DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

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anim8tr Regular Member • Posts: 140
DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

Take a look at Thom Hogan's comments on the topic. He's an objective source.

Here are short reviews on the three Nikon options:

https://www.zsystemuser.com/z-mount-cameras/nikon-z-camera-reviews/the-short-version-nikon-z.html

As a general rule, changing systems is a good way to spend money, but rarely provides a sustained advantage. Look at your budget and the lenses you'll need for what you shoot. If you are demanding about performance, your lenses will last a while while you'll upgrade camera bodies every few years. Chasing performance needs to be within one system with the lenses largely constant.

Any system comes with a major learning curve. It's not going to be intuitive, and you're going to need to learn how to do things with the new system. That's the problem with many of the cross system reviews. They set up a scenario and try to use similar settings rather than optimum settings. Or they use the default settings rather than adjusting for the best way to photograph their subject.

If you can't make great photos with the Nikon mirrorless cameras right now, it's not the fault of the cameras.

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ken_in_nh Senior Member • Posts: 1,079
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?
1

ericbowles wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

Take a look at Thom Hogan's comments on the topic. He's an objective source.

Here are short reviews on the three Nikon options:

https://www.zsystemuser.com/z-mount-cameras/nikon-z-camera-reviews/the-short-version-nikon-z.html

As a general rule, changing systems is a good way to spend money, but rarely provides a sustained advantage. Look at your budget and the lenses you'll need for what you shoot. If you are demanding about performance, your lenses will last a while while you'll upgrade camera bodies every few years. Chasing performance needs to be within one system with the lenses largely constant.

Any system comes with a major learning curve. It's not going to be intuitive, and you're going to need to learn how to do things with the new system. That's the problem with many of the cross system reviews. They set up a scenario and try to use similar settings rather than optimum settings. Or they use the default settings rather than adjusting for the best way to photograph their subject.

If you can't make great photos with the Nikon mirrorless cameras right now, it's not the fault of the cameras.

These comments may be accurate if you're talking about a system change from one manufacturer to another.  But not if you go from DSLR to mirrorless within a particular manufacturer's lineup - at least not with regard to learning curve or lens choice.

For example, when I went from a Canon 70D to a Canon M6ii last year, the controls and menus were completely familiar and all my lenses worked with an inexpensive adapter, exactly the same on either camera.

I completely agree that chasing performance across systems is a fools game and invitation to waste a lot of money.   But within a system?  Probably not so foolish.  Most of us upgrade infrequently.  After all, how much do you really gain in one camera generation?  But after 7-8 years, you start to see noticeable gains.  For me, it was size, weight and the ability to use vintage Canon lenses that I already owned.

KCook
KCook Forum Pro • Posts: 18,896
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ken_in_nh wrote:

ericbowles wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

Take a look at Thom Hogan's comments on the topic. He's an objective source.

Here are short reviews on the three Nikon options:

https://www.zsystemuser.com/z-mount-cameras/nikon-z-camera-reviews/the-short-version-nikon-z.html

As a general rule, changing systems is a good way to spend money, but rarely provides a sustained advantage. Look at your budget and the lenses you'll need for what you shoot. If you are demanding about performance, your lenses will last a while while you'll upgrade camera bodies every few years. Chasing performance needs to be within one system with the lenses largely constant.

Any system comes with a major learning curve. It's not going to be intuitive, and you're going to need to learn how to do things with the new system. That's the problem with many of the cross system reviews. They set up a scenario and try to use similar settings rather than optimum settings. Or they use the default settings rather than adjusting for the best way to photograph their subject.

If you can't make great photos with the Nikon mirrorless cameras right now, it's not the fault of the cameras.

These comments may be accurate if you're talking about a system change from one manufacturer to another. But not if you go from DSLR to mirrorless within a particular manufacturer's lineup - at least not with regard to learning curve or lens choice.

For example, when I went from a Canon 70D to a Canon M6ii last year, the controls and menus were completely familiar and all my lenses worked with an inexpensive adapter, exactly the same on either camera.

I completely agree that chasing performance across systems is a fools game and invitation to waste a lot of money. But within a system? Probably not so foolish. Most of us upgrade infrequently. After all, how much do you really gain in one camera generation? But after 7-8 years, you start to see noticeable gains. For me, it was size, weight and the ability to use vintage Canon lenses that I already owned.

