Art and Photography

Switching to a Mirrorless?

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  • Nov 22nd, 2017 5:57 pm
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Nov 30, 2011
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Cress wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 1:00 am
Bumping an old thread as I have similar questions. Wifey and I use a D7000 with the 50mm F1.4 Nikon, the Tamron 24-70 2.8 and newly acquired Nikon 12-24.
We've had the D7000 now for I believe 6 or so year and delayed upgrading until we actually learned how to use the camera and started hitting various limits of the current gear. We're now starting to look for gear upgrade for shooting mostly portrait and landscape. A few important features that will get us past some of the limits of the current gear are:
  • Better low light performance
  • Proper fast focus for Video and less out of focus pics in fast situations (trying to catch kids)
  • Possibly full frame
  • Much more focus points
After some research, I realized that the mirrorless is a thing now ... I'm a little behind the times :). I'll likely need a prime portrait and a run and gun 24-xx lens. Went and watched tons of reviews on Youtube over the last few days, caught up with the model numbers and differences and came up with a couple of options. Wife works with the camera so we're willing to spend anywhere between 1000 to 2500 for a nice body with the hope to keep it for the next 5 years at least.

So I'm looking at: Nikon D850, Sony A6500, Sony A7Rx (likely R3 but man that one is expensive). A couple of questions:
1. Is investing in a DSLR for a stills/Video a suicide move these days?
2. Can I fulfill all the above with an A6500 or do I need to jump to the A7Rx or some other mirrorless?
3. If Mirrorless, are the Sony G lenses worth the premium over their lesser brethren?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
If you are happy with the lenses you have and the size of a DSLR my suggestion would be to purchase a Nikon DSLR. Sony is great (I have a Sony DSLR and a Sony Mirrorless) but their lenses (especially for mirrorless) are quite expensive.

It sounds like your needs would be best met by simply upgrading to a more advanced camera body.
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Thanks bvit, your camera body comment is spot on, that's the conclusion we had reached for still photography. Then I started looking for new bodies and noticed all the stuff that was going on in the mirrorless world especially with regards to video. The focus tracking looks to be so much better with mirrorless. Nobody seems to be saying it out loud but it feels like DSLRs are on their last or second to last gens given how fast mirrorless cameras are changing the landscape.

Would love to hear some more comments from people that have switched or that are contemplating switching.

Cheers,
bvit6667 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 9:42 am
If you are happy with the lenses you have and the size of a DSLR my suggestion would be to purchase a Nikon DSLR. Sony is great (I have a Sony DSLR and a Sony Mirrorless) but their lenses (especially for mirrorless) are quite expensive.

It sounds like your needs would be best met by simply upgrading to a more advanced camera body.
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bvit6667 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 9:42 am
If you are happy with the lenses you have and the size of a DSLR my suggestion would be to purchase a Nikon DSLR. Sony is great (I have a Sony DSLR and a Sony Mirrorless) but their lenses (especially for mirrorless) are quite expensive.

It sounds like your needs would be best met by simply upgrading to a more advanced camera body.
Exactly.

By switching over systems (ie. Canon to Nikon or mirror to mirrorless), you will take a BIG financial hit as most people will sell their equipment as used and then buy brand new.

As for focus tracking and general focus ability, the D7000, while good for it's time, had a number of issues as it was basically the first mover higher end focusing systems in an more affordable body... as such, certain aspects of the focusing system was compromised such as being able to pin-point focus on a particular focus point without a bit of hunting especially when something else was close to the focusing point - ie shooting through a chain link fence at something at a distance. Moving up a generation or two will solve that issue.

The telltale sign of what system is winning in the focus tracking area would be what sports photographers are using to track moving objects across the field. After all, if the sports photographer can't track the object and get a nice sharp shot, they won't get paid. So, see what they are shooting with to see what's hot in focusing tracking.
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Agree that switching is expensive. However, I'm also thinking - "if one finds him/herself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging" :) - that's the reason why, I started looking into mirrorless. I want to make sure that whatever I get now is going to be relevant or at least usable when it comes time to upgrade in 4~6 years. Thinking along those lines, the DSLRs seem to be a slow drying breed. Is that actually accurate or would you guys still go with DSLRs if you had the choice?

