need help deciding going mirrorless or dslr for specifics

miawchu

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Hi all,

I'm interested in this new technology, which I admit I know very little on, so I'm going to ask your help to see whether mirrorless is even an option for my needs.

I need a camera for professional use:
good macro lens
real colors
depth
high performance under low light
all manual options for shutter speed, and focus
full frame

is there a mirrorless which comes close to lets say cannon D5?
I will be using this camera for product photography, and since I'm about to go traveling for a year I want to carry with me a comfortable size camera for scenery shots. low light shots are my favorite.
I would also prefer a camera with good selection of lenses and filters.

thanks!
 
Most new cameras are so good now. Usability is probably different but your list asking about performance is probably mostly a moot point.

Look at the sony a7
 
Only camera that falls into your category is Sony A7 family.
But Sony cameras suffer from a very limited lens line, I believe with converter you can use Canon lenses on it.
If you like low light photography you can either use prime lenses or fast zoom lenses.
If you use fast zoom lenses like I do you will find they are big, heavy and might feel to you unbalanced on the smaller A7 body.
In low light the A7 will struggle to auto focus while good DSLR will work much better.

Getting into a well established DSLR camera system like Canon or Nikon you have access to many lenses which is a huge advantage.
 
good macro lens
All the major systems have it now, except Fujifilm. They do have a promising one on the roadmap for 2016, though.

real colors
No camera will give you that without additional tools and effort.
To get accurate, true-to-life colors, you'll need a camera calibration tool (such as the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport) and a monitor calibration device. If you intend to print those images, then you'll also need to calibrate the printer, unless you send the images off to a lab for printing.

What do you mean by that?

high performance under low light
Which aspect of performance? Is it autofocus speed, autofocus accuracy, noise in the image, dynamic range, colors…?
The only one that can easily be compared between different cameras is noise, and you can do that with DPReview's studio comparison tool.

all manual options for shutter speed, and focus
Every decent camera will give you full control over anything and everything.

full frame
I'll bet you probably don't need that, and neither do most of the people who think they do. Why do you think you need a full-frame sensor specifically? (Maybe you really do — this is an honest question, not here to judge.)
If it's noise in low light / at high ISOs you're worried about, use the comparison tool I linked to above — you'll probably be amazed at how good smaller sensors can be. Even for many demanding photographers, APS-C and 4/3 sensors deliver at least sufficient image quality.

As the posters above have written correctly, the Sony α7 line of cameras is the only one that ticks all the boxes on your list. Sony has recently released a true macro lens, and a very good one at that: 90mm f/2.8 G-series. But it's only 23 grams lighter than the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro, nearly identical in diameter and 8mm longer than the Canon! So you don't get any of the size/weight benefits typically attributed to mirrorless cameras, but you get all the rest, both good and bad.

Strongly consider Micro Four Thirds cameras, especially the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Olympus has an excellent macro lens: 60mm f/2.8. It's a featherweight compared to the Canon 100mm f/2.8 (186 g vs. 625 g). It's also a third shorter (in physical length). The 120mm equivalent focal length allows longer working distance for 1:1 magnification, too. For macro work, you shouldn't worry about the deeper depth of field due to the shorter focal length, same f-number, similar/longer focus distance — you will actually need as much depth of field as you can get, so you'll end up stopping down anyway.
A big plus for shooting nighttime scenery with the high-end Olympus cameras: they have excellent image stabilization (in the body, so works with all lenses), which you lets you shoot at slower shutter speeds, thus allows lowering the ISO and you get back the quality you would have lost due to the smaller sensor shooting at the same ISO.

You may also consider a Fujifilm camera, mainly the X-T1 or X-T10, but as I mentioned previously they don't currently have a great macro lens. (They will have one next year, but that won't help you until then.) You could use the Zeiss 50mm f/2.8, and if indeed your macro work is concentrated around still-life (in contrast to small animals / bugs) it can be a very good option. For living creatures it's probably not quite as good, because the shorter 35mm-equivalent focal length (75mm) means you need to get closer to the subject.
 
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I need a camera for professional use:
real colors
Uh OH!

Digital can't do 'real colors'.
Digital cameras can only 'see' grayscale.

