Mirrorless vs DSLR -- Debunking The Mirrorless Hype


Anson

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Jul 31, 2006
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#1
Saw an article titled "Debunking The Mirrorless Hype" on https://photographylife.com/the-mirrorless-hype

Personally I find that its an informative article for current DSLR user who is considering buying into a mirrorless camera system. Personally the ergonomic and ease of use I get when using a DSLR with my working setup for an event or AD Wedding ( F2.8 and larger lenses with flash mounted on the body) is better than most mirrorless system that I used.

The main reason why I went with the m43 system as my secondary system, is because of it's reduce size & weight and a healthy choices of native lenses. If I were to go for a larger sensor solution, the size & weight of my setup may not be much different from my current. As a DSLR users who own/switch to mirrorless what your thoughts?
 

Mar 15, 2008
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#2
Totally agree with you. I have just switched from Canon DSLR to Sony A7ii. Enjoying the camera, especially using old Minolta lenses, but nothing to beat my Canon Full Frame with 70-200 F2.8 II. I will keep my Canon setup too.
 

Oct 1, 2014
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#3
Thanks for the share!

Great article for those who plan on making the switch. I have fully switched over to Sony from Olympus and I think I can consider myself a mirrorless fanboy.

Having said that, I do feel that the article missed out an important point (or is it me) on EVF. It could be a deal breaker for some. Personally, I love it but a few of my friends who are so used to OVF hate it to the core. But most will still be amazed by the A7S' 'night vision goggles' (and then start a debate on the lack of MP).

Next will be AF system. As of today, I believe that the AF of mirrorless cannot match those of DSLR. If one's photography involves the shooting of fast moving objects, it will be a good idea to put the switch on hold.

My personal opinion is that if a beginner starts from scratch, it doesn't matter which kind of system he/she is buying into, as long as he/she knows what he/she is doing.

For those who are considering a switch with a complete set of lens, and not thinking of keeping and adapting the lens, good luck with the selling of gear on BnS:)
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#4
One thing to remember is that you can never cheat physics. If you want a 24-70/2.8 or 70-200/2.8 full frame, there is no way that the lenses can get any smaller. That is also why Sony makes F4 lenses instead of 2.8 for the A7 series native lenses.

A lot really depends on the type of genre you are shooting when deciding which to choose. In the end the best advice is: use the right tool for the right job.
 

Kyoeil

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Jul 16, 2015
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#5
One thing to remember is that you can never cheat physics. If you want a 24-70/2.8 or 70-200/2.8 full frame, there is no way that the lenses can get any smaller. That is also why Sony makes F4 lenses instead of 2.8 for the A7 series native lenses. A lot really depends on the type of genre you are shooting when deciding which to choose. In the end the best advice is: use the right tool for the right job.
While size is big, I think there is still room for reduction. Doing a comparison with manual lenses, I would think that the AF mechanism still adds on a significant amount of mass and size. If they could shrink that, it would be gold. :)
 

UncleFai

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Mar 10, 2010
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#6
In the end the best advice is: use the right tool for the right job.
EXACTLY! It's like saying "this one zoom lens that covers all the focal distances is all I need." Depends on what your needs are.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#7
To me, it depends on where one finds his 'middle ground'.

I typically use Pentax DSLRs and primes.
They are usually smaller than the Canikon counterparts.
When I used m4/3, I felt that encumbrance (a consideration of size/weight ) wise, it was not that big a change in favour to m4/3.
The smallish bag I used for m4/3 was also the same smallish bag for my apsc dslr.
Not to mention that on a tour, I'd take the usual filters, cards, bracket, tripod, that is no diff whichever system I take.
So for myself, I went back to just using my Pentax stuff.


I also have the A7.
Size wise, its small considering its FF.
But even with my small hands, its too small.
My pinky finger can get strained using it over a day.
So I added a nice base plate, so some weight/size added there.
But still, its a nice size about that of a old film camera.

Another factor are the lenses.
I find that we can't run from the laws of the optics.
Many of the MILC lenses are ending up rather big and close in size to some of the DSLR ones.
So end up, that same bag that is used to carry the MILC set is the same as the one for the DSLR set.

This is from my Pentax system perspective which is typically a bit smaller.
Its not one vs one in every aspect of course (everyone can argue to death here over the nitty gritty bits) (eg. f-stop; AF/MF; features on each system; etc).
But how I see it as an end user, at the end of the day, I want to bring a range of FL out the door without overly encumbering me, on a competent system on as good IQ within my expectations and genres I shoot.
In that context, I don't find MILC to be any better than a DSLR (and vise versa)
 

Jun 7, 2011
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#8
One thing to remember is that you can never cheat physics. If you want a 24-70/2.8 or 70-200/2.8 full frame, there is no way that the lenses can get any smaller. That is also why Sony makes F4 lenses instead of 2.8 for the A7 series native lenses.

A lot really depends on the type of genre you are shooting when deciding which to choose. In the end the best advice is: use the right tool for the right job.
Gotta agree with this one.

