The 5 Year Mirrorless Affair


DFZ

In 2012 I did the unthinkable. I cheated on my Nikon cameras by beginning an affair with a svelte retro styled camera that had no mirror. It was the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the system it belonged to was called Micro Four Thirds. That affair is quite well documented on Fotozones. 

 

I had little idea at the time just how seismic this dalliance would be for not only my image making career, but also my relationships with other serious photographers and the industry as a whole. Everyone who was around me at the time I began experimenting with m43 knew me as the devout Nikon guy who had started a forum (Nikongear) dedicated to that brand 6 years earlier, but who was now inexplicably preaching an entirely different kind of sermon on how much more I enjoyed shooting with the Olympus than I did with the Nikon. Things got… shall we say, interesting?

 

I suppose change is something that brings out different things in different people. While it certainly scares me, it is something that I think everyone who knows me, knows that I thrive on. I’m always changing things up in my world. Nothing from the layout of my desk to website logos and even the 20m2 space I call my office (where almost everything except the desk itself is on wheels) escapes the changes I frequently bring about. I guess that in spite of its associated tension, I like change. Others, not so much. They see change as something to avoid at all costs. 

 

Was It Worth It? 

 

So now, approximately 5 years after I began the affair that resulted in a complete and total divorce from all things Nikon after 18 months of co-existence between the systems in my setup, it is time to reflect on how it has affected my life in photography. Was the change worth it? 

 

Right off the bat I can say earnestly that my output definitely improved once I moved to m43. When I pulled images off the memory cards what came out of the Olympus cameras required hardly any post production, whereas my Nikon images had to have the works applied to them in post before I would send them off to clients. Sharpening, colour correction, dust removal, contrast enhancements… the whole 9 yards. This translated into a lot less work for me on shoots I did with Olympus, so I started using Olympus more often. 

 

I suppose these improvements may have had something to do with the electronic viewfinder and LCD screen giving a much more accurate depiction of what I was going to get as a photo before I even took it. Maybe it was that the CDAF auto focus of the E-M5 on static subjects (99% of my work) was so reliable that the high rate of out of focus shots I had been used to with Nikon’s PDAF over the years became a thing of the past. I didn’t have to calibrate my lenses at all to cope with the idiosyncrasies of PDAF. It might also have been the incredible in body image stabilisation that totally removed my propensity to shake a little with the Nikon DSLR’s. 

 

When I upgraded from the Olympus E-M5 to the E-M1 in late 2013 my confidence as a photographer grew even stronger, especially when it came to difficult shooting situations like low lit venues where slow shutter speeds and high ISO would have gotten me nought with my Nikon D700. Today if you put me in front of an event podium with an E-M1 and a fast lens like the Olympus 75/1.8 I will come away with more usable shots than I ever did before because all those mirrorless camera technologies meld together beautifully to improve my results. My flaws are painted over by a camera that works with me, not against me. 

 

It would be unfair to suggest that Nikon stood completely still while I was making Olympus my primary system. They did bring out some great new cameras and lenses for the F mount since my last model (the D700), but  in none of those new cameras did they address any of my reasons for making the switch to Olympus in the first place, which were mostly weight and cost savings. Unfortunately nothing Nikon has produced since the D700 has tempted me to return to the brand, because apart from improvements to the sensors in areas that don’t really apply to the work I do, they are still big, heavy machines that would slow me down for no noticeable improvement in my output.

 

The Lens Smorgasbord 

 

One of the biggest changes I enjoyed after the move was discovering the wonderful family of lenses available to the m43 system, not only in native form, but also in exploring the charms of lenses that could be adapted and used on the E-M1, including old manual focus glass from the long discontinued Canon FD system. There was also full compatibility with the entire Four Thirds range of glass from Olympus, which if you have ever had the opportunity to shoot with will reveal to you that as lens makers Olympus stand behind nobody. Not even Leica. It’s also possible to adapt some lenses from Canon to work on certain m43 bodies with proper auto-focus and electronic aperture control using a Metabones Speed-booster. I must admit to giving serious consideration to the new Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II as a potential safari lens. With the 1 stop increase in aperture that would be a seriously versatile optic in the bushveld. 

