Why go mirrorless ?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by johnw63, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. I've been keeping an eye on the whole mirrorless trend, of late, trying to see what the fuss was about, and I haven't figured it out , yet. Maybe this thread will turn into a "sticky" topic and stay at the top of the forum for others to read, since I am quite sure I will get lots of replies.
    I originally thought that mirrorless was going to be another style of small point and shoot camera or maybe a small bridge camera, but the range of body sizes kills that theory. Some look as big as many DSLRs so the idea of having them be a really compact camera seems to be not held in some places.
    Some of the cameras DO look really compact, until you put a lens of them. Now they are too bulky for pockets or purses, but... some bodies look like it's a lens with a small camera hanging off the back. Ergonomically, this doesn't look too stable. Most don't have a viewfinder, unless you get one that can have it as an add-on for more money, so your left with the smart phone style of shooting with the camera held out in front of you.
    Then I looked at the prices. You can easily get a full blown DSLR combo for the price of a mirrorless camera and lens. the lenses aren't low cost either.
    So, they aren't all that small, some have odd ergonomics, and the prices are just as high as a DSLR and there are LESS lenses for them.
    So, what is the draw of a mirrorless camera ?
     
  2. For me, the attraction of a mirrorless camera is twofold:
    1. It has (if it's worth anything to me) a high-quality EVF, which improves on traditional pentaprism OVFs by showing you not only framing, but also a preview of exposure, plus focus peaking indicators, electronic levels, in-viewfinder menus, etc.
    2. It has a shallow body with a very short flange distance (since there is no mirror box), enabling both (a) a very compact system when used with native-mount pancake lenses, and (b) glass-less adapters with proper infinity focus for just about any legacy lens I own.
    It is true that some mirrorless cameras can be about as large as DSLRs, but a more accurate way to say it is that the largest mirrorless cameras are about the same size as the smallest DSLRs. On average, mirrorless cameras are smaller, especially when taking the short flange distance into account.
     
  3. You don't save much on funding to buy the kit but there is a big gain in handling, especially for long lenses. There is a big saving in weaight to carry around.

    Want a 76-810mm f/4 to 5.6 lens? Put a Nikon 28-300 onto Nikon V1, using the FT 1 adapter.
    I get full AF and VR
     
  4. What is the draw of the mirrorless indeed?
    Personally, I am not even looking at any camera that doesn't have at least an APS-C size sensor and a built-in viewfinder; this narrows down the current offerings substantially as it leaves only Fuji and Sony left standing (and Leica, but I don't have the wallet to afford one).

    Secondly, I am not interested in building up a second system alongside my Nikon DSLR one; the only reason I recently acquired a Sony NEX 6 was to use it with my inherited Leica glass (35 and 90); it was either that or selling off the lenses. This puts me squarely in the niche of photographers that use a mirrorless as a kind of rangefinder substitute; I have currently no desire to move beyond that. Not even to check out some other "legacy" glass.

    I was surprised though how well NEX 6 handles and works with my rather smallish Leica lenses; I can't imagine ever hanging one of my AF-Nikkors on it though. And of my manual focus Nikon lenses, I expect only the 20/4 Ai to see some duty on the NEX. And maybe the Leica-R Apo-Telyt 180/3.4; I haven't even tried it on the NEX yet. Focus peaking makes manual focusing easy on the NEX, easier in fact than on a DSLR.
     
  5. I think there is a huge misconception about the whole sizing thing and mirrorless cameras. They were never, ever, ever meant to be a tiny little camera you can put in your pocket.
    What they are, in fact, is the next major evolution in camera design. They do away with the mirrorbox that has been attached to our cameras for all of this century and a good chunk of the last. That lets the cameras be a good deal smaller. Actually, as small or as large as you want it to be.
    Physics, however, dictates lens designs. Its just not physically possible or as easy to scale down the light gathering apparatus as it is to scale down the sensor housing. (Although Micro 4/3 is doing one hell of a job trying.) This leads to the BIG LENS/little body look that many dyed in the wool DSLR shooters point at and laugh.
    I have not once...in my life....used a camera....or shot a photograph....or turned and aperture ring in anger...
    ...and thought once of somebody's opinion of what my camera looked like.


    I have said it before (many times on this forum) but here it is again. My NEX 7 is a 24mp digital back for almost every lens ever made. THAT is a crazy powerful tool for my photography. For my uses, it is perfect. I am not paying the bills with my photography, heck I have only had a few paying shoots. I use old manual focus primes almost exclusively. I take photographs as a way to create art. I am beholden to no one for what I shoot and I dont ever really see a time in the future where I would be. In a different set of parameters I might choose other gear. Maybe, maybe not...
    The NEX 7 with the adapter of your choice and a matching prime lens is a match made in heaven. It is a tiny rangefinder like body with crazy good glass attached. Its a rapier that hits like a broadsword, its a pocket battleship. Its more camera then most people need. It is also, apparently, rather cliche. :)
    Having said what I said earlier about size, it is one of the reasons I like the NEX 7. The camera just feels so damn right in my hand. Much like Im sure Leicas feel in the hands of the well do to rangefinder crowd. For me the DSLR is just a melted blob of plastic that feels big and clunky with absolutely no reason for being that way.
    Oh wait....I forgot. Big fast zooms. Yeah I suppose if you need a big fast zoom then a big bulky DSLR will balance it out very nicely. I really think the future of Mirrorless will be all encompassing in a way that DSLR's arent. Mirrorless cameras can be as big or small as you want or need. If Sony gets their new Mirrorless A mount camera right then we can begin to see the possibilities. You can still have a larger, full bodies Mirrorless camera just without the bulky mirror assembly. This opens up many styling exercises and designs a company can choose. But you can also make tiny little cameras, with or without a EVF, to satisfy all market segments.
    Here are some of the other reasons I shoot mirrorless, Sony in particular.
    Short flange to focal distance- I can shoot any lens ever made. Yay!
    Focus peaking- Really makes legacy lenses usable for everyday shooting in the digital world.
    EVF- I will never go back to optical VF's for the same reason people dont listen to radio dramas anymore. Television programs are much nicer. Its always good to be able to SEE information. This cannot be underestimated. Any changes I make are immediately visible to my eye. I can stop the lens down all the way and with every click of the aperture ring the screen brightens to compensate. Whaaaattt? Thats gotta be black magic Billy. Exposure comp? Bam! Right there on the screen. On screen Histogram? Bippity Boppity Bingo, there it is. The NEX 7 is my fighter jet and the EVF is my heads up display.
    Form Factor- Love the way it feels and handles. My macro photography has never been so easy.
    Speedbooster- And there it is. My little NEX is now full frame. Amen and Hallelujah!
    Is it perfect? Nope. But no camera is. I wish it had IBIS. Really peaved Sony put it in the lenses. Could AF be better? Yeah, so I hear. But I dont use AF so it works for me.
    My belief? The future of mirrorless is so bright you gotta wear shades. Little EVF shades.
    And for the love of god if anyone is tired of me posting this link then please tell me. Doesnt mean I will stop, I would just like to know who you are. :) Here are my NEX 7 files.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8539414@N07/sets/72157629936411965/
     
  6. Great for candid and street photography. My little E-PL5 with its 20mm pancake lens is tiny. The articulated screen tilts up so that I can shoot from the hip. The tap to focus/shoot feature is incredible. Just tap on the person anywhere in the frame and BANG, got 'em! Compare that to my 5D MkII pointed in someone's face and the difference is obvious.
    I can use just about any old lens with image stabilisation thanks to the Olympus IBIS.
     
