Upgrade path to full frame - DSLR vs. mirrorless

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adamhiram

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Looks like Sony full frame is calling you if AF is key.
LOL, how quickly that went from an $800 used body with a $900 used 24-70, to a $3500 body with $5k+ in new lenses!
 

malling

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Looks like Sony full frame is calling you if AF is key.
LOL, how quickly that went from an $800 used body with a $900 used 24-70, to a $3500 body with $5k+ in new lenses!

Older Sony bodies are available either new or used so spending that much might not be necessary. All of my GM and G lenses are actually bought used, so you don’t need to spend $5k+ on lenses either.

That said changing system to Sony from
Either Canon or Nikon doesn’t really make much sense today.
 

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Looks like Sony full frame is calling you if AF is key.
LOL, how quickly that went from an $800 used body with a $900 used 24-70, to a $3500 body with $5k+ in new lenses!
I guess you'll have to keep what you have and not upgrade if you want everything the D500 has, but in FF for $800.
 

Destin

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“What I really want doesn't exist; a full frame D500, without the higher resolution of the D850.”

This absolutely exists. It’s the D5.. just ignore the price tag lol
 

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I can't really add to the brand information but I switched to full frame last year and I'm really glad I did. The better quality glass really shines and makes traditional focal lengths really useful.

I think if your primary interest is portraiture or landscapes then the switch is well worth it, but do it bearing in mind that the cost of good quality lenses is significant. If you are more field based (like I am) I'd go DSLR, but if you are more studio based then mirrorless is probably the way to go just because of battery life.

I really don't like EVFs, to me they put me out of the scene too much but many people don't mind them.

If you really need the AF perfomace then mirrorless is probably better, for me I could live without the extra fps, but that's me and down to what my primary focus is (landscapes)
 
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adamhiram

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This absolutely exists. It’s the D5.. just ignore the price tag lol
Isn't that the truth! I had high hopes when they announced the D780, but it turned out to just be a D750 with an updated processor, and some mirrorless functionality if you use live view.
 
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adamhiram

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I think if your primary interest is portraiture or landscapes then the switch is well worth it, but do it bearing in mind that the cost of good quality lenses is significant. If you are more field based (like I am) I'd go DSLR, but if you are more studio based then mirrorless is probably the way to go just because of battery life.
Thank you, this is very helpful. Battery life was another big concern I had - the Z6/Z7 are rated for something like 300 shots per charge, which might not be enough o make it through a full shoot in some cases. I've heard in practice it is much better, but I'm used to around 1000 shots before my battery runs out as long as I don't chimp too much. What has your experience been like?
 

Destin

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I think if your primary interest is portraiture or landscapes then the switch is well worth it, but do it bearing in mind that the cost of good quality lenses is significant. If you are more field based (like I am) I'd go DSLR, but if you are more studio based then mirrorless is probably the way to go just because of battery life.
Thank you, this is very helpful. Battery life was another big concern I had - the Z6/Z7 are rated for something like 300 shots per charge, which might not be enough o make it through a full shoot in some cases. I've heard in practice it is much better, but I'm used to around 1000 shots before my battery runs out as long as I don't chimp too much. What has your experience been like?

I’ll chip in here, though I don’t have experience with z series.

When I went mirrorless with Fuji, everyone told me the battery life was terrible. As a result I bought 4 extra batteries and carried them with me on every shoot. I too was used to 1000+ shots with my DSLRs.

I adapted quickly and it’s been no big deal. 300-500 shots with minimal chimping is easy. Even shooting landscapes in live view the battery lasts an hour or so.

I’ve only changed batteries mid shoot a few times, and it’s usually easy to plan a convenient time to do so. I guess the battery life may be an issue if you’re a professional wedding or sports shooter, but otherwise I’ve come to see it as a non-issue.

