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Is the hype around mirrorless cameras just a load of BS?

Sony A7 vs Nikon D750
 

  There is a lot written about mirrorless cameras today and their purported advantages. Visit any photography website or open any current photographic magazine and you are guaranteed to see a write-up about the latest Fuji, Sony or Olympus mirrorless camera offerings that are increasingly being dubbed "DSLR -killers."
 The author will almost certainly wax lyrical about how dumping his DSLR system and replacing it with a mirrorless equivalent has seen him shed kilograms from his camera bag, saved his back, brought back the joy of photography and maybe even somehow saved his ailing marriage.
 YouTube is awash with similar mirrorless vs DSLR videos.
 "There is a healthy amount of innovation taking place in the mirrorless market. Sony, Fuji, and Olympus would like to “change the game” by introducing disruptive technology and reaping the benefits that follow," writes Bob Vishneski, in an article on Photographylife.com. "They have introduced new camera bodies that pack notable technological improvements in very small packages. Even if we are not mirrorless fans or customers at this point, we should all be thankful for the technological improvements taking place on this front."
 But do mirrorless camera-systems indeed offer real weight advantages?
 Vishneski believes the claims are exaggerated. In his article he compares a Sony A7II Body with a Nikon D750 Body and also puts a variety of lenses, from both systems, on the scale. The difference in weight? About the same as a banana!
 "The total weight difference between the Sony A7II, the Nikon D750, batteries, and 9 equivalent lenses is a whopping (Camera: 112 grams/4 ounces + Lenses: 195 grams/6.9 ounce) 307 grams or 10.8 ounces. That is less than the weight of 2 bananas. Yawn…" writes Vishneski.

DSLR a clear winner

 When it comes to handling, he declares the DSLR a clear winner.
 "I am even less enthusiastic regarding how these smaller cameras feel with larger lenses attached," he writes. "Any camera body can feel tolerable in your hands with a small featherweight prime lens on it. Put a 70-200mm f/2.8 or f/4 on a camera and walk around all day with it, carry it one-handed, and you will quickly realize how balanced and comfortable it is – or not. I regularly hold my D810 with an 80-400mm lens comfortably in one hand. Given the diminutive grip size of the mirrorless entries, I am not sure I would feel as comfortable doing the same," says Vishneski.
 But in the end, some believe, mirrorless cameras may well push DSLRs into extinction but not because of the touted advantages they supposedly possess. It will be based purely on the economic and efficiency considerations of the manufacturers. Getting rid of a mirror reduces moving parts, cuts costs and makes the camera less likely to need repairs.
 The good news is, the emerging technologies found in mirrorless cameras will force DSLR manufacturers, most notably Canon and Nikon, to up their games, resulting in  more features and falling DSLR prices.
 Are we likely to see the disappearance of DSLRs any time soon? I do not believe so. There are simply too many people who have invested in millions of lenses and strobe systems for their Nikons, Canons and Pentaxes.
 But one thing is sure: we live in a golden age of photographic innovation!
 
Read Bob Vishneski's article: "Debunking The Mirrorless Hype". It contains a lot more information and illustrations and is recommended.




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