The Mirrorless Revolution is just Starting By Steve Huff

The Mirrorless Revolution is just Starting..

By Steve Huff

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COMMENTARY

As I sit here in a Sony “Rountable” meting with all of Soy’s top people telling me about the past, present and future of their digital imaging business, things are looking very good for Sony. Sales are up, profits are solid and they are dedicated to releasing high quality premium digital imaging products to those like me and you, who love quality cameras, lenses and also camera that are fun to use, functional and provide us with the capability to create our own visions using a tool we enjoy and love.

Ever since Sony released the original NEX series, the 3 and 5 (my review here) I have been smitten with their unique out of the box thinking and while I have not loved or even liked every camera they have released (as I feel many have been a rehash of the same designs), I have adored a few of them and feel that Sony is now, without question, the one camera company that I feel is innovating and doing the most to push imaging tech forward. During  those early NEX 3 and 5 days, many dismissed mirrorless and for good reason. They were slow, sluggish and not very “user-friendly”  – but man how things have changed in a few short years.

The 1st Sony NEX. The NEX-3

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While Sony IMO is the one doing the most innovating, this does not take away a thing from others who are also innovating. Companies like Olympus are doing great things with every camera release, and trust me, they have something really amazing planned for this year. I feel it in my gut!

Then we have companies like Leica who are trying very hard to release unique cameras that are different from anything else out there. Think the T, the SL and even the super popular Q (all have been reviewed here in detail). Sure, Fuji, Sigma and even Canon and Nikon who are also releasing amazing cameras but to be honest, what I see from them is more of the same..less innovation in every release and while something like a Fuji X Pro 2 is a beautiful camera (that I actually do indeed really like) it is Sony who just keeps pushing and creating cameras that can do more.

Serious Mirrorless: The Leica SL

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While I feel Sony could have a redesign of some of their bodies, and even be more aggressive in what they are doing, I think they are on the right path and honestly, I can see them leapfrogging over Nikon in the near future. Sony is on a roll, sales wise and their popularity in the camera business is growing quickly and steadily for them.

Look at the brand new just announced RX10 III. I did not even review the Mark II version as I felt it was pretty much just like the Mark I (though it did have upgrades). I did not feel it was worth an upgrade to the II from the I and did not even want to do a review as I like to spend my time on cameras that I feel are really great and worth a purchase. It has to excite me these days to get a full long review and as I look back at my recent reviews over the past two years, the largest ones have been from Sony, Leica and Olympus.

Serious Lens Power: The new Sony RX10 III

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I will state right here, that these three camera companies above are my faves . Each of these are doing things that most others are not. Technology is getting quite amazing, even with something like the new Sony 4K HDR video, which looks so amazing. Yes, video in HDR 4K…think MASSIVE Dynamic Range instead of the cheesy HDR look of some images when they are overdone. But back to the new RX10 III. With its all new high quality 24-600mm f/2.4 – f/4 lens. Yes, f/2.4 at the wide end and f/4 at the long end, of 600MM. With this comes incredible opportunities for shooting. Macro, video, telephoto… it’s something that has never been done, which is what I am talking about here. I mean, who has made an all in one camera with a 24-600mm lens, a HIGH QUALITY lens no less, with a starting aperture of f/2.4? No one. Add to that the impressive video capabilities of this new offering. It will be a great solution for so many.

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While I was not a HUGE MASSIVE RX10 fan, I did enjoy the 1st one (see my review here) but this one changes the game of this series of camera. It could be an all in one for almost any personal, family or every day situation. So Sony is innovating constantly and this is what I love to see.

Some call me a “Sony Fan Boy”, Some call me an “Olympus Fanboy” and some even still call me a “Leica Fanboy”. I find these terms amusing as I am not a fanboy of anything, I just love quality. I love good build, consistent focus, smaller size, great lens choices, even is using a third party lens with adapter to get my vision out there.. and each of these brands offer all of that and more.

