Mirrorless Age Arrived - Yet?

Joined
Nov 3, 2018
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138
I wrote three user-guide books on mirrorless cameras: Nikon Z50 A complete guide, Canon EOS RP A complete guide, and Nikon Z6/Z7 A complete guide - The Arrival of the Mirrorless Era. (Amazon.com)
When Nikon and Canon entered the full-frame mirrorless arena at the end of 2018, I thought the whole world would swiftly move to mirrorless. So I was surprised when Nikon announced the development of D6 a few months ago. I never thought there would be another high-end D series. Now in Vegas (CES), Nikon D6 and Canon EOS-D1 X Mark III are being shown. The EOS D1 X Mark III sports 16 fps (focal-plane shutter) and 20 fps (live-view shooting / focal-plane or silent shutter). And of course, there is the D780, a newer D750. I did not think all DSLRs would disappear instantly, but then, I did not think many newer DSLRs were popping up either. It appears there's still a large user population interested in DSLRs, that is, the DSLR decline was much slower than many people anticipated, including camera manufacturers. Given that, it makes good business sense for Nikon and Canon to continue producing new DSLRs because the DSLR technologies are already established and no new investment is needed. Just use the existing manufacturing facility as long as the market demand lingers on. But fundamentally, the mirrorless is the direction of the technology, just like film gave way to digital, Mirrorless is a natural transition of camera technology. It simply makes better sense and is logical. As I am sure many of you would agree, once you get used to the benefit of mirrorless and its EVF, you cannot go back to the "dumb" glass-prism finder compared with the "intelligent" EVF. But, ironically, the real glass prism is the very reason many people are still hesitating to abandon DSLRs.
To write my books, I purchased a Z7 at the end of 2018 and am really enjoying it today. I got a Canon EOS RP a few months ago but returned the camera in 30 days to get a full refund. But I was very impressed by the camera and 24-105mm lens that came with it. A superb optics. To write my Z50 book, I got a Z50 + 16-50mm a month ago . I used it for one month and shipped back for a full refund. I was very much impressed by the Z50 camera (almost identical to the Z6/Z7) and its cheap 16-50mm kit lens. This plastic lens offers an amazing optical quality. For both Canon and Nikon, newer, larger mirrorless mounts are making a clear difference in lens quality. (The picture below is by Z50 + 16-50mm kit lens, at 16mm. JPEG basic, I used Z50's SPECIAL EFFECT: POP. almost wide-open at f/4. I see only very small chromatic aberration on the upper-left corner of the frame. ) I love the Z50 - I may buy it back.

DSC_0577.JPG
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Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
377
Location
British Isles
A personal viewpoint - Mirrorless is more fun.

Thinking back to my first mirrorless camera, the Panasonic G2, in about 2009 and the features that it had. It had an articulated flip out touch screen - imagine that - touch the screen for focusing and picture taking. It had focus points that covered almost the entire viewing area - which could be customised - including a histogram.

Amazing camera that G2.

Later had a few Nikon DSLRs again, including the D610. The images that came out of that D610 were great - I have a huge print on the wall - A0 size - from the D610 full frame sensor. Huge image but clear and sharp. But the picture taking experience was a bit basic - 6 or 9 little focus points in the middle of the viewfinder - the usual information along the bottom of the viewfinder -f stop, shutter speed and +- is about as exciting as it gets !

Then some time later, at the local camera store Mr Martin put a Fuji X-T1 in my hands and said have a look at that - wow - wow - sold !

I have had 4 Fuji mirrorless cameras - the X-T1; X-T2; X-Pro1; X-Pro2 and now the Panasonic G9 (what a camera that is). The thought of going back to 9 little focus points in the middle of the viewfinder, and the huge loss in featured (compared to mirrorless) - is not going to happen - period.

The other revelation was that the tiny sensors in cell phones were taking great pictures, so I questioned whether I need a massive full frame sensor. OK there are undeniable advantages to a full frame sensor - but in comparison an APS-C or M4/3 sensor is still huge compared to a cell phone - and they take great pictures.

Anyway, I hope not to upset anyone - but back to my original point - Mirrorless is more fun and engaging !

Soon be spring !
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
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2,241
Location
London
Corporations tend to be siloed and P&L accounts organised around product lines.
It is rare, albeit not unheard of for, for new product lines to be assigned to teams responsible for old/current product lines with a view to immediately switch from old to new.
Especially with Japanese companies transitions are planned over 5-20 years.
These are masses produced devices with complex supply chains.
In short, any VP of high end DSLR will resist a new internal threat from a new technology. They will assess the opportunity and try to own it.
This takes some time and if it is not put in the Plan of Record it will not happen in this cycle.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
138
As you can see in my post above, the Z50's 16-50mm produces an excellent image. And the lens itself weighs almost nothing. I believe the true benefit of the DX format is the weight of lenses. Even the full-frame, the mirrorless body can be made smaller and lighter than the DSLR, but the moment you attach the lens, the weight benefit disappears. The lens is always a culprit when it comes to the total weight of the gear. I can attach this tiny 16-50mm Z lens on my Z7 body, and it becomes my "Z50" with the same 20MP sensor.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
377
Location
British Isles
I was never very impressed with the Full Frame lens reviews either. To think of lugging around a huge expensive piece of glass (which I have done in the past) and for the reviews to say that there was large amounts of light fall-off and picture sharpness in the edges when used at the widest apertures.

I thought what is the point in carrying around a Nikon 24-70 f2.8 if the image quality in the corners was was dropping off. At the same time the Fuji lenses were receiving stellar reviews. The equivalent APS-C sized Fuji 16- 55 f2.8 produced gorgeous pictures with less issues, smaller size and I think much cheaper !

I know we run the risk of straying into Full Frame v Small Sensor argument rather than purely Mirrorless. However I no longer saw big Full Frame DSLRs, and their large lenses as being the top of the tree, the aspirational top of the pile - a big DSLR and big lens no longer became my aspiration. Holding that gorgeous Fuji X-T1 I realised that for me the game had moved on.
 

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