Even when I got 1000+ shots on my DSLR I’d swap to a fresh battery before it got low on critical shoots, and I’d always recharge after a shoot even if it was close to full.. so my workflow hasn’t changed much.
 

ac12

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I think if your primary interest is portraiture or landscapes then the switch is well worth it, but do it bearing in mind that the cost of good quality lenses is significant. If you are more field based (like I am) I'd go DSLR, but if you are more studio based then mirrorless is probably the way to go just because of battery life.
Thank you, this is very helpful. Battery life was another big concern I had - the Z6/Z7 are rated for something like 300 shots per charge, which might not be enough o make it through a full shoot in some cases. I've heard in practice it is much better, but I'm used to around 1000 shots before my battery runs out as long as I don't chimp too much. What has your experience been like?

Battery life on a mirrorless is VERY different than a dSLR, and much shorter.

You need to change how you think and plan for battery life.
With a dSLR, it is not draining much power until you press the shutter.
With a mirrorless, while the camera is on, the EVF is sucking power, and the processor is running the video to the EVF.

With my D7200, I can shoot all weekend and Monday and still have battery power left.
With my Olympus EM1, I will drain the battery to empty in 4 hours (continuous ON), 2-1/2 if I use a power sucking lens.
Where I did not carry a spare battery with the D7200, I carry FOUR spares with the EM1, to get me through a FULL day of shooting. And that is only ONE day, the next day of the weekend would need another four or five, for a total of NINE or TEN batteries. So I have to charge every night, using at least two chargers, and charging in two shifts, to start the day with all batteries fully charged. Definitely a logistical issue.

Based on my experience, mirrorless battery life is not based on number of shots, but on POWER ON TIME.
Example1, I shot about 2,000 shots at a tennis meet, but in less than 2 hours. And I still had battery life left.
But, at a basketball game, I shot less than 800 shots in 3-1/2 hours, and the battery went empty.​
Example2, On vacation, I could reliably predict when I would need to change batteries in my EM1, at 11am and 4pm +/-. About 4 hours of continuous use. It did not matter how much or little I shot.

I don't know what the battery life of the Z6/7 are like, but you get the idea.
 
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Pixeldawg1

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Rather than tell you what camera to get, I am going to tell you my experience with the Mirrorless Z7, which IS full frame and a really fantastic camera. In fact, I compare it to the "F" camera (F, F2, F3...). It is just THAT good. I love the quality and at 48MP, it enough image to do whatever you'd like. I use all of my "old" Nikon glass (a 50mm F1.4 from the F, an ancient 105mm Micro (I purchased new when I was 16. Now 55 years old...) a 70-200 F2.8 and a brand-spanking new 200-500 F5.6. All of them are tack sharp and work really well. I have purchased a Z mount for each of these, so that I can change out lenses as I always have. A bit of cash to do this, but it is worth it for my habits and work flow. I also have the 14-28 and 24-70 Z series lenses, which are magnificent. I am astounded by the sharpness each and every time I use them.

There are a few things you have to get used to with the mirrorless. First, the flash only fires on "single shot" mode. Nikon, about two years ago, asked me to test drive the Z7 and I noted this when using the camera for the week and asked their staff here in Shanghai why this was and they explained that it was to avoid sensor damage. The flash, if fired rapidly, will literally cause the sensor to burn up. The next thing is the "silent mode". I never use it as I have found it to be intrusive in other camera functions, like shooting in very high ISO in very low light. I discovered, much to Nikon's chagrin, that the "silent mode" caused a significant amount of noise when using "silent mode" in concert with these settings (24,00 ISO and exposures of 1/200th of a sec at F4, if I recall correctly). It otherwise is fine if the silent mode is turned off, so I don't use it. Not really needed anyway without the mirror slap. It is a very quiet camera, and there are other issues with it as well, so keep it off. The video is wonderful. We have an instructor for Cinematography here that I work with (He did work with Michael Jackson and many other noteables) and he was just blown away by the video quality. It is magnificent. He went out and purchased a Z7 for his personal work when I showed this to him. To me, significantly better than the Sony.

Anyway, this is my take on this. Hope it helps you make a decision about mirrorless. Personally, I can't see what all of the fuss with mirrorless is about. It works very, very well and the image quality is nothing short of fantastic. Jump in, the water is warm! :)
 

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Regarding battery time I don’t see it as much of a problem in portrait nor landscape photography, as it’s relatively easy to plan an on/off cycle and changing battery, you can also let the camera turn off the EVF when your not looking into it. This alongside photographing my hobby is my main field and I have never had an issues.