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With that, I am thrilled to see what is happening in digital imaging these days. It seems we are getting more and more QUALITY offerings for those of us who enjoy these things (ME AND YOU) and while most of the world already own a camera in their smart phones, there are some of us who want more..a real experience and you just can not get that from a phone. At least I can’t. The feeling of holding something like a Leica M or Olympus PEN-F or Sony RX1 and using them is so much more satisfying to me than using a phone, or any DSLR.

Today, in 2016 we have choices. We can go DSLR and get great results. We can go tiny and get great results (Sony RX100) and we can go enthusiast and get amazing results with something like a Leica M, SL or Sony A7RII or A7SII.

While the death of the point and shoot is upon us, or past..the mirrorless revolution has just begun, and it’s getting so so good. Stay tuned my friends, there is so much to come this year.

Steve

56 Comments

  1. The mirrorless business is exploding, profits rise and that is why…………..?
    Hang on, didn’t Samsung just discontinue her mirrorless cameras all together and pulled out of the business? Maybe too much profit 😉

    Seriously, the camera market virtually implodes since a couple of years. Smartphones can do what small pocket cameras can do and no one buys them any more. The picture quality increase in high priced cameras has slowed down and most photographers use their equipment longer than in the early 2000’s, buying less.

    Olympus, Fujifilm and all the other so highly recommended producers loose money in this business and the question is how long this will be tolerated, especially when new “revolutinary” inventions don’t repay. There is only a little light of hope – The average selling price of DSLRs is going up since years, increasing profit per item in this segment. But these customers in the vast majority buy DSLRs and NOT mirrorless systems and to say it clear “The customer is always right”.

    I think we will see only three producers left in the business in the future: Canon, Nikon and Sony

    My recommendation is to buy only brands which will still exist and be supported in the future…. regardless of technical apsects.

    But I don’t doubt that an Olympus camera does wonderful and professional pictures.

  2. well, I don’t think that any critcism of mirrorless Camera systems should be rejected like this. However, I believe the author failed to mention, that it is finally the sensor-size that matters, already APS-C allows for smaller lenses and the real solution would be the MFT-System. If you want to travel and take with you a Panasonic GX8 (or EM1) plus Leica 1,4/25, Pana 2,8/12-35 and 35-100 and a 4-0-6.3/100-400 it will fill a relatively small bag and you will carry roughly 2,5 KG (bit more than 5 pounds), and if all major companies would invest into research into that system we might soon see results that are as competitive as FF. But unfortunately this won’t happen (for marketing reasons???)

    • Thats just a pro DSLR article that shows Sony’s pro lenses on a much smaller A7 body vs a fat DSLR body. Guy likes his DSLR’s and many hate them. The sales numbers, reviews and satisfaction surveys is what tells the real story, not someone with a pro DSLR slant. 😉

  3. I’m somewhat surprised by the reliability comments for Olympus. I have two EM-1’s, an EM-5, an EM-5 Mark II, and a EM-10 Mark II, as well as most of the earlier ones. I have nearly all their lenses, from the 7-14 to the 40-150, as well as many of the earlier, larger 4/3 lenses, including the 90-250 and 300 mm f/2.8. I’ve never had an issue with any of their lenses, and a repair issue only with one of my E-3s (falling near a fumarole in Yellowstone was not good for camera health). I wish my Nikons were nearly as reliable over the years. Incidentally, since I mostly do wildlife and other nature photography, I don’t baby my equipment.

    Always fascinating articles and usually fascinating comments. Thanks!

