Switch to Mirrorless!

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by toniolombardi, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Hi Guys,
    I'm posting this here since I'm traditionally a Canon user but am considering making the switch to Mirrorless systems and I would like to see what the Canon guys have to say about it. Well I plan to keep most of my Canon equipment anyway for now.

    I mainly work with a 5DMKIII, 5DMKII and a few L zooms and non-L primes and I am reasonably happy with the system. The MKIII performs really well (even though it's shutter count is considerable) and I was actually planning on selling the MKII and getting a second MKIII. I also own a Fuji X100 which I simply love (especially after the firmware upgrade and much improved AF). Most of my work involves Journalistic Weddings, Portraiture and fashion. Basically, I mostly shoot people.

    After seeing the improvements in the AF system of the X100 after the firmware upgrade, I am seriously considering in investing in a mirror less body and a few lenses instead of investing in a new MKIII body. Especially for use in Weddings and general portraiture where i could have my assistant shoot the must haves with the MKIII while I can get creative with the Fuji. I am mostly looking at the Fuji X Pro1 or the X-E2 (which i tend to prefer since the way it works seems better than the X-Pro1 but it lacks the optical viewfinder which I'm afraid I will miss after looking through the lens for so long) and a few prime lenses such as the 35mm F1.4 and the 18mm F2 and eventually the 56mm F1.2 when it's available.

    How do you guys see this? Do any of you shoot weddings with a mirror less system? I mean I know the performance of the Fuji bodies is not as good as a decent SLR and I'm concerned it might not be up to scratch in demanding environments such as weddings. I have used the X100 during weddings quite a few times but I never had the guts to use it during critical moments yet.
    Unfortunately renting one of these machines is not an option for me in my country as the agent won't rent them out...

    Any thoughts welcome!

    My photo.net portfolio is long outdated unfortunately. for those interested to see what kind of pictures I shoot, please see my website

