Mirrorless - coming of age?

Started Mar 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Mirrorless - coming of age?
Mar 28, 2014

After many years of SLR and DSLR (my first was a Miranda F in 1967), I find myself looking hard at some mirrorless models.  I've looked before; but nothing clicked.  This time around, I'm finding some very well thought out designs and a seeming lack of technical issues of major importance for me.

But then I began to wonder if a lack of design maturity was behind their low market penetration, and the rumor that Panasonic's sales had begun to take off.    Olympus's OM-D series also appears to be popular, Fuji's are looking very good, and Sony's A series are getting a lot of interest.  Those four brands seem healthy.  Canon and Nikon? Canon seems uninterested, and Nikon seems rudderless.  And Samsung?  I just don't know.

When I first looked at m4/3 the cameras were the PEN series, and an eyelevel finder was extra and ruined the pocketability, not to mention taking up the hot shoe.  Image quality was OK, AF was sluggish, and the lens selection was weak.  The Sony NEX series had the same issues, and the flash was a dedicated model that screwed in.  Everybody's sales pitch was "look how small our body is", often to the point of affecting performance.

The focus now is on expanded lens lines, New and better sensors, and much improved ergonomics and control flexibility.  Camera bodies are getting a little bigger for better handling and balance with larger, faster lenses.  And EVF and LCD refresh rates are rising rapidly, so latency is getting smaller and is now less than the mirror time on the better DSLR's.

Any new and different product wiil have some early adopters, and I think the introductory MILC's were just good enough that they didn't die out after the initial excitement waned.  But they didn't flourish, and DSLR's still had the bulk of ILC sales.  Lots of rhetoric about that; but no one really thought it might be due to immature products, although lack of a broad lens selection was often mentioned.  And, of course, the DSLR's have been a moving target.  Entry level DSLR's now have the quality and features of upper mid-level models just 4-5 years ago.  Compare a D90 against a D3300.  So the MILC camp not only had to solve some technical problems; they also had to match the progress in DSLR's.  MILC's still aren't going to fill the camera bays at a MLB park; but they are good enough to go head to head against a Canon SL1 or a 5Ti.

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