Bridge v mirrorless

mike j thomas

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Hi Guys, as some of you know I have been looking at getting a low range SLR camera, but as part of my research I have found some interesting cameras that are not SLR but do seem to be a step up from a point a shoot.
The Canon 50x zoom bridge camera looks good, has anyone tried one, any comments or feed back?
The other one that I have found is a mirrorless camera, I think it was a Sony NEX? does anyone know anything about these? They claim to be top quality and close to an SLR but without the bulk?
Sorry for all the questions, but the more I look into stepping up to a better camera the more confusing it becomes!:eek:mg:
All the best.
Mike
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Hi Mike/

Aye, it's a murky old world right enough...

It's difficult for any of us who have made our own beds and decided to lie in them to try and tell someone else what to do. A proper SLR with interchangeable lenses is the bulkiest option, but it will give you the best results. All the other options - bridge cameras, mirrorless systems etc, are designed to make it easier for folk to carry a camera around with them when they are not out specifically to take photographs.

Folk might try to tell you bridge cameras and mirrorless systems will give you the same results as an SLR. I think they are kidding themselves. Try going on some of the photography forums and looking at the stuff being presented. You'll find images that will take your breath away. I'll guarantee you those shots will have been taken with an SLR and most of them with a prime lens (ie not a zoom lens).

So, it's back to the question of whether you aspire to that kind of output, or whether you just want something you can carry in your pocket that you can take out and get a better than average shot when the scene/lighting presents itself to you. If the latter option sounds like what you are after, have a look at the bridge cameras and the mirrorless systems.

I think all the major brands are now putting out 'mirrorless systems'. These are compact cameras - I think mostly with C-size sensors - that take interchangeable lenses. However, they are having to produce new 'pancake' lenses so that they are small enough for the whole thing to make sense. If you want to get a shot at 400mm focal length, the lens is gong to fit, but it is going to look a bit silly - a whoppig big lens perched on the front of a titchy wee compact :rolleyes:.

The main drawback to mirrorless systems is they don't have an optical, through-the-lens viewfinder - the No. 1 advantage of an SLR. So, you might have an electronic viewfinder, or you might find yourself wiggling the thing about at arm's length like everyone does with their compacts and phone-cams.

Good luck to them. As long as 90% of the populace prefers to do it this way, those of us who aim to make a bob or two out of our photography will continue to produce better results with our SLRs. :p

Col
 
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richardw

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Well I have to disagree with a lot of that. Mirrorless cameras produce photographs every bit as good as SLR cameras. Those with an eye level viewfinder are just as easy to operate as an SLR and sacrifice nothing except the weight, bulk and complication of a mirror system (and all the potential problems that can accrue as the mechanical parts wear out). They probably are set to replace DSLR cameras eventually for mainstream use, just as digital cameras eventually replaced film cameras for mainstream use...

At the moment more high quality digital photographs are bound to be made with DSLR cameras as they are still the most widely used. This is understandable as old technology takes time to be by-passed by newer, better ways. Folk do tend to hang onto stuff they've spent thousands on longer than they perhaps ought to. If they were starting from scratch many would eschew the old DSLR technology and go mirrorless.

Have a look at this chap's images made with an Olympus E-M5 mirrorless camera.

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


He uses various cameras and his work proves that you can make photographs to match the quality of DSLR produced photographs with a mirrorless camera.

There are others on Flickr doing great things with mirrorless cameras too...

Olympus E-M5 - Flickr: Search

Do yourself a favour and have a serious look at a few good quality mirrorless cameras before you spend your hard-earned...
:thumbs:
richard
 
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Guest100

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Pretty much agree with what Col says Mike. The mirror-less systems still have some ground to catch up with DSLR's. Tracking moving subjects using contrast detection as opposed to phase detection on a DSLR is still their greatest weakness, no optical viewfinder is another. If you new to DSLR then you probably don't realise how significant that is, but it's huge. You'll always get differing opinions here I'm afraid, but ask yourself a simple question - professional photographers, where image quality is primary, and cost insignificant, what do they use? Yup, a DSLR. As for any comments about DSLR users having to bin all their gear, well, no they don't. The sensor on a mirror-less camera is closer to the mount than on a DSLR, so it's pretty obvious that all any DSLR user would need if they decided to change over to mirror-less is an adapter to take the lens the same distance away from the sensor as it is on a DSLR, such as Nikon's FT-1. So if ever mirror-less do catch up with DSLR, it's a simple task of making your next upgrade a mirror-less body as opposed to a reflex camera; small potatoes.

