro”… walang haters na bumabatikos kesyo bumili ka lang for yabang purposes and whatnots… haaay ang pinas walang asenso kapwa na eh binabatikos pa… stop blabbering instead if you know how to take photos then spread ur knowledge… wag kang inggit… wag kang magkunwari na nagagalit kasi isa kang alagad ng sining…

    pffff

  45. bri says:

    hate us for being not as good as you guys, not as enthusiastic (it’s just a freaking’ hobby, we don’t earn what we feed our families with from this)and not as technically knowledgeable (yup, i can’t discuss aperture, shutter speed and other jargon with out re-reading my guide) but it ain’t our fault if we could afford having dslr cams. we can take ugly pics, spill soda on it, use it to smash crickets and as long as we are not bothering any of you, there is not a damn thing you can do about it.. don’t worry if we need your “professional” tips and advice, we will ask for it.. otherwise [email protected] off.. buhayKO,pakeMO

  46. Danny says:

    I’d say the entry of DSLRs just raised the bar.. the more people who own DSLRs, the more aspirants in the competition, the more photographers push to produce better images and distinguish their own style.

  47. Pat says:

    I think you’re wrong lang with the last statement “the polaroid has become a thing of the past”. I beg to differ because so many people are interested in old school photography again. Those who are willing to spare a couple of bucks now buy lomo or toy cameras, old SLRs and even Polaroid cameras. It’s actually very nice to see that people are reviving these cameras.

  48. Richard says:

    by definition, A photographer is a person who takes photographs using a camera. so whether its a camera phone, point and shoot or a DSLR, so, whoever uses a camera,young and old, is already considered a photographer.

    it just depends on whether you are an expert professional photographer or just a plain hobbyist.

    walang inggitan na lang.

  49. echonski says:

    And who among you here knows that Nokia is the biggest camera manufacturer in the world? <- i think you meant Nikon?

  50. Ryan Ang says:

    @echonski

    no typo there.. Nokia could be the biggest camera manufacturer if you count all the camera phones it makes in a day. :)

  51. obed says:

    wish i have one…

  52. echonski says:

    @Ryan Ang

    thanks for the info. now that you mention it, makes sense. :)

  53. srh* says:

    thanks to all who have spoken out
    I’m just one’newb’in blogging >.<
    and I wish to own a dSLR..
    as i read, it gives me the urge to post more sensible blog :)

    sana nga we should start to change that kind of mentality it's like were pulling one another down-_-

    hope you can help me!

  54. emoxian says:

    +1 on aja, josh and blackmanray: clap clap clap

    @ anino saying “masyadong OC sa manual controls, kinakausap pa sarili habang linilista sa papel. pag pakinggan mo naman, hindi bagay sa weather at location yung mga settings na sinasabi niya.”

    ano problema mo jan men? bkt ikaw? naging magaling ka ba agad mg shoot? dba dumaan ka din jan? and what’s wrong ba if sinusulat nya ang settings ng pgkuha nya?? snsbi mo d bagay ang settings sa weather? kaya nga sinusulat eh! dba? dba??? PINAG AARALAN YAN CHONG. get it? wag tayo mgyabang o manglait..baka dumating ang araw yung nilalait mong tao na nagsulat ng settings sa papel eh maging professional photographer na tinitingala ng ibang pro photographers..gets mo chong? =)

    ang sa mga naiinis sa mga teens na may dalang DSLR o ngsasabing mga “poser”, alright, meron tlgang nagyayabang lang at meron din nman hndi. e wat if yun ang camera nya at wla syang p&s cam? does it mean ngyayabang na sila? and kahit na nagyayabang man sila, you cant take away their rights to use their DSLRs.

    gaya ng sinabi ni josh, mdami kang nkikitang nka nike shoes na ang mahal nman tlga. so you got prob with that also??? you got our point here bro? uf you have problem with that, then we think that it is you that have a problem. =)

  55. emoxian says:

    +1 on you Bri,Nemo and Clyde.

    im am also planning to buy a dslr. but i still cant afford it. i love taking pictures lalo na landscape and macro shots..and i said to myself, and nabasa ko din sa e-books, that if you want to learn basic or digital photography, kelangan mo tlga isulat ang different settings. so dun mo malalaman kung ano magandang settings on different situations… coz if d mo alam ang settings for example sa isang fashion show, shoot ka lang ng shoot e pag uwi mo pg tingin mo sa bahay d pla maganda.dba? (im speaking of the raw shots not the photoshop edited pix). pls correct me mga bossing if may mali sa sinabi ko.. i am a wannabee and i really wanna learn digital photography.

  56. DSLR changed the photography world as we knew it, back on the film days, it is very expensive to have a SLR camera, because every shot should be developed. but now, even you can developed in your own digital darkroww( using lightroom) so , its way cheaper, and save much time,… it is changed, but the artistry never change, it just the way they produce and create it that is improve

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