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Blog

DSLR or Mirrorless?

October 2016

I have been using my camera (Canon 40D) for some 9 years now. I am a fervent believer in the fact that the photographer behind the camera is far more important to the quality of the photography than is the camera itself. However, I decided that it was time to update my camera for the following reasons:
  • I was becoming increasingly aware of the weight of my camera backpack when carrying it.
  • I felt that the 40D’s APS-C (crop frame) sensor resulting in my lenses focal lengths being multiplied by a factor of 1.6 was a drawback given my preference for landscape photography.
  • ISO performance has improved considerably over recent years and yet I was normally limiting myself to a top ISO of 400 to avoid image noise.

With these factors in mind I read a great deal about the latest cameras and narrowed my possibilities down to the following:
  • Stay with Canon DSLRs and wait to see what the photographic press thought of the 5D MK iv full frame camera once it was released (I would be able to use my existing lenses and would understand most of the controls, however, there would be no weight saving).
  • Look at the Sony A7 series of full frame mirrorless cameras (which would involve me learning a new camera system, selling all my existing lenses and buying new glass)
  • Consider the Fuji XT-2 or X Pro2 APS-C mirrorless systems which would involve the same drawbacks as the Sony system.

I was in no great hurry to change my camera and my deliberations probably lasted a year or more. Looking back on my thoughts over that period, they can best be summarised as:
  • My first consideration in changing camera system was to save weight. With this in mind I looked at the specifications of various models and cite the following as an example of what I learnt
My current EOS 40D camera 822g weight
Existing lenses
Sigma 10-20mm 520g weight
Canon24-105mm 670g weight
Canon 100-400 1380g weight
TOTAL Weight 3392g

Fujifilm X Pro2 camera 495g weight
Fujifilm 10-24mm 410g weight
Fujifilm 50-140mm 995g weight
Fujifilm 100-400mm 1375g weight
TOTAL weight 3275g

  • Whilst I would be reducing the weight of my camera body, once lenses were included it was apparent that I would still be carrying much the same weight if I moved from a Canon DSLR
  • Whilst the full-frame Sony A7 camera system has good reviews, I had heard that it suffers from a complicated menu system that makes it difficult to master. I will also admit to being prejudiced against Sony due to the failure of a near brand new video system head many years ago and subsequent poor customer service. I hold a grudge!
  • The Canon 5D Mk iv was announced during my deliberations. However, given its price of £3,600 I decided that this was just too much to pay to pursue my hobby (regardless of how keen I am).
The result of all my research was a decision to buy a 2nd-hand Canon 5D Mk iii. I visited Wex Photographic in Norwich and had my choice of 4 2nd hand models. I bought one that had c40,000 actuations for a price of £1,500 (as opposed to £2,300 new).

Here is an example of one of the first images from my new camera:

Beech Avenue Autumn