5 Reasons DSLR’s Are Obsolete In Today’s World By Martin Gillman

Jul 11, 2014

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5 Reasons DSLR’s Are Obsolete In Today’s World By Martin Gillman

Jul 11, 2014

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Mirrorless camera gear by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

OK, sure that’s a bold statement, and for me it just may be true. I believe that the mirrorless camera is and will continue push the DSLR as we know it aside. Its progress and its coming. If you do not agree you may just have to accept it, even the greats in Glass like Carl Zeiss are making lenses for the mirrorless systems, they see where photography is going too. So, let me tell you why I think so.

1. Because size does NOT matter

It doesn’t. We all know deep down that a great image is a great image no matter what camera was used to make it.

I don’t need to bang on about how the greats used tiny Leica’s and one lens, you will have read that a dozen times.

I was at the Photography show in March this year and recall being amazed by visitors wandering around with bent backs due to gripped DSLRs, 400mm lens attached waving around their chests like great glass phalluses. Just to catch a half snap of a model way up on stage.

Dear all, you just don’t need that anymore.

A mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens can almost be hidden in the hand and you get quality, discretion and a smaller bill from the osteopath. You think you need a full frame sensor right? Well you can get those in mirror less if you want but let me set you a challenge. Of my images here, some are 36 Mp full frame and some are made with the mirrorless cropped sensor.

You tell me which is which?

Why buy a DSLR? Mirrorless Options on InMyBag.net

2. Because you cannot afford not to go Mirrorless

So what did your DSLR system cost you? Well now halve that and you can still have a mirror less system and not sacrifice the quality of work you produce. Today you can buy two bodies, 3 primes and a pair of zoom lenses for a mirrorless system for about £6000.

That’s about half what my previous system was worth new, you can re invest into other areas of your business or if not professional how about a week in Iceland to use that lovely new kit? without the back ache. Sounds tempting, right?

5 reasons DSLR's are obsolete by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

3. Because you need discretion and practicality

Up until a year ago I was shooting high resolution DSLRs, I had the latest body and the latest back up.

I had 15 tons of lenses, OK I exaggerate but you get the picture. For street photography I was anything other than discreet, I may as well have had a rocket propelled grenade launcher on my shoulder such was the attention I would get. For Landscape I had a hefty tripod to mount the cameras with a monolith of a geared tripod head.

Now, I am an ex military man, I have yomped across Dartmoor many a time with a back breaking load and I can tell you it was getting to the point of similarity with my camera bag. Something had to change; I’m getting on a bit, so along came the mirrorless system.

Also, how many of you have used all of those options in your DSLR menu, the ones we need all that space inside the body for the electronics to hold for you. There seems to be thousands of them and most of them to be brutal are pure gimmickry. What we all need are cameras with great quality that do the basic brilliantly. Lets get back to craft.

5 reasons DSLR's are obsolete by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

4. Because you just don’t need a mirror anymore

Let’s be honest. The mirror is a pain really isn’t it? The cannon fire bang as it lifts and slaps back down.

The shake the mechanism produces even when secured on tripod. Having to mess about with mirror lock up and cleaning oil splashes from your sensor. Its old technology, it is no longer necessary and focusing directly onto the sensor gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside that things are more likely spot on when that focus locks.

5 reasons DSLR's are obsolete by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

5. Because the quality IS there

This was always going to be at the center of the argument. Resolution and how much we really need?

Well unless you are printing for the west face of K2 do you really need those 30+ megapixels? What you need is a camera system that inspires you to go and do better photography. A system that frees you up to create.

You need tools that are a pleasure to use, affordable and a little less intimidating. I am not even sure what resolution my mirrorless cameras are, It has not occurred to me because I am so happy with the output that it’s not a worry.

Then there is the party trick of the mirrorless, the EVF (electronic view finder). Oh what a joy it is to spot meter and lock exposure live in camera and see your image just as it will be before hitting the shutter. It’s a dream and the tonal range you can achieve by metering live with EVF in this way can be sublime with practice.

Now, get on with that challenge I gave you in reason 1.

5 reasons DSLR's are obsolete by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

So that’s it, convinced? Sure you could argue that what works for me won’t work for you, but have you tried?

You want shallow DOF? Have you tried the Fujifilm fast glass? You want fast tracking AF, have you tried the Olympus OMD EM1? You need weatherproofing, have you checked out the Fujifilm XT-1? You insist on Full Frame? Try a Sony A7.

So if your DSLR isn’t obsolete yet, it just may well be soon. In time all but the die hard will be walking straight backed and proud of their new release of creative energy inspired by perfectly formed little gem stone cameras that wont attack the Mortgage.

Oh and did I mention that mirrorless is making Photography cool again?

If you are not convinced, here is a look into Martin Gillman’s bag, as featured on InMyBag.

5 reasons DSLR's are obsolete by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

5 reasons DSLR's are obsolete by Martin Gillman on InMyBag.net

Martin Gillman’s Philosophy

The first advice I would give would be to educate yourselves. Skill and craft and learning how to see are elements that will always bode you better than any piece of fancy kit.

Practice, practice, practice and when you are weary of practice. Practice some more.

Print your work! In my opinion a digital image doesn’t exist and a photograph isn’t finished until it is printed.

Finally, its about focusing on your own work and not be drawn into the world of negative discussion around the art.

We would all fare far better if we were to reserve our critical eye for what we see through our own viewfinders rather than for what others are doing.

About The Author

Martin Gillman Is a professional photographer based in the UK, you can find more of his work on his site here, buy his prints here and follow him on facebook here. This article was originally published here.

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153 responses to “5 Reasons DSLR’s Are Obsolete In Today’s World By Martin Gillman”

  1. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    Nonsense. I own both and both have their place. Either you are using the word obsolete as clickbait or you don’t understand what it means.

    1. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      Agreed

  2. John Havord Avatar
    John Havord

    I agree with you, to some extent, but the dslr is far from obsolete. Each to their own and everything has it’s place, but I still think mirrorless has some way to go, before making the dslr obsolete.

