Just curious: your most fun DSLR to shoot?

What sort of uses/genres would you put a DSLR to @L0n3Gr3yW0lf - or would it be an everything/anything camera with the focus being the different ergos/shooting experience?
Mostly for a different experience, I would say landscape, hiking, light wildlife photography, pet portrait, and maybe a bit of running around, astrophotography.

I am also curious to read and learn about other people's experiences and preferences, that's why I hoped it would be a lovely conversation for everyone as well.
 
Well I suppose I have a bit of a relevant story - the first cameras that I had were camcorders, as I was into home video (and early YouTube, being a teenager in 2007). I had a Canon HG20 from 2009 to 2014 or so, have a lot of video of me and my friends from the end of school and Uni that I treasure dearly.

For photography, I mainly shot on phones until 2017, when I got together with my girlfriend. She had a Canon 1200D with an 18-55 kit lens - she brought it on our first international holiday together to Copenhagen, and over the holiday I went from having a go occasionally, to carrying it most of the time and taking all sorts of photos.

Even though it was her camera, she was happy enough to hand it over to me most of the time from that day forward. It was the first "proper camera" that I shot with, and the one where I started to learn the basics of photography.

Took plenty of lovely images on it, though in retrospect I wish I'd known what RAW was 😄 but no matter, in good light, that combo produced natural, pleasing images SOOC. We've got some of our photos from Norway that I took on that camera printed out and up on the walls in our house.

It's not fast, not that smart, not that highly specced - yet it's good nonetheless, and if she didn't have it I probably wouldn't be shooting constantly and haunting these forums now 😉

She still uses it too! When we were on safari last year, I had m43 cameras, she had her 1200D and an ancient EF 100-300 that we'd found in an antiques emporium just outside Cardiff - and again, some of those images are up on our walls now.

Long post, tldr is that a Canon DSLR is about 70% of the reason I'm into photography today.

Eg. 1 - Me channeling my inner lumberjack at Rhaeadr Y Graig Lwyd (a bit up the hill from Betws-y-coed) - when I was younger and slimmer 😅 (taken by my girlfriend)

2019-04-01-12-30-14_1200D_2305 (forum).JPG
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Eg 2. One of our favourite images from Norway, along the Sognefjord
2019-06-01-11-42-26_Canon 1200D_2873 (forum).JPG
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Heuou, as per title I would like to ask the community which is your most fun DSLR to shoot photography (strictly for yourself and not necessarily professionally)?

I'll try and answer this question in a personal way (what other way is there, really?) - and simply address what DSLR has given me the most FUN shooting with it?

For me, it's almost (but not quite) a tie - between two Pentaxes, one of which I used to own and truly loved shooting with... the other of which I currently own.

The one I used to own was a Pentax KP. At the time I had it, it was amazingly fun to shoot with. Part of this was because it felt not merely 'solid' but beautifully well-built, in my hands. Many people, and many of us here, talk about the cliché of "a camera built by photographers for photographers" - but the KP truly seemed like that, which made it fun. The other thing was, the viewfinder seemed slightly brighter, and just a tad crisper, than that of any other DSLR I had ever used. Those two factors alone made it fun, fun, fun to use.

The other one, which I have and use now, is actually an earlier Pentax DSLR - the relatively diminutive K-S1. To the best of my knowledge, it is THE smallest DSLR Pentax has ever built. Weirdly, though it's definitely not a 'Pro' body by any means, it nonetheless feels astoundingly solid in my hands. Just holding it, gives one a feeling that one is holding a dense, and really well-built, piece of photographic machinery. And did I mention, the damn thing is small? It's even smaller than the K-S2 I owned briefly (which might also be on the list had I kept it longer) - and it 'mates' beautifully with some of the classic Pentax DA Ltd (and FA Ltd) small primes. To my surprise, its viewfinder seems as good (and as bright) as that of the KP. But the bottom line is, I like shooting with small but extremely solid cameras that feel not merely well built but well-designed, in my hands. Both of these Pentaxes excel in that sense - and both of them are and were simply fun to shoot with.

I suspect, that if some day I ever wind up playing with the much larger and heavier (and substantial) K-1, it might nearly dethrone them, because of its viewfinder. I think having a truly good viewfinder, for me, is half the battle.

Hope this partially answers your question, Ovi, which is a good one... and one I find complicated to answer. If I were to slightly enlarge the parameters of the question to encompass which DSLRs that you've used have the best and truly most enjoyable viewfinders to look through, weirdly enough, I might include a few other Pentaxes (the K10d and the K-5iis) on my short list, as well as a camera I've only played around with but really enjoyed fooling with, the Canon 6D.

But strictly speaking, my most fun to use DSLR to date has been and is the only one I have now - the surprisingly small K-S1. Mine is also bright blue, which makes it look more like a children's toy than a serious photographic tool, but it certainly handles and feels like a serious camera... and it's still a ton of fun to use.
 
This is probably going to sound very green/basic of me - but looking through the winners/commended images in the most recent NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year, I was struck by how many were taken with DSLRs
I could see Mirrorless being more street and DSLR being more wildlife. You're not trying to be discrete with your camera around a moose.
 
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I could see Mirrorless being more street and DSLR being more wildlife. You're not trying to be discrete with you camera around a moose.
Can definitely see that - though there is some element of being discreet to wildlife photography too, I imagine it being of a benefit at times to be able to shoot silently with electronic shutter 😄

But of course, seemingly shutter noise presented little obstacle to these awarded photographers
 
I could see Mirrorless being more street and DSLR being more wildlife. You're not trying to be discrete with you camera around a moose.
There's more to that: You have to hone your craft for wildlife - handling your tools should really become second nature, so you'll stick with gear you're comfortable with, especially if it basically delivers the goods. That's why I personally am pretty crap at fast movement: I like to switch gear often (within my kit, that is), so I lack the surefire accuracy in handling my cameras that's needed for wildlife (especially birding), sports and action. I'm good enough for (most) events, but nothing more demanding.

Besides, DSLRs have had great tracking for a long time - mirrorless have only caught up one or two generations ago (two to three years, I'd say, but it may be a bit longer by now; in some cases, only the current models really matched the last generation of DSLRs). That's not to say I can get the best out of a DSLR or mirrorless, though I do feel much more at home with mirrorless for my kind of shooting, but then, in my book, nothing beats a good rangefinder - you get the picture. I'm the opposite of an action shooter.

M.
 
Besides, DSLRs have had great tracking for a long time - mirrorless have only caught up one or two generations ago (two to three years, I'd say, but it may be a bit longer by now; in some cases, only the current models really matched the last generation of DSLRs).
That's an area where it's probably much better looking at Canon or Nikon than Pentax. Though I hear the K3 III has pretty good AF. But the speed and tracking capabilities of the K-1 aren't all that great (not something I typically need with this camera).
 
There's more to that: You have to hone your craft for wildlife - handling your tools should really become second nature, so you'll stick with gear you're comfortable with, especially if it basically delivers the goods. That's why I personally am pretty crap at fast movement: I like to switch gear often (within my kit, that is), so I lack the surefire accuracy in handling my cameras that's needed for wildlife (especially birding), sports and action. I'm good enough for (most) events, but nothing more demanding.

Besides, DSLRs have had great tracking for a long time - mirrorless have only caught up one or two generations ago (two to three years, I'd say, but it may be a bit longer by now; in some cases, only the current models really matched the last generation of DSLRs). That's not to say I can get the best out of a DSLR or mirrorless, though I do feel much more at home with mirrorless for my kind of shooting, but then, in my book, nothing beats a good rangefinder - you get the picture. I'm the opposite of an action shooter.

M.
Yeah, I was thinking of it from the street side. Most people that now have mirrorless switched from a DSLR. Street shooters might have been motivated to make that switch, but there’s less to gain for wildlife shooters, if anything. No reason to get rid of your beloved Nikon 850. 🥰
 
I could see Mirrorless being more street and DSLR being more wildlife. You're not trying to be discrete with your camera around a moose.
I don't know, have you seen the antlers on some of those SoBs? I don't want ot end up like this from a jealous moose:
1000013325.png

In all fairness some people had to invest in those +10K 400/2.8 and 600/4 and I would have trouble switching if I didn't have bottomless pockets.
And in some ways some DSLRs have better AF compared to Mirrorless in certain situations: ex. That Nikon Guy release a video this week complaining to Nikon that the Z8/9 AF can break when it can't find a subject when being very off the distance and it refuses to do focus hunting from one end to the other of the range to find the subject (compared to DSLRs which most do that ... And the Olympus mirrorless do, hehe, with Focus Scanner On).
 
Yeah, I was thinking of it from the street side. Most people that now have mirrorless switched from a DSLR. Street shooters might have been motivated to make that switch, but there’s less to gain for wildlife shooters, if anything. No reason to get rid of your beloved Nikon 850. 🥰
Oh, I never aspired to a D850 - I "just" own a D750. But yes, it's most probably a camera I'll keep for a long time. It's aged well - it still packs a punch and just works, predictably and reliably. And since it'll not fetch a lot of money when sold anyway, keeping it is really the best thing I can do - and use it, of course!

M.
 
Mostly for a different experience, I would say landscape, hiking, light wildlife photography, pet portrait, and maybe a bit of running around, astrophotography.

I am also curious to read and learn about other people's experiences and preferences, that's why I hoped it would be a lovely conversation for everyone as well.
Any subject that moves points towards a Nikon, IMHO. Granted, I've only ever owned three DSLR's, a Canon EOS 1000D, an EOS 6D and my current Nikon D750. But of the cheaply available bodies the Nikons have the best tracking AF.

Now, I'm not trying to say the other ones couldn't be enjoyable for general photography. The Pentax K-1 has been on my mind for more times I'd care to admit. And the EOS 6D was the digital camera that brought me back to photography after a long hiatus since my film days ended in the mid 2000's. I had earlier hoped that the Fuji X-Pro 1 would do just that, but it lacked the immediacy the 6D had that I'd always found frustrating with digital cameras I could afford up until the 6D.

I did end up moving to mirrorless after the 6D, first with the EOS R and then totally migrating to the Sony-verse. Then I happened to find a couple of my old Nikon lenses in a pile of stuff my dad had tucked away, and I knew I just had to get a D750 for them. And even though I got the Nikon thinking it'd be just for the occasional use, I've been grabbing it a lot. For the occasional snapshot it's oftentimes the first camera I grab from the cabinet, paired with the 50/1.4 D.

I do agree with some others here implying that between Canon and Nikon the latter might be the more fun one. If a car analogy is allowed the Canon 6D is a Toyota Corolla whereas the Nikon D750 is a Honda Civic. The first one is utterly reliable, durable but excels at nothing, except for it's perfect mediocrity. The D750, being the Civic here, is basically exactly the same thing, except somehow managing to be more fun.

Technically speaking, the D750 - and also the D600/610 - have more dynamic range than anything in the Canon lineup of DSLR's. However, the 6D does produce some of the prettiest SooC jpeg's, given that the lighting doesn't have weird colour shifts. It's auto WB is a bit simplistic, only measuring between yellow and blue, meaning artificial lighting can at times produce suboptimal results. This of course doesn't apply to RAW-files, other than by giving you a slightly worse starting point.

In the end, get what fits your budget and your hand. There is fun to be had with mirrors, even with how good mirrorless have gotten during these few years. That, and there's a reason why the D750 is considered one of the greatest digital mirrorslappers of all time.
 
Any subject that moves points towards a Nikon, IMHO. Granted, I've only ever owned three DSLR's, a Canon EOS 1000D, an EOS 6D and my current Nikon D750. But of the cheaply available bodies the Nikons have the best tracking AF.

Now, I'm not trying to say the other ones couldn't be enjoyable for general photography. The Pentax K-1 has been on my mind for more times I'd care to admit. And the EOS 6D was the digital camera that brought me back to photography after a long hiatus since my film days ended in the mid 2000's. I had earlier hoped that the Fuji X-Pro 1 would do just that, but it lacked the immediacy the 6D had that I'd always found frustrating with digital cameras I could afford up until the 6D.

I did end up moving to mirrorless after the 6D, first with the EOS R and then totally migrating to the Sony-verse. Then I happened to find a couple of my old Nikon lenses in a pile of stuff my dad had tucked away, and I knew I just had to get a D750 for them. And even though I got the Nikon thinking it'd be just for the occasional use, I've been grabbing it a lot. For the occasional snapshot it's oftentimes the first camera I grab from the cabinet, paired with the 50/1.4 D.

I do agree with some others here implying that between Canon and Nikon the latter might be the more fun one. If a car analogy is allowed the Canon 6D is a Toyota Corolla whereas the Nikon D750 is a Honda Civic. The first one is utterly reliable, durable but excels at nothing, except for it's perfect mediocrity. The D750, being the Civic here, is basically exactly the same thing, except somehow managing to be more fun.

Technically speaking, the D750 - and also the D600/610 - have more dynamic range than anything in the Canon lineup of DSLR's. However, the 6D does produce some of the prettiest SooC jpeg's, given that the lighting doesn't have weird colour shifts. It's auto WB is a bit simplistic, only measuring between yellow and blue, meaning artificial lighting can at times produce suboptimal results. This of course doesn't apply to RAW-files, other than by giving you a slightly worse starting point.

In the end, get what fits your budget and your hand. There is fun to be had with mirrors, even with how good mirrorless have gotten during these few years. That, and there's a reason why the D750 is considered one of the greatest digital mirrorslappers of all time.
It's so damn difficult if not impossible to pick between fun and decent (modern) IQ performance. I do feel 12 MP sometimes is not enough, especially with the high-resolution screens we have these days (and even higher in the future). 20 or 24 MP would be ideal but that limits some cameras. Luckily I am in not a rush right now and I do have time to ponder/thinker/wonder/ferment on ideas and options.
Right now the top 3 choices are:
*Nikon D750 ... just great overall and with so many recommendations it's impossible to ignore. (It also has some lovely "modern" features like tilting high res screen)
*Nikon D800 ... just excellent IQ and the peak of DSLRs and most cameras for the last decade.
*Pentax K-1 ... if not for the price and the weight of it it would have been my first choice, a bit more modern version of D800 but more expensive. But it does have the excellent 3 Limited primes, Astro tracking, High-Resolution Stacking (in camera), Focus Peaking, and IBIS.
 
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