  7. Sensor quality is improving with time, so I'd guess that an M43 sensor now is as good as an APS-C sensor of a few years ago (say that of my D200). So by buying into a mirrorless system, you get a lightweight, small setup that will yield, over time, steadily improving quality. Size? My OMD EM5 and 3 primes fits into a very small bag, which weighs less than 1.5 kg including spare battery, cards, filters. I can print to 50x40 cm with comfort. The tripod you need is proportionately smaller. There's no mirror slap. There is at least a stop's worth of extra DOF, great for landscapes. A small body is much easier to manoeuvre for macro/close up stuff. Because it's small I'm more likely to have it with me.
    Is it an FX substitute? No - I can get significantly better quality from FX (of course!) - both resolution, and rendering, and much less hassle with CA. But I can't take a full FX system with tripod to all the places I'd like - maybe if I was 20 years younger, but maybe not even then. So for the remote landscape, mirrorless is excellent.
    Everything David Smith said I'd concur with - there are several ways into mirrorless.
     
  8. SCL

    SCL

    John - I think the only way you will figure out the attraction of the mirrorless cameras is to quit reading about them and try one out. They're not everybody's cup of tea. In January I came across a used one with all the goodies for about 50% of market price and figured what the hell, I can always sell it for what I paid if I don't like it. It was pristine and came with a warranty. Tried it out, compared shots against my APS sensor body, found the interface too complex, controls too close together, etc., etc. Then I got a couple of adapters for legacy lenses....liked using some of them, including some Leica M and screwmounts. Now, about 6 months later, I'm comfortable using it for a lot of routine work, and producing works which match my Nikon D300 in many respects. The legacy glass capabilities ended up being the feature which most appeals to me. Yes, the effective focal length is doubled...blah, blah. I'll probably get a really good short m4/3 pancake type lens when I'm convinced I really need it, and then the body will fit in my pocket. Last night I took some shots of the camera alongside an old Leica style screwmount RF for size comparisons....they were about the same for equivalent focal length lenses....but the sensors on the m4/3 basically don't give the same OOF rendering as on a film body, but rather about 2 stops closed down from stated aperture. Borrow one and give it a try...you just might like it.
     
  9. This will never become a "sticky" thread. It's just another thread started by someone who doesn't get mirrorless, will be added to by people who have never shot with them, actually worked with files from them, made prints from them, or have any other significant first hand knowlege, and will go on and on espousing their techno-geek ignorance and arrogance.
     
  10. What are you talking about , Bruce ?
    Every post , except yours, has been by someone who has a mirrorless camera and has told me why they like it. Did you read any of them ?
     
  11. Craig,
    What percentage of these cameras have a good Electronic View Finder ? I don't think the "entry level" ones do at all.
    David,
    I understand the draw of being able to put lots of brands of lenses on the body, but aren't you dropping down to a pseudo stop down metering style of shooting ? Without a body with an active EVF to show you what's going on, it's not a very elegant solution. So, you need to spend some good amount to get to the point where it's got one.
    Another point about using all those different lenses is that most people don't HAVE a collection of lenses to use. So, unless you are sort of a gear collector, that benefit is not really a selling point. Now, I have a collection of Nikon lenses, and a few Minolta lenses that would be good candidates, so it is of interest to me, but I suspect the bulk of potential buys will not be in that position.

    How does an older lens balance on your NEX body ? I found some of my Nikon lenses feel better on my old F4 than they do on my D7000. I have to imagine putting something on an even lighter body, like your NEX would feel even more front heavy.
    Stephan,
    If they didn't cost so much, I might try one. I can't borrow one, because no one I know has one. The only ones I see in my local stores are the Nikon 1 "J" series, and they don't have EVF, which is a big selling point, by the posters above and the stores don't sell the adapter for my other Nikon lenses, so it essence, it's a faster, more expensive point and shoot with changeable lenses.
     
  12. Smaller, lighter than a DSLR, electronic viewfinder that shows a real representation of what final photo will look like, ability to shoot from very high or very low camera positions, blending in with the tourist. Soon to be discontinued models, such as the Lumix GX1 are inexpensive now so jump in and see if it's for you. Mirrorless IS the future of cameras, a flipping mirror makes no sense anymore.
     
  13. This sounds like another recent thread along the same lines. Like maybe they all go so- " I am happy enough with my prism and mirror based camera and all my lenses, so why tell me why should I be persuaded to go with this new technology? What is all the fuss about anyway? Where does it really stand out? "
    Well, we must smile some, as the question itself has the premise that there IS something that the mirrorless design offers for its obvious popularity and sales; OR is a lot of fluff and filler and not enticing on the specifications, can't stand comparison with the real good stuff -something like that it sounds like. Or, if you like gauntlet throwing,that mirrorless buyers and shooters, forum followers, and those who have added them cameras to their bag or gone away from their Mark II Canons and Nikon Ds are poor deluded souls or slackers on quality or lazy perhaps.
    Honest query if one comes along,we can all try to answer same , but not convincingly beyond a shadow of doubt on all points of comparison. On any one dimension that is the answers will still be iffy, and tentative. Why, because it, mirroless, is still an adolescent form,like how old?. But it is no humbug, it is a clever alternative design idea..so it gets to be a personal appraisal and a personal list of bennies.
    I can only offer a speculation about the broad question of why its popular vis a vis the traditional form, and won't even try to do a pro and con on speficic criteria, but I can tell what I have learned and observe.
    Weight is a no baloney factor and a real one when we add the lenses in to the mix, this is simple physics and scaling. But not the only one, not even the strongest one for me. WYSIWYG is a powerful one. You can preview the image and see all aspects of what you are getting. White balance, exposure, the works. In real time. The electronic finder increases gain, so you can focus in dark conditions as well... Handling is still a big if point. The makers are adding touch screens and tuning menus and we don't know where this will add up. But it is a format, the mirrorless that is open to experimentation, more so than the traditional DSLRs from what I can see. For me, I find a place for the traditional look through the lens mirror pentaprism and the mirrorless look at a tiny TV screen. I took some convincing myself, started as a skeptic.
    Today, just as a for instance, I am playing with a mirrorless and an adapted FD Canon macro lens and an old slide duplicator to make some quick copies. How could I do that and play with color and exposure in real time with a traditional non mirrorless camera. I mean, how could I do it so licketysplit easily. Mirrorless opens new doors. If you try one you get to peek into those doors. Peace.
    On the initial challenge to show the value of the design: As my physics teacher used to say jokingly after an hour describing gas diffusion or electron rings and string theory, " If you don't get it, students, forget it." Peace, Shalom, Pax, Paz....and so forth sportsfans of the world.
     
