Why go DSLR?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by jamie_robertson|2, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Not necessarily a Canon EOS question but, seeing as Canon EOS DSLRs are some of the most popular, can we have some input as to why many of you choose to shoot with a DSLR instead of a mirrorless system camera?
    Yes, you read that right. The opposite question is frequently asked in the mirrorless category (Why go Mirrorless?) etc so I want to hear why people would choose to shoot with a DSLR instead of a mirrorless camera.
    I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D MkII but I also use a little mirrorless Olympus E-PL5. I have my own thoughts and opinions on this but would like to hear others.
     
  2. I like to look through the lens.
     
  3. Among many reasons -
    larger sensors,
    less or no multiplication factor on old lenses,
    optical viewfinders.
    and not least, the dead hand of tradition......
     
  4. grh

    grh

    They're not even in the same class. The question makes about as much sense as "why don't you just use your smartphone?"
    Use the right tool for the job.
     
  5. There is nothing like seeing your image come alive through the pentaprism.
     
  6. Phase detect autofocus is incredibly fast. Large sensors perform very well in low light. DSLR lens selection is currently better than mirrorless.
    There are downsides to DSLR. The're heavy, large and loud.
     
  7. I enjoy people asking me if I work for National Geographic when I use a big rig.
     
  8. No reason to exclude one over the other. Enjoy them both. I carry a GX1 or E-P3 in my messenger bar 24/7. They replaced my point 'n shoot and iPhone for causal shooting. IQ whips my S90 and iPhone silly and nips at the heels of my 7D. Their main advantage over my 7D/5D2 is being small and light I don't mind carrying them even if I probably won't use them.
    On the other hand, mirrorless are difficult to hold steady, controls are tiny and difficult to use and the EVF/LCD are a PITA. So, for my serious photography--travel, landscape & macro--I always reach for one of my DSLRs. Not just because IQ is better, but because they are much faster and easier to use: large, easy to feel controls, large VF without smear or jerk and no problem holding steady. And no fun balancing a large telephoto on a mirrorless or trying to operate buttons my feel while looking through the EVF.
     
  9. When I'm shooting on the street my dSLR puts people on notice I'm on duty.
     
  10. I'll use whatever works - and for me, that isn't (yet) mirrorless.
     
  11. zml

    zml

    DSLR/SLR systems are, ahem, systems, with lots of optics, accessories, support, repair and rental network, etc. which can't be said about non-system cameras. That alone is enough for many people to choose DSLR/SLR, esp. if they make money with their equipment.
    Then there is the viewfinder... I am a true "thru-the-lens" person and simply can't get used to optical or electronic viewfinders, period. (Yep, I did try many times...) I can shoot TLR, large format rigs and SLR/DSLR of any format only if I have TTL (or sort of TTL, like in a TLR camera) viewing. There is something iffy in non-TTL optical finders and no electronic TTL/off the sensor viewfinder can hold a candle to a true optical (glass pentaprism based) TTL VF. EVF does have some merits (say, bright image in low-light situation) but one can't really tell what the image will really look like.
    I do have the Oly OM-D but, despite its high image quality, it is my snapshot camera, because I am not comfortable with its VF (among other things.) I do have a film rangefinder but I don't use if often, only when the "hipster" mood strikes me :) because I hate its VF (yep, it is a Leica M...)
     
  12. For me: Mostly the optical viewfinder. I can't stand LCD lag, no matter how short. I miss too many good moments that way. Yes, I know an EVF can be "fast," but it can't be as fast as the speed of light. And say what you will about an EVF, but it's never as nice as a good optical finder.
    Otherwise, large sensor, large lens selection, versatility and compatibility, comfortable feel. Above all, I'm just comfortable with it. There's no need to ditch a great tool that's comfortable and familiar to use!
    Sometimes I do carry a compact (G11), but it's never the camera I pull out for serious photography. Sure, I'll take snapshots with it, and I'll even take the occasional serious shot if I have no other camera in my hands, but it's just not the same. Not by a long shot.
     
  13. 1. Optical viewfinder 2. Already have bodies and lenses. 3. Hate to change systems.
     
  14. I tested a no mirror camera and I was impressed by some of the features. But it was disappointing in some ways. The autofocus was
    particularly unreliable. Lens selection was limited. IQ and ISO were respectable, but they can't compete with full frame DSLRs. No
    complex off camera flash functionality available.
     
  15. Middle aged women dig guys with DSLR's.
     
  16. Large sensor, no AF latency, large selection of lenses from fisheye to super-telephoto.
     
  17. Dslrs are better at
    1. tracking AF,
    2. fast action sports,
    3. extreme lowlight work,
    4. screaming pro shooter here
    5. and maybe flash utilities...
    Everything else is either opinion (preference) oriented, neglectable enough or simply diehard tradition POV. And screaming pro shooter isn't always an advantage. Same with flash work, mirrorless/evf are better suited with LED, and not flash based lighting...
     
  18. ...An interesting follow-up question is "How many of these problems will still exist for mirrorless cameras in 5 years, in 10 years?"
    I think it's safe to assume the lens systems will expand and improve. As some pros switch to mirrorless, the cameras will get larger and have better interfaces and more buttons. As sensors improve and faster lenses become available their low-light performance will become good enough for most applications.
    They'll never have optical viewfinders, though EVF quality could improve so much it hardly matters.
    Without inserting optics between the lens and sensor, I'm not sure how they will ever match the AF speed of a DSLR. Though who knows what might be invented.
     
