Can a dedicated mirrorless shooter find true happiness with a DSLR?

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
You can check also:
Crop or Crap: Zack Arias Takes a Real-World Look at the Crop vs Full-Frame Debate at petapixel

I came from FF to mirrorless, so I ended up w RX1/A7R. However for wildlife I prefer apsc, even more m43 for the 1.5/1.6 to 2x multiplier... But still mirrorless is weaker on that side due to limited lenses. If you want the FF dof for portraits, you can also use Metabones adapter... Manual focus is much easier w/ mirrorless esp if you are looking for Zeiss lenses...

I don't really think of it as a debate as much as a preference. If I was a real photographic purist who barely processed my stuff and tried to make them look as realistic as possible, I doubt I'd have gone for full frame. The basic, barely processed, files from the RX1 don't look that much better than comparable APS or m43 sensors, except at extreme pixel peeping levels. Particularly in good enough light where you're shooting at ISO 3200 or lower. But I go by Winogrand's edict (which I heard him say in a video interview) that we're not just trying to record what we see, but we're trying to make what we see more visually dramatic, eye-catching, etc. The biggest part of that process by FAR is by reading the light and making a great composition, but processing is part of it too. Not everyone likes to process very much, but I find it as integral to a good final result as anything else. And, as a darkroom survivor, I just plain ENJOY it! And THAT is where I find a very real and meaningful difference between full frame and everything else I've tried. It took a little while to fully understand what I had in the RX1 because the files were able to take so much more than anything I'd worked with before. I attribute that to the DR the sensor can handle, but I don't KNOW that's what's going on - it just makes sense that it does. The RX1 and D610, which share a sensor, can handle more of that than the Df, but the Df does more than well. And I'm not letting the RX1 go either, so I've still got that sensor in my bag too.

I'm sure Zach Arias is correct that medium format and large format are that much better, but they're beyond the realm of possibility for me. But in comparing full frame to APS, I don't think his example in that article of the details in a clean B&W of a guy's face is all that instructive. I think an RX100 could do about as well at that and maybe an LX7. It's around the boundaries where the difference lies. If you never shoot or process around the boundaries, it probably doesn't matter. I personally really enjoy the additional capabilities that full frame brings to the table. Someday, there may be a mirrorless system complete enough for me to switch back (IF there are significatnt size benefits), but for now the DSLR systems are so fully evolved that they're the best game in town for full frame.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Interesting thread.

I have just taken the first tentative steps into FF with an A7r to accompany my beloved EM1. I agree with Ray that the ability to really push raw files in post is what I really like about FF as well as the extra detail at wider angles.

I didnt even consider a DSLR and I am pretty certain I wouldnt like them. I have never actually owned a DSLR with the EM5 being my first interchangeable lens camera. But when I have used them, I really miss the EVF with all the electronic gizmos that come with it that I rely on pretty heavily. I also find dials and aperture rings pretty useless. The A7r has an EV compensation dial which I find pretty irritating (what is with that anyways?). My feeling is that especially as of today, if your first camera is a mirrorless, it is unlikely you will want to move to a DSLR.

My "first" camera was mirrorless but it was waaaaaaaay before the age of EVFs or LCDs or anything else we attribute to mirrorless today. My first "real" digital camera was mirrorless, though, and that's pretty much all I shot for about four years. I had the same apprehensions that you do about DSLRs and I think some of them are legitimate. But when I actually picked one up and started using it with relatively small prime lenses, I found out I liked it. A lot. I see things like OVF vs EVF to be tradeoffs rather than one being "better" than the other. I can envision a perfect "hybrid" camera but I have no idea when or if one will be possible. I expect mirrorless will continue to evolve and make DSLR's irrelevant at some point. But in the full frame world, we're not close to that point yet (for APS, I don't think we're far from it - if I was going to shoot APS I'd still be shooting mirrorless of some sort).

So, I'm not sure you're right. You weren't in my case. I think it's just a matter of deciding what matters to you and finding the right system for that. I had a strong bias against DSLRs and assumed mirrorless was the only way I'd want to go. Turned out I was wrong but it took trying one out to realize that.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Well I have gone to the dark side and bought a Sony RX1r, for a job I am working on at the moment, very interesting camera

Which part of the dark side is the RX1 from? You mean the Sony Corporate death star? You're clearly good with full frame in your professional life and the RX1 clearly isn't anything like a DSLR. Very good camera (if you don't need DSLR type AF) with a great sensor and a thoroughly amazing lens. Enjoy it Bob. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

I've been shooting more with the Nikon than the RX1 lately, but every time I come back to the RX1, it amazes me again. And it's not the sensor because the one in the D610 is the same sensor and the one in the Df is arguably better in low light if slightly worse in good light. So it must be the lens and the interface between the lens and sensor. I don't have any glass for the Nikon that touches that RX1 Zeiss. And I love the Df but the images from the RX1 pop in a way nothing else I've used do....

-Ray
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Location
SoCal
Real Name
Bob
I think the lens is good but I also think it is the magic of the interface with this chip.
By the dark side you are right it is rejoining the Sony Death Star and buying another camera with a fixed "35" lens. I mainly bought it to shoot high quality back plates that I normally shoot with my Nikon 800, but I wanted something that no one would notice even on a tripod. I must say I was very impressed, it work perfectly for its mission and I also came away with loving the files, and will probably use it more and more as my grab and go camera, sharing duty with the GR. While I am sure it will be fun to make B&W images with this camera, it almost seems like the wrong use since the color is so good.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
I think the lens is good but I also think it is the magic of the interface with this chip.
By the dark side you are right it is rejoining the Sony Death Star and buying another camera with a fixed "35" lens. I mainly bought it to shoot high quality back plates that I normally shoot with my Nikon 800, but I wanted something that no one would notice even on a tripod. I must say I was very impressed, it work perfectly for its mission and I also came away with loving the files, and will probably use it more and more as my grab and go camera, sharing duty with the GR. While I am sure it will be fun to make B&W images with this camera, it almost seems like the wrong use since the color is so good.

I know that you've expressed the same sentiment I have about not really loving 35mm as a focal length and, thus, not really wanting it in a fixed lens. I never really loved the X100 or other 35mm outfits that much, but I absolutely love the RX1. And part of what I figure must be the reason is it's dirty little secret - or maybe it's clean little secret: it's not really a 35mm lens. It's actually somewhere closer to 32mm. I saw someone else who'd written that figure - I don't know the precise focal length, but I absolutely KNOW it's wider than the other 35mm gear I've shot with. Since I've had an RX1 I've shot with the X100s, the GR (with it's 35mm crop), the Fuji 23mm lens on an XT1, the Zeiss 24mm lens on a Nex 6, and a Nikon 35mm full frame lens. And the RX1 is notably and obviously wider than any of them. And I've gotta figure that's one of the reasons I've connected with it in a way I haven't with other 35mm alternatives. It kind of splits the difference between 28, which I love, and 35, which I don't. And it works, at least for me...

And, yeah, the files are really something to work with. So are the D610 files from the same sensor, but I don't have any lenses for Nikon bodies that match the Zeiss on the RX1...

-Ray
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom