Will DSLR cameras ever be out of date, though

5 reasons to look at a mirrorless camera over a digital SLR

That was just a few years ago “without a mirror” was a dirty word. What was seen once? “Prosumer” or amateur cameras have finally made the leap into the professional and enthusiastic space.

Most of the major camera manufacturers have looked into mirrorless technology at this point, but few have pushed the limits of what a camera that dispenses with traditional lenses through the lens can do.

If the future is mirrorless, are you ready to take the plunge?

1. Small is good

I still take most of my photos with an iPhone because it's always with me and the pictures are satisfactory. You can even take RAW shots with the right combination of iPhone and apps. The Best Apps and Tips for Taking RAW Photos on Your iPhone The Best Apps and Tips for Taking RAW Photos on Your iPhone This is a feature most iPhone photographers have always wanted. I need the right app to get the job done. Further information and the telephoto lens on the iPhone 7 Plus iPhone 7 Plus test iPhone 7 Plus test This year's iPhone 7 models break with conventions. For the first time, Apple has gone for the same general design three years in a row, introducing some divisional but long overdue features. Read More

The Nikon D50 was my first digital SLR camera, purchased in 2005. By today's standards, it is a medium-sized camera suitable for an entry-level model. My biggest problem with the camera is its outdated internals, lack of autofocus points, or even low-light performance. It's the fact that it's too big to be carried around comfortably.

I've been known to fall into the bleat trap of “the best camera is the one you have with you,” but it's still true. I've taken a lot fewer photos on my iPhone since buying a small Sony APS-C mirrorless camera as the Sony is usually within reach. I didn't even attach the supplied lanyard as the camera is usually handheld or floating around a shopping bag.

Do you feel like lugging around a huge camera case? Do you hate swinging a DSLR around your neck? Often leave your camera at home because you don't have to carry it around. Mirrorless cameras are here to save the day! Due to the lack of a mirror (which allows a true optical viewfinder to be used), these cameras are significantly smaller than their more traditional counterparts.

Beverage can holder or Sony camera holder? #sony # a6500 #camera #photography #photographer https://t.co/xEOUDaAhyy pic.twitter.com/To7AeKhv9n

- Jason Crittenden (@YourREguy) August 25, 2017

Even the lenses are smaller. This goes for all but the fastest full-frame glass. APS-C lenses from Sony and Fuji as well as the numerous Micro Four Thirds (MFT) options from manufacturers such as Olympus and Panasonic allow a large number of lenses to be fitted in a relatively small space.

I'm still looking for a camera bag small enough for my Sony a6500.

2. The focus is on the point

One area that digital SLR cameras once put everyone else to shame was auto focus. It's no secret that things have changed dramatically, especially at Sony.

While Canon is equipped with its excellent dual pixel autofocus technology, Sony stole the camera “Fastest autofocus in the world” title 2016 with the a6300 Mirrorless to Impress: Sony A6300 16-50mm Kit Review Mirrorless to Impress: Sony A6300 16- 50mm Kit Review Following the hugely popular A6000 comes the A6300, a small interchangeable mirrorless camera with APS-C sensor, 4K video capabilities and more features than most enthusiasts will ever need. Continue reading . Additionally, the implementation of Phase Detect Autofocus (PDAF) in Sony's latest models puts it at the forefront of the autofocus game.

PDAF enables the competent recording and tracking of objects over the entire framework. Assuming you are using Sony lenses, the camera can capture subjects with little or no "hunting," whether you are taking photos or videos. For portraits, there's nothing quite like Sony's Eye-AF to bring your person's eyes into sharp focus (it even works on cats).

Panasonic and Fuji can't yet compete with Sony on autofocus, but both are committed to improving the performance of their cameras with incremental firmware upgrades. Both the Fuji XT-2 and Panasonic GH5 received extensive enhancements that improved AF performance just a few months after their release.