 

Eventually though, in my zeal I acquired way too many lenses. At one point I think I had 23 of them for my system and deciding what to take with me on a shoot became an exercise in analysis paralysis. Purging myself of around 75% of those lenses last year has turned me into something of a minimalist when it comes to photography jobs these days. I literally only need 4 different lenses to do 95% of the work I get, so they get put into whatever camera bag I decide to take on a job and that’s that. For the curious those lenses are the Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6, 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (4/3) and 75/1.8. They do almost everything and I have not felt inhibited by them in any way.

 

Scrambled Eggs All Over My Face?

 

On the negative side, the thing that I found most challenging about the change to micro four thirds was managing the incredulity of other photographers who were, for the most part, aghast at this change in someone who was so previously welded to the Nikon brand. I have to say this; it probably hurt me more than anything to see people I had come to be friends with on Nikongear over the years turn their backs on me because of my enthusiasm for a different brand. Not dissimilar, I suppose, to what happens when couples get divorced and find their circle of friends changes completely afterwards. 

 

Apart from that, do I have any regrets about dumping Nikon for Olympus? None whatsoever. Genuine. I am still of the opinion that the m43 system is better for what I do than anything else out there right now. It ticks all the boxes that matter to me; weight, price, durability, customisability, lens options, image quality, performance where it is needed and more.

 

If I was making the move to mirrorless today in 2017 would I still choose m43 over Fujifilm and Sony? Absolutely. I did try the Fuji X-T1 last year and it was OK, but it didn’t shake my world the way the Olympus E-M1 did when it came out. I think the size difference between the two systems is significantly in m43’s favour without any noticeable difference in the image quality as far as sensor size is concerned, so why go for bigger when smaller does just as well? On the subject of Sony’s mirrorless system, they are undoubtedly the sensor kings, but as a company I could never trust them enough to buy into any system they put their name on. I have seen far too many Sony products become paperweights because of their capriciousness when it comes to long term customer support. I’m not a fan of the brand at all. However, I do like the RX-100 as a pocket camera and video tool.  

 

On the subject of video, looking ahead I see myself moving more into that sphere where the m43 Panasonic GH-4 and GH-5 cameras have all but swept aside the really big names in video capabilities for minimal outlay. Adding one of them seems to be my most likely next move and considering the m43 lens family I have it makes perfect sense. I also see a DJI m43 drone which extends the practicality of those lenses even further. All in all m43 is just a winning, very well supported photography and videography system. 

 

Word coming out of the usual analytical sources regarding the camera industry (Thom Hogan) is that DSLR sales are declining rapidly at this time and mirrorless are making some gains. At some point in the very near future the lines on the graph will cross and mirrorless cameras will become the top sellers in the interchangeable lens camera market. For me when that day comes vindication of my move will be savoury. :-) 

 

If any Fotozones readers are considering a move to mirrorless and have questions about the Micro Four Thirds system, please feel free to ask questions in the comments - I will be happy to help you make an informed decision.

 

If you like this post, please consider incentivising me to write more often by supporting me on Patreon. 

 

downloads_logomark_color_on_coral.png


1 person likes this


Comments




I'm heading for my sixth anniversary of the X-Pro1 causing a similar chain of events in my working life. I admit that Nikon did help my decision to go completely with Fuji X over the D600 affair, but even before that I was already well on the way, using the X-Pro1 more often than my D3s (or the D600) by the time I bailed out of DSLR altogether in September 2013.

 

Like Dallas I have absolutely no regrets, despite also having to weather the negativity towards my enthusiasm for the new technology.

 

The more I use it, and the more Fuji improve it, the more I enjoy photography, which quite a statement given that this has been my full-time occupation for getting on for 48 years now. Having equipment that is a joy to use for its user-friendliness is absolutely part of the reason that this is still the case.

