Aint No Mid Life Crisis.... Mirrorless Review

Pictured above: The Future.

Pictured above: The Future.

My friend Tom started telling me about mirrorless camera systems last year.. I'm a self-proclaimed technology junkie, so my interest perked...but could the word on the street be true? At the time, I was shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II and all Canon glass.. image quality was superb.. focusing..well...sometimes tricky.. but my main complaint? That Canon gear was HEAVY. Difficult to lug around on a shoot; especially for someone like me who shoots alone.

Another photographer friend mentioned her mentor has also seen the "future" and his concern was that all the gear (we're talking thousands of dollars spent..)  would sometime go way of the cassette tape and loose it's value. I started to get antsy.

When the Fuji X100s (pictured top right) was released, I dipped my big toe into the mirrorless pool. The X100s is a fixed lens camera, which didn't bother me as I usually shoot primes anyway, but the reviews were coming in... the image quality was excellent.... I went for it. Somewhere at Canon Headquarters, there was a small disturbance in the force..

mirror less camera bags.jpg

So, typical shoot day, I used to lug that bag on the right, loaded with gear.. it weighed around 15 lbs. without clamps and lighting. Let me tell you.. lugging to and from location, packing, worrying about the value as I walked around (sometimes at night -gasp-) really sucked. I sold it all.

No regrets. 

Yep. None. I purchased the Fuji XPro 1 and an assortment of lenses and that small little lunch box sized bag on the left. My shooting lugging weight dropped about 10-12 pounds. I'm SPRY now.. I can jog on a shoot if need be and the value? Considerably less than all that old weight! 

I shot Canon for about 7 years..so there was an adjustment period.. but let's look at some recent images: 

 

On a tripod, 14mm lens with the XPro.. great details.

On a tripod, 14mm lens with the XPro.. great details.

A single flash; lighting test- X100s.

A single flash; lighting test- X100s.

The Fuji doesn't disappoint.. both images have great clarity.

The Fuji doesn't disappoint.. both images have great clarity.

Yep... the prerequisite close-up baked goods shot. Good.

Yep... the prerequisite close-up baked goods shot. Good.

Out on a job with clients- KIDS even.. Fuji doesn't miss a beat and the focusing is swift.

Out on a job with clients- KIDS even.. Fuji doesn't miss a beat and the focusing is swift.

On the mean streets of San Diego.. the San Diego Zoo, that is.

On the mean streets of San Diego.. the San Diego Zoo, that is.

Xpro1, 35mm, f1.4  1/125

Xpro1, 35mm, f1.4  1/125

So I dropped a few megapixels (about 5).. I can't tell.. But my portability has increased tremendously... like I can fit the X100s in my pocket if I needed to! Try that with a DSLR. What else? I'm taking great photos still...with a lot less camera. So if you've got a big DSLR on your wish list..or you have not popped in to your camera joint to check out mirrorless cameras, you may want to. It's the future..and it's happening now. Just starting even.  Things are going to get better and better! I can't wait.

Oh...no "complex" issues.. I'm getting some weird looks from photographers that still lug that large bag around.. let them look.. I don't need no stinking DSLR anymore. :) 

You can't judge a photographer by the size of their gear.. 

Nice, right?

Will DSLR's go away totally? Not sure...but I do think that with time, mirrorless cameras will become more and more common...and those will be what you find in the aisle at Costco.. soon. 

I'm no science expert..but I know how to operate a camera...so if you're looking for tech mumbo-jumbo, do a little searching..all I know is what I know.