  14. SCL

    SCL

    John - I picked up a very lightly used Olympus E-Pl-2, which came with the 2nd version of the 14-42mm zoom, the EVF finder, software, instruction manual, box, strap, etc. for $399 at Roberts Camera in Indianapolis in January (I think it was probably a Xmas return)....found the pkg on Ebay; full return privileges. So I know the deals are out there. At the time at most places the body alone was selling for that much. BTW - if you have large hands, this probably isn't the camera for you...even with lots of practice and relatively small hands, I still bump the dial on the rear more often then I generally admit to.
     
  15. I can only speak for the M43 system, but the attraction is that an entire 3 lens kit (FF equivalent 18 to 300mm) weighs about the same as just my Canon 5D body and fits into a small, lightweight bag. With the Olympus/Sony 16mp sensor, image quality (resolution, DR, high ISO performance) exceeds my Canon 5D (mk I). And while continuous focus performance is lacking, single shot AF performance is very fast and very accurate. Yes they tend to cost more than an equivalent DSLR, but if you value less neck, shoulder and back pain more than a few less dollars in you bank account, you can assemble a really nice kit that is a joy to carry around all day.

    I have no interest in using legacy MF lenses or adapting one of my big honking Canon L zooms, so I only own native mount M43 lenses, the heaviest one weighing about 6 ounces.
     
  16. All the advantages and disadvantages that are inherent to mirrorless come from the absence of the mirror. That may seem like an obvious statement, but what I mean by it is, anything to do with, say, the M4/3 sensor size disadvantage really has nothing to do with mirrorlessness because the same disadvantages exist in a 4/3 DSLR. And a NEX 5n has the same sensor as a Nikon D7000, so between APS-C mirrorless and DSLR cameras, sensors are a wash. So as I see it:
    Advantages:
    -Size. The manufacturer can choose to make a large or small camera (because the mirror box is eliminated) and can make large and small cameras compatible. A tiny E-PM and a larger GH3 can share lenses.
    -Flange distance (because the mirror box is eliminated). This allows manufacturers to use lens designs they can't use for DSLRs, so you can have lenses like the tiny Fuji 18mm and 35mm primes, and lets the customer use a ton of other lenses on adapters.
    Disadvantages:
    -Lack of TTL optical finder because the mirror box was eliminated.
    -Can't use a conventional phase detect AF system because the mirror box was eliminated.
    Manufacturers (by choice) aren't making mirrorless cameras large enough to satisfy fans of huge cameras or full frame mirrorless cameras, but that's got nothing to do with mirrorlessness - it's their response to their analysis of what the market will support.
    BTW, the prices might be lower for mirrorless. It depends what you're looking for. E.g., suppose you really want an APS-C camera with a very good sensor and a killer wide-to-modest-tele zoom. You could get a D7000 and your choice of 17-50 or 17-55 f/2.8 lenses for anywhere from $1500-$2300 depending on whether you went with the Nikon or 3rd party lens, or you could have the X-E1 and 18-55 (which is as good as other companies' 2.8 zooms) kit for $1200. Or if you want a started kit you can have an E-PL3 with the 14-42 lens or the 17mm lens for $330 Canadian from Henry's.
     
  17. The size difference is, in my eyes dramatic. My E-PL1 (bought refurbished for a song), two lenses (7-14mm f/4, 35-70 mm f/2.8) and accessories fit into a fanny pack, where the corresponding DSLR kit would take up most of my backpack. I lose some image quality and focusing speed but gain the opportunity to take my camera into awesome back country localities.
    00bixl-540673784.jpg
     
  18. John, you are correct. Many entry level MC's (im just typing that from now on for Mirrorless Camera) dont have a EVF but only the rear screen for composition. I personally must have an EVF and would probably never buy an MC that didnt have one. I like what Samsung is doing with their NX line (some really nice lenses there btw) but I dont think as of this writing they have implemented an integrated EVF on any of their NX bodies. However, there are options to install an external EVF on many models and I think that is a neat idea. I could easily see using a NEX 5 or even 3 as a backup to my 7 if I had one of those nifty little EVF's for it. It actually looks pretty snazzy (NOT that its important how it looks!).
    As for the metering, I dont think I would classify it as stop down. Not in the traditional sense. I mean yes, you do actually turn the aperture ring and "stop it down". But the way it is implemented on these cameras is seamless. For instance, I always shoot in Aperture Priority. Lets say I start with the aperture wide open. The camera will meter the scene and show me the required shutter speed in the EVF. If I start to 'stop down' and click the aperture ring down I am basically letting less light into the camera. The NEX instantly compensates for this by brightening the screen while changing the shutter speed to match, so that I can still see what I am looking at while the correct exposre is maintained. Lets say I stop at f/5.6 as my preffered DOF but I want to add Exposure Comp. I dial in +4 comp and now the screen darkens down to show me what the final image will look like. This is the real time effect everyone keeps talking about. It makes using old manual focus lenses on a digital camera today probably even easier then it was using them back years ago on their film bodies.
    And your right again. Not everyone has a stable of manual focus lenses laying around. But you can easily purchase a stable of top quality primes made of metal with a build quality that surpasses anything made in the last twenty years for a fraction of the price of what you would pay for new modern lenses. Hell, a frugal shopper could probably buy an older NEX body, accessory EVF, an adapter and a nice traditional 3 prime set for way less then the price of a Canon L Zoom. And then have tons of fun going out shooting with a strange amalgamation of modern sensor technology and old world metal and glass. And on top of it, they will learn a lot about photography and probably come back with some really stunning imagery and a sense of accomplishment.
    That is, of course, unless they just like to be seen in the park with a 5D Mk III and the 24-70L. Hey, look at my gear. I really must know what Im doing right? I feel like a professional. Taking great photos is as easy as signing a check...
    Or how about this. Right now on the auction site there is a Contax Zeiss 35/2.8 Distagon for a Buy it Now of $358. KEH has a Zeiss 50/1.7 Planar for $235. And again the auction site has a Contax Zeiss 85/2.8 Sonnar for $386.
    $979 for a set of world class prime lenses. If you cant take great photos with those then its not the equipment's fault. I mean come on... a freakin Ditagon, a Planar and a Sonnar. That photography in its purist, most un-diluted form. Compare that price to what a new plasticky, electronic built-to-a-price-point modern zoom costs. And then think about which one you would pass down to your children. Those Zeiss primes will most likely still be working in 50 years.
    And here is the clincher. Splurge another 400 bucks on the Metabones Speedbooster in C/Y mount. Now all those lenses are back to their correct focal length (angle of view for you anal types) and they are one stop faster. Amazing.
    And I haven't even mentioned focus peaking yet. Lets just say that focus peaking is a little elf that lives in the camera and basically points to what ever is in focus as you rack the lens back and forth. OK, he really highlights in the color of your choice but it must be experienced to be believed. It is a game changing technique that makes legacy lenses every bit at powerful in todays digital world as the plastic tube/computer lenses we use today.
    Keep in mind this is only a valid argument if you dont mind not having Auto Focus. It pretty apparent I get along without it. But its not eveyones cup of tea. If you absolutely must have a set of circuit boards and wiring and computer algorithms turn the lens for you then there are plenty of great choices out there. Not least of which is Sony LA-EA2 adapter which lets you mount any Minolta AF or Sony alpha AF lens directly to your NEX complete with phase detect auto focus. Stick with the primes and smaller zooms and its perfect.
    Which bring us to your handling question.
    [​IMG]

