SURVEY - Does mirrorless size advantage lead to more photography?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by chip_chipowski, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. I am a DSLR user (Nikon D200) that has been contemplating a MILC for some time now. I've had my eye on an E-PL2 and now I see refurbs on Ebay for like $280. I like my DSLR but I want a mirrorless camera because I think I would be more likely to have it with me (due to smaller size), hence more opportunities to take photographs.
    However, my concern is that this rationale would not actually play out. In other words, the "always have camera on hand" philosophy wouldn't come to fruition and I would really just end up with a smaller camera option that is sometimes convenient.
    So my question is directed at DSLR users that have purchased a MILC for the purpose of having a camera that is more frequently on hand: do you find that you are capturing more photo opportunities or not?
    Thanks for your responses.
     
  2. I have a D200, and I got myself a Panasonic G2, which shares the same lens mount as the E-PL2, but with the form factor of a DSLR (grip, viewfinder, knobs and buttons, etc). I find it's much easier to take out with me than the D200. My D200 with either an 18-70mm or even just a 35mm lens is still large. The G2 with a kit lens on it is much much smaller and more likely to head out with me. I still take my camera backpack in many cases, but it is not filled to the brim. I'd say that yes, it is absolutely allowed me to capture more photo ops. I only take the D200 with me when:
    -I'm doing more "serious" photography
    -I need motion tracking, or my f/2.8 or faster lenses
    -I need my wireless flash system
    Otherwise, I never used to take my D200 with me when I was just out and about with my girlfriend, running errands. So yeah, depending on how willing you are to always have your D200 around your neck or in a sling, it definitely leads to more opportunities. When I have my D200, I feel like I'm being "the photographer." When I have my G2, I'm just a guy taking photos. Still, the image quality is there for you to be impressed. Not as good as the D200, but pretty impressive.
     
  3. I have had a Sony NEX 5N since November. I have taken well over a thousand pictures with it. My bag with three lenses an EVF and larger e-mount flash weighs less than three and a half pounds as opposed to my Canon bag that can weigh twenty pounds. I am inclined to take the 5N wherever I go. It does not replace my Canon full frame body and L lenses for action but I now take more pictures with it than I do my Canon gear. It is not as good for sports particularly in iffy light and with fast movement but it makes great nineteen by thirteen prints that compare to my Canon 5D at that size. So the answer to your question is a resounding yes.
     
  4. Yes! It has re-introduced me to the fun that photography can be. I still need and use large, bulbous digital cameras for work. I still enjoy the feel of the precise machinery of old classic film cameras too. The mirrorless, however, is all about the joy of photography. The discreet size, the light weight, the adaptability to a century of lenses, and the silent operation all bundled together around a high quality imaging system that I don't have to jam against my face or bend my shoulder after a day's carry. It's a camera you take with you. I think it's the greatest improvement in photographic systems in years...and it's just beginning!
    So, yeah, I take more photos.
     
  5. In other words, the "always have camera on hand" philosophy wouldn't come to fruition and I would really just end up with a smaller camera option that is sometimes convenient.
    That's a very real possibility, depending on how small you want a camera to be in order to always have it on hand. When the micro-4/3 cameras first appeared, I was thinking about getting one to always have on hand. Then I examined one in person. It was similar in size to a Leica M rangefinder. In other words, they are noticeably smaller than DSLRs, but they're not small enough to fit in most pockets. I decided that, if I was going to need a strap or bag to carry the camera, I might as well just stick with my DSLR.
    In December, I found my answer to the go-anywhere camera "problem:" the Sony TX10. It's shock-proof, waterproof, and small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket (about the size of a cigarette pack).
     
  6. With practice one can become quite fast at shooting a view camera. A mirrorless camera is tempting for light weight backpacking, but then you have no view finder.
    hugh
     
  7. Hugh, my Panasonic G2 has a viewfinder, as does the GH2, G3, Olympus E-M5, Sony NEX-7, Fuji X100 and X-pro 1, Nikon V1, etc. Plus, the E-PL2 has a clip-on viewfinder, but it costs nearly as much as the body will (~$200). If you're deadset on one, then you might as well just buy the Panasonic G3. Other mirrorless cameras such as other Panasonics and the NEX-5n also have add-on viewfinders.
    I agree with Mike though, that you have to take the size into consideration. It's not a pocketable system, but as Dick says, a full kit weighs less than 3 pounds. Compare that to my D200 with lenses, and it's a no-contest difference. It's small enough that I can throw it over my shoulder and not worry about it, unlike my DSLR.
     
  8. Thanks for all the responses.
    I am encouraged by the comments from Ariel/Dick/Louis. I know that even with a pancake, any mirrorless camera probably won't be pocketable - but I do get the feeling that I would be more inclined to casually bring along a bag like this rather than this.
     
  9. I've mentioned this before, but I've become quite enamored with my Nikon Coolpix S9100 point and shoot.
    I carry it in a pouch attached to my belt everywhere I go. It's has an 18X zoom which can be quite useful. as it was yesterday when I had the unexpected chance to shoot elephants out in the open in downtown Baltimore. (the circus had come to town). The best unique opportunity was for shooting video of the elephants marching down the street, and being able to zoom out as the elephants got closer to where I was standing.
    For those interested, check out: Parade of Circus Elephants
     
  10. I have a Nikon D3 and various other Nikon DSLRs but I also have a Nikon V1 which is one of their mirrorless cameras. It's so light that I do take it more often than my DSLRs but the same argument can be made for the camera built into your cell phone. As mentioned before, there are quite a few mirrorless cameras that have either an integrated electronic viewfinder like the V1 or a clip on attachment.
     
