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Mirrorless design

For mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras I

  • Prefer SLR type designs

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • Prefer range finder style designs

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • Have no preference and like both

    Votes: 15 50.0%

  • Total voters
    30

Zim

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I like both and use both for work. Mirrorless cameras are great for using with available as it's an efficient way to see whether you've the right exposure. DSLRs are better for working with strobes and studio lights as you don't have to deal with the downsides of an electronic viewfinder.

IMO
 

rdenney

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I like both and use both for work. Mirrorless cameras are great for using with available as it's an efficient way to see whether you've the right exposure. DSLRs are better for working with strobes and studio lights as you don't have to deal with the downsides of an electronic viewfinder.

IMO
Hmmm. I can check exposure handily with my digital SLR cameras.

(Story about "available" light, which I read somewhere: Experienced pro photographer hires a young, hip sideman (a term that has no gender assumption) for a wedding. The new protégé showed up with just the camera and no strobes. The situation was in a poorly lit facility and the old pro asked the young recruit where his strobe was, and the recruit haughtily declaimed, "I shoot in the journalistic style using only available light."

The old pro responded: "That's fine. But if you have a strobe in the trunk of your car, it would be available.")

Rick "for whom the histogram is an effective validation of correct exposure" Denney
 

keith_h

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Went to a wedding recently where mirrorless cams without strobes were used by the tog. Results were very good I must say.

You can also check exposure settings with an app on an iphone these days. There's an app for that apparently.
 

Offler

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Hmmm. I can check exposure handily with my digital SLR cameras.

(Story about "available" light, which I read somewhere: Experienced pro photographer hires a young, hip sideman (a term that has no gender assumption) for a wedding. The new protégé showed up with just the camera and no strobes. The situation was in a poorly lit facility and the old pro asked the young recruit where his strobe was, and the recruit haughtily declaimed, "I shoot in the journalistic style using only available light."

The old pro responded: "That's fine. But if you have a strobe in the trunk of your car, it would be available.")

Rick "for whom the histogram is an effective validation of correct exposure" Denney
Some photographers do claim that natural light is the best, and it should be used at all times, with no flash. They obviously never shot photos in a cellar-like pub with black paint on walls.

Then they spend hours in post production, trying to get colors and contrast right... It will work eventually, but it will require extra time.

There are nice effects which can be done with a flash during the sunny day. Take a shot of person using flash, with full open aperture, but very short exposure. Nice effect without spending time in photoshop---
 

Destination: Moon

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Hmmm. I can check exposure handily with my digital SLR cameras.

Where the histogram falls down is in back lit and silhouettes. The graphical plotting is fine for preventing blown out highlights and keeping the image inside the curve, but you need to chimp after the fact for many situations where your not looking for a "properly exposed" image. The mirrorless really lets you use exposure compensation in real time as a third control - in addition to SS and Aperture. Having a live exposure view is something I would no longer shoot without on my outings
 

rdenney

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I dunno. I managed to meter correctly nearly every time back in the day, even silhouetted subjects against bright backlight, and even using transparency film with maybe five stops of dynamic range (instead of 12 or more from my Pentax), and even with no possibility of correction prior to display. My old Canon F-1 had a useful center-spot meter good for that purpose, and better (for anyone who understood zone placement) than the center-weighted metering used by Nikon. That was before multi-zone metering, which was a feature on my Canon T90 (a lovely camera). I still use an external meter for big film cameras, of course, even though I have the metering prisms for my Pentax 67s. For large format, I use a spot meter, but I don't do a lot of filtration or long bellows macro extension that would require a lot of mental math (though I do know the math).

Rather than letting a screen tell me if something is exposed correctly (which I absolutely do when using, say, my iPhone), I can just point the meter spot on the part I want to place at middle gray, press the AE lock button, recompose, and make the photo. I do that anyway because I set the camera to only use the center focus spot, and I focus and then recompose unless I'm using a tripod. Or, I can depend on the multi-zone metering in the camera that will seek to prevent any one zone from falling outside the characteristic curve. You know--tools that have existed to solve this problem for decades; tools that iPhones don't have. I don't think any of that is slower or less accurate than using an electronic finder to check exposure.

For me chimping is about checking the expressions of the subject and to make sure everyone's eyes were open. For non-moving subjects, I rarely chimp more than a quick glance at the held image before it times out.

Rick "a matter of technique" Denney
 
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JJB70

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I remember the light metering of the Olympus OM-3 and OM-4, it was pretty transformational when released for those willing to learn how to really use it. The concept had a short life as matrix multi-zone metering came out not long agter, but in some ways multi-spot metering is still a brilliant system for people who like to take a hands on approach to photography. The OM-3 and OM-4 was wonderful cameras.
 

Prana Ferox

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Rangefinders may look more hip and cool, and with a small lens are easier to conceal and carry, but I find you really have to want a fairly minimalist photography experience with them. Which a lot of people do.