    Also, not really useful, to ask to choose between images on a 72dpi webpage!

    1. Nitin Kapoor Art & Photography Avatar
      Nitin Kapoor Art & Photography

      DSLR are still awesome when compared to Mirror-less, coz new systems have noise problems as i heard and images quality behind what you get from DSLR.

      Although Sony’s A7 system is bit close to or almost equal to Dslr.

  3. Andrew Livelsberger Avatar
    Andrew Livelsberger

    Someone else who has drank the marketing department kool-aid.

    I’m almost 100% sure this is clickbait.

    Utter nonsense spewed to be “controversial”. I think what these “bloggers” forget is that not everyone has the same needs. What works for them may not work for others…but they sure like to try and make us think that.

    1. Gillman Avatar
      Gillman

      You could read the piece properly before commenting though? maybe? and I quote … So that’s it, convinced? Sure you could argue that what works for me won’t work for you, but have you tried?

      1. Andrew Livelsberger Avatar
        Andrew Livelsberger

        Trolling old articles to try and get some traction? LMFAO

        And YES…I did read the article…I have a hybrid system where I use mirrorless and DSLRs. I still stand behind what I said. You wrote an article riding on the “controversy du jour”. Good for you! Way to push the envelope there. :D

        1. totally agree! Avatar
          totally agree!

          I totally bought into the koolaid and grabbed a Fuji X100 and I am sure as hell glad I kept my Nikon DSLR as well.

        2. DG Avatar
          DG

          Most of these mirrorless blogs are pointless and only ramble about how they love how they can carry around a smaller camera in a bag etc. I have a Fuji XT-1 and it’s great but it’s not the elite camera these mirrorless fanboys make it out to be. I went out and bought the new Canon t6s which smokes the mirrorless in many ways. All these guys whine about camera size when they should just get point and shoots. I agree with you. I mean these are men in their 20s-40s whining about weight. Are they that weak? Blows my mind.

  4. Mihai Ilie Avatar
    Mihai Ilie

    You are right. And I hope that the mirrorless market will be developed more and more. I’m using M1 since January, after 20 years of Nikon. It is absolutely stunning. The feeling: I was married with the wrong lady so many years until mirrorless.

  5. Jim Johnson Avatar
    Jim Johnson

    Mirrorless works, possibly as well as my dslr. But…

    I already own the dslr and all the lenses. If I were considering throwing everything out and starting from scratch, I might consider it, but until that day mine is not obsolete.

  6. RJMang Avatar
    RJMang

    Certainly when I comes to travel, my DSLR boat anchor now stays home. I only travel with a mirrorless camera. However, in the studio, I find the Canon 5Dm2 still a much better option…. for now.

  7. ChrisBlizzard Avatar
    ChrisBlizzard

    One of my first “upgrades” was actually a downgrade as far as all the technical specs were concerned. I moved to an older camera, with lower resolution, slower, noisier (in both uses of the word). What made it an upgrade to me, was the body size. Having a proper sized camera in my hand made things so much more comfortable than having some miniature in my hand. Being comfy in your hand is one of the most important factors in a new camera purchase.

    1. Luap Avatar
      Luap

      Totally agree… lets go back 30 odd years ago. The next big thing was small… the Olympus OM 1. Well I tried it and the damned thing was so tiny in my hands, and while my hands aren’t exactly petite, they ain’t hams either. Stayed with my beloved Canon TLB and upgraded to the Canon A1. Because. I. Could. Hold. Them. Easily.

  8. chris Avatar
    chris

    I’m curious, Ive never heard anyone mention battery performance (good or bad) with a mirrorless. I know my phone battery discharges quickly the more I use phone screen. My dslr battery lasts forever.

    When you mention all the different features in mirrorless (dof -fuji, af-olympus, …) Does any system offer all? You make it sound like you need to have multiple systems to get features, that one system is not good at multiple things. (Not necessarily true, just the way you wrote it praising certain systems with 1 thing)

    1. Michael Avatar
      Michael

      Having a Sony NEX-5 and an a7R I can easily say the battery life is marginally decent. The grip for the a7R is a must get IMO and that really only gets you to the life of a 5D2 on a single battery.

    2. Bones Avatar
      Bones

      I own a Panasonic GH3 and 2 batteries to go with it. I have never encountered an empty battery. A full battery will go beyond what I can do with it in one day.

      As far as the features go it really is not that difficult. The sensor is smaller so less light per pixel. This means it is more prone to static (is that the word?) especially at higher ISO’s. Second the depth of field simply is larger. Not a problem when you shoot landscapes but definitely something to take into account when doing portraits or macro. It also is a matter of taste I guess. My 45mm 1.8 lens is often stopped down to F4. Simply because I like the whole of a face to be sharp. I do not see the need for ultra-small depth of field anyway.

      It is peculiar though to see the reaction of other “serious” photographers when I tell them I upgraded my DSLR to a m43. You can feel the hate starting to flow. Funny how much emotion this topic raises, especially with the full-frame-fanboys.
      The main reason for me to go small is just that, the size. I can walk a whole day holding my camera and add-ons without breaking my back. Perhaps if i would do studio work it would be different though… To each his own i guess. Its just that somehow the discussion about the size of a sensor is so much like the discussion about pixels. You can believe the marketing that says a bigger sensor / more pixels will improve your photo’s. Or you can buy a camera that suits your needs.

  9. Matthew Green Avatar
    Matthew Green

    I shoot mostly fast paced indoor sports games like volleyball and I find that I need a fast lens with high shutter speed on a high ISO body. I have not found a mirror less camera that can handle this. Am I missing something?

    1. SaulNunez Avatar
      SaulNunez

      Nixon released a 1/8000 in the V1 and Sony released a camera with an ISO of 409600 with the a7s, so it’s possible to do so

      1. Matthew Green Avatar
        Matthew Green

        Yes but the auto focus, which I need, is way to slow.

