[Tweeters] Mirrorless Cameras

retief at deweydrive.com retief at deweydrive.com
Sun Jul 21 07:21:46 PDT 2019

Funny that you mention Rod Mar. We were both shooting at an even several years back when I saw Rod and just HAD to take his picture. A true professional, photographing the stage, with all his professional equipment, and what is he shooting with? His CELL PHONE!!!!!

I have read all the posts regarding investment in long lenses, etc. This weighed very heavily in my decision to move to a mirrorless system. I saw no point at all in going the full frame, or even APS-C route, as that left me with the weight issue. As to the cost, due to a bit of good fortune and the timing of the Olympus sale, I actually made a couple of thousand dollars in my switch to now using Olympus M1X, a pair of them with a Panasonic G4 for a 3rd backup and video. A pair of 40-150 f2.8’s, a 300 f4 and a couple of other miscellaneous lenses. Also a pair of 1.4 TC’s. I have resisted even looking at these systems for 2 main reasons. The first is that the EVF, Electronic View Finder, in my opinion was horribly for following moving subjects. Second was that AF was pretty good for things standing still or moving slowly. By accident I went to a presentation by a pro nature photographer who has specialized in birds for years, and was surprised enough to rent an M1X for a weekend.

My wife was quite surprised, couldn’t believe I was selling all my Nikon gear.

Yes, the menu system is different, but no worse than current Canon of Nikon. Worst part is understanding the new AF system, and getting that right. Well, I guess the really WORST part is I don’t look so cool any more, as the lenses are physically smaller. That said, under 10lbs, with tripod, sure beats 20lbs when I am traipsing around.

I looked at selling my 600mm f4 AFS-VR lens, 11lbs worth, for the new version, about a 3 lb saving. That would only have cost me around 8-9 thousand dollars, depending on what I could get for my old one.

For my needs, while my switch was hard to swallow, at 68 years old, carting two systems for my wife and I at times in the field, my back/neck/shoulders/knees thank me.

From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Glenn Nelson
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 2:56 PM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Mirrorless Cameras

Hi Tweets,

No matter what anyone says, equipment does not make the photographer. We all see examples every day of superior images being captured by supposedly "inferior" equipment.

I use Nikon equipment, but I'm not going offer the usual tribal narrative. Each brand has its strengths and weaknesses, and appeals according to personal preference. I will simply tell you my experience.

First off, I always have two bodies, the second being kind of a "back up." I know everyone does not have that luxury or makes that choice, so that's the bias for me. I have Nikon's top body, the D850, and I sold my second, a D750, and bought a mirrorless, the Z6 (choosing its faster frames-per-second over the Z7's larger files; already having the D850 made that an easy decision).

Like others, I have a lot of money invested in Nikon (or whatever brand) lenses, but the transition to mirrorless is made seamless by the adapter that Nikon used to and still may include with the Z bodies. So, yes, I use my nice (bigger) Nikon lenses with the mirrorless and still find a considerable advantage in weight loss and maneuverability.

The other advantage(s) over the D850 (which is hard to do because the D850 has almost every technical development): the electronic viewfinder may seem like a difficult adjustment until you consider that what you seen in the viewfinder is how your ultimate file will look. Once you become accustomed to that fact, and remember it, it makes it easier to make on-the-fly decisions in the field about exposure. Others may not have an articulating, touch-sensitive LCD screen on their DSLRs, though I do on the D850 and even my previous DSLR backup. I think they are game changers, so if that's one of the differences between your DSLR and a mirrorless you're considering, mark it as a major advantage.

If I had to get by on just the Z6, I would be fairly happy and consider myself ahead of where I was 3-5 years ago. My friend Rod Mar, the Seahawks' official photographer who is considered one of the best sports photographers in the world, routinely uses a Z6.

However ... I cannot deny that the D850 is far more responsive (focusing, though slightly fewer fps) and its far larger file sizes extend your reach because you can crop and not lose much detail. If I was going out for an "important" shoot and could carry only one body, I'd pick the D850 every time. Of course, the D850 is more expensive and should be better. No matter what anyone says, you get what you pay for.

That all said, it feels optimal to carry the D850 attached to a long lens on a tripod and have the Z6 with a smaller lens slung on my shoulder. You hardly notice. My conclusion is: It depends -- on what you're shooting, your budget, your other idiosyncrasies and needs. But overall the mirrorless bodies hold their own and, in the hands of a superior photographer, will make superior images.

Glenn Nelson

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