Choosing the right camera

Personally, I have experienced this problem many of times. It can be a tough decision deciding what camera fits your needs. And there is no definitive answer. It all depends on what you need and works best for you.

A question many ask is, DSLR or mirrorless? I did a blog post a while back about how mirrorless is the wave of the future. You can check it out here. But the question still stands; do I choose a DSLR or mirrorless camera? It all depends on what you want. A DSLR is going to offer reliability, speed, and a bigger form factor. They also provide a giant selection of lenses. A mirrorless camera is going to provide small form factor, 4K video, and easier use of manual lenses. I know many are questioning the 4K video. As of right now, mirrorless cameras are the only ones to offer 4K video (besides one or two higher end Canon and Nikon DSLRs) on a full frame body when comparing it to a DSLR.  However, there are some caveats to mirrorless cameras.

One caveat is the small form factor. Mirrorless cameras are smaller in comparison to DSLRs. However, the lenses are bigger and longer, which in turns makes the whole kit (body and lens) the same size as a DSLR and lens (picture below). Another caveat with mirrorless cameras is the amount of lenses. Yes, mirrorless cameras open the door to manual lenses with adapters and focus peaking. But if you want autofocus and electronic control of the lenses, you’re stuck. As of right now, Sony only has a handful of propriety lenses and these lenses are expensive. So it all depends on what you are looking for but there are some caveats to a DSLR as well.

Image from PetaPixel

Image from PetaPixel

DSLRs are quite a bit bigger than mirrorless cameras. This is due to the mirror and prism in a DSLR. But this allows for smaller lenses. Another caveat of DSLRs is the limited video options. I’m sure this will change soon but right now the only 4K offerings in DLSRs are the higher end models in which you are looking at dropping $6k plus. Sony offers 4K video on the Sony a6300 at about $1K. Mirrorless cameras do provide multiple cameras with 4K. However, how do you know what mirrorless camera to go with?

This was just a brief overview of choosing the right camera. There are more options to research but I chose these as most people will be looking for these features. In my opinion, mirrorless cameras are great for video right now. They have multiple 4K options but don’t have a good range of lenses for photography unless you like manually focusing. I would buy a DSLR if you are OK with just HD video but want the speed and reliability of a DSLR. Also, DSLRs have a huge selection of propriety lenses and third party lenses.

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3 reasons why mirrorless is the wave of the future

First off, I know it has been a while since the last blog. However, I am back and plan to create blogs on a bi-weekly basis now. Also, blogs will be posted Thursday instead of Friday. So, this blow will be released Thursday March 3rd. The next blog will be March 17.

If you did not know, I have actually switched to mirrorless. In fact, I have switched to Sony. I currently own a Sony a6000. Previously, I owned a Canon 7D. I have picked three reasons why mirrorless is the wave of the future.

1.      Focus Peaking

If you have a DSLR, you probably might not have heard of focus peaking before. Focus peaking is a tool that highlights (either yellow or red) areas in the frame that are in focus. This allows the photographer to quickly and accurately focus manually. If you look through the viewfinder you will see certain parts of the frame have red lines. By rotating the focus ring on the lens you will see the highlighted areas move closer or further depending on which way you rotate the focus ring.

Why can’t I just use autofocus? You can, however this piece of technology allows the photographer to save some money and just buy some manual focus lenses. You may be thinking, old manual focus lenses are not that sharp or good? Actually, some manual focus lenses are sharper than your autofocus lenses. There is no focusing mechanism or motors in the lenses which the makes the lenses smaller and lighter as well.

2.      Lenses, lenses, lenses

As I just stated with focus peaking, this opens up mirrorless cameras to a huge selection of lenses. With focus peaking you’re not just limited to autofocus lenses. When mirrorless cameras (specifically Sony) came out there was only a couple lenses made specifically for mirrorless. What helped that were the numerous lens adapters that allow virtually any lens to be mounted to a mirrorless camera. My father had owned an Olympus OM-10 film camera. So, I bought an OM-NEX lens adapter. Now, I am able to use any OM lenses with my Sony a6000.

Since I have talked about manual focus lenses, it is time to talk about using autofocus lenses on your mirrorless camera. Up until recently, the focusing of non-propriety lenses on mirrorless cameras was unusable. However, after tests done by Jason Lanier, you are now able to use non-propriety lenses on mirrorless cameras. Jason used the Sony a6300 (due sometime in March) and the Metabones Mark IV. In his video, he shows how quickly and accurately the Sony a6300 is able to focus Canon L lenses.

3.      EVF

If you are familiar with DSLRs, you probably know that it uses mirrors and an optical viewfinder. What you see in frame is sent to your eye through a mirror and a prism. When you take a picture, the mirror lifts up exposing the camera sensor behind it, thus taking a picture. However, in mirrorless cameras, there is no mirror or prism. There is actually nothing in front of the sensor. The sensor is reading the image and then sending that image to the back screen or the viewfinder.

Sony mirrorless cameras feature an OLED viewfinder. An OLED viewfinder is a very high quality LED screen. As I just mentioned, DSLRs use an optical viewfinder. In mirrorless cameras, they use an electronic viewfinder (EVF). An OLED viewfinder is an EVF just a higher quality and newer technology. An EVF allows for a big advantage compared to the standard optical viewfinder. What you see is what you get. Since the image is not going through mirrors, you are getting exactly what the image sees. You can make an exposure adjustment and see that right through the viewfinder. This allows the photographer not to have to take a picture and see if he/she needs to adjust the exposure. Ultimately, making mirrorless cameras quicker and easier than DSLRs to use.

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