 

Now Sigma that have finally come up with an interchangeable lens EVF body for their Foveon sensor, the field has opened up even more with truly high resolution available for an unbelievably small amount of money, taking up the long vacant spot that Hasselblad and ToyoView medium and large format film outfits occupied in my bags during film days.

 

Things are just getting better and better. :)

4 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dallas, nice article, has it really been five years? I wonder if after five years I will feel the same way about my Fuji system? When I wanted to make the change, I thought long and hard about which system to choose and it was a close run contest between Fuji and Olympus, at the time I considered that the Fuji images I was seeing to my eyes were superior(I realise that is a subjective view) than those of the Olympus system! I just wish my ability was up to either system.

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup. 5 years. It's hard to believe it has been that long since I sold my 2nd D700 for the little Oly E-M5. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Larry

Posted (edited)

I am going on to my seventh year since I first got my mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC).  It was a Panasonic GH2 and while it could also take stills, I acquired it primarily for video.  This expanded to include Olympus, Sony and Fujitsu.  I started using MILCs for stills by initially adapting my F-mount lenses to MILCs which then progressed to getting native mount lens for the MILCs. 

 

My most extensive MILC lens library is for the m43 system and it is a given that I will continue this going forward.  I am particularly looking forward to an improved implementation of Olympus' multi-shot pixel shift that would enable an m43 camera to approximate the higher-performance output of a Nikon FX sensor.                 

 

Throughout this almost 7-years period of MILC use, I continued to use my dSLRs.  Each has its strengths and limitations and using both allowed me the option to use that which is best for what I need a camera for.  I will likely continue to use both MILCs and dSLRs in the coming years. 

 

The very capable but bulky and heavy Nikon FX dSLRs and the compact and light m4/3 were the opposite ends of my camera system choices until the Nikon D500 hooked me back to add a Nikon DX (APS-C) dSLR.  The D500 had many compelling upgraded features (e.g., very capable AF and metering system, high frame rate and robust buffer, an AF joystick, bright OVF for a DX camera, etc.) but it also incorporated two notable features which I have enjoyed with mirrorless ILCs ... an electronic first curtain (EFC) and an articulating touchscreen.  I immediately knew that I will would like a D500-sized and featured Nikon FX.

 

Nikon is expected to repeat the D500 formula in its next FXs (D8xx-replacement and possibly D700-replacement).  To that, I add my wish list for these new Nikon FXs to includes features that I enjoy with my MILCs, e.g., focus peaking support, support for an optional articulating EV.  While I would like Nikon to incorporate OSPDAF for a much improved AF in live view, I realistically expect to see such only in a F-mount mirrorless Nikon FX and DX. 

 

The prospect of a Nikon mirrorless by 2018 is keeping me from adopting the Fuji GFX but if Nikon still has not released an F-mount FX by the end of 2018, I will be taking a serious look at the Fuji GFX.  What this means is that while I will continue to have dSLRs, there will be now a mirrorless camera in both ends of my choice of camera systems, bulky and heavy versus compact and light. 

Edited by Larry

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also "fully in" for the Micro 4/3 system, starting with the Panasonic G1 and working my way up to the Olympus E-M1 mkII.  I was an old school Canon T-90 and Pentax 645 user before switching, and I can honestly say I do not miss the film days or the giant cameras.  I loved the "thunk" sound of the shutter on the Pentax 645, and only having 15 shots on a roll of slide film made me a very picky shooter.

 

Outside of this forum, I can say the interaction between some DLSR users and myself have been more than strained at times.  Some are curious about what I am using, but for the most part I more often than not get looked down upon for my "toy camera."   I often hear that the quality from my small sensor will never equal their full-frame cameras.  Getting into the discussion with the full-frame shooters has been my mistake, and during a recent trip escalated to a point of a bad situation.  I have learned my lesson to shut up and keep to myself.  I always try to end the conversation with "there are many great camera choices, they are all really good, I just choose to go my route because the 2x crop factor really helps me to photograph birds and aircraft.

 

As I said, I am fully in with my Olympus E-M1 and E-M1 mkII.  I have all of the Olympus Pro line lenses, and I have never had this much fun photographing.  Photography should be fun and it is for me, others can think what they want.

