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PART 1: Go Mirrorless. The future of the SLR is here.

PART 1: Go Mirrorless. The future of the SLR is here.

The future of the SLRs is here and the photographer wins. 

It may seem at first glance that the world of SLRs doesn’t depend on much development and growth — after all, the science behind photography itself is unchanged.  In reality, the hardware and software being developed by top photography companies is growing at an incredible rate, and we’re seeing some truly remarkable forms of technology being developed.  We’re still marketed to consume by Nikon and Canon convincing us that every generation of DSLR body will make us better photographers. But now emerging mirrorless SLR manufactures such as Fuji, Sony and Samsung are bringing advancements through software allowing pros to compete with the latest tech, spend less and visually succeed.

Mirrorless SLRs are one such technology. But which SLRs will provide the best action for independent property photographers? And what is it about mirrorless SLRs that makes them so impressive in the photography world?

Starting my professional career with FM2’s loaded with TRI-X and Velvia the advancements in mirrorless SLRs is the disruption professionals have been waiting for since the birth of digital photography.

Here’s why mirrorless SLRs and reviews for them are at the focus of my latest blog post.

Shooting Speed

The best DSLRs can no longer hold bragging rights to their superior shooting speed. Between advances in autofocus technology and continuous shooting, the mirrorless camera systems are the absolute best option for photographers looking to get the quickest shots possible.

Mirrorless hardware means less moving parts — the lack of prism and mirror gives these newer camera speed that DSLRs simply cannot physically compare with because they still rely on these hardware components. With less moving parts software updates become more meaningful, which means less body updates and more future income in your pockets.

Body Size

While the lenses of a DSLR or mirrorless system are also very important to take into account, it’s the actual bodies we’re going to look at here. Because the technology that distinguishes the two is so different, it’s ultimately the lack of a mirror and prism mechanism that allow a mirrorless SLR to be as lightweight and small as it is.

The market for mirrorless SLRs is finally growing — because DSLRs reigned as long as they did, the number of available lenses is obviously greater. However, many of the lenses that have come out for mirrorless systems are smaller, lighter and sharper then traditional DSLRs. This certainly applies to Advanced Photo System type-C (APS-C) cameras, because they have excelled in producing such slim cameras, with lenses ranging from ultra wide primes to longer fast prime lenses.

This article review from TechRadar discusses the lens issue:

…mirrorless cameras are gaining ground. Sony mirrorless cameras are well supported now – though more fast prime lenses and constant aperture zooms would help – and Panasonic and Olympus use the Micro Four Thirds format, which now has a large and established lens range behind it.

Viewfinder Upgrade  – live view at eye level 

Many experienced property photographers shoot all their work with live view on the rear monitors of the DSLR. With a mirrorless SLR, your viewfinder is a completely different animal than that of your DSLR. It’s an actual optical viewfinder as opposed to a through-the-lens (TTL) viewfinder. While this can take some getting used to, you quickly realize what a huge heads up it gives you when you’re in the field shooting. Having an optical viewfinder gives you the advantage of seeing exactly what you’ve just taken a photo of — the image in your viewfinder is exactly what you’ll see when you upload your images to your computer for post processing.

Some photographers prefer a more traditional TTL viewfinder that comes with a DSLR because it can be more reliable in low-light situations. Ultimately, the switch to a mirrorless camera will depend entirely on what kinds of photography you’ll be committing to the most, and your education behind the camera.

Autofocus Changes

This is one of the biggest differences between a mirrorless SLR and a DSLR. A traditional DSLR is going to use what’s called phase detection in the job of autofocus. This uses the mirror to divide the incoming light into two pairs of images, compare them, and focus the lens on your subject.

A mirrorless SLR uses contrast detection when employing autofocus. The actual contrast in pixels is measured on the camera’s sensor until the camera finds enough contrast to detect your subject.

This review from B&H Photo and Video gives a great explanation of this technology:

What mirrorless cameras improve upon, compared to many DSLRs, is the way they shoot, not necessarily what they can shoot. Because mirrorless cameras focus with continuous contrast-detection, you can more easily focus, and maintain focus, on moving subjects in your frame. DSLRs also utilize contrast-detection focusing when recording movies, or when working in live view, but since it is the inherent technology within a mirrorless camera, it is often more refined and responsive.

In part two I’ll be reviewing the Fuji XT-1 system and discussing why I’ve ripped up my NPS card and you should do the same.

Author: Josef Nalevansky / CEO and Founder of iMAGECLOUD

Contact us if you want to keep ahead of the photography curve and learn more about how to improve your own property photography business, one silent shutterless click at a time.



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