Is mirrorless the way forward?

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John
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A big thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread. I really appreciate the considered thoughts posted. The points raised have given me plenty to think about. I think my dilemma seems to highlight a the ever present question about how our technology will develop.

I fully understand that subject preference has a bearing on equipment. Unfortunately at the moment I don't have a clear view of my preferred photography. Although a long time camera user, I am still trying to find my way. If I was to try to focus my preferences I would say street, travel, nature and landscapes plus an increasing interest in portraits.

And let me put everyone's mind at rest.... money is limited, hence the reason for posing the original question. I'd like to ensure any purchase is value for money.

Why am I thinking of changing? It is a desire for a fresh start.

The Z6 had attracted me because of a level of familiarity with Nikon controls and a form factor that is suitable for large hands without being an overly large body. I felt that the Z6 offered a full frame camera that I would not hesitate to take with me often.

Thank you all again. I promise to reflect on all the points raised before squandering my hard earned cash.
 
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Robin
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Mirrorless manufacturers are packing a lot of tech into their cameras but still mirrorless is not improving on image quality compared to similar DSLRs.
.... I'm not convinced by your statement I'm afraid. Because I sometimes shoot the same subject, same creature, same day and so same conditions for both cameras, I find the images shot on either EOS-R (CR3) or 1DX-2 (CR2) to be virtually identical in quality to the naked eye. I only shoot RAW.

In fact they are so similar that when I have the images loaded into Capture One for RAW editing they are displayed in date/time order and so the CR2 and CR3 images are mixed and I have to look at the metadata to see which camera shot which image.

Which mirrorless and which D-SLR bodies are you shooting with to compare please?
 
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A big thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread. I really appreciate the considered thoughts posted. The points raised have given me plenty to think about. I think my dilemma seems to highlight a the ever present question about how our technology will develop.

I fully understand that subject preference has a bearing on equipment. Unfortunately at the moment I don't have a clear view of my preferred photography. Although a long time camera user, I am still trying to find my way. If I was to try to focus my preferences I would say street, travel, nature and landscapes plus an increasing interest in portraits.

And let me put everyone's mind at rest.... money is limited, hence the reason for posing the original question. I'd like to ensure any purchase is value for money.

Why am I thinking of changing? It is a desire for a fresh start.

The Z6 had attracted me because of a level of familiarity with Nikon controls and a form factor that is suitable for large hands without being an overly large body. I felt that the Z6 offered a full frame camera that I would not hesitate to take with me often.

Thank you all again. I promise to reflect on all the points raised before squandering my hard earned cash.
z6 is a great choice, especially if they keep updating it, Competition seems to have driven the price down prematurely and imo it’s a good bet IF you can get the lenses you want at the price you can afford. The 50mm in particular has impressed me, it just pops. Good luck with your choice.
 
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Jeff
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Mirrorless manufacturers are packing a lot of tech into their cameras but still mirrorless is not improving on image quality compared to similar DSLRs.
What a load of crap, as it has been since the days of fox talbot the lens is what matters , put a crap lens on a good body /sensor and get crap results , change that for a good lens and totally change the results ..
 
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Tommy
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Mirrorless manufacturers are packing a lot of tech into their cameras but still mirrorless is not improving on image quality compared to similar DSLRs.
Have you actually looked at recent releases?Pretty sure that the Sony A7RIV has better image quality than any full frame camera on the market.
 
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Terry
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Each new generation of sensors is noticeably better than previous generations.
new generations of processors achieve higher quality combined with Higher useful ISO, and less noise.
Lenses specifically designed for mirrorless are capable of far higher resolutions than previous lenses.
Fuji has designed its lenses to take full advantage of at least 100 megapixel sensors.
Lenses designed for DSLR's never needed to aim so high, so few can achieve those resolutions.
No lens designed for film can get anywhere near.
 
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Toni
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A big thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread. I really appreciate the considered thoughts posted. The points raised have given me plenty to think about. I think my dilemma seems to highlight a the ever present question about how our technology will develop.

