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Mirrorless, the Emperor's New Clothes


24 Sep 2018 12:44PM
OK, I've been a photographer for over 40 years, and a digital SLR user for the last 17, but I'm bewildered by the attraction of mirrorless cameras.

I can see the advantage of having no noisy mirror flapping about, continuous viewing and a consequent higher fps rate.

But, why are the sensors left nsked when you remove the lens? Hasselblads, Bronicas etc all had either a lowered mirror to protect the film in that situation. Why not have the focal plane shutter cover them temporarily?

Then there's the viewfinders, flickering, unsharp, smeary. I've looked at Canon, Olympus, Fuji, and they all don't compare with a real image in an SLR.

I'm quite happy to use the back of my Canons in Live View to check exposure or for high/low angles, so not against electronic finders totally, but so far I wouldn't call the eye level finders 'realistic'. Then there's the momentary delay when you put the camera to your eye and wait, and wait for the image to come up.

Surely a conventional range finder has all the advantages?

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banehawi Plus
14 2.0k 3993 Canada
24 Sep 2018 1:32PM
The new Canon R mirrorless does exactly that, covers the otherwise exposed sensor.

Another advantage to the EVF is that you see the effect of exposure changes in the viewfinder as they are made.

Im not a fan of EVFs either btw, - like watching a TV version of the real world. But they are improving, and the latest are very, very good.
JackAllTog Plus
10 5.4k 58 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 1:51PM
The other stated feature is closer mounting that allows for smaller lenses, or faster lenses F1/F2 lenses.
Also the redesign has allowed for faster AF
Also canon, with older lenses, can have a rear filter fitter.
Also canon has a 3rd adjustment ring on the lens that can adjust aperture/iso etc.
also - its a new toy for gadget people to talk about. Wink
Snapper Plus
14 4.4k 3 Scotland
24 Sep 2018 2:07PM

Quote:
Then there's the viewfinders, flickering, unsharp, smeary. I've looked at Canon, Olympus, Fuji, and they all don't compare with a real image in an SLR.


Even better on a film slr when you can see through the viewfinder without switching on the camera! On a more serious note, Fuji have the X Pro for rangefinder types, but I prefer the XT cameras as they show you what will be in the photo. I had a Canon 5D previously and never regret getting rid of all that weight I used to carry on my shoulder.
franken Plus
16 4.8k 4 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 2:13PM
In 2013 I sold my DSlr's and went mirrorless and as I'm arthritic, the lighter cameras and lenses were and still are a real help to me. There's nothing wrong with dslr's other than being modified film slr's if we're being honest.

As mentioned, evf's are improving all the time. I've only ever had to remove dust form the sensor once and that was my fault and a blower soon sorted that. I remember reading several years ago about the problem with dust in DSlr's and it was suggested that a small bit of dust lands in the chamber and the action of the flapping mirror blows it all over the place. It's no coincidence that I used to have to clean the sensor on my dslr's on a regular basis and as mentioned above, rarely with mirrorless.
rhody 16 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 2:40PM
All cameras are a compromise in one way or another. I really used to like my film SLR's. Then when digital came along - I embraced the technology.
I don't think SLR's and DSLR's can be bettered for ergonomic design and balance with various lenses.
I changed to Sony FF Mirrorless this year and I am very happy with the change.
My only reservation is that with the smaller size of mirrorless cameras, compared to a FF DSLR, if you have large hands, check that the balance and ergonomics are right for you with the proposed camera and range of lenses you use.
I cannot fault the Sony experience and for me, the viewfinder is superb.
altitude50 14 14.4k United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 3:37PM
My Pentax KS-1 DSLR has the best viewfinder I have ever used and that includes various Nikon, Canon, Sigma DSLR's.
However, I am very happy with my Sony a6000 and Panasonic GX7 viewfinders.
Perhaps if I did a lot of sports photography it might be different.
Slightly off topic, I took this McLaren at about 150mph using my Sony RX100 Mk1 with no viewfinder.
21670_1537799853.jpg



keith selmes 15 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 4:13PM
I agree to a large extent about the difference between using an SLR viewfinder and an EVF.
Nonetheless, if I had to get rid of all photographic stuff I don't really use much, I'd be left with two Panasonic GH1, two lenses, and a handful of batteries, cards, and charger.

