5 Ways My Mirrorless Camera Is Better Than My Old DSLR

5 Ways My Mirrorless Camera Is Better Than My Old DSLR

It is common today to find professional photographers eager to embrace new equipment offerings from manufacturers. I recall a time when things were different and professionals were content to stick with gear that was adequate for their current needs.

In my college days, I purchased a Minolta Maxxum 7000 which was one of the first mainstream cameras to implement a useable autofocus system. The professional photographers I knew were skeptical of this new technology and showed no interest in even trying it out. In their minds, the amateurs were the ones who needed the camera to handle the heavy lifting of ensuring the image was in focus.

Years later, I switched to Nikon when the F4 was released and I loved the way this camera looked, felt, and performed. It was the first professional Nikon body to offer autofocus, but the manual focus F3 stayed in production as many pros were not excited by a camera that offered new features since the camera they were using was working out just fine. It should be noted that the F3 stayed in production even after the introduction of the F5.

Even today you will find that there are professional photographers who don’t rush to replace their gear just because some camera or strobe maker promises their new product is so amazing that we all need to immediately discard the previous version. One such person is an event photographer friend of mine who has not changed his gear in 8-10 years. We have had a few brief conversations while we are waiting for an event to start about why I think he should go mirrorless but he hasn’t been persuaded. He books gigs across the country regularly and is well paid for his craft. He sees no reason to switch. I wrote this article with him in mind.

I was initially hesitant to switch because my Nikon D3s and D810 were working fine for all of my projects. It is noteworthy that even though my mirrorless cameras are not considered professional offerings from Nikon and both have since been supplanted by updated versions, these cameras are still superior to my DSLRs in every way. Below are some of the specific reasons I prefer my mirrorless cameras over my DSLRs.

Lil Peep fan speaks on his influence in her life. Nikon D3s with 24-70mm F2.8 G lens.

Quiet / Silent Shutter

The single feature that inspired my switch from DSLR to mirrorless was my need for a quieter shutter than the one on my Nikon D3s. I had always felt the D3s shutter was loud, but at the time I purchased the camera, pretty much every camera was loud. Over the years, more photographers switched to mirrorless cameras, which are inherently quieter than their DSLR counterparts. Anytime I was alongside a mirrorless shooter, I was conscious that my shutter was noticeably louder than that person’s camera. Over time as mirrorless cameras became more commonplace, clients were accustomed to cameras not making much noise.

One time I was shooting an album release party for rapper Lil Peep who had died from a drug overdose the previous year. The music had been turned off and young fans were giving intimate testimonials about how the influence of Peep’s music on their life. More than one person spoke of how Peep’s songs helped them deal with suicidal thoughts. It’s the kind of personal moment that I’d prefer to not photograph, but since I had been hired by his record label to document the event, I felt obligated to take photographs while the fans were speaking. I was conscious that my shutter sound could be heard over the sounds of sobbing fans. I pressed the shutter sparingly, but it wasn’t long before someone from the record label walked over to me and said, “We are good on photographs.”

On other occasions when photographing corporate meetings, I would wait until the person talking said something funny and the audience laughed before I would push my shutter button. Since I tend to fire more frames than other photographers I’ve been around, this approach went against my shooting style. Switching to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 with their much quieter shutters, allows me to fire off as many frames as I desire without attracting attention to myself.

Elimination of the Need To Review Photos While Shooting

My goal is to nail exposure as correctly as possible at the time that I am capturing the image. I shoot in manual mode about 90% of the time and anytime the light changes in my scene, I need to visually check that the exposure is correct. Because the viewfinder on my Z6 can be set to preview the actual exposure before I take the photograph, there is no need to review the image after the fact. If the scene looked correct before I pressed the shutter, I can rest assured that the actual photograph looks good as well.

A DSLR shooter's process to ensure exposure is correct is tedious compared to the process used by a mirrorless shooter. The DSLR shooter must raise the camera to her eye, push the button, lower the camera to press the play button, and repeat the process as many times as necessary until the correct exposure can be determined. Even when I am using strobes in the studio, the process of reviewing images is efficient on the Z6 and Z7 (which I use interchangeably). I have auto review turned on and I can review each image after it is captured without removing the camera from my eye.