If you want to use all the whizbang gadgets in a modern camera (or just gracefully hold a big lens) I find the 'SLR' ergos and extra controls way better, even with my small hands.

I find trying to control much anything with a rear touchscreen (especially when it's up on my face) to be a counterproductive hassle.
 

Zim

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Hmmm. I can check exposure handily with my digital SLR cameras.

(Story about "available" light, which I read somewhere: Experienced pro photographer hires a young, hip sideman (a term that has no gender assumption) for a wedding. The new protégé showed up with just the camera and no strobes. The situation was in a poorly lit facility and the old pro asked the young recruit where his strobe was, and the recruit haughtily declaimed, "I shoot in the journalistic style using only available light."

The old pro responded: "That's fine. But if you have a strobe in the trunk of your car, it would be available.")

Rick "for whom the histogram is an effective validation of correct exposure" Denney
Generally I don’t have time to look somewhere else in the viewfinder to check or time to chimp. Seeing literally what the exposure is through an electronic viewfinder saves my time and drama in post, not to mention avoiding missing important moments. But as I said, I use both for different purposes.

That’s great that you have time to check your exposure. For me, any opportunity to make things more efficient, I’ll take it.
 

Destination: Moon

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I dunno. I managed to meter correctly nearly every time back in the day, even silhouetted subjects against bright backlight, and even using transparency film with maybe five stops of dynamic range (instead of 12 or more from my Pentax), and even with no possibility of correction prior to display. My old Canon F-1 had a useful center-spot meter good for that purpose, and better (for anyone who understood zone placement) than the center-weighted metering used by Nikon. That was before multi-zone metering, which was a feature on my Canon T90 (a lovely camera). I still use an external meter for big film cameras, of course, even though I have the metering prisms for my Pentax 67s. For large format, I use a spot meter, but I don't do a lot of filtration or long bellows macro extension that would require a lot of mental math (though I do know the math).

Rather than letting a screen tell me if something is exposed correctly (which I absolutely do when using, say, my iPhone), I can just point the meter spot on the part I want to place at middle gray, press the AE lock button, recompose, and make the photo. I do that anyway because I set the camera to only use the center focus spot, and I focus and then recompose unless I'm using a tripod. Or, I can depend on the multi-zone metering in the camera that will seek to prevent any one zone from falling outside the characteristic curve. You know--tools that have existed to solve this problem for decades; tools that iPhones don't have. I don't think any of that is slower or less accurate than using an electronic finder to check exposure.

For me chimping is about checking the expressions of the subject and to make sure everyone's eyes were open. For non-moving subjects, I rarely chimp more than a quick glance at the held image before it times out.

Rick "a matter of technique" Denney


I understand how to use a spot meter. To each their own - but if you havent owned a camera with an high res electronic viewfinder your missing out. Another nice thing is the camera level displayed to keep the camera level without having to use a tripod or bubble level. Maybe some Slrs have incorporated that feature but I dont think so?

FWIW, this was my first camera some 50 years ago....and have had many others since - and it had a spot meter if I remember correctly!
 

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rdenney

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I understand how to use a spot meter. To each their own - but if you havent owned a camera with an high res electronic viewfinder your missing out. Another nice thing is the camera level displayed to keep the camera level without having to use a tripod or bubble level. Maybe some Slrs have incorporated that feature but I dont think so?

FWIW, this was my first camera some 50 years ago....and have had many others since - and it had a spot meter if I remember correctly!
Ah, yes, the Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL (the one in the picture is a 500--lacked the 1/1000 shutter speed), which indeed had a spot(ish) meter. I had one in 1971, but it was stolen after about a year. I replaced it with a Canon F-1, but also had a Pentax KX in those days. The spot in the F-1 was about the same size as the Mamiya, but was in the middle instead of at the bottom of the frame. The 500 and 1000DTL were common beginner cameras because they were inexpensive and decent. Mamiya, like Pentax, made small cameras for amateurs and medium-format cameras for professionals.

Rick "stepping up from a Yashica Lynx5000e at the time" Denney
 

Destination: Moon

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Ah, yes, the Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL (the one in the picture is a 500--lacked the 1/1000 shutter speed), which indeed had a spot(ish) meter. I had one in 1971, but it was stolen after about a year. I replaced it with a Canon F-1, but also had a Pentax KX in those days. The spot in the F-1 was about the same size as the Mamiya, but was in the middle instead of at the bottom of the frame. The 500 and 1000DTL were common beginner cameras because they were inexpensive and decent. Mamiya, like Pentax, made small cameras for amateurs and medium-format cameras for professionals.

