madaboutcheetah

Mirror less is it the future in Photography?

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So I've been reading a lot about Mirror less lenses and the future in photography?  Any thoughts ........ Phase One etc etc.,?

 

My initial thought - it might be easier for travel?  But I know nothing about this ....... Will have to do a bit of research.

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The pace at which camera technology is progressing is astounding. 

Just when you think it has plateaued there is something new. 

Mirrorless cameras have really come a long way in the past couple of years.

 

However they still rely on either a display on the rear LCD panel or an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) which means that you are not seeing the same image you would see when using a DSLR with a mirror/prism in the image path.

 

Personally, I don't like using an EVF and in bright light or with longer lenses the LCD screen on the back is often impossible to see.

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@madaboutcheetah @Soukous I have wondered about a switch to mirrorless partly to reduce weight and bulk and partly as very good (fast) Nikon lenses are both expensive and large and heavy. I have used some of the early Nikon 1 cameras but can't get on with the LCD display although I will often take one on a hike as it is so small.

 

Recently however I acquired a Fuji XT-1 second hand and I am very impressed. It is smaller and lighter than a DSLR and I like the retro feel of being able to adjust key settings via physical dials. It is very well weatherproofed and I am really beginning to like the EVF. I have got a Fuji 50-140mm lens which has a fixed aperture at f/2.8. It is however not cheap and like all good lenses quite heavy albeit small. Even with a teleconverter however it is not a long lens and one loses the speed.

At some point I would like to try the XT-2 and can see myself moving in the mirrorless direction in time. At the moment however I still have more of a 'feel' for my Nikon DSLR.

 

There some interesting posts on this theme in the Phoography Life website - https://photographylife.com

Also an interesting blog from a South African photographer discusses his experiences moving to the Fuji XT-2 (you may need to search around a bit for the relevant posts - http://www.etienneoosthuizen.com

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The XT-2 is getting some rave reviews, I was looking at a comparison with the Nikon D500 on Youtube the other day and it came out on top in what appeared to be a pretty comprehensive test.

To me the biggest obstacle is the length of glass available. 100-400 is fine for close ups and larger mammals but otherwise too reach limited for my needs. I have the Canon version and I have to say that despite the fact I don't like the extending lens barrel when you zoom in, it's a very good piece of glass that responds quickly and produces sharp images.

 

I like the idea of EVF better than a rear screen which is a real pain when you have strong light behind you.

 

Interestingly though the UK's leading online retailer has several used Fuji Xt-2's but no Nikon D500's or Canon 7D2's on their used section.

 

Me? I'm sticking where I am with Canon for the time being, too much money tied up in that system and as I found out in the past when I had both Canon and Nikon for a while, I can't run two systems side by side and follow technological progress in both.

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I would say without a doubt it is the future.  Look at the latest ML sony A9.  A viewfinder that doesn't black out, completely silent electronic shutter at 20fps with autofocus and basically no rolling shutter.  4K video, in body stabilisation etc etc etc etc   There is technology there that is actually game changing.  In fact the only thing Sony lose out on right now is a less developed lens catalogue.  

 

Olympus and Panasonic are doing similar technology with their flagship (but much smaller sensor) cameras.  

 

Nikon and Canon are in serious danger of getting left behind here.  Unless they really pull rabbits out of hats.  Canon's glacial pace of development and allowing technology into lower end models is frustrating - not that I am in the market for another camera, but in a few years I would like to see something like a used A9 but made by canon in my bag.  The only thing tying me to my DSLR is my lenses and my pocket depth.  

 

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The Fuji X-Pro2 has a hybrid optical/EVF which sounds really intriguing. This may be the way of the future. I was surprised that the SONY A9 did not include a hybrid finder. However, I was in a shop the other day and looked through the SONY A9 and wow, the EVF on that is bright, sharp, and the field of view seemed fantastic. I could live with an EVF like that.

 

I have a small investment in the Nikon 1 system of mirrorless...which I use when I don't want to carry the DSLRs. I have a V2 which has a viewfinder and I like it very much but the sensor leaves a lot to be desired. With its 2.7" crop factor I can even use it for birding with its quite excellent 70-300 lens (eqiv. to 810mm) I also recently "upgraded" to the J5 which is an upgrade in every way except no viewfinder. This is Ok for casual shooting but no way I could live without a viewfinder for serious photography. I find I can't use it for birding at all, although some do successfully. But for a travel pocket camera, its fine. Also the 1" sensor, while excellent, of course no way compares to an APS-C sensor (as in the Fuji's mentioned) or of course a full-frame sensor (as in the SONY A9 and some others.)

 

The system with the most lenses is the m4/3 system of Olympus and Panasonic and it is quite possible to get 600mm equivalent in a smaller, lighter package. (2x crop factor on these cameras.)

 

I do think mirrorless will continue to improve but indeed, its costly to invest in a whole new system. I've been toying with the idea but for now, I'm waiting ;)

 

 

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There is no way all the available current technology will get piled in to one camera body as far as Nikon and Canon go because they lead the market. Sony and the rest might because they are trying to steal it but in my opinion they won't do so until they have a better range of glass.  Canon only hold their market share because they have the best range of lenses and conversely Nikon only keep theirs because the have better bodies than Canon and more glass than the rest.