I fully understand that subject preference has a bearing on equipment. Unfortunately at the moment I don't have a clear view of my preferred photography. Although a long time camera user, I am still trying to find my way. If I was to try to focus my preferences I would say street, travel, nature and landscapes plus an increasing interest in portraits.

And let me put everyone's mind at rest.... money is limited, hence the reason for posing the original question. I'd like to ensure any purchase is value for money.

Why am I thinking of changing? It is a desire for a fresh start.

The Z6 had attracted me because of a level of familiarity with Nikon controls and a form factor that is suitable for large hands without being an overly large body. I felt that the Z6 offered a full frame camera that I would not hesitate to take with me often.

Thank you all again. I promise to reflect on all the points raised before squandering my hard earned cash.
So you're not tied to any camera system right now, since none of your existing lenses will be perfect with any mirrorless camera. I made the move earlier this year to Sony mirrorless: A7III plus 24-105, Samyang 35 f2.8, La-EA4 AF adapter that will provide AF (but not eye AF) with Sony/Minolta A mount lenses. I think, from what I've seen, that in the same position now I would make the same move. The AF is certainly hugely better than the D610 and a fair bit better than my previous Sony camera too.

FWIW of my top 10 images on Flickr, only 1 was taken with my previous D610, and one other with an IR converted D70 - the rest were all shot using the A7 over the last 6 or 7 months, and a couple were shot on my first serious outing.
 
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matt
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What a load of crap, as it has been since the days of fox talbot the lens is what matters , put a crap lens on a good body /sensor and get crap results , change that for a good lens and totally change the results ..
That's not really a fair comparison, in days of film the lens made the difference IF using the same film stock, generally the bodies made little difference other than perhaps in handling or maybe one would be aperture priority the other shutter priority. Today we have different sensors and processors in our cameras so it's not quite the same, granted a rubbish lens will give you a rubbish picture no matter what body or processor, but when comparing 2 good lenses the body can make a difference. However I would say that most cameras and most lenses in ideal conditions will give acceptable results for most hobbyists, excluding the equipment junkies on here :) I'll hold my hands up to that too. The better equipment generally is able to perform better than cheaper kit and last longer in more arduous conditions, do we actually all need that?
 
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Here is my take. Mirrorless will have its place in the market. DSLR don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.
 
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Alan
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Here is my take. Mirrorless will have its place in the market. DSLR don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.
I don't understand this but are you saying DSLR's don't need to be improved on?

If you are I can think of several things that mirrorless allows that are a real step forward over DSLRs, being able to focus with accuracy and consistency anywhere in the frame, that's a real step forward. There are more things but maybe that one thing is enough to make mirrorless worth a real hard look at.
 
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Mirrorless wipes the floor with DSLR, there is no point to DSLR now tbh.

Better IQ, more sophisticated focusing, eye AF for people togs, smaller size, smaller lenses or same size lenses as DSLR with more features or higher IQ, eye EV is so useful for seeing exposure in real time without any need for graphs if you dont wish........faster frames, list goes on.

I converted to sony mirrorless & life is so much easier now, but, then I work as a full time tog so I greatly appreciate tool improvements that lead to more consistent results - eye AF for me is a godsend, no more focus/recomposing no need to refocus if the subject moves back or forth....wonderful.
 
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Redsnappa
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Sony make the best performing sensors on the market and they dont make dslr cameras anymore. But yeah, there’s not much in it for now.
Which mirrorless and which D-SLR bodies are you shooting with to compare please?
That is why if you read my sentence properly I said "Similar DSLRs" If you compare the Nikon D850 with the Sony A7RIII the image quality is the same as they both use the same sensor.
The mirrorless element of the Sony ARIII has not give it a image quality advantage over the Nikon D850 despite the Sony having more "tech".
 
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Tommy
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That is why if you read my sentence properly I said "Similar DSLRs" If you compare the Nikon D850 with the Sony A7RIII the image quality is the same as they both use the same sensor.
The mirrorless element of the Sony ARIII has not give it a image quality advantage over the Nikon D850 despite the Sony having more "tech".
Yeah but the A7RIII is an old model the current model is the A7RIV which provides better image quality than the D850, and a host of other advantages.
 