Cheers,
craftsman wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 1:34 pm
Exactly.

By switching over systems (ie. Canon to Nikon or mirror to mirrorless), you will take a BIG financial hit as most people will sell their equipment as used and then buy brand new.

As for focus tracking and general focus ability, the D7000, while good for it's time, had a number of issues as it was basically the first mover higher end focusing systems in an more affordable body... as such, certain aspects of the focusing system was compromised such as being able to pin-point focus on a particular focus point without a bit of hunting especially when something else was close to the focusing point - ie shooting through a chain link fence at something at a distance. Moving up a generation or two will solve that issue.

The telltale sign of what system is winning in the focus tracking area would be what sports photographers are using to track moving objects across the field. After all, if the sports photographer can't track the object and get a nice sharp shot, they won't get paid. So, see what they are shooting with to see what's hot in focusing tracking.
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Any mirrorless these days with dual card slots? If Canon, Sony or Nikon had ever listened to photographers they'd introduced them many years ago as it's the main reason many are not switching.
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demi2004 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 6:16 pm
Any mirrorless these days with dual card slots?
Quite a few

Olympus E-M1 II
Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5
Sony A9
Sony A7R III
Fuji X-T2
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Cress wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 4:48 pm
Agree that switching is expensive. However, I'm also thinking - "if one finds him/herself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging" :) - that's the reason why, I started looking into mirrorless. I want to make sure that whatever I get now is going to be relevant or at least usable when it comes time to upgrade in 4~6 years. Thinking along those lines, the DSLRs seem to be a slow drying breed. Is that actually accurate or would you guys still go with DSLRs if you had the choice?

Cheers,
You won't have a problem in upgrading anything in 4 to 6 years as you would probably have better choices then than you do now. In fact, the way that technology typically goes, you'll get things cheaper and better then than you would now. As for usability, which ever camera you pick, it's not going to turn into a pumpkin and be un-useable in 4 to 6 years unless of course it breaks.

DSLRs are a mature technology for the most part. The OEMs are doing incremental updates which are better than the last generation but no so much so that people have to rush out and get the latest generation tech. A case in point is my Nikon D600 - the camera was introduced in September of 2012 and the image quality 5 years later is still in the top 9 according to DXOMark of cameras tested under $8,000 when released. The quality for the most part even in the lower end product lines is very good to excellent for most consumers. In 4 to 6 years, you'll probably see more pixels and incrementally better image quality but nothing revolutionary.

While it's been around for a few years, mirrorless is a developing technology for the most part. They are still doing noticeable advances from generation to generation so there more of a difference between the current generation and the last one causing a more of an upgrade cycle than a replacement cycle. The quality is improving on the lower end product lines in the neighbourhood of good to very good. As you move up in the range and get those large sensors, you start seeing some excellent results. As time moves on, the technology used in the higher end product (like with all tech) will move down to the lower end price points. In 4 to 6 years, you'll probably see more pixels and much improved image quality. There is one danger however as we have seen with DSLRs... as the pixel count increases, the older lenses start showing their age in terms of their ability to actually resolve the details at higher megapixel numbers. So, an investment in 'consumer level' mirrorless lenses today might yield less than stellar results when you upgrade.
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supposedly the G-Masters are made to resolving 100mp+ sensors...I've only tried the 100-400mm on the moon and eclipse...some wildlife.
honestly Sony can really beat up the wallet...try a Fuji if you're not big on videos or the more reasonably-priced Panasonics
I do however believe Sonys age nicely...the a6000 turns 4 next year and it's still very capable
basically even if next-gen brings 36mpx to mainstream market with gazillion focus points, your a6300/xt2 will still do alright
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Cress wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 1:00 am
So I'm looking at: Nikon D850, Sony A6500, Sony A7Rx (likely R3 but man that one is expensive). A couple of questions:
1. Is investing in a DSLR for a stills/Video a suicide move these days?
2. Can I fulfill all the above with an A6500 or do I need to jump to the A7Rx or some other mirrorless?
3. If Mirrorless, are the Sony G lenses worth the premium over their lesser brethren?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
1) I don't shoot video often, and nor am I knowledgeable on this subject. However, from what I've read. The answer is yes.

