Mirrorless Cameras

EOS R has launched.

There’s some stuff to really like. Wow, everything can be customized, including the focus ring on the lens and the ring on the adapter! And what a lens line-up at launch! Wow.

And then there’s stuff that’s puzzling. Only single-card slot. No IBIS, which is sorta huge. IBIS works amazing on Sony, and even Nikon put IBIS in their first-generation mirrorless. And it also has a slow shooting speed compared to other mirrorless. Hell, it’s slower than mirrored cameras. The latest Sony’s are close to 24 frames per second of shooting. You could create video from just the photos alone. The EOS R does a whopping 8 frames per second, but if drops to 3-5 fps when AF tracking. Yikes.

I think I’ll wait for the second generation.

And a lottery win.

Sony has put the A7II with an kit lens on incredible sale the past few weeks. $998 for the body and the 28-70mm kit lens.

If I didn’t just buy an A6500 and lens, this is what I most definitely would have purchased.

Got my new toy! This is arguably the best lens you can get for the Sony APS-C cameras. It also gives me a better general-use lens than my 16mm, which is a bit of a landscape lens.

I now have the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN.

Meanwhile, the brand new Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN launches next week! I’ll have to get that next year. But it’ll round out the group: wide-angle, standard, and telephoto.

Sell me on the Alpha A7 IIK vs the Canon 70D.

My experience with the 70D has been one endless frustration, tbh. I think perhaps 3/4 or more of the Ireland photos were total trash. By the end of the trip I was bracketing every photo because I didn’t trust the camera to do what I thought I was telling it to do. I mean it’s so bad I spent the entire day before leaving practicing taking photos with it, and it still didn’t help.

I mean, sure it’s a me thing, not the camera, but over and over the menu system and logic and the weird autofocus that always picks the foreground, the underexposed photo after underexposed photo, resetting my file save system settings away from RAW over and over and over… ugh.

My wife uses a 70D so I’m quite familiar with it, and it’s been a great camera body. These all sound like setup and operational issues, to be honest, but who knows. It sounds like you’re fighting auto-focus and auto-exposure settings here. How do you have the camera set up? Having the camera switch away from RAW is definitely not standard behavior (we use RAW all the time and the settings never shift).

Actually my wife’s Sigma 150-600 C lens is currently being repaired because it’s switching from auto to manual focusing mode. It could be the 70D itself that’s going fruity, but it seems fine with my lenses. Hard to pin down faults sometimes.

Not sure what you’re doing with your camera, but on paper the A7II is a way-better camera than the 70D. It’s two years newer (more recent tech), full-frame vs 70’ds APS-C, 5-axis in-body image stabilization, higher-resolution, smaller and lighter, and the A7II was Sony’s top-of-the-line camera when it launched whereas the 70D was a more budget-minded option in the Canon lineup.

I will say that the achilles heel of the Sony cameras (until the A7III and its huge Zebra battery) is the battery life. I’ve left my Canon DSLR “on” for weeks, and I can pick it up and shoot hundreds of photos. That’s because DSLRs don’t consume any power until they’re tasked with actually focusing/shooting. Sony mirrrorless cameras suck power like crazy when they’re on, especially if you have the screen on. But even with the screen off, they’re always analyzing whatever is coming into the sensor. But you can always turn them off when you’re not shooting, or buy more batteries.

If you don’t have a huge investment in Canon, I’d do a lot more research into the A7II.

Also, if you’re shooting people, Sony cameras have an eye-autofocus function that identifies and locks onto eyeballs instantly. Razor sharp portraits.

Is that a Sony thing, or a mirrorless trait?

It’s typical across all mirrorless cameras, but Sony didn’t help by having a smallish battery. And because a lot of pros like to use Sony cameras for video, that really exacerbated the battery issues.

But @Enidigm, that might be another reason to switch. Because they have no mirror, mirrorless cameras use electronic view finders to display what the sensor is seeing. So you can actually see what is in focus, or how bright the exposure is before you shoot. It’s really cool, because you see what your adjustments are doing in real-time. For instance, crank up the shutter speed, and the image gets darker, and vice versa.

I went with my nephews and nieces on Halloween this year, and I put my aperture to 1.4 and ramped up the ISO, and using my camera was almost like having night vision goggles. It was dark outside, but look through the viewfinder and everything was practically daytime.

I don’t have it with me but i tend to use auto-ISO and select for aperture or shutter speed.

There’s something about the difference between operation from the eyepiece to the screen, and that many/most of the functions in one aren’t reproduced or available in the other.

I mean, the problem me, just to be clear.

