Considering a Mirrorless Camera?

_DSC1317Author & image copyright:  Rick Jacobi

There has been a lot of discussion about Mirrorless cameras among photographers especially in the last year. One of the main reasons people are talking is the size and weight difference between DSLR and Mirrorless. The Mirrorless bodies and lenses are a lot smaller, which means less weight.

I was a Canon photographer for many years. The last Canon camera I had was the 5D Mark lll along with four lens. The lens were 24-105mm, 100 Macro, 100-400mm and 70-200mm. About a year and half ago I bought my first MIrrorless, which was Fuji X-T1 four fifth sensor along with two lens. I liked the camera but I felt I wanted a full frame and Sony had just come out with the new A7ll full frame. I sold my Fuji, lens and all my Canon equipment and bought the new Sony.

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When I sold the Canon Body and lens I felt that I had lost my best friend. Could I ever get a sharp photo again? It is like selling your car and thinking you will have to walk from now on. I had A7ll for a few months but did not like EVF, because it was not up to par with the experience of looking through the Canon viewfinder. I liked the feel and the weight of the Sony but the EVF bothered me every time I took a photo. Then Sony came out with A7Rll and with all the reviews I read, I knew that I had to have that camera. I traded in my A7ll and bought the new Sony A7Rll and 24-240mm lens.

The biggest concern in giving up my Canon was wondering if I would ever feel really comfortable again with a camera. Would I regret selling my Canon? Would I ever have a best friend in a camera. The answer is overwhelmingly, YES! I finally feel comfortable with my camera [Sony A7Rll] and I don’t have any regrets selling my ex- best friend [Canon 5D Mark lll].

I am not trying to sell anyone a Sony but rather hoped that by sharing my experience it would help you in your decision making process should you be considering a change from a DSLR to Mirrorless. It is definitely not an easy decision and very hard to let go of your DSLR but I am happy that I made the switch. I have less weight and get tack sharp photos. The EVF in the later model is so much better and with its added features it makes shooting that much more fun.

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Now my photo travels are so much more enjoyable without the heavy gear bags. Since I do a lot of street shooting, the the 24-240mm lens handles everything I need and the photos are (did I say) tack sharp! Sony has a lot of lens and adaptors too so you can use your Canon or Nikon lenses.

If you are thinking about changing I would recommend renting a Mirrorless camera for a few days to test drive. You may even want to rent a couple different models before finding that perfect new friend in your camera. Currently there are four great mirrorless cameras on the market: Panasonic Lumix, Olympus OM-D, Fujifilm x-T1 and Sony. Mirrorless cameras are not for everyone but there is a strong market trend going in that direction with many professionals making a switch too. I personally think this is the future in photography so I hope Canon and Nikon get on board or they risk being left behind.

Advantages of Mirrorless:

  • Smaller size and less weight
  • Fast frame speed
  • Live View – what you see is what you get.
  • Ease of manual focusing with focus peeking. {Love this}
  • Face and eye tracking.
  • EVF – what you see is what you get.
  • EVF – image review.
  • Easier to clean
  • Less camera shake

Disadvantages

  • Battery life is shorter. Need to carry two or three batteries with you.
  • Harder to focus in low light but easy to do with manual focusing and peeking.

Rick Jacobi is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.  These photos were taken with the Sony A7RIII at the AHPW Creepy Crawly Critter workshop.