  2. Looking at your portfolio, I'm thinking you'll need to go full-frame. Doesn't Sony make a full-frame mirrorless? Sony's sensors are top of the heap and they're adding a lot of nice optics.
    I think that mirrorless could make sense in wedding photography, but you may be slightly premature. I think that you want full-frame and EVF and a good selection of lenses. With that, and a good system, you can probably meet all the challenges. Running a dual-format shoot may end up being a pain. If there's a way that you could rent a Sony or Fuji and give it a try, it'd be worth trying.
  3. The questions you should ask yourself is what does your Canon setup lack and what would you gain with a Fuji X system? I can only think of a few areas where mirrorless may be better - autofocus accuracy at wide apertures, manual focus ease, and weight/size. The electronic viewfinder can be a plus or a big minus, depending on your taste.
  4. I just got rid of a Sony NEX 5N mirrorless and lenses and EVF. I have done a number of weddings with Canon and Bronica film equipment. I do sports with Canon gear. I just found that, at least with the EVF I had, that I could not track swimming well with the mirrorless because it did not capture like your 5Diii does and that the EVF could did not work as well in bright light. I know things have improved since my Sony but from all I read the EVFs are not there yet. Look, however, at the Sony A7 and A7r. They are the new Sony full frame mirrorless entries. The 7 is about 1800 usd and the 7r is about 2200. The 7r is 38MP and the 7 is, I think, about 22. There are not many lenses for these cameras yet. They are Sony e-mount. I had Sony e-mount lenses but they were for crop and not full frame. They are usable on these new cameras but considerably cut down on the effective megapixels. You may want to look at and handle these cameras and check out the EVFs. I do not own a 5Diii but sure would like to. I am not sure I would be thrilled processing 38 Megapixel raw pictures in a 500 picture wedding and I have a fast computer. I think the first lens they have out for the new Sony's is in the wedding range of 24-70. I would go with these if you do large pictures and resolution is important to you. I found the Sony crop sensor in my NEX to be actually a bit better than the Canon sensor in my 7D. I just read reviews for Olympus mirrorless on DP. If I were in the market I would be looking at these. The ergonomics look far better than that of my NEX 5N. It appears from what I read in photonet that the mirrorless market, with the exception of Japan has flattened out somwhat. I read where the Canon M mirrorless is now selling for under 400 usd. I think the Canon adapter will allow you to use your Canon lenses with IS and AF.
  5. I've been shooting Olympus and Pansonic M43 for about 2.5 years, along with my 5D MKII and 6D. As much as I like wee mirror less cameras, I would never "switch" to them from EOS FF. Instead, they compliment one another and are used for different purposes. The main attraction of mirror-less has been size. I can carry my Lumix GX1/pancake or E-P3/pancake in my messenger 24/7, so it basically replaced my iPhone and S90. I'm not a fan of using LCDs or EVFs so I use a hotshot bright line OVF unless using a zoom. On the other hand, the main gotcha with mirror less is also size: even the larger ILC I find awkward to hold steady and press buttons due to such tiny grips and buttons. And battery life is the worse, so have a pocket full of spares if you plan shooting for more than an hour.
    But when I'm seriously about shooting, I greatly prefer both the RAW files, larger controls and grips and optical VFs of my EOS cameras.
  6. +1 Puppy Face
    You don't switch, you add. I've been using Sony APS mirror less and really like the stuff. For day-to-day shooting it's tops, I'll actually carry the tiny thing. But for "serious" stuff out comes the FF Canon's. The Canon is a very evolved system and the Sony's are still coming up the hill and are charging hard. Their full frame offerings look cool but I never buy brand new tech for myself anyway so for FF goodness I'm sticking with Canon for now, however they better get some competitive sensors and products soon or they will lose market share.
  7. My question about mirrorless is why? What would a mirrorless body give you? Presumably you're using full frame pro lenses with it, so size and weight aren't an issue. AF still isn't as good as a dedicated DSLR like the 5D MkIII and no EVF (if the MILC even has one) is as good as reflex viewing.
    Maybe a MILC for candids, but instead of a 5D MkIII. I just don't see it.
  8. My own feeling is that a good mirrorless system will work just fine for a wedding photog, particularly the OMD and Fuji X series. One thing is whether you feel you will be accepted as "a professional" with those cameras as opposed to the great hulking MkIIIs. You should be of course, but quite a few people in that business profess that having a "pro looking camera" is important to their image. Of course your results should speak for you whatever your kit.
    Certainly, in many ways, a 5D MKIII is overkill for such an application - a 6D/7D or 70D would be completely adequate in my book. I don't think you really need to worry about the Fuji not being up to "DSLR standard". A Canon FF would probably be a little better at ISO 1600 and up, but are you needing to shoot at this kind of ISO much? Most wedding photogs I know shoot with flash most of the time indoors anyway. Only you can answer this. Are weddings particularly "demanding" in the way you mean? It depends how much you need top of the line AF - any prints from weddings tend not to require particularly high pixel counts, for example. Another consideration is how good are the Fujis for elaborate flash systems?
  9. The "switch to mirrorless" mantra is a bit overdone for most photographers. For those who need what a full frame DSLR does, a mirrorless camera is enough of a different beast that it won't replace the FF DSLR, though it certain may augment it.
    I have been using the X-E1 since about the time it came out, along with a set of lenses including the 35mm f/1.4, 14mm f/2.8, 60mm f/2.4 macro, 18-55 and 55-200. The camera is very nice and combined with these lenses it can create photographs with quality equal to or surpassing other 1.5x cropped sensor DSLR systems. Despite a few heavy breathing reports, it does not equal, much less exceed, the performance of full frame DSLR systems.
    What I like most about the current mirrorless cameras - based on my Fujifilm X-E1 - are mostly related to the small size and weight. They are easy to pocket, great for travel, are unobtrusive enough that they may have less effect on your subject. There are downsides, too. The cameras are not as fast, especially when it comes to AF. The X-E1 (and, I believe the X-E2 and X-Pro1) take a bit longer to start up than a typical DSLR, even when the camera is only in sleep mode.
    As to your idea of working as a team where one photographer uses the smaller body, that could work. I suppose that one practical question might be whether you would really gain that much by the smaller camera size that it would compensate for the potential downsides of using two incompatible systems.
    For more information, you might be interested in a fairly extensive review I wrote of the X-E1 and the Fujifilm lenses, now augmented by some information about the X-E1 and the X-T1. Taking Stock of the Fujifilm X-E1, X-E2, X-T1 Mirrorless Cameras
  10. Size is the only serious benefit of mirrorless as far as I see it. Poor AF on moving subjects is the killer for me.
  11. It isn't the camera that makes the image anymore than it's the typewriter that makes the novel.
  12. It is if the typewriter is missing an "e"...
  13. while I can get creative with the Fuji​
    What is stopping you from being creative using your current gear?
  14. Good luck shooting outside in bright day light. Better get a LCD screen eye-shade view finder. I tried Live View shooting video with the 7D the other day, bright day and snow, no LCD eye-shade viewfinder. It was not good, I couldn't be sure if I was in focus or even if what I was shooting was in the frame.
  15. "It is if the typewriter is missing an "e"..."
    Why Bob, a kyboard nd not hav vry ky unlss th novl radr dosn't lik rading in cod.
  16. I viewed your website. Wow, outstanding work. If I were you I would NOT change anything you are doing and keep using the equipment you have.

