Five Reasons Not to Switch to a Mirrorless Camera System Yet

Five Reasons Not to Switch to a Mirrorless Camera System Yet

2018 will be the year of mirrorless cameras, but before ditching your current system and switching to a mirrorless system, you should think twice.

Mirrorless cameras might seem perfect, but they still have some major flaws. Previewing your exposure in the EVF might be a great feature or a lighter body and silent shutter might be the ticket, but these are not enough for selling all your gear at a loss and making the switch.

1. It’s the Lens, Not the Body

There is no recipe for taking great photos, but if you want high quality images, then you should invest in glass, not the camera body. High quality lenses can be expensive, but rather than buying a “good” mirrorless camera body, do yourself a favor and get a good lens for your existing DSLR camera.

2. DSLRs Are Still Cameras

It’s hard to believe, but DSLRs are still digital cameras and you can take photos with them, just like you can do with the new, fancy mirrorless cameras. And before making the switch, remember that the camera bodies are just recording devices with different features.

3. Full-Frame Mirrorless Systems Are Not Compact and Lightweight

Full-frame mirrorless cameras have been advertised as more compact and lighter alternatives to DSLRs. However, due to physics rules, lenses cannot be much smaller than a DSLR version, and in some cases, they can even be larger and heavier. Adapters may provide advantages for using various lenses with a mirrorless camera, but keep in mind that adapters are heavy, they drain battery, and they always focus more slowly than the native lenses. Full-frame mirrorless cameras may also look perfect in terms of size, but there are many users complaining about the lack of support for their little fingers when using a Sony a7 series camera. Buying a battery grip might be the solution, but that means more weight and more cost.

4. Native Lens Options Are Limited With Mirrorless Cameras

Sony is expanding its lens lineup and Nikon revealed their road map for their upcoming lenses, but it will take a long time and probably cost more. Sigma recently started to adapt some of its Art series lenses to Sony E-mount, but they are heavy lenses, and if weight is your concern, then you should probably stick with Zeiss lenses, which are more expensive. So, if you don’t want to spend your time and energy on this, just stick with your DSLR.

It even took five generations for Metabones to make a "better" adapter.

5. Mirrorless Might Be the Future, but We Are in Present

Sony started the hype, Nikon followed, and Canon is next. Full-frame mirrorless cameras might be the future, but they are not perfect yet. For Sony, it took three generations making the a7 and a7R usable for pros. Fixing small problems with firmware updates is something good; however, it takes way too long for companies to understand what photographers need and want. Sony added a small joystick on the third generation of the a7 series, fixed the battery issue on the a7R III, and many other features have been improved after producing six or seven models. Now, Nikon is doing the same. Due to keeping the camera small, they only put one memory card slot in the new Nikon Z7, and probably, they will add the second slot in the second generation. Companies are using photographers as beta testers and raising funds for their next “slightly better” models. So, let Nikon, Canon, and Sony compete to make the ultimate mirrorless full-frame camera. Until then, focus on your photography and use your existing gear until they die.

What do you think about the mirrorless hype? Is it worth switching from a DSLR and losing lots of money? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.  

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Jan Kruize's picture


user-189304's picture

I only need one reason (and I did give serious thought to getting into the new system), I can buy experience, or I can buy a thing, but I cannot buy both.

Of course, that applies across the board.

Mark Holtze's picture

One reason is all I need. Vintage lenses ;)

They just work so perfectly on a mirrorless system. The trade off is more sensor cleaning but it’s all good.


That said there is no way I could ever bestow my own needs with anyone else. I am enjoying the discussion as it’s s pretty divisive topic. DSLR vs Mirrorless

YL Photographie's picture

it's just the fact that the sensor gets dirty quickly that I'm not ready to take these new system. it must be a horror (nothing to protect the sensor when you change your lens)and i'm not talking about the cost to clean the sensor if you do not this yourself

Mark Holtze's picture

It’s not too bad, I’m use to an exposed sensor when switching out video lenses on video cameras. But ya I can understand the not being ready to switch over. I remember after operating SLR and DSLr’s for photos so long and testing out the Sony I was immediately put off when in photo mode. Got use to it quick and it’s perfect for a vintage lens collection with the digital screen vs the optical one.

