3 Reasons Why Mirrorless Cameras are Better than Digital SLRs for Focusing

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Mirrorless cameras and focusing

A lot has been written about the drawbacks of autofocus performance from mirrorless cameras. Most of this focuses on the tracking of moving subjects – an area where the phase detection autofocus found in digital SLRs is still superior (although the gap is closing).

But when it comes to focusing on still subjects, the mirrorless camera is a better tool. Surprised? If you’ve never used a mirrorless camera, you may be. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.

1. Phase detection versus contrast detect autofocus

Mirrorless cameras have a different autofocus system than digital SLRs.

In a digital SLR most of the light coming through the lens is reflected up by the mirror, into the pentaprism and through the viewfinder. A small part is deflected downwards to a dedicated autofocus sensor. It uses a system called phase detection autofocus to calculate the camera to subject distance, and tell the lens where to focus.

Mirrorless cameras and focusing

The red lines in this diagram show the path that light takes through an SLR camera with the mirror in the down position. Most of the light is reflected into the pentaprism and the viewfinder. Part of it is reflected downwards towards the autofocus sensor.

The advantage of phase detection autofocus is that it’s fast (generally speaking – but it also depends on which camera you have) and very good at tracking moving subjects. It’s the best system anyone has managed to come up with for an SLR camera.

However, phase detection autofocus has a significant weakness – lack of accuracy.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is that most digital SLRs have a combination of cross-type and single line autofocus points. Cross-type autofocus points are the most accurate, and should always be used when focus is critical (for example, when using a prime lens at its widest aperture), otherwise the camera may not focus where it is supposed to. Your camera’s manual will tell you which of its AF points are cross-type.

Whenever you use a non cross-type autofocus point, you cannot rely on the camera to focus accurately. This is fine when using small apertures, which give you plenty of margin for error, but not when focus and accuracy is critical.

The second reason is to do with camera and lens calibration. Even when you use a cross-type autofocus point your camera may not focus exactly where it is supposed to. For accurate focus, every part of your camera setup – from the autofocus sensor, to lens and autofocus motors that tell the lens where to focus – must be working in perfect harmony. It only takes a small degree of misalignment to throw the accuracy of the system out.

Most of the time you won’t notice, because there is sufficient depth-of-field to make the focusing inaccuracies irrelevant. But if you use a wide aperture, especially with a telephoto lens, then depth-of-field is measured in millimetres, and accurate focus is essential.

For example, if you are taking a portrait then it is conventional to focus on the model’s eyes. If you miss focus, and her eyes are soft, then people will notice and the portrait will lose its impact.

Mirrorless cameras and focusing

I made this portrait with an EOS 5D Mark II and 85mm lens set to f1.8. With this camera it is necessary to measure and calibrate the autofocus system to ensure accurate focus at wide apertures.

Most mid-range and high-end digital SLRs have a feature that allows you to measure and compensate for inaccurate focusing. Manufacturers have different names for this – Canon and Sony use the term Autofocus micro-adjustment, Nikon calls it Autofocus fine tune, Pentax uses the term Autofocus adjustment and Olympus Autofocus focus adjust. It’s bit of a long winded process – you have to test your lenses by focusing on a ruler, or a purpose made scale, to see if the focus is accurate, and make adjustments if it isn’t.

You can also get your camera and lenses calibrated at a service centre. This is the only way to calibrate an SLR camera that doesn’t have the above feature built-in.

That was bit of a long explanation, but crucial if you are to understand why phase detection autofocus is not as accurate as it should be.

How are mirrorless cameras different?

So, how do mirrorless cameras differ? As they don’t have a mirror, there is no way of deflecting light to a dedicated autofocus sensor. The solution is to take a reading from the sensor. The camera looks at the point on the sensor which is meant to be in focus, and adjusts the lens until maximum contrast is achieved. This is called contrast detect autofocus.

This system is slower, because the camera has to move the lens first one way, then the other, to find the sharpest point. But, it is much more accurate (for still subjects).