Ability to Instantly Switch From Photo to Video Mode

Video is becoming more popular than ever and it is common for clients to expect a photographer to be capable of capturing both formats. Before owning the Z6, my video camera was the BMPCC 4k. The camera was unwieldy and flawed in many ways although it did produce a gorgeous, film-like file. For most of my paid photo jobs, it wasn’t practical for me to bring this camera, its dedicated lenses, and the dozen or so batteries the camera required. Even if I did bring the BMPCC, it wasn’t likely that I had the camera on me while I was walking around taking photographs.

With the Z6, I can flip a switch and change from photo to video mode. This ability to change modes exists on DSLRs but is poorly implemented. If I were using a D3s to take photographs of someone speaking on a podium and my settings were at 250/4 at ISO 2000, I would find it necessary to change my shutter and ISO when I switched to video mode because these settings would not be ideal for a moving image. After filming a clip, these settings would have to be changed again as I switched from video back to stills mode. The Z6 however, stores different settings for video and stills. As I switch between the modes, the image in my viewfinder looks identical in terms of exposure for both modes, but my video might be set to a more logical combination such as 50/4 at ISO 400. This allows me to instantly create stills and videos without having to constantly fiddle with my camera settings.

The IBIS of the Z6 also serves me well for filming videos. For short clips of people talking, I can handhold the camera and produce a shot that looks as if it were filmed on a tripod.

Straight-out-of-camera image of recording artist Angel Christina photographed in New York City using the Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm F/4 S lens. 

Better Color and Overall Exposure

It has always bothered me when someone says their newer camera has better files. We don’t all want the same things from our files; the term "better" is subjective. Every digital camera I have ever used has produced files that are unique to that camera and I have never sent out files without making some sort of adjustments to the images. When I first began importing Z7 files into  Lightroom I realized that I couldn’t find anything that needed to be tweaked. I was making such minor adjustments to shadows or highlights that it hardly mattered. I would not state that the Z7 files are better since the term is so subjective. Straight-out-of-camera files from the Z7 are comparable to processed files from my Nikon DSLRs. Note, I am referring to event photography images that are used for a brief period by the client before that client moves their focus to their next event.

My awkward but functional combination of Nikon Z6 and 70-200mm 2.8 G lens. 

Better Autofocus Performance

Over the years of using Nikon DSLRs, I had become accustomed to focusing bracketing any shots I was shooting wide open. I know these bodies offer a focus calibration feature, but I have never bothered to learn how it works. Whenever I was shooting with my 85mm 1.4G lens wide open, I would fire off a lot of frames and move my body ever so slightly closer or further away from my subject while I was shooting. I would also aim the focus point at different parts of the eye itself in the hopes of acquiring a few images that were tack sharp. This process only took a couple of seconds, but it should not have been necessary.

When I acquired the Z6, the only native lens I had was the 24-70mm F/4 kit lens, so I used the FTZ adaptor to utilize my older lenses on the newer body. The adaptor is larger than I would like it to be and adds noticeable bulk to the system. It doesn't feel right. The performance of the adapter is superb, however, and my older lenses focus more accurately on the Z6 than they ever did on the DSLR bodies. While I would like to replace all of the older lenses with the newer versions, there is at least one lens that I may not replace. A 70-200mm lens is one of the core lenses that many photographers utilize regularly and I can’t imagine not owning this focal length. However, it is a necessary evil for me. I don’t enjoy photographing anything that is far away and my preference is to shoot at 35mm or 85mm. Because I use the 70-200mm focal range so infrequently and the lens I currently own focuses accurately wide open on my Z6, it is unlikely that I will spend the money to replace my old lens with the latest version.