    Mirrorless cameras are awesome for street photography and travel. For commercial, wedding, event, or fashion photography, a dSLR is still a MUST.
  17. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I also agree with Puppy Face.
    I recently bought an X100S and I find that it is a superior and useful piece of gear as an ADDITION to my Canon DSLR System for the Portrait Work that I do.
    I shot my last Wedding about year ago and I doubt I will go back to doing wedding work, but I do and always have shot mainly, only people.
    I seriously considered buying into the Fuji Interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras systems (also as an ADDITION TO my Canon DSLRs): but I concluded that doing so would NOT give me any more leverages than what I already have with a good quality DSLR System and simply adding an X100s.
    I found especially from the perspective of a Wedding and Portrait Photographer, that Lindsay Dobson’s comments were exceptionally useful to me when I was making my choices about mirrorless cameras. On her main web page she has a section “FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS” that has lots of information and she has made a few comments on threads here at Photonet, on this topic.
  18. Hi Tonio, I haven't had a chance to read all the replies you have had so far so apologies if I go over everything which has already been said. I know this may sound simplistic, but the key thing in choosing any system is to assess if it has the performance attributes you require. I am of course talking about elements other than IQ, because I think the IQ of today's modern mirrorless systems is not in question. So by performance I am talking about focus speed and accuracy, ruggedness, lens ecosystem etc.
    Your discussion does also appear to be centring around Fuji. I have used or owned many of the Fuji X system cameras and I would personally not consider them well-suited to wedding photography as a single system, due to autofocus failings in low light and general speed. Your keeper rate will not, in my opinion, be high enough to adequately and confidently cover you, no matter how carefully you apply good technique. This also can be a concern when subjects are moving, even fairly slowly. These caveats also apply to the new Sony A7 system, I am not at all impressed with its autofocus in anything other than good light. Nor can Manual focus save the day, given the speed with which one has to react at times. And of course the lens choices must be weighed up. But if your weddings take place in very good light that that does give you more options.
    I too love my original X100, but it has quite limited and fairly specific uses, alongside another system. In other words I would say that if you continue to undertake paid wedding photography then I think moving entirely over to Fuji would not be a good move. I also have the most recent firmware, and although it does improve things somewhat, it's not quite there yet.
    I do shoot almost entirely with a mirrorless system now (I still have my Canon full frame ensemble but don't seem to need it) but not Fuji. I demand speed and very good optics and thus far only one manufacturer appears to deliver on that front. However another thing to consider will be handling and ergonomics, not every system is well suited to every user. And as Dick has said, 38MP is ludicrous for weddings - we were managing beautifully not long ago on 10 MP and still creating big prints.
    I think you have summed it up well when you said you have not had the guts to use one of these things at critical moments - you have got to be able to use your equipment with absolute confidence. Of course what I say is simply my personal opinion and your feelings may be quite different, I think you will need to find a way to get the camera you're considering into your hands before making a commitment. I'm not saying they're not great for some things, it just depends on what and how you shoot. For example my X100 comes out when I need absolute silence and a very high X sync speed. But it is fairly useless when I need to work very quickly, or when I find myself in low light needing critical focus.
  19. It isn't the camera that makes the image​
    You're welcome to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me when I'm shooting superbikes or birds in flight - me with my 7D and you with some slow-focusing, clunky mirrorless - and see how long you stay wedded to that ridiculous, entirely unsupportable cliché, John...
  20. A couple people wrote:
    It isn't the camera that makes the image​
    You're welcome to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me when I'm shooting superbikes or birds in flight - me with my 7D and you with some slow-focusing, clunky mirrorless - and see how long you stay wedded to that ridiculous, entirely unsupportable cliché...​
    Maybe, just maybe, there is a grain of truth in both cliches? (And, yes, the second comment is also a frequently cited cliche, though the longer statement conceals it a bit.)
    Since the second writer has used the obvious point that using the right equipment for the task at hand is important and can have an effect on photographs, let me start there. If the first statement ("it isn't the camera that makes the image"), with its implication that good photographs come from the eyes and the heart and skill and not from equipment is not true, then we should be able to put the same equipment ("my 7D" for example) in the hands of both photographers and get equal results.
    But we don't.
    One of the frequent problems with photography forum "discussions" is that they lead to extreme positions that seem more designed for creating and extending the opportunities to argue with (or occasionally insult) the other parties to the discussion. When it comes to understanding and making effective photographs, that serves no one. In fact, it sometimes leads to a strange an obsessive focus on things other than photographs.
    Cameras do not make photographs in the sense of determining their power and effect. Yet there are reasonable choices to be made about tools and the answers will be different depending upon what the photographer is trying to do.
    Yes, the truth here lies in the boring middle zone.
  21. Hi All,
    Many thanks for your extensive replies! I'm overwhelmed! First of all, I agree with most of you when saying that a decent DSLR is needed for shooting in high speed /low light environments. And I will be keeping my DSLR setup, so the title is not really accurate.
    My idea about shooting with a mirror less camera is it is more inconspicuous than a huge and noisy DSLR. I don't really care about what other professionals say about my camera gear to be honest, when I shoot with the x100 people come up to me in awe to see what camera I'm using :) Apart from that a Mirrorless system would make a nice travel camera!
    Most of the weddings I shoot are in low light and I shoot with a journalistic approach. However I'm tired of shooting thousands of photos (and the eventual post production work) which you shoot with an SLR simply because it's so fast and accurate, and because you can. I've been trying to shoot less photos and concentrate more on important moments and emotions and simply wait for the right moment and I am thinking a mirror less system which is considerably slower would help me achieve that.
    Apart from that some of the film simulation settings on the FUJI are really nice and sometimes consider just shooting JPG with them in order to cut down on the post production and have the really nice camera feeling in the resulting image.
    I Also agree with Dan who in my opinion raises a very important point on the importance of balance between equipment and creativity. This has been in my arguments for years and while I agree that really good pictures have been made with a smartphone camera, when you are shooting in demanding environments, day-in day-out, you need equipment which is somewhat reliable and fast. Even if the cameras are just the tools which help you translate your vision into an image, you would never buy a pair of pliers to hammer a nail, would you? You would use it if you don't have a hammer but you would want to get a hammer the next day....
    Lindsay, I agree. The Megapixel race has gone way too far and I think manufacturers are starting to realise that they won't blind photographers (at least pro ones) with the MP "deity" any more. In my opinion the 5DMKIII's picture size is more than enough for what I do and even though I drool over Hassy's latest 50MP Medium format, that is the geek in me and I'm perfectly happy with 10-20MP. You said you wouldn't go for Fuji as you want speed and very good optics. I'm curious on what you're using if you don't mind sharing.
  22. it