With a mirrorless camera autofocus micro-adjustment is redundant. You don’t need it, and you will never have to measure or calibrate the camera’s autofocus system. It also doesn’t matter which autofocus point you use, as they all work equally well. That is why, for still subjects, autofocus in mirrorless cameras is superior to that of digital SLRs.

Mirrorless cameras and focusing

I made this portrait with a 56mm lens at f/1.2 with my Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera. With this camera it is easy to focus on the model’s eye. There is no need to calibrate the camera’s autofocus system.

2. Manual focusing

Mirrorless cameras are also a better tool for utilizing manual focus lenses.

Modern digital SLRs are not designed to be helpful with manual focus lenses. The split prism focusing screens of the past are gone, and assistance is limited to a light that comes in the viewfinder when the subject underneath the selected AF point comes into focus.

Mirrorless cameras are different. They have a tool called focus peaking, which is specifically designed to help you manually focus a lens. The camera highlights the parts of the scene that are in focus, so that you can see which areas are sharp. You can also magnify the image at the touch of the button, making it even easier to see whether the subject is sharply focused.

This feature works best when using lenses at wide apertures. Both tools take advantage of the camera’s electronic viewfinder, a feature that most digital SLRs don’t have.

Mirrorless cameras and focusing

This mock up shows how focus peaking works. I made the portrait with a Helios 58mm manual focus lens at its widest aperture setting of f/2. The red lines indicate how focus peaking shows you what is in focus.

3. Hyperfocal distance

Fujifilm cameras have another tool that will be of interest to landscape photographers as it helps you instantly find the hyperfocal distance without referring to tables or smartphone apps.

The viewfinder has a depth-of-field scale that shows you the point you are focused on and the area in focus on either side, according to the selected aperture. If you move the focusing ring until the depth-of-field scale touches the infinity mark at one end, you have found the hyperfocal distance point. It’s quick and easy.

To be honest, I don’t know if this feature is available in any brand of mirrorless camera other than Fujifilm. I’d be grateful if Sony/Olympus/Panasonic, etc., owners would let us know.

Mirrorless cameras and focusing

This diagram shows how the depth-of-field scale works. The bar shows the point the lens is focused on (white), and how much of the scene is in focus (blue). The lens is focused on the hyperfocal point in this made-up example.

Since buying my first Fujifilm camera a little over 18 months ago, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what a great tool mirrorless cameras are for photography. They are much better than my old digital SLR for focusing on still subjects, or for using manual focus lenses.

The difference is so great that I predict that one day most photographers will use mirrorless cameras, and digital SLRs will be a niche item built for photographing sports and wildlife.

But what do you think? Please share your thoughts, or ask any questions about focusing, in the comments below.


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Andrew S. Gibson is a writer and photographer living in New Zealand. He is the author of over twenty photography ebooks – please join his monthly newsletter to receive complimentary copies of The Creative Image and Use Lightroom Better.

  • Neil Lynchehaun

    Andrew,

    Nice article. I like the hyper focal point functionality. Should be basic across all platforms.
    I have two related questions:-
    1. Do you have any data on how well mirrorless system users perform with camera shake versus DSLR users?
    2. Is there any data on how well a human checks all of the frame when using a screen versus a view finder?

    I use DSLRs and mirrorless compacts. I think I get sharper images (off tripod) holding my camera against my face rather than just in my hands. I also think I am naturally more attentive to the whole scene through a viewfinder than on a screen.

    Cheers,

    Neil

  • mikespivey

    All true in theory. But Mirrorless is still in adolescence while DSLRs are mature. For all out focusing power, a top DSLR is still hugely superior. But the gap is less every generation.

  • Peter Tellone

    Sooo.. you do know that (most) DSLRs have Contrast Detection also (Live View) so they have whatever you want or need

  • Guilherme Palazzo

    Hi, Andrew. I would like you to elaborate about the live view function, nowadays commonplace among every DSLR. In live view you can have focus peak and contrast detection, so the only point in your article really exclusive to mirrorless is the hyperfocal aid, and even this one is only present in Fuji mirrorless.
    Are you in any way endorsed by Fuji?

