Dumping the DSLR?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by corey_brooker|1, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Hey everyone,
    I currently have a Nikon D90 with several lenses (Nikon 50mm, Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon 70-300mm, etc.) With the expected birth of my first child within the next month, I am considering ditching everything for a V1. I used to be a guy that sought the artistic side of photography - photo journalism, manipulations, large landscape photo-merges, and so on... Now, the camera just kind of sits in my house collecting dust. I realize that lately, carrying the bag of equipment is too much of a commitment for me. I am starting to realize that for me, there is something to be said for portability. I'm also realizing that I don't need the BEST camera ever, just a good camera to document my child's early years.
    I am looking for more opinions from more experienced people, to either make talk me out of doing this, or reinforce the decision. What do you guys think?
  2. I ditch the DSLR for a couple years already... now using Lumix (Panasonic) and I still use my medium format film cameras.
  3. I shoot semi-pro, and I'm thinking the same thing. Nikon D7000 with a good selection of glass, and trading it all for m4/3 gear. I would say, if you do, go m4/3 over the 1 series Nikon. The Nikon doesn't have much, if any advantage in size over m4/3, while not matching the latest in the image capture department.
    I would also say, wait to see what is announced in the next few weeks. Photokina is coming up and there is always new gear from the manufacturers for the show.
  4. I also shoot semi-pro and a few months ago I dumped my Canon 5D and 40D with all the lenses to make the move to Sony. My main camera is now the NEX 7 with an SLT a35 only as backup.
    It sounds like for the photography you will be doing a smaller mirrorless camera will work just fine. If I may, let me highly recommend the NEX line of cameras. The 7 is an amazing tool and the soon (in a few days) to be announced NEX 6 is also supposed to be a top notch camera, coming in a little cheaper then the 7. Both feature Electronic View Finders built in so they handle like an old rangefinder.
    If you plan to use any old vintage glass (M42, Nikon, Canon FD, Contax Yashica, Zeiss, etc) then the focus peaking on the NEX line make focusing a breeze. It really is a wonderful little camera line. Sony is currently kicking @$$ and taking names when it comes to mirrorless camera design.
    Oh, and I know a lot of people poo-poo rumor sites on this forum but sonyalpharumors.com has announced that along with the a99 and NEX 6 announcement on Sept 12 Sony is also going to announce a super secret professional NEX body. This may or may not be the case, but if they can pull out a Full Frame or APS-C NEX body specifically designed for Pro use then great things are coming our way.
    Le DSLR est mort. Vive le Mirrorless!
  5. I am seriously considering dumping my Nikon gear for an Olympus OM-D with a Panny 100-300 to shoot my airshows with. I am a long time OM user and we've been asking Olympus to make a digital OM for years. Now they have. I'm in !
  6. Corey, as they say, the best camera is the one that you have with you. There is no right answer here; you need to weigh your position. I know many people that have gone purely to a mirrorless system and are happy, and I know many who would be unable to live with that, with some keeping the mirrorless camera as a backup, and others ditching it and staying pure DSLR. I agree with the other posters about considering other camera systems, as well as your frontrunner Nikon 1 (although the Nikon 1 seems to be less of a serious attempt by Nikon than the other mirrorless systems). I have micro 4/3 and enjoy it, but I'd feel remiss if I didn't mention two things. First of all, although it is a smaller system, it is not a cheaper system! The camera bodies and lenses are just as expensive, if not more so, than the APS DSLR systems. The second is that micro 4/3 doesn't currently have phase detect autofocus, so focusing on action such as running children doesn't work so well. The Nikon 1 cameras, and now the Sony NEX-5R, have phase detect autofocus for following action, but if you have faith in Olympus and/or Panasonic, then by the time your soon-to-be child is old enough to need focus that can follow action, they may have something by then!