A good example of the drawbacks, or even pointlessness of mirror-less cameras for serious photographers: Take the Nikon 300mm f2.8 lens. It's the size of your arm, weighs about twice as much and costs a cool £4,000. The reason it's so big, and has so many elements of specially coated glass, and costs so much money is because it is as near as perfect a piece of glass you can have in front of a sensor; and there's the point - any sensor. The fact that mirror-less cameras don't have a mirror (obviously), is basically pointless if you're serious about photography, because the physical properties that make that lens what it is don't change whatever system it's sat in front of. To produce an image with a mirror-less camera the same quality as a DSLR, you still have to have a whacking great big lens in front of it. What's the point of a mirror-less system for a pro or semi pro? There's no benefit, plus you lose a viewfinder. Lenses aren't that big because they're designed to fit on big cameras, but because that's how big a top of the range lens has to be to capture the light and accurately reproduce an image with pin sharp quality, for longer focal lengths even larger! Top quality lenses are getting bigger, not smaller. You may say "meh, I'll never buy a four grand lens", but you can apply the same logic to a £700 macro lens, which are still a fair bit of real estate and weigh nearly a kilo, or a landscape lens that costs the same as a complete mirror-less set-up. It's a consumer focused product, and will fill the gap between a compact and a DSLR.

By FAR the greatest component to a being able to capture quality images is the photographer. If you're contemplating photography on a semi serious basis then a DSLR is without doubt the way to go. If you want more than a compact, but cannot be bothered with the bulk of a DSLR, and aren't really going to push a DSLR to its limits, then a mirror-less system may be the way to go (bear in mind, a mirror-less with a fair sized lens on doesn't exactly fit in your shirt pocket). Personally, and it's always said on here, I'd be wary of any advice recommending a specific camera. There are far greater resources for accurate reviews available on the internet than a fly fishing forum. For sure there are some good photographers on here, but they never offer advice on specific cameras, just on technique.
 
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mike j thomas

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Okay, I think I can see both sides of this argument:confused:, so if I stick with my first plan of an entry level SLR, most of the kits come with 2 lenses, a 15 to 55 and a 55 to 250 or 300, will these cover me for most of my photos, or would I be better to get just the body and 1 better lens, maybe an 18 to 150ish?
Plus what are the risks with maybe buying a second hand lens?
Thanks for your patience guys, I do realize I am asking lots of questions and you have provided much food for thought so far!
All the best.
Mike
 

richardw

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Just to clarify...

You do not need to lose the viewfinder if you choose a mirrorless camera.

I agree that the photographer is the most important part of making good photographs.

There ARE several cameras to choose from so there is no need to be wary of any advice I give you on here as I am NOT recommending a specific camera. I may have mentioned one example but that is no more than the die hards have done when citing their PRESENT DAY preferences. My advice is still for you to have a serious look at a few good quality mirrorless cameras before you spend your hard-earned. Oh, and do look at DSLRs too of course...
:thumbs::D
richard

PS If you are making a photograph in very dark light and so you set your ISO to a higher speed, the mirrorless viewfinder shows you what you are going to get as you are seeing the processed image.
 
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Endrick

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If anyone has a Leica M9 and is put off the idea of mirrorless then I'll take it off your hands....

Seriously though although I'd love a rangefinder camera like the above - I totally agree with Col. Low range SLRs are really excellent. I only know Nikon but Nikon's basic SLR is a wonderful piece of kit and the other manifacturers will have similar.

Lenses: when I am out and about on the hills or fishing I just use one lens - an 18-200 (about £500). It takes macro, wide angle and is a telephoto too, it's always there so most of my photos are taken with it despite having lenses that cost much more. You can buy separate lenses - 18-55 and 55-200 for a lot less but I bit the bullet for convenience and haven't regretted it.

Malcolm
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Just to clarify...

You do not need to lose the viewfinder Aye, but it's an electronic viewfinder at best. No substitute for an optical view through the lens. if you choose a mirrorless camera.

I agree that the photographer is the most important part of making good photographs.

PS If you are making a photograph in very dark light and so you set your ISO to a higher speed, the mirrorless viewfinder shows you what you are going to get as you are seeing the processed image. You can do that on an SLR as well with "Live View" - I quite often use it for fine-tuning focus on macro shots ;)

Stu had a good point - how do mirrorless cameras compare with SLRs for quick aufocus changes when shooting action shots, like fish jumping, dogs running, cars speeding past - that sort of thing? If they are not as good, that might be a point to consider.

I personally see no advantage to a mirrorless and loads of disadvantages compared to an SLR. They are far too small to fit your hand round and operate the controls while swinging the thing about one-handed. I don't even like the smaller bodied SLRs :p - I like a big full-sized one - it balances the big lump of glass on the front, as Stu says, and I'm not in any danger of losing my grip on it. I can hang on to the grip with fingers 3, 4 and 5 while my index finger is on the shutter button and my thumb is pressing the buttons and turning the wheels on the back. I have not used a mirrorless, but I have seen what they look like... and what they look like is... they are way too fiddly to do all that! :(

Here's a clue as to who they are pitched at...

