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Chuckanut 11-20-2013 10:57 AM

Photographer's Corner - equipment
 
I thought I would start a new topic for photographic equipment. The current photographer's corner is about photos, the most important part of photography. But, equipment discussions are easy to get into and can take over like Kudzu in the Southern states. If you all go along great. If not, the moderators can kill this thread.

Thom Hogan has written his overall recommendations for mirrorless camera systems. Thom is a fellow who has probably forgotten more about photography than most of us will ever know. And he seems to have his finger on the pulse of the industry. Here are his thoughts:

Mirrorless for the Holidays | Sans Mirror ? mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan

M Paquette 11-20-2013 04:41 PM

Mirrorless? Like my Calumet?

Attachment 17522

(Yup. Red bellows and all. It's a hoot that I can still get parts, should anything in the old tank break...)

donheff 11-20-2013 05:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I spent my summers in 1966/1967 taking school photos with one of these and developing the 4x5 negatives in the darkroom. I still have a couple of prints somewhere:

seraphim 11-20-2013 05:28 PM

Brings back memories. I still have a Speed Graphic with flash attachment, and a Calumet Orbit downstairs. Can't remember what's it called, but also have a 4x5 film magazine that holds 6 negatives. And a Polaroid back. Used to have a Kodak 8x10 field camera - but swapped it for something or other. Love my Yashica TLR as we'll lol.

As for the article, what's the need for a mirrorless system? I'm not really up to speed on current cameras and technology.

My current favorite mirrorless is my iPhone. Most of the photos I posted on the photographers corner were taken with it, and 'shopped on my iPad. Just got a new iPad with a camera, but haven't tried it yet.

Walt34 11-20-2013 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seraphim (Post 1382386)
As for the article, what's the need for a mirrorless system? I'm not really up to speed on current cameras and technology

The advantage is lighter weight, smaller size, and somewhat lower price. Disadvantage is smaller sensor which limits the amount of cropping and maximum print size.

seraphim 11-20-2013 10:32 PM

So I guess by mirrorless, we're basically talking about compact point-and-shooters as opposed to DSLRs? I thought maybe there was something new out I hadn't heard of.

Peter 11-20-2013 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seraphim (Post 1382473)
So I guess by mirrorless, we're basically talking about compact point-and-shooters as opposed to DSLRs? I thought maybe there was something new out I hadn't heard of.

The Mirrorless cameras we're talking about have interchangeable lenses. So not point and shoot in the usual sense. They do not use the DSLRs system of a flipping mirror to work the viewfinder, hence the name.

Chuckanut 11-21-2013 08:32 AM

Mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder not a mirror box. This makes the camera much smaller. And since the sensor is closer to the lens, the lenses can also be much smaller. The entire system is much lighter and easier to carry.

I have a micro 4/3 system. I can carry a zoom lens, body, wide angle lens, telephoto lens, and accessory flash in an old fashioned kid's lunchbox. Image quality? I routinely make great 16x20 enlargements!

seraphim 11-21-2013 08:47 AM

OK I'm on track now. I checked Leica to see if they're making digital models of their rangefinder cameras, which were always superb cameras. Their web page shows several models, and they're probably the first I would look at if, if I were in the market for a quality mirrorless system. They have optional electronic viewfinders.

http://us.leica-camera.com/photography/m_system/m_new/

When I changed over to digital I stayed with Nikon so I could continue to use my lens collection. Size has never been an issue, and the only other cameras I've bought since have been the point-and-shooters for DW. I understand the SLR systems, but thought there was some new tech being discussed.

Addendum - just looked at the price lol. Ouch! I'm definitely out of date...

ERD50 11-21-2013 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walt34 (Post 1382389)
The advantage is lighter weight, smaller size, and somewhat lower price. Disadvantage is smaller sensor which limits the amount of cropping and maximum print size.

Why would replacing the mirror with an LCD result in a smaller sensor?

Perhaps the cameras offered have smaller sensors than full DSLRs, but that must be a marketing thing, not a design limitation?

-ERD50

seraphim 11-21-2013 09:28 AM

ERD I'm guessing, but (all other factors equal) having the sensor closer to the lens affects the size of the image cast on the sensor. A larger CMOS would probably be wasted.

But looking at the Leica system, they're boasting a full frame CMOS...

Peter 11-21-2013 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 1382549)
Why would replacing the mirror with an LCD result in a smaller sensor?

Perhaps the cameras offered have smaller sensors than full DSLRs, but that must be a marketing thing, not a design limitation?