2) you can get by with the a6500. You don't need to go full frame. It really comes down how picky you are about noise. Full frame does help with noise. But aps-c sensors have come a long way, and are pretty damn good. I've been shooting with an a7ii for almost 3 years now. It's a pretty good camera. I recently upgraded to the a7rii, and yes it's better. However, I'm not sure if it's really worth that much over the a7ii. The AF is definitely better in AF-C tracking. And there are other small things that are Better, but I would say there's about a $1000 difference, give or take on the used market. I'd personally go with aps-c first, and see how that works out first. If not, sell it right away, and there will minimal to no loss in value if you go the used route. I'd take a good look at Fuji mirrorless as well. I almost was going to consider giving up Sony full frame mirrorless, and buying a Fuji xt2.

3) depends, on what you mean by G lenses. There are G lenses, and there is G-master. G-master are premium full frame lenses. They are expensive, they perform we'll. Are they worth it? Depends on you. For example. I own mainly zeiss batis lenses (18, 25, and 85). I like look that you get with zeiss batis lenses. Sony's are still good, but I prefer the zeiss batis ones more, although you pay a premium over what some would call equivalent Sony lenses. I can't comment on regular G lenses (not G-master). Although I do own the Sony fe 90 master, which is a G lens. It's an amazing 1:1 macro lens imo.
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Re: the G lenses, I meant the G-Master ones.
Re: APS-C vs full frame, given that I'm having noise and low light capability issues with with D7000 even when I put really good glass on it, figured I should go full frame.
As for the glasses, we're not going to replace them all at the same time, I've heard really good things about the Zeiss lenses as well - price wise, they are even worse than Sony if I recall.

Re: the a7Rii, it looks like that's as good as it gets in that range compared to the rest of the normal DSLRs so you can likely sit tight for a while and really not bother upgrading the body.

Cheers,
phuviano wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2017 1:49 am
1) I don't shoot video often, and nor am I knowledgeable on this subject. However, from what I've read. The answer is yes.

2) you can get by with the a6500. ... and buying a Fuji xt2.

3) depends, on what you mean by G lenses. There are G lenses, and there is G-master. G-master are premium full frame lenses. They are expensive, they perform we'll. Are they worth it? Depends on you. For example. I own mainly zeiss batis lenses (18, 25, and 85). I like look that you get with zeiss batis lenses. Sony's are still good, but I prefer the zeiss batis ones more, although you pay a premium over what some would call equivalent Sony lenses. I can't comment on regular G lenses (not G-master). Although I do own the Sony fe 90 master, which is a G lens. It's an amazing 1:1 macro lens imo.
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Cress wrote:
Nov 22nd, 2017 3:22 pm
Re: APS-C vs full frame, given that I'm having noise and low light capability issues with with D7000 even when I put really good glass on it, figured I should go full frame.
Two things -

1. Full frame will have noise at some point as well so it really depends on what you are planning to shoot and how.
2. The D7000's sensor is more than a few generations back so there has been improvement on that front but it may not be enough for what you are looking for... like I said in point one, 'depends on what you are planning to shoot and how...'
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G-Masters make Zeiss Batis and Loxia look like a bargain

yes the a7R II is still one of the best prosumer bodies (#2 on DxO at the heels of the D850)...you'll probably see a few used from people upgrading once mark III is out

dollar-for-dollar i would still go for the a6300/6500 though...yes low light iso 100 there will still be some noise if you blow it up 3:1 on a 5K+ screen and nitpick it to death...the a7rii won't fare that much better as it's using slightly older sensor...the a7r II will only be noticably better in detail fidelity and DoF...the noise to me is negligible between the 2
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
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