Finally thinking about dumping my 5DMark ii for a mirror less!

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by john_blalock, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. So I never thought I would see the day I would be talking about this idea. Getting the brown box from B and H two years ago with my 5D mark ii was one of the best days of my life. I had the sweetest set up--a 28mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, and 17-40 4 so I had all my focal lengths covered (this paired with my LF setup which is a: 47mm, 65mm, 90mm, and 150mm) with incredibly sharp and fast glass.
    But now only two years later I find this kit sitting at home in my bag--I end up doing a lot of serious work with the iPhone! Not kidding--the images look like crud and the skys blow out constantly but I was getting shots and video that I never could have with the Cannon because the phone was the only camera I had with me.
    Oh--and most of my friends are doing the same thing too. I bought an 85mm from one of them last week--I asked her why in the heck she was selling it (this is a mandatory lens in the bag of a cannon shooter) and she was like "oh I got a mirroless and I don't shoot this stuff anymore." WHAT!? Then I started to think how much I never used my Canon!
    I come to you guys as a penitent DSLR shooter who has realized the error of his ways. Please, help me find a kit in this new strange world that does not have prisms and hand jerking mirror slaps.
    What I need:
    -I need at least 18 mega chickens (my favorite print size is 16x26 and I will go bigger if I can)
    -I need roughly my same focal lengths and I am picky about my glass--very picky:
    #1 -A fast 28mm, I shoot action in the dark, if the camera can get it great--if not is another black frame.
    #2 -17mm or wider, I do architectural interiors and I print big so it had better be sharp.
    #3 -50mm, don't shoot this as much but it is a staple.
    #4 -85mm, also don't shoot this as much but you simply cannot live without a portrait lens.
    -and I need at least the same (but hopefully better) video options than the current 5Dii (which is pretty limited)
    I have read so much about these cameras but I never imagined that I would ever be buying one and I find it dumbfounding. I would love it if you guys have any ideas about the best system that would fit into my needs and offer roughly comparable lenses.
    yours
    john
     
  2. IMOPO, if the reason you want the mirrorless is that the 5DII rig is too much to carry ("I was getting shots and video that I never could have with the Cannon because the phone was the only camera I had with me,"), then maybe you ought to dump your lens requirements and accept some compromises. I like the idea of a pockeable camera, so I'd like a Sony NEX-6 with the Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens. Basically, you accept an optically mediocre lens to get a one-lens package that will cover pretty much all of your focal lengths, give you optical image stabilization, have a (good electronic) viewfinder, and be really easy to carry. (The Sony E 18-55mm is generally regarded as slightly better optically, but it is much bigger. Supposedly there will be a new high-end Sony or Sony / Zeiss standard zoom for NEX, maybe around 16-80mm.) And if you want something small to carry, a tripod kind of defeats the point, so worrying about 16 MP versus 18 MP versus 24 MP seems not too fruitful.
    On the other hand, if you really want to get the benefit of at least 18 MP and you want to deal with bulky fast primes, maybe wait for the NEX-7 replacement that's expected before the end of the summer and pair it with a Metabones Speed Booster and your existing lenses. Personally I don't see much point: if you're dealing with that much bulk and a tripod, you might as well have the 5DII--but hey, not everyone sees the world the same as I do.
     
  3. Hi John.
    You're not alone, sir. I was in the same boat (though with a Pentax K-5 system, rather than Canon). I actually grew weary of relying on my poor eyes to verify sharp focus in large prints, let alone mess with the AF Adjustment in camera to compensate for any potential front/back focus issues. Plus, I wanted a smaller, lighter "travel" kit, yet maintaining very high quality. I was SERIOUSLY considering the following mirrorless systems: Sony NEX-7, Olympus OM-D EM-5, and Fuji XE-1. For various reasons (not least of which was budget ;-/, after much research on image quality and debating merits of each, believe it or not, I stayed in the DSLR world, with a Nikon D5200 and Nikkors 16-85 and 35mm f1.8! (Just couldn't swing the D7100 that does have AF Fine Tuning, which the D5200 does not. That said, I am obtaining VERY sharp and detailed images with this kit, and I fully expect these 24 meg images to print sharply to 30x40, as I was getting very sharp 24x36 prints from my Pentax K-5. However, I still yearn for a very good mirrorless system, and am always doing research. Good luck to you sir!
     
  4. I hear you, John. I love my NEX 5n system and use it as my everyday shooter but I'm keeping the 5D Mark II for portraits and landscape work. Hard to top the full frame for those high quality applications. The 7D has sure been sitting a lot, though. Now, when NEX full frame comes around the swan song for my DSLR will begin to play.
     