    Thats my 7 with an old Nikkor PC Auto 105/2.5 attached, complete with hood. It looks strange but it handles great. I really cant put into words how good it felt on there. Something about this lens balances very nicely on the NEX. Any normal regular prime works perfectly. Heck, I have even mounted a few smaller zooms on there and they are fine.

    Yesterday I mounted up the Minolta Rokkor 300/4.5 that I just came into possession of. That was just silly. Way to big and way to bulky. But of course that lens comes with its own tripod mount, so take that for what its worth.

    Believe me when I say you will absolutely LOVE mounting up your old Nikon lenses to whichever camera you get, if you get one. I recommend the APS-c cameras (NEX, Fuji) over 4/3 due to the crop factor. 1.5 is much better then 2.0. Or you can always just get a speedbooster and do away with the crop entirely.

    Adapting old lenses? NEX all the way. Want a full stable of new AF lenses?...maybe 4/3. But those new Zeiss lenses for Sony look really sweet.
     
  19. I shoot with a Fourthirds Olympus Evolt 500. I've been quite interested in getting into mirrorless but can't justify the expense at this time. The Oly performs nicely with the two kit zooms as well as my legacy Leicaflex, Nikkor and M42 glass with the three Fotodiox adapters. So, I'll probably wait for a used M4/3 or 1.5 crop mirrorless to arrive at a bargain price. My E-500 does not sell for anywhere near what it's worth as there isn't a bit of interest in used fourthirds equipment. Frankly it's a camera in my stable that I bought brand new in 2007. None of my other countless cameras did I ever buy new!
     
  20. David,
    I would have to try that combo to believe it handles well !
    Part of the issue , for me , anyway, is that the NEX-7 is about $1000. That's a lot of cash to " try out a new camera system ". The ones below that don't have the EVF.
    The size/weight of the camera system gets nullified if you start attaching old lenses on it, which is what I would probably do, so it becomes about as bulky as my D7000 but not as well integrated. That is a big selling feature for some people, but it only holds if you stick to the brands MC lenses which does not give you the choices a more mature system has.
    I guess I'm trying to figure out where the Mirrorless camera fits in the range of cameras. What does it excel at that would make it a better choice than a point and shoot, a bridge, or a small DSLR camera ? So far, at least for MY usage, what I would call the "active electronic viewfinder" that shows you what you're going to get is the feature, but you really have to step up to get that.
    If a friend came to me and asked what camera they should get, what of their needs would make a MC the choice ?
     
  21. Manufacturers (by choice) aren't making mirrorless cameras large enough to satisfy fans of huge cameras or full frame mirrorless cameras, but that's got nothing to do with mirrorlessness - it's their response to their analysis of what the market will support.​
    Sony SLT A99 is large, mirrorless and full frame. How much larger do you want?
     
  22. John, the NEX 6 came out after the 7 and is almost indentical with the same EVF. In all honesty it is probably the nicer camera. It only has 16mp vs the 24mp on the 7 but many who have used both say that the cleaner high ISO noise on the 6 is preferable to the 7. 16 to 18mp really seems to be the sweet spot for APS-c cameras. It is supposed to play nice with wide angle rangefinder lenses as well, which the 7 struggles with. In my opinion the only thing the 6 really gives up to the 7 is that it looses the nifty Tri Navi system the 7 has. Not that big of a deal really.
    The NEX 6 can be had body only for around 650. That is still pricey I know. But something to consider if you want to 'test the MC waters' so to speak is to spend about 200 or so for an old NEX 3, the original one with the 14mp sensor. It is still a fully capable camera able to do everything the new ones can in regards to legacy glass. This is the camera we originally bought used on ebay for my wife as a way to use old lenses from her Minolta camera. After playing with it for a few days it convinced me to take a chance on the 7. I have never looked back. It would be a cheap way to see if mirrorless and old lenses is the way to go for you, even if you have to compose using the back screen. Should keep its resale value if you want to turn around and sell it. Or just buy an EVF for it or upgrade to a 6 or 7.
    If you choose to do this just remember that you arent getting quite the full experience. The 3 is really neat but its plastic body and software button driven menu isnt anywhere near as cool as using the magnesium bodied 7 with its much larger grip and more programmable buttons on the body. I should mention that grip by the way. It is a large part of what makes the 7 so usable. It gives your hand a firm place to hold and is close to ergonomic nirvana, at least for me. Having said that, I put a leather half case on mine and it improved it even more. The one I got was from Gariz and adds a few MM of extra grip with a nice metal base. You can see them on ebay.
    As far as where MC's fit into the whole scheme of things, they are just a new and exciting alternative to the DSLR. To boil it all down, if you dont need crazy fast AF for sports or stupid long telephotos for birding then a MC can do everything a DSLR can in a smaller, lighter package.
    The size/weight of the camera system gets nullified if you start attaching old lenses on it, which is what I would probably do, so it becomes about as bulky as my D7000 but not as well integrated.​
    Its hard to believe, but that is completely untrue. Unless of course we are talking about big fast zoom lenses. Here is an interesting site that shows the true size of cameras compared to one another. For instance, notice the lack of bulk between the 6 and D7000. Even with an adapter and larger lense on the NEX you are still missing that bulk.
    http://camerasize.com/compare/#7,375