These differences between mirrorless cameras and DSLRs that I have detailed here are not necessarily the most important distinctions between these 2 systems. Rather they are the differences that have had the most impact on my photography and they are the aspects that I think would have the most impact on my friend should he decide to make the switch one day. If you have moved from a DSLR to a mirrorless system, what would you say is the single biggest effect this change has had on your photography?

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50 Comments
Mike Ditz's picture

Better AF and the EVF for me.

John Taylor's picture

Since going mirrorless, I find "sharp focus" the biggest plus.

Tom Reichner's picture

There is real value in going with the "latest and greatest".

I am still shooting with my DSLRs, and they still take images that are just as good as the ones they were taking years ago when they were new. But I am missing a lot of shots that I would like to have - shots that I would be able to capture with the new, higher end mirrorless cameras.

The goal, for some of us, is not just to get great photos ..... it is to get as many great photos as is humanly possible.

When shooting fast action that is difficult to focus track, coming back from a morning's shoot with 30 great photos isn't as good as coming back with 50 or 60 great photos. And I know beyond doubt that the number of keepers that I get will jump by an appreciable margin once I can afford to switch to new mirrorless technology with the more capable animal eye detect focus mode and object tracking mode.

John Ricard's picture

I agree with everything you wrote, but I would add that you may find it valuable to keep an inferior camera for some of your personal shooting. I use a Leica M10 regularly and my hit rate with this camera is far less than my hit rate with the Z7, but that is ok. A lot of what I shoot isn't all that important and it's ok if every shot isn't a keeper. Using the M10 makes me appreciate the technological advances of the Z7, but it doesn't make me want to only shoot with those advances. So if you are fond of your DSLR, maybe keep it around even after you get the mirrorless.

Frank Cornfield's picture

Getting the exposure correct while framing the shot is a huge benefit. No way could I go back to a DSLR.

David Pavlich's picture

Two things moved me from the 5DIV to the R5; focus ability is the main reason, but secondly, Canon chose to keep the form factor fairly close to the 5DIV. The in hand feel is very familiar and that is a big deal to me. Subjective, but along with the focusing, it made the switch easy.

Tom Reichner's picture

That's good to know. I've feared that the R5 would be noticeably smaller than the 5D4 and the 1D series that I am used to, and that would create awkward ergonomics. But if after using both bodies, you have found that it is quite similar to the 5D4, that alleviates my concerns.

David Pavlich's picture

I should have mentioned that I have the grip on it as well. The buttons on the back are a bit different due to the addition of the flippy screen, but that hasn't been a problem. Turns out that the R5/grip combination is slightly heavier than the R3. Of course, the R3 is a bit smaller than the 1Dx series. It'll be interesting to see if the R1 is closer to the 1Dx in dimension and weight.

My measuring stick is how it feels with the 70-200 f2.8. I can barely tell any difference from the 5DIV. It balances nicely and, of course, the thing focuses like nobody''s business. :-)

John Ricard's picture

Nikon has been great with keeping a consistent user interface. Going from the film cameras to the digital to mirrorless has been very natural and pain free for me.

David Pavlich's picture

Yep! I was quite pleased when Nikon and Canon decided that itty bitty cameras weren't the be all/end all when it comes to the pro and pro-sumer cameras.

Anthony Chan's picture

While I find great value and excitement in having the latest. Some photographers are so vested in their current gear that they are set in their ways. They have taken their old gear to a blind person reading brail letters. They know their gear so well that it's become muscle memory. When using new gear their is a bit of learning curb and can throw the photographer off guard. For mirrorless, I almost gave up and went back to DSLR. I didn't like mirrorless at first. It changes the way you shoot. Their is some adjustment period for new gear. Of course now I would never go back. But I know their are others that are stubborn. And you know what,. It just works. Why fix what's not broken and this guy is still booking for good money. To me, new gear is just more expenses that may not be necessary.

