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DSLR vs Mirrorless

pxbradley1
Enthusiast

As a photography newbie I find it interesting that a lot of the recommendations are to go mirrorless. As an engineer, I question that logic. SLRs and DLSRs have been around a lot longer than mirrorless cameras. I think technology can only improve so I would not be inclined to jump into something that new given the price.

11 REPLIES 11

Greetings,

I'm not ready to trade in my STI for a Tesla yet either....

But I was happy to put my 6D2 into retirement once I saw what mirrorless could do.  No doubt all of my DSLR's have a special place in my heart. 

Here, this might help you decide which is best for you.

DSLR vs mirrorless - Canon Europe (canon-europe.com)  

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


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kvbarkley
VIP

Except DSLR's and SLR's were always a kludgey nightmare to allow you to see through the lens for framing. Mirrorless cuts out the middleman, allowing you to see *exactly* what is going to be shot.

Tronhard
Elite

A lot depends on your own circumstances:

I am an engineer too, but am also a photographer, now retired.  I love the tech in its own right, but I am the first to say that the photographer's skill are still a dominant factor.  Can I suggest you run your eye over This post.

As to mirrorless vs DSLRs.  First mirrorless technology has actually been around for a while.  Canon were the last off the rank with a Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC) with the APS-C crop sensor EOS-M series, now 10 years old,  The EOS R - their first full-frame MILC was released in 2018.

DSLRs are no longer under development, so you will eventually have to move to a MILC or stay frozen in time; but is perhaps what is more significant is that any DSLR lenses you get will not have the features to interface with all the current and future MILC features, such as In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), and eye tracking, and you will need to use them with adapters.

I still shoot with DSLRs on occasion because I have a bunch of them, along with a menagerie of lenses.  However, I have embraced R-series bodies for the features they offer, and the fabulous glass that is coming out for them. If I was starting out, I have no doubt that I would go straight to the R-series bodies and lenses rather than commit an investment in a tech that is waning. One can get caught with the agonizing game of waiting for the next development - but bodies are like computers, they have been, and are replaced frequently, but lenses have a far longer lifespan.  

Like DSLRs, R-bodies have different specs, and that is where how much you want to invest, and what you want to shoot and produce become significant.  Not knowing what those factors are, it is difficult to make a more specific recommendation.

If you want more specific advice, then providing that information would be good, but you should be asking yourself those questions, no matter what.


cheers, TREVOR

Before you ask us, have you looked in the manual or on the Canon Support Site?
"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Lotus7
Rising Star

It's obviously a personal choice, and may depend on your particular circumstances, but:

As someone who started photography capturing landscapes with a Toyo 4X5 view camera,  Canon F-1 & A1 SLRs, and a 7S rangefinder using Panatomic X, then moving on to a long list of high-end Canon DSLRs.  Then trying an early generation Sony NEX -7 to get a feel for mirrorless,  I could never go back.  I've purchased an EOS R, RP and R5 and a few RF lenses and literally haven't touched the Canon DSLRs since.  I've used a few EF  "L" lenses and a Tamron tele on the Canon adapter, but so far have found the image quality, advanced features and connectivity of the RFs to be noticeably superior (except for the 70-200 f/2.8 EF-II L which is still exceptional). 

IMHO, the current mirrorless offerings (From Canon, Sony and Nikon) are better in every way than anything possible with a DSLR, and I never anticipate going back.  I do occasionally drive a manual transmission 1965 vehicle and it's my link to "vintage performance", not my cameras.

IMHO, the DSLR's reign has ended and it now represents an obsolete technology.  I believe (but may be mis-informed) that there was only one new DSLR introduced in 2022.  Of course, there are still people who use a horse and buggy for transportation, so "to each hes/her own"  Cheers!

The one current "advantage" of purchasing a DSLR and matching lenses today is that the used camera market is flooded with them at extremely attractive prices as many serious photographers unload them while they still have some residual value.

wq9nsc
Authority

I will continue with the Canon 1DX series as long as it is viable and then look to whoever has the best mirrorless setup which likely won't be Canon given a lot of recent missteps.  I shoot primarily sports and for that work having a true real time optical viewfinder for perfect timing is critical.  I have a 1DX III and a couple of 1DX II bodies and will soon be picking up a second 1DX III.

Mirrorless has a  huge advantage for a camera aimed at both the video and still markets but for the few times I use video I have a dedicated Canon camcorder.  I prefer that my still camera remained primarily oriented towards that use and the change to a video emphasis moves the user interface away from that bias.

I bought a little Canon M6 Mark II for airline travel for non-critical use and it is great for that application but for sports I am sticking with my well built 1DX series bodies which have the balance to work beautifully with long telephoto lenses and easily do several thousand captures per battery pack even in below freezing weather.

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

ebiggs1
Legend

The only problem and a huge problem it is pxbradley1 is DSLR is at a life's end. There will be no more development in the EF/DSLR line. And, there will be no manufacturing of EF/DSLR either. Soon! What you see is what you have. I am sure Canon will continue to sell what they have for as long as there are buyers of an ever lessing inventory and demand.

I went through the FD to EOS change. The very same things were said then. But we see FD became a nonentity kicking and screaming, too. The technology for mirrorless and shutterless will improve steadily of that there is no doubt. A friend of mine said we will move from a stills camera system that can do video to a video system that can do stills. He just might be right.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Lotus7
Rising Star

EB: "...we will move from a stills camera system that can do video to a video system that can do stills."

This is already happening: The new, just released EOS R6-II has a [essentially video] pre-shot buffer that can be set to start cycling at max frame rate when the shutter button is at half-press.  That hybrid video/still feature provides a half second burst of selectable still frames BEFORE the shutter is fully pressed.  With true, fast electronic "global shutters" the differences between video and still shooting modes will likely soon fade away. This will probably be a highly appreciated feature for sports photographers.

Tintype_18
Whiz

Anything electronic is prone to be obsolete within months. I looked at B&H's website for Canon mirrorless bodies only. EOS R was $1699.00; EOS R5 was $3699.00. Both are waaaay out of my price range. I'm going to get out my T7 and give it a big kiss. OTOH, my grandson borrowed a Lumix camera from his high school. It was a mirrorless he said. B&H had one that was under $500 with a lens.

John

I can relate to this. I'm a musician but I don't collect instruments. I  can't call myself a photographer but i wouldn't be inclined to collect cameras. I also have difficulty justifying buying a camera that costs more than my custom handmade acoustic guitar cost. I don't make a living playing music or taking pictures. I'll keep my T7 and continue to  explore composition, lighting techniques and whatever else I can learn.

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