I do not understand the appeal of the mirror-less cameras

Started Jul 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
Fujifilm Finepix F30
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Yes, you are missing something - Re: I do not understand the appeal of mirrorless
In reply to Oilman, Jul 21, 2012

Yes, you are definitely missing something.

I used to think like you when mirrorless first came out...

I thought, what's the point of a small mirrorless body when the lenses (even though they are smaller than dSLR lenses) are still too big to make the camera pocketable (except for a few pancake lenses)? Why not buy a point-and-shoot camera instead?

What's the point of owning a redundant system (mirrorless with lenses), when a they are inferior in every way to a dSLR and you are still going to carry a bag of lenses just the same as you would with a dSLR system? Why not buy the tried and tested dSLR instead?

That was what I felt about mirrorless years before when they had:
1) mediocre electronic viewfinders
2) slow autofocus performance
3) inferior image quality at high ISO's as compared to dSLR's, and
4) very limited lens selections

Fast forward today... Mirrorless is no longer what it used to be. When before they were still very clunky and can only be considered as inferior back up systems for dSLR's, they can now hold their ground and can actually replace DLSR's in practically every application except the most critical ones. Mirrorless cameras have slowly but surely inched closer to dSLR performance in every aspect that whatever advantage left a dSLR has over mirrorless has become trivial for most enthusiast users or can be compensated or even exceeded by the mirrorless advantages over dSLR.

It is actually the enthusiast users that make up the bulk of camera sales for enthusiast models (dSLR's, mirrorless interchangeable cameras, advanced compacts, and bridge cams) so what their buying trends are will dictate the future of the market.

From the standpoint of an enthusiast user like me who owns a dSLR and lenses, just take a look at the Olympus OMD EM5 for example. Look at the high ISO performance (ISO 6400, 12800, 25600) and compare the output to that of the very best APS-C dSLR cameras from Canon and Nikon. Doesn't it bother you that the Olympus OMD EM5 despite its smaller 4/3 sensor can outperform your EOS 7D's APS-C sensor at the highest ISO's at a fraction of the price?

Look at the lens offerings of micro4/3: pay particular attention to the size, the weight, the quality and the prices. Look at micro4/3's version of the APS-C's 70-200/f2.8 lens for example. Doesn't the sheer size and weight difference alone bother you at all? How about micro4/3's version on the APS-C's fast zoom as well , the 18-55 F/2.8. Take a look at the size, weight, quality and the price... Doesn't it bother you? Take a look at focus accuracy of your prime lenses wide open especially at F/1.4, F/1.8 and compare that with those from mirrorless... Doesn't the lack of microfocus adjust in most entry level to mid level dSLR's bother you? No such issue in mirrorless! How about mirrorless' 'touch-and-track' autofocus, and the high resolution EVF's with extensive information laid out and actual capture including exposure and depth of field, previewed real time? Doesn't that innovation far outweigh the nitpicking complaint that EVF's are still not as fast as OVF's? How about reviewing and playing back the captured photos and videos on the EVF (not on the LCD) as if you were watching them on a large tv screen... isn't that great? Can you do that on an OVF? How about the wifi, and other extensive touch screen features in mirrorless that are still in infancy in dSLR's? Mirrorless was first to offer them and they will continue leading the 'smart camera' innovation and revolution!

These are the end times of the dSLR. As I've mentioned in previous posts about a year ago, mirrorless was never meant to be a 'back up' to a dSLR by its creators/innovators. They were meant to IMPROVE on the dSLR's limitations, and in effect, gradually KILL and REPLACE the dSLR and grab its market. In this age of cut throat competition, if you can't win the game, you change the rules. That is what Olympus and Panasonic are doing!

I believe micro4/3 has an edge over other mirrorless formats (APS-C of NEX, Samsung, etc.) simply because it started early on and has already a large number of lenses available with two manufacturers (Panasonic and Olympus) contributing to the rapid expansion of the camera and lens system. The advantage is that because of the common mount, the lenses can be used in any micro4/3 camera regardless of brand. It makes for the rapid build up of lenses faster than say NEX's, Samsung's and Fuji's APS-C mirrorless which don't support each others mounts (incompatible). It's like Android vs. Apple's OS. The more smartphones that support/use the system, the more it will dominate the market.

As to Canon and Nikon, good luck and hope you finally see the light that protecting your dSLR business by coming up with handicapped/crippled mirrorless models like the G1X and Nikon1 is not the way to go. Do it the way Panasonic and Olympus do it: give all their best in their mirrorless models: the best controls, customization, features, flexibility, build and firmware and the most lenses at the best prices and quality.

Don

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