Maybe I’m old fashioned, stuck in my ways or just plain old afraid to embrace change! I’m not ready to embrace the whole mirrorless trend that is speeding up on a daily basis.
Sony, Olympus, Fuji & more have stolen the show from Canon & Nikon in recent years as mirrorless technology keeps improving. Just like me, the market leaders were slow to adapt with announcements and hint’s only being touted for over a year. Nikon finally made the move only last week.
While it’s hard to predict how it is all going to play out in the end, there’s no doubting the DSLR will possibly someday be a thing of the past. So why am I resisting so much when every week I see another photographer selling all his gear as he moves to mirrorless?
For me, they just aren’t there yet. Here’s why I’m not moving to mirrorless yet…..
Whether a camera has a mirror or not won’t affect the quality of the final image. As long as I am happy with the quality I am getting I won’t even move to the next newest & greatest DSLR. Only when I see a big difference in quality on a finished print or something happens to my current body will I consider moving. I have the gear envy syndrome same as the next person but not being a professional limits what I am willing the dish out on a hobby.
Size & Weight
Weight was the initial selling point of these systems originally but this was back when they were mainly micro 4/3’s. The newer crop of these cameras don’t appear to offer huge weight advantages – maybe as I get older this may become more of a consideration but not now.
Size is a major issue for me – I love the feel of a big camera with a sturdy hand grip. My large clumpy hands struggle to keep a decent grip on any of the mirrorless bodies I’ve held so far. In fact, they cramp after only a few minutes holding one. Not so important if I have a camera on a tripod for landscapes but these are not all that I shoot.
Ergonomics & Menu’s
Shooting Nikon since my teens, there’s a build in muscle memory for some of those buttons & functions. So much so, that I can use it in the dark without needing to see what buttons I’m pressing to make settings changes. The mirrorless camera’s are far from that point, some having complicated menu systems which is one of the biggest issues I hear people moan about.
Although old fashioned, I like composing through the view finder before making final checks in live view. I’m not a fan of the electronic view finders I’ve experienced. This also brings me to my next point…..
How many batteries should a person really need to bring on a day’s shoot. I usually take one with a spare in the bag and rarely I need to switch out during a long day’s shooting. Not so with a mirrorless system – yet!
I shoot in bad weather, damp conditions, light rain & heavy sea spray on a regular basis. The weather sealing on my camera is fantastic to the point that I rarely feel a need to put it away for fear of damage from the conditions. Field work alongside a friend using a mirrorless system told me they are not at this level yet!
Stood side by side, we were both shooting an incoming storm one afternoon. I had been focusing on the task at hand when I realized he was no longer beside me. Instead, he was back in his car hiding his camera from the first few drops of rain.
All new technology needs time to develop. I’m going to give mirrorless a little more time to iron out the issues I’ve mentioned above. For example, the new mirrorless Nikon only has one card slot. How can a group of experts not realize that people want image back-up in a camera via the tried and trusted method of two cards simultaneously?
I know there is a counter argument for every point I’ve made above. I’m not saying never – I’m saying the time isn’t right for me just yet. Any limitations in the work I create is mainly down to the person behind the camera and not the equipment. If you feel, its right for you then go for it. It’s only a matter of time before the DSLR as we know it is dead. Will we still feel the need to call them mirrorless or will we simply just call them camera’s! Maybe the phone will eventually take over…….