mirrorless is not for me

Started Jan 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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shimp
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mirrorless is not for me
Jan 25, 2012

Selling my 5D and lenses and going mirrorless. I did it and bought the X100 last week. Well, it's going back for a refund, and surprise, I'm going back to DSLR. My main reason for selling the 5D was size (wanting to carry my camera to more social functions without being the guy with the "big camera."). The X100 seemed to be the perfect mix of smaller size, fast lens and large sensor. The jpegs were beautiful and it was a beauty to hold.

Sadly, the Achilles heel of the X100 (and most mirrorless cameras, including the NEX 5N and 7) is its autofocus. It uses a contrast-detection AF used in point-and-shoots rather than phase-detection AF used in DSLRs. In low light, its accuracy of focus is wildly hit or miss, requiring you to focus multiple times using a variety of tools (distance scale, EVF). It has continuous AF for moving subjects but it's implemented backwards - instead of tracking the subject after pressing AF lock, it tracks until AF lock is pressed. Focusing on still subjects is consistent with some practice, but that's little consolation knowing that's what you're limited to.

I bought the hype with mirrorless image quality but forgot there's more to a camera than its sensor. Until the CD-AF tech improves or more mirrorless cams have phase detect, it's back to DSLR for me. I've decided to back to basics with a small DSLR (Nikon D5100), kit lens and 35mm 1.8. This is close to what I had when starting back up with photography (D3100). Three cameras and about a dozen lenses later, it's like coming full circle.

Canon EOS 5D Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D5100
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