Friday, December 1, 2017

What they don't tell you about Mirrorless

December 1, 2017 -- Vero Beach, Florida

Shortly after selling all of my Canon gear and getting Sony mirrorless equipment, two observations that became quickly clear to this once I switched over to mirrorless cameras.

Number 1: dust is problem. 
Dust on the sensor! Time to clean. Sony a6000

Probably pretty obvious to anyone who has used an SLR camera…if you take away the mirror and the physical shutter, there’s nothing protecting your sensor! You have to be really careful with these things when changing lenses. Like, really careful. Like, I’m not even sure I want to do it on a beach careful. And you’ll have to be handy with sensor cleaning wipes like these from Amazon:

Camera Sensor Cleaning Swab Type 2 (VSOG DDR15) for APSC Sensor (CCD/CMOS): Package includes 10 X 16mm Cleaning Swabs

Number 2: lens distortion.
I’m sure not all mirrorless cameras are created the same, but these Sony lenses create a ridiculous amount of distortion. That includes the $1000 Zeiss FE 24-70 I bought. You probably would never notice this as an issue if you shoot in JPG mode. The camera's built in correction automatically fixes the pictures for you. It does a decent job too. But I’m a RAW guy, so once I loaded those pics into Lightroom some ugliness happened. Not only am I a RAW guy, I’m also a cheap guy. When Adobe switched to subscription based pricing they lost my business. So I’m stuck with Lightroom 4. Luckily Lightroom has a built in lens profile for my a6000…but not for my a7! For the moment I’ve been surviving in JPG mode, but I will eventually create my own lens profile for Lightroom for this camera/lens setup. What a PIA!
Sony a7 image in RAW vs JPG format, i.e. without and with built in corrections

All of this can be fixed with software, of course, but as someone who learned on film I don’t think that’s an acceptable answer. For someone who spent this much money on the “nice” lens, I don’t think that’s an acceptable answer. This is a price I didn’t know I was paying to “upgrade" to mirrorless: the impossibility of perfect, right out of the camera photos.

What do you think is better, an old school heavy camera that takes better pictures or a smaller, lighter camera that uses software corrections to achieve the same result?  

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