John Ricard's picture

That's the tricky part. Deciding whether the new gear is necessary or not. In the case of mirrorless, it's such an improvement I would argue that it is worth the change for someone like my friend. Where most of us go wrong is when we are needlessly upgrading from a MarkIII to a Mark Iv and it's essentially the same camera. I went from a GoPro 8 to a 9 and I swear it was the same exact camera with a different number on the front ;)

Ruud van der Nat's picture

Three things my DSLR is better at than my MILC , viewfinder in low light, battery life, no need to switch off the exposure simulation when shooting with studio strobes. I do love how my MILC works with manual focus lenses ( focus guide and peaking) , histogram in the viewfinder and reviewing images through the evf. Weight and size are non issues for me

John Ricard's picture

The studio strobe thing can be a bit of a pain for sure. It didn't bother me with my DSLR, but somehow it seems more dramatic with mirrorless. It's a minor loss for me compared to all that I gained in the switch though.

Ruud van der Nat's picture

I agree. I do love my mirrorless camera, but it’s not all better than a dslr ( yet)

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--- "no need to switch off the exposure simulation when shooting with studio strobes."

With the Sony a7iii, this happens automatically when it detects a remote trigger or speedlight attached. And, unlike OVF, I can see clearly in low light.

Ruud van der Nat's picture

The EOSR also switches off exposure sim when you attach a speedlite , but not when I connect a wired or wireless remote (depends on the remote brand I guess) My eyes give me a much more natural view in low light than any EVF so far, they are getting better and better. When doing landscapes I normally expose for the highlights , the darker parts are no problem when processing the raw file, but become quite dark in the evf. In high contrast situations the OVF still beats the EVF. ( and again they are getting better).

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

OVFs are unrealistic view, assuming you can even see anything in low light. Let's be honest, you're going to edit the photos. EVFs will allow you see the scene; histogram in EVF will allow to better judge the scene. If you think OVF > EVF in dark scenes, you need a better and up to date camera. EOS R is Canon's first attempt at mirrorless; which could why you're not convinced.

Ruud van der Nat's picture

EVF is a jpeg representation of your image based on the profile you selected. Indeed the EVF on the R isn’t cutting edge, and I’ve tried some up to date Sony’s. The histogram is a huge help and I miss it when I shoot with my DSLR. When shooting concerts I use both, getting the exposure in the ballpark is easier with the EVF (though understanding metering gets the job done on a DSLR). But still with very fast changing light, happens during a concert, I think it’s easier to compose my images with the OVF.
For example, during a show they used pyro (flames in this case) I set my exposure for the moment when the flame-burst would come. In the EVF it was just too dark to compose when the flames weren’t there, no problem with the OVF. I cloud set the MILC to auto ISO but there would be less control over the exposure.
So don’t get me wrong , I love the advantages of mirrorless, but in some situations still prefer the EVF (and your eyes have much more dynamic range than any EVF up to date)

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I agree regrading the scenario with pyro. For that, I would turn off exposure simulation so you can see. Basically, treat it as if you were using strobes.

Paul McMurrick's picture

Immediately switching from phot to video mode….
Give me a break
How about putting on the ND filters and a reasonable microphone. It is never so easy in practice

John Ricard's picture

Not sure what the microphone has to do with anything. If I'm using a microphone, chances are I'm shooting actual video -not moving photographs as I attempted to explain in the article. And if I'm shooting video I'm not really switching back and forth to photo mode. Maybe I should have explained it better in the article. But I don't want an ND filter on when I'm shooting photos, so why would I add it just for the times that I'm switching to video mode? I was was talking about shooting photographs at an event, and then just flipping a switch and filming a quick clip where the photograph moves. It's a clip that would be used in a slideshow along with the photographs and it would be set to music.

John Fox's picture

The advantage of getting older is learning that having the best is an expensive game. And that there is a price to pay for the attributes in the pro side. Whether or not they are worth it depends on each person.

My wife and I shoot pentax, starting way back in the film world. We don't buy a lot of lenses, and not always new. In fact, some of the worst lenses we have were new lenses. Replacing our lenses would be not only expensive, as there isn't any bargain bin for mirrorless lenses, but a crap shoot if not spending bigger bucks for top shelf names. I just bought a K70 and my wife has decided she wants one too. Although I'm trying to convince her to go one step higher, seems silly to have two exactly the same.