    Chris, you should do some research about bird-in-flight photography discussions about micro 4/3 before committing to it, as they'll give you a good idea as to its capability during airshows. Some creative google searches should give you a wealth of discussions.The OM-5 touts faster autofocus, but that's for a stationary subject; despite the faster acquisition, at heart it's no different than earlier Olympus PENs. Without phase detect autofocus, you can still get some decent shots, but you are leaving more up to luck, which means that your keeper rate will drastically drop. You should really test it out before stepping over, but with the additional crop factor, you may consider a smaller DSLR right now. You will have a small size penalty and a definite range penalty, but your keeper rate will be higher. Plus, note that while the E-M5 has a good framerate, it still has a consumer-level buffer:
    So even if you do use the 9fps mode to try and get a keeper, you'll be sitting around waiting for the buffer to clear those images.
  7. Corey, I have always used classic manual focus Leica rangefinder and Nikon film cameras only. I have never owned a dslr. When we had our first child almost 4 years ago, I knew I needed something better than my cheapish digital point and shoots, but I wanted digital because I knew I would be taking a lot of pictures of our little one (and we did - about 2,000 in the first year)! I bought a Panasonic LX3 because at the time, the equiv. 24 f2 lens and 720p HD video in a camera that size was unheard of, and it served us well. (BTW, I shot about 6 rolls of film that first year also, and frankly the ratio of keepers was about 50% compared to about 20% with the digital, but that's another story.) But mirrorless was in it's infancy, so that wasn't an option. After a couple years however I realized that the film stuff wasn't quite fast enough, and the LX3 wasn't quite up to the kind of tack sharp low light indoor candid close portrait shots I wanted before she got older; the clock was ticking. I recently got an NEX 5n, and have been very happy with what I have been able to do with my manual focus lenses on it and using the couple af lenses I have for it.
    My point though is that you definitely need something very high quality, very small, and with good video capability so you have it whereever the family is: grocery store, restaurant, in the car, at the park or whatever. You'll want it with you all the time. I find that some of the most special pictures are the ones in these everyday locations. I mean, wouldn't you think it was cool to see a pic of yourself at the old Piggly Wiggly grocery store you just barely remember as a toddler? Having said that, however; even the Sony NEX system (at least until Wednesday) doesn't seem to me to be a full replacement for your dslr for certain situations with your growing babe. The Nikon 1 has fast phase detect af I think, and that is a plus, but I wouldn't go with a sensor that size when NEX (and Samsung) have aps-c size. My bottom line advice is that you could dump the dslr and get one of the current NEX only because in the first year, your babe won't move too fast, but after that you will want fast af. It is possible that the new NEX bodies coming out on Wednesday with phase detect af will be the best of all worlds perfecting what the current NEX is already good at: small, high image quality, excellent high iso, fantastic video, AND maybe now great fast af. With fast af, they could be dslr replacements, but if you are thinking about only any of the very good advanced point and shoots, I wouldn't dump the D90. It may never leave the house anymore, but you will take a lot of nice pics with it in the backyard in about a year of your kid crawling and then running around that will be more difficult with anything other than the very best mirrorless cameras now emerging. ..and keep in mind that when they are really young, they don't cooperate for pictures very well at all. If the NEX 6 checks out in the coming reviews, then get it and dump the Nikon.
    Oh, and congratulations! It's fantastic, and your life will never be the same. (..and it's not because of mirroless cameras :)
  8. I'd go with NEX. The NEX 7 and 5n sensors are as good as the D7000 - more useful indoors than most mirrorless
    cameras - and it has a useful tap-the-screen-for-tracking-AF feature. The 18-55 lens is quite good, as well as the
    50mm and the Sigma 30mm.
  9. I'm heading that same direction. My dSLR system is too heavy and bulky to lug around now (back and neck injuries). The D2H served me well for several years but I doubt I'll ever buy another dSLR.
    Most of the personal documentary photography I've done with my Nikon dSLR system could now be done more easily with something like the Nikon 1 Series, the Sony RX100 or Olympus OM-D. I only need a fast prime in the "normal" lens range and a fast midrange zoom. The only thing I'd miss would be Nikon's excellent CLS flash for off-camera use and bounce flash.
    I'm hoping Nikon will add flash control for the SB-series in the V2. Otherwise I can still use my SB-800 off camera in non-TTL mode with most compact cameras, using the optical trigger. Not as handy but still functional.