    I would augment not switch.
  23. Poor AF on moving subjects is the killer for me.​
    I would say disappointing AF in general. Too many missed shots.
    The 5D3 has amazing autofocus. You'll miss it if you sell your Canon gear.
    My idea about shooting with a mirror less camera is it is more inconspicuous than a huge and noisy DSLR.​
    DSLRs don't seem "huge and noisy" to me.
    I don't really care about what other professionals say about my camera gear to be honest.​
    In that case, why post the question?
    when I shoot with the x100 people come up to me in awe to see what camera I'm using :)
    If you want to inspire awe, shoot with a cute little camera. If you need to get the shots that matter, particularly at a wedding or a sporting event, stick with proven DSLR technology. I would not be pleased with a photographer who missed key shots at my wedding because he preferred to use a stylish camera over an effective one.
  24. A number of places will let you in with a Fuji X-E2 or X-Pro1 or X100s type of camera while they won't with an SLR.
    Helps for you that the images the Fuji cameras put out are beautiful, sharp and clean.
    The size difference can give your shoulders and back a nice rest.
    If changing or supplementing helps you get out and enjoy the photography more - go for it.
  25. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    A number of places will let you in with a Fuji X-E2 or X-Pro1 or X100s type of camera while they won't with an SLR.​

    What wedding venues don't allow dSLRs?

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