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's very interesting that in the 24 hours since I wrote this article the traffic on FZ quadrupled. My host even sent me an email to advise that the average bandwidth consumption is out of whack from averages. What this tells me is that there is still a LOT of interest in mirrorless cameras and the time might be opportune to resume in my previous vein of writing more about the mirrorless journey. 

 

Stay tuned. :) 

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, DDFZ said:

It's very interesting that in the 24 hours since I wrote this article the traffic on FZ quadrupled. My host even sent me an email to advise that the average bandwidth consumption is out of whack from averages. What this tells me is that there is still a LOT of interest in mirrorless cameras and the time might be opportune to resume in my previous vein of writing more about the mirrorless journey. 

 

Stay tuned. :) 

 

Personally, I never stopped writing about it... :D:D

 

It's the best thing that has happened for photography since digital upset the mature film apple cart with that half-arsed attempt to adapt film cameras to digital operation. The pain of "equivalent focal length", "equivalent" aperture, and whatever else bloggers managed to find something "equivalent" to film cameras, along with the grindingly stupid and infuriating "Full Frame" nonsense are all things that arrived with stop-gap film SLR camera architecture adopted to carry a digital imaging sensor before the other technologies such as EVF were up to speed with the concept of being fully digital.

 

Being just one of the millions who acted as test dummies as the film camera manufacturers tried to hammer their SLR architecture into some sort of digital usability over more than a decade, and in the process having to buy over-priced, awkwardly large, heavy and clumsy camera bodies at the rate of a new one every 18 months, my current mirrorless X-T2 outfit is as good as I'll ever need in a camera and will be with me for many years to come, and which arrived just a scant four years after the first of the X-Trans cameras was released. Not 15+ years of faffing about with redundant technology, trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole and charging the Earth for it. So good and well developed, in fact, that I have now been able to buy into a second mirrorless system (Sigma SD) as an experiment in achieving resolution over speed and agility, and find myself back in comfortable territory as it was in film days, when studios had two or three different camera systems, each designed to fulfil specific functions, rather than be Jack-of-all-trades as the DSLR had attempted to become.

 

That sort of development speed was unheard of in the days of DSLR, where one model varied little from the one before - a new sensor here, a new processor there, the addition of a second card slot... etc etc. All at premium prices. All containing a useless mirror, baffle and prism designed to protect film from light at all times other than during exposure, and to provide a circuitous bending of the lens' image around a perfectly capable sensor held needlessly and helplessly in the dark behind that mirror and baffle.

 

Now Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and latterly Sony, Sigma and Hasselblad are all producing a less expensive, designed-for-purpose EVF camera form that is rapidly gaining traction. For once I'm glad I got in on the first rung, because it has had me fully appreciate the breathtaking speed of development of the type given its release from the constraints of having to try to perpetually fit into the wrong clothes.

 

 

As an aside, unfortunately the latest rumour I've heard has the Japanese Government indicating a preference for the struggling Nikon Corporation to merge with Fujifilm.

Please, no.

Just.... no. ;)

 

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Alan: To give credit where it is totally warranted, you were one of the very few people who encouraged me when I decided I had enough of Nikon and bulky, heavy camera gear!  Once I purchased the X100S, I never looked back, and if the money was available, would get an X-T2 tout de suite.

 

I am continually blown away by the results with the X-T1 and 16/f1.4, 56/1.2, and 90/2, and even the small X30.

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also made the switch, first to the X Pro 1 and then to the XT-1. 

Am glad I did, for a number of reasons.

3 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alan was also a big inspiration to me in choosing the Fuji X system! I also considered the Nikon D500, but the killer for that option was the miserable range of DX lenses for the Nikon DX system, plus it still had a flappy mirror and a plastic construction around it, that and there is no real size advantage to the D500 and yet another factor is the appalling support offered by Nikon!

 

With regards to the Olympus mu4/3 cameras it was down to looks :blush: I'm afraid, my decision of course and not meant to knock the Olympus system! 

