Mirrorless- Why I Won’t Shut Up About It

My go to portrait camera
My go to portrait camera

I have been shooting professionally on and off for twenty plus years and started when the standard pro camera was an F3 or an F4. Everything back then was heavy. Cameras, lenses, flashes all weighed a ton and you lugged them from job to job in your huge shoulder bag. Back pain was sure to follow. Meanwhile, in the real world, technology was making everything lighter but digital didn’t seem to help at all- if anything things became heavier!

I have carried the 5D and three zoom kit about for what seems an eternity, travelled with A900 and the three Zeiss zooms through Europe, even climbed Mt Gower on Lord Howe Island with the A900 kit (nearly died on that one but that a another story). They are HEAVY!
When I worked for Sony I saw the first NEX prototype and immediately dismissed it as a piece of junk. A gimmick from a struggling CE brand that was losing its way. It wasn’t until I took an NEX-7 out with the 24mm Zeiss that it really struck me- this camera shoots better pictures than my 5D. How is this possible? I soon came to realise that the smallness and lightness of the kit was the answer. Chuck it in a bag and go travelling, you don’t know its there. Pull it out and shoot some people, they don’t even care about the silly little compact camera user. Side by side in lightroom the NEX-7 was helping me get the pictures I saw rather than getting in the way.

Jump forward a little and my wife got herself an Olympus kit, again a great camera. She later upgraded to the A7. Currently I shoot and travel with the following-

  • NEX- with the 32mm f1.8 Touit
  • X100T

Thats it. Tiny bag. A fast 50mm and a fast 35mm. Having owned a camera store and shot just about everything including Leica, paring the kit down to two lenses has made me a better photographer. Don’t get me wrong, if I shoot an event or a corporate the 5D kit is the go to but for how much longer? I could shoot this stuff on an A6000 or an A7. The next range of mirrorless will be the tipping point, this is when the 5D kit goes on Ebay and I seriously believe that if you are not making a pro mirrorless system as a brand you are doomed. If you are not shooting a mirrorless system I hope you have some private health care because you back is going to need it.

X100T, better than Leica M240? Possibly but definitely better value and definitely better than a DSLR version
X100T, better than Leica M240? Possibly but definitely better value and definitely better than a DSLR version

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