Saw a Sony A7 + 70-200 f/4 and they're pretty much similar with Canikon counterparts.
 

blurboiboi

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#9
have to agree with the article...
one of the main reason I switched back to DSLR is the battery life... I am able to shoot 2 days with a single batt on a DSLR.... but for mirror less I require 3 a day... it's painful having to wake up in the middle of the night just to charge batteries.... and I do find it stupid to own 2-3 chargers and having to bring extension plugs along for a trip..
other things include OVF and beefier bodies for better grip...
mirror less offers similar image quality to me but sometimes it's the little little user experiences that makes me return back to DSLR....
 

daredevil123

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#10
While size is big, I think there is still room for reduction. Doing a comparison with manual lenses, I would think that the AF mechanism still adds on a significant amount of mass and size. If they could shrink that, it would be gold. :)
Unlikely... AF, aperture control, stabilization...
 

retrovox

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Sep 21, 2006
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#11
A lot of mirrorless camera lenses are severely under-designed.
 

kandinsky

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#12
There are indeed reasons to be excited about mirrorless cameras and the potential of this technology, but I would suggest that size and weight should not be at the top of this list.
Agree with the gist of the article, size and weight shouldn't be the top factor when considering MILCs, just one of various factors. To me, any size/weight savings is a nice bonus, but wasn't the top factor in my decision to use m43.

When comparing FF MILC to FF DSLR, there isn't that much weight difference. While the difference can get significant when comparing m43 to FF DSLR, it's still an apples to oranges comparison ultimately. The assumption is that the m43 system will meet your needs in the first place. If m43 (or whatever system) doesn't give you what you want, no point if it's lighter/smaller.
 

Feb 7, 2010
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#13
Split the body and lens and let's compare.

Lens: I agree that we can't differ much in terms of size. Laws of physics rule.

Body: without a flipping mirror; The size is already thinner. Yet some mirrorless bodies with IBIS is still pretty much the size of old film camera body. In the case of A7x series, they are FF bodies. I would say they are rather small for the features they pack.

There isn't a camera that is one size fit all. The A7x series highlighted this. What is missing in all the expert reviews are the customization options to match the need of the various photographers.
 

Mythmaker

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#14
Split the body and lens and let's compare.

Lens: I agree that we can't differ much in terms of size. Laws of physics rule.

Body: without a flipping mirror; The size is already thinner. Yet some mirrorless bodies with IBIS is still pretty much the size of old film camera body. In the case of A7x series, they are FF bodies. I would say they are rather small for the features they pack.

There isn't a camera that is one size fit all. The A7x series highlighted this. What is missing in all the expert reviews are the customization options to match the need of the various photographers.
Why split the body and lens to compare? They can't work without the other.
 

Feb 7, 2010
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#15
Why split the body and lens to compare? They can't work without the other.
We're are discussing about size. By the way mirrorless can adapt other makers lenses and we can technically compare actual if adaptor exist. So it is fair to compare the body IMO. The adaptor is to compensate the flange distance and provide the electronic connections if required.
 

Mar 1, 2012
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#16
You cant compare the size savings of a mirrorless compared to a dslr just by the mere physical numbers. It's how it all feels in the hands of someone who felt the cumbersome-ness of a dslr.

While the a7 series arent that small or light, they are much easier to lug around compared to equivalent FF DSLRs (because one should not compare them to crop dslrs or smaller). A few grams off the total weight, coupled with a few millimeters off each of the 3 spatial dimensions, is ALOT of size savings. And that's if you do not want to compromise image quality.

Mirrorless is not just about the Sony A7 series. There's the apsc and m43 standards to consider if image quality is not of utmost importance, and those are really much smaller and more handbag-able than even the smallest dslrs.

With the mirror out of the way, also comes (theoretical) advances that DSLRs cannot provide e.g. Fps. 12 or 14 fps is about as fast as the mirror can ever flip, due to intrinsic spring properties. But it will not be a problem for mirrorless. Of course, now ppl will say mirrorless af/tracking cannot keep up, but it is only a matter of time.

From tech standpoint, DSLR will be obsolete. It's only surviving because of the number of dslr lenses already out in the market.
 

blurboiboi

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#17
how about electronic parts found within the body?... mirrorless uses more right? like the evf... it will become faulty after some time?... ovf will never be spoiled am I right to say?...
 

Mar 1, 2012
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#18
how about electronic parts found within the body?... mirrorless uses more right? like the evf... it will become faulty after some time?... ovf will never be spoiled am I right to say?...
On the contrary, with the addition of the mirror assembly, DSLRs has one additional component to spoil. While the pentaprism/pentamirror won't suffer electronic damage, it is subjected to mechanical damages like spring fault, glass cracking/etching etc, while the dedicated af sensor also subjected to electronic damages as well as misalignments.
 

Mythmaker

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#19
We're are discussing about size. By the way mirrorless can adapt other makers lenses and we can technically compare actual if adaptor exist. So it is fair to compare the body IMO. The adaptor is to compensate the flange distance and provide the electronic connections if required.
Yes, mirrorless can adapt. But how long can you hold the unbalanced and unergonomic setup?
 

Feb 7, 2010
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#20
Yes, mirrorless can adapt. But how long can you hold the unbalanced and unergonomic setup?
I have no issue with my setup when I travel. In fact it is more comfortable to handle mirrorless based on my experience. You just have to decide what works for you and test it out.
 

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