    M

    • Michael, I am not saying that all O.s are going to go “kaputt”, just that it is almost a feature here in Germany (just check the oly-forum.de for it) for the EM1-model that the front and reer-wheel had to be replaced, that the EVF suffers a “burn-in” (sun-light from the Eye-piece damaging it), battery contacts needing replacement etc. I guess, with 2 EM1s you were simply lucky. And I never said the EM1 wasn’t a great little camera, but that I can understand why people never wold buy it for reporters’ work etc.. I used it for theatre, and was lucky enough as a journalist to get a replacement during repair, but I never really could rely on the machine. The lenses though are tough and of superb quality. But photo-reporters simply need cameras they can rely on.
      cheers
      Christian

  4. Hi just a quick clarification. I said most of the street shooters I encounter use DSLRs- yes this is true but I know they also use cameras like the Fuji x100 various lumix and Olympus cameras -all mirrorless.Nearly all of them have and frequently use a DSLR usually with a pancake prime.
    So it is indeed a matter of who you know and I only know a few street shooters so not exactly a scientific sample !
    I am a one camera guy but having a few different cameras to vary your experience and match the task is no bad thing ?
    Rgds

  5. Some idle thoughts on trends and perspective:

    By the 50s and early 60s, the death of the rangefinder was being proclaimed, as 35mm reflex cameras took over.

    Let’s pick a year for the first really wide market DSLRs that were somewhat affordable- say 2002, with the D100 and Nikon equivalent, followed soon by Minolta models.

    Six years later, the first mirrorless came out- 2008.

    So the time between the first mass market DSLR and the first mirrorless was about 6 years.
    The time between the first mirrorless and today is about 8 years.

    Since the first mirrorless cameras were introduced (by companies that first tried and then failed to make it in the DSLR world) we’ve been hearing their proclamation of the imminent death of the DSLR.
    Mirrorless have now been out longer than DSLRs were at the time mirrorless were introduced.
    The DSLR hasn’t died yet.

    Now back to film. People who still used rangefinder cameras in the heyday of the SLR said they preferred them for the immediacy, the real time, right-now reaction between seeing the scene and capturing the image, for the feeling of actually looking at the scene as if through a window, participating in the scene, rather than once removed through a convoluted, mirror bounced around tunnel reflex viewing device.

    Today, people who use DSLR rather than mirrorless prefer them for the immediate, real time, right now reaction between seeing the scene and capturing the image; for the feeling of actually looking at the scene and participating in it via light waves bouncing of the subject right to the photographer’s eye, rather than through a convoluted, electronically reduced and reproduced projected tv image device.

  6. Dslr are going down but what segment? Full frame or apsc? Nowadays I think that who is going to invest in apsc cameras should not consider at all dslr. Apsc and m4/3 mirrorless have better features and mostly a wider range of really good lenses. Canon and Nikon apsc have only some zoom lenses and 1 or 2 prime designed for their apsc segment.

    Considering that the 90% of world pro users use full frame cameras for serious work, Sony is creating wonderful cameras in this segment but there are still some issues to challenge with before to drill and definitively conquer pro and semi pro dslr full frame users:

    1) every Sony A7 pro lens has the same or almost the same weight of dslr counterpart lens. This cancels the benefit of using this system because of the dslr weight issue.

    2) camera/lenses weight balance. Using for long time sessions an unbalanced weight toward lens camera system is uncomfortable. This issue cancels the benefit of using not only Sony A7 but every full frame system with lenses heavier than camera bodies. At least for long time working sessions’ pro users. This is the reason I think Leica made the SL bigger and heavier. For pros.

    3) battery life. Although it is a minor problem, it remains a practical disadvantage in any case.

    4) Most semi pro users have the need to use full frame cameras but at the same time the need of not spend too much to create a system. For example, all the new wave of Nikon f1.8 lenses are budget but at the same time of high quality. They are small as mirrorless lenses and light. They are aimed exactly for semi pro market. As most zoom lenses. The 24-120 f4 costs almost half the price of the Zeiss 24-70 f4. For the f1.4 segment there is Sigma. They aren’t good as Zeiss but they do the work. The only cheaper Sony FE lenses are the 28-70, the 28mm f2 and the new 50mm f1.8. All other lenses are expensive.

