Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Christoph Stephan
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 27, 2013

zenpmd wrote:

Some random thoughts from today....

I cannot help but feel all it has done is fuel GAS and people's desire for change. Photography is a subtle art and a long learning curve, but without concrete and identifiable progress which you would see if you were lifting weights or running. New technology can feed off that insecurity.

In the long term, mirrorless technology will be very radical, but at the moment its not worth buying into for the following reasons:

  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.

That is true, but not important for everyone

  1. Nothing can compete with the Bokeh of FF (now I admit these are more about sensor size than mirrorless technology, but my point is that mirrorless is so expensive it makes sense to compare to FF), and also to keep using FF until mirrorless FF is available.
  2. The viewfinders are not 100%

The finder is indeed the biggest reason why I am tempted by the 6D. Sooo big and bright. When taking mirrorless into consideration, their EVF finders suck battery life big time.

Indeed, in direct comparison on a travel and photo fair in Darmstadt - nothing could compare to the finder of the 6D

  1. With all the options you have to carry a bag still. They are not the Sony RX100 or RX1. I am a Fuji x100s user and this is just about acceptable

Smaller size and weight can matter, especially during treks and in hot climate. However, I wonder whether what you save in weight you have to add in additional batteries when using mirrorless. Five spares for a DSLR might translate into ten for mirrorless on a multiday trek, and then the additional weight of the spares becomes significant.

  1. The best thing in its favour is that the zooms, in particular, are small, but there is only one constant apeture option, and its excessively expensive and still only 2.8 so as limited shallow DoF for spontaneous portraiture when travelling for example. The new Tamron 24-70 on FF, on the other hand, is fabulously versatile.
  2. Sure, the primes are super light, but the total cost of the good primes for the OMD, for example are extortionate, and mad. And in fact, that model serves as good proof to my theory that its about GAS. If great photographers, loads in fact, can get away with just two lenses, a 35mm and an 85mm, then the total cost on something like a 6D is something like £2000. Thats great value. People are buying the OMD, a ridiculous suite of primes, including buying things like the 12mm prime. Whats the point?
  3. The AF sucks for the money the systems cost. 
  4. APS-C systems, except Pentax, lack good primes. On FF on Nikon and Canon, you can buy exceptional 85mm 1.8 for example and its not a big package. So APSC is not the answer either
  5. With the price of the 6d and d600 there is no reason not to go full frame now and just become a great photographer with the 35mm and the 85mm. This is my plan and this week I am going to order the 6d!!!

Great for portraiture photographers, but for other stuff you need other lenses. The crop factor and higher pixel density of crop cameras is a huge boon for birds, where no tele-lens can be long enough. Macro magnification is better on crop as well.

For landscape and portrait I agree, the 6D is best.

So it seems to me that it makes sense to continue working with bigger cameras for now. The people who complain about weight are those who are already doing stupid things like carrying two zooms, when they should be armed with just the 35mm and 85mm.

True for portraiture, not true for landscape and nature photography. There I use all focal lengths at my disposal. For architecture, you also will find your 35 mm to be not wide enough very quickly.

For depth of field there you mostly want stop down you lens, so you will find the f1.8 of your prime of little use for landscape, macro and telepoto shots.

Zooming with you feet is also not an option. It is about the perpsective thing, not only about what is in the picture.

Interested to hear your thoughts to the contrary!

 Christoph Stephan's gear list:Christoph Stephan's gear list
Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 40D Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro +1 more
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