Everything takes time

I'll be 67 next month and like most men of my age I don't accept change easily. This is especially true when it's technology based, I like to take my time and not rush decisions. I haven't always been this way, but with cameras and lenses, mistakes can be very costly. My father always advised me not to buy anything 'brand new' because if you wait a little while, then the product will have been tried and tested and any little faults would be 'ironed out' and this is true of cameras and lenses too. I waited to change from film to digital and have waited a couple of years to move from the traditional DSLR to my first mirrorless camera. Why did I decide to move now and what prompted that decision? Let's take a look. Maybe this will help you decide if you haven't jumped yet.

Vive la difference!

It will come as no surprise that the mirrorless camera has no mirror, unlike the DSLR. You can see from the diagram above that the light and the image have a little further to travel in a DSLR. On the DSLR the image you see in the viewfinder is actually what you see, thanks to the mirror. When you take the photo the mirror 'flips up' to reveal the sensor and takes the image. On a mirrorless camera the image goes straight to the sensor, but the image you see in the viewfinder is 'electronic' and not the real view. In recent times these viewfinders have improved greatly, making the cameras much more attractive.

Mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter and quicker than DSLR's so you can see the attraction. Most manufacturers have already deleted their DSLR ranges and the lenses, so moving on isn't always a matter of choice. I use Canon gear and in common with other manufacturers they have produced an adapter so I can use all my existing lenses on the new mirrorless R6, my camera of choice. Be warned, however, that the new lenses for professionals are VERY expensive, so change for me will be very gradual.

An eye for a photograph

A camera is a work tool, as is the lens. They are not creative in themselves, that's the photographer's job. Ever since I started photography (when Winston Churchill was a boy) you have always had to focus the lens yourself. Initially, you did this manually with a 'ring' on the lens to turn, then you would put your faith in the camera's auto-focus by moving a focus point to the desired location on the person or subject, half press the shutter and it snaps into focus. Now we are into eye auto focus which tracks and stays with the eye nearest the camera and it's almost totally fool proof, hitting sharp focus 99% of the time. Add this to face detection, animal eye focus, car and train recognition, and you are unlikely to miss focus. You can use this new auto focus feature through the eyepiece or via the back screen. It makes no difference which you select. This is one of the main reasons I purchased the camera. My hit rate with ordinary auto focus was about 70% and the failures always seemed to happen on my favourite shots!

More Thoughts...

Before the Canon R6 I shot most of my work on a top of the range DSLR the Canon EOS 1DX, much beloved of the press pack and a great camera, but it was so heavy, arm weary heavy in fact! The R6 is half the weight; it doesn't have the 1DX's robustness, but I don't do many trips up the Amazon these days!! The R6 is quicker at everything and the frame rate per second is stupidly fast. Now I have had a chance to use the R6 in the field there will be a second joining it soon and as for mirrorless cameras I am happy with Canon's, hopefully my clients will be equally delighted because that's the point of what I do.