    And the more diminutive NEX C3 (not the original 3 I was talking about, they dont have that one. but I think it is even smaller)
    http://camerasize.com/compare/#7,118
     
  23. EVF is a sine qua non. The good mirrorless models will have a quality electronic finder. Technology is such that in a year or so it will look like a Retina display on an iPAD I bet. Legacy lenses is a fringe benefit for some, but a good deal for others. An 85 mm FD Canon is a nice size at a good price for instance. Add a decent quality adapter and you can have some fun. Here finally is a decent quality adapter for fifty dollars, about time.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/839145-REG/vello_la_mft_cfd_lens_mount_adapter.html
    If a friend came to me and asked which camera to buy, I would say get a point and shoot first and come back in a year and we will look at what you are doing and how much weight. Bridge camera is fine. We all have had one and won't knock our Hexar AF cameras with good lenses. You did not mention video, which is fine, --youth today, and the younger set than most here also think video. For video, there is a whole set of reasons why mirrorless shines. End of my ideas on this subject for now. gs
     
  24. And just for sh*ts and giggles...
    http://camerasize.com/compare/#243,325
    Sony SLT A99 is large, mirrorless and full frame​
    Jamie, the a77 isnt really mirrorless. Its mirror is just translucent and doesnt flip. Sony has always regarded SLT's as a stop gap in their camera design. The direction they seem to be taking next year is that there will be no more SLT cameras, but they will go full mirrorless. I am anxiously awaiting to see how they choose to style their new Alpha mount mirrorless cameras that are designed to use all the big A zooms. They should be DSLR sized but Im hoping they either go with a pseudo rangefinder style of something entirely new. Exciting times ahead to be sure.
     
  25. There are various sensor sizes, and it's true that an APS-C size means a fairly big lens (thinking of NEX here). But an m4/3 sensor is smaller, and so are the lenses. A non-EVF m4/3 with a pancake lens can easily fit in a pocket. I have a Panasonic G3 (has an EVF), and it also fits, although not as comfortably.
    As many others pointed out, the absence of the mirror box opens up numerous opportunities.
     
  26. Oh, right, "the A99 is a mirrorless blah blah blah and the card says Moops."
     
  27. If the iPhone is becoming the camera of choice for all media, who need full frame! Look at these various POTW forums, once the photo hits the Internet, you can't distinguish what took what. Maybe just fine art huge prints.
     
  28. I would have to try that combo to believe it handles well !​
    Quite surprisingly considering how it looks - but it indeed handles well. I have the 105/2.5 Ai and use it on a NEX 6. I agree with what David wrote about the NEX 6 probably being the better choice than the NEX 7 and that giving up the Tri-Navi isn't that big of a deal. What is surprising is that the price of the NEX 6 has dropped $200 in the last two months - when I purchased it, the cost was $848 and it dropped $100 within the 30-day period after I purchased it, so adorama gave me a $100 store credit. Today I see that the price has dropped another $100 - sign that a replacement is coming already?
    Seems to me that a lot of people go mirrorless to use manual focus "legacy" glass - for the rest it likely is an alternative to the bulkier DSLR camera body - even though most lenses will still be fairly large.
     
  29. David,
    That does make the point, bare body vs. bare body, but once you put legacy lenses on them, the difference in your camera bag becomes less dramatic. Especially with one of those like you posted just above ! I know that's a bit of an extreme example, but it highlights the fact. It does make that D4 look quite large, however.
    Gerry,
    "The good mirrorless models will have a quality electronic finder." Which ones are those ? I my searching it has seemed only the top end, rather pricey ones have that. The rest expect the usual smart phone shooting style. I will do some web searching to see what has the EVF.
     
  30. Fuji X-E1; $1400
    Olympus OMD-EM5; $1200
    Same price as a D7000, but smaller.
    Panasonic DMC-GH3; $1300
    Panasonic DMC-G5; $500
    Both of these may as well be a regular DSLR for their layout , I think. About the same over all size as the Olympus.
    Sony Alpha NEX-7 , NEX-6 ; $1000, $650
     
  31. John, you just gave a list that has prices that correspond to the entire spectrum of enthusiast DSLRs - $500 - $1300 for the camera body.
    Your Fuji X-E1 price is actually high - that used to be the price for the camera with the zoom lens, but now that kit is $1200 and the body is $800. The lens is as good as other companies' f/2.8 zooms, so that kit price is really one of the better deals you can get in high-enthusiast grade interchangeable lens cameras.
     
  32. Rent an OM-D with a decent lens and use it for a week. If you're coming from low- to mid-end gear, you'll be shocked by its responsiveness and image quality. If you're coming from high-end gear, you'll be shocked at how much better it is than you thought it would be. In either case, you'll probably be surprised by how much fun it is.

    The difference in IQ between the better mirrorless cameras and APS-C cameras is small and probably not noticeable in the vast majority of shooting situations. Yet mirrorless cameras are much smaller and consequently much more portable.
     
  33. John, the Fuji X cameras have that retro style that I love. And they have cashed in on their photo heritage in a strong and convincing way. The deal breaker for me though was no focus peaking. I dont know if they have implemented it yet, but after using with my old glass I wont ever buy a camera without it now. Oh, and they dont have articulating screens. Seems silly but I shoot way to much macro and I dont miss laying down in the wet grass to get the shot.
    I finished up a roll of film today and the last few shots I had this post in mind. Here is a direct comparison of my 7 with the speedbooster and the beloved Yashica ML 50/1.7 attached compared to an old Minolta SRT 101 with a 55/1.7 gracing the front. Film cameras like this (Minolta and others) were used by pros for many years and are responsible for some of the greatest photography of the 20th century. These two setups are really close as you can see. (BTW, that ML 50/1.7 on the speedbooster becomes a 53/1.2 instead of the 75/1.7 it would become on a regular adapter.)
    chloe inspecting the gear
    [​IMG]

    a different angle
    [​IMG]


    And in all honesty how is mounting a large lens to a MC any different then this monstrosity that a contact of mine over on flickr just posted.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkid/9002456284/
    A photographer uses the gear necessary to get the shot he desires. Doesnt matter what it looks like. It does indeed matter how it handles though for sure. My ex brother in law is the Moto GP photographer for Honda Motorcycles and I have watched him at Laguna Seca shooting the race. He has HUGE Telephoto lenses attached to his camera that make my earlier NEX/Nikon photo look positively lilliputian.
    Heres a question for you John which really should have been asked by now. What kind of photography do you shoot and what is your current gear? Also, what is making you consider MC's?
     