        1. SaulNunez Avatar
          SaulNunez

          That’s a bit of a problem, but I think that in the next year or two it will be equal or greater, the a6000 has a focus similar than the one on the D4S, so, either Sony or other companies, might just make your perfect combo.

    2. Liam Avatar
      Liam

      Clearly you haven’t heard of the Sony A7/S/R, the Fuji X-T1/x-Pro 1, etc.

      Noise performance is DSLR quality on mirrorless cameras.

  10. Wil Fry Avatar
    Wil Fry

    “So what did your DSLR system cost you? Well now halve that and you can still have a mirror less system and not sacrifice the quality of work you produce.”

    So I can get a mirrorless “system” for $1500 and still have the quality? My current DSLR kit cost a little under $3,000, accumulated over several years. I haven’t seen a mirrorless kit that’ll get me what I have now for that price.

    Also, if I made the switch today, I’ve still spent the $3,000 on top of whatever I spend on the new kit. So (let my check my grade school math)… That’s actually *more*, not less. ;-)

    1. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      That might be true, but I DON”T CARE!!

  11. Rick Scheibner Avatar
    Rick Scheibner

    Hey you kids, get off my lawn.

  12. Bokeh Monk Avatar
    Bokeh Monk

    This mirrorless craze is just that, early adopters justifying their purchases. I do most of my street photography with a D700, grip & 24-70 2.8 ( not a small system by any measure ) and hardly get notice! Unless that is, I want to… great ice breaker when approaching new portrait subjects. As for weight, it’s almost forgettable for any dedicated shooter ~ that’s simply the cost of dedication to one’s craft. Ask yourselves why digital medium format IS still king in the studio? Or why Ansel Adam’s hauled a 8×10 on top of his stationwagon when SLR’s were available? The answer is simple, needing the BEST tool for the job… Mirrorless is NOT there!

    1. jakecarvey Avatar
      jakecarvey

      Mirrorless absolutely has its place. Despite its lack of an EVF, and it’s miserable low light focus capabilities, I use my Canon EOS M almost daily for social and street photography and videography, because of it’s unobtrusive size and it’s large sensor (relative to most mirrorless systems).

      It’s a great camera to get the crowd warmed up. It’s undercover, but with a fast lens attached, the photos always get people excited and relaxed once they see the first shots. After which I can haul out the DSLR for much more reliable focusing.

      I also use it as a B camera for video shoots, and its easier to mount on sliders and jibs because of it low weight, and nearly identical video performance to the 60D.

      Re: the Ansel Adams example – I agree that we should always use the best tool for the job. But just as he used a large format camera to minimize grain and clarity, the number of award-winning photos taken over time with small, reliable, unobtrusive Leica’s and Fuji cameras by journalists and Nat Geo photographers is mind boggling.

      Sometimes the small, unobtrusive, small sensor / film camera IS the best tool for the job. That said, cameras which are well maintained can have a very long practical life. We already have far more resolving power than we need.

    2. Liam Avatar
      Liam

      Medium format is the king of studio as it rarely leaves the studio because of how stupidly large and heavy it is, and maybe Ansel Adams would use a mirrorless camera if he was alive for them to be invented.

      Please explain to me why so many top-class photographers are Fuji X-Photographers.

      1. Luap Avatar
        Luap

        Fuji X Photographers? Is that something to do with porn??? rg&dfc

      2. tom rose Avatar
        tom rose

        “Medium format is the king of studio as it rarely leaves the studio because of how stupidly large and heavy it is”

        Leica S ? Not very big. Not very heavy. Unfortunately it is rather expensive.

  13. joe_average Avatar
    joe_average

    disagree. mirrorless is just another tool in a toolbox. dslr will not go out with a bang. small sensors are crap in low light, always will be. and what about focus lock speed/accuracy? I’d love to see a sports photo shootout between mirrorless and dslr!

    1. Michael Chastain Avatar
      Michael Chastain

      “crap in low light”

      Mirrorless cameras don’t necessitate small sensors though. The Sony Alpha A7S has crazy good low light performance and is mirrorless.

      1. joe_average Avatar
        joe_average

        i never said all mirrorless = small sensor. most mirrorless systems, however, are micro 4/3 which is 1/4 of the area (-2 stops) compared to full-frame. the a7s is full-frame; not very relevant to low light performance of small sensors.

        1. Michael Chastain Avatar
          Michael Chastain

          And sensor size isn’t very relevant to a discussion of whether mirrorless cameras will ultimately prevail. They are two separate issues, there’s no reason to muddle the discussion.

          1. joe_average Avatar
            joe_average

            Yes it is, no they won’t, and you brought it up… shesh

          2. Michael Chastain Avatar
            Michael Chastain

            Sensor size discussion IS irrelevant, because there are absolutely no technical limitations to putting larger sensors in mirrorless cameras, as evidenced by the fact there ARE mirrorless cameras with full frame sensors. In fact you could just as easily make a medium format mirrorless sensor.

            You seem to be intent on dismissing mirrorless cameras because there haven’t been many mirrorless full frame cameras. This is just because there haven’t been many high end mirrorless cameras period. The reason for THAT is because EVF technology is only just beginning to match what you could get from a big, bright OVF on a full frame dSLR. EVF technology should continue to evolve rapidly for the foreseeable future, so it’s hard to see that as a future drawback.

            Given the fact that it’s entirely possible to build mirrorless cameras that sport all the features and image quality of high end dSLR cameras, and that mirrorless technology also brings along additional benefits, I’m curious why you think anybody would prefer a dSLR over these hypothetical cameras.

          3. joe_average Avatar
            joe_average

            haha, um, because I like real cameras with real results. keep your hypothetical camera; i’ll be shooting pictures with my 6d. and for the record, I never said I’m dismissing mirrorless cameras. I said that they’re an OPTION for shooters, they won’t ever be the ONLY option, as the article so boldly claims. chill out, move on.