But it’s advisable to have a portable charger for the longer hikes. I would be carrying around with one either way.

The biggest problem with the shorter battery time is actually not with those type of photography, but rather the type where you have to catch the moment like wedding, sports, wildlife, time-lapse this is where you really can run into problems with the shorter battery time and where a battery-grip or a portable battery that is hooked up with the camera is essential to make the system work as you do not really want to turn of the camera.
 
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petrochemist

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I have a lot of years with SLR format, and at this point have no desire to move to mirrorless. Pentax glass isn't cheap, especially that for full frame. The new FA 85mm f/1.4 will cost you $2k with tax, same with the FA 70-200mm f/2.8. The only way someone like myself could consider such an investment is the interchangeability between my APS-C K3II and the full frame K1MII. Not only that but based on past history I feel pretty sure that any new model Pentax that comes out will continue to follow the backward compatibility model, that allows me to use legacy glass all the way back to 1975.

Frankly I haven't seen any feature, on any mirrorless that would entice me to dump years of accumulation and experience with what I have.

My experience with mirrorless hasn't caused me to dump any of the experience with PK mount gear. All 4 of the mirrorless bodies I use -that's e-mount in FF & APSC, and 2 MFT bodies (normal & IR) work well with all my legacy lenses without any problems. Indeed with magnify & focus peaking available in the viewfinder the newer models work considerably better than my Pentax DSLRs with manual focus lenses irrespective of mount PK/M42/OM/LTM...

Pentax's backwards compatibility is significantly better than Nikon's let alone Canon's, but it's not a patch on mirrorless when it comes to manual focus lenses. There's even a third party adapter that allows limited AF with these old lenses (in a similar way to Pentax's 1.7x AF TC).
 

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Indeed with magnify & focus peaking available in the viewfinder the newer models work considerably better t

I have that now in both the K3II and K1MII in live view, with magnification it goes to 16x. Provided I have the time to do so it works well. However when I don't the view finder is still the best option for me especially in low light. The viewfinder uses phase detect while live view uses contrast. Granted some mirrorless incorporate phase detect but there are limitation. A good read on the subject Why Mirrorless Autofocus Means Trade-Offs.

The other thing is how I shoot, with both eyes open, it's easier for me to acquire and focus using the viewfinder. I lose that ability with a screen.
 

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Indeed with magnify & focus peaking available in the viewfinder the newer models work considerably better t

I have that now in both the K3II and K1MII in live view, with magnification it goes to 16x. Provided I have the time to do so it works well. However when I don't the view finder is still the best option for me especially in low light. The viewfinder uses phase detect while live view uses contrast. Granted some mirrorless incorporate phase detect but there are limitation. A good read on the subject Why Mirrorless Autofocus Means Trade-Offs.

The other thing is how I shoot, with both eyes open, it's easier for me to acquire and focus using the viewfinder. I lose that ability with a screen.
Low light is another place where an EVF can beat an OVF, doing macro at 5x magnification I can't see a thing through my DSLRs viewfinder, not an issue on the mirrorless.

Shooting without a viewfinder is indeed a poor choice, My first IR converted camera came without a viewfinder & I soon decided the optional one was worth the extra.

Now I'd better go & read your link :)

Didn't take long to spot his trade offs are inaccurate.
DSLRs phase detect sensors are also under an IR block filter (or they'd focus in the wrong place!) as a regular IR shooter I'm well aware of how this can differ.
Not only that but 100% of the light goes to the sensor rather than a portion to the viewfinder & the remainder to AF & exposure sensors.

On sensor phase detect (& EVF) uses the all the wavelengths the sensor can see to focus with. When using an Full spectrum converted model this makes a huge difference - I might used a 890nm+ filter on one shot & 450nm & less on the next.
 
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smoke665

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DSLRs phase detect sensors are also under an IR block filter

I don't shoot IR, but I'm not sure I agree with this, as the viewfinder uses an AF IR assist light in low light. Having an IR filter on the focus sensor would negate it's use, would it not?
 

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