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BrianBM

Mirrorless and non-Mirrorless cameras

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One of the things I missed completely while away from photography was the rise of mirrorless cameras as a genre that competes with the more petite DSLRs. No mirror, the lens flange moves closer to the film plane ("sensor plane" is a more accurate description, I guess) and you have a smaller and lighter machine. Is there any other inherent advantage or disadvantage that mirrorless designs enjoy or suffer vis-a-vis a DSLR? Comparing (for example) Sony's A7 line with the pellicle mirror designs that equate in Sony's lineup to a DSLR, the A77 and A99, the only thing that the A7 series doesn't offer is lens stabilization. I infer that the small bodies just don't offer the space needed for that capacity. (I don't know if it really matters, either.) That's the only capability that - so far, AFAIK - has eluded mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

 

Does the mirrorless genre otherwise differ from DSLRs? I would appreciate the thoughts of JimDE and anyone else who has been familiar with ongoing camera developments for longer than I have. :D

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Brian mirrorless as in referring to the 3 versions of a7's will stand toe to toe with the very best SLR's in every area except focus speed and autofocus capable lens selection. These are its current achillis heels which per a top Sony exec last week are the two areas there next Pro line of mirrorless will address( rumored to be labeled a9 series and quite a bit more costly). These will have on sensor auto focusing similar to but better than the a6000 series available for APC format.

 

Once this hurtle is overcome I will no longer run two systems and will convert over to E mount totally. Right now I only use SLR's for wildlife and flash work and my mirrorless do most of the other chores.

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The A7s interests me the most, precisely since it seems to cope with ridiculously low light levels quite well. Slow focus speed? ... then they're not BIF machines, but the A7s might be the machine of choice, at least right now, for available darkness photography. I prefer a steel lens mount, too, and don't like the idea of adding an aftermarket steel lens mount to a camera that didn't initially have one.

 

The A77 II looks nice, and does offer lens stabilization. Low light sensitivity is allegedly good but not on a par with the A7s. Whether the difference in low-light photography matters enough to spend the extra thousand for the 7s is a problem of usage. I've seen a series of Sony ads, and test shots, with the 7s that are awesome, but ads are ads and the source was the sonyalpharumors site, hardly an objective reviewer.

 

Does the bigger diameter of the lens mount on the A77/99 have an inherent edge over the E mount, even on FE cameras? I should think it would, but so far it's not showing up in test results.

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Brian the mount size seems to handle the size of faster or longer lenses better. Meaning large camera body and large heavy lens. High speed glass is another hiccup in the e mount cameras currently but as in the case of the 7s Len speed is a non issue when you can shoot at ridiculously high ISO's. My problem with the 7s for my needs (prints and cropping) is the lower number of pixels as I have been spoiled using 24mp cameras or more the past 4 years. For my needs pixel numbers are as important as pixel size.

 

You are doing a apples and orange comparison though comparing the 7s to 77Ii. One is a full frame 12mp body and the other is a APC 24mp body. Completely different design intents and user types. Far to different to compare in very many ways making the $1000 difference in price sort of hard to bounce against these bodies. Two entirely different camera systems. Like comparing semi auto plastic pistols to revolvers.

 

I am using what I have till Sony comes out with these mentioned pro mirrorless bodies designed for pro and sport photographers as the head of Sony mentioned in a recent interview.

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......FWIW, I was/am considering the a6000. It looks like it would suit my purposes. I like the hybrid AF (in theory anyhow) in that model, and of course the small size package. Here's what I started to say: B&H is having a Sony sale BUT today is the last day, so if you are interested.....just sayin. The others that you are both talking about are WAY over my budget. Nice stuff though.