+ 1

I have changed brands more that once. This does bring a learning curve, but it is not always "huge". I try to keep the lens replacement costs down to a dull roar by ruling out the most expensive lenses.

Linky for another blog article -

https://photographylife.com/mirrorless-vs-dslr

Kelly Cook

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ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ken_in_nh wrote:

ericbowles wrote:

a

These comments may be accurate if you're talking about a system change from one manufacturer to another. But not if you go from DSLR to mirrorless within a particular manufacturer's lineup - at least not with regard to learning curve or lens choice.

For example, when I went from a Canon 70D to a Canon M6ii last year, the controls and menus were completely familiar and all my lenses worked with an inexpensive adapter, exactly the same on either camera.

I completely agree that chasing performance across systems is a fools game and invitation to waste a lot of money. But within a system? Probably not so foolish. Most of us upgrade infrequently. After all, how much do you really gain in one camera generation? But after 7-8 years, you start to see noticeable gains. For me, it was size, weight and the ability to use vintage Canon lenses that I already owned.

I completely agree.  I'm referring to a switch in brand being a challenge in many ways.  Switching from DSLR to mirrorless in the same brand is relatively easy.  There  is a learning curve, but a lot of similarity.

For Nikon and Canon DSLR users, most people should look first at the mirrorless cameras their existing company offers.  The lens adapters are excellent, the menus and terminology are similar, and not only lenses but many accessories are compatible.  You may choose to upgrade to mirrorless lenses, but you can take your time and have lots of options.  I'd also be patient.  If there is a single feature that is missing, the next generation camera will probably provide that feature.  For most people, today's camera from Canon, Nikon , or Sony will all handle most professional level needs.

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OP anim8tr Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ericbowles wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

Take a look at Thom Hogan's comments on the topic. He's an objective source.

Here are short reviews on the three Nikon options:

https://www.zsystemuser.com/z-mount-cameras/nikon-z-camera-reviews/the-short-version-nikon-z.html

[....]

If you can't make great photos with the Nikon mirrorless cameras right now, it's not the fault of the cameras.

Thank you for that. It’s interesting that he mentions the Sony A7R IV as being preferred over the Nikon z7 for Landscape and Architecture. Those are my two areas of specialization. Im not chasing performance, but rather image quality.

bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,714
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

If you can afford to rent whatever it is you are interested in you would have all the answers to all your questions.

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linux99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,075
Lots.... look for something new

There are ton out there. Warning though - look for something fairly new.

Mirrorless v DSLR used to be one of those religious wars where rational thinking got abandoned in favour of shouting in support of whatever you are vested in.

It is only recently that people have started t o be even a bit balanced.

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ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 603
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

A clear advantage of mirrorless is that they can potentially be lighter and smaller than a similar DSLR.

The electronic view finder (EVF) in a mirrorless can be a blessing but also a curse. If you have trouble exposing, the EVF can "show you" what your final image is going to look like more or less, before you shoot it. With a DSLR you would look at the photo you just took (and maybe the histogram) and if it is not right, you just take it again... However, since EVFs are just tiny TVs on your camera, the dynamic range of the image you see is always inferior compared to an Optical View Finder in a DSLR. There is also always a lag in the EVF, which just doesn't exist with an OVF. So in practical terms, EVFs you put up with in order to have a lighter camera.

The focus is also different. Top DSLRs can acquire focus almost instantaneously. Mirrorless cameras are not as fast at focus acquisition, but they can be good at focus tracking, specially if the scene is not too complex.

In the end, if weight is not an issue, then for me DSLRs are better cameras for still photography.

A lot of people on this site will tell you that "mirrorless is the future". It might be, but that is not necessarily a good thing...

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OP anim8tr Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

A clear advantage of mirrorless is that they can potentially be lighter and smaller than a similar DSLR.

[...]

In the end, if weight is not an issue, then for me DSLRs are better cameras for still photography.

A lot of people on this site will tell you that "mirrorless is the future". It might be, but that is not necessarily a good thing...

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

ken_in_nh Senior Member • Posts: 1,079
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?
2

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

The focus is also different. Top DSLRs can acquire focus almost instantaneously. Mirrorless cameras are not as fast at focus acquisition, but they can be good at focus tracking, specially if the scene is not too complex.

A lot of people on this site will tell you that "mirrorless is the future". It might be, but that is not necessarily a good thing...