    5) all the video features in mirrorless are very good but everyone knows that really pro videomakers use an will continue to use video cameras. So all this video features will be relegated to enthusiasts videomakers.

    6) innovation, as beautiful as is as a concept, remains useless if doesn’t become necessary. At least in market business. Can pro users get the result without all new mirrorless innovative features? This features justify the expense? It’s well renowned between pros that even image stabilization though if useful is not necessary. Pro needs to take picture at lowest iso possible for a matter of image quality and at shortest shutter time possible to avoid subject movement. If it isn’t naturally possible pros create or reproduce artificially the conditions to take a picture with this parameters. Stabilization does matter more for a f3.5-5.6 lens user. It’s a really useful function but a pro will always shot at safest shutter speed.

    At this time the real and practical benefits of using a FF mirrorless are:

    1) no autofocus calibration issues as with dslr. This is a necessity for macro photography pros and should be a necessity for every photographer but in real life it seems that it’s not an issue not only for anyone but for pros too.

    2) the ability of using every lens made for every system. This is not a necessity for pros. It’s a revolutionary feature and a game changer for a lot of enthusiastic photographer, obviously pros too, but it’s not a necessity for the whole pros market.

    3) weight and size. Using small mirrorless with small primes is a necessity for every low profile photographer, so for street photography and some kind of specific reportage. It’s necessary to buy a Sony A7 to do this kind of works? Not but being a full frame it’s a game changer for full frame radical users.

    Sony is doing well in any case because is focusing on quality products, is producing the best sensors and is pushing cameras technologies to a new era but the match against full frame dslr is hard to win for a lot of reasons. The real battle there will be in few years against all the others camera companies when everyone will produce full frame mirrorless cameras.

  7. Not disagreeing with anything here but I keep wondering why lots of street shooters I encounter are still using DSLRs
    All the pro wedding shooters are exclusively using DSLRs and at all the sporting events I attend likewise all the shooters are using DSLRs. I used to be a very active birdwatcher and true to form all the wildlife photographers are using DSLRs as well.I am a street shooter who likes rangefinders and I must admit to having a high opinion of mirrorless as well -obviously not everybody agrees with ?

    • I guess it si who you know. EVERY street shooter I know and speak to (over 18 of them) all use mirrorless. They use Fuji, Leica, Sony. I know of not one street shooter (that I know) who uses a DSLR. Nor do I understand why anyone would want to. Weddings, I know MANY high end pros using the A7 system with stunning results. I know some who use Olympus Micro 4/3 wth gorgeous results. I know two wedding pros who still use DSLR’s. Majority have moved to mirrorless that I know, and some are the best I have seen. So DSLR’s have been on a downward slope for a while now and continue to do so. Less enthusiasts and amateurs are buying DSLR’s. Sure, sports and action pros, tons still use DSLR’s as there is a huge market for them in some areas. Many wedding, portrait studios, etc use DSLR’s but mirrorless is gaining serious steam.

    • I believe it is also a question of how reliable a technology really is. professional photographers, particularly reporters must rely on their cameras or else they will almost certainly lose their jobs. And that is why photo-journalists have always been rather conservative adopting new technologies. This has been the case with almost all electronics built into modern cameras obviously using electricity (in the 1980s and 90s).

      In my personal case, I happily embraced mirrorless last year with an Olympus E-M1 and full equipment. In the end the camera had to be sent to the Olympus-Service for repair three times within 10 months. When I asked an Olympus-official about the technical problems, I was told “this is quite normal with such a camera”. Would I be able to recommend that kind of camera to a colleague or even a family member?

      I am definitely not the only one whose MFT camera with the big “O” needed service last year. there is not a single owner amongst the O-photographers I know (read the German Oly-forum and you would be surprised!!) who didn’t have to send his camera in for service and repair. Minor problems in many cases, like the mechanical parts, electric contacts, but also defective EVF)
      I believe it is also a problem of miniaturization. Someone who has to earn a living with photography can’t afford to take such risks.