  19. Again, there are so many lacking in mirrorless knowledge here...
     
  20. ...My bad, why do I even bother:)
     
  21. Was my post that awful? Report it and perhaps the mods will ban me for it :)
     
  22. Alan, for example, some mirrorless cameras already AF faster than some dslr. Mirrorless are slower when they come to either tracking or extreme lowlight only. My sony p&s (RX100) focuses (and shutter lag) faster than my d200 (and most other dslrs) in most lighting condition...
     
  23. I'll have to take your word for that.
    I played with a friend's micro four-thirds a few weeks ago at a party. It was interior light. My 5D3 and 70-200/2.8 had no difficulty focusing. The mirrorless was struggling with some shots. Faces in profile, for example, completely defeated it. With other shots it was pretty good. With front views of faces it did very well. It was interesting for how much the performance varied based on the subject.
    It was definitely not faster than the 5D3. In better light it might have been close.
     
  24. Well, true, most mirrorless suck in lowlight, Alan. I'm not arguing that. I said some...And you are comparing a 5d3 with a 70-200 f2.8 lens (6k maybe?) Are you being unfair, just a little?
     
  25. Here's the figures for a 2k Canon 6d and the $600 RX100's figures...
    Look at single point AF at wideangle. 6d: 0.290 || RX100: 0.153
    Prefocus lag. 6d: 0.059 || RX100: 0.013
     
  26. Leslie, prefocusing the camera eliminates the focus lag. Premetering or shooting in manual eliminates the metering lag. Shutter lag on any good camera is pretty short. There's probably very little difference between a dSLR and a mirrorless camera in this respect. However, there is still (and forever will be) an EVF lag. Whatever you see in an EVF is already history. You can try to capture it, but that's a sucker's game. The best you can do is to try to anticipate the moment by tripping the shutter a fraction of a second ahead of the mark. But I'm not good at that.
    Could an EVF be faster? Sure. However, "fast" and "high resolution" don't easily come together. If I had an EVF as fast and as sharp/high-res as my computer monitor, I'd still want an optical viewfinder, because it's even higher res and faster.
     
  27. However, there is still (and forever will be) an EVF lag.​
    Sarah, EVF lag is neglectable in most situations unless you are dealing with fast action sport. I have used more p&s than you, no? I do mostly street photography. And Canon p&s are the worst of the bunch in AF/shutter lag. Really, Sarah, what modern p&s have you used extensively?
    And OVF is your preference (opinion), I'm not going to argue that...
     
  28. You're absolutely right, Leslie. None of us are up to date on the latest in mirror-less systems. The real question for this group is: "Why might we care?"

    Do the mirrorless systems:
    • support TS-E? I have $2500 invested in tilt-shift lenses.
    • have remote flash setup menus on camera? I have $1500 invested in Canon ETTL flashes.
    • make good use of my L- series lenses? I'll spare us both a full accounting...
    • have good basic exposure control on my thumb and finger wheels?
    • have easy control and selection for ISO, focus, exposure compensation, shot count/rate,... without taking the camera from the eye?
    • really, really compare favorably on exposure lag?
    • have a bright enough view screen to use in daylight?
    How compelling is a mirror-less system, next to my usefully full DSLR gear bag?
     
  29. G12 numbers: single area focus: 0.656 || prefocus: 0.076
    RX100: 0.0153 and 0.013
    The sony is 4X as fast and ~6x as fast respectively. Ever wonder why Canon p&shooters moan about their slow p&s?
     
  30. "Why might we care?"​
    Exactly, you don't care therefore you don't know...just like most Americans (and also Mainland Chinese) and worldly events...ignorance is bliss, right?
     
  31. LOL, I must admit I created this thread as a bit of a joke. I am so sick of seeing threads along the lines of "why use mirrorless?" in the mirrorless cameras category. You don't often see "Why use a rangefinder?" or "Why use a TLR" in their respective categories. I simply thought I would turn the tables and ask the reverse question about DSLRs.
    I am a big DSLR fan, mirrorless is just a plaything for me at the moment. However, a few of your comments made me chuckle:
    They're not even in the same class. The question makes about as much sense as "why don't you just use your smartphone?"​
    Due to my kind nature, I am not even going to respond to that ;-)
    EVF does have some merits (say, bright image in low-light situation) but one can't really tell what the image will really look like.​
    You can tell what your image will really look like using your DSLR mirrorbox?
    Do the mirrorless systems:
    • make good use of my L- series lenses? I'll spare us both a full accounting...
    • have good basic exposure control on my thumb and finger wheels?
    LOL, the mirrorless systems make no more use of your Canon L lenses than your Canon DSLR body makes of the mirrorless system lenses. Actually, that's not strictly true. You can use your Canon L lenses on the Canon EOS M cameras and you can mount them and use them on other mirrorless system cameras too (manual focus only).
    My Oly E-P3 and E-PL5 have decent exposure compensation controls on their respective thumbwheels but not as nice and easy as on my EOS DSLR cameras though.
     
  32. Sarah, I realize I do sound a bit harsh often when it comes to the topic of mirrorless cameras...my apologies. But really, try a premium Sony or Panasonic p&s. Some second rate sony p&s is quicker than the often recommended Canon S100...No joke!
     
  33. Leslie, I actually thought you might have something to add, some insight help us understand why we might care. I perfectly well understand if you don't have an answer. A casual observer would think, probably correctly judging from your later responses, that mirror-less was never intended to do the job of a DSLR. Let's be very clear, though, about which of us is doing the trolling and time-wasting.
     
  34. The only thing that could make this thread better would be for someone (me, for example) to somehow work in film vs. digital.
     
  35. Michael Young, read Jamie R's post if you haven't. Your post is just too silly...And, just for the record, I don't care if you don't care...
     
