Why mirrorless over dslr?

Started Jul 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: each has its pros and cons
In reply to vjk2, Jul 15, 2013

vjk2 wrote:

I mean, if you look at like the Sony NEX system, the lenses are still pretty humongous because of the sensor size. Probably the same size as 18-55 DSLR lenses. So you're still carrying around this bulky non-pocketable camera, but is more expensive, doesn't have OVF, has compromises in the lens b/c it is mirrorless. But by the looks of it, the Sony NEX will have largely the same size lenses and the body saves you like 1-2 inches over a DSLR. Which is nice, but when the lens is the bulk of the length, saving size in the body seems foolish.

Another viewpoint though - not everyone measures compactness by whether it will fit in a pocket, but whether it saves weight and space compared to a DSLR.  A mirrorless system like the NEX can certainly save room and is lighter than most any DSLR as a kit and as a camera with lens.  To measure the size difference in one dimension misses the point of the NEX body - it's in overall volume that it makes up a serious size difference compared to DSLR.  Here's a very simple understanding of it for my needs:  I have a very small video bag I sometimes like to use to carry very little gear - mostly to protect from rainshowers and such.  In it, I can fit my DSLR with a single lens attached - a fairly small one at that.  Nothing else can fit - the zipper even struggles to be closed over the DSLR.  However, with the NEX-5N, I can fit the NEX-5N body with EVF, 18-55mm lens, 16mm lens plus 12mm adapter, and 55-210mm lens, plus spare battery, cleaning cloth, and even my sunglasses.  Same bag...but due to the significantly less body volume of the NEX, I can fit two more lenses and some accessories compared to the DSLR.

If pocketability is your sole measure, then a mirrorless kit isn't the right one.  If your definition of compact or lighter is strictly in comparison to a DSLR, a mirrorless can be a nice second body option.  When I go birding, my DSLR with 400mm lens weighs nearly 8Lbs and is several feet long.  When I decide it's too hot to hike 10 miles with that kit, I can opt for the NEX with a 210mm + 1.7x converter for 357mm reach, and it weighs 2.6Lbs and measures less than a foot long.  It's all in how you look at it and what you need.  I don't care for pocketable, and I want a camera smaller and lighter than a DSLR but that can still perform the same in low light...a mirrorless cam that can snap on a fast prime and has an APS-C sensor is just the ticket, for me.  And though I love my OVF, I can shoot fine on an EVF - as long as I have some kind of viewfinder, I'm happy.

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