  5. "Now, when NEX full frame comes around" -there was some expectation that an improved version of NEX7 will arrive soon and will have auto focus improvements, like those applied in NEX5R over NEX5N.
    The auto focus of current NEX7 is poor when comparing to DSLR cameras. There are other oddities about NEX7, that you need to acknowledge, before dropping your 5D II...
    It was proven, that current NEX lens mount should be able to accomodate full frame sensor, but current native SEL lenses will only cover the cropped sensor field.
    Application of film era lenses with adapters will be major advantage of possibly released new NEX FF.
    However, I hope for native Sony/Zeiss lenses for the new full frame mirrorless to come, that would provide: all modes of stabilization including active modes for video, 3 modes of optical lens correction in the camera, fast auto focus in low light, greater buffer depth, and reasonable processing speed. In the full frame size mirrorles, I would also welcome more pixels than the 24 MP, like 36MP or more.
     
  6. Thanks you guys, this is a real help. What do you guys think is the best wide angle lens made by any of these systems? Thats been the biggest barrier to me, I use my 17mm quite often, I would have bought the 14mm if I could (but its two to nearly four times as much for 3mm). There don't seem to be any systems with a lens wider than 21mm 35mmeq.
     
  7. My opinion would be to go for a micro 4/3rds system. The Olympus OM-D or the new E-P5 are amazing little machines. More compact that the NEX due to the smaller lenses. Also, there are far more lens options for m43 cameras, especially with the likes of Samyang jumping into the game. The new Zuiko prime lenses are incredible, the 75mm f/1.8 is simply amazing... enough to worry Leica.
    I own the E-PL5 which has the same sensor as the OM-D and E-P5. I also own the 5D MkII. I have used the 5D MkII a huge amount over the last 4 years and the image quality still amazes me. After much experimentation, I would say the image quality from my little E-PL5 is around 90-95% as good as the 5D MkII. That is pretty amazing for such a small sensor. The high ISO performance is also on par with the 5D MkII.
    There are only 3 things stopping me from selling my full frame gear:
    1. All mirrorless cameras are useless at tracking autofocus so serious sports and wildlife photography is a no no. If you think the AI Servo on the 5D MkII is antiquated you will get a shock when using a mirrorless. However, the single shot AF on the Olympus cameras is astoundingly good.
    2. Depth of field. If, like me, you love a good dose of bokeh, the small sensors in these mirrorless cameras just cannot deliver like a full frame DSLR. With a nice lens they are good but it's something they will always be behind when compared to FF.
    3. Appearance. If you are a jobbing pro e.g. a wedding photographer you will not be taken seriously if you turn up with a little compact. Silly I know, but it's true.
     
  8. John, how small do you want to go? Compare the size and weight of a Panasonic GH3 with the 12-35 2.8 and 35-100 2.8 lenses to similar Canon FF gear, and the difference is huge. But the capabilities aren't. Want smaller? Look at the recently introduced olympus E-P5, or the Panasonic G6. The Sony NEX system may be tempting, but the lack of quality glass (native, not adapted) is still an issue. But if you can find the lenses you want, the NEX cams are very nice, especially the NEX 6.
    Anyway, you have lots of choices, just be sure to buy into a system you can live with and not just a tiny body.
     
  9. What do you guys think is the best wide angle lens made by any of these systems? ... There don't seem to be any systems with a lens wider than 21mm 35mmeq.
    Not so. There's the new Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 for the NEX (and Fuji X) systems, which fully integrates with the NEX system; B&H expects to have it Thursday. Also, Sony sells an E-mount 10-18mm f/4 OSS that has gotten pretty good reviews. If the nominal focal lengths are exact (questionable), those would be the equivalents of 18mm and 15-28mm, respectively.
     
