The Visitor

IMG_9900Canon EOS 6D (95mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec, ISO100)

There is a lot of “DSLRs will be dead soon” or “full frame is no longer necessary” on the internet at the moment and I have no idea why. Why must something that simply works “die” to give way for something that is still in it’s infancy.

I love my Fuji X’s, my Ricoh GR and my Sony NEX5 ( that I use mostly for biking now ) but I see no reason to sell my Canon 6D. Why should I?

  1. There is no law that forbids to own more than one camera.
  2. Mirrorless cameras are not there yet

They are improving a lot with each generation and some day they might be as good as DSLRs. But today they are not.

IMG_9875Canon EOS 6D (145mm, f/2.8, 1/160 sec, ISO200)
IMG_9881Canon EOS 6D (168mm, f/4, 1/160 sec, ISO200)

There are two things where mirror less cameras need to catch up:

  1. Autofocus especially for moving subjects
  2. Lens choice

Autofocus seems to be the biggest issue at the moment but it really depends on what you do. If your main subject will be sport or wildlife photography you can not consider anything but a DSLR because of 1. and 2. Even if you are a “just” an enthusiast it just makes no sense to use anything else.

But even if you just want to take images of your kids growing up the AF performance of current mirror less cameras is not up to the task. Some say “it depends on your skills” but I think that’s nonsense. Of course good skills can compensate but only to a certain extend. Even the best, most skilled soldier would be lost if he would use a muzzle loading rifle instead of a machine gun.

But I’m sure that the autofocus issue will soon be solved by the camera makers. I still remember my first AF camera – the Nikon F801. It was anything but blazing fast. A skilled photographer would have been able to focus faster manually. Today nobody can focus faster manually than a Canon 1DX or even a Canon 700D.

IMG_9903Canon EOS 6D (95mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO100)
 IMG_9906Canon EOS 6D (120mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO160)

Lens choice is more tricky and I don’t think that there is a solution. If you look at the current lens offerings in all systems you can see rather slow zooms and fast primes. I love the primes in the Fuji line and I don’t use the zooms because of their size. The 55-200 zoom might be very good optically but it is a monster compared to the other lenses in the system and it is still slower ( regarding DOF ) than the cheap 70-300VC from Tamron if used on a full frame camera.

As the sensor gets smaller it gets worse. The new f2.8 zooms for m43 cameras from Olympus and Panasonic act like f5.6 zooms on full frame and even worse than that because of their shorter focal lengths. Not that good if you want to separate the subject from the background.

That brings me to these cat images. It’s our neighbors cat but he visits us on a regular base. Cat’s don’t know any borders. Wonderful animals!

Back to the topic. All these images where taken with a zoom lens. One of the best zooms there is and of course it is much bigger than the mirror less tele zooms but so is the camera. It still feels balanced but most important it allows a subject to background separation that you can’t achieve with any zoom for mirror less cameras at the moment and also not with any prime lens! Even the very fast 1.8/75mm from Olympus is “just” a kind of f4/150mm lens in full frame terms.

I also use mirror less cameras because of their size and weight advantage over my DSLR. I would not consider to bring my DSLR and the big lenses to one of my South East Asia trips or on any vacation where I will be walking around most of the time. I have done that for many years but I’m glad that there are so many excellent alternative solutions available today.

But when I’m at home or when traveling by car I take my DSLR as it gives me better handling, better DOF control and at the end better results. I can’t see them disappear in the near future.

IMG_9912Canon EOS 6D (120mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec, ISO100)