Mirrorless vs. DSLR: Does Size Matter?

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Randy Benter
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Mirrorless vs. DSLR: Does Size Matter?
9 months ago

This article Mirrorless vs DSLR does a good job of outlining the differences between the two, but seems a bit biased in favor of mirrorless. The opening image showing an APS-C mirrorless camera next to a FF DSLR exaggerates the size difference. Here is a different comparison of 2 APS-C cameras w/OVF:

X-Pro w/18-55 = 760g SL1 w/18-55 = 607g

This image from Fuji carries the same exaggerated mentality. There is nothing about switching from DSLR to CSC that eliminates the need for a tripod or a variety of lenses and accessories. The evolved photographer on the right could just as easily be carrying a Canon Rebel or Nikon D5x00.

Looks like the evolved photographer now carries a Rebel and a single lens.

I have owned several mirrorless cameras in the past few years and I initially thought the ultimate camera would cram the largest sensor into the smallest possible body. But after using some of the smallest mirrorless cameras, I realized that at some point smaller is no longer better. I don't want to hold a camera pinched between my thumb and forefinger; I want a camera that fits my hand. I used the X-A1 for a couple months, but eventually decided it was just too small for me. Everyone's idea of a comfortable camera will vary, but for me I found the sweet spot is a camera the size of the X-Pro1/X100 or a small DSLR, like a Rebel.

Canikon have shown that they can make a DSLR small, but what they haven't done (yet) is shown a willingness to equip one of those small bodies with features that would appeal to a pro or enthusiast. Small DSLRs are stripped of features, most notably (IMO) is the lack of AF fine tune. I don't understand why they sell cameras that primarily use PDAF, but don't include this adjustment. I also think Canikon should make more high-quality APS-C lenses; most pro lenses are FF.

I still own both DSLR and CSC and feel that choosing only one would be a sacrifice. Mirrorless cameras still don't have good continuous focus/tracking AF or an EVF that can compete with a good TTL OVF (but they are getting better). While my favorite cameras today are Fuji mirrorless, I disagree with many generalizations like "DSLRs are too big" and "the DSRL is dead". I still hope to get down to a single system and I don't really care if it is a Rebel Pro DSLR or an X-Pro2 CSC.

 Randy Benter's gear list:Randy Benter's gear list
Leica X2 Fujifilm X100S Leica X Vario Leica M Typ 240 Fujifilm X-E2 +27 more
Canon EOS 100D (EOS Rebel SL1) Fujifilm X-Pro1
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