Saturday, October 12, 2013

Migration to Mirrorless Digital Cameras

Thanks to TCGirl for finding this long video of a seminar, which gives a nice and clear introduction to the world of mirrorless cameras, and what they basically are, and why some of us are so enthusiastic about them.

Me, I have about 4 semi-complete camera systems. Why? I swear I didn't mean to! It was because as the digital camera developed, I always wanted the most compact camera which gave me the quality I wanted (about 12 megapixels and good lenses). About ten years ago, god help me, that was the Nikon D2x. That could only be called "compact" by somebody used to shoot large format, 8x10inch negatives... It was huge. And it was noisy at only ISO 800. On a full frame camera!
Then came the Nikon D100. Same quality, much smaller camera. Relief!
Then Canon came out with the 5D. Full frame at a relatively affordable price! I went to Canon.
Then Pentax made the K-x, a super-compact SLR with excellent features and image quality ("I.Q." as some call it). I went to Pentax.

Then, sigh, the mirrorless slow-revolution started happening. It took a while for this to really bite into me, because the autofocus was slow and they did not do well in low light. But over the years, Panasonic and Olympus, the two pillars under the Micro Four Thirds format, solved those issues with a crunch, and they came out with excellent (really) and compact lenses, and for me now (and I hope for a while!) that's my home system. For portraits and 'ultra-serious' shoots, I can still go to full frame Canon, and for a bring-everywhere camera there are several excellent choices of pocket cameras, not the least the Sony RX100M2. (Heck, that one is so good that apart from speed of operation (and no exchangeable lenses) it might be one's only camera, and still make pix good enough for exhibitions. It's even very good in low light, until recently the great archilles heal of compacts.)


Ken said...

My reason for getting a mirror less was they were smaller and lighter than a DSLR but had features of a DSLR. Started with a Panasonic GF1 but now have a GX7 which once I have RAW support for it in Aperture will get a bit of a workout. One important reason for getting one rather then a high end compact is the use of filters. I usually have a polariser on for landscapes and it works flawlessly. I can even get a Lee system with adjustable graduated neutral density filters. I still use my DSLR for macro but could buy a macro lens for the GX7 and forget the DSLR.

The advantage of he GX7 for me is when I go hiking. I have it in a small LowePro case, less than 5x5x4 inches. In that I have the camera, standard zoom and polariser, ND8 filter, +4 closeup filter, spare battery and some aluminium foil as a reflector. Everything I need for a weeks hiking.

The +4 macro gives me a frame about 2 inches (50mm) wide, so good for a lot of things. Interestingly the newer zoom is shorter at telephoto, so the flash is now available when using my macro setup.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

The Gx7 seems to be quite powerful. (I can't believe they actually finally made one with in-body image stabilization.) I was quite interested in it, until I found out that it actually weighs *more* than the Olympus E-M5.

I just got the Oly 60mm Macro lens. It's outstanding, a perl.

(if you ever consider a more flexible normal zoom, look at the new 14-140mm F:3.5. It's amazingly compact and dang good for such a long zoom.

I've never used filters much, and not a system like Lee. Seems bulky.