Rick "stepping up from a Yashica Lynx5000e at the time" Denney

I had the 500. I'm pretty sure it was a match needle system. I remember thinking it was the best camera in the world.....:)
 
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JJB70

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My first SLR was a Yashica FX-D quartz, an all but forgotten camera from an all but forgotten manufacturer. Which is a shame as Yashica made some wonderful cameras and the FX-D was superb. Even in the 80's Yashica existed in the shadow of their premium sub-brand CONTAX (Yashica was the Toyota to CONTAX's Lexus), and as with the cars there were people sneered at Yashica while praising CONTAX.
 

rdenney

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I had the 500. I'm pretty sure it was a match needle system. I remember thinking it was the best camera in the world.....:)
Yes, it was a match-needle meter, but with a meter zone at the bottom of the frame, where a porro mirror in the prism screen shunted light into the meter. Canon did the same thing with the F-1, but using a center spot meter pellix that was floated in the focus screen magnifier before getting into the prism.

Rick “neither had auto exposure” Denney
 

rdenney

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My first SLR was a Yashica FX-D quartz, an all but forgotten camera from an all but forgotten manufacturer. Which is a shame as Yashica made some wonderful cameras and the FX-D was superb. Even in the 80's Yashica existed in the shadow of their premium sub-brand CONTAX (Yashica was the Toyota to CONTAX's Lexus), and as with the cars there were people sneered at Yashica while praising CONTAX.
Contax as a brand was and is owned by the Zeiss Foundation, and they licensed Yashica to make the RTS line of SLRs back in the 70’s, including the German-designed Zeiss T* lenses. The FX/FR lines were Yashica’s design that used the same lens mount. Yashica was owned by Kyocera in the 80’s, and continued to make Contax cameras, particularly in medium format. But they didn’t have an autofocus SLR solution and switched to point-n-shoots and compacts until giving it up altogether in 2005.

The hot ticket in the late 70’s was a Yashica camera with Zeiss T* lenses. I always had a soft spot for Yashica but by that time was heavily invested in a Canon system.

Rick “and my college’s Linhof view camera” Denney
 
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JJB70

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Contax as a brand was and is owned by the Zeiss Foundation, and they licensed Yashica to make the RTS line of SLRs back in the 70’s, including the German-designed Zeiss T* lenses. The FX/FR lines were Yashica’s design that used the same lens mount. Yashica was owned by Kyocera in the 80’s, and continued to make Contax cameras, particularly in medium format. But they didn’t have an autofocus SLR solution and switched to point-n-shoots and compacts until giving it up altogether in 2005.

The hot ticket in the late 70’s was a Yashica camera with Zeiss T* lenses. I always had a soft spot for Yashica but by that time was heavily invested in a Canon system.

Rick “and my college’s Linhof view camera” Denney

Kyocera kind of lost the plot in the 1990's and lost a lot of ground they never really recovered. Yashica did actually have an autofocus SLR, the 230AF which was released in the late 80's (1987?), it was quite an innovative design as it was (I think) the first SLR to come with a flash, however rather than pop-up it was a clip on unit. At the time some called it the cyclops because of its distinctive look. The mount was changed for AF (not uncommon). This mount and AF technology (which was pretty good, it was competitive with other AF systems of the time) was never adopted by CONTAX. The problem was Zeiss's refusal to consider making AF lenses as at the time they insisted the lower friction assembly imposed an unacceptable compromise on image quality. That led Kyocera to develop the CONTAX AX, a unique camera and one of the great unheralded triumphs of lateral design thinking, it implemented autofocus by moving the film. That CONTAX managed to make the system work is a testament to their engineering excellence, it was never as quick as rival more sensible systems, but as a "if the mountain won't come to Mohamed, Mohamed must go to the mountain" innovation to get around the refusal of Zeiss to design conventional AF lenses it was a remarkable camera. AF with MF lenses. Finally Zeiss accepted it was possible to make an AF lens and the CONTAX N system was launched with a unique N mount, but by then it was all too little too late and Kyocera pulled the plug after 4 or 5 years of lack lustre sales.
So CONTAX/Yashica had 3 35mm AF SLR platforms:

-Yashica, as debuted on the 230AF;
-CONTAX moving film plane with MF lenses, only ever used on the AX; and
-CONTAX N series, AF lens with ultrasonic lens motors very similar to Canon.

There was also the rather lovely G series AF rangefinders.

The Yashica CONTAX cameras are easily distinguished from the Zeiss Contax cameras as yhe Yashica range capitalized the whole name. I had several CONTAX cameras and finished with an RTS iii. I sold it when I went digital about 12 years ago and it is arguably my biggest regret as I have never had anything which felt anything like as well engineered as the RTS iii, it was a beautiful item with a tactile feel to die for. I still often think of buying a good RTS iii and AX (and maybe an S2) as you can find good ones at pretty affordable prices now. The N series never lived up to the earlier cameras in my opinion and lost that magical tactile feel of the older cameras.
 
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