Mirrorless or Mirror?

Joined
May 21, 2019
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Albuquerque, NM USA
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Don Roy
If you don't think just Nikon, and not Z/DX/FX mounts or sensor abilities, just thinking conceptually, what thought process makes a person pick mirrorless or DSLR/mirror? Are mirrored cameras the new music CD?
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
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Puget Sound
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Ken
It is a different way of shooting. Focus accuracy for AF-S is generally much better and the need for tuning almost disappears. You get a lot of real-time information in your EVF, and this can be quite helpful for focusing and exposure. It also has it downsides, but depending on your shooting style, it can offer a lot of features. I have been using a mirrorless bodies along side of DSLRs for over eight years. They each have their purpose.

--Ken
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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Moscow, Idaho
I think the DSLRs of yonder year, and their P&S kin were the music CDs. Modern DSLRs and Mirrorless are something new. Look at the sales data, mirrorless is the new norm—whate ever you want to call it. The future is mirrorless and smartphone, with some fixed lens bodies thrown in for good measure.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
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Newcastle, Washington
I agree with Ken, Nick and Randy on their comments and being a Nikon shooter for years I just recently purchased a Sony mirrorless and I'm loving it. I have no plans to switch entirely to Sony, I couldn't bare to get rid of my D5. Having said that, I think it really depends on what you're shooting as to whether a Nikon mirrorless fills the bill currently. I'm sure to keep in the game for wildlife shooters Nikon will come out with a Pro-version mirrorless to compete with Cannon and Sony. In the mean time I'm enjoying both systems.
 
For me, one of the biggest advantages to mirrorless, which I first experienced with the Sony NEX-7 some years ago, is the EVF, and a second is the accurate AF. I especially appreciate being able to see in the EVF immediately what happens when I make a change, say, in exposure compensation, and I like having the information right there in front of me that uh-oh, somehow my ISO isn't the way it had initially been set, so I can take care of that before pressing the shutter to make the exposure. EVFs have definitely improved since the NEX-7!

I also like the smaller, lighter weight, less bulky body of a mirrorless FF camera, too, even though some of the lenses are still pretty hefty!
 
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London
For me it is the mix of weight and quality.
When I used to travel on business for 2-3 days I would not carry a lot of photo gear. The Sony Alpha5000 was perfect with the 16-50. It was also easy to connect it to my laptop.
For proper holidays I would take both a DSLR and a film camera with tripods and lenses.
 
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Andrew
There are just so many different scenarios. This is the 2020 Version. I reserve the right to make adjustments if/when technology changes.
  • All day/weekend battery life?
    • DSLR
  • Silent operation as not to disturb wildlife or people enjoying a moment?
    • Mirrorless
  • Need to nail exposure in camera without a lot of post processing? EVF.
    • Mirrorless
  • Need to have best AF for capturing erratic movements?
    • DSLR
  • Need a small kit in both weight and size?
    • Mirrorless
  • Need to be able to adjust camera controls with large gloves in the winter time?
    • DSLR
  • Need to record still and video with capable AF-C?
    • Mirrorless
  • Need to record stills and video, but AF-C not necessary?
    • DSLR/Mirrorless
  • Capability of highly manipulating the in camera JPG (film simulations).
    • Mirrorless
Looks pretty neck and neck to me...and a large reason as to why I still am invested into both sets of technology.
My biggest one is the AF-C. My D500 is still the go to camera for me for sports. Now, if I'm still shooting professionally and Nikon comes out with a Z that has the same AF-C tracking capability or better than the D500/D5? Then more of the categories above start swinging toward mirrorless.
 