The other advantage is patience. Yes, I chimp a lot. But I've learned there is no autofocus that will get the shot I want, not an auto setting that will get the exposure either. Over time, one gets good at it and fewer shots are needed to dial it in. Rather than depend on autofocus, I set the focus and move back and forth watching the focus indicators. Understanding depth of field helps.

I've learned the importance of taking the first shot fully auto to establish a baseline and just to make sure I get something. Very important when trying to get a macro of an orb weaver that might get spooked.

But I don't do this for money, I do it for pleasure. My son still shoots film with an old pentax my wife gave him.

If I win the lottery, I'd probably spring for a mirrorless camera. But as long as pentax continues to support the dSLR world, I see no reason to switch any time soon. Because I don't need the best. The photos I take earn praises from my family and friends, they are better than any phone camera, and I enjoy taking them.

Why should I spend money for a marginally better experience? I'd rather buy new lenses for the cameras I have. And that will fit every camera I have.

Except that old Nikon FM that sits ignored in the closet. 😜

John Ricard's picture

I'm still waiting for Nikon to make a true digital FM2. The DF sure as hell wasn't it ;) The DF had more buttons than a standard DSLR even though they advertised it as some sort of retro camera.

EDWIN GENAUX's picture

Sony's Bright Monitoring, like night vision, in the darkest place and turned on and frame it. Out Milky Way capturing on a beach that your eyes barely see the sand, but with it turned on you see the stars and venus (if it around) but also the outline of pegasus ands able to line up above a foreground.

Andrew Munster's picture

DSLR around for 6 years Mirrorless broken with in 2 years

Jacob H.'s picture

It's a common misunderstanding amongst amateurs that professional photographers always have the 'latest and greatest' gear. For pro's it's very much a business investment and they look at the return on investment, rather than the latest features. Depending on the field of photography you're in, a solid 5DMkII/III or D810/850 could be all you ever need. I know a lot of colleagues who have no intention to switch yet.

I do recognize some of the benefits mentioned, but overall the image quality isn't so much related to the type of camera, but mostly to progress in sensor technology and post software over the years. I'm using a/o Z7II and Z9, but as for the Z7II, I see little difference with a D850 (given correct exposure). The Z7II files however, are much better than I recall from my old 5D...

As for the EVF advantage that can be very personal. Of course it's nice to judge exposure before shooting. However, I do remember when I switched from my 5D's to Fujifilm, the EVF's of the X-T1/2/H-1 gave me a lot of headache and tired eyes after using them for a couple of hours. Only since the Z7 I consider the EVF an advantage over an OVF.

John Ricard's picture

While the image quality is indeed "better" (subjective term) on my Z7 than my DSLRs, I could probably get by just fine with the Images quality of a Nikon D3s for pretty much everything I shoot.

Quazi Sanjeed's picture

I'm a hobbyist landscape, street and wildlife photographer. I have more reasons to stick to rough & tough and reliable old DSLRs and an array of lenses.

Better AF is the only viable difference that MILC can claim over DSLRs. However, DSLRs made since 2010 till present are also excellent AF performers with native lenses. While using MILC, in order to retain more keepers of action shots, one needs to capture more shots, needs more space on cards and computer and perform the tedious task of browsing through those to pick up the good ones. Cannot even imagine that hassle! My 1DIV rattles up ten FPS which is good enough for my purposes.

Granted, I need to work little harder with securing AF on bird action shots however, that’s what helps me retain my status as a skilled photographer. I don’t want to be a robot.

I witnessed one Sony A1 user confess on YouTube, his body suddenly stops focusing on flying birds and does nothing. It has to be turned off and on again to resume working. That’s why he sold it out. So, grass isn’t greener on the other side.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--- "While using MILC, in order to retain more keepers of action shots, one needs to capture more shots, needs more space on cards and computer and perform the tedious task of browsing through those to pick up the good ones."

False. You can set the FPS. For instance: 5, 10, 30+, etc, etc. Set it for how you shoot or the scenario you're in.