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Redsnappa
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Yeah but the A7RIII is an old model the current model is the A7RIV which provides better image quality than the D850, and a host of other advantages.
The Sony A7RiV has better image quality then the Nikon D850 because of the better sensor it is nothing to do with the camera being mirrorless it has everything to do with the newer sensor.
 
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The Sony A7RiV has better image quality then the Nikon D850 because of the better sensor it is nothing to do with the camera being mirrorless it has everything to do with the newer sensor.
You said you wanted to compare like for like.

The A7RIV is Sony’s current high mp body the D850 is Nikon’s current high res dslr body.

The A7RIV has a superbly accurate a.f system the D850 not so much, like any dslr, which is why I ditched the two D850’s I used to own.

The D850 is a very capable body but I imagine most people would prefer even a lower res body with wonderful a.f performance to a high res body that can’t compete in terms of a.f accuracy.
 
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Alan
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That is why if you read my sentence properly I said "Similar DSLRs" If you compare the Nikon D850 with the Sony A7RIII the image quality is the same as they both use the same sensor.
The mirrorless element of the Sony ARIII has not give it a image quality advantage over the Nikon D850 despite the Sony having more "tech".
When I had my Canon 5D and decided to get a Sony A7 I would have been happy if the Sony merely matched the Canon and I said so on this forum. In fact it absolutely thrashes it but that wasn't the point. I liked the pictures coming out of my 5D because I didn't know any better, ditto the A7 I have now and for me image quality isn't necessarily the driver here but imagine being able to focus anywhere in the frame not just in an area scattered around the central point. Imagine being able to compose a shot in portrait mode with the subjects head towards to top of the frame and not having to focus and recompose and not having to rely on depth to keep the eyes sharp. In fact imagine not needing to move the focus point at all, imagine the camera locking onto the subjects face/eye and following it. For some just that one compositional freedom might be what some would call...

Gamechanger!

:D
 

Kei

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The A7RIV sensor is only better if you are only looking at resolution. Noise and dynamic range have not improved. As far as I can see, the only cases where mirrorless is perceived as being vastly superior is Sony who are churning out new models so fast it's hard to keep up. I get the feeling made a mistake going with the fuji as I find the AF distinctly poor compared to a DSLR.
 
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The A7RIV sensor is only better if you are only looking at resolution. Noise and dynamic range have not improved. As far as I can see, the only cases where mirrorless is perceived as being vastly superior is Sony who are churning out new models so fast it's hard to keep up. I get the feeling made a mistake going with the fuji as I find the AF distinctly poor compared to a DSLR.
Not true.


D850 is 14.8 EV
A7RIV is 15 EV
 
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Megapixels shouldn’t be a reason for willy waving. Even 24 megapixels is overkill for billboards. Having seen a 1.4mp phone pic blown up to A3 recently my own misconceptions about megapixels are starting to change!
 
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Megapixels shouldn’t be a reason for willy waving. Even 24 megapixels is overkill for billboards. Having seen a 1.4mp phone pic blown up to A3 recently my own misconceptions about megapixels are starting to change!
Megapixels allow cropping and that gives reach to shorter lenses which can be very useful. Also cropping and having enough resolution to print larger images afterwards.
 
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Redsnappa
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Sony users seem to be getting a bit rowdy and spouting misinformed opinions, not sure why as Sony cameras just about make fourth place in the list of best mirrorless cameras.
 
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Megapixels shouldn’t be a reason for willy waving. Even 24 megapixels is overkill for billboards. Having seen a 1.4mp phone pic blown up to A3 recently my own misconceptions about megapixels are starting to change!
Fstoppers did a video on just that - they shot an image at 2mp and blew it up to billboard size - when viewed from afar it appeared perfectly detailed. I agree to an extent that the whole higher res thing can be a bit "willy waving"

But then...
Megapixels allow cropping and that gives reach to shorter lenses which can be very useful. Also cropping and having enough resolution to print larger images afterwards.
I agree with this too, I do like a good crop - whether it's because I mushed up framing, or was lazy about it or just didn't have the right lens. It's a big deal too for macro or wildlife.

