Mirrorless Revolution: Is it worth the money?

With all of the new generation mirrorless Camera’s being release just in time for the holiday’s, it’s tough to tell if it is really worth the money.  So let’s jump into a few questions and concerns we all have.

  • What is a mirrorless camera?
  • Is a mirrorless camera right for me?
  • Pro’s & Con’s of a mirrorless camera
  • Is it worth the money?
  • Specs comparison: Sony a7riii, Canon EOS R, Nikon Z7

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

If you take your lens off the body of your DSLR camera you will see a nice shiny mirror. (Hopefully it’s shiny).  That mirror is a key component to all DSLR Camera’s.  It reflects the light being brought in through the lens up into the view finder where you see the image you are framing.  In a mirrorless camera, it is just that.  It has no mirror.  This leaves the sensor exposed to light continuously.  You can see a preview electronically through the LCD screen on the back of the camera or through an Electronic View Finder.

Example 1 – Mirror DSLR Canon 5D Mark III


Example 2 – Mirrorless Sony Alpha 6500


Sony a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera Optical with 3-Inch LCD, Black (ILCE7M3/B)

Is a Mirrorless Camera Right for Me?

You may be asking yourself if a mirrorless camera is right for you.  The short answer is… maybe.  It depends on what you are using the camera for.  Are you using the camera on a professional level or using it to make video?  Or are you a hobbyist looking for a toy to learn on?  This answer is not as simple as you may think.

The new Sony A7III has a starting price point of about $2000 USD and the A7riii is starting at $3500. That is for the body alone.  There has been debate if this is the next generation of camera and many professional photographers are not sold completely on the concept of mirrorless.  Some people question, why fix something if it ain’t broke?  At this point in technology, 4K video is all the hype, but many people don’t know that when you upload to the internet, video resolution may get dumbed down to 1080p anyway.  Rendering 4K useless until everyone has 4K monitors or TV’s.

One pro I have seen by using a mirrorless camera is the weight and size.  If you are using a gimbal, this is a very easy to use set up.  But if you are taking photos with a mirrorless camera and have large hands, it may not be comfortable for you.  Another huge benefit with mirrorless cameras are the focal points and facial tracking features.  I recently had the opportunity to play with the new Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera and let me tell you, the facial tracking is fast and responsive and would be a great tool for videographers.  Along with facial tracking, it has 493 point auto focusing and 45.7 Megapixels.  To top it off,  it has a full frame CMOS Image Sensor.  These are going to be on back order for a while.  Pick yours up here as soon as you can if Mirrorless is right for you.

Pro’s & Con’s of a Mirrorless Camera

Lets start with the pro’s since we like to be optimistic

  • Great for Videography
  • Usually small and compact for easy travel and mobility
  • Many focal points (typically over 200)
  • Tach Sharp Prints and Photofinish
  • Lighting fast auto focus and facial tracking

Now on to the negatives with mirrorless

  • No mirror = easier to get sensor damaged or dirty
  • Less lens selection unless using adapter ring
  • Small frame for those used to full sized cameras
  • Very expensive
  • New technology, usually has some bugs that need to be worked out
  • Battery life is typically less
  • Not as fast auto focus for sports and nature photography

If you feel I missed a few pros or cons, please email me and I will add to either list

Is it worth the money???

Please remember the opinions expressed here are unbiased and based off my experience  with both mirrored and mirrorless cameras.  I do paid photoshoots on the side but I am not a full time photographer.  In my opinion, going mirrorless for the cost is not worth it.  If I were making videos for clients or making very large prints, I would say the mirrorless route may be the right route for you.  Remember each persons goals with photography are different.

New Mirrorless Camera Specs:

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body w/NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S

Full model name: Nikon Z7
Resolution: 45.70 Megapixels
Sensor size: 35mm
(35.9mm x 23.9mm)
Kit Lens: 2.92x zoom
(24-70mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 64 – 25,600
Extended ISO: 32 – 102,400
Shutter: 1/8000 – 30 sec
Max Aperture: 4.0 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7 in.
(134 x 101 x 68 mm)
Weight: 41.4 oz (1,175 g)
includes batteries, kit lens
Availability: 09/2018
Manufacturer: Nikon

Canon EOS R

Canon EOS 5DS R Digital SLR with Low-Pass Filter Effect Cancellation (Body Only)

Full model name: Canon EOS R
Resolution: 30.30 Megapixels
Sensor size: 35mm
(36.0mm x 24.0mm)
Kit Lens: 4.38x zoom
(24-105mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 – 40,000
Extended ISO: 50 – 102,400
Shutter: 1/8000 – 30 sec
Max Aperture: 4.0 (kit lens)
Dimensions: 5.3 x 3.9 x 3.3 in.
(136 x 98 x 84 mm)
Weight: 23.3 oz (660 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 10/2018
Manufacturer: Canon

Sony A7Riii

Sony a7R III 42.4MP Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Body with Sony 128GB UHS-II SD Memory Card, Sony Soft Carrying Case a7RIII, and Sony Gun Zoom Microphone Bundle

Full model name: Sony Alpha ILCE-A7R III
Resolution: 42.40 Megapixels
Sensor size: 35mm
(35.9mm x 24.0mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 – 32,000
Extended ISO: 50 – 102,400
Shutter: 1/8000 – 30 sec
Dimensions: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in.
(127 x 96 x 74 mm)
Weight: 23.2 oz (657 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 11/2017
Manufacturer: Sony

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