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

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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plevyadophy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,258
Thanks Re: Each has strengths and weaknesses...

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

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.

I cannot help but feel that this is wrong.

Wait. It's not something I feel. The CIPA sales figures prove it's wrong. But that's not really important.

[spurious analogy about weights and running deleted, as only someone who has never done either could have been so wrong]

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.

True. But nothing prohibits FF mirrorless. The first one, the Leica M 240, is a bit pricy, but still, it exists.

  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.

Totally incorrect. The fact that mirrorless cameras can have purely symmetrical normal and wide primes, and less retrofocus normal and wide zooms than SLRs gives them a major bokeh advantage. Leica has been an industry leader in smooth bokeh for decades. Some of the small primes from the APS mirrorless makers are also pretty stellar. The DSLR design is an obstacle to good bokeh.

  1. The viewfinders are not 100%

100% wrong. All mirrorless viewfinders are 100%. Some FF DSLRs (like Canon 6D) are not 100%. Few APS DSLRs are 100%. The DSLR design is an obstacle to 100% viewfinders.

  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

I've taken SLRs and mirrorless out without a bag, just pick one lens for an afternoon. Just because a camera has interchangeable lenses does not obligate you to change lenses on every mission.

  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.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say, so I can't count it as correct or incorrect.

  1. Sure, the primes are super light, but the total cost of the good primes for the OMD, for example are extortionate, and mad.

As Olympus always has been. They have a history as a premium maker: check out Pen F prices, adjusted for inflation. All you're saying is that bargain makers like Canon aren't making mirrorless in mainstream quantities, either.

And price a FF mirrorless Leica M 240...

  1.  And in fact, that model serves as good proof to my theory that its about GAS.

An incorrect model cannot prove an incorrect theory.

  1. 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?

Superior optical designs. More accurate focusing. Less noise and vibration. The list goes on.

  1. The AF sucks for the money the systems cost.

The AF speed sucks (which is a pain for sports shooters, who will be the last converts from DSLRs) but the accuracy and AF zone coverage is superior.

  1. APS-C systems, except Pentax, lack good primes.

True, but that trend began in the 70s, with FF film.

  1.  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

You can buy an exceptional 50mm f1.4 for an APS, at about the same size and weight as an 85mm f1.8 on FF, and do pretty much the same thing.

So, APS is the answer, although I'm not sure what your question was...

  1. 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.

Non sequitur.  One can become a great photographer with APS, FF, or a 4x5 view camera. There's no cause and effect relationships in your chain of reasoning.

  1. This is my plan and this week I am going to order the 6d!!!

Have fun.

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.

If you have a mission (possibly a paying one) that requires a range from 24-200mm, then carrying "just the 35mm and 85mm" is the epitome of stupid.

Interested to hear your thoughts to the contrary!

Sure. Pick something smaller and lighter, with a zoom or two, so you can carry it more places and do more shooting, which increases your chances of becoming "a great photographer", and when you get good, and figure out what the heck your field of photography is, acquire heavier duty gear in that field. You may find your one true love is macro, and suddenly a lower vibration camera with a smaller, denser sensor is what you really need.

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Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.
Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.
Ciao! Joseph

An absolutely superb response to the OP. Great!!!

A lot of these kind of silly posts have been popping up lately with the usual suspects from the two apposing sects doing battle. It seems to me though that we have two markets, and their advocates, feeling threatened hence the kind of advertising we see for these products and the noises coming from their users, and that's medium format (feeling threatened by high res 35mm) and 35mm DSLR (feeling threatened by by small sensor mirrorless ).

I think, just as many of us have many sets of clothing and wear what's appropriate for the occasion or what suits one's style, photographers should stop having these silly debates, take an objective look at the merits and demerits of various type of gear, and just use what's appropriate or takes their fancy. Me I am a five brand and fixed-lens digital and interchangeable lens mirrorless and non-live view DSLR shooter (and God willing, I will add live-view DSLR and a lottery win might see me add the Leica S to that list).

Thanks for restoring some sanity to the debate.

Warmest regards,


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Biggs23 MOD
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