Joined
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
For me it is how the gear works, for the specific shoot.
  • My first mirrorless (Olympus EM1-mk1) was fine for my usual pics, but the EVF stunk when it came to shooting sports.
    • The worst problem was that the image would freeze for a fraction of a second after the last shot in a burst. That was long enough to cause me to loose track of a moving subject, and not be able to do a quick follow up shot.
    • So I went back to using the D7200, for sports.
  • As mentioned, in challenging lighting the real time exposure view of the EVF lets me see when my cameras meter cannot handle the lighting and I can correct immediately, BEFORE I press the shutter.
  • I like the idea of NO blackout, when shooting continuous. That makes it easier to concentrate on tracking the subject.
  • Sometimes the driving factor is not the camera, but the lens.
    • NONE of my Olympus lenses work as well in MY hand, as the Nikon 70-200/4 for shooting field sports.
    • So for football, soccer and lacrosse, it is the D7200 + 70-200/4.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
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Minnesota
For me mirrorless has IBIS for hand held shots in low light and the ability to use just about any lens from any camera brand with adapters. I am using lenses from SLRs from the 1960s. Still, hanging on to my D850 for a while yet.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
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Winter Haven, florida
They are different tools, it is like comparing a screwdriver and a hammer. You sometimes need both.
I am a late 60's old fart, who has shot dslr's for over 40 years. From manual focus, to the newest neat stuff.
I shot a high school football game last friday- using my d4 and 400mm f2.8. I also had my sony a7riv slung around my neck, with a 55mm 1.4. The comparisons were interesting to me.
I moved to a mirrorless system primarily related to my vision- I have had 2 eye surgeries on my shooting eye. I had not used my d4 in 9months- dang pandemic.
The d4 focused faster. But dang it got a lot heavier than it was last year.
I could see a LOT better through the mirrorless viewfinder. The football fields are really dark- 12,800-25000iso dark. It was harder to follow the ball in the d4 viewfinder, the mirrorless viewfinder was a lot brighter.
The wysiwyg in the mirrorless viewfinder is a game changer- bigtime game changer. I shoot in manual. I wanted to take a picture of the moon over the game. Exposure perfect through the mirrorless viewfinder- first shot. Took 3 shots to get it on the d4, moon was blown out on the first two.
For me it is all about the viewfinder. It is better than the dslr. I never thought I would say that, but for me right now it is better.
If I can see better, I can take better pictures. For me it is a better tool.
I will shoot the d4 until it dies, but otherwise I am a mirrorless convert.
gary
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
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Actually, if you carry an extra battery and choose different gloves, your neck and neck result changes. The AF aspect is likely just software, which evolves.
With winter temp normals at 20F and a few weeks with possible -20F, you don't really have a lot of choice on gloves that will handle that kind of weather. But I understand where you are going with it.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
For me mirrorless has IBIS for hand held shots in low light and the ability to use just about any lens from any camera brand with adapters. I am using lenses from SLRs from the 1960s. Still, hanging on to my D850 for a while yet.
This is an often said but easily mistaken/misinterpreted statement.
The catch is the "just about" exception.
This is dependent on specifically what lens you want to mount on what camera.

Specific situation. The last time I looked, there was no adapter that will let a Nikon AF-S lenses communicate with micro 4/3 cameras.
The only adapters were "dumb" adapters. What this means is, your AF-S lens is now a FULLY MANUAL lens. There is no autofocus, no VR, for G lenses there is no ability to control the aperture from the camera, and if you have an AF-P lens you cannot even manually focus the lens.

Even with Nikon, on their Z cameras with the FTZ adapter, the AF lenses (mechanical autofocus) cannot autofocus, and become manually focused lenses.

The adapter has to exist to allow you to use lens brand A on camera brand B.
And it has to be a "smart" adapter, to allow the lens to communicate with the camera.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,471
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I prefer one over the other depending on the subject. I'd rate my usage 70% mirrorless and 30% DSLR. The thing is, that 30% cannot be replicated by mirrorless, no matter how much tech they throw at it. Saying that, the other advantages of mirrorless can be more advantageous depending on the photographer making DSLRs irrelevant.

Basically the main advantages of Nikon DSLRs are:
- instant startup
- analog viewfinder not affected by high contrast lighting
- infrared light beam for pitch black flash photography
- cheap cost for a professional kit

Advantages of mirrroless:
- AF accuracy
- silent photography
- smaller physical dimensions
- video if that's your thing
 

NCV

Joined
Jan 31, 2019
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391
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Italy
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Nigel
Both.

I see my Z7 being used for travel hiking and most things where the camera is off the tripod.

I will continue to use my D810 for my shift lenses and some other lenses like the 16mm fisheye that does not have AF on the Z7.
 

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