The idea that DSLR focus faster than mirrorless is a dated one. The most recent mirrorless cameras, crop or full size, are every bit competitive in the focus speed department.

EVF have disadvantages, such as a slight lag and more limited dynamic range. Balance that against focus peaking, invaluable in focusing in dim light, light so dim that a DSLR won't focus. With mirrorless, focus calibration is a thing of the past, too.  Add the absence of mirror slap and mirror induced vibration.  Mirror lockup is a thing of the past.

You decide:  old technology with several disadvantages and one advantage, or newer with reduced viewfinder dynamic range, but many offsetting advantages.

There are many reasons why mirrorless is the future.  Remember that once upon a time, rangefinder cameras were state of the art too, and some folks resisted the move to SLRs.

ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 603
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

anim8tr wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

Is there an online resource that discusses the pluses and minuses of moving from one camera system to another when it comes to making a switch from DSLR to Mirrorless? I'm currently a Nikon DSLR shooter but would like to start moving to a mirrorless system, Nikon or other.

A clear advantage of mirrorless is that they can potentially be lighter and smaller than a similar DSLR.

[...]

In the end, if weight is not an issue, then for me DSLRs are better cameras for still photography.

A lot of people on this site will tell you that "mirrorless is the future". It might be, but that is not necessarily a good thing...

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

Then the Nikon Z7 is probably your guy...

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ken_in_nh Senior Member • Posts: 1,079
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

Then the Nikon Z7 is probably your guy...

Even though I've been a Canon shooter since 1973 or so, I'd agree if the OP is looking for the least painful transition.

Without getting into the endless discussions of "who is the best", are any Nikon users (or informed others) aware of any features that Nikon's mirrorless offerings don't have that other do?  (let's ignore picture IQ, dynamic range etc., the things that are a bit more subjective)

OP anim8tr Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ken_in_nh wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

Then the Nikon Z7 is probably your guy...

Even though I've been a Canon shooter since 1973 or so, I'd agree if the OP is looking for the least painful transition.

I (the OP) am not looking for the most painless transition. I'm looking for the best platform for the future. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR I did so because I was told that Nikon had the best lenses at that time. At this point I've probably got about $8k invested in Nikon glass at this point.
I don't want to switch platforms, BUT if Sony is a better "platform" (lens quality wise) then I would seriously consider it, regardless of the expense of new Sony lenses.

ken_in_nh Senior Member • Posts: 1,079
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

anim8tr wrote:

ken_in_nh wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

Then the Nikon Z7 is probably your guy...

Even though I've been a Canon shooter since 1973 or so, I'd agree if the OP is looking for the least painful transition.

I (the OP) am not looking for the most painless transition. I'm looking for the best platform for the future. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR I did so because I was told that Nikon had the best lenses at that time. At this point I've probably got about $8k invested in Nikon glass at this point.
I don't want to switch platforms, BUT if Sony is a better "platform" (lens quality wise) then I would seriously consider it, regardless of the expense of new Sony lenses.

Then you should also look at Canon's vast array of lens that one can use on their mirrorless. Most of the classic DSLR (EF) lenses can be used on Sony cameras too, but not necessarily without hiccups. And if you're interested in full frame, Canon's R series is superb.

ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 603
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

anim8tr wrote:

ken_in_nh wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

Then the Nikon Z7 is probably your guy...

Even though I've been a Canon shooter since 1973 or so, I'd agree if the OP is looking for the least painful transition.

I (the OP) am not looking for the most painless transition. I'm looking for the best platform for the future. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR I did so because I was told that Nikon had the best lenses at that time. At this point I've probably got about $8k invested in Nikon glass at this point.
I don't want to switch platforms, BUT if Sony is a better "platform" (lens quality wise) then I would seriously consider it, regardless of the expense of new Sony lenses.

The Nikon platform that you have right now will probably serve you just as well as the best that Canon or Sony have to offer, and will continue to do so for the rest of your life.

If you are looking for even better quality than your Nikon setup, then look at Medium Format and the likes of Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji or Pentax.

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OP anim8tr Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

ken_in_nh wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

Weight and size is one of the primary reasons I'm considering a switch to mirrorless, but I'm not looking for a travel friendly camera. I'm primarily looking for a higher res camera (aka D850+) that is smaller and lighter in weight If Nikon had something like that then I wouldn't be looking any further...

Then the Nikon Z7 is probably your guy...