  34. The good mirrorless models will have a quality electronic finder." Which ones are those ? I my searching it has seemed only the top end, rather pricey ones have that. The rest expect the usual smart phone shooting style. I will do some web searching to see what has the EVF.​
    You are looking at the higher end of the spectrum and no need to shoot that high. I am lately using a GH 2. That model, now discontinued, can probably be had for $600; a G 3-G5 for about the same I am guessing. I still have and use a G-1 which fits the bill fine enough for lots of stuff so aim low to fit your wallet, you are experimenting remember?. If even that range is too much, there is always the used market, where some buys can still be had.
    I saw the Lumix G 5 with two lenses at COSTCO warehouse brand new with warranty for around six bills and a half...not bad for two not so bad lenses kit and EVF camera I was thinking If you have an upper limit to try what you are skeptical about,what can one say but cut out the lattes and save and save and save on junk food, like most of us 99% milieu bourgois shutterbugs....gs PS. Panasonic has produced some really nice zoom lenses that are in themselves making this micro 4/3 mount and sensor brand look better and better for more and more of us....
    Disclosure. I happen to have an affinity for autofocus and full dedication in my day to day shooting. And why not if it appeals you know. As do most of us here i suspect. But it is nice to have a body to mount my 8 FD Canon lenses to play around with to fill in gaps...and Resurrection is wonderful in a way, eh what.
    (I also have a couple of nice Olympus ED four thirds lenses, which will work more or less and fit more or less with micro four thirds, so I have the bases covered for lenses right now . I am still unable to shoot. money wise, for the appealing Lumix 35-100 mm F 2.8. I have my eye on that too. I have the 12-35 mm and it is a wonderful thing. Real bucks unfortunately. One day though, maybe the 35-100. Good taste I have always enjoyed:))
    Love quality large aperture zooms, they make photo life simpler and even more compact in the field...
     
  35. I would have to try that combo to believe it handles well !​
    Quite surprisingly considering how it looks - but it indeed handles well. I have the 105/2.5 Ai and use it on a NEX 6. I agree with what David wrote about the NEX 6 probably being the better choice than the NEX 7 and that giving up the Tri-Navi isn't that big of a deal. What is surprising is that the price of the NEX 6 has dropped $200 in the last two months - when I purchased it, the cost was $848 and it dropped $100 within the 30-day period after I purchased it, so adorama gave me a $100 store credit. Today I see that the price has dropped another $100 - sign that a replacement is coming already?
    Seems to me that a lot of people go mirrorless to use manual focus "legacy" glass - for the rest it likely is an alternative to the bulkier DSLR camera body - even though most lenses will still be fairly large.
     
  36. .
    [​IMG]
    South of Market Area, San Francisco • ©2013 Brad Evans
    .
    >>> I've been keeping an eye on the whole mirrorless trend, of late, trying to see what the fuss was about, and I haven't figured it out , yet. ... So, what is the draw of a mirrorless camera ?
    My Sony RX100 fits in my jeans pocket, produces excellent image quality, and lets me shoot in a wide range of circumstances from out on the street in bright light to inside bars at ISO1600+. Coming from a 5DII, it's very liberating in that without a dSLR and bag, I'm not out looking for pix, but rather soaking in the environment, meeting people, and having a lightweight compact camera in my pocket to shoot with if need be. More pix...
    I wouldn't over-think it.
     
  37. Mirrorless combines the best of the DSLR and the rangefinder and then some. Just wait. When full frame mirrorless cameras hit the market there will be a revolution in photograph. They will only get increasingly better. Within ten years they will be ruling professional photography.
     
  38. You could summarize things by cherry picking from Brad's response..."excellent IQ", "wide range of circumstances", "on the street", "inside bars", "liberating", "soaking in the environment", "lightweight" and here's the thing ; "don't OVERTHINK it"... since acquiring the Fuji X-E1 and X100 I've used my DSLRs maybe once in six months. The results I get straight out of the box are superior to the fat boys and lens support is growing. I just feel more emotionally involved using these cameras, I know that may sound ridiculous but I'm not the first X-series user to say that. Leica guys have said it for decades. One thing though...no-one pays you any attention when you're shooting! Now if Fuji would kindly make an X-series equivalent to that Leica Monochrom.....love from Downunder ;-)
     
  39. Discussions about cameras outside of any context of the subjects and lighting conditions is a discussion of electronic entertainment devices. When they are discussed as photographic tools to capture specific types of images, then sometimes they are good tools and other times, not so much. I have 4 µ4/3 cameras. One of them is an E-M5 that I've been using for over a year. For virtually all my personal work it's wonderful and I much prefer it to my D7000.
    One thing the Olympus and Panasonic µ4/3 cameras are dreadful at is on camera TTL flash. The cameras meter/calculate flash exposure much slower than a DSLR which results in a significant delay. Combined with slow AF in low light, even with the flashlight AF assist light, results in unacceptable delay for shooting people. (A D7000 with patterned AF assist light and a lens that focuses fast like the 17-55/2.8 is nearly instantaneous is similar conditions.) So, µ4/3 isn't what I want to use for shooting wedding receptions in typically dark, metro NY locations.
     
  40. Here it is from a different viewpoint. Here I am using Leica M2s. I eventually go digital and start using a Canon 5D but
    back problems make carrying it difficult, so I start looking for replacements. I eventually settle on a used M8 for 2K+. I use
    that successfully for quite a while and the weight is good for me. But I want more than 10MP so I start looking at the M9. I
    liked the 5D a lot but it was just too heavy. I eventually settled on a Sony Nex-7 as my Leica M8.5 (so to speak). Small
    camera, good EVF, viewfinder magnification, focus peaking, adapts to anything. I use my Leica M lenses on it and the
    whole package is small and light, much lighter than the 5D.


    I still lust after the M9 but the NEX-7 works great, and even at $1000+, the NEX looks cheap to a Leica user.
     