  10. Take a serious look at the Fuji X-Pro1 and/or X-E1+Fujinon lenses. They're all on sale till the end of the month.
     
  11. I have made a few thousand pictures with a NEX 5N. I think the sensor is better with noise than nearly the same size sensor in Canon 7D. However, it does not focus nearly as fast or as accurately as the 7D. I have the 350 dollar evf which is the same as the 7d and it is not as good as the optical finder in the 7D. The 5N is as capable as the 7D in supporting my long and heavy L lenses although you can get a metabones adapter to use these lenses with the mirrorless 5N. I have tried it with another adapter and it's a silly exercise. I have to say that the live view on the 5n is better than either my 7D or T4i. I do sports and I have tried with my complement of Sony e-mount lenses (18-55, 55-210 and 12mm adapted 16mm) to shoot swim meets. It doesn't work because it doesn't capture, track or focus well enough and the Sony lenses are too slow for indoor sports. The 5N is very good up to ISO 3200 in low light and does great landscapes when the light is decent. None of my e-mount lenses except the 16mm 2.8 are fast enough. We will be doing an outdoor model shoot next week and I will leave the 5N home. If I go to a party I will take it because it is unobtrusive and I get decent pictures with the upgrade flash. That flash does not have near the capability of my EX flashes. Based upon my experience none of the mirrorless cameras will totally replace a DSLR. Perhaps that will come about in the future. Sony sells a fixed pellicle mirror DSLR size body which has some mirrorless capability in a DSLR size unit. That is their move to the future. I also had the idea of downsizing a year and a half ago when I bought the NEX. It's useful but not a replacement for what I do. So now I have both.
     
  12. John. Sony makes a 16mm f2.8 pancake lens for the NEX series. I has been heavily criticized but I find it highly useful with decent center sharpness. They make an adapter for it that makes it a 12mm lens. It works very well as an 18mm full frame equivalent on the 1.5 crop Sony sensor.
     
  13. If you're "very picky" about lenses you might not be satisfied by Sony. They don't have a zoom that's any good, there's a new-ish 35mm prime (remember we're in 1.5 crop here) but it's nothing to write home about - if you're very picky you'll be wanting the new (very expensive) Zeiss lenses. Where NEX really stands out is use with manual focus lenses on adapters.
    Probably you really want M4/3 or Fuji. Both systems have better lenses than NEX these days but with the current discounts if you want the best lenses Fuji is a no-brainer. They have a larger sensor than M4/3 and there aren't any lenses for it yet that aren't excellent, so you can pick anything really. There's 12mm Zeiss or 14mm Fuji, 35mm Fuji or 32mm Zeiss, 18mm, 18-55mm, 60mm macro and 55-200mm. The 18-55 and 55-200 are much better than the "kit zoom" 18-55 and 55-200 from Nikon and Canon. The "roadmap" has a 50mm Zeiss macro and Fuji 10-24, 27mm "pancake", 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2 due between now and next January.
     
  14. I have read so much about these cameras but I never imagined that I would ever be buying one and I find it dumbfounding. I would love it if you guys have any ideas about the best system that would fit into my needs and offer roughly comparable lenses.​
    At a glance, any of the three major players in the mirror less world, m4/3, SONY, and Fuji, can serve you. However they do differ in some ways that could affect you. I assume you have read about them already so what is your short list? Telling us this can save people a lot of time to tell you what each system can or cannot do.
     
  15. In terms of quality I have not found a mirrorless camera that matches the 5DII ( excepting the Leica M240 - mine
    hopefully arrives soon but this is a very expensive camera). That said if you don't need fast AF and handling mirrorless is
    quite good. In terms of lenses mirrorless cameras are still quite limited - especially at the wide angle end. There is no
    lens that can match (or even get close to) the capabilities of the Canon 17 F4 TS. The best really wide angle I have used
    is the Voigtlander 12 mm F5.6. While it is quite expensive and has some CA issues on some mounts this lens is very
    good.

    In terms of bodies I have owned a few and used most. I find the Fujisawa the best although the AF is weak. I executed
    to like the NEX 7 but I found the handling rather poor. I would suggest that you try a few to see what works for you. All of
    the systems (even the Nikon1) are quite capable - the weak points compared to an SLR are handling and lens range. I
    suggest you base you decision on these two criteria.
     
  16. To add to this discussion, perhaps you all might like to glance at a brief video clip comparison of the subject Canon Big Boy camera w/ Big Boy lens weighed -literally- against one interesting camera and lens arrival that is getting a lot of attention. Some comments on the features,like handling, button layout, grip, display, versatility of uses a la videography specifically, at end of the weighing in..
    Mirrorless it does semm gets more intriguing even in its adolescence; and has charms for professionals as well as the likes of us. Give it time and our want lists may find offerings aplenty.
    http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com/panasonic-lumix-gh3-weighs-in-against-canon-5dmk2/
     
  17. I sold my D300 for the same reason. I am getting too old to be humping up and down the mountain with 40 lbs on my back. I sold it all. I bought a GH2 because it is a bigger body that the NEX and others. My big hands need something bigger than my wallet to hold. I have it and a 3 way head with a Manfrotto 190C graphite tripod; the whole outfit weighs less than my D300 alone!
     
