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Old May 26, 2014, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default The Evolution of Mirrorless AF

These days things are getting very confusing for any photographer who has invested a lot into any particular mount. You must have at least wondered where the market is going and how relevant is my current gear going to be 2 years from now? Looking towards the future you are going to have to decide what path to follow.

The photography market is constantly working on us. Always trying to separate us from our money, coming up with something you just gotta have to improve your system. Who doesn't look and listen to these marketing ploy's?

Like many of you I still shoot big heavy DSLRs, and I'm still extremely impressed with the results. On the other hand I have also bought a mirror less camera and find myself very happy with carrying around a much smaller camera that still gives me very good IQ.

Now, the latest generation of mirror less cameras from Olympus, Fuji, Panasonic and Sony has stirred up that thought once again that I keep trying to suppress.

When?

When is the mirror less camera going to match the important qualities of the DSLR? IQ, AF speed, buffer rates, and what ever else may be important to you.

Watching the latest AF speed test between the latest mirror less bodies and comparing it to a Nikon D4 has me thinking once again. It won't be long before there is no difference in performance, only size.

Then there's that thought again. Am I going to get caught holding antiquated gear that the manufacture has abandoned in favor of the future mirror less cameras?

Should I sell my stuff now before it's worthless? Make the move to all mirror less and try to be patient enough for the mount to fully mature.

This is something that anyone with a sizable investment must have thought about at least once by now.

Check out this comparison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up8K...F4tjwlxOVS6h8A

Your thoughts?
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Old May 26, 2014, 11:30 AM   #2
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While mirrorless systems have some advantages, they also has some disadvantages.

That's not going to change.

A dSLR has been and will continue to be the "no compromise" photographic system.
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Old May 26, 2014, 2:05 PM   #3
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Interesting topic, I recently acquired an old Sony nex-5r mirrorless ILC for use as a pocket cam.
With an appropriate adapter (which I am going to have to get around to ordering) my Canon EF lenses can work just fine on it.
There are also adapters to mount Nikon, Zeiss, and Sony A mount lenses on to it.
There are many levels of adapters available running from 40$ to 300$ depending on their capabilities and who made them similar to this one
http://www.amazon.ca/Auto-Focus-Adap...sony+nex+canon


The little nex-5R is an aps-c (1.5x) crop sensor, and can manage 10fps.
It actually seems to out-focus my old 5d mkii in accuracy.

At 16mp it produces quite usable images, if you need more its bigger brother the nex7 is 24mp.

Will mirrorless ILC's replace DSLR's? I can't see that happening any time soon.
However it has really lightened what I carry when I am not working.
Made it much easier to always have a decent camera along with me.

As TCav said they definitely do have some disadvantages to them as well.
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Last edited by PeterP; May 26, 2014 at 2:09 PM.
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Old May 26, 2014, 2:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
While mirrorless systems have some advantages, they also has some disadvantages.

That's not going to change.
I wouldn't be so quick to say "that's not going to change?. Things are changing much faster then I thought they would.

For now, DSLR is still king. In 2 years, I have a feeling that things will even be even more advanced then we would ever believe today.

I do think the mirror days are numbered.
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Old May 26, 2014, 3:31 PM   #5
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And I quote...
"I do think the mirror days are numbered"

I'd have no problem with that,if that's all that it is(losing the mirror).... with a nice high quality EVF.

Many still prefer the larger body from a handling perspective- and certainly the larger body allows for more external controls- which only adds to the overall operational speed.
Never mind the extra strength from a quality DSLR body for the "heavy" user...!

Once mirrorless AF performance catches up with PDAF(and I've no doubt it will...), I think the mirror will be doomed..!!
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Old May 26, 2014, 4:31 PM   #6
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G'day Fellas

We've had discussions like this on the Aussie photo forums for a while now ... and like here, all sorts of ideas & predictions are thrown around

My prediction 1-year ago was that "within 5 years the mirrorless & EVF system would totally replace dSLR systems except for the very top-end dSLR cameras which will become 'legacy' systems "

I can see it well into that pattern already
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Old May 26, 2014, 4:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
A dSLR has been and will continue to be the "no compromise" photographic system.
SLR cameras are basically a series of compromises from the beginning. They are just the best compromises that the technology of the last century could come up with.
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Old May 26, 2014, 4:54 PM   #8
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I'm still waiting for an electronic viewfinder that has a resolution that's equivalent to what a person with normal visual acuity gets from an optical viewfinder. But aside from that, most mirrorless systems rely on Contrast Detection AF which is more precise and more accurate for still subjects, but Phase Detection AF is faster and more accurate for moving subjects. Some mirrorless cameras incorporate PDAF sensors in the image sensor (aka Hybrid AF) and that's an improvement, but it's only one area where mirrorless systems are making advances.

In order to make them "pocketable", mirrorless cameras typically use a short flange focal distance as a design feature, but that requires the image-space side of the lens to bend light more. That results in greater field curvature, distortion, vignetting, and chromatic aberration. So, in order for lenses for mirrorless systems to be functionally equivalent to SLR lenses, they won't be as good, they'll be more expensive, or both. And while some cameras can "compensate" for the flaws in their lenses, they generally do so by compromising image quality in other ways.

And even the best adapters compromise image quality somewhat, and in ways that can't be predicted or even corrected. Plus, an adapter gives up at least a few of the advantages a mirrorless camera had to begin with.
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Last edited by TCav; May 27, 2014 at 5:13 AM. Reason: added "functionally" to equivalent.
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Old May 26, 2014, 4:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
SLR cameras are basically a series of compromises from the beginning. They are just the best compromises that the technology of the last century could come up with.
The only compromise in an SLR is the blackout period while the mirror is flipped up out of the way, but that's an improvement over the mirrors that didn't automatically return. ... that and TLRs.

And mirorless cameras have that blackout period too, though it's not black, just frozen.
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Last edited by TCav; May 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM.
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