  11. Like everyone else, I have a "main" outfit that is pretty big/heavy (D300/17-55/80-200) and have been experimenting with a few different mirrorless alternatives the last couple of years (I just purchased a Canon G1x to try for a while as an always with me). I don't really know if I'm shooting more now that I carry it with me always, but I do know one thing: no longer do I have to see a fabulous piece of light somewhere and curse myself for not having a camera with me. Now when I see something I want to photograph I grab the G1x and do it. So for me it's more a case of capturing unplanned shots that shooting more.
    Having said that, the G1x is a good camera, fabulous IQ, but it isn't pocketable. I find myself carrying it around in a small case with a wrist strap, so I'm not sure it's the long term solution to my AWM needs. We'll see.
     
  12. I have an E-PL2 and it has a lot more P&S DNA than SLR in terms of control and handling. Depending on how much time you give yourself to get used to these cameras, and what sort of subjects you shoot, they may not be for you. Some people wind up ditching their DSLRs for small cameras or just keeping their DSLR for certain things, or send back the compact within 30 days.
    For me, I keep the DSLR's for shooting gigs where I need speed and flash. For all my personal shooting I use m4/3. Using m4/3 primes I generally get better IQ for A3+ prints than I do with my D7000. This is a classic, "it all depends". An E-PL2 with a kit lens is certainly capable of capturing files good enough for large prints, it there is enough light. It gets noisy past ISO800. The solution is to use fast glass. The Panasonic 20/1.7 and 14/2.5 would make for the kind of kit where you could keep one lens on the camera and the other in your pocket. If you had no problem shooting film, where fast film was ISO 400 and you used primes, then you'll probably like these cameras. If high ISO and slow zooms are your thing, then probably not so much.
     
  13. I don't have mirrorless ILC camera yet (still debating between the NEX-5N and G1X), but I have been using a Canon S100 that I got a couple of months ago. Since it truly is a pocketable camera, I find myself carrying it everywhere and using it more than my 7D. I truly love my 7D and it really feels good in the hand but for some reason the S100 seems to bring out the playful side of photography, and I find myself experimenting more and not being nearly so serious about the whole process. It leads to more spontaneity and fun, it seems. The fact that it's smaller than my phone and can literally slip into my pocket contributes greatly to this.
     
  14. In addition to a bunch of fairly inexpensive, conventional, small digital P&S cameras, the closest I have to a camera in this category is a Canon G12. I leave one of the small P&S's in the car as a quasi-disposable camera for "emergency" / unexpected photography. For serious / work photgraphy, one or both of my d700's + kit go out. However, for everything in-between, the G12 is the camera that most frequently goes with me. If the G12 was much larger, e.g., a real mirrorless camera, I know that I wouldn't use it as frequently.
    However, the G12 is not so large that I avoid carrying it, and, like some of the earlier responses, I find that it allows me to become "just another guy with a little camera". It has a bit of an old, clunky look that enhances the "old-fart-with-an-old-camera image" I sometimes want to project, and I find that when I use it at waist-level like an old TLR, I'm even less noticeable / threatening AND get a shooting angle that is hardly used any more by amateur shooters with non-articulated LCDs. It has definitely made me more playful and increased the number of (decent) shots I get.
    Tom M
     
  15. Speaking for myself...

    My cam (an iPhone) hasn't lead to more photography. It has though lead to much better photos, with
    greater impact.

    Why? Because it's always with me. Rather than planning to "going out to shoot," with my dSLR and
    looking for photos, I'm instead simply just out there soaking in and experiencing what's around me, not specifically looking for photos, always ready should an unusual situation or interesting subject come my way. A much better experience, leading to better and more interesting photos.
     
  16. I am an avid hiker, backpacker, xc skier, back country skier, ect., ect. I previously owned a Canon 20D and 50D with extra lenses. Needless to say the equipment was heavy and bulky for what I do. This past January I purchased a Sony NEX 5N and love it. It goes everywhere with me in a small case on my hip that does not get in my way. The larger equipment would be in my backpack or fannypack and by the time I got the camera out I would have missed the shot. I also find that the images straight from the camera to be of better quality!
     
  17. Some photographer said: "When asked what camera I use, I reply 'The heaviest one I can carry'."

    If an iphone is all you can carry while hiking, so be it. I can carrya G500
     
  18. I bought a Lumix GX1 so that I would use that more for street photography, small and light but with great image quality and it was every bit of that. I thought it would be less intrusive for street photography and thought that I would do more.
    Then I bought a Nikon D800 and haven't put it down, it's a great all rounder camera despite what some peoples think and read....it does everything for me, I have all the cool big 2.8 lenses but for my street photography I either use my 50/1.4 or the 85/1.4.
    As you can probably work out I am excited about the D800 and really, the GX1 as brilliant as it is, just sits in my bag. The less intrusive part made me take less shots, it felt like people were more conscious of me taking photos secretevly insted of having a big ass camera out.
    Oh well, I experienced mirrorless for a few months first
     

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