Curious about why Mirrorless

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Thomas A Anderson Contributing Member • Posts: 717
Mirrorless is a bad word.

Lori2 wrote:

When Mirrorless first came out, it sounded amazing because it would be so much smaller than full size DSLR's. I bought an M50 a couple of years ago, (and I admit, it's almost too tiny, but sure fun to carry around.) I've always dreamed though of having full frame. But I like the smaller form factor of apsc, so have never jumped to full frame. But when the coming of mirrorless, and the Canon RP, I've finally decided to take the leap.

The R and RP are tiny when compared to even APS-C DSLR’s like the 7D or even the XXD series. And the M line is almost P&S size. There is a balance to strike on FF: 1) The mount needs to be large enough not to hamper lens design, 2) The body must be large enough to absorb some amount of heat for video shooting, 3) The battery must be large enough to power the large sensor and high resolution video features, and finally 4) The grip has to be large enough for many hand sizes when supporting larger and heavier lenses.

It's almost to big for me and most of the lenses are outside of my comfort zone. And looking at the R5 and R6, those are getting back closer to the size of a DSLR.

Because pro features create more heat, need more power, have more connections, and tend to be used by serious people who aren’t worried about having a tiny body they can carry easily without a camera backpack.

So is there another draw to mirrorless? It doesn't seem that much smaller in the end.

Size might be a side effect of not having a mirror, but here is why I think “mirrorless” is a horrible term for an ILC body: the implication is that removing the mirror is only done because you don’t want that size and weight penalty. Why else would you define a body by a design feature it’s MISSING. Why isn’t the R called motorless? PDAF-less? Filmless? Naming things based on what they don’t have only confuses the uninitiated and leads to antiquated terminology describing modern concepts. There’s a reason we no longer say horseless carriages: that was a dumb term.

The mirror was removed because other technologies made it superfluous, and some companies went nuts on the size and weight savings. Sony loves to make uselessly tiny electronics of all sorts. Their camcorders were impossible to hold unless you were three, and their RX100 bodies were small AND slippery.  By the way, their Mark VII is $1,300....for a 1” sensor.  You will PAY for compactness.

DPAF was Canon’s technology that started matching or exceeding PDAF, which is why they waited so long for a FF ILC body. The more casual shooters we’re fine with the M’s contrast-based, slower AF. Nobody would shell out thousands for a slow AF FF.

I'm planning on getting the RP, the kit lens and maybe the 50mm 1.8. Hopefully find an adapter for the few full frame lenses I have. That way, I'm still pretty small but have the ability to use other lenses as needed.

Sounds great!

For example, hopefully someday I'll get to go to Israel again, and I ordered a used Tokina 16-28 2.8 for inside shots in tight spots. The lens looks like a beast, but I'll leave it in the bus if there's no need for it. But for portability and general use, use the 50. Heck back in the 70's, all I had for my AE-1 was the 50, a 28, and 135 telephoto. And was perfectly happy!


The 24-105 f/4 L is great. Small, light, and great IQ.

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