  • Guilherme Palazzo

    Hi, Andrew. I would like you to elaborate about the live view function, nowadays commonplace among every DSLR. In live view you can have focus peak and contrast detection, so the only point in your article really exclusive to mirrorless is the hyperfocal aid, and even this one is only present in Fuji mirrorless.
    Are you in any way endorsed by Fuji?

  • Warren Neagus

    +1. No experience of other brands but Pentax DSLRs certainly include focus peaking.

  • Spoonie

    The Fuji hyperfocal scale is notoriously incorrect, so I wouldn’t get too excited about it anyway.

  • Archie Macintosh

    I fear the information you give about Fuji’s hyperfocal distance display is simply wrong. I shoot 23mm (on X100s) and 18mm or 27mm on XE-2 or XPro-1 every day, set at the correct hyperfocal distances for these lenses at f/8 (approx 11ft, 7ft and 15ft respectively). The blue area Fuji estimates for focus range does not reach the infinity mark in any of these cases.
    For correct hyperfocal distances for a lens of given focal length at chosen aperture see
    http://www.dofmaster.com/iphone_simulator.html

  • Heru Handika

    Hi Archie, I don’t think it is wrong. You should understand that fuji calculate DOF differently. They may have more conservative view on the circle of confusion..

  • Heru Handika

    I found DSLR is very slow in live view. Current mirrorless cameras are also have phase detection. So, you got both PDAF and CDAF in live view.

  • Archie Macintosh

    Yes, Fuji view-finder displays certainly show a much narrower DoF at any given aperture than the normal mathematical calculations give. (It’s these equations that Leica and others use to mark the DoF ranges on their manual lenses. Don Fleming, at DoFmaster, uses the same standard optical equations to calculate DoF.)

    But because Fuji is more conservative than the standard calculations, Andrew’s advice to use a technique equivalent to the one we all used with manual lenses will have the effect of pushing the near point way too far from the camera. Or, if you focus at the correct hyperfocal distance, Fuji displays will show a severely narrower DoF than your photographs will actually have.

  • Guilherme Palazzo

    “Normal” DSLR lenses are really not suited for contrast detection autofocus, but this is not true for STM lenses. That is why you may find DSLR slow in live view. In modern DSLR you can have onchip phase detection autofocus, and if you couple with a STM lens, I’m pretty sure it can be compared to mirrorless autofocus speed.
    I agree that mirrorless are the future and I’m saving to make the jump, but I don’t think this article helps in any way by misleading about focus speed.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Maybe he is talking about having Live View while looking through the viewfinder.

  • Russell Bowen

    Each to their own … Nowadays that I’ve past the gear accumulation stage. I’ve come to realise that Ansel Adams knew what he was talking about, “the most important component of a camera is the 12 inches behind it!”

    Gear has become a pointless subject for me, but I’m pleased you’ve found your mirrorless camera is capable of making some useful images.

  • Hi Guilherme, Live View isn’t the point of the article. I understand that some digital SLRs have focus peaking and contrast detection in Live View. Live View is useful when the camera is tripod mounted, but it is not a very effective way of taking photos with a hand-held camera. It’s harder to hold the camera steady when it’s away from your face, harder to place an AF point on the subject and nearly impossible to see the screen in bright light. Mirrorless cameras put Live View where it is most useful – in the viewfinder.

    And no, I am not endorsed by Fujifilm.

  • Hi Neil, camera shake is mainly caused by poor technique, although cameras with sensors with smaller photosites may be more prone to camera shake. Personally I find my mirrorless camera easier to hold steady than a digital SLR because the lenses are smaller and lighter.

    I also find it much easier to view the scene through a viewfinder than on an LCD screen, but you won’t find any data on this.

  • Hi Archie, the issue here is that sharpness and depth-of-field are subjective rather than absolute. Websites like depth of field master use the figures that were given to calculate hyperfocal distance tables for 35mm film cameras. Some photographers don’t like using those tables because they find that the higher resolution of digital cameras means they need smaller apertures to render the entire scene sharp.

    Fujifilm have chosen to use tighter criteria, and there is approximately two stops difference between Fujifilm’s calculations and your own. Even if you don’t agree with this it’s still a useful tool.