SLRs come in black.

Mirrorless cameras come in silver, and red, and blue and all sorts of nice colours :whistle:

Col
 

richardw

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You do not need to lose the viewfinder Aye, but it's an electronic viewfinder at best. No substitute for an optical view through the lens. if you choose a mirrorless camera.
Why? What do you lose out on?


I agree that the photographer is the most important part of making good photographs.

PS If you are making a photograph in very dark light and so you set your ISO to a higher speed, the mirrorless viewfinder shows you what you are going to get as you are seeing the processed image. You can do that on an SLR as well with "Live View" - I quite often use it for fine-tuning focus on macro shots ;)

So in effect you have to resort to using the enormous phallic symbol DSLR and its long lens at arm's length. That sounds a bit like using my little pocket camera only you need muscles like Geoff Capes to hold it.

The mirrorless camera's viewfinder lets you fine tune focus on macro shots as well as see what is in the viewfinder in low light conditions.


Stu had a good point - how do mirrorless cameras compare with SLRs for quick aufocus changes when shooting action shots, like fish jumping, dogs running, cars speeding past - that sort of thing? If they are not as good, that might be a point to consider.

I personally see no advantage to a mirrorless and loads of disadvantages compared to an SLR. They are far too small to fit your hand round and operate the controls while swinging the thing about one-handed. I don't even like the smaller bodied SLRs :p - I like a big full-sized one - it balances the big lump of glass on the front, as Stu says, and I'm not in any danger of losing my grip on it. I can hang on to the grip with fingers 3, 4 and 5 while my index finger is on the shutter button and my thumb is pressing the buttons and turning the wheels on the back. I have not used a mirrorless, but I have seen what they look like... and what they look like is... they are way too fiddly to do all that! :(

Here's a clue as to who they are pitched at...

SLRs come in black.

Mirrorless cameras come in silver, and red, and blue and all sorts of nice colours :whistle:

Col

Interesting logic process at work there!

So DSLRs are best because they are big, right?
Real men have black cameras, right?

So if you get one in black that's okay then?

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=E...J0AX82IGAAg&ved=0CAQQ_AUoAA&biw=2560&bih=1345

To answer your question. Mirrorless cameras do cope nicely with moving subjects. Take a look at some of the pictures on Flickr that have been made with mirrorless cameras.

richard
 

Guest100

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Hi Mike. I've bought secondhand lenses in the past and never had a problem with them. They either work or the don't so you'll know as soon as you stick it on the camera. Don't know what the secondhand market for lenses is like over there in NZ but over here it's great, especially for more popular models like Nikon or Canon. Personally I'd go for a better secondhand lens than kit new ones. I'll be perfectly honest and say you're probably even better off buying a secondhand body if you want more than your budget can stretch for new.

Lens quality has a greater bearing on image quality than whether the camera is new or secondhand. Get the best glass you can afford, even if it's secondhand.

Why? What do you lose out on?

1) Electronic viewfinders have to process the image before it's displayed in the 'viewfinder', the inherent weakness with that is they suffer lag on fast panning, where as TTL viewfinders do not.

2) For an EVF to function, the camera has to be switched on, draining battery life.

3) Even the best resolution available is still way below what the eye can depict through a TTL viewfinder.

With a modern DSLR you have the best of both worlds. TTL for the majority of shots, plus EVF via Live-view for any time you wish to use it. So again there's no compromise as there is when using mirror-less systems.
 
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richardw

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Hi Mike. I've bought secondhand lenses in the past and never had a problem with them. They either work or the don't so you'll know as soon as you stick it on the camera. Don't know what the secondhand market for lenses is like over there in NZ but over here it's great, especially for more popular models like Nikon or Canon. Personally I'd go for a better secondhand lens than kit new ones. I'll be perfectly honest and say you're probably even better off buying a secondhand body if you want more than your budget can stretch for new.

Lens quality has a greater bearing on image quality than whether the camera is new or secondhand. Get the best glass you can afford, even if it's secondhand.



1) Electronic viewfinders have to process the image before it's displayed in the 'viewfinder', the inherent weakness with that is they suffer lag on fast panning, where as TTL viewfinders do not.

2) For an EVF to function, the camera has to be switched on, draining battery life.

3) Even the best resolution available is still way below what the eye can depict through a TTL viewfinder.

With a modern DSLR you have the best of both worlds. TTL for the majority of shots, plus EVF via Live-view for any time you wish to use it. So again there's no compromise as there is when using mirror-less systems.

Good advice about the lenses there...

1) Except that now the better mirrorless cameras don't have any perceivable delay.

2) For any DSLR to function it too has to be switched on before the lens will focus and show you what you might actually get on your image.