I will say, to be fair to Olympus, that the EPL1 Pen mirrorless camera i still have from a few years ago has great standby battery. I just threw it into the car before heading up to Santa Fe and it’s still at 90-100% of battery months after charging it (i’m using a 20mm prime with it, which is great for sharp photos, but not for long distance photography in the mountains).

After i wrote my post above i think i determined what i need is not so much a camera that’s good in the abstract but one that i can use. I did try the A6300 at Best Buy today and was kind of blown away by the autofocus. I literally complained to family (yes) about how to shoot in sharp focus with the 70D i had to set it up on a tripod, zoom in normally, than use the “digital zoom” on the screen to go to 10x past the optical zoom, than use the focus ring to focus manually.

I played with the A6300 with the 135mm lens, and when i turned the focus ring it automatically zoomed in to max digital zoom in the electronic viewfinder. Honestly i almost walked out the door with it right then. But apparently the A6300 is APS-C and doesn’t have in body stabilization. OTOH… that was a nice lens, and it records in 4K.

If you’re talking about the Live View using the rear screen, yeah that takes a lot of control away from you. Unless you have the camera on manual, it ignores aperture / shutter priority and selects those automatically, plus it uses multipoint AF. I believe on the 70D you can select your own focus by tapping on the screen, but I’m not certain. If you want control using Live View you need to use manual mode. Frankly I find it a pain in the ass unless I’ve got the camera on a tripod or I’m shooting video (where it’s still a pain in the ass anyway). I guess I’m a bit old fashioned, I have to be using the viewfinder at all times, even if it means I have to be lying in the mud to get the right angle.

Auto-ISO is generally ok most of the time, but I don’t use it myself for a simple reason. If I shoot a little over or underexposed with RAW, I can fix that easily in Lightroom as there’s plenty of latitude to do so. But if the camera uses an excessively high ISO it’s much harder to deal with the grain it introduces. I prefer a slightly underexposed look anyway, which is a personal choice, but Auto-ISO won’t have any of that nonsense!

Here are a couple shots from the 70D

Action photos taken with default “action” photography preset.

… and here is the Alpha 7 II

Nice! You got a great camera!

And that’s just the kit lens, right? There are some fantastic lenses out there that deliver gorgeous photos.

Canon rolling out the prosumer variant of their new mirrorless line

This thread popped up at a great time. I was looking to purchase a very nice gift for a certain lady someone who wants a better camera. I thought mirrorless, especially ones with easier operation would fit the bill.

I landed on both some Wirecutter recommendations as well as those of a coworker. Both of these fit the bill with the Olympus coming in a bit more expensive but obviously with more of a mid-level offering than just a beginner fit. Any thoughts between these two if any of you know?

Fujifilm X-A5


Olympus E-M10 Mark III

I guess this might be the opportune thread to bump…

So, I noticed that the Sony A6500 is discounted for Prime Day down to €949 over here. And am thinking about that.

I currently own a Canon 70D. Liking it overall, but I also think the auto-focus is not as reliable as I’d like it to be when using my favourite lense (Sigma 30mm, f1.4), so I always end up taking 2-3 photos just to be sure.

The obvious upgrade when switching to the Sony would be the more compact size, meaning I’d also be more inclined to carry it with me. Will it also be an upgrade over the 70D in every other technical aspect, e.g. lowlight performance when used with a comparable lens? (Low-light performance would be very important to me since I tend to go for available-light photos whenever possible.) Any downsides?

The immediate disadvantage I can see would be the battery performance. With the 70D I can shoot all day and easily up to several thousand photos without having to worry about it dying on me, whereas the A6500 is good for several hundred, i.e. I’d definitely need to buy a second or third battery.

Battery isn’t that much of an issue if you’re just mindful to switch off whenever you’re not shooting. I bought the Ravpower batteries and pack along extra batteries, but the number of times I actually needed to swap batteries during the day I can count on two fingers.

Keep in mind the replacement for the A6500 may come very soon. Sony just released the A6400 earlier this year, and it’s superior in autofocus speed, tracking, and performance. It also doesn’t have the overheat issues when recording at 4K. The only reason it’s technically the A6300 replacement and not the A6500 replacement is because it lacks internal stabilization.

Still, I love my A6500. If you want portability, go for the Sony lenses. I love the Sigma primes, but they’re huge compared to the equivalent Sony lenses.

I also love hiking with my A6500. It’s really easy to carry, especially with this.

I love Sony mirrorless cameras and batteries are not an issue when I shoot hundreds of pictures in a day. But if you actually shoot thousands of pictures a day, then you’re going to need a spare battery or two.

Sony eats battery in standby though. I seem to only get a couple hundred photos in a day with the A7 II before it dies. It’s forced me to obsessively worry the on-off switch all day long.