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    • I have heard the same tales from numerous friends as well. I have shot with their Sony cameras occasionally, but just cannot get enthusiastic about the way they feel in my hands. Light and fragile does come to mind. I like light, but not fragile. I do like real weather sealing also, even though I use a camera body rain coat with the slightest suggestion of need.

      I rarely shoot video, and when I do, it is usually with a m4/3 body and lens. Or an iPhone..

      I shoot mostly wildlife and some motorsports, air shows etc, so long lenses, major battery life, and cracking AF are important to me, as is dust and weather sealing. My cameras do not lead a gentle life, at all.

      One other aspect I appreciate and actually use a fair amount is Canon Factory Service, and their rapid turnaround time. They have rebulit numerous lenses including a 500mm prime for me and I can get this done is less than 7 days including shipment to and from Indiana to New Jersey and back.

      I would add here that I recently had to have a Tamron 200-500mm lens serviced by Tamron Service - sharpness or focus seemed just slightly off - Tamron promised 48 hour turnaround and they performed, and did not charge me for the repair of a 4 year old lens either - I did have the documentation of purchase and was the original owner. But the rapid repair and return of my lens was quite impressive - I can recall when Tamron service required 4-6 weeks

      How is the factory service for Sony? I have heard mixed reviews for Nikon occaisionally.

      I do like the newest Sigma lenses and have my eye on a 14mm f1.8 Art for night shots and stars maybe later this summer before I head to Greenland and central Iceland.

    • I used to work for Fujifilm and we used to have banter with the reps from Canon and Nikon because they thought mirrorless cameras were a phase that would die out. Nikon and Canon missed the buck with mirrorless and are now playing catch up, I think that's partly why we're seeing such a hit in their markets. Mirrorless for the win! 😜

    • How could mirrorless not win? The mirror is a bottleneck in so many ways. It is mechanical and fails over time. The frame rate is limited by how fast the mirror can move up an down. You can't shoot video with the mirror down. Previewing the exposure isn't effective in a DSLR. A mirrorless EVF opens the door for new software to augment the image with focus peaking, exposure clipping, etc.

      EVF and mirrorless phase detection tech is still playing catch up with some DSLR capabilities, but soon everything will be mirrorless.

    • Yes, I agree, mirrorless is the future.

      For the here and now, dSLR technology still wins for AF in lower and lowest light. For sensitivity to subject shapes of any size and direction nothing beats the current best AF technology; Canon's Closed-Loop AF (in certain bodies and certain lens combinations) plus Double-Cross (and iterations and variations of such) Phase-Detect sensors.

      Dual-Pixel (Canon's AF solution for current high-end Live-View and Mirrorless) is currently limited to vertical-edge sensitivity, but Canon has patents which carry that technology forward by sub-dividing each pixel into quarters, bi-horizontal and bi-vertical, which allow a Cross-type Phase Detect (Vertical "and" Horizontal edges detected). By combining these AF arrays at the sub-pixel level, all sorts of AF shapes should be possible (although the AF will still be most sensitive to vertical and horizontal edges).

      Mirrorless technology has no optical viewfinder, only an electronic viewfinder when present. Electronic viewfinders are really just smaller LCD displays, subject to the same delays as larger LCD displays. As the refresh speed increases, the delay from:

      1) Image acquisition on the imager chip
      2) Image processing
      3) Image display on the viewfinder/LCD

      ... cycles does decrease, but there is always a delay before the operator sees the scene action and can respond accordingly.

      Yes, a dSLR has a blackout period between cycles, but you do see the action unfold at approximately 186,000 Miles-per-second (speed-of-light) when the mirror is down. The short bursts many sports photographers use, for instance, are not a problem for dSLR systems.

      A prediction of certainty is that soon mirrorless cameras will be able to buffer a few frames continuously, so that cameras will be able to record frames from before the user pressing the shutter button. (Some video cameras/camcorders already do this, but I don't know of any still cameras with this capability, yet.)

      To summarize, there's a reason you still see a plethora of professional photographers using dSLRs for most events requiring best system responsiveness, and especially in lower and lowest light; dSLRs still generally beat mirrorless systems for AF acquisition and for overall system responsiveness.

      In good light, mirrorless are tantalizingly good for AF acquisition, so the situation will change, but I still greatly prefer, and overall recommend, dSLR systems for still image acquisition in all lighting conditions.

    • I've tried Sony and Olympus, and would tend to agree with your thoughts on focusing etc... But I'm a Fuji user (previously worked for them), and often struggle to agree that DSLRs are quicker at focusing in low light - at least to any point where it's noticeable. The sensors in the Fuji cameras are built differently too, so I also love the results colour wise.

      One of Fuji's ambassadors (and a SmugMug ambassador) is John Rourke. I've known him for a number of years and I think he puts the focusing debate to bed, since he exclusively uses Fuji mirrorless. He is the official photographer for the World Endurance Championship and the ELMS (European Le Mans Series).

      It's all swings and roundabouts, I guess.

    • Yes, Ziggy, I believe one of the recent m4/3 bodies offers the ability to capture images before pressing the shutter - a half press of the shutter begins capturing images in the buffer for up to 1 second or so - if you have not pressed the shutter at that time, then the oldest files are deleted to make room for more recent ones - somewhere I saw a post about this technique but I can't seem to find it right now - not sure whether it was Oly or Pany Edit - I found a review which states that both the Lumix G9 and the Olympus OMD EM1 MkII offer half press buffer recording ability for 20 Mpxl still images -

      I have been hemming and hawing whether to aquire the new Panasonic DMC-G9 or the Oly OMD EM1 MK II to match my Panasonic Vario-Elmar 100-400 - it is really hard to get 800mm range with a larger format system, even though I really do love the way the 1DX MK II works - its ability to capture birds in flight in low light near or after sunset is remarkable.

      I have shot a few frames with the Sony A9, but the form factor seems odd to me since I have used standard DSLRs for so long probably and it may be hard for an old dog to learn new tricks. I have an occasional success with the tools I already possess.

      FF format long lenses from Sony are not any smaller than Canons or Nikons either.

      Great set of portfolio images at the link Lauren posted -

      Once again, I don't think it is the hammer or chisel one uses that is the deciding factor, but the skill of the eyes and hands holding them, and directing them, that is the major factor.

      This is a pretty nice review of the Oly OMD EM1 MkII - although it is 2 years old - Its ability to shoot 3->5 sec exposures hand held that are actually sharp is truly astounding and might be quite useful for waterfalls, light trails at night, etc.