      I am absolutely convinced that the mirrorless system is the future of photography, but I also understand any pro hesitating before taking the plunge and sell off his extremely reliable “old” DSLR equipment.

    • There are pros i know who do not follow these new techs at all. Some that i met have not even heard of the A7. And it is not just one, but a few. There are those who knows the mirrorless exist, but just somehow do not pay much attention at all, and so not much of an idea about the mirrorless development jieventually. It’s kind of surprising but at the same time, a good reminder to keep me from splurging time to time. As the cliche goes..you do not need the newest or the best camera to make the best photo.

      • Of course you don’t. I shot with an old E-P1 the other day. Still takes great photos though the experience was awful compared to todays cameras. Slow, no EVF, not so hot LCD..did I say SLOW? Lol. But I have always said to use what you like as thats all that matters. But mirrorless is growing regardless of what some have predicted for years (I remember 4 years ago a so called expert saying M4/3 was dead). In other words, today, there are more interested in mirrorless than DSLR and that preference gets larger every year. I know hundreds of photographers and I’d say that maybe 10%-12% of them still use a DSLR. No joke. Most I know use Leica, Sony, Fuji and Olympus. Pros and Enthusiasts alike. The only ones I know still preferring DSLRs are some nature guys and sports guys. Wedding pros I know have all have switched to mirrorless with Sony taking the bulk there with their A7s line. I see it in person, via email messages from readers, and out in public.

  8. The Mirrorless Revolution is just Starting..
    What a wonderful world that would be, a world without mirrors and narcissistic people!

  9. 3 days ago I spent hours at the gigantic Yodobashi store in Tokyo playing with ALL cameras from all camera brands and I can confirm that besides Leica, Olympus are the most solid and good looking mirrorless of all. The new PEN is amazing, looks even nicer than the X-Pro2.

    The Panasonic GX8 and the Sony A6300 look and feel pretty much like anything else, I don´t doubt are very capable -but at least for me- very uninspiring too.

  10. I think – hope Olympus cooking a beatiful full frame ILC camera. For the start they will go probably with a fixed lens camera -Sony RX1 rival.

    Keep up the good work Steve, all the best!

  11. reading your stuff is dangerous to my health. i want to just buy ALL THE THINGS!! But for real though, you make me miss my m43 system. I switched because I love gear but man… if only this hobby were cheaper lol.

  12. I’m really hoping we see another established camera company enter the full frame (or larger) mirrorless market soon. I’d love to have another option besides the Sony and Leica offerings. They both look great, but Leicas are expensive (out of my budget for now) and the Sony system still doesn’t quite feel like a complete system yet. With Sony FE mount, we’ve got G, GM, regular Sony, Sony/Zeiss, and Zeiss AF lenses, plus the adapters for Sony/Minolta and Canon glass. Not to complain about the options, but it does seem disjointed compared to Olympus and Fuji and their respective lens roll outs and the matching aesthetics across their lens line. Plus the 2 lenses I really want, the A-mount Sony Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 & 135mm f/1.8 don’t have focus motors so you have to use the limited LE-EA4 and not the LA-EA3 to get AF. 🙁

    Speaking of the Sony system, a new flash that matched the A7 series would be nice. The HVL-F60M looked pretty good on the A99, but positively dwarfs the A7Rii. The Nissan i40 looks good but is missing a couple features I’d like to have: a lithium battery and an LCD screen.

    I really like mirrorless cameras for the evf, zoom, and focus peaking which gives you better access to all the manual focus lenses from Zeiss, Meyer Optik, Voigtlander, Lomography, etc.. If this could done better that’d be great.

    Also still waiting on HSS support for mirrorless from just one of the monolight flash makers. It looks like it’s coming from Phottix soon. I know the HSS monolight is a relatively new product category, but I’d still like to see an option sooner rather than later. (I know Jason Lanier has figured out how to do it with his Sonys, but last I looked [a few months ago] it stilled seemed a bit hack-ey. Would love a complete system.)