          4. Michael Chastain Avatar
            Michael Chastain

            “because I like real cameras with real results”

            So justify your position. Let’s look at a hypothetical, which is the only way to do it as we’re talking about what will happen to the market in the future.

            Assume Canon is developing two new cameras; the Canon EOS 6D Mark II (a traditional dSLR) and a Canon Eos 5D Mark IIm (a mirrorless version targeting the same market). Also assume that they’re planning to re-use as many parts including the sensor between models to keep the cost down, and they’re targeting the same users, the same image quality, etc..

            What differences will there be between the two cameras and which will be preferable? Justify your claim that makes the dSLR a “real camera with real results”. Because it seems to me that you either don’t understand the technology or you’re a luddite opposed to anything that’s different from what you’re used to.

          5. jakecarvey Avatar
            jakecarvey

            I don’t think there’s an actual debate on the table here – you guys agree on the actual points, you’re getting hung up on the semantics.

          6. joe_average Avatar
            joe_average

            lol. I enjoy calm, rational discussions; not entertaining YELLING or name-calling. well, I’m off to other articles =D

          7. Michael Chastain Avatar
            Michael Chastain

            @disqus_3LjiIzPw4c:disqus

            Who here is yelling or name calling? Please give an example of such.

            You were asked to justify your position in the context of a reasonable example. You have been unwilling or unable to address that question, so the discussion stopped. No drama; no temper; you just chose to end the discussion.

            @jakecarvey:disqus

            I’d argue semantics are important here. Without defining what we’re talking about the discussion drifts into all kinds of irrelevant debates such as sensor size and other factors which are better addressed separately.

    2. Michael Chastain Avatar
      Michael Chastain

      And just to make it clear, I want to know what benefits you believe there are to a dSLR that CAN NOT BE DUPLICATED by mirrorless technology.

      Barring any distinct benefits, the market will always gravitate towards devices with fewer moving parts that are less complicated, more reliable, less expensive, etc..

    3. Michael Chastain Avatar
      Michael Chastain

      Oh hey, look. Canon has announced it’s shifting its focus to mirrorless cameras as well.

  • jakecarvey Avatar
    jakecarvey

    It’s a good point. The video mode in most DSLRs is acting as a mirrorless camera anyway (at least while shooting video). I could foresee manufacturers possibly offering a “mirrorless” mode first an optional shooting mode – although, again, the viewfinder is such an important part of many photographers style, that a mirrorless model with a high quality viewfinder does see much more likely.

  • Michael Chastain Avatar
    Michael Chastain

    “I’d love to see a sports photo shootout between mirrorless and dslr!”

    The A9 seems to be holding it’s own.

  • Jake_Speed Avatar
    Jake_Speed

    Will National Geographic accept a photo from a current mirrorless camera?

    1. Jeff Daly Avatar
      Jeff Daly

      NatGeo featured pics from a Nokia phone, so I would assume a great mirror less image would make the cut.

  • blockfort Avatar
    blockfort

    Is there a mirrorless cameras that will shoot the equivalent of a full frame sensor with a 14mm non-fisheye lens? Because that’s what I use for all of my Architectural work.

    1. Michael Avatar
      Michael

      Sony’s a7 series, full frame sensor and I use it all the time with a Rokinon 14mm.

      1. blockfort Avatar
        blockfort

        But that’s no cheaper than my Nikon. I have the Samyang labeled version of that Rokinon. Once you unwarp it in Lightroom, it’s quite a beauty.

        1. Michael Avatar
          Michael

          IMO this post is mostly rubbish, mirrorless cameras are nice and getting better (and I love my a7R) but I’m not giving up my dSLR anytime soon. AF speed is still superior in that realm.

          1. Greg Silver Avatar
            Greg Silver

            Debatable on AF. The A6000 trumps all Mirrorless in AF and most DSLRs as well. And has an effective 11fps to boot.

        2. jakecarvey Avatar
          jakecarvey

          Not cheaper, but I imagine a lot lighter, and with an inherently longer life span / less maintenance as there is no mechanical shutter

  • William Nicholls Avatar
    William Nicholls

    You should learn how and where to use an apostrophe.

  • David Addams Avatar
    David Addams

    My response is far too long for the comments section.

    (You can read it on my blog if you want.)

    I think “Oh and did I mention that mirrorless is making Photography cool again?” says all you really need to know.

    1. catlett Avatar
      catlett

      That last statement of yours says it all when it comes to not reading your blog. I won’t be. I don’t care in the slightest about cool. It is about functionality.

      1. tom rose Avatar
        tom rose

        ” I don’t care in the slightest about cool. It is about functionality.”

        I think that was David Addams’s point. He does not care about cool either. For him, like you,”coolness” is not a factor in choosing photographic equipment.

  • David A. Avatar
    David A.

    TEHO!

  • Kris Avatar
    Kris

    Architecture photography where one needs a tilt-shift. Now what? Lost field of view and looks off when used with an adapter on any of my Fuji X cameras. Soon you may be able to make a statement as you have but for now, there are still many places my D600 is needed due to technical aspects. But I could be wrong. I’d like to be. :)

    1. SaulNunez Avatar
      SaulNunez

      Maybe a7r? :)

    2. jakecarvey Avatar
      jakecarvey

      A properly engineered adapter on the right mirrorless body should be able place the focal point at EXACTLY the same depth. I am not sure if they are enginnering them that way – but from a casual glance, it does seem that my Canon EF > EOS-M adapter seems to put the lens at pretty much the exact same FD. I’ll have to do a test (if no one has already)

  • Michael Chastain Avatar
    Michael Chastain

    The only intrinsic difference with a mirrorless camera is that you don’t have an optical viewfinder. There are many advantages to EVFs, but in some cases they may not yet match the best optical systems. They will continue to improve though.

    Any other shortcomings are do to *choices* camera makers have made. By and large they’ve focused on the low end and amateur market first, but that’s changing too. The technology is finally starting to filter into high end cameras, and there’s no reason they can’t function as well in low light or any other factor you want to imagine as a dSLR.

