Any advice for a Mirrorless user having to use a DSLR for the first time?

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Ant
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#1
Well unfortunately it seems my faulty camera will not be back for a few weeks and I have promised to do a shoot at a party next weekend (favour not paid). It will be indoors (daytime) and mainly adults, I don't have any lighting either, doh! So I'm borrowing an APSC Nikon 5300 (I think) and it will be with a 50 f1.8 as his other lenses are kit zooms and I have a feeling I'll want the light gathering of the f/1.8 lens. They're not massively important, just snaps really but I want them to be half decent, if only to not look rubbish haha.

Any quick tips? I'm fine with getting correct exposure etc, normally shoot fully manual on my Sony A6000
 
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Graham
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#2
Any quick tips? I'm fine with getting correct exposure etc, normally shoot fully manual on my Sony.
The obvious quick tip is to make sure you get hold of the camera as soon as possible to practice with it. I mix and match Nikon DSLRs and Fuji mirrorless cameras and never think of them as "mirrorless" and "DSLR" just different cameras that have the dials and buttons in different places.

In spite of the dislike from some here of the Northrups, I have found his tutorials useful to get a feel for a camera I am considering buying or never used. I've not watched it but the one on the D5300 might give you a quick start to how the camera handles
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr1Zj76Inh4


Hopefully you will get a better answer from someone who uses both Sony and Nikon 5300 that will identify any key gotcha's that may exist. It may be useful to say what model of Sony you have.
 
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NewBeetle
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Ant
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#3
The obvious quick tip is to make sure you get hold of the camera as soon as possible to practice with it. I mix and match Nikon DSLRs and Fuji mirrorless cameras and never think of them as "mirrorless" and "DSLR" just different cameras that have the dials and buttons in different places.

In spite of the dislike from some here of the Northrups, I have found his tutorials useful to get a feel for a camera I am considering buying or never used. I've not watched it but the one on the D5300 might give you a quick start to how the camera handles
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr1Zj76Inh4


Hopefully you will get a better answer from someone who uses both Sony and Nikon 5300 that will identify any key gotcha's that may exist. It may be useful to say what model of Sony you have.
Thanks, yeah I don't mind the Northrups tbh haha. Yes I'm getting the Nikon 2 days before I need it so will have a chance to learn my way around. I'm probably over thinking the differences, it's just a little daunting when I've learnt everything I know on mirrorless.
 
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Simon
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#5
Set up your mirrorless so that it automatically boosts lcd / viewfinder brightness to an average rather than rendering what it will record.
Restrict the focus area to the middle third - or a single point.
Then turn the histogram & blinkies off except during image review.


Practise with that - the metering & focusing will behave a lot like a DSLR.
 
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Terry
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#6
Set up your mirrorless so that it automatically boosts lcd / viewfinder brightness to an average rather than rendering what it will record.
Restrict the focus area to the middle third - or a single point.
Then turn the histogram & blinkies off except during image review.


Practise with that - the metering & focusing will behave a lot like a DSLR.

He's having to use a DSLR, not mirrorless.
 
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NewBeetle
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Ant
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#7
Set up your mirrorless so that it automatically boosts lcd / viewfinder brightness to an average rather than rendering what it will record.
Restrict the focus area to the middle third - or a single point.
Then turn the histogram & blinkies off except during image review.


Practise with that - the metering & focusing will behave a lot like a DSLR.
Yes this has all come about as my camera is broken (mirrorless)
 
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#12
Hmm. I realise that was said in jest .... They are all real cameras and as a professional sports photographer said yesterday in his talk in Bath: There are no bad cameras. Just work out what you need your camera to do, research which models do it, cross out the ones that you can't afford and go with whatever you have on your list. Of course, he skewed his talk to the brand he is with. As did another professional the week before that I saw {although he denigrated just about every other brand but at least one person in the audience is switching because of it so the hard sell does work}.
 
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#13
Reset the camera to default settings, set the upper ISO limit to 3200, set/note the focusing/metering methods and use P/S/A control accordingly.
 
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NewBeetle
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Ant
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#14
Thanks everyone, the event was last night. It really didn't go well to be honest. I got enough usable shots for the photobook that my mother wants to make so I guess job done but I really didn't enjoy the experience and am not really happy with the shots. I'm not blaming the camera in any way, more my lack of experience with it, the small venue and awful lighting. Either way, it's 100% mirrorless for me going forward :D
 
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Mark
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#15
The advantage of a mirrorless is that it doesn’t have a manual mode as such. Any change to aperture or shutter speed is immediately reflected in the viewfinder so you can see exactly what the end result will look like. Zero guess work, probably easier than using auto mode even.

An SLR is easy to practice for. Get a toilet roll cardboard tube and place it to your eye. At the same time twiddle an imaginary knob and look carefully through the toilet roll for any visual feedback.

I’m still not giving up my dslr though ;)
 
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Phil
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#17
Thanks everyone, the event was last night. It really didn't go well to be honest. I got enough usable shots for the photobook that my mother wants to make so I guess job done but I really didn't enjoy the experience and am not really happy with the shots. I'm not blaming the camera in any way, more my lack of experience with it, the small venue and awful lighting. Either way, it's 100% mirrorless for me going forward :D
I’m not surprised you had a hard time, it’s impossible to discover the answer to your question from this thread. The problem is that people have drawn some daft mirrorless vs DSLR lines in the last year, and it’s becoming increasingly unhelpful.

You would not have had an easier time with mirrorless in the dark, because in the dark, you need flash. So all that ‘ you can see what you’re shooting’ is redundant.

My mirrorless is a fantastic camera to use in daylight, and is helpful as light levels drop ‘a bit’. But when it gets dark, it doesn’t focus as well as my DSLR’s and having a bright optical viewfinder is actually an advantage.

With a choice between your mirrorless camera and my DSLR for this job, I’d take the DSLR every time, better low light focus and a nice bright VF to see what I’m shooting. Then set M to underexpose the ambient to the look I want and then use bounced or off camera flash to create my image.

Your problem wasn’t the DSLR it was underestimating the importance of using flash.
 
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NewBeetle
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Ant
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#18
I’m not surprised you had a hard time, it’s impossible to discover the answer to your question from this thread. The problem is that people have drawn some daft mirrorless vs DSLR lines in the last year, and it’s becoming increasingly unhelpful.

You would not have had an easier time with mirrorless in the dark, because in the dark, you need flash. So all that ‘ you can see what you’re shooting’ is redundant.

My mirrorless is a fantastic camera to use in daylight, and is helpful as light levels drop ‘a bit’. But when it gets dark, it doesn’t focus as well as my DSLR’s and having a bright optical viewfinder is actually an advantage.

With a choice between your mirrorless camera and my DSLR for this job, I’d take the DSLR every time, better low light focus and a nice bright VF to see what I’m shooting. Then set M to underexpose the ambient to the look I want and then use bounced or off camera flash to create my image.

Your problem wasn’t the DSLR it was underestimating the importance of using flash.
100% agree, I actually used the in-built flash as it was all I had with a tissue over the front to soften it a bit.
 
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