-ERD50

Elimination of the mirror does not, in itself, lead to smaller sensor size. However, smaller sensors do result in smaller cameras, and that is why most (not all) mirrorless cameras have less than "full frame" sensors. Also, for a given sensor size, eliminating the mirror allows you to put the lens closer to the sensor, for a further size reduction.

Typically, a mirrorless camera will have a sensor that is much larger than a point and shoot, but still smaller than full frame. The idea is to get better picture quality than a point and shoot, but to keep size and weight down as much as possible.

Incidentally, all lower cost DSLRs also use a less-than-full-frame sensor; it's only the top level semi-professional DSLRs that are full frame.

donheff 11-21-2013 11:19 AM

Maybe not targeted at this frugal crowd but Wirecutter recommends the Olympus OM-D EM-1 at the best mirrorless camera over $1000.

Chuckanut 11-21-2013 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 1382549)
Why would replacing the mirror with an LCD result in a smaller sensor?

Perhaps the cameras offered have smaller sensors than full DSLRs, but that must be a marketing thing, not a design limitation?

-ERD50

The idea is that by eliminating the mirror box, once can make a smaller camera body that requires smaller lenses. It's a size and convenience thing. As I mentioned above, I can carry a rather complete 'system' in a package the size of a school kid's lunch box. Even with my old Nikon DX system I could never have such a small and lightweight collection of gear.

cranberryjoe 11-21-2013 12:56 PM

Most mirrorless cameras use a smaller sensor to keep the overall size and weight of the cameras and lenses smaller. But there are indeed mirrorless cameras with larger sensors. Since I have a large collection of Pentax K-mount lenses, I bought a Pentax K-01. It uses the K-mount lenses and has an APS-C sized sensor (the size used in most low to mid cost DSLRs). The K-01 is larger than most mirrorless cameras but still smaller than a DSLR. And it has the full image quality of an APC-C DSLR.

Sony just announced the A7 and A7R full frame mirrorless camera. It's a lot smaller than most full frame DSLRs and from pre-reviews it appears to have outstanding image quality. Not sure what the lens selection will be. You do get some benefit from the smaller body, but full frame lenses are still fairly large. If you're looking for a smaller overall package you would want to go with a smaller mirrorless camera system if you're ok with the image quality.

Chuckanut 11-21-2013 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cranberryjoe (Post 1382635)
You do get some benefit from the smaller body, but full frame lenses are still fairly large. If you're looking for a smaller overall package you would want to go with a smaller mirrorless camera system if you're ok with the image quality.

There is the rub with the small full frame and APS sized camera systems. The lenses are still bulky, especially telephoto. Image quality with my 16 megapixel Olympus is certainly good enough for a 16x20 inch enlargement. I even did a 18x33 inch panoramic that looks great. The secret is not sensor size. It's using a good mini tripod. :-)

seraphim 11-21-2013 04:23 PM

I've always considered lens quality to be the primary concern; the body is just the body - though with digital the different CMOSs do make a difference. I've been carrying SLRs around since 1974 lol. Guess I'm just used to the size. A good camera vest works for me, but I can carry everything I need in an old leather Super8 bag. If I want the whole kit and caboodle two hard cases in the truck handle everything. Just have to be selective when hiking. 95% of the time I just have the 10-24 lens on the camera.

In the bottom line, it's not the camera, but the photographer.

cranberryjoe 11-21-2013 04:37 PM

Yep, a good lens can last you 40 years or more. I have a Takumar 50mm f/1.4 that was built in the 60's or 70's - very sharp with excellent bokeh and it works great on my modern Pentax DSLR and mirrorless bodies.

Most of the time I use small prime lenses rather than bulky zooms. With cargo pants I can pocket the lenses. Or I just choose one lens and shoot with it, so I just carry the body and lens, and perhaps a spare battery. For more specialized outings I bring the tripod and other lenses, which may include a telephoto for birding. Can't really fit those in a pocket.

The advantage of a smaller sensor for telephoto is that it extends the reach of the lens. A 300mm lens on full frame acts like 450mm on APS-C, and even longer if you can get an adapter to fit it on a smaller-sensor mirrorless body.

seraphim 11-21-2013 04:42 PM

Never been a fan of Sony lenses, but maybe they've improved over the past 10 years.

Here's there newest offering, billed as the smallest full frame, mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/10...xt&ref=title_6

seraphim 11-21-2013 04:45 PM

Joe. A camera vest has a back pocket for lightweight tripods. Just mentioning... At least we don't have to lug around light meters any more lol. We can check the exposure visually, .

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5482/1...d47056d065.jpg
Untitled by jglennhart, on Flickr


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