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When most people think of professional photographers, they picture someone holding a digital SLR - a single lens reflex camera. And many, many pros do use them. But not all.
One quality that sets professionals apart from other photographers is quality. And a digital SLR isn't the only tool that provides a quality image.
Some pros still prefer the light-weight flexibility of a rangefinder-style camera. Smaller, lighter and quieter than an SLR, you'll find rangefinder-style digital cameras on golf courses, in photojournalist's bags, and almost anywhere else their size and silence are an advantage.
One good example of the modern rangefinder is the Sigma D2.
You probably know Sigma as a lensmaker... but the company makes a small line of high-quality cameras, as well. And the D2 is a good example of the evolution of the rangefinder.
With a 20.7 x 13.8 mm sensor, the D2's 14MP image quality rivals that of any DSLR. And since it uses a Foveon X3 direct image sensor, the D2 has an advantage. You see, conventional sensors (CMOS and CCD) can only record one color per pixel. The X3 has 3 layers per pixel - one each for red, green and blue - so it can record truer, richer colors.
Plus, Sigma's added everything from a full set of exposure control options and a fast f/2.8 lens to +/- 3 stops of exposure compensation and shutter speeds ranging from 1/2000 to 15 secs. All in all, it's a package that almost any pro would enjoy putting to use. And a fair number do.
So, do you need a digital SLR to shoot like a pro? Not at all. All you need are the skills and a camera that offers quality images - regardless of the bells and whistles.