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switching to mirrorless

VanessaDuBuque
Apprentice

Have any of you made this switch and had a surprise? Some experience or a difference between DSLR and Mirrorless that you weren't aware of that might influence the decision in either direction to switch from DSLR or stay?

6 REPLIES 6

Tronhard
Authority

Hi Vanessa:
This is a good question.  I have been using Canon DSLRs from the beginning, and even some of the EM-series of mirrorless cameras.   I got a couple of R6 and one R5 unit, along with 100-500, 24-105, and 24-240 RF lenses.

I had done a fair bit of research before doing so, and had let the dust settle on the new technology (avoiding the early R and RF models) and I am glad I did. I have also not experienced reported incidents of focus freezing, so perhaps I was lucky. I don't shoot video, so issues reported about heating have not occurred for me, and I have been scrupulous in keeping my cameras' and lens' firmware up to date.   For me, it has been all positive.   I shoot mostly wildlife, so the eye tracking, IBIS and quality of the lenses have all been positive experiences, although it seems from some threads that this is not a universal experience.

One surprise for me was the performance of the RF 24-240 lens.  Normally, a lens with such a wide focal range comes with pretty serious compromises, but I was intrigued by extremely positive reviews and got one.  I have not been disappointed, and within the context of a one-lens solution, it is an extremely good unit.   I am looking forward to the announcement of the R7, as I want the benefits of a high performance APS-C camera to replace my aging 7DII for long telephoto wildlife shooting.

Have any of you made this switch and had a surprise? Some experience or a difference between DSLR and Mirrorless that you weren't aware of that might influence the decision in either direction to switch from DSLR or stay?

cheers Trevor

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri

Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me


@VanessaDuBuque wrote:

Have any of you made this switch and had a surprise? Some experience or a difference between DSLR and Mirrorless that you weren't aware of that might influence the decision in either direction to switch from DSLR or stay?


Hello Vanessa,

My experience is only with the R5 and R6. My wife bought the R6 in February of 2021, at my urging, because she was starting to complain about the Rebel T7i for various reasons, mainly ISO because we shoot quite a bit in low light, like birds in forest canopy and flowers in that same type of habitat. She also needs something light, which is why she had the T7i to begin with. Now, I did have an ulterior motive in steering her there because I wanted to see where the supposed "future" of cameras was heading 🙂 We both loved the R6, so I bought the R5 in September, 2021. The R5 is a bit too heavy for her, so I'm the only one that uses it. We both used our EF lenses with EF-RF adapters for a while, but bought RF glass pretty early on.

As for surprises, well, I was surprised not to have any of the issues that a lot of people complained about with these two cameras. Granted, we don't shoot a lot of video, but we bought them to use as still cameras anyway, however, overheating isn't the only complaint I had read about. Nonetheless, we haven't had any problems with ours, in fact, it's hard to keep my mouth shut when I read "horror stories" from other users. But I understand, things go wrong and users needs are never alike. I was surprised at just how good these cameras are at working with high ISO, and I'm talking 1000 - 10,000. It's just hard to make noise in that range and I seldom have to use NR with ISO's from 5000 - 10,000. Don't get me wrong, there is some noise around 10,000, but it is easier to deal with in post than my DSLR's. I sometimes shoot in moonlight at ISO 10-15,000 using shutter speeds of 1/30th to 1/60th, hand held, which brings me to another thing. In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) in these two cameras, together with in lens stabilization (IS), is amazing IMO. Another thing I like is you get a pretty good peak at exposure when looking through the EVF, especially when your set aperture is close to wide open. As with all DSLR's and MILC's, focus is acquired with aperture wide open, then when you take the shot aperture is changed to what you have set. But, even with that shift, you still get a good idea of what your exposure is going to be, you just have to keep that in mind when looking through the EVF and, IMHO, it's easier than with a DSLR. I was surprised at how light both of these cameras are and the same for the RF glass. We have an RF 100-400mm, RF 100mm L macro, and RF 100-500mm L. All of these lenses cover our needs and are our primary lenses. We also have various EF wide angle lenses, and of course the EF 'Nifty Fifty" STM that we use with adapters.

On a side note: We also use an EOS 5D mark IV, 7D mark II, Rebels: XSi, T4i, and T7i, and a pile of EF lenses, both L and non-L. My wife was a pro photographer in the 70's-90's using 35mm and medium format film cameras. She retired on disability and didn't pick up a camera until she got tired of looking at my work and bought the Rebel T7i, LOL! So it was a big change for her to go from film to digital, almost a 15 year gap. She does love her R6 and RF 100-400mm and RF 100mm L macro lenses, so to me, that speaks a lot for the camera. She is an excellent photographer.