Even though I've been a Canon shooter since 1973 or so, I'd agree if the OP is looking for the least painful transition.

I (the OP) am not looking for the most painless transition. I'm looking for the best platform for the future. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR I did so because I was told that Nikon had the best lenses at that time. At this point I've probably got about $8k invested in Nikon glass at this point.
I don't want to switch platforms, BUT if Sony is a better "platform" (lens quality wise) then I would seriously consider it, regardless of the expense of new Sony lenses.

The Nikon platform that you have right now will probably serve you just as well as the best that Canon or Sony have to offer, and will continue to do so for the rest of your life.

If you are looking for even better quality than your Nikon setup, then look at Medium Format and the likes of Phase One, Hasselblad, Fuji or Pentax.

Nope, Canon would not be an option for me. It would either be Sony or someone else (Fuji, etc) that hasn't just entered the mirrorless arena. I'm leaning strongly toward the z7, but I want to see what the rumored updated z7 looks like. Sounds like that might be announced in October.

ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 603
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ken_in_nh wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

The focus is also different. Top DSLRs can acquire focus almost instantaneously. Mirrorless cameras are not as fast at focus acquisition, but they can be good at focus tracking, specially if the scene is not too complex.

A lot of people on this site will tell you that "mirrorless is the future". It might be, but that is not necessarily a good thing...

The idea that DSLR focus faster than mirrorless is a dated one. The most recent mirrorless cameras, crop or full size, are every bit competitive in the focus speed department.

EVF have disadvantages, such as a slight lag and more limited dynamic range. Balance that against focus peaking, invaluable in focusing in dim light, light so dim that a DSLR won't focus. With mirrorless, focus calibration is a thing of the past, too. Add the absence of mirror slap and mirror induced vibration. Mirror lockup is a thing of the past.

You decide: old technology with several disadvantages and one advantage, or newer with reduced viewfinder dynamic range, but many offsetting advantages.

There are many reasons why mirrorless is the future. Remember that once upon a time, rangefinder cameras were state of the art too, and some folks resisted the move to SLRs.

I dont know but my Nikon D850 is still way faster at acquiring focus than my Sony A7RIV, and last time I checked the A7RIV was a state of the art mirrorless camera... so even though you say that my perception is pretty dated, it seems pretty current to me... but hey, what do I know... Im sure the R5 smokes the 1DX Mark III in the land where you live...

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ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?
1

anim8tr wrote:

I (the OP) am not looking for the most painless transition. I'm looking for the best platform for the future. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR I did so because I was told that Nikon had the best lenses at that time. At this point I've probably got about $8k invested in Nikon glass at this point.
I don't want to switch platforms, BUT if Sony is a better "platform" (lens quality wise) then I would seriously consider it, regardless of the expense of new Sony lenses.

I would not say that Sony is better in terms of lens quality.  In the case of both Canon and Nikon, their mirrorless releases are excellent lenses.  There may be gaps based on the maturity of the system, but there are no gaps in quality.

If you are comparing with your D850, the Nikon Z7 with the 70-200, 24-70, and 4-30 or 14-24 would each represent an upgrade and either best in class or equal to best in class performance.

I've got the D850 and Z6.  During the first year, 95% of my images were with the Z6 over the D850.  That includes thousands of images of birds in flight, events, landscapes, and equestrian work.

Probably the thing you'll wrestle with is the transition - do you want to sell your existing gear or continue to use some of it?  I like having two or more cameras - it's a necessity.  So I'm  selective on which lenses I buy based on the quality of the lens they are replacing and how often I'll use them.

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OP anim8tr Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: DSLR -> Mirrorless Guides?

ericbowles wrote:

anim8tr wrote:

I (the OP) am not looking for the most painless transition. I'm looking for the best platform for the future. When I bought my first Nikon DSLR I did so because I was told that Nikon had the best lenses at that time. At this point I've probably got about $8k invested in Nikon glass at this point.
I don't want to switch platforms, BUT if Sony is a better "platform" (lens quality wise) then I would seriously consider it, regardless of the expense of new Sony lenses.

[...]

I've got the D850 and Z6. During the first year, 95% of my images were with the Z6 over the D850. That includes thousands of images of birds in flight, events, landscapes, and equestrian work.

[...]

I'd be interested in hearing why you used your z6 more than the D850. How did they compare image quality wise?

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