Color in inferred by placing a Bayer filter in front of the image sensor on most DSLRs and then using a algorithm to demosiac and interpolate the colors in a scene.
 
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Hi! thank you for the elaborated response. very helpful. also the comparison tool is great. I've been looking at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, it's a definitely good option. their sensor seems really good in the tests.
problem is, full frame is something I can't let go of. it's not only technical, if you want my honest reply. I'm still filming with old analog film cameras for scenery and fashion shots in 6x6 and going digital, especially 4/3, is loosing much of the charm in photography for me. in other words, the shots look a lot less beautiful with aps-c or 4/3 no matter how you turn it. they don't utilize the full visual scape of the lenses. they simply look cropped to me, plus there is this issue that if you want to catch more of the scene you have to get farther away from the object then you would with full frame, and even then you wont catch the shot that you wanted, and sometimes it's very annoying, especially if you've been filming full frame all your life.
as for macro, dead DOF (bokeh) is something I use sometimes for the product shots, but then I don't use a macro lens to create this effect but a zoom 18mm lens. I need to check farther how the 4/3 handles this, because I read somewhere they have a problem with the sensors and the possibility to manipulate DOF. this is what I meant by "depth".

high performance under low light - mainly noise.



good macro lens
All the major systems have it now, except Fujifilm. They do have a promising one on the roadmap for 2016, though.

real colors
No camera will give you that without additional tools and effort.
To get accurate, true-to-life colors, you'll need a camera calibration tool (such as the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport) and a monitor calibration device. If you intend to print those images, then you'll also need to calibrate the printer, unless you send the images off to a lab for printing.

What do you mean by that?

high performance under low light
Which aspect of performance? Is it autofocus speed, autofocus accuracy, noise in the image, dynamic range, colors…?
The only one that can easily be compared between different cameras is noise, and you can do that with DPReview's studio comparison tool.

all manual options for shutter speed, and focus
Every decent camera will give you full control over anything and everything.

full frame
I'll bet you probably don't need that, and neither do most of the people who think they do. Why do you think you need a full-frame sensor specifically? (Maybe you really do — this is an honest question, not here to judge.)
If it's noise in low light / at high ISOs you're worried about, use the comparison tool I linked to above — you'll probably be amazed at how good smaller sensors can be. Even for many demanding photographers, APS-C and 4/3 sensors deliver at least sufficient image quality.

As the posters above have written correctly, the Sony α7 line of cameras is the only one that ticks all the boxes on your list. Sony has recently released a true macro lens, and a very good one at that: 90mm f/2.8 G-series. But it's only 23 grams lighter than the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro, nearly identical in diameter and 8mm longer than the Canon! So you don't get any of the size/weight benefits typically attributed to mirrorless cameras, but you get all the rest, both good and bad.

Strongly consider Micro Four Thirds cameras, especially the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. Olympus has an excellent macro lens: 60mm f/2.8. It's a featherweight compared to the Canon 100mm f/2.8 (186 g vs. 625 g). It's also a third shorter (in physical length). The 120mm equivalent focal length allows longer working distance for 1:1 magnification, too. For macro work, you shouldn't worry about the deeper depth of field due to the shorter focal length, same f-number, similar/longer focus distance — you will actually need as much depth of field as you can get, so you'll end up stopping down anyway.
A big plus for shooting nighttime scenery with the high-end Olympus cameras: they have excellent image stabilization (in the body, so works with all lenses), which you lets you shoot at slower shutter speeds, thus allows lowering the ISO and you get back the quality you would have lost due to the smaller sensor shooting at the same ISO.

You may also consider a Fujifilm camera, mainly the X-T1 or X-T10, but as I mentioned previously they don't currently have a great macro lens. (They will have one next year, but that won't help you until then.) You could use the Zeiss 50mm f/2.8, and if indeed your macro work is concentrated around still-life (in contrast to small animals / bugs) it can be a very good option. For living creatures it's probably not quite as good, because the shorter 35mm-equivalent focal length (75mm) means you need to get closer to the subject.
 