    This article by Ian Plant discusses the hyperfocal distance in more detail.

    http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/blog/ian-plant/2011/07/hyperfocal-distance.html

  • Yes, I’m aware of that, the point is you don’t have these tools when you look through the viewfinder. If you were taking a portrait of somebody with a manual prime lens at a wide aperture with a hand-held camera it would be nearly impossible to focus accurately on the model’s eyes with Live View, and very awkward to compose the photo with the camera held away from your face. It’s much easier when you can do it all through the viewfinder.

  • Archie Macintosh

    Hi Andrew
    Yes, sharpness and DoF are subjective; but they aren’t arbitrary; and as they are perceptual effects of human vision, they can be pretty accurately estimated.

    Just to clarify, DoFmaster and similar calculators are not using calculations for 35mm cameras: they use the standard equations that take into account the ‘circle of confusion’ values for receptors – sensors or film – of various sizes.

    The discussion in Plant’s article is a bit cavalier and tendentious. Anyone really interested in a readable but precise scientific explanation of the concepts and math involved may find Sean McHugh’s tutorials, such as this one on Depth of Field useful.

    It is certainly true that for landscape photographers who are using conventional estimates for the hyperfocal distance, those parts of the scene at or near infinity will be right at the upper limit of what is acceptably in focus. For such photographers, Fuji’s very conservative calculations, which underestimate the upper limit of DoF at the hyperfocal distance, will ensure that that region of the picture will be perceptually sharp.

    But for a street photographer wishing to use the hyperfocal distance for ‘zone focusing’, your way of applying Fuji’s conservative estimate to set the focus at the hyperfocal distance will place the plane of focus too far away from the camera (especially for 18mm or 23mm lenses), and cause pictures of subjects at close distances to be out of focus. Such photographers will need to use the standard calculators of the sort offered by DoFmaster.com or CambridgeInColour.com

    Horses for courses again!

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  • pete guaron

    Andrew, you must lust after controversy to open this discussion !!

    I wasn’t aware of the Fuji depth-of-field scale till I read your article – I think that’s a very useful addition, and I am equally unaware whether it exists in other makers of camera.

    I am seeing an increasing number of people I consider to be excellent photographers, all sending out the same message. Which – roughly translated – seems to be this. The camera manufacturing industry is not hitting the target. There are criticisms of DSLRs, full frame, half frame and mirrorless cams. Then there’s a flood of comment, flying in all directions.

    For most of my life I’ve been shooting with a Zeiss Contarex 35mm film camera, which is an SLR with a very fine built-in ranger finder, using both split image and a ring of “blur” which only becomes sharp when the image is in focus. While there are faults with those systems, they were fine for manual focus lenses – and that’s NOT something I can say for the focus systems of DSLRs. The focus systems of DSLRs all seem to be targeted at the camera manufacturer’s own lenses, and you’re largely on your own, if you choose some other make of lens.

    Except of course in live view – which would be as useful at the race track as a bath chair with an outboard motor. Fine for stationery objects but irrelevant for moving ones. Even if the movement is relatively slight.

    For me, this is a minor problem – most of my photography is of static objects. Not all of it, I admit – but I can take to the side streets if I want to capture moving objects, and pull out the half frame with its matching kit zoom (which takes astonishing good photos – seriously! – I MEAN it!) or if I want to be completely crass, my small pocket size compact cam. It may compromise one or two photos – however, the overwhelming majority of my photos will still be on the full frame DSLR, for which I have 4 outstanding prime lenses.

    I could be persuaded to give mirrorless a try. Lots of aspects do appeal, like the ELV and Fuji’s depth-of-field scale.

    Under no circumstances would I do it, if it means swapping my prime lenses for lesser ones. Each to their own – however, that’s where I personally have drawn the line.

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  • theglockguy007

    Great article (as always) Andrew! I love your ebooks, especially mastering composition and mastering lenses. Have you ever thought about writting an ebook on mastering autofocus? I know it would be a tough subject to tackle because AF is so manufacturer specific, and there are so many variations on capability with a line up… but I think it is sorely needed.

