A Great Blog about Mirrorless versus DSLR by ATMTX...


Andy always has an interesting take on formats....


Unknown said...

I bought a 35mm SLR in the early 90s during college, upgraded a couple of times through the 90s, and then shifted to digital point and shoot in 2003. When I got interested in pushing my hobby further I adopted the m43 format in late 2014. The EVF, small form factor of the body and lenses, and good enough image quality were the selling points. I have my Panasonic G6 and my “holy trinity” of primes – the 20mm and 42.5mm f1.7s and the little Rokinon fisheye. I cannot imagine schlepping around a larger camera like I did in the old days.
And thanks for pointing us to Andy’s atmtx blog. I’ll make it a daily part of my “photo decompression” reading after school.

Colin B said...

Good article - thanks for drawing attention to it.

However, I think the following paragraph may be the most depressing thing I have read about photography in a very long time:

"So imagine this. What if you tell your future camera what kind of images you prefer. You can train it by “Liking” images you took or by giving it examples of your favorite images. Your camera’s processor can then intelligently scan the scene, optimize and make it easier to take the kind of photos you like. In fact, it may even take it for you automatically. Yesterday’s face detection and smile detection is merely a primitive beginning of scene analysis."

To paraphrase Don McLean's 'American Pie', that will be "The day photography died."

Anders C. Madsen said...

To be honest, I have only used a modern mirrorless (Olympus E-M5 Mark II) a couple of times and I am really not sold on the small form factor - I like to have buttons that I can find by touch (which means at least some physical separation) and I want a solid grip that will allow me to hold the camera securely with one hand, even with a 135 f/2 attached to it.

And I want full frame, so if I were to jump on the mirrorless train, Sony is currently the only realistic option. Once they add a second memory card to their A7 series I will give them another look and see if I can borrow one from a local store - and with a bit of luck, the body of a full frame mirrorless will turn out to be large enough that the buttons will be properly spaced as well.

However, what is really holding me back (apart from the fact that it will be horribly expensive to replace my Nikon equipment with the equivalent Sony gear) is that I found two issues with the EVF:

Used in a dimmed studio with flashes or in a dark factory when using a speedlite and an umbrella, all advantages of an EVF goes straight out the window and becomes a disadvantage instead. The EVF becomes grainy and hard to view, whereas the OVF lets me see things a lot clearer, albeit in low light. This one is enough to prevent mirrorless cameras to enter my arsenal right now, so if anyone (Kirk?) has a solution to this that does not require med to replace all my flash gear with continuous lights, I really want to know about it.

There is still lag. It may be hov my brain is wired, but I really, really struggle with the connection to my subject when looking through an EVF. I feel like I am watching things on a TV screen (sort of) rather than seeing them in real life, and it bothers the hell out of me, to put it plainly. I don't know if this is something that one gets used to, and again - any real life experience from professional use will be hugely welcome.

Oh, and yeah - I know that there are Nikon-to-Sony adapters for lenses on the market, but from what I have seen on various YouTube channels they are far from perfect yet. If I go Sony, the lenses will be replaced as well.

To be fair, I think Andy is right in his expectations for the future camera market, but it is also telling that a lot of what he writes is about where mirrorless will be in a few years. There is a lot of "in a few years", "imagine this", "what if I can train my future mirrorless", "the future mirrorless camera will be smarter" and similar statements, and some of it is plainly wishful thinking at the moment, nothing more.

I'm not scared of mirrorless cameras or new technologies (heck, I worked in IT for almost 20 years), but cameras, lenses and lights are tools to me, and as long as the tool I have is sufficiently effective or better than the alternative (like when used in a dimmed studio), I see very little reason to shell out a ton of cash to switch.

To be honest, there is a single line in Andys blogpost that struck me a very telling for many of the early adopters of mirrorless cameras: "...I’ve been bullish on mirrorless for a while..."

Why? Why is it that so many mirrorless users feel the need to make everyone else conform to their preferred usage and adapt whatever tools they want for themselves?

I mean, it makes perfekt sense for Kirk to switch to mirrorless when most of his work requires a mixture of stills and video, but for someone like me, who lives in a market where video has not really taken off yet, it would be insane to drop the equivalent of 15.000 US dollars on new gear that would be inferior to what I have already in some places, and without any real benefit in others - and still, just about every article I read labels DSLR uses as stone age relics that are scared of change and the future and really don't "get it".

Sorry for the rant, but this stupidity is finally getting to me.

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garyB said...

That's why i love my X pro 2 i just switch to the optical viewfinder in those situations:)

For what it's worth i don't understand any of these arguments about which is better, in 40 years of doing photography, and for 15 of those years owning a full blown commercial studio in Dallas i really don't get it. I still own an 8x10 sinar, full rolleiflex sl 66 system, nikon D 700, and whatever else is still in the storage area... do i still shoot film --- sure when i want too, talk about being ancient i still have a darkroom lol. I figured out a long time ago the only thing that matters is the image.. i fear far to many people have forgotten the concept.

TMJ said...

I agree that eventually mirrorless will replace DSLRs, but although the blog suggests that it will be Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic, rather than Canon and Nikon I think the reality will be quite different.

Canon, who are now producing very good APC-S mirrorless cameras will produce a mirrorless full frame, perhaps next year. There was a rumour that it would be the next iteration of the 6D, but it appears that the 6D II will still be a DSLR. I use Canon FF DSLRs with TSE lenses for architecture and macro ringflash clinical photography.

Sony have the R&D funds and long and enormous expertise in broadcast video: they understand the importance of video for professional image makers.

So, a Canon/Sony duopoly, with those that are left tagging along at the rear.

Phil Stiles said...

#1 is easy to fix. The menu has a "Live view display" > "Settings effect OFF." That will imitate an optical viewfinder, largely for the studio strobe situation.

As for #2, I don't understand why you resent other folks enthusiasms. Just use what works for you and enjoy it!


Anonymous said...

Meh. I prefer the OVF (the "strobe" effect of EVF, even with a fast refresh rate, gives me a headache). I also just enjoy the interface and haptic experience of DSLRs. Then again, I am not in this to make a living. Rather, I am a hobbyist and would sooner hang up my cameras and lenses and find another hobby (or go back to shooting film) than have to switch to mirrorless. Each to his/her own, and luckily we still have plenty of excellent choices out there for both tastes.


Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

"Strobe effect." Really? Life filled with florescent life fixtures must be a living hell for you.