I still have my canon dslr, still love it...just for different reasons :)

Get a Nikon and u can use about every lens Nikon ever made, not even need an adapter for it ;-)!

Mark Holtze's picture

The glory of F mounts :)

Spy Black's picture

Worse thing about mirrorless cameras are the stuttering EVFs. Every mirrorless pundit tries to argue that you don't get mirror blackout with mirrorless, but I can track far better with a flapping mirror than a stuttering EVF. That is utterly annoying.

Brian Stricker's picture

Well, you don't get mirror blackout with something that does not have a mirror. You do get a blackout for the length of time the shutter speed is when using a DSLR since the mirror has to flip up for that time period. Just like in most mirrorless you loose the live view for the same time the image is actually captured.

Spy Black's picture

No, you lose live view in the EVF until the buffer has sufficiently emptied out.

Eric Salas's picture

No you don't. You're obviously speaking about something you don't use.

Jonathan Brady's picture

Perhaps look into the A9 before you waste key strokes

Spy Black's picture

Perhaps I know I can work effectively with a DSLR and don't need to...

Michael Holst's picture

Head in the sand much?

Jonathan Brady's picture

I didn't say you needed to. I was pointing out that the A9 does what you said mirrorless don't do.

Spy Black's picture

Fair enough, but it seems everyone got their panties in a bunch when I mentioned EVF stutter. Apparently because it doesn't happen to their camera, it must not happen to mirrorless...

Eric Salas's picture

Don't get mad because you're passing along bad information. You do not lose the EVF ever. You lose the ability to get to the menu or to chip but your EVF still shows you what's happening.

Spy Black's picture

Right, because it doesn't happen to you, it doesn't happen at all. I find your level of ignorance fascinating...

Eric Salas's picture

Repeat that in the mirror when you wake up and you’ll understand what all of us are saying.

Sean Gibson's picture

then you should keep your trap shut until you know what you speak of. Which by the sound of it, will be a looooooooong while.

May we see your sport and action portfolio?

Michael Dougherty's picture

My only experience is using a couple A77II SLTs (no flapping mirror) and the blackout is pretty rough. especially when shooting football and trying to follow a running back zig-sag down the field. Never did get used to it. Thankfully, the D500 finally showed up.

Well, that is new. A mirror blackout for a camera that doesn't have a mirror. Quite interesting. You understand tech, don't you?

Spy Black's picture

Reading comprehension is not one of your strong points I see.

After several hours of narcosis some time ago, I have trouble concentrating. No joke by the way.

All good arguments but where is the development money going? Also, there is something about the larger Nikon mount on the Z camera that suggests to me that a larger sensor is coming that will take advantage of the greater coverage of the newer lenses. That puts Nikon in a whole different category than Sony for the future of digital imaging.

user-156929's picture

I seriously doubt they'll go with a larger sensor in the near future. The versatility of the new mount, however, is irrefutable once they come out with lenses that take advantage of it, of course.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

I switched from Canon to Sony for a couple of reasons but number one was Eye-AF. I told a bunch of people that if Canon had eye-af I'd have stayed with them for a while. Shooting at wide apertures is beyond easy now with sony, but when I shot with the Canon 6D and 135L I was really happy with the shots... when they were in focus.

Great point. Having the need of calibrating focus on DSLR is a deal breaker. It doesn't matter how good the lens you took with when your shot is not in focus.

Alex Thomas's picture

I recently switched fully over to mirrorless myself. Had the Canon 6D and I loved it but the Sony a7III tempted me. Focusing is a breeze now and I can focus on my composition more. My only gripe is the size of the body and lack of weather resistance.

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