Mirrorless camera myths… busted? Do you agree?

May 26, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Mirrorless camera myths… busted? Do you agree?

May 26, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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I don’t often usually agree with everything Tony Northrup says, and this video isn’t much different. I don’t agree with all of the opinions he puts forward in this video, but he does actually makes a few valid points. The topic is mirrorless camera myths and it’s filled with fallacies often touted on social media that are just complete nonsense.

Some of the myths surrounding mirrorless cameras are just simply untrue – like mirrorless cameras being inherently sharper than DSLRs. Others might have been true at one time but no longer really are, such as mirrorless setups being smaller, not to mention the notoriously bad battery life. So, which myths are true now? Should you switch from DSLR to mirrorless?

The twenty-eight-and-a-half-minute video sees Tony and Chelsea go over quite a lot of mirrorless camera myths including the size, battery life, autofocus, continuous shooting speed, resale value and a whole bunch of other topics surrounding mirrorless cameras and how they compare to DSLRs. Not how they stomp all over DSLRs, but how they actually compare and where sometimes the older DSLR tech may actually be better than mirrorless.

For me, mirrorless still isn’t at a point where I’m completely comfortable with it for stills. I’ve tried many of the recent models from all of the manufacturers and the hailed advantages of mirrorless just aren’t an advantage to me for what and how I shoot over the DSLRs I already use. If anything, they offer me a disadvantage. I’ve yet to find a mirrorless camera EVF that doesn’t give me a headache within half an hour’s use. I’m sure eventually something will be released that doesn’t, but it’s not an issue I’ve ever had with optical viewfinders, and my DSLRs give me all I need for what I want to shoot, so I don’t see the point in “upgrading”.

I have, however, jumped wholeheartedly into mirrorless when it comes to video, having picked up five Panasonic cameras last year specifically for this task. Yeah, Panasonic’s autofocus isn’t great, but it’s very rare that I use autofocus for video anyway. I’ve tried using them for stills, where the autofocus isn’t too terrible, and they take decent shots, but the stills workflow just isn’t for me and I usually end up having to go live view on the LCD rather than using the EVF.

But my needs are not your needs. For you, jumping into mirrorless might be exactly what you need to do to improve your abilities and your work. But make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Do it with informed decision making. Don’t do it because you bought into a myth and didn’t really do your research first. You may just discover that, like an example cited in the video, your images actually get worse.

Which mirrorless myths did you buy into that turned out to be false?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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8 responses to “Mirrorless camera myths… busted? Do you agree?”

  1. Shachar Weis Avatar
    Shachar Weis

    Sorry, I’m not watching a 30 minute video that should have been a 1 minute read.

  2. Lars Stokholm Avatar
    Lars Stokholm

    I don’t think very many agree with Tony Northrup. But people that disagrees means more that see his videos, to be able to argue about it, which generates more clicks for him, which is $$ down his pocket.

  3. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    Is it hate on mirrorless month?

    Someone got a bunch of DSLRs they’re desperate to shift?

  4. Vincent Reyna Avatar
    Vincent Reyna

    Ive noticed that with my sigma art lens, it had focus issues using normal mode (on my 6D)… but when i used live mode, it nailed the focus every time.

  5. Randy Dalton Avatar
    Randy Dalton

    I can only speak to my one mirrorless e per ice which was with the first Sony A7R. And I will have to say, at that time the battery life was not very good. I didn’t rent a spare and was out and about when it ran out of charge. Don’t know how many shots I got, but nothing compared to my Nikon DSLR. I imagine they’re much improved now. Hopefully so anyway.

  6. Christopher R Field Avatar
    Christopher R Field

    The biggest myth that anyone has bought into (including tony) is that mirrorless cameras are somehow fundamentally different than DSLR.
    It’s just a damn camera folks. All you gotta do is pick one and use it.

  7. charles young Avatar
    charles young

    so if i shoot for a day with my DSLR i need one battery….with mirrorless i need 3-4 plus a bag to carry them. How is this lighter and more convenient? i would rather invest in good lens than constantly “upgrading/changing” my bodies. For an advanced amateur does it really matter since its all about what’s 6″ behind the view finder anyway? When the current bodies fail then I will consider it.

    1. g_discus Avatar
      g_discus

      you can close display (almost impossible for sony) and use evf. it will significantly increase the operating time.