"I don't believe in cropping, auto exposure, auto focus or zoom lenses. I don't belive that you should 'fix it' in post."
This is a typical response from a film shooter. I am not meaning that in a disparaging way. I cannot convey my meaning through written text properly so please understand that I am not trying to insult you.
What I mean by this is that there is a general misunderstanding of digital photography which is simply different than film altogether.
First I'll address the cropping and zoom lenses. When you shoot wildlife, both are essential. I'm always amused when I hear people say things like "just get closer". Ok, when shooting wildlife, this is not always a possibility. Sometimes if you take just one more step, one of two things might happen; a) your subject will flee in mortal terror or, b) your subject may attack and maul you to death. With me shooting mostly birds, 'a' tends to happen more often. Also many birds are way out on soft mudflats or out in lakes where getting closer is physically impossible. Zoom lenses and cropping go with the territory in wildlife shooting. Then again, everything in wildlife photography is at the extremes anyway. I seriously suck at portraits because of this.
The other thing I'd like to comment on is that post processing is necessary in digital because once the camera takes the image, it isn't quite finished. A digital camera, while containing a processor isn't quite powerful enough to finsh the job the way a computers processor can...yet. This can be seen in the retouch D-Lighting feature in camera compared to D-Lighting in Capture NX for example. Post processing replaces developing techniques that may be applied to film although vastly different in practice obviously.
The last thing is, when your vision is as dodgy as mine, auto focus is a life saver! MF for me means I have to trust my eyes in the viewfinder and in there, that's not possible. Even when the little green light tells me I'm in perfect focus, it's often focused on the wrong thing but I have no way of really knowing that until after the picture is taken no matter how much I think I've nailed it.
Now I'm not saying I'm a pro by any stretch of the imagination. That would be pure comedy. I am still learning as well and these are things I learned the hard way. I almost always get more than what I might need at the time and grow into it.