    In addition to mirrorless, I think hybrid cameras are the future. That’s what I don’t get about Canon. The new 80D doesn’t have 4k, focus peaking, zebras, or C-Log. I know that doesn’t interest many around here, but I’m really excited about the future of the hybrid camera. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but I see the world slowly moving more towards video and slowly moving away from text & pictures. The hybrid camera, like the ones Sony is making right now, fit into that world perfectly. I think Fuji sees that future as well and is getting ready for it. Canon doesn’t see seem to see it. I figure Canon has a few more years to figure it out, but a tipping point is coming and Canon might not be #1.

  13. there is no doubt that Olympus always has been the most innovative company in the camera-business. And it is also true that mirrorles in a few areas still is not 100 per cent competitive with DSLR. But take the new Panasonic model and try their AF and C-AF, and you won’t really find a difference anymore worth mentioning.

  14. I briefly handled the X-Pro2 today in my local shop, and was really impressed; first impressions very good. It felt a bit light, but that you get used to. The hybrid viewfinder was really amazing, though slightly smaller than I would have liked. It handles really well, dials and buttons feel ok.

    Not a cheap camera though (and why should it be), great glass from Fuji, Jpeg only if not printing?

    Well, struggle on with my oldfashioned OVF equipped full frame dslr I guess…

    Robert Falconer, what do you think, being an X-Pro2 guy?

    • What do I think of the X-Pro2?

      PROS: Best X-Series camera so far. IQ is excellent. Solid performance at ISO 6400, and usable at 12800. The “waxy” skin tones some people complained about at higher ISOs are gone. Overall operational speed is MUCH faster. All the features from the X-T1 carry over … and then some. Pretty much everything else has been tweaked and improved for the better, even little things like the higher resolution LCD screen on the back, which sports a better sorted menu with a MY MENU function that is very useful. And, of course, the Fujinon optics are superb. It’s just an enjoyable instrument to shoot with.

      CONS: I would have liked a 3-4 million dot EVF like the Leica Q and SL (I expect we may see that in the X-T2). I also feel autofocus still isn’t as fast as it could be. Accuracy is very good, and the damn thing locks on in near-darkness. I just wouldn’t describe it as “rapid”. Certainly fast enough for most applications, but I would like to go faster still, particularly for tracking. Once again, rumor has it the X-T2 will have an even faster AF system still.

      Re weight: it uses a full magnesium alloy chassis. Don’t confuse light with a lack of strength; magnesium [like titanium] means high strength with low specific weight. It’s actually a bit heavier than the X-Pro1, and sports full dust and weather sealing. It’ll take a bit of a beating, I think.

    • Yo do not know this about me by now? EVERY article I have posted over 8 years have had misspelled words. Part of my secret to blogging success. 😉

  15. The mirrorless camera revolution has always been with us since Oskar Barrack’s original Leica 1. I love using Olympus and Panasonic. I love Sony but only they would stop with the irritating limits on their cameras such as stopping camera going into a full manual setting on the A7 or crazy raw file colour compression. I wish their innovation extended to their lenses. Some of them just look like Slr lenses with spacers on them rather than genuinely small lenses to suit the camera.

    Olympus I think are the real innovators. the features found on Olympus cameras are copied by most of the industry. Starting with live view. Sensor cleaning, in body stabilisation, and bringung true Slr quality in a small camera body with small great lenses that match. Please Olympus put a proper shutter speed dial and aperture ring on the OMD. Panasonic deserve similar credit for the GH1 being the first with a small Slr like body camera in the market and introducing 4k video in a small camera (Gh4).