  • Thank you for your kind words. You’re right, there’s not much information about autofocus out there, but I think it’s best discussed in books written for specific cameras as there’s so much variation between models. I have written some articles about Canon EOS autofocus on my website if that’s of interest, but nothing for Fujifilm yet.

    http://www.andrewsgibson.com/blog/category/eos-autofocus/

  • Hi Pete, I think maybe there are a couple of things happening here. One is that some photographers love to talk about gear, and there will always be people who fixate on cameras rather the creative and technical aspects of photography which can be harder to get to grips with but are what ultimately lead to the creation of good photos.

    The other is that digital cameras are evolving at a rapid rate and the rise of mirrorless is the latest phase of that development. Personally I think most modern cameras are superb photo taking machines, but there will always be physical limitations that are difficult or expensive to overcome. The phase detection AF in SLRs is one of those – when I worked for EOS magazine we visited a Canon service center in London and the technician told us that he works with sports photographers to calibrate their cameras and lenses to suit the sport they were shooting.

    One of the reasons I like Fujifilm cameras is that there is a good selection of prime lenses – the range is worth a look if you prefer primes (I don’t even own a zoom at the moment).

  • Mike Fewster

    Yes, some dslr cameras have live view, but it sure is slow and “clunky” to use in comparison with mirrorless. For mine, the best single reason for live view is having a histogram present at all times when shooting so I can read it fast before shooting rather than have to go back chimping shots after I have shot to see if I need to do the shot again (as I have to do when using optical viewfinders). Have you used MILC on one of the newer MILC cameras such as Oly or Sony? They have come a long long way in the last couple of years. Check the DPR reports of, for example, Sony A6300 focussing speed, tracking and accuracy. Are you in any way endorsed by Canikon?

  • Mike Fewster

    You might like to try using a mirrorless with a tilt up screen (one of the great pluses of mirrorless). Shooting at waist level this way is even more stable because you brace against the body core and this moves around less than your head. Similar technique to what used to be used on the classic Rollei tlr cameras. Further, those tilt up screens on MILC make them much easier to use on stable, at hand surfaces such as table tops etc, especially of course for low angles. Besides, the new anti vibration multi axis systems such as used by Olympus and Sony on some of their cameras are about the best around and you can use cameras with this system built in in addition to lenses with OIS.

  • pete guaron

    Fujifilm cams are “interesting” – but then so are several others. One day I’ll upgrade my compact. And possibly the half frame, at the same time – if I find the “right” cam, it can replace them both.

    It would probably to a mirrorless cam – but I’ve yet to see the mirrorless cam that pushes all the buttons for me. Ming Thein wrote an article saying exactly the same thing, several months ago. And so have several other prominent photographers.

  • Thanks, it’s a good article. Here’s the link for people interested in reading it.

    http://blog.mingthein.com/2015/11/03/how-to-design-mirrorless-right/

  • Guilherme Palazzo

    Wat?? I barely consider myself as an amateur and I’m definitely not writing articles on any website dedicated to photography.
    Actually, as I said before, I’m saving to make the jump, specifically to a fuji camera, the advantages of mirrorless systems are notorious and important to me. That’s why I came to this post, but the reasons presented were weak, thus the disappointment.

  • Rose James

    hello! I want to buy a new camera and am looking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 .Does anyone here use this camera? input appreciated TY

  • Mark

    As another example of where mirrorless is superior for portraits my RX100M3 (although not a mirrorless ILC it performs like one) nails eye focus every time on portraits whereas my 5D MKII (known for it’s less than stellar focussing) misses every few shots which can be a real pain. If you try using the centre point (cross type) then you can get issues when reframing due to the depth of field in use. Live view with face detect requires a tripod – hardly suitable for catching shots of the kids as dad tries to setup a localised studio and they all flee. Next purchase will be the A6300.