3) Which is why making the photograph (framing, exposure, focus, rendition in low light) is more certain when using a mirrorless camera because you actually do see what the camera is about to give you in your photograph. There is no need to keep taking the camera away from the eye to view the panel and see if the picture was okay or not. You can carry on if the viewfinder is showing you what you like and keep making pictures secure in the knowledge that what you are seeing is what you are getting.

There is no compromise with a mirrorless camera either. You get both the eye level view that is better than the mirrored view for the reasons explained above and you get the live-view on the panel to let you compose and make photographs with the camera at ground level, or above your head, or any other awkward situation, where getting your eye to the viewfinder is not convenient, or comfortable, or sometimes even possible.

richard
 

Guest100

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Richard, as usual this is becoming a pointless argument. Any information you want about TTL versus EVF is freely available on the internet from reputable sources. I've given you the list of known cons, just saying "no they aren't" is just another classic example of you creating your own 'evidence'

The fact that you think you need to switch on DSLR to view through the viewfinder and use the manual focus kind of confirms my suspicions anyway.;)
 

richardw

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Richard, as usual this is becoming a pointless argument. Any information you want about TTL versus EVF is freely available on the internet from reputable sources. I've given you the list of known cons, just saying "no they aren't" is just another classic example of you creating your own 'evidence'

The fact that you think you need to switch on DSLR to view through the viewfinder and use the manual focus kind of confirms my suspicions anyway.;)

Oh you can use the manual focus alright but suppose you have the lens at infinity and you want to quickly focus on a flower with a fly on it? Yes keep winding by all means, if your battery is flat or nearly so you might have no choice. However, you probably do what I do with my DSLR and simply switch it on and half press the shutter...

Even you cannot really be serious when you accuse me of simply saying "no they aren't", the points I make have been explained with a little more detail than that!

You might think you know it all about photography. I know I don't and I happen to know, from your posts, that you don't either. If Mike has no skin in this choice of what to get, he would be ill advised to ignore mirrorless cameras in his considerations. Just because we happen to use DSLRs right now is no reason to be blind to where the technology is leading when we make suggestions to a person, like Mike, who is considering his options.


richard
 
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Guest100

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Oh you can use the manual focus alright but suppose you have the lens at infinity and you want to quickly focus on a flower with a fly on it? Yes keep winding by all means, if your battery is flat or nearly so you might have no choice. However, you probably do what I do with my DSLR and simply switch it on and half press the shutter...

Right, so what I said about having to turn on an EVF to view an image, but not having to with TTL is correct then!

You might think you know it all about photography. I know I don't and I happen to know, from your posts, that you don't either. If Mike has no skin in this choice of what to get, he would be ill advised to ignore mirrorless cameras in his considerations. Just because we happen to use DSLRs right now is no reason to be blind to where the technology is leading when we make suggestions to a person, like Mike, who is considering his options.


richard

Nope, I don't think I know it all about photography Richard, not at all. Though I will say I do respect Col's opinion immensely. He has proven time and time again on here his wealth of knowledge, backed up by stunning images. I fully agree with you on your appraisal of your photographic knowledge.
 
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richardw

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Right, so what I said about having to turn on an EVF to view an image, but not having to with TTL is correct then!



Nope, I don't think I know it all about photography Richard, not at all. Though I will say I do respect Col's opinion immensely. He has proven time and time again on here his wealth of knowledge, backed up by stunning images. I fully agree with you on your appraisal of your photographic knowledge.

To be pedantic, with some mirrorless cameras they switch themselves on as your eye gets to the viewfinder, so you don't have to switch them on. Your spurious feature of not using the battery to look through your DSLR is of no practical value. You still cannot do anything with the camera until it is switched on. Have you noticed Col has not contradicted anything I have pointed out about mirrorless cameras.

Mirrorless need have no practical drawbacks. The only thing they cannot escape from is they need switching on, which, thanks to modern batteries, is no longer a problem.

You might not like my photographs but that doesn't negate the benefits of mirrorless cameras over DSLRs. Mike has no need to look at my photographs, he'd be wasting his time if he was looking for mirrorless camera examples. Instead he (and you) can look at Flickr, put in a search using the name of a current mirrorless camera, then see the results from dozens of photographers of all sorts of images using that particular camera.

Another advantage mirrorless cameras have versus DSLRs that we have overlooked is you can make HD video at eye level...

Oh and of course some are easily as responsive as DSLRs when making photographs of moving subjects being able to work at 9 frames per second. A task that is easier for them to do as there is no mirror being flapped up and down during the process.

Evidence?

Your insult falls very wide of the mark. There is a vast quantity of evidence available that was there long before this thread started and I had the temerity to aver that one of the big boys in the photography part of this playground was not 100% right. Just go and have a look...
:rolleyes:
richard
 

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