    But let’s not forget canon or nikon. If you shoot sports, nothing beats the D5 or the eos 1dx. Sorry but the lenses on a mirrorless aren’t long enough, fast enough or good enough . The evf doesn’t cut it with sports. There is only one mirrorless camera that gets close to a Slr. It’s a nikon. The nikon 1 V3 that has an auto focus system that is as fast as the D5 and casually shoots at 20 fps without breaking a sweat but can go up to 60 fps for still and 400fps for video.

    The eos 5dsr I think blows the A7r ii into the weeds for image quality with just the Canon lenses

    Hate to mention it but the d5500 is lighter with the 28 f1.8 lens than an OMD OR FUJI Xt1 with their 35mm lens equivalent. even though it’s bigger. Point don’t write off nikon or canon.

    Thanks for your great site.

  16. I sold my Fuji but I do think Fuji has 3 innovations of note. The inbuilt RAW to JPEG settings, its a revolution to me that I didn’t have to import RAWS anymore, I was pretty much done with the in camera settings tweaks, the Hybrid VF and the proactive FW. Of course in saying that the AF is terrible, the XTrans is a pain with external software (so thank goodness the JPEGS are really excellent and maybe thats the trade off) and the FW updates where in a large part needed (XE2 update however was a positive thing). Simple menus, but not being able to save all settings as a Custom is a pain. I was put off the Olympus when the EM1 I was handed at a demo day one of the top knobs fell off!, but will revisit as Steve is has often talked about the high Build Quality. The Sony’s, with so many new models coming out, the prices drop a lot and the current cameras are quite steep, A7R11 and A7S11 and of all things I don’t like that Orange band around the lens mount (I wondering why as orange is my favourite colour).

    A serious Sony question, the lens mount on the A7’s inherited from the earlier cameras is narrower then most FF’s and I understand there more reliance on Software manipulation. Do you think Sony went down the wrong track here and should have started with a new mount for the A7 series.

  17. “Companies like Olympus are doing great things with every camera release, and trust me, they have something really amazing planned for this year. I feel it in my gut!”

    Their full-frame camera, perhaps? 😉

  18. One of these companies will have to figure out service and support, until then, there’s no chance of any of them becoming a choice for professionals or even semi professionals. That has to happen before mirrorless ever becomes more than a niche segment.

    Sony’s lens internals are mostly farmed out and they haven’t figured out how to make lenses consistently well. Their service and support is terrible on the best of days.

    Honestly, Once Canon figures out how to get EF to work reasonably well on a full frame mirrorless body, they’ll be #1 in this segment in no time. They’re the most advanced lens manufacturer in the world and that will matter.

  19. cool thing about mirrorless is not having to deal w fine tuning AF lenses and being able to adapt almost any lens for use.

    • That is a nice benefit, yes.

      Personally, I think the DSLRs days as the dominant form of dedicated camera are numbered … and I suspect that the arrival of global shutter technology after 2018 will further hasten their retreat into the realm of niche products that reside strictly at the top of the pro market (and even there they will disappear eventually).

      Remember, too, that Nikon and Canon are said to be entering the mirrorless market in a serious way sometime this year, so things are going to heat up considerably. 2017 is Nikon’s 100th Anniversary; expect something special from them.

  20. Really not trying to be argumentative here, but my first camera was mirrorless…50 years ago! What is revolutionary about mirrorless?

  21. If what we have seen so far in mirrorless camera development is a window to the future, I must say I like it.

  22. Very true. It is hard to wrap my head around that my a7 and a7II are really the infancy stage of mirrorless. Well, perhaps adolescence. A lot of potential in performance, choice, and size. I cannot wait to see what comes.

  23. I am always surprised to see that the author almost always tries to avoid mentioning Panasonic, even though the PEN-F (for example) is not much more than a copy of what the GX8 has already introduced half a year earlier.
    cheers
    CF

    • The PEN-F is nothing like a GX-8

      I prefer Olympus over Panasonic, and have used every single model they both make. Just my pref in design, style, features and usability. The 5 Axis changed the whole game for me. I also prefer the Olympus color rendering to Panasonic. The GX8 is nice indeed. I just prefer Olympus, again…personally. Also, I never see Panasonic INNOVATE (and that is what this post is about) – Oly did the original sensor shaking cleaner, the original 5 Axis IS, Live Time, etc. They have always been pushing the envelope. I do not see that so much in Panasonic.

