Shooting manual

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Cameras' started by Summer75, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    Can one shoot in Manual, or even take RAW photos, with a mirror-less camera? I am a dslr owner and have often wondered about these middle-ground cameras that offer more than a point and shoot but seem a step below a dslr. I am also wondering if you can change lenses with them.


     
  2. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Every mirrorless camera I know if can shoot in manual, shoot in Raw, and change lenses. They are designed to be equal to DSLRs, not a step below. Most have ASP-C sensors, although a few are full frame. There is no difference in image quality from a DSLR, the biggest difference in using them is that they have an electronic viewfinder, which is a slightly different experience and drains the battery faster.
     
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  3. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I think the current mirrorless cameras from Canon & Nikon are somewhat below DSLR, but they would be happy top kill of the genre. My own mirrorless cameras are all older models but make good replacements for DSLRs, for most subject types. Currently my DSLR works better for motorsport & airshows (fast action with longer lenses) the latest models probably aren't so far behind there. Having both available I think I've shot roughly equal amounts with each in the last year.
    As the technology improves I rather suspect that mirrorless will take over completely in a ~10 years time.

    For the record my Mirrorless are better on manual than my DSLR. Longer shutter speeds available, magnified EVF for focusing, and via adapters can take a much wider range of lenses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
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  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not only can my mirrorless camera shoot in full Manual but it has Program mode too. And my mirrorless camera lenses have actual f/stops -- really -- on the lens.

    Joe
     
  5. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses. This helps my understanding. I did a quick google and the mirrorless are a fairly new thing than? All I really knew of was the point and shoot verses the DSLR. Isn't there a middle ground camera that shoots in manual and even RAW but does not change lenses. Kind of like a step up from a point and shoot but not quite a DSLR?
     
  6. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I think some of the better compact cameras can have RAW & Manual modes, I've certainly got at least one that does manual.
    For intermediate cameras you'll generally be after a bridge camera. SLR like shape but fixed lenses (usually with high zoom factors).

    Mirrorless cameras have been around since Panasonic brought out the G1 (2009?). They've gone by a collection of terms in the intervening years with mirrorless lately being the one that's aught on. previous terms include EVIL (electronic veiwfinder, interchangable lens), CSC (Compact systems camera), DSLM (digital single lens mirrorless)...
     
  7. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, I believe you are thinking of bridge cameras: Best Bridge Camera of 2015 - What Digital Camera

    These are not the same as mirrorless cameras: 10 best mirrorless cameras of 2015
     
  8. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    While Point & Shoots and Bridge cameras are mirrorless, they are not an Interchangeable Lenses Camera (ILC). There are mirrorless cameras which have similar features and capabilities as a dSLR. Look at Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung and Fuji (just to name some of the top mirrorless brands). I shoot 100% in RAW and 95% in Manual. I have FF dSLR's, but I prefer my Fuji XT1, APS-C, mirrorless over my Canon 1Ds, FF, dSLR.

    Some recent examples of Mirrorless/RAW/Manual with the Fuji XT1 @ ISO 3200.

    From a theatrical production of Godspell:

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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  9. Summer75

    Summer75 TPF Noob!

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    Nice! I am learning alot here, thanks for all the responses.
     
  10. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    There's essentially
    - Point & Shoot
    - Compact
    - Bridge
    - 1 inch, MFT, APC-S & FF Mirrorless interchangeable (and non-interchangeable) lenses
    - DSLR

    In addition to my DSLR I have a compact (non-interchangeable lens) that shots RAW and has full Manual controls, and a bright EVF. A Nikon P7800. It's a different in handling than my dslr but once you get used to it's operating features it's pretty nice for a pocketable camera.
     