    The only other factor is time. Obviously everybody isn’t going to dump all their high end dSLRs and glass overnight and rush to mirrorless. But really, over time, it seems inevitable. I’ve been saying this for at least 10 years and everybody used to think I was crazy, but finally people are becoming believers.

    1. Michael Avatar
      Michael

      IMO the beauty of a mirrorless system is you don’t have to scrap all your existing lenses; just about any lens can be adapted to work. I regularly use old Pentax K mount, Canon EF and Mamiya 645 lenses with my Sony a7R.

      1. SaulNunez Avatar
        SaulNunez

        Plus, the support for old lenses with no automatic focus is fantastic

    2. Fred Smith Avatar
      Fred Smith

      I have to agree. Except for the viewfinder issue (particularly in bright light), the newest EVFs provide more than enough for almost everyone. DOF, hot pixels, tilt-shift and other issues will someday–in fact, very soon– be a thing of the past due to rapid improvements in both software and hardware. The real issue is that DSLRs are a “badge of honor” for professionals and serious amateurs. Without two DSLRs complete with different lenses and heavy battery packs strapped around a neck, a professional would look like amateur. God forbid.

      Don’t get me wrong. I would never think of shooting action sports using EVL today. In a couple of years when the viewing and rapid autofocus issues are worked out, why not?

    3. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      Who really cares – other than the manufacturers that have to sell cameras? I already have all the cameras and lenses I need, that do what I want of them. I’ll look at alternatives when I want to do something that my present equipment cannot cope with.

      1. Michael Chastain Avatar
        Michael Chastain

        Lots of people care, as evidenced by the amount people talk about it.

        I will happily concede that fact that you don’t care, but that begs the question of why you’re even commenting.

        1. tom rose Avatar
          tom rose

          Talking about it is not evidence of care. Some people just like to talk, and often about things of which they are clueless!

          I used to do it myself all the time. I am trying top break the habit, but it is not easy.

          1. Michael Chastain Avatar
            Michael Chastain

            DSLR sales fell 15% last year. Mirrorless rose 16.5%. People are “talking” with their wallets as well.

            “Some people just like to talk…I am trying top break the habit”

            You should try harder. You’ve had three months to come up with something remotely relevant and insightful and still failed.

          2. tom rose Avatar
            tom rose

            QUOTE: “You’ve had three months to come up with something remotely relevant and insightful and still failed.”

            In your opinion … which is not a guarantee of truth, accuracy, or fact, however much you might wish it were so.

          3. Michael Chastain Avatar
            Michael Chastain

            It is my opinion. One that is a hell of a lot better supported than YOUR opinions, which are contradicted by all fact.

        2. tom rose Avatar
          tom rose

          QUOTE: “DSLR sales fell 15% last year. Mirrorless rose 16.5%. People are “talking” with their wallets as well.”

          You say that as if it proved that people were preferring mirrorless cameras to DSLRs. It is a CORRELATION. There are many other possible explanations for these figures:

          1) Everyone that wants a DSLR already has one
          2) A lot of people seem to happy with their mobile phone’s built-in camera. That may well contribute to the decline in DSLR sales
          3) Mirrorless is new, so the market is not yet saturated

          Also:

          Many of my DSLR-using friends have added a mirrorless camera to their kit. They COMPLEMENT each other

          15% of how many? 16.5% of how many? By quoting percentages you give the impression that the fall in DSLR sales has been balanced by the uptake of Mirrorless. It is not so. The fall in DSLR sales has been enormously greater than the increase in mirrorless.

        3. Michael Chastain Avatar
          Michael Chastain

          You claimed people don’t CARE. I could go on all day with evidence that people care. Undoubtedly you could come up with BS excuses why none of them are meaningful, in the face of all logic. It really is inescapable and irrefutable that many people care. You may not, and that’s fine, but why you feel the need to impose your feelings on others is baffling to the world.

          As for whether they replace or complement that is unique to each individual. Lots of people have made the jump exclusively to the A7 series; more will make the jump as more full frame, pro-level mirrorless cameras become available (both Canon and Nikon are expected to release FF mirrorless this year, an odd decision for something nobody cares about). The only inherent advantage clunky mirrored systems have over mirrorless is the optical viewfinder–as EVFs continue to improve; and the best are already preferred by some over OVF and they certainly offer more functionality; that advantage will disappear completely.

          And I can prove it. Name one INHERENT advantage, other than potentially the OVF, that dSLRs offer over mirrorless. You’ll either fail to respond, or respond with things that are not remotely inherent to the technology, but limitations due to manufacturer choice in current models or the maturity of the market.

        4. tom rose Avatar
          tom rose

          I have already agreed that mirrorless is a fundamentally superior technology, so why are you badgering me to state an inherent advantage of DSLRs. They don’t have any. My point is that DSLRs are not going away any time soon despite technological inferiority.

          If you are going to continue this pointless argument you could at least argue against what I actually said rather than what you are pretending I said.

          Alternatively, carry on ignoring the numerous points I have made, carry on ignoring my clearly expressed views and pretending that I have other views, and let independent observers of this little squabble decide who is reasonable and who is not.

      2. Michael Chastain Avatar
        Michael Chastain

        I just want to point out that exactly as I predicted, you failed to provide one inherent advantage other than the optical viewfinder; advantages that only exist currently for certain cameras for certain purposes for certain people and are rapidly vanishing, compared the wide ranging, significant, and growing advantages with EVFs.

        I have no idea why you’re so afraid of progress. At any rate, point proven.

      3. tom rose Avatar
        tom rose

        I am not afraid of progress. In fact I owned one of the first usable EVFs in the Konica/MInolta Dimage A2, which was my first “serious” digital camera. It had class-leading EVF resolution for the time but the image from the EVF was a weakness. But even back then it was superior in low light, despite becoming jerky and going to monochrome.