You are right though, Canon in particularly seem to have done very little about the mirrorless systems, their M range does nothing for me and there seems little point in sticking a tiny lightweight camera on the end of a big telephoto lens. The balance would go to pot.

There's an interesting comparison test between the Fuji and the Nikon D500 here. The results are surprising.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I really like the Fujifilm XT-2 (and XT-1), they are terrific cameras (I have fondled one covetously on more than one occasion) but a lot of that weight advantage is lost when you add some of the Fujifilm zoom lenses - they are very well made but boy are they heavy.

The other drawback, as has been mentioned, is the limited range of lenses available. It won't be long though before Sigma and Tamron start making third party lenses for Fujifilm - then things could get interesting.

 

Edited by Soukous

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If, like me, you'd rather see all the comparative information laid out than watch a video clip, here's a detailed comparison of the Fujifilm XT-2 vs Nikon D500

http://cameradecision.com/compare/Fujifilm-X-T2-vs-Nikon-D500

 

I guess the other factor that will stop so many of us from making the switch is the cost. If you've already invested in a DSLR system with a range of lenses, then the cost of moving to a different manufacturer is substantial.

 

Maybe if Fujifilm offered incentives; like we'll give a 50% discount to anyone switching from Canon or Nikon - that would rattle a few cages.

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2 hours ago, Soukous said:

 

Maybe if Fujifilm offered incentives; like we'll give a 50% discount to anyone switching from Canon or Nikon - that would rattle a few cages.

HA! I like that idea...innovative marketing approach! but it will never happen.

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Like @janzin I am waiting and watching. I have bought a Nikon 1 j1 and an EOS m3 off eBay to see what I'm missing and don't really like either of them. They are lighter and have pretty good options but I have to use adapters with Canon lenses on the m3 and then they become heavy. Without an evf I can't focus long lenses.

 

I really could do with a light weight system as I am now confined to a wheelchair and find managing multiple cameras and lenses difficult with no camera bags designed specifically for wheelchairs. A system which could mostly fit into the pockets of a photographer's vest could be the answer.

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4 hours ago, janzin said:

HA! I like that idea...innovative marketing approach! but it will never happen.

 

Fujifilm has done stuff like this in the past (but not for 50% off the price of a $1,200 - $1,500 camera).

 

One example:  https://promo.fuji-offers.com/gb/pages/tradein/home

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I agree that it is the future, but still there is no doubt that bigger sensors still deliver better results.

 

Therefore, if you are serious about bird photography in particular, the weight and size gains are small, as the lens is by far the largest and heaviest part of the system.

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20 minutes ago, Peter Connan said:

I agree that it is the future, but still there is no doubt that bigger sensors still deliver better results.

 

Great!  Another convert to medium format!  :D

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No, I can hardly afford full fame...

 

But they definately have their place.

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17 hours ago, JohnR said:

Like @janzin I am waiting and watching. I have bought a Nikon 1 j1 and an EOS m3 off eBay to see what I'm missing and don't really like either of them. They are lighter and have pretty good options but I have to use adapters with Canon lenses on the m3 and then they become heavy. Without an evf I can't focus long lenses.

 

I really could do with a light weight system as I am now confined to a wheelchair and find managing multiple cameras and lenses difficult with no camera bags designed specifically for wheelchairs. A system which could mostly fit into the pockets of a photographer's vest could be the answer.

 

John, have you contemplated m4/3?  It is a mature system with some stunning small lenses.  

 

 

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@Soukous Excellent comparison lists there , but it also emphasis the lack of glass for Fuji. 

 

Interesting though that both bodies have loads of AF points but everyone I know tends to use just one most of the time. That renders all the menus of various AF settings totally useless in my Canon cameras! .

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I have been using olympus for several years now. Originally 4/3 but now moved to the EM1 and I have just bought the mk 2. Not tried it out yet but you can see what the mk 1 is capable of in my recent trip reports e.g. Borneo :

 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/kittykat23uk/0y36N3

 

It is pretty rugged, survived many torrential downpours and coupled with the panny 100-400 is pretty damn good. The evf has the great advantage that you can see what your exposure will look like on the fly too. Here's some action shots from the weekend, not my usual subjects:

 

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1EPqC8

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14 hours ago, Tulips said:

 

Thanks for the link @Tulips Interesting to read but I'm still not moving, well not in the near future anyway!! I guess a lot depends on the kind of photography you are in to as well as other considerations but one thing is certain, you can become obsessed with having the latest and greatest. Some folk are materialistic about cars, I just like camera gear. It's not about appearances either ( as it is with some people), it's about what delivers what. However, that said l look at shots I took with my Nikon D300s from nearly 10 years ago when I began my photographic journey and I wonder if I have really progressed. Someone pointed out earlier in the discussion, it's as much about composition and opportunity as it is about the gear you use. 

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I think that if you are happy with the weight of canon/nikon then they still have the edge for wildlife action shots. I wanted something more portable. Certainly I got some jealous looks in Borneo from our guide mike who was toting his canon and big lens and I was getting pretty similar results with my kit that weighed half as much to be honest. 

 

Well this weekend hopefully I will be giving the mk2 a run out so we'll see if the camera lives up to its reputation ahead of South Africa  next month! :)   With the cashback I got for my traded in E5 I basically got my money back on that old camera. 

 

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