Thursday, April 16, 2015

Checking out a mirrorless camera

A few days ago or is it a week - I've been so darned busy of late building my own home - I went with a photography group and took photos. We had a blast!

Now the thing that particularly intrigued me was the new mirrorless cameras. Not only are they physically smaller and lighter than my 10 year old Canon camera but the lenses were smaller and lighter too. In terms of cost there wasn't much to choose between them.

Discussion centered around the future of photography and one fellow had heard one camera retailer saying that camera phones were the future of photography. I must admit that I agree. At the moment it's hard to read that crystal ball but from where I stand, I see the following:
1. Large Format has all but vanished. There are no large format digital cameras.
2. Medium Format has largely been replaced by 35mm format digital cameras.
3. 35mm format digital cameras are being replaced by mirrorless cameras.

The whole trend is toward ever smaller sensors and cameras. Today the image quality of the average cellphone exceeds that of most 35mm print film. We have attained photographic nirvana! Well, as far as image quality goes anyway. There will always be the odd sourpuss and his cronies that hate everything except their own warped vision.

As far as I can see it, we're getting back to the 1990s and the year 2004. Let's say there seems to be a 10 - 15 year cycle developing. In the 1990s, manual focus film cameras were replaced by autofocus cameras. Much to the regret of many photographers, the depth of field scale vanished off autofocus lenses, leaving no accurate method of actually working hyperfocal lengths. In about 2004, digital SLRs came out and replaced film SLRs. Now we have mirrorless compact cameras that do just about the same things a digital SLR did but without the bulk, the weight and the silly mirror.

In 1990 everybody dumped their manual focus film gear and went for autofocus. In 2004 everybody dumped their film cameras and went for digital. Now it's time to dump digital SLRs and go with the lighter, more convenient option. Before I had the opportunity to try the mirrorless camera, my only prior experience of mirrorless had been a Canon S1 IS that had been gifted to me in the dim and distant past. Indeed, I still use that camera albeit solely for making videos. Now I am convinced - the way forward is mirrorless and only an idiot would hang onto a digital SLR and lenses. Their resale value will only plummet further. Already digital SLRs are at a point where an old one isn't worth the cost of the gas to drive to a store to sell it.

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