You don't mention a budget. If you don't go mirrorless you'd be less limited. You sound like a canidate for something like a Pentax medium format digital set up
 
there is this issue that if you want to catch more of the scene you have to get farther away from the object then you would with full frame, and even then you wont catch the shot that you wanted,
That is only if you use the same lenses. Each format has lenses to suit it, so you can still get the same coverage.
For example, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 is considered a "legendary" lens in the ultra-wide-angle spectrum, and many love it for the incredibly wide field of view at 14mm, while still being rectilinear (not fisheye). Mount this lens on a Micro Four Thirds camera and you'll obviously lose all that charm — it will only be a "modest"-wide-angle at 14mm and standard at 24mm — but you shouldn't mount it on such camera anyway. Olympus and Panasonic each has a 7-14mm for MFT cameras (the Olympus has an f/2.8 maximum aperture vs. f/4 for the Panasonic, and is more expensive), with which you'll get the same ultra-wide-angle field of view as you would get at 14mm on a full-frame camera, and you even get slightly narrower field of view at the longest focal length of the lens.
 
Hi! thank you for the elaborated response. very helpful. also the comparison tool is great. I've been looking at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, it's a definitely good option. their sensor seems really good in the tests.
problem is, full frame is something I can't let go of. it's not only technical, if you want my honest reply. I'm still filming with old analog film cameras for scenery and fashion shots in 6x6 and going digital, especially 4/3, is loosing much of the charm in photography for me. in other words, the shots look a lot less beautiful with aps-c or 4/3 no matter how you turn it. they don't utilize the full visual scape of the lenses. they simply look cropped to me, plus there is this issue that if you want to catch more of the scene you have to get farther away from the object then you would with full frame, and even then you wont catch the shot that you wanted, and sometimes it's very annoying, especially if you've been filming full frame all your life.
as for macro, dead DOF (bokeh) is something I use sometimes for the product shots, but then I don't use a macro lens to create this effect but a zoom 18mm lens. I need to check farther how the 4/3 handles this, because I read somewhere they have a problem with the sensors and the possibility to manipulate DOF. this is what I meant by "depth".

high performance under low light - mainly noise.

Your posts are very confusing, to be honest with you. In one phrase you say you have been shooting film with various cameras, and in your next phrase you sound like a complete beginner. You say you need a camera for professional use, and then mention that in fact you are going to travel for a year and need something light. You say you will be using it for product photography and then say that you like shooting in low light. ( So, does that mean you are going to shoot products professionally in low light while travelling for a year? )

Your idea of an image looking cropped because it was shot with a crop sensor camera is just ridiculous. Then you mention shooting with full frame all your life. Then you mention Canon D5 -a camera that does not exists.

I hope you are aware that any FF focal length has its APS-C and 4/3 equivalent. So here is a hint, it is secret, do not tell anyone: instead of getting further away from the subject with a cropped camera, just use a wider lense. You will be surprised when you see the result.

It is very difficult to recommend anything in that situation, but my gut feeling is you do not need to spend money on anything too expensive as yet, and something like Nikon D5xxx with a couple of lenses will be a perfect option.
 
Ok, well like sashbar I'm a little confused as to what it is your really looking for here.

In general, many Mirrorless systems are going to be smaller and lighter than their older DSLR cousins- however you are going to have less to choose from in lenses and accessories. If your looking at a 4/3 system you are definitely not going to get the lowlight performance you can out of a good APS-C, and certainly nowhere near full frame.

Your skills as a photographer will ultimately determine the quality of your results far more than your camera choice, no matter what you end up choosing. But you should really be aware of the limitations of each system before you decide to buy, and ask yourself if the benefits of your choice will outweigh those limitations.
 
"..So, does that mean you are going to shoot products professionally in low light while travelling for a year?"
actually.. yes!
I'm a designer / photographer and starting a new project soon where I will be traveling, uploading new designs online and also shooting various people I will meet on the way (studio shots). I will also shoot atmospheric images for this. there you have it. I love to shoot them with low light in film but film is not an option for traveling. I need the camera to be good enough for print.

come on.. I know you can technically change the lens, it's just uncomfortable to me. personal opinion.
what do you mean cannon 5D does not exist...http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos5dmarkii . it was just a spelling mistake, and I don't appreciate this attitude.
my idea of a cropped picture is not ridiculous. show me any photo and I'll tell you if it's cropped or not.
I borrowed a Nikon d90 a while back and found it's APS-C crop (with several different lenses) very annoying and not to my taste. why argue on this point? like I said before, this is a matter of personal taste and style. anyway I need the low light quality, so anyway I need something that 4/3 can't produce.

there's no budget limit. this is for my livelihood, I want a camera that will serve me best for my needs.