On the title of the thread: Yes.
 
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The Sony A7RiV has better image quality then the Nikon D850 because of the better sensor it is nothing to do with the camera being mirrorless it has everything to do with the newer sensor.
Sony will reserve the latest and best for their own, which means the cameras they sell will have the edge in image quality unless someone else produces better performing sensors (unlikely)... and Sony only make mirrorless.
 
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West Camera

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My understanding of the advantage of FF over APS-C is based largely on what I've read. It seems it basically comes down to FF having superior resolution, dynamic range, and low light shooting capability. There are some downsides though. Most notably in terms of zoom or telephoto lenses which must be so much larger when compared to APS-C lenses of an equal focal length. So if you are not getting any younger you might think carefully about the weight you will be carrying. For myself, I know that if I wanted the best results reflected in my photos it would mean switching to FF because anything less would be a step back or a forever inferior photo. FF is becoming the common standard, today. But, I am 71 so the weight factor would very much be a factor in my decision. As for whether I'd choose mirrorless or swing mirror it all depends on my subject matter. For moving subjects like birds, planes, children at play, dogs or animals I would go with a mirrored system. EVF still is not a good match for it in terms of speed and quickness. However, if I shot landscapes, car shows, portraits, macro, etc. then mirrorless would be my choice. The one thing about mirrorless is that it is an evolving platform; meaning what works o.k. today might quickly be replaced with something far superior in the future which means your very expensive camera body would depreciate very quickly. However, the mirrored system camera is a fully mature platform where advances in technology will not have a substantial impact. However, from recently reading an article on Canon's 90D release this camera is expected to be the last new/updated DSLR of Canon's line and the mirrorless camera is expected to be the mainstay of its camera line in the forseeable future. Good luck with your choice.
 
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Sony will reserve the latest and best for their own, which means the cameras they sell will have the edge in image quality unless someone else produces better performing sensors (unlikely)... and Sony only make mirrorless.
They make tvs and video games machine things too no?
 
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For moving subjects like birds, planes, children at play, dogs or animals I would go with a mirrored system. EVF still is not a good match for it in terms of speed and quickness. However, if I shot landscapes, car shows, portraits, macro, etc. then mirrorless would be my choice.
TBH having shot FF in DSLR and mirrorless there's no effective difference in user experience except that with mirrorless Sony the AF seems to be better than the equivalent DSLR now. Subject tracking is really very good. Now if I were to compare, say, Fuji vs the Nikon D500 then that would be quite different.

TBH I don't care which system I use, and in some ways I find the OVF of a DSLR more aesthetically pleasing, but as a functional tool *some* mirrorless cameras seem more effective than the equivalent mirrored jobs.
 
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Megapixels allow cropping and that gives reach to shorter lenses which can be very useful. Also cropping and having enough resolution to print larger images afterwards.
They do and I completely agree with you that is one advantage but so does a crop camera which is also much cheaper. As my post above you can crop deep with ‘just’ 24 mp and still print to billboard so....
 
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Going back to the OP, digital is the way forward. Mirrorless is just a small step on the journey!
 
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Terry
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I have been a photographer amateur and professional for 74 Years .
There is no way that I can tell what camera or what make or what technology was used just by. Looking at the resulting image.
However I do know that the quality of most images is better now than in past years.


No further research and development is going into DSLR cameras, they will not improve.
I would not invest long term in that technology.
 
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No further research and development is going into DSLR cameras, they will not improve.
I would not invest long term in that technology.
this is the impression I get too. It seems like the only segments where DSLRs are being pushed is at the very top pro bodies, of at the very entry level for people who “want a DSLR”.
Last year I switched from FF DSLR to APS-C mirrorless, mainly for the smaller lens and body size, but have been blown away. I thought the EVF was a necessary evil to get the smaller body size, but love the focus peaking and seeing the exposure in real time. As mentioned earlier in the thread, having the wider spread of focus points is also great.