  36. Exactly, you don't care therefore you don't know...​
    Except, you seem to know it all, and haven't yet pointed out why the people who aren't interested should be. You're full of scorn, but never any new information. Why? Because there isn't any new information. Saying, "go try it" to people who are pointing out why they use DSLRs (and who are giving you very specific reasons for doing so) isn't actually being in any way enlightening.
     
  37. Barry:
    The only thing that could make this thread better would be for someone (me, for example) to somehow work in film vs. digital.​
    Mirrorless cameras (except Leicas) aren't system-compatible with any film cameras. By shooting Nikon DSLRs, I can pull out my F100 when the mood strikes and shoot clearly superior film that (etc. etc.) better than a digital sensor and Rodinal!
    (Okay, to me full compatibility between my F100 and D800 kits is an actual advantage, but not such a huge one that I'd call it a compelling reason.)
     
  38. Wow.
    For what it's worth, Leslie, I find your comments interesting and pertinent and I've learned more about mirrorless here...
    When you wrote,
    ...why do I even bother:)
    I wondered what you meant. But now I kinda see your point.
     
  39. Except, you seem to know it all, and haven't yet pointed out why the people who aren't interested should be. You're full of scorn,​
    Yeah, Matt, I'm scornful blah blah. What, mad about my insult earlier? You think I care what you shoot with? Or, why you (or anyone else) oughta get a mirrorless? I don't. I actually think you should take a trip to India, really. That will do you more good:)))
     
  40. I wondered what you meant. But now I kinda see your point.​
    You are right, Alan. I should of stayed away...Have a good one!
     
  41. Andy L:
    Mirrorless cameras (except Leicas) aren't system-compatible with any film cameras. By shooting Nikon DSLRs, I can pull out my F100 when the mood strikes and shoot clearly superior film that (etc. etc.) better than a digital sensor and Rodinal!​
    Good one! Actually, come to think of it, view cameras are mirrorless, too.
     
  42. For many non photographers - SLR is seen as the benchmark and they use a kit lens :) I know people who gift a father's day gift.
    For me, b/c mirrorless can be expensive compared to a dSLR. dSLR you can also get older lenses. Optical viewfinder and also a larger selection of lenses to choose. I also still shoot film too. To keep the size down for SLRs - a lil prime lens and a consumer body. But having said that - if I tried a mirrorless system and I could take the lens expenditure maybe I would be happy with a mirrorless system. I do like to shoot larger format film like 120 so instead of the Nikon dSLR I could use a mirrorless and the dSLR and 120 don't share lenses anyway ..... when simplified down they are so much more portable. I saw an American couple in Tokyo recently on travel and we chatted about photography lol and that's what he carried and he left his dSLR back home, we also chatted about medium format :)) He just had a single prime lens on his Olie M4/3 and a fisheye in his pocket.
     
  43. Good one! Actually, come to think of it, view cameras[​IMG] are mirrorless, too.​
    I do agree with you that a view camera, rangefinder camera like the Leica M series, Mamiya 7 medium format, the Canonet cameras are all mirrorless. However, I don't think when people think of mirrorless that's what they are thinking of. I believe when they say mirrorless they meant the camera provide an EVF or LCD screen that showing the image thru the lens and yet no mirror is use. I think when they call it mirrorless they meant "thru the lens viewing without the use of a mirror"
     
  44. No, I'm not mad Leslie - I'm looking for actual new information. Something that explains your weariness and disdain with us people who don't get it. Please! Get into the details. It seems like the best way to prove that it isn't just you being cranky is to explain what it is that all of us old fashioned optical people are so wrong about. You know, actual details. Not just a nag to "go try it."

    You've got several people pointing out detailed points of interest, above, about which you seem to agree/understand ... and then you make a point of saying we don't care. Which is it?
     
  45. However, I don't think when people think of mirrorless that's what they are thinking of.​
    Quite so. My only personal experience with mirrorless cameras was when my 5D classic converted itself into one during a photo shoot a couple years back. I found it very unsatisfactory, and have stuck to DSLRs ever since.
     
  46. I started the most recent, " Why Mirrorless ? " thread so you can all blame me. :(
    I think the two reasons I shoot a DSLR/SLR are the two things that make mirrorless so different.
    1) Size. Mirrorless is all about being smaller and lighter. I have zero issues with the size and weight of my current cameras. In fact, I found my D7000 too small, when I first got it, Going to something with the same lenses and at least 30% smaller than my "small" DSLR has no appeal to me. Buttons and controls get smaller too, because there is less space to put them. If I want something small, I want it small enough to not need a bag and a collection of lenses, to be honest.
    2) Viewfinder. I want a good one. Only the top end Mirrorless cameras have an EVF. On the plus side for EVFs it's like a constant live view. What you see is what you get as you change the camera settings. I'm just not sure I want to look through a video camera screen all the time.
    I'll add another item...
    3) Value. A good mirrorless camera will set you back $1000. At that price, I don't think it can beat a DSLR kit for performance on many levels. I haven't done enough research on dynamic range, low noise levels at various ISO settings, etc. Add to that, if I want to use the smaller lenses that go with most of these cameras, the cost isn't insignificant. Some seem rather expensive for what you get.
    I guess, in a nutshell, at this time.... the mirrorless camera strives to fix problems that I don't have. That being said, I am still trying to find a place for it in the camera spectrum. Who would it be a good choice for ? Where does it do a great job and where does it stumble ? What does it fix that a camera with a mirror doesn't do a good job of ?
     