        I happen to like using an optical viewfinder, but I do not claim its superiority in every respect. I accept that the Mirrorless is in principle a superior technology and whatever deficiencies current EVFs might still have they will continue to improve. I also find most MSC cameras too small to use comfortably, and the few FF models that are big enough for my hands are no longer super light. But those are my personal preferences. I don’t need anyone to share them.

        What I disagree with is the assertion that the DSLR is “dead” and is going to disappear. Going mirrorless is not like going from film to digital. It does not offer such enormous advantages: better image quality, instant feedback, precise and repeatable image processing, much lower cost per shot, …

        Like the Porsche 911, with its absurd weight distribution the DSLR is highly developed and delivers excellent results despite its fundamental handicaps.

        There are millions of them in use, and some of us are very happy with them. There is no point in people like me giving up a pair of good DSLRs and a carefully chosen range of top class lenses unless mirrorless gives me a huge advantage, and it does not. Only when I am too weak to carry my DSLRs would I benefit from the change.

        That has not stopped me from buying a small mirrorless camera to slip into my pocket when I go out for some reason other than photography.

        And this is the root of the statement that annoyed you: “Who cares?”. I admit it was a foolish thing to say … especially on-line where it is not moderated by tone of voice and facial expression!

        So to be more precise I don’t care because:

        the weight and bulk savings are not useful to me
        it would cost me a small fortune to change
        my equipment already does everything I want
        my equipment is tougher and more weatherproof than most (any) mirrorless systems
        I know that right now if a piece of photographic equipment exists then it exists in this system with no need for adapters, and I can buy or hire it

        I would guess (but do not know) that many happy DSLR users would share this view.

        I don’t think anyone can argue that camera makers have a problem. For 10 years they have been selling us digital cameras that produce results that are good enough for most photography, and are tough, long lasting and reliable. Somehow they have to convince us to dispose of excellent picture-taking machines so that we can buy more.

        The other people that care are people that have embraced mirrorless because it suits the way they work, because they have tiny hands, because they appreciate superior technology, because the size and weight reduction is useful to them, because they are not already invested in a system that does all they want, … or some combination of the above.

        I thought your quoting percentages rather than actual numbers was misleading, and maybe even deliberately so. 15% of a huge number is not comparable in size to 16.5% of a much smaller one.

        I also think it is entirely wrong to attribute the decline in DSLR sales to the advent of mirrorless. I suggested two other reasons … the fact that the DSLR market is already saturated, and the advent of the smart phone. YOU have chosen to ignore all of these points.

        I also pointed out that with a pellicle mirror a DSLR would eliminate mirror slap, and could combine the advantages of two different TTL views EVF and OVF. Will it be done? I don’t know.

        I am pretty sure that the whole point of the original article was to set off arguments like some of those in this thread. I would bet money on it being intended as “clickbait” rather than as a contribution to knowledge and understanding.

        I think you write a great deal of sense, but I am sorry to say that do not like your style of argument, which seems to involve ignoring most of the material points made by anyone that disagrees with you and getting back on the attack. Sometimes, from the forcefulness of your style, it seems that you are more concerned about winning argument than about arriving at a more correct and nuanced view of how things are.

      4. Michael Chastain Avatar
        Michael Chastain

        ” In fact I owned one of the first usable EVFs in the Konica/MInolta Dimage A2″

        I still have a DiMAGE 7, which at the time was reviewed as the first camera having a truly usable EVF. Then you know how much EVF technology has improved over the last 12-15 years, and should be able to extrapolate how much it will continue to improve over the next 10-15.

        “I also find most MSC cameras too small to use comfortably”

        Not an inherent limitation. You could build a mirrorless camera of any size. If there is demand for larger cameras, which I have every reason to believe is true, they will be built regardless of whether there is a mirror inside or not.

        “What I disagree with is the assertion that the DSLR is “dead” and is going to disappear. ”

        Then provide a reason for it to stick around. I mean, sure, “dead” is relative. Name just about any technology from any time in history and you can find SOMEBODY using it. Nobody means you will be unable to find a non-mirrorless camera anywhere on earth in use. They mean it will cease to be a serious player. In technology things come and go as the tech progresses all the time.

        “There are millions of DSLRs in use, and some of us are very happy with them. There is no point in people like me giving up a pair of good DSLRs and a carefully chosen range of top class lenses unless mirrorless gives me a huge advantage, and it does not. Only when I am too weak to carry my DSLRs would I benefit from the change.”

        I never implied you nor anybody else should give up cameras that are working perfectly well for you. At some point though, 10 or 15 or 20 years down the line, you’re likely to want to replace those cameras to take advantage of all the technological advancements that will occur. There is every reason to believe that, sooner or later, mirrorless cameras will completely dominate the market (excepting perhaps a few retro hobbyist cameras). I’m not even saying you’ll go looking for a mirrorless camera; it will just be what high end cameras have become. In just the same way you probably didn’t give any thought your current cameras have almost certainly evolved from the CCD sensor in your DiMAGE A2 to a CMOS sensor. The superior technology took over the market.

        For what it’s worth, I’m not some rabid mirrorless advocate. I just bought a new primary shooter this year. It is NOT a mirrorless camera. I didn’t buy it specifically because it had a (pellicle) mirror. I bought it because it was the camera that best met my needs. I would, however, be shocked if the NEXT camera I purchase has a mirror, although I will evaluate again and buy the product that best suits my requirements.

        “I am pretty sure that the whole point of the original article was to set off arguments like some of those in this thread. I would bet money on it being intended as “clickbait” rather than as a contribution to knowledge and understanding.”

        The title was absolutely clickbait, and I have made no defense of it nor the article itself.

        “So to be more precise I don’t care because”

        You act like I’ve been trying to convince you to toss all your current gear and run out and buy new stuff. Buy what best suits your needs, I have no beef with that, nor would there be any logical reason for me to do so.

        I’ve challenged your curious claim that nobody cares, and asserted that sooner or later mirrorless will take over the market.

        “I know that right now if a piece of photographic equipment exists then it exists in this system with no need for adapters, and I can buy or hire it;”

        And over time markets evolve. There is no reason not to believe that in the future that will be the case for mirrorless equipment, while legacy equipment will become more difficult to find.

        “my equipment is tougher and more weatherproof than most (any) mirrorless systems”

        Again, not an inherent advantage.

        “Somehow they have to convince us to dispose of excellent picture-taking machines so that we can buy newer replacements.”

        Again, there is absolutely no need to dispose of equipment that works for you, but I think there is a lot of desirable improvements still to be made. Improvements in dynamic range and color accuracy. Improved low light performance. Faster, more intelligent autofocus. More affordable full frame options. More advanced and easier to use connectivity. More advanced image processing in body. Advancements like Sony’s new curved sensor which may improve IQ while reducing lens cost, size, and complexity. Things we haven’t even imagined yet.

        If nothing else, sooner or later cameras break.

        “I thought your quoting percentages rather than actual numbers was misleading, and maybe even deliberately so. 15% of a huge number is not comparable in size to 16.5% of a much smaller one.”

        If you can FIND sales in concrete numbers, feel free to post them. I could not, and I looked for them. There was no intent to deceive, although you seem to have attributed conclusions to that data I did not intend.

        Your assertion was that nobody cares. I think you’d have to be a bit daft to not recognize that mirrorless sales have significant market share, whatever that amount happens to be. That, COMBINED with the fact it’s a very hot topic of discussion in magazines, online forums, photography groups, etc, COMBINED with industry trends and forthcoming products, COMBINED with anecdotal evidence and what I see in stores and people I know buying; COMBINED with the fact the mirrorless market is increasing while the dSLR market is shrinking; all of that together indicates that a great many people care.

        Not that the dSLR market is dead or somehow insignificant today. I was supporting the point I had already made, and I think maybe you made the leap to some completely different conclusion.

        “I also think it is entirely wrong to attribute the decline in DSLR sales to the advent of mirrorless.”

        It’s certainly part of it. I know more than a few people personally that have made the switch, and have seen countless people from relatively high profile photographers to average Joe’s online sharing their stories. Now it’s certainly possible these accounts are overrepresented–people are less likely to make posts saying, “Hey, I’m still using what I’ve been using and it’s working great!”, but it’s definitely a thing.

        “I also pointed out that with a pellicle mirror a DSLR would eliminate mirror slap, and could combine the advantages of two different TTL views EVF and OVF. Will it be done? I don’t know.”

        The problem with a pellicle mirror is light loss, as well as increased complexity. It’s going to make your optical viewfinder dimmer, which further degrades any point in having one over an EVF.

        Hybrid viewfinders such as those on the Nikon X100 series might make more sense, but again given almost certain continued improvements in EVFs I think there will be very little point.

        ” but I am sorry to say that I do not like your style of argument, which seems to involve picking one point made by someone that disagrees with you and attacking it while ignoring the rest of what they said, or even ignoring everything and returning with unrelated questions.”

        It was you that set the tone with your claim and continued insistence of “who cares?”. But if it makes you feel better to blame me, so be it.

        I believe I’ve answered every single relevant point you’ve made, but if you feel I’ve “ignored” something please share specifically what, and I will happily address it. I can’t do anything with vague allegations.

        “You also have a habit of attributing views and beliefs to people that are not justified by anything they have written. For example you have accused me of being “afraid of progress” which is very far from the truth … unless the failure to jump instantly to the newest technology is interpreted by you as “fear”.”

        It’s not the failure to instantly jump to the newest technology that led me to believe that. As I have repeatedly said from the beginning, it’s fine if YOU (or anybody else) don’t care, and sees no point in buying now. I myself chose not to buy. That is irrelevant to whether people care about the topic, and it’s irrelevant to discussions about what the future will bring as well.

        If I incorrectly attributed fear of the future to you I apologize. But given your insistence on arguing against the market evolving–to even acknowledge that people care–where you can not elucidate on any compelling reasons for legacy technologies to be maintained, while acknowledging the advantages of new technologies, and I’m baffled to come up with other explanations.

        “Sometimes, from the forcefulness of your style, it seems that you are more concerned about winning argument than about arriving at a more correct and nuanced view of how things are.”

        Again, you started off with “Who cares?” and arguing that even though mirrorless vs. mirrored is one of the hottest topics in the photographic world right now, it doesn’t mean anybody actually cares. Are you suggesting that tactic is seeking to arrive at a “correct and nuanced view of how things are”?

        I’m all for changing the tone, but despite your admission that your initial statement was “foolish” and that I “write with a great deal of sense” you still seem intent on attacking me every other paragraph. Which is fine, it’s the Internet and I’m a big boy, but it’s hypocritical to do so while attacking me for not being more patient with you.

        “As for that arrogant “Point proven” quip, that is not for you to decide.”

        I claimed you would be unable to give an inherent advantage other than OVF where dSLRs were superior to mirrorless. As far as I can see you haven’t even now with your expanded reply you haven’t even attempted to suggest a single other inherent advantage. If I’ve missed something feel free to point it out. Otherwise I think the point is conclusively made that you cannot do so.

        Incidentally new glass is also not an inherent advantage. There is absolutely nothing stopping Canon, Nikon, or anybody else from coming out with a mirrorless camera with legacy mounts. Again, it’s just a matter of demand.

    4. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      Carry on ignoring the points I have made. Carry on ignoring my clearly expressed views and pretending that I have other views. Let independent observers of this little squabble decide who is reasonable and who is not.

  • tom rose Avatar
    tom rose

    QUOTE: “You should try harder. ”

    Direct personal insults are uncalled for.

  • Michael Chastain Avatar
    Michael Chastain

    You’re the one coming into an ongoing discussion and saying, “Who cares?!” If anybody needs etiquette lessons it’s you.

  • Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    If “Size Doesn’t Matter”, then 110 film cameras would still be around.

    1. Justin_C Avatar
      Justin_C

      110 film cameras ARE still around.