  • Mark

    Not true. I’ve used the Canon 85mm f1.8 in live view. Focus speed of a compact camera. Chugs away and hunts. Nothing like an RX100 and, I’d imagine, very poor compared to an A6300. You need to understand that live view for DSLR manufacturers is really a landscape manual focussing aid and, although it will face detect etc, they really aren’t that bothered about its performance. See how long it has taken Canon to come up with the dual pixel focussing, and that is mainly for video focus tracking which my $3000+ full frame couldn’t do. Mirrorless really has given Canikon a kick in the pants. I don’t have one so I’m not a fanboy but I can easily see their pros in light of their cons (startup time etc)

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  • tom rose

    I get more and more irritated by the shameless promotion of Mirrorless cameras on the internet, the wilful failure to see the very practical and real reasons why so many photographers prefer the DSLR, and the presentation of DSLR v. Mirrorless as if it were some sort of boxing match.

    The DSLR is highly evolved, and ergonomically it is more user-friendly than any Mirrorless I have seen or tried out. If you like you can think of the SLR like a Porsche 911. Theoretically front-engined is better. The 911’s engine is in the “wrong” place, but through continued development the latest versions of the car handle just fine.

    It is possible that Canon (and Nikon) will introduce a combined (or switchable) optical/electronic DSLR viewfinder soon. They also have the option of a fixed (pellicle) mirror to remove the drawback of having a “flipping mirror” and a separate AF sensor. The semi-transparent mirror is a technology that Canon mastered decades ago with the EOS RT.

    Instead of this sterile debate about irrelevant or trivial matters I’d like to see some more imaginative use made of the opportunities afforded us by modern technology. For example in-camera focus-stacking that is as as easy to select as exposure bracketing.

  • tom rose

    How odd. I find it easier to hold a DSLR steady because of the heavier body and lenses. More mass = greater force needed to move it (alternatively, less movement for a given amount of force).

    But I do agree with you in preferring a decent TTL optical viewfinder to even the very best current EVFs

  • tom rose

    A tilting screen is useful, but it is also a liability in many situations. It is a weak point that can be broken by accident, it is a possible source of water or dust ingress, and it is a likely cause of premature failure due to continuous wear and tear on connections. This is why tilting screens are absent (as is the pop-up flash) on professional DSLRs. Instead an angle finder (which may also magnify the image for focussing accurately) attached to the optical viewfinder does the same job.

    Multi-axis IS built in to the body seems like a good idea until you try to use a long telephoto lens and see the image leaping about all over the place. Then you’ll appreciate the value of having IS in the lens.

  • ItIsMe1979

    Oh honey… people’s actual experiences aren’t “shameless promotion.”

    If you don’t like mirrorless, that’s fine, of course. But to pretend that your take on mirrorless and DSLR is the end-all, be-all for all other humans on the planet screams either naivete’ or narcissism.

    Bless your little heart.

  • ItIsMe1979

    That was my first camera and I learned SO much from it. LOVE it.

    I’ve moved on to Sony Alpha now, but I still carry the Lumix around with me.

  • Mike Fewster

    A tilting screen is more than “useful”. Re fragility, I doubt that. As I understand it from my local camera technician, what you are saying about the fragility of tilting screens is correct only for those with multi directional hinges, not the tilt only screens used on the higher end MILC. I use both dslrs and MILC and have used tilt screens since they first came out on Minoltas and I have never had an issue with them. Pop up flashes aren’t used on pro cameras mainly because pros have very specific flash gear of their own. You don’t get them on the top end MILC cameras either. Never had the problem you describe with multi axis and longer lenses, but then you can use these either with OIS or just OIS if you really wish. IBIS means you have a much wider choice of lenses plus stabilization full stop.
    Re size and stability. People still don’t get it. Many of us who have come to use MILC don’t just buy them for size advantages, in fact new FF models are not that much different in size to many film 35mm. Many of us prefer the mirrorless format as tools (and I make my living with cameras.) The one situation where I still prefer dslr is with lenses over about 400mm.

  • Fielding Mellish

    Wow, you get a lot of snarky responses on here. Nice article. Thanks.

  • umptious

    Completely wrong. Firstly, there is no such thing as “focusing power” – using this term shows you actually don’t know anything. There is focusing speed and focusing accuracy and how they vary with lighting conditions. And already if you need to focus in bad light, something a GX8 or Leica SL wins.