 

Hopefully Fuji will not be pressured into funding an attempted rescue of Nikon!

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being a user of both dSLRs and MILCs, I find myself in a unique position where I am interested listener of the rhetoric emanating from the dSLR camp or the MILC camp.  I say this because both have specific advantages over the other and like a tool, I use one over the other where one would work best.  At times that would be the dSLR and on other times that would be the MILC.  On quite a few occasions, I bring both. 

 

In the midst of very strong brand or system preference, I choose not to start or inflame any specific system or brand position taken by the members of this group.  But out of respect for the members of this group, and also relying on their maturity, I sometimes choose to provide information that I believe would help to enlighten everyone in the group, regardless of their preferences or even biases.

 

With regard to the Fuji-Nikon matter, this link from Thom Hogan may prove helpful:  http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-isnt-being-bought-by.html

 

One speaks and use what works best for oneself.

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of things in response to the comments above: 

 

@Mike G for me it was the other way around - the Fuji X-T bodies didn't ring my aesthetics bell at all, but the Olympus OM-D did, for sure. However, the E-M1 did take a bit of getting used to after the E-M5. In many ways it reminded me of my Nikon F4s, in a much smaller package. 

 

@Larry I have been saying for a while that in order to survive Nikon needs to stop being so inwardly focused and instead spread their brand strengths to other avenues. They should stop thinking of themselves as the "F Mount Company" and begin thinking of themselves as the lens making company, then spread that into other related industries. For example, why don't we see Nikon lenses in cellphone cameras? Or in the micro four thirds system? Or even the Sony mirrorless system? If they want to survive they have to adapt. I got verbally slaughtered a couple of years back for suggesting such things here amongst certain Nikon zealots but it seems that what I said is becoming prophetic. They will not survive in this climate and they show no signs of adapting to meet the challenges they face. All they do is continue to bring out DSLR after DSLR when it's evident that the DSLR market is in free fall. As a business they should be deeply concerned. I wonder what their investors think? 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dallas, I have some ideas and suggestions as to what Nikon (and the other camera manufacturers whose equipment I use) can and should perhaps do and where given an opportunity, I do voice these out.  But at the end of the day, one has what one has ... the choice of getting and using what serves one's needs best.  Rather than get invested in one system or another, or in one brand or another, I choose simply to consider the camera systems available in the market as tools and get that which works best for me. 

 

Admittedly, one cannot but wish that the camera companies would see with clarity what one sees, specially when one has paid much for a system that one is using and which one would like further enhanced.  But as I go over the postings of many in this and other groups online, I quickly realize that mine is but one voice out of the several thousands out there ... and the camera manufacturers will continue to go in their own way.  With that, I stepped aside and out from the sometimes debilitating argument of one system or one brand or one camera model or one lens or gear as being better than the other .... or from the need to justify why I have adopted MILCs or why I continue to use dSLRs. 

 

Instead, I have learned to listened to those whom I believe have the knowledge, experience and credibility of what they speak of with regard to the camera gear I am considering.  Recognizing what I need and sometimes also what I want, I make the decision of what gear to acquire and what gear to dispose.  No histrionics involved ... no emotional gut-wrenching hair pulling stunts ... no ranting many months or years later ... but rather, just a quiet simple decision made to buy (or sell) something.  I simply recognize that I am but a nano-sized cog in the market.  The market forces will eventually correct any wrong or misplaced decision camera manufacturers make with regard to their products.  I see my role as navigating and finding the best way around such forces at work and do what works best for me.  Every once in a while, I may share what my experience has been but only if I feel this will help another.  I will avoid saying something that may yet become additional fuel to an ongoing conflagration.

3 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to reiterate - I never held any brand bias, and only rarely display any brand loyalty. I have owned and/or used in a professional level a wide variety of camera brands over nearly five decades. At the moment I'm using Sigma and Fuji cameras because they (finally) fulfil my working needs in digital. For what I do, these mirrorless cameras work for me far better than any DSLR could hope to.