  47. John, it sounds like you're an obvious candidate to be a DSLR buyer. But I still disagree with you about prices: a mirrorless can be less expensive than its DSLR competition. (Where "mirrorless" includes only interchangeable lens system cameras.) For example: Adorama has new Olympus and Nikon 1 kits (with zoom lenses) starting at $299 and the lowest price for a new DSLR kit is $429. That's on the low end. Or if you want something higher spec, a Fuji X-E1 kit is $1199. You can't get anything new at that level in a DSLR for that money.
     
  48. So far my main mirrorless camera (not counting my often-used iPhone 5's camera) is, of all things, a GoPro 3. So, despite having tried several of the more traditionally "usable" new mirrorless (interchangeable lens) bodies, I simply haven't found one yet that solves the problems that would have me buy one. So that means I'm sticking with oddball stuff for now.

    I have been impressed, watching guys like Lex Jenkins squeeze some really likable work out of Nikon's V1. But it hasn't fit into my world, yet. I like the idea of a mirrorless body that can leverage the rest of my Nikon-ish goodies, but nothing rises to the level yet. Unless Leslie is keeping something back!
     
  49. I don't have neither a DSLR nor a Mirrorless digital interchangeble lens camera. If I were to get one it won't be the mirrorless because I can't manually focus with it. Trying to manually focus while looking at only a small portion of the frame is no way I can do it. I wouldn't like any camera (I would use if I have no choice) that I can't control everything manually.
     
  50. Inertia, mostly.
    We have gotten used to the high state of the art DSLR mirror pentaprism models and have our head screwed on to that model which is still a great one, had years to become improved. They still do a superb job, having been around for as long as I can remember. In my long ago youth there was the Kine Exacta and one or two others....
    Canon you know took off back in the dark ages too, about 1971 with a full F-1 system and a full system of FD w some wonderful aspheric lenses and all the trimmings. And the aftermarket followed Canon and Nikon as well.
    About that time, my upscale rabid photo shooter friend Nikon Bob sniffs a little " Why in heavens name , you bought a Canon for? You are throwing your hat in with a newcomer in the professional grade cameras, there is nothing like an FTN and a Nikkor lens..."
    Deja vu and kind of funny in a way in spirit of Jamie's OP. So there is some-we need entertainment now more than ever- sporting value in such ongoing little tiffs and they have educative value of a sort, where we all have a money stake, and face need to buy anything new and unproven in the big sense unproven.
    Is a mirrorless model "professional "enough? Even,forgive the thought, Good Enough? ....
    My avid photographer friend whom I admired, a real hero to me, Bob, if still with us, might pose it this way"
    " Why, (John et al) you of the Skeptical Mindset, do you want to throw in your hat to a camera style without even a prism and a mirror a tried well perfected system you know and love and are used to as well. Get with it pal. See what the lens sees and the photons reveal not the electronic mini TV screen" or " You might as well be buying a Leica or a Fuji and be done with it, so be a rangefinder person, and they get plenty of respect. No one questions the rangefinder model design" ..
    Mirrorless ,shhh, rumor has it are mostly favored by you know the photo hoi polloi crowd:)
    00bjGB-540719884.jpg
     
  51. I can use my dslr in live view like a mirrorless. Can you use a mirrorless like a dslr?
     
  52. "Or if you want something higher spec, a Fuji X-E1 kit is $1199. You can't get anything new at that level in a DSLR for that money."
    How about this ?
    http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-DX-Format-Digital-18-105mm-3-5-5-6/dp/B0042X9LCO/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370922129&sr=8-1&keywords=nikon+d7000+kit
     
  53. That lens is not on the level of the Fuji. You'd need an f/2.8 zoom for the D7000.
     
  54. The Fuji zoom is not a constant f2.8 either. It's a f2.8-4.0 I could add a 50mm f1.8 and still be under your price.
     
  55. What I mean is that the Fuji zoom is much better than any of the Nikon zooms that are not the 2.8. You can look it up.
     
  56. John, you started a thread in another forum to ask about why one would want a mirrorless camera, then would not accept any of the answers and instead repeated your reasons for not wanting one, which included them being more expensive. I pointed out there that that's not true, and you keep saying it. WTH do you want to find out?
     
  57. I grew up on film SLRs and although I have a G10 and have used a mirrorless camera for a short time, nothing beats being able to look through the viewfinder.
    For my commercial applications, I don't think many clients would be that happy to see me pull out the G10 if they are paying for portraits and I know I wouldn't stand a chance if I tried shooting equestrian sport with anything other than the best dSLR I could afford.
    In terms of hobby shooting, the G10 is handy to keep in my pocket and produces some nice work, but I've now gone back to shooting film as hobby photography (or "personal projects" as they are called on my web site). I think all down to looking through optics and not at a screen.
    My 2p.
     
  58. These threads would be really useful IF they would just list the strong points and weak points of each system, rather than personal opinions driven by personal needs. Mainly because we all have different needs.... so just a few bullet-lists with pros/cons would do. All the bickering about what person A likes better and what person B finds unacceptably large and heavy.... it's just opinions, people, not facts.
    Plus, why can't we just be happy to have a choice? Why do some feel a fanboy-istic need to defend their choice of camera? Get the tool that works for you, shoot. Let's talk photos, rather than what you used to shoot them with. It's endlessly more interesting.
     
  59. It used to be that you had to shoot with a DSLR to get the image quality or speed you want. Thats changing. And quickly. In the $500-1500 market we are seeing some great technology and certainly the best of the mirrorless cameras rivals the mid range DSLR's.
    I spent half my career hauling around heavy film cameras like the F3 and F4. Now the job can be done much easier, but professionals are resisting the move to smaller cameras. I'm not sure why. maybe its a right of passage to carry a couple of D3's.
    One group, the paps, are changing. They need reach and light weight. The money goes in the glass. Jamie Fawcett uses Canon 40D's. He can afford whatever he wants, but he sticks with this body because he knows its capability and says it produces the nicest jpegs requiring minimal post processing. He can crop and send off in the minimum timeframe.
    Its the same with the Nikon D90 and D300...These bodies are great cameras and are now fetching only $4-500. This makes it practical to own 2-3 depending on your requirements as a pro.
     