The advantages of small size and weight tend to win over the advantages of the larger full frame DSLR and it's heavier lenses. I know I could get better images with the DSLR, but I think I often wouldn't get any at all because it's too cumbersome. And, I can carry two GH1 more easily than one DSLR, one lens on each, no lens swapping, less dirt on the sensor, long tele and short wide angle zooms both immediately available, for stills or video. The quality is adequate for most purposes, and the smaller cameras are easier for an older human body to carry, and probably more suitable for the photographic situations I've tended to have in the last couple of years.

(Admittedly, my digital cameras are now about 10 years old, and I'm not familiar with newer models, but of course that includes my DSLR)
davereet 14 402 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 5:23PM
I can't get over the price of mirrorless bodies, they are basically circuit boards and software with very little mechanical stuff and precision assembly. they are way overpriced.
I am not against them as I think that all cameras will end up mirrorless eventually.
In the next few years they will out perform SLR's but for now they are not worth it.
As for the weight question, what I have seen in our club with members who have them the bodies are lighter but the pro 2.8 and 1.4 lenses not much smaller or lighter, especially the full frame ones.
Just my opinion.

Dave
Paul Morgan 17 19.3k 6 England
24 Sep 2018 5:38PM

Quote:OK, I've been a photographer for over 40 years, and a digital SLR user for the last 17, but I'm bewildered by the attraction of mirrorless cameras.

I can see the advantage of having no noisy mirror flapping about, continuous viewing and a consequent higher fps rate.

But, why are the sensors left nsked when you remove the lens? Hasselblads, Bronicas etc all had either a lowered mirror to protect the film in that situation. Why not have the focal plane shutter cover them temporarily?

Then there's the viewfinders, flickering, unsharp, smeary. I've looked at Canon, Olympus, Fuji, and they all don't compare with a real image in an SLR.

I'm quite happy to use the back of my Canons in Live View to check exposure or for high/low angles, so not against electronic finders totally, but so far I wouldn't call the eye level finders 'realistic'. Then there's the momentary delay when you put the camera to your eye and wait, and wait for the image to come up.

Surely a conventional range finder has all the advantages?



For me real rangfinders only had the one advantage, of seeing just outside of the frame lines, you can see what is just about to enter without taking your eye from the viewfinder.

This can also be done with digital mirrorless.

599_1537807090.jpg

rhody 16 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 5:57PM
"For me real rangfinders only had the one advantage, of seeing just outside of the frame lines, you can see what is just about to enter without taking your eye from the viewfinder. This can also be done with digital mirrorless."

Indeed it can. It takes a bit of practice but at the Bournemouth Air Show this year, I was able to keep both eyes open and easily see where the planes were approaching from before they appeared in the viewfinder.

Paul Morgan 17 19.3k 6 England
24 Sep 2018 6:24PM
RobboB Plus
12 133 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 6:47PM
If you change lenses a lot I think the exposed sensor is a real weakness. I was photographing with a another photographer who used a Sony FF mirror less last year and the amount of dust spots was a real headache for him as some of them seemed spot welded to the sensor. I appreciate the reduction in weight though.
Paul Morgan 17 19.3k 6 England
24 Sep 2018 8:36PM
Its really not that much more of a problem, even with a mirror the sensor will still collect dust and other debris.
JJGEE 14 7.4k 18 England
24 Sep 2018 8:40PM

Quote:Its really not that much more of a problem, even with a mirror the sensor will still collect dust and other debris.

Whatever you have, dust spots are a nuisance and not easy to remove Sad


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