  41. I am going to start a thread in the Canon EOS category entitled "Why go DSLR?".
     
  42. I have made two transitions in my life: film -> DSLR and now -> M4/3. Film to digital was easy: same lenses no film/chemicals, instant feedback. Only downside is that workflow becomes more complicated and the factor of images taken has increased by over 100x.
    Now that I am much older, I use my camera primarily for traveling; still taking quality images not just family snaps. The 20lbs of equipment I used to carry in a medium size backpack is now a small bag weighing around 5-6 lbs and covering the full range from 18 - 600mm and with two fast primes.
    It is the weight and compactness that converted me. Cost is about the same and quality is even with the APS-C cameras and a bit below the FF. However it is more than good enough for me and few could tell the difference with normal size images up to 16x20. The other benefits are I don't stand out to thieves, it is convenient to carry around, not really as noticeable as a large camera body with a large lens and you can use manual lenses from any make. It also allows you to get more intimate with your subject.
    In a nutshell, it is a better tool for my purpose.
     
  43. Over the past couple of years, I have been using my dslr less and my point and shoot more (the usual reasons-size and weight).
    I like the description of a compact camera being a point and shoot on steroids.
    I went out today and bought the Sony NEX-6 with the 16-50 and the 55-210 mm lenses.
    Size and weight are no longer an issue and that will be wonderful for my travel photography.
    The battery is charging and I will be out tomorrow putting the camera through its paces.
    cb :)
     
  44. The best camera is the camera you have with you. I love my Nex-6 because I can cram it in my briefcase, or stick it in a jacket pocket (in fall and winter) and it is there, ready to go. I had stopped taking many photos because carting the Canon DSLR around was becoming a real pain.

    I have given up the ability to use my zooms in favor of a 30mm and 50mm fixed focal length lenses. While I sometimes miss having a zoom, the discipline of using just these two lenses has been good for my photography. There are some other things I don't like about the Nex-6 (should have got a nex-7), but just having the camera with me makes up for not having a zoom and the other issues.

    The bottom line is the size and weight advantages are real. If they are not that important to you, then mirrorless has no inherent advantage. but given the quality of these cameras, they do not loose out to similarly priced DSLRs.
    And finally, all that really counts is the photo - not what took it. We should all find the best tools for us to take the photos we want to take. Spending time defending our choices is not very productive...
     
  45. Laur, your blog article is interesting and makes some valid points, but I don't think everyone will agree with your conclusions and forecast. Just as there are some differences of opinion in this thread about what mirrorless will do for them versus traditional mirror and pentaprism. I think they both will fill a need for some time,some long time indeed.
    Also, in passing may I add your evolution of the camera history is interesting but not entirely correct IMHO... You say,- if I read you right,- the rangefinder concept once popular became surpassed and essentially limited to one or two brands, like Leica most prominentely, a connoisseur thing. Not quite so I think. Konica Hexar is one that stayed with the rangefinder. And others I am sure, even now, there are rf styles. My point here being that the rangefinder concept is still alive and it lives on along side the mirror prism models, so the evolution is not so distinct.
    Point being I must conclude then that DSLR style will likely co exist with mirrorless in the marketplace, with what share I am not equipped to say but both will be around for a long time. Mirrorlees is indeed revolutionary but only in a way revolutionary. Surpassing all other styles?, no I think not as much as I like the WYSIWYG. I have personally both styles. True, the little mirrorless grabs more attention lately as I can tote it easily..:) gs
     
  46. Laur, excellent blog. I have bookmarked it and if you dont mind I will be linking that in future forum posts both on this site and others. Very informative.
    John if you are still reading this, I was looking up some information regarding a Tamron Adaptall zoom I am researching and came across this NEX 7 folder from a flickr user. It is full of photos of the 7 with many different lens and adapters attached. It gives a good visual idea of the power of the NEX system with regards to legacy glass. I know many people bemoan that lack of OEM AF lenses for the NEX system but the power of legacy glass really cant be discounted when considering it and the possible combinations and photo capabilities. Again, building a quality legacy lens set capable of stunning photos for a fraction of the price of AF glass is a huge draw for many.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldwideyeys/sets/72157628110695928/with/8121482529/
     
  47. Got to say I for one do not see mirrorless as a "revolution in photography": that seems hyperbolic to me. I accept that most cameras will go mirrorless as EVFs improve, but I don't really see this means the end of big DSLR sized cameras - they will just be mirrorless. I am not sure this is as startling as many seem to think. What most people are extolling as mirrorless advantages are small size due to most current mirrorless being m4/3 or APS-C. Once you get to FF, or you want really good handling with fast lenses then things will get bigger to improve handling and to allow for fast optical designs. The Fuji X series are hardly that small. Also people always compare mirrorless with Pro FF DSLRs, when most of us FF users don't necessary have (using the D600s/6D, Rebels etc) these are not so monstrously large.
     
  48. @Gerry:
    I don't think everyone will agree with your conclusions and forecast.​
    That is perfectly fine. People did not believe film is going away either.
    Just as there are some differences of opinion in this thread about what mirrorless will do for them versus traditional mirror and pentaprism. I think they both will fill a need for some time,some long time indeed.​
    That might very well happen, but the point is that SLRs will lose the place they occupy today. I am not even sure if there will be enough SLR buyers for a firm to do what Leica did for the rangefinder.
    Also, in passing may I add your evolution of the camera history is interesting but not entirely correct IMHO... You say,- if I read you right,- the rangefinder concept once popular became surpassed and essentially limited to one or two brands, like Leica most prominentely, a connoisseur thing. Not quite so I think. Konica Hexar is one that stayed with the rangefinder. And others I am sure, even now, there are rf styles. My point here being that the rangefinder concept is still alive and it lives on along side the mirror prism models, so the evolution is not so distinct.​
    My point is that the rangefinder concept is now irrelevant. It is not mainstream technology but just a niche market. The Hexar is now as dead as the company that made it. Zeiss and Voigtlander may still sell rangefinders, but they have not even tried to transition to digital. Even Leica added LiveView and movie recording features to their cameras and touted their benefits.
    SLRs will become irrelevant in the same way. Will they still be produced 20 years from now - perhaps, but who cares - their market will be minuscule and no one will be asking "what DSLR should I buy" anymore.
    Mirrorlees is indeed revolutionary but only in a way revolutionary.​
    Is the first occurrence of revolutionary supposed to be evolutionary?
    MILCs may not look like much today, but you have to look at the potential of the technology. People were laughing about the first cars and talked how they could never replace horses. And yes, we still have horses and we still ride them, but they're not the primary means of locomotion anymore. From a philosophical point of view, I could argue that nothing is revolutionary, everything is evolutionary. Revolution is just the name that people give to evolution when they cannot understand what exactly happened.
    MILCs offer some impressive features already today: for example, integration with smart phones so you can control your camera via your phone. Could you do it with SLRs? Yes, but only by getting them out of SLR mode. Can you take movies with SLRs? Certainly, but only by getting them out of SLR mode. It's not hard to see that the more scenarios you can enable by getting an SLR to not be an SLR, the more you will see the SLR mechanism not as a feature but as an impediment.
    @David
    Laur, excellent blog. I have bookmarked it and if you dont mind I will be linking that in future forum posts both on this site and others. Very informative.​
    Thank you for the kind words, David! Not only will I not mind; I will appreciate seeing links to my posts.