  60. All cams are great. They take photos.
    DSLR Just bigger and badder ...and well....get the photo.
    Of course you can sneak around with the others....
    But why sneak...you are a Photographer be proud. Nothing to hide.
     
  61. I don't think it's about resistance to change, but simply that human hands are of certain size, and if anything they've probably been growing over the centuries (as humans have become taller). I find the shape of the D3X / D4 type cameras most ergonomic and reasonably symmetrical in operation between horizontal and vertical formats, whereas when using a camera body without vertical grip, I have to lift my right hand up to shoot verticals and the body weight is hanging from this strange crane like thing, essentially forcing all the weight to be on the left hand (since the right hand cannot sustain the weight of a body + heavy lens indefinitely in this orientation). Now, if I have a vertical grip I can have both of my elbows against my chest and the weight is mostly on my body and only a little bit on my hands, and symmetrically between the two hands, irrespective of whether I'm shooting vertical or horizontal images. I find this a good thing, which is why, given a chance, I will often pick an integral vertical grip camera over a smaller camera when I intend to shoot a lot of vertical orientation images.
    I have one modern mirrorless camera, though it is not with interchangeable lenses, the Fuji X100s (with an APS-C size sensor and 23mm f/2 lens). I find its autofocus to be fast and reasonably secure on static subjects, though the number of focus steps is surprisingly small and I'm a little suspicious that peak sharpness might be compromised because of it in some situations. It cannot really be used to track an approaching subject, which is where the limits of mirrorless cameras today seem to set in. There are cameras with even smaller sensors that give substantially less high quality images e.g. Nikon 1 series (2.7x crop) that can autofocus track approaching subjects but this seems to be a feat owing to the very deep depth of field offered; when a fast lens (e.g. 85/1.4) is mounted on an adapter the AF system fails to impress any more. I find this kind of limitations (cannot track focus using extremely thin depth of field) on a small camera acceptable e.g. if it is to be used for specific subjects, e.g. to shoot a quiet event with static subjects in a church etc. to minimize the sound of the camera, but there's no way I'd want to use such a camera as primary camera. Subject tracking with DSLRs is everyday stuff now, and I don't want to give it up. If the cameras that can do tracking and shallow depth of field (i.e. 200/2, 85/1.4) are large, I accept that; my fingers are long and they're not getting any shorter, and a comfortable sized camera is best so that the camera doesn't get lost in the palm of my hand and my fingers don't accidentally obstruct the viewfinder or main lens.
    By the way although I like the X100s, and find its image quality good, it's not even near D800 image quality, and the print doesn't have to be large to see it. I think small cameras have their place, but I find the X100s a little too small if anything; I bought it for discrete documentation of people and events in situations where my DSLRs are too loud and the sound from the mirror echoes through the space. However I would prefer it to be full frame so the image quality would be a closer match to the D800. I cannot however justify the cost of an RX1 or Leica M for this specific purpose, at least not now. In most cases the presence of the photographer is a far greater distraction than the sound of the camera, and the size of the camera is almost not an issue at all (prime lens + DSLR is small enough already). Photographing classical music can be one instance where the sound from the camera can cause issues but in many cases these situations also require extremely good low light performance from the camera and fast lenses, which mostly are available for DSLRs, so it's a bit of a paradox (again Leica M is an exception, but it is very, very expensive and not as quiet as e.g. the X100s with its central shutter). I find the best solution is perhaps to take photographs either between pieces, or when the music is loud enough that the camera is not a problem.
    I just spent the weekend in Stockholm and carried a backpack with approximately 7kg of photo equipment in it. Yes, walking the streets with this amount of gear does get a little tiring but mostly it's the lack of practice that is the issue, not so much the gear. I'd do whatever it takes to get the shot that I want, and if heavier equipment means greater percentage of success, or a unique look to the image, then I am happy to carry it within the limitations of my carrying capacity. On other days I can just walk and shoot with a DSLR and a single prime lens, and that is also effective, in a different way. I think it is great that there are so many options, and everyone can find what best suits their method of photography. I think it is unfortunate that so many people express such strong opinions against other approaches that make other people happy and yield results that they find good. It's as if a lot of people felt that only their own approach is really valid and other approaches should not be allowed or that their practitioners have some problem with their logic.
    I happen to like optical viewfinders, especially prism-based DSLR viewfinders, also the optical viewfinders of some mirrorless cameras such as the Fuji X100s, and the Leica M series cameras. EVFs offer some advantages such as more precise framing information, and new kinds of focus aids for manual focusing, but I don't like viewing the EVF image particularly, and I find the variable delay distracting, and it makes it more difficult to time shots of moving subjects. E.g. in the Nikon 1, when tracking an approaching skater with the 30-100mm tele, I found that it was impossible for me to get shots where the subject was still fully in the frame when the actual shot happened, as the electronic image was so far delayed that the skater had half exited the frame even though the camera itself is very fast. I cannot imagine ever paying a substantial amount of money for a camera which doesn't give a real image view of the subject without distractions. I can accept a hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder, in fact I find such solutions quite elegant.
     
  62. In the real wold, if it is really important....
    No second chances.
    We all know what we will use.
     
  63. Mirror or not, it's got to have some sort of proper viewfinder. I can't hold any camera as stable at arm's length as I can
    when it's close to my body.
     