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One of the things I missed completely while away from photography was the rise of mirrorless cameras as a genre that competes with the more petite DSLRs. No mirror, the lens flange moves closer to the film plane ("sensor plane" is a more accurate description, I guess) and you have a smaller and lighter machine. Is there any other inherent advantage or disadvantage that mirrorless designs enjoy or suffer vis-a-vis a DSLR? Comparing (for example) Sony's A7 line with the pellicle mirror designs that equate in Sony's lineup to a DSLR, the A77 and A99, the only thing that the A7 series doesn't offer is lens stabilization. I infer that the small bodies just don't offer the space needed for that capacity. (I don't know if it really matters, either.) That's the only capability that - so far, AFAIK - has eluded mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

 

Does the mirrorless genre otherwise differ from DSLRs? I would appreciate the thoughts of JimDE and anyone else who has been familiar with ongoing camera developments for longer than I have. :D

 

 

I have Sony a57 and at the time I almost bought a D5100 or a T3i and I am so glad that I got the sony. A57 outperforms the nikon and the canon in a few area, the Live view vs veiwfinder was no comparison. With the Canon and nikon I had to switch it on then it was slow to focus and slow to shoot. With the sony once I take my eye off of the viewfinder then live view turns on and performs the same, great thing for users that use to shooting with compact camera and phones. Some people hate EVF but I love it no need to CHIMP a photo you make the adjustments and your getting real time feed back. I find my self never review the photo after I take it because of the EVF.

As for image quality yes nikon takes the cake and not by much remember sony makes their sensor and the mirror does take about 1/3 of stop off for the sony. But when you think how much a loss of 1/3 of stop of light is in my onion not a big deal when you compare the advantages that you get like full time auto focus and burst rate of 10 FPS.

AF system I will say that is what canon is know for, but I have zero complaints sony. Personally I think if canon does not do something soon then they will be out of business great AF terrible image quality they are banking on users that have tons of glass sticking with them but now with A7 there is no need to stick with a company because of their glass.

With all that said I would be hard press to get off of sony, I went with A57 but if I had to do it again today I would have gone for a6000. Just as powerful as an SLR SLT but small form factor I hate lugging around the a57 but the image quality and video is the reason why I do but the a6000 will do the job and it has an unreal AF system that can compete with Nikons D4. The future is mirrorless and the sales figures show it, the only place that is still selling SLR is in US because every soccer mom has a canon or nikon and so monkey see monkey do. Around the world mirrorless is out selling DSLR and Canon and Nikon are taking a big hit because of it.

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I'm in no hurry to buy anything. Today was the last day of my employment. As of the close of business this date I am A Retired Person, and the first order of business is to get the fishing tackle wet again. As far as the cameras go, I'm just immersing myself in the technical state of the art, with an eye to future purchases. If I had to choose and spend money this minute, I'd buy an A7s. Ideally we'd all like autofocus that would let us chase an owl through a pine forest at midnight, and take highly detail photos of his behind. I don't think the market will give us that capacity for a while longer. For my own interests I'd take low light ability over max resolution; it's a matter of intended use.

 

Jim, the A77 II with a lens meant for a full-frame A mount lens, say, the 70-400 zoom, would give you a crop factor, and make a workable BIF combination. Am I wrong?

 

If the Internet rumors of Foveon-styled sensors in the near future come true, that's fine. They'll be pricey, if and when they happen. We'll see ....

 

I am not sure how well a petite camera, even with the steel mount of the 7s, would take to extended use on a tripod with a big lens.

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Yes the 77II is a nice wildlife body .....

 

Misconception though aboutong lenses and a small body. Long lenses have tripod mounts so the body and mount only have to support the weight of the camera body not the lens. Essentially there is less load on the Emount than the Amount due to this. Sadly the longest dedicated lens currently is a 70-200 f4 in Emount which on a full frame is not much magnification at all.