  10. CHildren are low to the ground. Consider a camera that has an articulating display so you can get the camera down low with them. Your pictures will be better.
  11. I haven't dumped my 5DII and 35/1.4. But for almost the last year they've stayed at home. During that period I've been shooting candid street photography and street portraiture with my iPhone 4, and for the last month, a Sony RX-100.
    It's great having cameras that comfortably fit in my jeans pocket. That has significantly changed the way I shoot on the street.
  12. Hi Corey, congratulations on your first child.
    I think any camera will do for babies, but they become fast-movers once their legs develop and everyone shooting kids will start to realize they need a responsive camera. This usually means fast focus and high frame rate.
    Of course not everyone has the same expectation, but once an avid photographer, my guess is you might feel the same down the road.
  13. Corey, I must say that as Alan points out, taking pictures of my little girl has been easier because I have the 5n with the rotating external EVF. I don't like the way it sticks off the top and feels vulnerable, but it has been much easier to take pictures at her eye level than an optical finder. True, getting a rotating LCD screen can suffice, but I have been much happier with the EVF over just the LCD. Having said that, if the camera had the ideal features, I would prefer the EVF to be built in and I would just have to settle for squatting really low sometimes, which is what I have always had to do before. Frankly, I have wondered why they couldnt make an EVF that stowed flat flush with the camera top for normal use, but that could be rotated upward when needed. That wouldn't be that difficult and would be perfect.
  14. I just have to add that I imagine that resourceful parent photographers have had all kinds of tricks up their sleeves for generations. For example, to take pictures of my girl riding on her tricycle with manual focus lenses, I have focused on the ground at a particular point and then taken the shot at the moment she reached that point as she rode toward me. That works well, but you get what you get. But you do get what happened, and that is much of what it is all about.
  15. Mark, what you are doing is called pre-focusing. Sports photographers have been doing that for years.
    As far as the focusing goes, the phase vs. contrast is only an issue in tracking motion coming towards or away from you. From the side, it won't make too much difference. That said, even phase on some of the lower end systems doesn't seem to track great. And, by my understanding, if you set the E-M5 to focus right before each frame, and at 6fps instead of 9fps, it has a much higher chance of accuracy.
  16. I was just pointing out to Corey that for those of us who want nothing to do with carrying around a large dslr, there are ways to get a mirrorless camera to perform very well to excellent in most situations. Further, mirrorless with an evf has advantages beyond just smaller size, but people who have learned to enjoy the benefits of the dslr (when they are willing to carry it), might find that the mirrorless cameras are not quite up to fully replacing a dslr yet, depending on what kinds of things they shoot. I have not used an E-M5, but I have heard that it focuses better than some mirrorless, but the 2x crop factor meant it wasn't an acceptable option for me because I have legacy glass already.
  17. I have used a Sony Nex 5 or 5N for a couple of years under situations where I wanted something light to carry around. With adequate
    lighting this camera readily competes with my d700 up to ISO of about 800. I use the 18-200 f 3.5-6.3 lens which is generally speaking
    up to the task at hand, but not as good as my big and heavy nikkor lenses. If you want to add light to the scene, the Sony will not really
    be up to the task.

    But when I take my D700 and Nex5 on family vacations, the nex5 generates higher percentage of retained pictures. I believe this is
    mostly true because you need to have a camera with you to take a picture, and when out and about, it was the nex5 I chose to bring along.
  18. For me it was a matter of weight. I just could't comfortably carry the Canon 5D. But don't limit yourself to the Nikon
    mirrorless camera. All of them have adapters for your lenses. I bought the NEX-7 myself but have a good look at all of
  19. As a mountain climber and skier weight and size are very important. I've carried my Canon Rebel DSLRs on trips when I wanted quality pics, but they slow me down, both with higher weight, and harder to get in hand. I got a Canon S90 a couple years ago and it became my ski camera for most trips. Not pro results, but good enough for most of my uses (slide shows and web posting).