--- "I witnessed one Sony A1 user confess on YouTube,..."

One? Your bias confirmation is based off an experience of one user? There's always going to be a bad copy of almost anything: cameras, cars, computers, etc.

Even your beloved DSLR is not immune:
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1504757

Quazi Sanjeed's picture

So, you also agree there are bad copies of MILCs.

I think now I know why MILC fan boys are out there desperately to prove the greatness of their gears. Because it isn’t in many ways.

Although a hobbyist; I’m a photographer for the last 14 years. Therefore, I do know what is what. Even Canon has now conceded that a huge number of photographers prefer DSLRs over MILCs and are seriously contemplating continuation of DSLR production for many years more. This is a recent news following their previous stance to stop production of DSLRs.

The ergonomics, organic view finder and massive higher battery life are enough strong reasons to continue shooting DSLRs. However, I do admit the manufacturers need to earn money which is why they started singing a new song for the last few years. Sadly, that failed to stop the plummeting trend of ILC sales round the globe. It’s down to around 10% of what it was in 2010. It had to be due to arrival of smartphones. Only serious hobbyists and pros are present in the camera market now. On top of it; photographers who own few workable DSLRs are unlikely to replace them with MILCs and sustain an unnecessary waste of money.

I deeply enjoy shooting with my heavyweight DSLRs and want to continue doing so for many years more. Long live DSLRs.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--- "So, you also agree there are bad copies of MILCs."

Duh? No one said they were perfect. But, definitely, much improved than the DinoSLRs they replace. Don't pat yourself in the back just yet.

--- "Even Canon has now conceded that a huge number of photographers prefer DSLRs over MILCs and are seriously contemplating continuation of DSLR production for many years more."

There's a big difference between developing and support. Their focus is on continued development of MIRRORLESS. They will support (no development) of DSLR as long as there is demand. That is what we call, "DSLR is Dead".

--- "I deeply enjoy shooting with my heavyweight DSLRs and want to continue doing so for many years more. Long live DSLRs."

If it works for what you shoot and how you shoot, more power to you. You DinoSLR holdouts act like you are being forced to switch. No one is going to be knocking on your door. Don't get so defensive...and scared.

Quazi Sanjeed's picture

Why do demonstrators shout slogans on the streets? Because they want something that isn’t available.

Same with MILCs. Every now and then there’s someone screaming and crying with deep agony that MILCs are better than DSLRs. Simply because, they know people are not convinced.

In fact, it’s you who are scared. The toy camera fan boys have been shouting for more than three years that DSLR is dead. But to their dismay it isn’t.

We don’t need to shout because we know, our gears work. The amount of maddening chorus by the fan boys, including paid ones, should have brought an end to DSLRs couple of years ago! But it didn’t. Perhaps that’s what drives them crazy and they might soon need to seek consultations from Psychiatrists

We don’t shout, don’t wanna convince anyone, just go about our lovely hobby of using our wonderful gears and enjoy the time. Even services aren't necessary because our gears are that good. However, I might buy one of those toy cameras for my grandchild someday thinking, he might like it! In case he does, would certainly invite some fan boys to show what a wonderful children’s toy it is!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Holy mackerel. Relax. You've just demonstrated the very definition of triggered.

--- "screaming and crying with deep agony"; "amount of maddening chorus"

Lol, dude, you should write for Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. Your sensationalism is exquisite.

--- "We don’t shout, don’t wanna convince anyone, just go about our lovely hobby"

Oh, really? Your initial post reeking of misinformation says otherwise. Author simply expressed his view and opinion and you act like you have to give up your DSLR; then ranted like a fanboy.

John Ricard's picture

The idea that “fanboys need to prove how great their camera is” nonsense. That concept shows up in Leica chats all time when Leica users (like myself) try to explain why we love our cameras. We are often met with comments about how we feel a need to justify our purchase. Mirrorless users aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone. Also, when you say, “…the manufactures need to earn money…” it’s just pointless. All manufacturers need to make money and they all create new products regularly. Every time I visit the supermarket I see new variations of Oreo cookies. I see new cars every month. There are new workout programs on TV every day. So what is the point of implying that mirrorless cameras are some sort of scheme planned by camera makers who feel a need to make a new product.

