Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography what's your experience (if any) with mirrorless?

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    A number of online articles I’ve read recently seem to insinuate that a mirrorless system is the next “revolutionary advance” in professional photography. Having very briefly held the Sony alpha A7r at a retailer (I was told this was one of the best), it felt and looked like a TOY compared to my 1Dx and 50D. Even if there was a system which adapted perfectly to all of my canon lenses, I can’t see myself shooting with this.

    I know that this is probably a recapitulation of the statements made by folks when the horse-n-buggy, vinyl LPs, and SLR film cameras were on the verge of extinction save the die-hard enthusiasts.

    Your thoughts?


    I’ve picked up a couple of them at Best Buy  before. It sure looked fancy, but I kind of had the same feelings as you. It seems like with more of it being electronic, there is more that could go wrong… maybe I’m wrong. Plus, I like the heftier feel of a “real” DSLR to balance the weight of a larger lens. Even when I occasionally use my Canon Rebel (usually when I want a decent camera for a riskier setting, like on a kayak) it feels like a chintzy toy to me.


    All my Sony’s are SLT’s I have  an A-99 and A-77, all with grips. They are great for long exposures. Excellent image and color quality. I started with Minolta in the 80’s and was always happy with them, so I went with Sony when I switched from film to digital. I also have a nice selection of Sony Zeiss glass designed for my Sony’s A mount. Not cheap, but between that and their G Series lens I own I have a huge selection of great glass to choose from in my case. (I own way too many per my Hubby) I have looked at the A7r as a possible replacement for the A-77,  but my A-99 is better than both of them. I will probably hold off until they replace the A-99 full frame with something beyond that before I get a replacement. I use the A-77 even though it’s a crop senor for my son’s outdoor sports sometimes (never indoors the A-99 does best for high ISO’s needed for basketball games in crappy gym lighting) it 12 fps as verses the A-99 that is 6 fps. Though a good point to keep in mind also is I can only get front shutter only with back focus on the A-99 not the A-77.

    I also believe that the SLT’s are the next generation of replacements for the DSLR.




    They are better than they were a couple of years ago but they have a long way to go still for lots of photographers. I can’t stand the electronic viewfinder on the Sonys but I’ll concede the A7 EVF is usable. The poor AF and ergonomics aren’t doing it any favours either. The images are gorgeous but what does that matter if they are out of focus? The shocking battery life isn’t a great selling point either.

    As for SLTs being a replacement for traditional mirror flapping DSLRs, I think it is an evolutionary dead end. The SLT concept has very few advantages and they really only amount to having constant AF during fast action but it still isn’t an improvement on a canon 1dx. The fixed mirror means a bulkier body with longer flange distance which in turn means larger lenses than mirrorless. The mirror also steals one stop of light. To top all of this off you have to use the EVF instead of an OVF which is really only better when you are doing video.

    I have no doubt the optical viewfinder will disappear in time but the tech just isn’t there yet, the 2mpix EVFs are usable but not more than that.

    I would quite like an Canon EOS M but the AF is just a bit too lacking as it stands and needing to bring a handful of batteries if out shooting a whole day is not appealing. When one comes out with the 70D sensor I will get one and can then get rid of all mid sized cameras and keep a small mirrorless and a couple of big 1 series cameras. I’ve been really close to buy a EOS M with the great little 22mm f2 pancake but they never go that cheap in Britain it makes enough sense to get one.


    I picked up an EPL5 for something small to travel with.  Love, love, love it, and use it all the time.  The MFT format has a nice selection of lenses, and for $20, I found an adapter for my ever-so-retro OM-2 lenses.

    It goes in my purse comfortably, even with the 75-300.  That means I take it everywhere.

    Yep, the battery life sucks.  Not having extra weight to aggravate my carpal tunnel more than makes up for it. Love the articulating screen more than I thought, except in super bright sun.  Wish I had just bought the EP5, but there’s always next year. 😉


    I went mirror less, and absolutely LOVE it!  No regrets AT ALL  I bought a fuji X series.  It’s a beautiful camera, and I love how I don’t get a lick of attention when I’m shooting with it.  I even got told once that I should “think about getting a real camera and learning photography”.  lol and I really can and DO take  it everywhere.  IT was getting to the point I never brought out my DSLR unless I was “MAKING” a shot, and I would make excuses not to bring it along all the time.  My Fuji got me shooting again

    Seriously look into the fujis.  The sensor kicks butt in low light (I’ve printed successfully at iso 3200), the lenses are gorgeous, and it handles so comfortably well.  I love my aperture ring and shutter dial.  Oh how I missed it.  It’s like I’m shooting with a film camera again, only without the fuss and a lot more fun.  Your jpegs will look fabulous!  So much in camera jpeg customization and they handle color like a dream.  I was never a real heavy RAW shooter to start with, but I use less and less RAW these days 🙂  (I shoot jpeg+RAW) more time shooting and less time on the computer YAY for me!

    So yes, for me the DSLR is dead and gone, and I won’t be going back




    a funny blog I thought you all might like


    I find different people use cameras different ways and using one, even for a short while, is the best way to see if it is right for you.

    Some camera stores like Henry’s have enough confidence in their products that up to $2500 or so, you can purchase a product and bring it back for full credit in a week or two if you don’t like it.  Check with the big retailers in NY, you might find a similar arrangement.  Or, rent one for a week.


    I had an Olympus E-PL2, and now have an E-Pl5. Love, love, love it. I think the quality is at least on par with most entry level DSLR’s I’ve seen, and I adore how tiny it is and the sort of retro look. I can carry it (and the 3 lenses I have) in a normal bag or purse, and when I’m out taking photos I usually keep it on a wrist strap at all times. It doesn’t kill my arm to carry it one handed, or hurt my shoulder when it’s in the bag or on a sling strap. Also – no one pays it any attention. If I’ve got the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 on it, it just looks like a point and shoot. If I put the telephoto zoom on it it gets commented on, but that lens is bigger and heavier than the camera so that’s expected. I got the electronic viewfinder, but mostly use liveview instead unless I’m in bright sunlight. It’s also super customizable… I don’t have to worry about not remembering to “zero out” my settings anymore, I just made a myset of the settings I like to start with for each mode and assigned it to that mode spot on the dial, plus one automatically set up for HDR bracketing, so the camera is ready every time I turn it on.

    I guess if I was a pro I’d probably want a really nice full-frame DSLR, but given the choice between this and a crop sensor SLR I’ll take this one!


    So I have the much-neglected Canon EOS-M, I can honestly say I enjoy it though. I’ve taken it with me to several concerts and it just responds so much better than my other point and shoot. I ought to look into finding an 18-55 for it on the cheap and trying to get my hands on the zoom lens when they release it later this year (for concerts or events where “professional” cameras aren’t allowed [also, I HATE that distinction…]). I do have the EF adapter for it so I can mount all of my other lenses to it. For fun I stuck my 70-200 on it and played around.

    Honestly, my favorite feature is the touch screen for focus and metering. I never thought I would ever use it, but for speed, it’s ridiculously handy. I’ve only ever shot in adequate light, so I’m not sure how it does in low light. The speed is pretty great on it too for events like I mentioned.
    When I worked at Best Buy I loved the speed of the Sony’s though… but by far the Olympus mirrorless cameras were my favorite. Responsive, intuitive (very user friendly) and durable, they were definitely my preference. Avoid the Nikons though. Those things suck… hell, even the Canon isn’t fantastic.


    Also, IHF, I totally recognize you from PhotoStealers <3

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