 

I also still have an RB/RZ Mamiya outfit, but over the years have also used Mamiya M645 and Mamiya Press cameras, Graphic View, Sinar, Cambo, ToyoView, Hasselblad, Bronica, Kowa Six, Olympus, Pentax (6x7 & 35mm), Nikon, Minolta, and even Rollei and Leica cameras, with the notable exception being Canon. The name on the camera has little influence on what I choose to use, unless I get a raw deal or bad treatment from a manufacturer in which case I am never hesitant in bailing out of the system. I have any number of ways to better spend my time than arguing with a manufacturer to whom I have given my money for a product I expect to perform as advertised. Arguing about it when that fails to be the case is simply dead time, usually wastes money as a result, and I will vote with my feet with little hesitation.

 

That said, I have to note that these days Fuji has come the closest to gaining me as a loyal customer since Hasselblad's 500 system went defunct in the early 2000's. The attention to detail and rapid response to customer suggestions for the product has been something to be commended - I have never dealt with a camera manufacturer who is so focused on customer satisfaction as Fuji. Their firmware update regime is something other manufacturers could certainly take example from - this has been most definitely the first time in a long career that I have owned a camera which the manufacturer upgrades (as opposes to "fixes") free of charge at regular intervals during ownership. Getting features that were never even mooted when I bought the camera added free via firmware update is a novelty that I really do appreciate, and which cannot help but to earn at least some loyalty. :)

4 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Larry said:

Being a user of both dSLRs and MILCs, I find myself in a unique position where I am interested listener of the rhetoric emanating from the dSLR camp or the MILC camp.  I say this because both have specific advantages over the other and like a tool, I use one over the other where one would work best.  At times that would be the dSLR and on other times that would be the MILC.  On quite a few occasions, I bring both. 

 

In the midst of very strong brand or system preference, I choose not to start or inflame any specific system or brand position taken by the members of this group.  But out of respect for the members of this group, and also relying on their maturity, I sometimes choose to provide information that I believe would help to enlighten everyone in the group, regardless of their preferences or even biases.

 

With regard to the Fuji-Nikon matter, this link from Thom Hogan may prove helpful:  http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/nikon-isnt-being-bought-by.html

 

One speaks and use what works best for oneself.

I too, do not denigrate the Nikon DSLRs. It's simply that, as an amateur, I cannot justify the expense of having two systems.

3 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sony has now released competition which at least equals, and probably also bests DSLR's mechanical limitations. I have no need for the following features, but I've long said that press conferences and the like will start to dictate that no DSLR noise be brought to them when the Sony A9 starts appearing, shooting up to 20 fps absolutely silently with minimal rolling shutter effect from its super-fast sensor and processor.

 

24MP full-frame Stacked CMOS

20 fps continuous shooting with full AF (electronic shutter, 12-bit files)

Continuous shooting buffer of up to 241 compressed Raw files (362 JPEG)

10 fps continuous shooting with AF with adapted lenses

5-stop (estimated) 5-axis image stabilization

3.7M-dot OLED viewfinder (1280 x 960 pixels) with up to 120 fps update

1.44M-dot rear touchscreen LCD

Oversampled UHD 4K/24p video from full sensor width (1.24x crop for 30p)

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If only I could get into such debates....   new cameras don't come around that often for me.  Photography has to fit in around many other things, so I don't get too hung up about the gear I have and just enjoy getting a chance to be able to use it.

3 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, crowecg said:

If only I could get into such debates....   new cameras don't come around that often for me.  Photography has to fit in around many other things, so I don't get too hung up about the gear I have and just enjoy getting a chance to be able to use it.

.. still these conversations are fun to read 

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, armando_m said:

.. still these conversations are fun to read 

I suppose it is a bit like deciding if I want a lotus Elise or F-type Jaguar 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, crowecg said:

I suppose it is a bit like deciding if I want a lotus Elise or F-type Jaguar 

 

...or both... :D

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Alan7140 said:

 

...or both... :D

That would be greedy - they would be for the days I don't feel like driving the Range Rover Sport that I also dream about.::)

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the reasons why I write about these sorts of things and the main reason why Fotozones became a site about mirrorless cameras in the first place (before things got all mixed up with Nikongear), is to pour water on a lot of the misinformation being put out on the internet about these cameras, specifically where professional photography is concerned. 