Having said all this, if you’re currently invested in a DSLR system I wouldn’t advise jumping ship for the sake of it (make the most of bargains being available from those who are).
If I was starting from scratch again, I would go mirrorless without a doubt.
 
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Not only do we get smaller form factor but it appears we have gone back to what we had years ago, decently priced lenses that perform really well albeit not built to the same quality as a full-on pro lens but more than sufficient for an amateur/hobbyist with the option of a better built lens for more money within the lens range, at least in the case of Fuji (haven't looked at other makes tbh).
 
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A big thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread. I really appreciate the considered thoughts posted. The points raised have given me plenty to think about. I think my dilemma seems to highlight a the ever present question about how our technology will develop.

I fully understand that subject preference has a bearing on equipment. Unfortunately at the moment I don't have a clear view of my preferred photography. Although a long time camera user, I am still trying to find my way. If I was to try to focus my preferences I would say street, travel, nature and landscapes plus an increasing interest in portraits.

And let me put everyone's mind at rest.... money is limited, hence the reason for posing the original question. I'd like to ensure any purchase is value for money.

Why am I thinking of changing? It is a desire for a fresh start.

The Z6 had attracted me because of a level of familiarity with Nikon controls and a form factor that is suitable for large hands without being an overly large body. I felt that the Z6 offered a full frame camera that I would not hesitate to take with me often.

Thank you all again. I promise to reflect on all the points raised before squandering my hard earned cash.
OK my two penneth worth based on your original post and this.

Mirrorless is certainly the future of photography imo, however there are still another couple of questions that you should ask, actually make that 3. Firstly, DSLRs will be superseded but how quickly will this happen and will DSLRs and their lenses cease being manufactured altogether? What will the lifespan of mirrorless be? How will it improve your photography or enjoyment?

Obviously the first two questions are impossible to answer. The last question is two part really. It's unlikely to improve your photography, at least by any significant amount. As for enjoyment? That'll be down to you, but it is vitally important. As a hobbiest if you don't enjoy doing something you won't do it. It's for this reason that I swapped from the magnificent D850 to the less magnificent (in terms of spec) Z7. I haven't once regretted the change.

In terms of mirrorless systems Sony offers the best on the market spec wise, and bang for buck (thinking the A73). They also have a great array of lenses available. If buying purely on spec you'd choose Sony every time. So why didn't I? Purely on an ergonomics front tbh, otherwise I would have. That being said there were no other FF mirrorless options at the time, but in hind sight I'm glad I've stuck with Nikon as I do prefer the final output (purely personal).

I was made away this week that the Z6 can be had for £1409, or £1509 with FTZ adapter which must surely be a very tempting offer (assuming Grays of Westminster are UK stockists), a great bang for buck imo.
 

West Camera

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OK my two penneth worth based on your original post and this.
I suppose your remarks to this ends this thread. However, I have a thought or two to share. First off while film photography is largely passe by the fact that no manufacturer produces film SLR's any longer, simply because of that it does not mean film photography is dead. Far from it. I have many friends who are dedicated to it both in photography and in darkroom work. So, though DSLR's may cease in popularity there will definitely be a following and a manufacturer may keep producing this sort of camera. Second, you are correct to say that digital is the way forward. But, actually it would be more correct to say that 'technology' is the way forward. Digital is simply the current product of photographic technology. So let's step back a pace from the issue of DSLR vs mirrorless. What about mirrorless smartphone camera technology.? It has definitely had its impact. Where will that end? Will it someday mean a professional grade smartphone camera? Then the Sony A7-3 is merely a stepping stone to what lays ahead. It certainly is. Nothing more than that. Can you imagine what the impact on this debate would be if one day we find professionals employing pro grade smartphones? That could be very scary to a lot of people. Yes indeed. Technology is the way forward.
 
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Redsnappa
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Sony make the best performing sensors on the market
I know that the sony marketing department wants everyone to believe this but Sony ore way down on the list of best sensors. Please google Panasonic Fujifilm GFX 100 then check the specs of the Panasonic S1R & while you at it do a web search for the Phase One XR. Oops I forgot about the Hasselblad's, Sony are much lower in the list than I initially thought.
 
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