  • umptious

    To be fair:

    1. Most DSLR users don’t realize they can and should use this for accurate focusing

    2. The author’s incompetence was even-handed: lots of mirrorless cameras DO have phase detect systems as well as contrast detection. Eg every Fuji on sale. And Panasonic and Leica use an advanced and weird contrast based system that arguably makes phase detection un-needed. In fact, generally, at any given price-range, the fastest focusing cameras are now mirrorless. Mirrorless only look slower if you’re silly enough to compare of $2500 body with a $1000 one. More money buys a better focusing system; this is often the main difference you’re paying for!

  • umptious

    >>> I would like you to elaborate about the live view function, nowadays commonplace among every DSLR. In live view you can have focus peak and contrast detection,

    You can have focus peaking, but most DSLRs don’t, so your argument is at least partly nonsense. As for getting contrast detect in live view… presumably there was a reason you paid extra for a camera with a viewfinder originally???

    >>> Are you in any way endorsed by Fuji?

    If he was, then he would have pointed out that current Fujis have phase and contrast based focusing, both on the sensor, and that they have eye detect focus. He severely understated their advantages relative to a DSLR, which is why quite a few elite wedding photographers use them while none use DSLRs with an equivalent size sensor. Well, that plus the skin-tones.

  • Demogorgon

    I use my Fuji xe1 for landscapes because of the manual focus functions in the EVF. It works quite well. The auto focus is not very good but the New XPro 2 seems to be much better. I’m not sure if it is up to DSLR standards but I tried shooting cars coming at me at about 25 MPH in front of the camera store at 8 FPS and I didn’t see any out of focus shots (that was in bright light though). I would like to compare it to my D600 side by side.

  • Demogorgon

    I think Fuji is the king of mirrorless (for stills);

    The lense guality is unbeatable and more consistent than any one
    The lense selection is good enough for 99.9% of people
    They have the best APSC sensors In my opinion (I own Fuji and Nikon full frame and APSC) and a lot of reviewers agree. In fact I haven’t read a pro review that disagreed.
    Their features are very intuitive (much better than my Nikons).
    Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, all have either too small sensors or not good lense selections. (Panasonic is probably better for video though)

  • William Wilson

    When pros start shooting professional sporting events and the Olympics with Sony and Fuji mirrorless cameras, then this article will have some weight.

  • tom rose

    I had bad experiences with the multi-swivel screen of the G12 and the fragile hinge of the permanently mounted EVF on the Konica-Minolta Dimage A2. I was foolish to generalise from that to simple tilting screens.

    I also have a Canon EF-M mirrorless and Canon G1X … not an MSC as it has a fixed lens … but otherwise with all the same features as an MSC. They both make great images, are nice to use, and have many uses but I still prefer using my big heavy 1-series EOS DSLRs. I know that getting rid of the “flipping mirror” is in principle superior technology for several reasons (vibration, lens positioning and size, cost, reliability, burst speed, …) but pro-DSLRs are so highly developed that there don’t seem to be problems in those areas. At least I see no vibration-induced blurring and my L-lenses deliver sharp detail right into the corners.

    I have no problem at all with other photographers using whatever they like. I get annoyed at mirrorless fanboys (Not you I hasten to add) that try to make out that anyone who does not switch to an MSC is an idiot and try to imply that I am stupid for preferring to stick with my DSLRs for most of my photography.

  • Vadim Sokol

    I think mirrorless cameras is perfect for everyone who is in love with photography but not want to spend a huge pack of banknotes. But if you are profesdional photographer, if you use you camera to make money, your choice is DSLR only.
    If you have small budget it is better take good Fuji rather than budget DSLR fir thr same sum of money.

  • WackaFlocka

    @umptious:disqus In your dreams, maybe, but in reality things are a little different 🙂 I love how all the mirrorless fans are trying to convince us that their gear is better and superior, and when we go out in the field, things look a little bit different 🙂 If you’re just playing a weekend photographer, you can keep your mirrorless camera, but if you wanna be a serious artist, you will get a DSLR. There must be a reason for them to be more expensive, don’t you think ? 🙂

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