Hi! thank you for the elaborated response. very helpful. also the comparison tool is great. I've been looking at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, it's a definitely good option. their sensor seems really good in the tests.
problem is, full frame is something I can't let go of. it's not only technical, if you want my honest reply. I'm still filming with old analog film cameras for scenery and fashion shots in 6x6 and going digital, especially 4/3, is loosing much of the charm in photography for me. in other words, the shots look a lot less beautiful with aps-c or 4/3 no matter how you turn it. they don't utilize the full visual scape of the lenses. they simply look cropped to me, plus there is this issue that if you want to catch more of the scene you have to get farther away from the object then you would with full frame, and even then you wont catch the shot that you wanted, and sometimes it's very annoying, especially if you've been filming full frame all your life.
as for macro, dead DOF (bokeh) is something I use sometimes for the product shots, but then I don't use a macro lens to create this effect but a zoom 18mm lens. I need to check farther how the 4/3 handles this, because I read somewhere they have a problem with the sensors and the possibility to manipulate DOF. this is what I meant by "depth".

high performance under low light - mainly noise.

Your posts are very confusing, to be honest with you. In one phrase you say you have been shooting film with various cameras, and in your next phrase you sound like a complete beginner. You say you need a camera for professional use, and then mention that in fact you are going to travel for a year and need something light. You say you will be using it for product photography and then say that you like shooting in low light. ( So, does that mean you are going to shoot products professionally in low light while travelling for a year? )

Your idea of an image looking cropped because it was shot with a crop sensor camera is just ridiculous. Then you mention shooting with full frame all your life. Then you mention Canon D5 -a camera that does not exists.

I hope you are aware that any FF focal length has its APS-C and 4/3 equivalent. So here is a hint, it is secret, do not tell anyone: instead of getting further away from the subject with a cropped camera, just use a wider lense. You will be surprised when you see the result.

It is very difficult to recommend anything in that situation, but my gut feeling is you do not need to spend money on anything too expensive as yet, and something like Nikon D5xxx with a couple of lenses will be a perfect option.
 
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I need to check farther how the 4/3 handles this, because I read somewhere they have a problem with the sensors and the possibility to manipulate DOF. this is what I meant by "depth".
4/3 is like 'half frame' i think - so the D.O.F is twice as deep.
 
I need to check farther how the 4/3 handles this, because I read somewhere they have a problem with the sensors and the possibility to manipulate DOF. this is what I meant by "depth".
4/3 is like 'half frame' i think - so the D.O.F is twice as deep.

I've recently found this field of view/depth of field/DOF equivalency calculator site on-line...it's wonderful. And YES, m4/3 has DEEP depth of field with its normal lens length, at fairly wide apertures. A 25mm f/2.8 lens looks pretty close to the look of a 50mm at f/5.6 on Full-Frame... which is actually handy at times, being able to get deep DOF at moderate distances, like 15 feet, at wide f/stops.

http://www.pointsinfocus.com/tools/...lculator/#fmt=6&ap=2.828427&fl=24&dst=17&u=us

For people who do social photography, the deeper depth of field that smaller-sensor cameras give can be a really positive thing; for other people, the inherently deep DOF is seen as a drawback.
 
The calculator is showing a total DOF for FF 24mm f/4 of 17', yet only 6' for 4/3rds sensor.
I'm confused - I would have thought the reverse would be the case.

I've recently found this field of view/depth of field/DOF equivalency calculator site on-line...it's wonderful. And YES, m4/3 has DEEP depth of field with its normal lens length, at fairly wide apertures. A 25mm f/2.8 lens looks pretty close to the look of a 50mm at f/5.6 on Full-Frame... which is actually handy at times, being able to get deep DOF at moderate distances, like 15 feet, at wide f/stops.

http://www.pointsinfocus.com/tools/...lculator/#fmt=6&ap=2.828427&fl=24&dst=17&u=us

For people who do social photography, the deeper depth of field that smaller-sensor cameras give can be a really positive thing; for other people, the inherently deep DOF is seen as a drawback.
 

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