  64. To the OP:
    (1) The introspective appraisal of what you see on a prism as opposed to a direct view and the ability to preview the result (if you use the DOF lever...);
    (2) Versatility - can be used easily with a variety of lens focal lengths not so easily accomplished by mirrorless bodies;
    (3) An older and proven (or "accepted") technology;
    (4) Its redefinition of what a "real" camera is (after the successive TLR and Leica RF periods that defined the camera before SLR);
    (5) "Size" vanity of the photographer.
    (6) Success of Nikon and Canon ads in popular media, and omnipresent news/magazine photographer use
     
  65. Sarah, EVF lag is neglectable in most situations unless you are dealing with fast action sport. I have used more p&s than you, no? I do mostly street photography. And Canon p&s are the worst of the bunch in AF/shutter lag. Really, Sarah, what modern p&s have you used extensively?​
    Leslie, I understand you are trying to back out from this discussion, but I'll just answer your questions:
    I assume you've probably used more P&S than I have. My current P&S is a Canon G11, which you say (and I accept) might have more EVF lag than a Sony. Still, I can tell you I use the G11's crappy little OVF, not the ordinarily better EVF, when I'm shooting action or anything in bright light. I also often use the EVF capabilities of my DSLR cameras (liveview), but only if I'm not shooting action. I've also had occasion to use all variety of EVF cameras when asked to take a picture for someone with their camera (which happens quite a lot). I've never seen an EVF I've really liked, mostly because of resolution and lag. However, most shots I'm asked by others to take (usually poses in front of something) are not fleeting in nature.
    Note here that "action" doesn't mean race cars or Olympic athletes. Action can simply mean catching that fleeting expression on a subject's face or that quick moment that the mama bird passes off a piece of meat to the baby -- anything that requires precise timing. In my experience, with my level of coordination and my speed of reflexes -- my ability to anticipate shots that might be anticipated -- I can catch those moments with an OVF and usually not with an EVF. (I have extremely fast reflexes, BTW.) It's not attributable to any other lag than the EVF lag, because I expose manually, seldom use flash (and then only manual), and prefocus.
    Finally, you say that a P&S is fine in MOST situations, and I can respect that. However, I would have to say that I prefer a DSLR because it is fine in ALMOST ALL situations. It is a better generalist camera. But I do have the G11 for situations where it is better:
    • extreme macro
    • compactness
    • silent operation
    • very high flash sync speed (1/2000)
    My DSLR cameras get easily 90% of the use, but the G11 is a good choice for that remaining 10%. I have both for a reason. If I had to give up one or the other, I'd give up the G11, even if you offered me the fastest/best P&S/mirrorless instead. That's because maybe 1/4 of what I do with the DSLR can't be done with the P&S, and maybe 1/4 of what I do with the P&S can't be done with the DSLR. I'd rather lose out on 1/4 of the 10% than 1/4 of the 90%.
     
  66. 'Coz I own a DSLR and related bits, and its all paid for!
     
  67. No, it will be a long time before we get that list of pros and cons, Wouter, because it is not like comparable or even close to reviewing an auto for its gas mileage, braking distance and so on. Sure we can try, but it would fill a book or two...
    Mainly I would argue because with digital cameras the metrics themselves are not that straightforward and we are dealing with a moving set of metrics. Just,for instance, as we have thrown the megapixel metric business overboard (even as so many absolutely refuse to give up on that one because it feels like it must be important)
    Iilka, your human hands and ergonomics discussion is interesting because I kind of agree. That one triips us up however. We got to add the caloric price of human carrying capacity for a long journey or a day's work or air travel limits or that kind of stuff.
    Then there is always the must fit in a pocket for impromptu shooting argument which is vital to some and trivial to me personally.
    And a whole lot of same and on and on but the discussion is going to continue as it probably does in the engineering department of the manufacturers as we speak... The visual lag part is going to be real and relevant, at least for a while, but I am betting that will be solved soon, just as the microsecond shutter lag thing in DSLRs got solved ten years ago. Computing power will win out, no limit to that power.
    A link that relates to the psychology part. Using small mirrorless in a money making professional environment, one person's take on that aspect:
    http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com/how-to-overcome-fears-using-micro-43rds-cameras-in-a-professional-environment/
     
  68. No reason other than price. Already have an E-410 bought in 2009, can't afford OM-D body or I'd have one, I'd like it because, with adapters, could fit my ancient Pen F lenses (the Pen F is a 35mm half-frame SLR designed by Maitani and introduced in 1963). In fact with adapters you can fit a huge range of weird and exotic lenses to the M4:3 mount.
     
  69. Why DSLR? Because I invested in a system 8 years ago, and its still working with occasional upgrades and add-ons. I've no reason to consider starting over. Call it inertia, or call it common sense - after all, its still working.
     