Can mirrorless technology compete with Canon like autofocus? I would say so. The fact that mirrorless technology is near DSLR pack leaders is reason enough to consider them proficient in this department.

3. Mirrorless is the best choice for video

For high quality video on a budget, you can't do better than the Panasonic GH5 right now. No other camera can record 4K cinema at 400Mbps for the Panasonic $ 2,000 price tag. The MFT mount compatibility sweetens the deal even more by providing a ton of affordable glass.

If you can't afford to spend GH5 money, the Sony a6500 offers incredibly crisp 4K at 100Mbps in a tiny package. Even the cheaper a6300 offers comparable 4K performance (with no stabilization in the body) for less than $ 1,000 with a simple 16-50mm kit lens to get you started.

DSLR manufacturers have seriously dropped the ball when it comes to video in recent years. Canon decided to focus its video efforts on the Cinema EOS lineup (including the C300, C500, and 1D C) and recently even removed basic 4K support from the 60D Mark II.

Nikon has never been a competitor when it comes to video. Recently their best APS-C camera ever - the D500 - delivered with a harvest factor of 2.175x when recording 4K video. To quote the photographer and blogger Jens Bouma:

“As a result, my 24-70 is a 52-152mm lens and cannot be used as an all-round lens for videos. For example: A 16-35 is at least 35 mm. So if you want to take 4K wide-angle shots, you need at least a 10mm lens. "

These cameras aren't cheap. They're all more expensive than comparable Sony or Panasonic offerings, but the video performance isn't snuff. Canon's message is clear: if you want great video features, you must long for a great video camera. Nikon seems to be trying, but their efforts don't look particularly good when Sony's inexpensive A6300 offers super 35mm 4K 24p footage (counting down from 6K) with a full sensor display.

Sony and Panasonic are the only manufacturers to offer professional features in a pocket-friendly package. These cameras have pro-level features like focus peaking (to aid manual focusing), zebra striping (to highlight poorly exposed areas) and flat logarithmic gamma curves like S-Log and V-Log (for more control with the color correction of film material)).

The form factor can make all the difference with video too, as you can mount a smaller camera on a lighter gimbal or mount it in unusual locations where larger models won't fit. If you want a run-and-gun or studio setup, can you upgrade your camera with a cage (like the SmallRig) and add all the 4K monitors, audio inputs and external power sources you could ever need?

4. Hybrid shooters are welcome

A hybrid shooter is someone who shoots both video and still images. They may be hobbyists who want to dip their toes in both media, wedding or event photographers who need flexibility in their gear, or video enthusiasts who occasionally appreciate the need for decent performance.

Mirrorless cameras currently offer the best of both worlds "hybrid" needs. Not only are they smaller, they are also easier to transport. Modern sensors offer excellent image quality in both areas. Sony's full-frame offerings, such as the admittedly expensive A9 and the more affordable A7-Rii, can easily compete with the best of Nikon and Canon products.

Even smaller APS-C sensors are worth considering as they only use a 1.5x crop. Here's How Digital SLR Affect Your Lenses Here's How Digital SLR Affect Your Lenses Most of us own cameras with small crop sensors that artificially increase the lengths on full frame glasses. Here's what you need to know. Read More MFT may suffer a little in this department, but the wide range of lenses available mitigates the blow.

When it comes time to open your wallet, you want the best bang for your buck. Mirrorless cameras offer the best of both worlds: great still images and video performance that gives even the most expensive DSLRs their price. Since they are way above their weight for the cost, you have more money to spend on lenses.

5. You no longer need a mirror

Electronic viewfinders (EVFs) used to be hesitant and frustrating for all but professional devices. That is no longer the case. Tremendous leaps and bounds have been set to cram screens with low latency and virtually imperceptible lag in small mirrorless cameras. The feeling of separation between the EVF and the target of your camera shouldn't put you off anymore.

How can mirrors be real when our eyes are not real?

- Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) May 2, 2013

In fact, I would argue that EVFs reach the point where they outperform traditional optical viewfinders in certain scenarios. One of my biggest problems with the Sony a6500 (and many competing cameras) is that the LCD display on the back of the camera is futile in bright light. Luckily, shooting an EVF provides a nice dark room that I can look into and put the shot together - so far, according to DSLR.

Where Sony's EVF does really well are features like focus peaking and focus assist magnification. The first highlights the areas of the shot that the camera believes are in focus. This allows the focus to be adjusted quickly. The focus assist magnification sounds exactly as it sounds: The camera is enlarged so that I can better assess whether the subject is actually in focus.

While many SLR cameras have some form of focus tip that illuminates the focus points of the viewfinder, it just isn't on the same plane. With an optical viewfinder it is also not possible to enlarge the focus, as this is let through directly to the lens via a mirror. There are also other useful functions such as B. a level indicator for perfecting straight horizons, a histogram on the screen and zebra stripes when recording videos.

I can adjust practically every parameter of the camera without moving. When I finish taking the picture, I can properly see the picture by looking through the EVF. It's worth noting that not all EVFs are created equal, and I wish the live display quality was a little better at times, but it's good enough for work and play.

Mirrorless camera disadvantages

Unfortunately, the leap to Mirrorless is not without sacrifice. For many, this is a collection of lenses. 5 Common Photo Lenses and Purpose 5 Common Photo Lenses and Purpose Although there are no photographic rules when it comes to focal length and aperture, there are some best practices that you should follow. Read More While adapters can overcome many of the problems, you'll likely want an autofocus lens. Recreating a Collection of Prime Numbers Zoom Lenses Vs. Master Lenses: What's the Difference? Zoom Lenses vs. Main Lenses: What's the Difference? After completing a kit lens, you have to decide between a main lens and a zoom lens. But what exactly is the difference? Which one is better for you Read More

The battery life is still poor, and Sony is probably the worst in that regard. The salvation is that all cameras can be charged and powered via USB, including batteries. Fuji has started implementing USB power for their cameras like the XT-2. Panasonic hasn't had to deal with USB power just yet, but the battery life is significantly better than what Sony offers.

Some manufacturers rely too heavily on complex menu systems (including Sony), and professional shooters may demand more custom features for all but the most expensive full-frame models. Mirrorless cameras also lack the “instant on” feature of their SLR cameras, but the delay on my a6500 hasn't missed any important settings.

Not all mirrorless systems are created equal. Neither Canon EOS-M nor Nikon 1's mirrorless systems set the world on fire when they arrived. The Canon M100, announced in August 2017, has comparable data to the Sony A6000 (which was released in 2014). And then there are rumors that Nikon is preparing to throw in the towel and completely rethink its course of action.

The cost is arguably the biggest hurdle. Switching camera systems goes beyond lenses: if you're a professional, you need at least two bodies in case something goes wrong. You may need to re-create a new set of memory cards, especially for high-bit-rate 4K video. For everything you need a new set of batteries, emergency power banks and chargers. Flashes, microphones, cages, something to take with you ... the costs soon add up.

It's also one of the fastest moving spaces in terms of photography. A two-year-old mirrorless camera doesn't hold a candle on the latest models, so you may look for a body upgrade sooner than you would with a comparable SLR. A new and improved model does not immediately render what came before it unusable, but knows the symptoms of gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) before you even jump in.

To impress without a mirror

For me, the Sony a6500 offers the opportunity to deal with photography again and to purchase a competent video camera for our test reports here at MakeUseOf. The price, the size and the performance are exactly what I am looking for. I struggled with poor battery life and fewer lenses than I'd like, but the tradeoff was worth it.

If my situation sounds similar, I would recommend switching to a mirrorless system that suits your needs and budget.

Have you switched to a lighter video-friendly mirrorless system? Maybe you are an SLR shooter who needs huge focal lengths and RAW buffers that run for days? Add your thoughts in the comments below.

Learn more about: Digital Camera, DSLR, Mirrorless.