  18. If a picture is worth 1000 words then here are 410,000 words about the NEX 7.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8539414@N07/sets/72157629936411965/
    The NEX 6 in many ways is even better. The upgraded 7 will be here shortly, and the FF NEX 9 should be out first part of NEXt year. Pop a speedbooster on any of your NEX's and be in FF heaven now.
    NEX has focus peaking, Fuji doesnt. Fuji looks the bees knees, NEX more modern. Love the grip on the NEX though. A leather half case improves things about 1000%. Flip out screen on the NEX is indispensable.
    The new Zeiss lenses for NEX are supposed to be pretty darn good. Pricey of course. And finally, once the NEX 7 came out of the box the 5D and 40D were gone, gone, gone...
     
  19. I just recently sold my Nikon gear - D300s, 17-55, 80-200 2.8, and a Tokina 11-16 2.8 along with all the accumulated accessories I'd built up over the years. I like to hike into tough spots sometimes and carrying the gear just got to be too much.
    I replaced it with a Fuji X-E1, the 14mm and 35mm primes and the 18-55 zoom, the good flash, and the usual accessories. I couldn't be happier. Granted, the D300s was old technology, and the X-E1 is much newer, but the images I get out of the Fuji are superior to the ones I was getting with the old gear, and the Fuji setup is a lot easier to carry. The 14mm is as good a lens as any Nikon I ever used; the 35mm is no slouch either, and while the 18-55 might not be quite as good as the best Nikon zooms, it's way above adequate when I need a zoom. The main thing I miss is the wonderful optical viewfinder of the D300s.
    So I'm very happy with the switch. Yeah, I sometimes see other photographers carrying their D800/24-70 setups and I have a moment of "big camera envy", but then I remember how heavy my old gear was. I'm an old guy, and I suspect I'm a mirrorless guy from now on.
     
  20. I'm making the same switch, moving from a 5D MkII + 3 L primes + the 70-200 f/2.8L II lens to the Fuji X-E1 + 35mm, 60mm macro, 18-55, 55-200. I also am looking forward to playing around with some Leica glass at some point. I will *miss* that big white zoom and in fact may keep it around for some rate occasions and just put it on a t4i or something. However, I was finding that way too often I was leaving the 5D & lenses at home in favor of my pocketable RX100. Note, I'm just a long-time enthusiast, not a professional photographer.
    I chose the Fuji system because of the lenses, I prefer to pick the lenses and then work backwards into which camera body makes sense. The lenses last for years, the bodies can be easily upgraded. When the X-Pro2 comes out in 2014 I will likely upgrade to it, but in the meantime the XE-1 is great. I love going back to my early days and operating analog controls on a rangefinder style system.
    The difference between the Fuji and any of the lenses with the default firmware vs. upgrading the firmware is night and day. If you read any reviews of focus problems, make sure they have upgraded the firmware. That said, if super fast-focus & tracking is your thing, stick to the DSLRs.
    I've put off selling the 5D2 until I made sure it's the right move, and so far I'm not looking back. The Fuji glass is outstanding, and the size makes shooting more fun for me which equals more & better photos. One of my biggest priorities is low-light capability and the Fuji X-Trans sensor is very good in this regards. ISO 6400 is usable for most of my purposes.
     
  21. As I often do, I've purchased a new system, but have not quite gotten rid of the old one. The quality of the Fuji lenses is what sold me. While I have an OM-D, purchased about a year ago, it's about to go. The full frame DSLR won't go for a long time if ever. But, having said that the Fuji is my current go-to camera unless I'm doing studio still life. I've not seen a better wide angle on any system than the 14, the 18-55 zoom is just amazing as is the 60 macro. I saw some noise even at ISO 200 with the Oly, the Fuji is almost unbelievable even at ISO1600. The Fuji also feels like a real camera, less like a computer with a lens and a sensor. Time will tell, but I'm getting older and closer to my "last" camera. Can you hear my wife laughing in the background?
     
  22. Others have mentioned the Fuji X series. My first (and only) digital camera (other than my iphone) is what started Fuji's mojo: The X100. Take a look at their XE-1, or wait for their Pro model to be updated. And if you want really light weight, easy to use, and great image quality, consider the X100s. Fuji's Xtrans sensor is very innovative, and their X-mount allows them to design lenses with a back element very close to the sensor. The main weak part about the Fuji system when compared to the established pro brands such as Canon and Nikon is the on-camera strobes and lighting eco-system. But at least the lens selection is growing. And if you buy into Fuji, consider using PhaseOne RAW processing software: CaptureOne. They have updated it to handle the Xtrans. Much better than the flakey software that comes with the Fuji.
     

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