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  11. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Some advantages of mirrorless are: generally a smaller footprint (a mirror box takes up a lot of real estate), much quieter (no loud mirror slap sound), less movining parts to break/maintain (a mirror box and optical conveyance are not as robust as a non-moving Electronic Viewfinder, EVF), the EVF can be adjusted to automatically compensate for ambient light levels (so if you're shooting in the dark the EVF will auto-gain for easier focusing/framing, great for shoot in a studio environment using flash), or the EVF can reflect your exposure and you can instantly see if you're over or under exposed without referencing the light meter. With mirrorless you can find an adapter for practically every lens ever made and use it manually on mirrorless, (some adapters will allow the photog to use a newer lens in auto modes). These newer mirrorless systems are designed from the ground-up to work with and compliment new electronic components and sensors (as opposed to older dSLR's which evolved from SLR's and inherited much of the SLR legency which may be good or bad ... Which may work well with newer sensors/electronics or not).

    Some disadvantages are: The Auto Focus System, while lightening fast, isn't as good as a dSLR for tracking moving subjects. The better mirrorless systems, Sony, Oly, Pany, Fuji are relatively new and haven't nearly the shear amount of lenses and accessories of the established dSLR manufacturers of Nikon and Canon. But how many lenses do you really need? (As opposed to want ... Lol.). But, these smaller mirrorless manufacturers are pumping out new lenses and expanding their systems.). I believe that unlike dSLR systems, most/all mirrorless manufacturers only sell one format/sensor size camera. Sony makes FF mirrorless only, Fuji makes APS-C mirrorless only, Oly and Pany only make MFT mirrorless.
     
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  12. f/otographer

    f/otographer TPF Noob!

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    Sony does indeed make apsc mirrorless, they actually started with those before full frame. All of the NEX cameras are apsc as well as the newer ones like the a6000. Those are some really great images you have there by the way Gary.

    To the OP, one way to think about mirrorless is in the very name...mirror-less. The modern crop of mirrorless cameras like the A7 series and the Fuji are really just 'mirrorless' DSLR's. They can do much or all of what DSLR's do just without the mirror and with an EVF instead, thus the mirrorless moniker. I like to think of mirrorless cameras (MC's) as just an evolution of the DSLR. But most manufacturers have chosen to do away with the traditional shape that the DSLR has evolved into and have come out with a bewildering array of form factors, some sleek and modern and some very retro.

    Now one thing to remember, as others have said, is even though MC's are evolutions of DSLR's sometimes the autofocus isn't as good as top of the line DSLR's. That's because the DSLR (and the SLR on which it is based) has had over 30 years of research and development put into its autofocus mirrorbox system. MC's have only been focusing off the sensor for a few short years in comparison. Of course the DSLR will have a current advantage here, at least for the time being and really in more of the high end models. But for all intents and purposes the mirrorbox is pretty much at the end of its life as far as development goes, whereas on sensor focusing technology has lots and lots of development ahead of it. So AF for MC's will eventually catch up to the top of the line DSLR's and most likely surpass them. The problem is going to be in the refresh rate of the EVF. There may be a wall there imparted by physics that an EVF cant over come when trying to AF on fast moving targets. Not from an AF perspective so much as a 'what can I see in the EVF' perspective. Time will tell.

    Another huge advantage of most MC's is the ability to use almost any lens out there. My Sony a7 is for me little more than a 24mp digital back for every lens ever made, especially since I only shoot old legacy lenses. This wont work for everyone in all situations, but it suits my photography just fine. Please feel free to view my a7 folder on flickr for examples of what can be achieved with vintage glass.


    α7

    As far as I'm concerned those images are in no way inferior to what can be captured with a DSLR, and actually many of them could not have been done with a lot of DSLR's since the lenses I used would have issues when you attempt to adapt them to cameras with mirrors due to the larger flange/focal distance required for the mirrorbox assembly.

    Mirrorless cameras currently have many great offerings to choose from and the market is growing all the time. I hope in 2016 we will finally see some serious mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon, as well as (possibly) a medium format MC from Fuji. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what you shoot with as long as your images are coming out the way you want and you are pleased with the results. Your artistic vision and skill as a photographer will factor far more into the final image then whether the camera you have has a mirror or not. MC or DSLR...plenty of great choices either way. Hope this helped.
     
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