      • Coming from the GX7 to the E-M5ii I have to agree. The Oly feels like a photographers tool with the build, solid shutter, long exposure tech, feel, build and sharpness of the “pro” lenses. The Panasonic felt like a nice piece of technology. There was something definitely missing in the fun factor.

        • That is exactly what I disagree with: Olympus have designed a photographic toy, while companies like Panasonic are trying to produce cameras meant to be used. Go through the menues, and you understand. Olympus lenses are great, but ask owners of Olympus-cameras how often they had to send them in for Service. But Olympus-users don’t care about all that. usually they are technically oriented people who have replaced the electric childhood tys with a modern camera. if if you say “the Panasonics are good cameras but lack of fun-factor you are basically confirming exactly that”
          .

          • Photography is my passion and joy, it’s hard for me to find the joy without the fun, thank you Olympus for making such nice toys. Amazingly I use them for photography too…

  24. You’re indeed a fanboy … of great stuff.
    Like you I love compact M4/3 quality gear and the Sony RX-line.
    I got my inspiration for the greatest camera bags ever from you: Wotancraft.
    I know you like decent audio gear as well.
    I love Marantz, Bowers, Pioneer, Fostex and Eddie Current.
    Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, Diatone and Infinity Vintage gear rules!

    But I do wonder … Do you prefer Olympus over Panasonic? More spefically the Pen-F over the GX-8?
    I can see the beauty of the OM-D series over the GH-series though.
    I do think Panasonic has the better lens choices in most cases.
    Intersted in your opinion.

    I read many articles on your site that were both intersting and entertaining for me. Thanks for that!

    • I prefer Olympus over Panasonic, and have used every single model they both make. Just my pref in design, style, features and usability. The 5 Axis changed the whole game for me. I also prefer the Olympus color rendering to Panasonic. The GX8 is nice indeed. I just prefer Olympus, personally. Also, I never see Panasonic INNOVATE – Oly did the original sensor shaking cleaner, the original 5 Axis IS, Live Time, etc. They have always been pushing the envelope. I do not see that so much in Panasonic.

      • Well, I just returned my GX8 kit to Amazon and my Panasonic flashes as well, was just in time for the returns.
        Ordered me the Pen-F kit with 17mm, the versatile 24-150 and a flash.
        I figured with the Oly IBS I can use the Panasonic lenses as well, the other way around doesn’t do the trick, especially for longer lenses.
        I’ll primarily stick to Oly lenses though as I only want two Panasonic lenses: The Nocticron which I already have and the new 100-400.

        Anyway, your articles are apleasure to read. 🙂

          • Any respectable shop or trusted shop (such as Amazon or B&H) will not sell a used return as new. They inspect it, test it, repackage and sell it at a discount, only if it is in perfect working condition.

    • Not trying to usurp Steve (as if…) but I bought into Micro 4/3 at the beginning, and, like Steve, have tried (just about) every Oly & Pana release, and much prefer Panasonic. Have worked my way up through GH1 to GH4 without a hiccup. 20mm pancake, 7-14 wide, 42.5 Nocticron, all unbeatable.
      I am also an audiophile (for my sins). And, for that matter, a recent convert to Fostex too. I work for 6moons and have written two Fostex reviews. Here is a link to one: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/fostex/1.html
      I have meant for years to submit some of my many hi-fi pics to this site but just haven’t managed to get around to it.
      Steve, your hi-fi reviews are just as good as your camera gear reviews. Infectiously fun and without political machinations. Thank you for all your hard work (I know the time & effort it takes!)
      ATB, Bill

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