 

Brian the 12mp of the 7s is limiting not just due to uncropped full image resolution. With a very weak selection of long E mount glass cropping images to gain effective focal length just a 50% crop takes the image to 6mp which is just about the usable limit for 11x14 which in fact is generally considered too small for practical gallery use thus making it worthless in the print photography world. The 7s is finding a niche for wedding photogs, concert and news photogs. Its high ISO ability for wildlife use is crippled in comparison to say the D4, DX, or even the d750 or the Canon high ISO bodies due to the lack of pixel density and image cropping resolution. Cropping is just a way of life with wildlife photogs as is frame rate and continuous AF speed and accuracy.for scenic work in the a7 series the 7r is the undisputed champ the std a7 is a compromise body that is a jack of all trades but a master of none.i would be if and when the a9 series is released there will be a pro resolution model and a pro sports version with no middle of the road model.

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Even with a long lens mounted directly on a tripod, I'm wary of the composite lens mount on the A7/A7r. I have no experience with any interchangeable lens camera that has a non-metallic mount to justify my suspicions, but I suspect that with sustained use they'll be subject to warping and wearing. In steel we trust.

 

My interest in the 7s is for edge-of-night photography at the surf line. I used to write and shoot for The Fisherman fairly regularly, and the low light capacities of the A7s would be ideal for that use, and for night use on boats as well. It's a matter of habit, I guess, making good exhibition prints at 11x16 never even crossed my mind. Popping a flash at night in the surf makes you unpopular in a hurry.

 

Most of my photos - if I re-invest in the business at all - will be taken with a P/S camera which I have, as a tourist strolling around wherever; a Canon G6. For vacation souvenirs, it'll do me. If I get serious again, and go back to the water's edge I'll be shooting near my car, so camera size and weight doesn't matter too much. An A77 II with a long lens on a tripod would be nice; Fire Island Inlet, half an hour away from my home, is a grand place to watch the fall migration.

I note that Sigma has expressed reservations about getting the lens quality on which they concentrate in E-mount cameras, so future quality lenses for Sony from Sigma will probably happen first in A-mount. I am not sure how much lens stabilization matters, really, for the shutter speeds inherent in BIF photography, but it's not available in E-mount. So I could see myself owning an A7s and a short convenience zoom on one hand, and an A77 II with better lenses as well; while waiting for an A99 II, or something like that.

 

I do have a few Canon lenses in FD and EOS mount that I'd like to be able to use, and that appears easier on the A mount, too; FD 85mm f1.2 L, a 50mm 1.4, and perhaps one other.

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Even with a long lens mounted directly on a tripod, I'm wary of the composite lens mount on the A7/A7r. I have no experience with any interchangeable lens camera that has a non-metallic mount to justify my suspicions, but I suspect that with sustained use they'll be subject to warping and wearing. In steel we trust.

 

My interest in the 7s is for edge-of-night photography at the surf line. I used to write and shoot for The Fisherman fairly regularly, and the low light capacities of the A7s would be ideal for that use, and for night use on boats as well. It's a matter of habit, I guess, making good exhibition prints at 11x16 never even crossed my mind. Popping a flash at night in the surf makes you unpopular in a hurry.

 

Most of my photos - if I re-invest in the business at all - will be taken with a P/S camera which I have, as a tourist strolling around wherever; a Canon G6. For vacation souvenirs, it'll do me. If I get serious again, and go back to the water's edge I'll be shooting near my car, so camera size and weight doesn't matter too much. An A77 II with a long lens on a tripod would be nice; Fire Island Inlet, half an hour away from my home, is a grand place to watch the fall migration.

I note that Sigma has expressed reservations about getting the lens quality on which they concentrate in E-mount cameras, so future quality lenses for Sony from Sigma will probably happen first in A-mount. I am not sure how much lens stabilization matters, really, for the shutter speeds inherent in BIF photography, but it's not available in E-mount. So I could see myself owning an A7s and a short convenience zoom on one hand, and an A77 II with better lenses as well; while waiting for an A99 II, or something like that.

 

I do have a few Canon lenses in FD and EOS mount that I'd like to be able to use, and that appears easier on the A mount, too; FD 85mm f1.2 L, a 50mm 1.4, and perhaps one other.

