Trump Impeachment Hearing Shows More Photographers Switching to Mirrorless and One Even Using a Large Format Film Camera

The Trump impeachment hearings began yesterday, and as you would expect, there was a veritable throng of press coverage. But in the past few years, the camera landscape has changed quite a bit, and it is quite interesting to see the sort of cameras being used by press photographers there.

A few years ago, any sort of political event was host to a flurry of rapidly firing DSLRs sounding like a mass of chattering teeth in a snowstorm. With the advent of mirrorless, the promise of truly silent shutters has been seen as a potential game-changer, though with press photographers and agencies deeply invested in Canon and Nikon DSLR systems, adoption rates have been slow. That was why I found it interesting to see multiple Sony cameras in the hands of press photographers at the proceedings — many more than I would have seen at a similar event even two years ago. One photographer, David Burnett, was even shooting with a wooden 4x5 large format camera.

You can see the various cameras in use by scrubbing through the above video of the proceedings to any shots showing the press photographers. You can see Burnett with his wooden large format film camera at the very beginning on the left, while at 3:26:00, you can see several photographers with Sony cameras and at least two with Canon cameras. Can you pick out any other brands? 

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35 Comments

What brand of hammer did the carpenter who built your house use?

Spy Black's picture

The standard of the time. The winds of change approach again.

Errick Jackson's picture

Congratulations on missing the point

Matt Williams's picture

I kind of lol'ed at David Burnett being described as "one photographer."

Wonder Woman's picture

Fstoppers tells camera manufacturers, "See, no one wants to buy your stupid DSLRs, so stop making them! Give me Mirrorless or give me my sword!"

David B., you are my hero.

Jeremy Lusk's picture

I really, really want to see his photos.

Stuart Carver's picture

Meanwhile in other news, the sky is still blue and the grass still green.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Yes, Sony too troll, get over yourself...

Tom Beckman's picture

At this point mirrorless is not the end all for everything. I can see it being just right for a lot of things, but for me personally, shooting action sport. Thay are definitely just not even close to be there. At least not close enough to think about change all of my glass.

Rob Davis's picture

For these guys it’s all about being able to shoot silently.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Correct. Still not a huge amount of photographers are in such need. I think a lot of us are just fed up with over done marketing.

Tom Beckman's picture

Oh yeah I'm sure. Like I said I'm sure theyre just right for a lot of things. I'm just so sick of everyone acting like the companies should just flat out kill the dslr and only focus on mirrorless. Its crazy.

Yes, I'm a press photographer and honestly Sony is the last thing on my mind even though I have tested an A9 and Sony 400mm f2.8 lens once. The Sony actually made me miss many more images than I would have captured with my D4s/D500 bodies. The eye-AF, face detect was not working for visors on football players and was also picking the wrong player, people in the background, etc. My D4s hits about 85% or more depending on me and the D500 hits about 96%, so way more than the 70% I was getting with the A9. So sure it's amazing for portrait photographers, etc, but for me it was frustrating and concerning even. Not to mention I have a fortune invested in Nikon glass and accessories and 23 years shooting experience. The other gripes I had were build quality, ergonomics, menus, lens release button and size/handling. I prefer the D4s size and weight, especially with larger lenses and the build quality/weather sealing is obviously better than Sony. Also the battery life is nowhere close, getting about 800 shots compared to 5,000+ images with my D4s. Even with the A9 and vertical grip's double battery it didn't feel right and I was getting about 1400 images, so still nowhere even close. At times I go an entire week of shooting on one charge with my D4s battery lol.

I have trust me and although I could live with one card slot, especially an XQD card, I can't live with the poor AF performance, etc. The Z7 and Z6, especially with FTZ adapter perform only slightly better than a D5 in LiveView mode. Ok well maybe slightly better but you get the point, they are nowhere near as fast to acquire focus or track erratically moving subjects. Not to mention the build quality is nowhere near the D4s, battery life is terrible compared to my D4s and no vertical grip, makes them a deal breaker in my book. This is all before we discuss the buffer depth and penalties you have to incur when shooting them in high FPS. The D6 will definitely be the best of both worlds, performing as good if not better in live view than the Z6, when you need silent shooting!

Tony Clark's picture

How many of those mirrorless cameras were supplied by wire services, magazines and newspapers? It's easy to have the latest when someone else pays for it. I guess that silent mode isn't quiet enough but what about the shutter on the large format?

Kirk Darling's picture

The shutter release on that large format was nothing but a tiny click. Maybe a "ziiik" if the exposure was long.

Tony Clark's picture

Thanks, I'm well aware of large format. The loading of the film, cocking the shutter, pull dark slide and shutter release.

We get a daily dose of politics. Under the guise of photography information here is another dose. This type of political crap will diswade viewing of this web page. F-Stoppers will loose.

Rob Davis's picture

Photography has always been political. If you only want to see babies dressed as vegetables go to Pinterest.

Timothy Turner's picture

We are witnessing an event that can signifigantly affect how our government will operate and could impact our daily lives, and the big news of the day is that someone used a large format camera. Someone is missing the big picture, no pun intended

Tony Clark's picture

I won't believe it till I read it on Twitter;)

And it is good that David B is using his LF camera, like most of these events 95% of the photos will be pretty much adequate and indistinguishable from each other, 4% will be something creative and 1% will be something memorable.

Michael Kormos's picture

We are not witnessing anything that we haven't seen since the beginning of this presidency. It's one big reality TV show.

Timothy Turner's picture

If a democrat or worse yet a socialist gets elected, this country will be finished.

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