 

There are people out there who are so glued to their brands that the very notion of something being equal to, or potentially better than what they have is heresy. The "facts" about mirrorless cameras get obfuscated in emotions, so my objective is to examine those "facts" and report on my findings. 5 years of use and nothing has blown up in my face yet. I think it's safe to say that you can use these little cameras in the realm of professional photography and not experience the kind of failure that so many "experts" are quick to tell you will result from their use. 

 

What I find quite extraordinary though, in the wake of publishing this article (the first of its kind for a long time), is just how many people's radars it popped up on from 2 shares (if Facebook are to be believed, that is). 

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 07.23.07.png

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wide interest may have been precipitated by your use of the term "affair" Dallas. :) 

 

I doubt it would have generated as much read had you titlted it "My 5 years with Mirrorless".  ;)

 

Ironically, what got me entrenched in mirrorless was the adaptability of the F-mount dSLR lenses I had when native mount MILC lenses were far and few and between ... with not so many of these were good ones.  Given the pixel density of the MILC sensors, I needed to use the best dSLR lenses but the results were most satisfying.  At a time when all my Nikon dSLRs had fixed screen, the MILCs Iwas using had an articulating screen that was also a touchscreen ... and had focus peaking and electronic first curtain (EFC) to boot.   The benefits of EFC in particular was very much appreciated as it made shooting with adapted long lenses an easy chore so long as one used a sturdy stable tripod.  I could not quite get the same results as I could with my Nikon dSLR even with mirror-up and 3-seconds delay as I could get with the MILC on EFC even if the MILC sensor at that time still had an AA filter.  The MILC ability to shoot completely quiet is priceless in some events.

 

The tide had turned a bit with the Nikon D500 now having an articulating touchscreen and EFC.  It still has some ways to go ... and a destination it will never quite reach.  Being with a mirror, it will not have the ability to shoot quietly as I can with my m43 bodies. On the other hand, the D500 optical viewfinder is large and bright, and will always be faster and have better DR and resolution than any EVF could ever be made.  It's wondeful to have a choice.  vive la différence!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dallas, I cannot agree with you more, I was vilified for daring to criticise the Nikon system for various reasons that I had got tired with! Whereas I now see an upsurge in the popularity of mirrorless systems and long may it continue! And long may FZ continue!

 

Larry, as for EVFs watch this space! They improve apace! Just an observation, I don't need a huge dynamic range in the EVF, but in what is recorded to the storage media!

 

 

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the Sony A9 proves in real-life working situations that it can indeed offer 20fps AF tracking accurately and with no blackout, then the main claimed advantage of DSLR becomes moot. No DSLR can ever do that - the mirror will always cause a momentary blackout, and 20fps will never happen as the mirror would have to be made of a substance as yet unknown to withstand the shock of acceleration and deceleration between frames at that rate, not to mention how the other mechanicals would also likely not cope. The noise problem would become even greater as well.

 

It is reasonable to expect that the higher ranked models from other manufacturers will also follow suit with their next generation of mirrorless cameras as Sony follows past form and releases this new sensor technology in the sensors it sells them - something I would never have predicted could happen so quickly given the short time that pro-level mirrorless cameras have been available.

 

As with all new technologies, there is a lag as people begin to accept them, and then through advancement and features a tipping point is reached, and general adoption happens very quickly after that. We're possibly closer than expected to that tipping point with cameras now given the Sony A9's claimed capabilities.

 

The obvious example of this sort of thing happening recently is the phone. Mobile phones were in general, but not obsessive use for quite a while before the smartphone arrived; now the things are everywhere and immensely more important in their owners' lives than being just a phone, with actual phone calls themselves probably being the least use to which they're put. There are now literally billions of smartphones in existence, something that would never have been predicted only 10 years ago, and 20 years ago that thought would have been pure fiction.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now