I did a lot of research, thinking and re-thinking when choosing my new camera, and I decided I should lay my thoughts in an article, as it might be useful for some of you as well. I first thought it will be one article, but then I realized I had a lot to say. 🙂 So I will split this in a mini-series of 3 posts about mirrorless cameras, what I needed and what I eventually chose.
Previous article of the mini-series, available here.
What do I choose?
Now that I know what I need, I started to have a look on what I actually want: what kind of technology? How about design? Or brand? I remember I used to think Canon and Nikon are the only options for me, but I realized some other companies have an increased growth on other technologies, while these 2 old boys are a bit behind. So I started looking for other brands too.
Reading about mirrorless cameras, I used to think these are rather inferior quality compared to DSLRs. I have no idea why I thought this, but I was definitely wrong. Mirrorless cameras actually are going back in time, when they were first created by the legendary Leica. Digital mirrorless cameras appeared in 2008 when Olympus and Panasonic created the Micro Four Thirds (m 4/3) sensor that allowed image quality close to DSLRs, but also smaller camera bodies and lenses.
Companies are investing more and more in mirrorless cameras and besides Olympus and Panasonic, Sony, Nikon and Fujifilm are also extending their product range. I read a lot about mirrorless cameras and how they are compared to DSLRs and I will try to summarize my research below. I will also indicate some useful links at the end of my article.
- Mirrorless cameras weigh less and are usually smaller. Due to the fact that they are built without any mirrors, they are smaller and lighter; they don’t have the mirror and optical viewfinder that define a DSLR. In other words, they are built differently; I added a comparison photo below.
- Mirrorless lenses are also lighter and easier to carry around – now, this one comes really close to the previous one, but I had to mention it. What’s important for you to know is that even if they are lighter, they don’t drop the quality test.
- EVF – Electronic viewfinder – Most mirrorless cameras offer this and it translates into you being able to see the exact way your photo is going to look, considering exposure, light, color, white balance in order to see and obtain the perfect image.
- Video & photo quality – There are a lot of factors which determine the quality of a picture, so I will not focus too much on that – but I can certainly say that if you have a good eye, a nice mirrorless camera and lens, you can get some extraordinary photographs. Possibly the same or better than you would with a DSLR.
- Lots of options with lenses – if you already have a camera and a few lenses, this might be a big plus for you, because you may use adapters in order to add your favourite lens to a mirrorless camera.
- Ease of use – companies who are producing mirrorless cameras are aware of the increased options users have, so they try (and usually succeed!) to keep up. For example, most mirrorless cameras offer Wi-Fi function, apps for your phone, which give you the opportunity to control your camera or transfer images to your smartphone. It becomes easier and more enjoyable to take photos.
The list can go on and on, but I will consider these my top 6 reasons to choose a mirrorless camera and move to the next part – my choice. There are 4 major players in the industry, when it comes to mirrorless cameras: Sony, Olympus, Panasonic and Fuji. I analyzed all the cameras that were in my range of budget and also considered my other criteria, indicated in my previous post, and I finally decided to go with Panasonic DMC G7, for a number of reasons, which will be discussed in my next and last post of the mini-series My choice: a mirrorless camera.