John Ricard's picture

What DSLR are you using that nails focus at f1.4 on an 85mm lens? None of my Nikon DSLR have ever nailed this consistently.

Quazi Sanjeed's picture

I'm a hobbyist landscape, street and wildlife photographer. Never used that lens and couldn't care less about it. However, perhaps before arrival of MILCs, relevant photographers never had success in that genre you mentioned with their DSLRs right? Ok, I'll ask wedding photographers when possible and if I care to.

In my area of choice, the pathetic battery life of MILCs is already a compelling reason never to think about it. This bottleneck will never be resolved due to higher consumption by the the system Kind of like the electronic cars. They're powered by huge batteries but need to recharge quickly.

My Canon 1D Mark IV clicks 2k shots in one charge. I hear R3 does 800, I'll give it 1k. Still half of what my one does. Comparable Nikon D3s clicks 4k shots.

Recently, I've seen wedding photographers shooting with R3. However, as soon as one 1DxIII arrived at the scene, all of them stepped aside.

Another logic is weight difference. Well, it's nullified or very negligible at best when paired with super telephoto lenses that is our staple.

John Ricard's picture

I agree that the battery life of my mirrorless Z7 does not compare to the battery life of my 10 year old Nikon D3. However, I don’t think “pathetic” is an accurate way to describe it. Today I used the Z7 with the $100 knockoff Zello grip that holds 2 batteries for a 2 hour headshot session. The camera was tethered the whole time and the rear screen was on the whole time. I never checked the battery and never even gave it a thought. If I did have to change the battery, if would have taken me under 15 seconds. Less time than it took to rewind a roll of film and load a new canister in the old days. The mirrorless cameras have given us so many improvements, that I feel lesser battery life is a small price to pay.

John Boyle's picture

I don't agree about viewing the image you just took. It gets confusing viewing it in the viewfinder and how hard would it have been to view it on the lcd like a dslr? I still think my D850 is a better camera BUT I am looking at the Z8!!

John Ricard's picture

I know it's a really minor thing. It's literally under 1 second to drop the camera to your eye and review the image on back of the camera. I do it regularly on my Leica M10. But I assure you, when I watch my friend do it as I'm shooting alongside him, I think to myself -this is inefficient and he should be using mirrorless and review it while he's actually shooting.

Harry Joseph's picture

Mirrorless camera offer some great features over DSLR's, but other than focusing points that cover the entire entire screen and silent shooting I still don't see myself ditching none of my current equipment any time soon over those features.

I'm in my twillight years when it comes to photography, so other than the occsional wedding, or family event(which I shoot for free), I mostly shoot for fun these days. Who needs bang-wiz trackng systems and 30 fps when you are just out there shooting for fun.

Throughout my career I tried to follow Henrier Catier-Bresson philosophy of only squezzing the shutter when you can capture the moment. Shooting off 25 shot per second, then out of those 25 picking the best shot does not seem like photography to me.

I guess all those focusing points might help when it comes to Sports or any type of fast moving action like birds, but I have cameras with 40+ points and I prefer to choose the center point regrdless(except for birds). Why, because its less confusing and it is also faster. The camera has to do less work.

Small size and small lenses you might say ? I have a a Pentax K5 II which is no bigger than a mirroless camera and so are the lenses. Silent shutter, now there is one feature I like. Some of my Canon cameras grate the nerves whith their clikity-clack, mostly the older models. However, my Pentax and Nikon cameras although not completely silent have some sweet sounding (not too loud) shutters.

Looking through a viewfinder that tells me how a picture is going to look before I squeeze the shutter is another great feature, but you can practically do the same thing with Live View on some DSLR cameras. Some DSLR's, the more modern ones even let you see the image in different lighting situations, but only after you take the picture.