 

Sony went with Sensor shift stabilization instead of lens, which results in lower costing lens. There is a great video that compare the Nikkor AF-S 80-400 VR vs Sony 70-400 II Shootout It is from the camera store on you tube. I prefer Sensor shift because the lenses are lighter and they do not suffer from mirror slap.

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In theory, sensor shifting should make for a lighter and simpler lens. In practice, you can't find many third-party lenses that are cheaper in Sony A-mount than in Canon and Nikon; the volume of Sony lenses sold doesn't permit the theoretically available discount. The lack of mirror slap is a Good Idea, albeit it has nothing to do with the lenses proper.

 

I'm waiting for a complete review of the A77 II to appear on dpreview, or some other site that seems both competent and not biased in favor of a particular brand.

 

Sigma management says the company is trying to compete with the big guys by concentrating on very high-level lenses, essentially dropping out of the consumer camera lens business. Given how expensive the Sony G and G II lenses can be, Sigma's product is likely to still be cheaper. They do seem to have delivered some excellent lenses lately, but they seem to prefer the A mount format.

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In theory, sensor shifting should make for a lighter and simpler lens. In practice, you can't find many third-party lenses that are cheaper in Sony A-mount than in Canon and Nikon; the volume of Sony lenses sold doesn't permit the theoretically available discount. The lack of mirror slap is a Good Idea, albeit it has nothing to do with the lenses proper.

 

I'm waiting for a complete review of the A77 II to appear on dpreview, or some other site that seems both competent and not biased in favor of a particular brand.

 

Sigma management says the company is trying to compete with the big guys by concentrating on very high-level lenses, essentially dropping out of the consumer camera lens business. Given how expensive the Sony G and G II lenses can be, Sigma's product is likely to still be cheaper. They do seem to have delivered some excellent lenses lately, but they seem to prefer the A mount format.

 

I miss wrote I should have stated Sensor shift that do suffer from mirror slap (pentax known issue) that why Nikon and Canon went with lens stabilization (Northeast rep for nikon use to live next door to me). But not really an issue with Sony since they do not have a moving mirror.

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One would think in body stabilization would allow for lower cost lenses..... Sadly the reality of the situation is Sony glass focal length and aperture the same are more expensive than Canon or Nikon glass with stabilization. The only advantage is ALL glass used becomes stabilized where in the others only is the lens has stabilization with you have it. Many focal lengths in the Canikon lines have no stabilization options.

 

My major stumbling point today using any other gear is the lack of a EVF and realtime live view while shooting with your eye in the viewfinder. I am terribly spoiled with this feature after 6 years of using them........... as witness when I started my new photography job and tried using their equipment first. I tried for 5 day's straight to adjust to this system again but in the end I brought my own gear in instead....I felt like a monkey with a football and I grew up using OVF's. Can't get used to them now it appears and if given a OVF camera I would sell it and get one with a EVF unless I was tethering to a laptop/desktop with it in a studio situation only, then I would keep it because essentially it is nearly like a EVF when used this way.

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Yes. On the one hand, the E mounts have been getting the love from Sony's engineers. On the other, some things like in-body stabilization are easier in the larger A-frame cameras. Being in no hurry whatever, I will sit and wait on whatever the New Year may bring, from everyone. If Sony does make a Foveon-ish sensor for Canon, I assume they'll use it too. That kind of sensor might benefit even more than a Bayer-format sensor from stabilization, or so I suspect. If Sigma is going to make high quality glass only for A mount, that's a factor too, if I want to go that far into photography again.

 

Sony cameras offer great value, but those G lenses .... owww.

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Personally, I am not a big fan of Sigma glass for Sony's...........they pay no royalties so every new model is a hit or miss if it will be comparable with the body or not and if not you have to send it to Sigma to be corrected. I'll stay with G, Zeiss, and Tamron if need be for a less used lens.

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