Newton

ebiggs1
Legend

I would not call it switching as I see it as more of a need. For me there is no need to switch so I am not going to. My 1DX/1D Mk IV and lens inventory is doing everything I need. Are you switching just because there is a new toy on the market? If that is the case you will be happy and it is the future in photography.

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

Personally, I think the question is an excellent and wise one for anyone considering a new purchase - either with or without legacy equipment.

Ernie is correct in that mirrorless is the future of the market.  It is a progression of technology, something that is not new and has been an inevitable hallmark of the photographic industry since its inception.   For me, the R-series of bodies and RF lenses offer some serious benefits in terms of the kind of photography that I do, and while I still retain my menagerie of DSLRs, and still use them where I deem appropriate, I have not regretted investing in the new technology. 

Much depends upon the context within which one considers the issue.  If one is seeing their purchase as an investment in a system, as opposed to a one-time purchase, then mirrorless is, to me, the way to go.  If I was just looking to do a one-off purchase of a camera for a limited use or was not overly serious about photography as an activity or business, then I might take advantage of the bargains to be had as others divest themselves of their DSLRs and re-invest in Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (MILCs).   Certainly, I agree with Ernie that a good DSLR will still take the quality of images that it always took and if that fulfils one's needs, then there is no need to change.

However, if one is engaging in a long-term relationship with photography that will involve on-going purchases, then it must be recognized that the market for new legacy equipment is drying up and the landscape now, and in the foreseeable future, is going to be dominated my mirrorless gear.

When I looked at the early releases of Canon's MILCs (R and RP), I saw them as 'dipping their toes' in the pool of MILC design - their cameras were, to me, a platform to get their new RF lenses on the market and certainly rather tame compared to long-term MILC brands, such as Sony.  With the release of the R5 and R6 I see a much greater commitment to, and use of the new technologies that are bundled with mirrorless - In-Body Image Stabilization for example.  Their bodies have made huge strides in the quality of their sensors, focus, and tracking.  Their RF lenses are extremely impressive, albeit generally expensive, although there are some cheaper, and still impressive units out there. 

Canon's announcement of the release of a further 32 RF lenses over the next four years offers the prospect of a much wider range of glass and likely at different price points, as they seek to woo the lower end of the market to their R-series.   The increasingly likely prospect of an R7: a high-end APS-C camera for wildlife shooters to replace the excellent, but ageing 7DII is encouraging.   I am hoping for a replacement for the 5DsR high MP sensor without a low-pass filter.  Still, I think we can expect some announcements for lower end units to replace the RP in particular.   I would not be surprised if we see the demise of the mechanical shutter at some stage in the next year or so - Nikon has done that to great effect with their flagship Z9, which is an excellent camera.  Canon have not shown their hand in terms of their flagship camera: what should be a R1, I guess.

A significant issue is getting the new models of lenses and bodies to market right now.  Apart from the complications of newer, more sophisticated technology, like most industries around the globe, Canon have been beset with supply and logistics challenges that can hold up production with something as simple as a Chinese factory not producing screws.  On the logistics front, the world is still recovering from the impacts of restrictions from the pandemic and that will likely continue for a while.

So, in summary, to me the future is definitely MILC, but it is early days yet and many significant strides are being made in developing new features and models, but things are held back by supply and delivery issues.  Much depends on what one needs from a camera system, but the idea of waiting for the next better model is one that has plagued photographers for decades now...

cheers Trevor

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri

Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

JulCus
Apprentice

Hello Vanessa,  

I have loved my 5DMkIII, 5DMkIV, and the 7DMkII;  they have been great cameras, and I have never had a single problem with them.  I purchased the R5 a couple of months ago after researching this camera.  I didn't read any reviews about all of the issues the camera was having--only about its specifications/capabilities, etc. which were all positive.  It was only after I purchased the R5 and started using it that I discovered that it has focusing issues and freezes up.  Because I'd had such success with the DSLRs I've had, I assumed that would be the case with the mirrorless, but it's not.  I know there are photographers that are having great results from the R5--I've seen their photos, but there are also quite a few people like me who are having problems.  I purchased the warranty for the camera, so I am hoping this will be resolved.  I love the way the R5 feels--it's lighter for sure, but my photos are soft/blurry.  Make sure you purchase the warranty for the camera if you choose to go with one of Canon's mirrorless cameras and return it within the 30 days after purchase if you have problems with it.  

Sorry to learn you are having issues. There have been several critical firmware updates for the R5, the last being 1.5.2. Have you upgraded to the latest version?

What lenses are you using when you are having sharpness issues?

Excuse my ignorance, as I don't live in the USA, but what is the Canon warranty period over there for the R5?   In NZ, where I live, the standard warranty period is five years.

cheers Trevor

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri

Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me
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