What really bothers me is the life of the battery of mirrorless. I come from the days of film when running out of film during an important even was one of the most depressing things you could go through. I guess you could say the same things about batteries.

Of course this is not such a big deal, because you can always carry extra set of batteries with you, or get a battery pack, but that's just aniother hassle and expense. With the Nikon 850 you can get of 1300+ shots per battery on a single charge. The battery is so efficient that Nikon didn't evenbother making a battery pack for that camera(last time I looked).

NO BLACKOUT ! talk about a Scam selling point. It can take 1/125 of a second, or 1/2000 of a second or 1/30 th of a second and unless your subject is a humming bird on steroids you will probably not miss anything during that big bad BLACKOUT period.Thta's if you are not shooting a million shots per second like many so-called photographers do these days.

An LCD scrree with tons of information. I rather look at my subject than trying to find out what each little symbol on my viewfinder is telling me, other than aperture, ISO and shutter speed I could care less.

Now if someone was to offer me a brand-spanking new Mirorless camera I would NOT turn it down, but woould I be as excited as my frirst semi-pro camera a manual Nikon FM2, or my first Digital Full Frame camera a Canon 5D, probably not.

Mike Ditz's picture

With Sony you can choose to have a whole lotta info in the EVF or not much at all.

fred lefeuvre's picture

is there anyone concern with his equipment environemental footprint ? I choosed to use my dslr cameras until they die as they were on top 5 years ago and my clients are still very happy with the images I provide

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--- "is there anyone concern with his equipment environemental footprint ? "

No, I'm not concerned. I don't know anyone that just throws their old cameras in the trash. They either sell 'em or keep 'em. I still have cameras and lenses that I bought in 2012-2014 that I no longer use, but, I can't see myself just puttin' them out in the trash bin.

--- "I choosed to use my dslr cameras until they die as they were on top 5 years ago..."

I'm the same way with one of my mirrorless I use regularly, Sony a7Rii, bought back in 2015.

fred lefeuvre's picture

I'm just complaining about the hype around new cameras, people switching and switching, same thing for phone, like if it had no impact on nothing...

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

It's their money, it's their business. And, it's not a hype if it helps get them easily and consistently get the shot they need.

Just stop it with the faux caring about the environment. Everyone that complains about this so called "impact" are hypocrites. I guarantee, if we were to record you 24/7, we'd catch you doing things or using things that are not environmental friendly.

John Ricard's picture

Not at all. If we as a society cared, then we shouldn't allow Apple to release a new iPhone every year when it is essentially the same product as the previous year. Forcing that one company to release a new phone only once every 3 years would make much more impact on the environment than trying to talk millions of photographers to delay upgrading their cameras.

MAHENDRA BHAINDARKAR's picture

Can any one please share the details were it is proved that mirrorless results are better than the dslrs. Technology is developed is right but how much pressure on the sensor. How it will work if given multiple tasks in mirrorless but in dslr the picture is something else.

John Ricard's picture

I can't "prove" anything to you, but consider this. When I shoot headshots, I use a tripod and I don't look through my viewfinder very often. I make eye contact with my subject and I talk to them throughout the session. My Z6 or Z7 is set to automatically detect the face and I am able to nail focus every single time even though I never looked through the viewfinder, nor did I move the autofocus point to the subject's face. The camera does that for me. This would not be possible with a DSLR because they don't focus properly when the mirror is raised. That is a real world example of a mirrorless camera allowing me to shoot differently (and I would argue "better") than I could if I were still using a DSLR.

Kirk Darling's picture

The first time I used a mirrorless camera for stage productions, there was no turning back. I'd never willingly use a DSLR for stage productions again.

I set up my Canon EOS R camera for exposure simulation, controlling exposure compensation via the lens Control Ring with my left fingers, the focus point with my right thumb, and focus and shutter release with my right index finger (yes, I've moved focusing back to the shutter release). The camera follows the subject until I move it to another subject, and I'm constantly riding exposure with my left fingers as the lighting changes (or my subject moves into and out of the light). It's a finger dance that can never be done on a DSLR.