    After a lot of debate I finally bit the bullet and got an NEX-7 with Tamron 18-200mm and love it. I'm getting quality better in many cases to my DSLR in a much smaller lighter package. I shoot mostly outdoor sports and landscapes. I got a Lowe case that fits this combo exactly and can wear it on my pack belt for easy access - better than DSLR, but not as good as S90.
    If I had the $$ I'd also have a full frame DSLR for serious landscape work, but not sure I'd carry it all to many of the mountain locations I find my best views!
  20. When I need autofocus, which is seldom I use the Nex-7 with the Sony Zeiss 16-50 and the transluscent adapter. It's a
    great combo. With a 35mm lens mounted with an adapter, the whole package is light, small and cheap (except for the
    camera body). E.g. Minolta 28mm Celtic lens or the surprisingly affordable Contax 28mm RTS lens or the Contax RF
    35mm postwar lens (which is tiny). With the Nex, with an adapter I can use practically any lens, including APS lenses.

    I'm guessing the experience might be similar with other makes but check for availability of thr adapter you want on the
    camera you are considering before you buy.
  21. I am having a blast with my M 4/3 system, but I get better results with my DSLR for shooting my small child. Kids don't stay still even when they are babies, so whatever you do get something with good focus tracking.
  22. I used to be a guy that sought the artistic side of photography - photo journalism, manipulations, large landscape photo-merges, and so on... Now, the camera just kind of sits in my house collecting dust. I realize that lately, carrying the bag of equipment is too much of a commitment for me.
    I'd get a P&S that you are comfortable with and use it a while B4 you dump the DSLR....just to be sure you are doing what's best for you. ;-)
    Personally, I really like my Fuji X-10. There were issues with the sensor bloom and Fuji replaced it with a new camera.
  23. I am having more fun with my OMD than any of my Dslrs. Even though the screen is not fully articulating, it is great to work with. However, when I want something that focuses quickly, I go back to the Dslr. If intend to print big, same thing.
  24. Is Corey still around or is this another hit-and-run thread?
  25. I love my Nikon v1, despite my stable of Canon cameras and lenses. I bought the v1 for travel when a neck problem
    made carrying pretty much anything a literal pain. I hung it off a black rapid strap, which admittedly looked a little silly,
    but it worked. Camera weighed so little I couldn't tell it was there, and the three lenses I took on vacation could fit in a
    jacket pocket. Better yet, the image quality and the fast autofocus produced an abundance of usable, non blurry photos
    taken on one of those tours where they herd you around at a fast pace. I just pulled the camera up, clicked, and went on.
    I was very favorably impressed with what I had when I got home. Haven't made any super large prints, but 8x10 was fine.
    The v1 has become the camera I take everywhere, displacing a canon s90 that was just too little, and lacked a
    viewfinder, which I just can't live without. The EVF on the v1 is excellent. I hope the OP hasn't gone away... the v1 is a
    fine choice ... but you don't have to give up the DSLRs. Still love my 60d. Everything has its place.
  26. I've recently adopted a Panasonic GX1. Up to size 13X19" prints, the quality is the equal of my Nikon D300s. The camera and the glass is really surprisingly good, with some pro level glass announced and on the horizon. I recently took a shot of a newspaper taped to a wall with the Nikon plus 105 Nikkor lens, and the GX1 with the 14-45 lens, both mounted on a tripod. On the computer monitor, at 300% enlargement, the shots were indistinguishable. I haven't dumped my Nikon gear but hiking around with the m43 stuff sure is a pleasure!
  27. I need a big dslr, it's absolutely critical in fact, for ergonomics, stability, handling, and usability. It makes a tremendous difference. I can't even begin to use a digital rebel for example.
  28. I'm a Leica B&W film user and was a Fuji S5 DSLR owner. The Fuji S5 is basically a Nikon D200 with a Fuji sensor that has film-like dynamic range and rendering. I finally got fed up with the size and weight of the S5 with a Nikon 17-55/2.8 lens even though the results were great. A couple months ago I bought a Sony NEX-7 and use my Leica M lenses on it. So far it's really working well for me and I'm hoping Sony will release a FF NEX in the next couple of years. Although the pictures were wonderful from my S5 I don't miss it as I can take the NEX everywhere.

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