  70. Andy,
    "John, you started a thread in another forum[​IMG] to ask about why one would want a mirrorless camera, then would not accept any of the answers and instead repeated your reasons for not wanting one, which included them being more expensive. I pointed out there that that's not true, and you keep saying it. WTH do you want to find out?"
    There is a big difference between " would not accept any of the answers " and not AGREEING with the responses. Here is an example:
    Isn't it great, they are all SMALLER than a DSLR !
    No, that's not always great. In fact in for some people, it's a negative. I find the grip on my D7000 less comfortable to hold than the grip on my older F4. The grips on all the even smaller mirrorless bodies would fit my hand even worse than my D7000.
    Here is another example:
    The Mirrorless cameras don't cost more than DSLRs, like you are proposing.
    Your example was the Fuji XE-1 with lens for $1200. I countered with the D7000 with lens. You say that Sony lens is better than ANY Nikon lens that is slower than a FIXED f2.8 lens. Even letting that statement go , I could easily put a less costly DSLR body, say a D3200 on the table and put a more costly lens on it and beat your price and equal the lens quality. The X-Mount lenses are selling for $500 - $900. The 60mm f2.4 is $650. That seems quite a LOT for a 60mm f2.4, in my mind. So, I don't agree that a comparable mirrorless camera kit costs less than a DSLR kit.
    Perhaps a 3rd example ?
    The EVF is better than an optical one, like some are suggesting, because of the WYSIWYG feature.
    For some types of shooting, that may be, but based on what I've read in this thread, that does not seem to be the universal response. Some don't like it for a few reasons. So, should I accept these answers I have been given as reasons to buy a mirrorless camera, or may I choose to disagree with them ?
     
  71. John, you don't have to accept the answers as reasons you should buy a mirrorless camera. You should accept them as reasons some other people would buy mirrorless cameras. Some people want small cameras with small high quality lenses and EVFs. You don't. Difference of opinion.
    None of this matters to me, except in the context that I'm trying to supply you information that you asked for, because that's something that people do on a forum. For example, that sometimes cost can be a factor in favor of buying a mirrorless, "sometimes" being a key word, and provided two examples. Do you want that information, or do you want to argue with people?
     
  72. Sarah, just for you:)
    My current P&S is a Canon G11, which you say (and I accept) might have more EVF lag than a Sony.​
    I never said anything about EVF lag, I said AF and shutter lag. The sony RX100 I have isn't just faster, it is ***much (see data below)*** faster (than the G11/12) according to my source. The Canon may very well has a slower LCD refresh rate but I don't have any substantial fact if they are or not.
    I've also had occasion to use all variety of EVF cameras when asked to take a picture for someone with their camera (which happens quite a lot).​
    Most p&s are indeed slower, especially if they are of older generations. What specific brand/models were they? We have to be specific here because they vary all over the place. Again, 98.9% of them are indeed slower with regard to AF and lag, especially Canon p&s. But some are indeed quick...
    I've never seen an EVF I've really liked, mostly because of resolution and lag.​
    Again, I don't argue preferences/opinion. You are welcome to like RF viewing, OVF or, say, scale focusing.
    In my experience, with my level of coordination and my speed of reflexes -- my ability to anticipate shots that might be anticipated -- I can catch those moments with an OVF and usually not with an EVF. (I have extremely fast reflexes, BTW.) It's not attributable to any other lag than the EVF lag, because I expose manually, seldom use flash (and then only manual), and prefocus.​
    Manual focusing is slower than pre-focus in general. Many people use mirrorless and p&s cameras for street photography and are successful, I'm not sure why you are not and won't speculate Again, my compacts AF/shutter lag is quicker or very similar to my dslr concerning AF/shutter lag in most lighting condition. If you want the absolute minimum shutter lag, shoot an older leica M film camera...Most dslrs are still quite slow with their mirrorbox flop. Mirrorless cam such as the Ricoh grd, the RX100 and the Nikon V1 beat most dslrs in most situations.
    I would have to say that I prefer a DSLR because it is fine in ALMOST ALL situations.​
    Sure, again, you can prefer whatever camera. John can prefer mirrorless and Jane can prefer 4x5, Doe can prefer polaroid, or a lomo etc...But yes, dslr are pretty versatile but they do have weaknesses, just like any other tools.

    Here are a few examples of AF || prefocus || manual focus shutter lag:
    • Sony Nex 7: 0.223 || 0.022 || 0.073
    • Olympus OMD: 0.277 || 0.056 || 0.102
    • Panasonic GF5: 0.180 || 0.066 || 0.074
    • Nikon V1: 0.097 || 0.073 || 0.075
    • --------------------Mirrorless----------------------------------
    • Canon 60d: 0.253 || 0.063 || 0.083
    • Nikon d7000: 0.238 || 0.053 || 0.054
    • Canon 6d: 0.290 || 0.059 || 0.074
    • Nikon d600: 0.260 || 0.054 || 0.054
    • --------------------DSLR---------------------------------------
    • Panasonic LX7: 0.241 || 0.010 || 0.255
    • Sony RX100: 0.153 || 0.013 || 0.032
    • Canon S110: 0.484 || 0.078 || 0.326
    • Canon G11: 0.54 || 0.072 || 0.47
    • --------------------Point and Shoot-----------------------
    Sarah, please do note your generally snail g11 is extremely slooow w/ shutter lags even with manual focus set! Over 10x slower than the RX100! Data speak for themselves...
     
  73. Sarah, please do note your generally snail g11 is extremely slooow w/ shutter lags even with manual focus set! Over 10x slower than the RX100! Data speak for themselves...​
    Wowza! Point well made, Leslie! Your time here wasn't wasted after all. ;-)
    As for which specific models of EVF cameras I've tried -- I honestly have no idea. I would say 99% of them have been P&S models that you hold at arm's length. I'll have a look sometime at the RX100 and see whether I can snap a "decisive moment" photo of an animated salesperson. But for now, my DSLR cameras are doing just fine, and I don't see my personal budget making much room for anything besides a 6D in my intermediate future. Anyway, thanks for sharing the data with me. ;-)
     
  74. I have nothing to do with the data gathering. Data is via imaging-resource.com, a pretty damn good site imo. The RX100 Mk2 is rumored to be coming shortly, they say. Best w/ the 6d...
     