  • Tom Bicknell Avatar
    Tom Bicknell

    Obsolete as a term is obsolete. The only time any form of photography becomes obsolete is when it becomes impossible or at least unfeasible to continue using it. I would say many things made The Polaroid 100 Land Camera obsolete but it’s still taking pictures for me. And I know professional portrait photographers who refuse to use anything other than 5×7 or larger film. *shrugs* Everything has a place as long as you can use it.

  • edd Avatar
    edd

    Clickbait.

  • Greg Avatar
    Greg

    Unfortunately I think DIYPhotography.net may be becoming obsolete with these highly opinionated, useless articles becoming more and more commonplace.

    1. jakecarvey Avatar
      jakecarvey

      the Huffington Post of photoblogs?

    2. Southern Curmudgeon Avatar
      Southern Curmudgeon

      Greg, I agree. DIY Fauxtography has indeed become obsolete with this latest round of Clickbait articles. Think I’ll look for a website with real information!

  • ColinB Avatar
    ColinB

    Clickbait or not, I agree with the author. DSLR die-hards will continue to cite areas where mirrorless cameras can’t do what a DSLR can but those areas are getting fewer and fewer by the month. Do you really think that the industry giants – Sony, Panasonic, Fuji etc. – aren’t capable of solving the problems of mirrorless (continuous AF, low light performance etc.) Take a look at the balance sheets of those companies. They have plenty of cash to throw at R&D and they will get there sooner rather than later. Meanwhile you have just 2 serious DSLR manufacturers and the new cameras they are pushing out show that the technological development of the mirrored cameras has pretty much reached the end of the road. Is the Nikon D810 a meaningful upgrade over the D810? For some, maybe. For the vast majority, no. And what about video? Like it or not, more and more people expect usable video in their cameras. Purists will howl but it’s inevitable. And mirrorless is vastly superior here. I’ve tried to use my D7000 for video and it’s a miserable experience. The one area in which innovation would allow DSLRs to fight back against mirrorless – size and weight of bodies and lenses – is the area in which, thanks to the laws of physics, they can’t do much. That is their Achilles Heel and it will likely prove fatal.

    I own DSLRs. I like DSLRs. But the industry is clearly shifting and it’s away from them. One day soon we will wake up and find that the reasons to use them over mirrorless have disappeared. Maybe you’re the one guy who needs to use his legacy 1959 fisheye and only a DSLR will do. But that ain’t going to sustain an industry.

    1. Dam Spahn Avatar
      Dam Spahn

      Fad chasers will no longer bring their high-end DSLR’s to the breakfast table to impress other vacationers, but if one needs a real camera to do real photography ….

    2. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      “Sustaining an industry” is not my responsibility.

      It is a problem for camera manufacturers that some of the equipment they have made is so good that we won’t need to replace it for decades.

    3. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose

      “Sustaining an industry” is nothing to do with me. I make photographs.

      If the powers that be have to hype mirrorless technology beyond its undoubted theoretical advantages (potentially smaller, a source of vibration removed, EVF better than OVF in some conditions). That is a job for the camera companies.

      But no-one has to rush out and ditch perfectly good SLR gear just because there is something better. Only if the new offers something that you desperately want or need is it worth changing. Anything else is gadget-freakery or fanboyism.

  • Jules Vandenplas Avatar
    Jules Vandenplas

    Well, when you see the kind of tripod he is using, you are entitled to ask many questions about his credibility

  • Gunter Beer Avatar
    Gunter Beer

    Hi Martin, interesting point. As a food photographer, I don’t care much the body. More important for me are the lenses. I use tilt-shift lenses a lot – my standard lens is a 90TS. Is there a mirror less system for this kind of lenses?

  • jakecarvey Avatar
    jakecarvey

    The big boys (Canon and Nikon) are still crippling focus capability in mirrorless camera to try and extend DSLR life. But as Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, and Sony continue to push mirrorless capability, that will change. The ability to focus quickly and accurately, and switch focusing modes intuitively, remains one of the most important technical aspects of any pro or serious amateur. In order to truly mature, mirrorless cameras will need to rise at least to the focus capabilities of the D800 or 70D.

    But the primary obstacle will remain the EVF. The ability to look through a crisp sharp viewfinder and block out the world while composing the shot is as important as it ever was. ‘Chimping’ will never replace it. EVF technology is ready (and in many cases adds a massive amount of additional capability), but Canon and Nikon continue to be reluctant about empowering affordable mirrorless cameras with viable EVF viewfinders. Until that happens, those of us already invested in Canon or Nikon glass and workflow will likely keep our N1 and Eos M’s as secondary units.

  • Liam Avatar
    Liam

    If you haven’t switched to mirrorless by now, you’re simply afraid of change and you’re too reliant on the quality of your gear. If you’re unable to get the same quality shots with a smaller camera, e.g. a Fujifilm X-T1, then maybe you need to work on being a better photographer.

    Source: an experienced photographer who has used various Canon 1D models until switching to mirrorless.

    1. Bones Avatar
      Bones

      thumbs up!

    2. Luap Avatar
      Luap

      Ha ha… I haven’t even gone digital yet! So, guess that makes me a Luddite?

      1. Guest Avatar
        Guest

        Wow! a film shooter! man, i havent even used film in 4 years!

    3. J. Dennis Thomas Avatar
      J. Dennis Thomas

      There are just some things a mirrorless camera like the XT-1 cannot do.

      Source: a professional photographer that shoots in difficult lighting and high speed subjects using dozens of Nikon pro and non-pro cameras.

    4. JOhn C Avatar
      JOhn C

      So, if we don’t use what you are using we suck, valid point.

    5. Chris Avatar
      Chris

      Think depth of field ! when considering full frame to apsc !

      1. Michael Chastain Avatar
        Michael Chastain

        That’s an argument for full frame vs APS-C, not dSLR vs. mirrorless. I don’t know why people insist on confusing issues that have nothing to do with each other.

    6. tom rose Avatar
      tom rose