    @Robin
    don't really see this means the end of big DSLR sized cameras - they will just be mirrorless​
    Yes, it is not the end of big cameras, it will just be the end of the SLR as the dominant camera technology. MILCs are already getting bigger as companies realize that not everyone wants a small camera body. I suspect that the small size was just a marketing strategy to attract people by offering something that is different in a way that is easy to gauge. It backfired in that some people seem to think that small size is all there is to this concept.
     
  49. Someone should post in the Canon and Nikon dSLR forums asking why are they still using traditional dSLRs?
     
  50. I love the size of the mirrorless cameras. I have the sony nex - 5r. I went from a point and shoot and it is easy to work.
    I think it is the future. However, I did buy a nikon d3100 on sale to have both. What I am loving is that the Sony can fit into just about any bag. My next step is the lens adapter.
     
  51. My son, who is 5, recently was promoted in Karate rank from yellow to orange belt. For the test and performance, I have a small bag and fit a 14mm, 20mm, 45-150mm, 12-50mm lens, a GF1 body, an OM-D EM-5 body, and accessories (SD cards, extra strap, etc). There are ups and downs with the m4/3 system but honestly I can't think of going back to lugging around all of my dSLR stuff anymore. The GF1 IQ was not as good as my dSLR was, but my EM-5 is as good in most respects and better in terms of DR and a few other things. Basically, I haven't invested a dime in dSLR or any other photographic system since I picked up a m4/3 system. So to me a better question is why waste time on anything else?
     
  52. For the vast majority of people, new parents, travelers, casual shooters, etc, the IQ of the current mirrorless cameras is more than enough, and these cameras have some strength that most dSLRs lack. Why aren't we seeing more of these mirrorless cameras? I think this is in part due to the slightly higher cost of buying a mirrorless system vs a APSC system. The high cost associated with mirrorless cameras is partly a result of smaller production volume, higher R&D, and perhaps manufacturing/distribution efficiencies. Another reason we are not seeing more m4/3, IMO, is the terrible marketing from Panasonic and Olympus in the USA that many people don't even know they exist.
     
  53. Not wanting to change lenses outdoors I opted to go with TWO mirrorless cameras on a recent outing, one with a 14-45mm zoom and one with a 45-200mm zoom. With the required larger bag it weights about as much as my D300 and 18-200mm Nikon zoom does, so I'm back where I started.
     
  54. You could just put a superzoom on one of your M4/3 bodies...
     
  55. Why aren't we seeing more of these mirrorless cameras?​
    I see them whenever I get out in an area that attracts people with cameras. And that is in US where they have a smaller market share. When you'll see them more often then this, you'll be asking why you are not seeing SLRs anymore.
     
  56. I just recently moved from Nikon DSLR to the Olympus OM-D EM-5. I am still adjusting to the menu's and such but I like the camera. The EVF takes some getting used to but it's coming around. One good thing about it is if you make changes in your menu's it shows in the EVF. So if your WB is wonky you see it before you shoot. Great picture quality, great classic styling, It's affordable also. It has a lot of great things about it. The touch screen function is really neat when shooting from the hip as it flips out so you can look down. Also allows you to shoot from a low position easily. It has the option of shooting flash wirelessly of course. Looks like ISO 3200 is the limit for a clean image so far. A big step from my Nikon D200.
    Anyway it's just another step in the world of technology. I am sure that a full frame mirrorless camera will be around soon. Probably not from Olympus but I think it will be a big seller and Nikon and Canon I am sure are working towards getting the model out. Oh the Oly OM-D shoots a 9fps for the spray and pray types.
    Anyway I am sold and I am finished with the DSLR style camera.
     
  57. I have been using my Pentax K100D since 2006. looking for an upgrade I was going to get one of those mirrorless cameras. I tried the K01 and am interested in a k30 then I started looking at a non ILC without giving up sensor size either there are a lot of choices.

    still not sure if I want to drop the DSLR completely I found a little gem the other day. Canon GX1

    seems like a nice middle ground camera

    thoughts?
     
  58. For a long time I've been using digital for snapshots and film for "photography." My first digital was a Sony Mavica that shot 640x480 and write directly to 3.5" floppies and I upgraded every few years to better point-and-shoot digital cameras. 2 years ago I decided it was time to go all digital (well, I might use film for something special). I think the future of digital photography is smaller sensors. Sensor technology is constantly improving so I don't think we will need a lot of real estate to get the quality we want. I see full frame and APS size sensors as anachronisms. Due to needing room for the mirror SLR lenses are needless complicated; by necessity wide SLR lenses are projection lenses. The narrow flange distance in mirrorless simplifies lens development. To me the m43 format seemed to be the best compromise between size and quality. I ended up with a Panasonic DMC-G3. I did spend some time scaling its learning curve but now I'm quite happy with my results. I'm even enjoying working on my images on the computer and don't miss chemicals and darkrooms at all. My big concern now is the viability of m43. Now that Sony owns most of Olympus and Olympus is supplying lenses to Sony will Olympus jump ship and leave Panasonic as the standard bearer of m43? I have to admit that every time I look at gear at m43 I wonder if my body and lenses will be orphans one day soon.
     
  59. Doubtful. M4/3 sells. They have no good business reason to drop it.
     
  60. So, they aren't all that small, some have odd ergonomics, and the prices are just as high as a DSLR and there are LESS lenses for them.
    So, what is the draw of a mirrorless camera ?​
    I think you hit the nail on the head. I was about to jump on a Canon M deal for $300 with 22mm pancake lens. That actually would have been smaller than a DSLR and pocktable in a coat or cargo pants/shorts. The problem was I discovered a deal on a Canon t3i refurb for $450 with one year warrenty. I canceled my order on the Canon M and got the t3i. Make no mistake the Canon M with the 22mm pancake looks like a fun little camera but considering I could sell the lens in my t3i kit for $100 and bring the difference between the cameras down to $50 what would you do? The t3i has a fold out screen, built in flash, accepts all my EF lenses without a $150 adapter, and has a rock solid Magic Lantern firmware release available for my video shooting. There is no doubt I would have had fun with the Canon M. But as far as versatility and features for $50 more I went with the DSLR.
    A Canon M would be perfect for my mom. I could give her a huge memory card and have her mail it to me a few times a year for me to edit and print her photographs for her. The lack of flash though would be a bit of a deal killer with her. I would want one that popped up automatically not a separate attachment.
     

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