I have come from a long background of using DSLR (Olympus E-410, E-520, E-5, Sony A350 and A57) and I can testify that there really is nothing that I miss from my DSLR days, since I have fully converted to mirrorless Micro Four Thirds system now. Gone were the days of carrying huge and heavy camera and lenses, and now we are seeing the new generation camera system that emphasizes on smaller, lighter, yet siimilarly powerful, if not even surpassing what most DSLR cameras can do. Mirrorless system is maturing, what is your excuse in clinging to the DSLR?
Indeed, there are still that top of the line full frame cameras which seem to be somewhat untouchable when it comes to pure speed and low light shooting performance, cameras such as the venerable Canon 1Dx and Nikon D4/D4S. Yes, you may need to shoot at ridiculous ISO25,600 and you need the shots to be usable. Nonetheless, looking at how far the other systems have caught up all these years, I do not feel inferior when I am using the Olympus OM-D cameras. I am perfectly fine with ISO3,200 images, and would not hesitate if I needed to boost up to ISO6,400. Now we have a wide selection of F1.8 lenses, and Panasonic has taken the wide aperture game a step further by introducing their latest 42.5mm F1.2 lens. You have sub F2 lenses to work with, at very usable ISO6,400, and you know what, the technology is still improving, surely things will get better and better with every new camera releases. More and more interesting lenses are being released. For most photography situations, that combination should be more than sufficient! Times are exciting for the next generation mirrorless camera and there is still a huge potential of growth.
All images were taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 or PEN E-PL5, and M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 or Panasonic 14mm F2.5 lenses
I believe the day will surely come when mirrorless camera systems will fully taken over the DSLR camera systems, the only question that remains is when.
Basically, any mirrorless camera can do what most DSLRs can do now, and some even do them better than DSLRs. Image quality, AF performance, camera features, video capabilities, etc. There really is less and less needs and justifications to buy a DSLR, especially true for new-comers to photography. I may not be able to speak fully for the professional crowd, but for most people who do not shoot professionally, why do you need something so big and heavy (and honestly ugly)?
I have heard stories of a professional photographer who broke her wrist shooting with a 5Dmk3 and a 70-200mm lens on an assignment. I have also heard how some photographers suffered back-ache and shoulder pain lugging their DSLR equipment around all day, either on assignment or holiday. Size and weight advantage, or disadvantage (whichever way you look at it) can be serious considerations that must not be overlooked.
More and more professional photographers are switching over to mirrorless system, and I have known many who use Micro Four Thirds system for their assignment. Their feedback has been consistent: the mirrorless system is more than sufficient to deliver what they needed and has performed admirably.
It is indeed strange seeing how so many photographers (mostly new-comers) who believe in the full frame camera system so desperately that it was the ultimate photography machine that they strive for, without allowing any room for consideration for other camera systems. In their minds everything else is less than what full frame camera is, and somehow, I wish they can see that photography is a lot more than just getting a full frame camera.
Five Foot Way
Take today's street photography session for example. Can you tell me what advantage I would have had, or how I could have done better if I was using a top of the line DSLR camera instead of my OM-D and PEN cameras?
The Micro Four Thirds system has provided me more than what I needed. I never wished the images were any sharper. That 45mm F1.8 is crazy sharp. The depth of field at F1.8 wide open was so shallow I needed to stop down to F2.8 or F3.5 for some of the above shots, just to have enough zone in focus. The focusing was super fast and dead on accurate, any misses was my own fault. All images were almost straight out of camera with only minor tweaking, I was pleased with the resolution, details and color rendition of the system. Seriously I do not think using a better camera can give me better results.
The painful truth is, the limitation is not on the photography system itself, but myself.
If you have used and experienced mirrorless system (or if you are using both mirrorless and DSLR system) kindly share your opinion.
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