  75. I always carry my DSLR to weddings. That way everyone thinks I belong there!
     
  76. 50ms of shutter lag is probably not of great importance considering that it takes hundreds of ms for the brain to process input - both delays can be adjusted by anticipating when the peak moment is going to happen (by experience). The issue with the EVF delay is that it is variable, depends on how dark the scene is (darker scene apparently results in more delayed EVF image) and if you follow a moving subject on EVF and hold the subject's position in the frame constant, assume the same velocity of subject movement continues through to the time of exposre, at the time of exposure the subject won't be in the position in the frame as indicated by the EVF. If one uses an optical viewfinder, this kind of discrepancy doesn't exist and linear anticipation works to produce images with the subject in the correct place in the viewfinder - the shutter delay doesn't destroy it unless the subject abruptly stops its movement just before the picture is taken. Since the EVF delay is not constant, but variable, and as the corrective action depends on the angular velocity of the subject movement (how fast you're turning the camera basically) it can be difficult to compensate for the EVF delay e.g. in sports photography. The shutter delay is much easier to deal with in my experience than EVF. With EVF I cannot catch the subject expression when they're communicating with someone, like I can with optical viewfinders. I also don't find the viewing experience with EVF enjoyable since it can fluctuate ... although it has some advantages.
    People who use mirrorless cameras for street photography probably do not use the viewfinder to time the shots but look directly at the subject, past the camera. That's why there is no timing problem, assuming the shutter and AF delays are short enough. But if you use a telephoto lens it is incredibly difficult to hold the subject in the frame with predictable compositional results by holding the camera at arm's length ... and without the OVF the timing and composition are likely to be very difficult to predict.
    Each camera type has its advantages obviously - otherwise they wouldn't be on the market. However, I don't expect DSLRs to disappear in the foreseeable (20 years) future. As far as I know they are currently taking back market share from mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.
     
  77. The greatest problem with EVF for me is that I simply can't manual focus with one. Magnifying a portion of the screen makes it slow to operate as well as it interferes with focusing and composing at the same time. The advantage of the EVF is that it supposed to show an image that is closer to what the end result is but in reality most EVF's I have tried don't do that.
     
  78. Again, it's all about preference, give and take. They each have their pluses and minus, no best.
    • TTL viewing
    • LCD
    • RF viewing
    • EVF
    As for total lag, it's the totality of
    • Body reaction
    • AF/MF
    • Shutter
    • and LCD/EVF refresh rate
    For instance: Ilkka's Fuji X100 has zero EVF lag, the leaf shutter's super quick, but the AF is damn slow. Now, if you's shooting a stationary subject, it'd be a super quick camera! But if the subject(s) is still, one could use a 4x5:) It's like the leica M6...OVF w/fastest shutter lag but MF. This might be the reason you see many leica M shooters adapting to the fuji and think the fuji is very fast...
    The RX100 has a small LCD lag, but it's AF is quick, as well as the fast (electronic) shutter lag.
    The OMD, for example, has a slower shutter lag due to the focal plane shutter. But it has very fast AF and the refresh EVF is 120hz (fast compared to 60hz, which it also has).
    Now, if you have, say, the Canon G12 series, the EVF lag (60hz maybe?), snail AF and snail shutter lag. Now if your reaction time is not very good and you are shooting in the dark...
    0.50 reaction + 0.656 AF + 0.07 shutter + 0.03 refresh rate = 1.256 sec total lag no very good to say the least...
     
  79. My $0.02 cents as both a DSLR (D700) and a mirrorless camera (NEX6) user:
    ***MY*** reasons for using a DSLR:
    • Nikon CLS lighting
    • Tracking AF
    • Reach (400mm and up)
    ***MY*** reasons for using a mirrorless camera:
    • Small and lightweight (especially for street photography)
    • I can use just about any lens, e.g., M-mount, F-mount, etc... with the appropriate adapters, which I do have.
     
  80. Ilkka's Fuji X100 has zero EVF lag, the leaf shutter's super quick, but the AF is damn slow.
    Well the camera I have is the X100s, which has reasonably fast and reliable AF (phase-detect AF sensor points embedded on the main sensor) in good light when the subject is reasonably stationary, but tracking approaching subjects (in continuous AF mode) is limited to center focus point only and is in my opinion impractical. The camera displays the playback image for a split second after every shot in the viewfinder and I haven't figured out how to turn it off. This is distracting when shooting several images in a sequence, trying to maintain the AF point on the subject. In low light, the AF slows down as then (AFAIK) it resorts to contrast detect AF and with a large sensor and relatively fast lens, the camera has to go through a number focus steps to find the optimal focus so it takes a bit of time. The original X100 was all contrast detect AF and it was slower. For stationary subjects in most conditions I find the X100s AF to be fine. It's the implementation of tracking that bothers me - I want to choose the focus point in continuous AF freely and I don't want the viewfinder to show playback in this situation - it is distracting.
     
  81. I think everyone's ignoring the elephant in the room - most mirrorless cameras are just plain ugly. Actually, the cameras themselves aren't bad, but there's just something about big lenses on these small camera bodies that seems way out of proportion. I've got no gripe with mirrorless cameras teamed up with pancake lenes, but long lenses just look better on SLRs.
     
  82. Although I do care about how good a camera look I think some of the mirrorless are quite pretty. I think the ones from Fuji are good looking much better than many low end DSLR's.
     
  83. It simply the best! Its on the tongue of almost every third photographer out there and you just can't miss it..
     
  84. To me,it depends on the circumstances. Sometimes a good point and shoot is easier and lesscumbersome to use than a DSLR and gets great results. Most other times, working with a DSLR on a tripod offers more control and creative opportunity. Ultimately, it's the human eye that matters more than the camera.
     

Share This Page