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The Mirrorless Camera Wars of 2018

“Sit down, my child, and I will tell you of the great mirrorless wars of 2018…”

The moment Canon and Nikon announced they were going to be releasing full-frame mirrorless cameras in 2018, I knew there was going to be A LOT of “discussion” on the internet before and after the models were announced.

What features will they have? What will the price point be?

Sure enough, we’ve now seen mirrorless camera announcements for the Canon EOS-R, Nikon Z6 and Z7, and Fuji just announced their X-T3…and the “reviews” came in as soon as the specs hit the internet.

Not from people who’d actually used the cameras, mind you. From people who looked straight at the specs and made a decision as to whether the cameras sucked or not.

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Card slots were scarce…we didn’t think we’d survive…

The BIGGEST complaint I have seen so far regarding the Nikon and Canon models released so far is that there is only one card slot.

I understand why many ‘professional’ photographers see the need for dual card slots. They want the redundancy of having two cards in case something happens to their media.

While rare, corruptions can and do happen. There are simple ways to avoid most of them – like never formatting your card on your computer (only do it in camera) or deleting images instead of formatting over them (always reformat), and the easiest fix – buying quality cards!

When presented with the fact that we got by for years professionally with only one card slot, many respond with the answer that ‘dual slots are the standard now, and any new camera should have them’.

This is, again, reinforced by the argument of redundancy to protect against possible card failures. One person whose comment I saw in a Facebook group went so far as to say that any photographer not using dual slots was ‘unprofessional’ and ‘risked getting sued by every one of their clients’…

I’m not sure how these folks would have survived in the days of film when you had to change rolls every 24 or 36 shots…

When I brought that up, many said that we no longer ‘live in the past’ and strangely, many said a card failure could lead to the loss of ‘the entire shoot’.

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My thought is this:

If you’re a professional photographer, your entire shoot should not be done with one card (or two cards just because they’re redundant). Yeah, media can fail. You could drop your camera and smash it and somehow lose all the images off both cards…hey, card failures happen – can’t that happen?

In response, many said that they didn’t want to be swapping cards out all day long…

Okay, but on that topic…

We needed to bring a plentiful supply of batteries with us wherever we went…

Beyond the card slot issue, my biggest problem with mirrorless cameras in general is the battery life. 350 shots on the CIPA test for Canon’s battery? Uh, that’s not good.

Yes, I know that’s a brutal test and real world usage will be higher.

YES! I know that Sony’s battery last significantly longer!

Even if I am getting 700 shots off a battery, that doesn’t do it for me as a wedding photographer. Much like others don’t want to be swapping memory cards, I don’t want to be swapping batteries all day long. If I shoot 2000 pictures on a wedding day, I’d be changing batteries twice!

Why would I rather swap cards than batteries? Batteries are heavier and take up more space in my bag!

The mention of adapters sent some people mad…

Jesus, the adapter conversation. Before the cameras were announced, everyone was saying they would want to be able to use their existing lenses.

When they created a new mount, a bunch of people went nuts saying why should there be an adaptor?? Uh, mirrorless cameras allow for new lens technology. That means there’s probably going to be a different mount.

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Conspiracy theories ran amok…

I’ve seen dozens of instances where posters were claiming that ‘Canikon’ were in cahoots, talking to one another about creating the same type of camera and that neither would push the envelope on what they were offering.

M’kay! I’m sure these two competitors were sharing information on their camera technology…gotcha!

On a related note, another post saw someone asking, seriously, why the camera companies don’t come up with a universal lens mount so you could use any lens on any camera body regardless of the manufacturer…

You do know they’re trying to make money, right?

Clickbait ‘reviews’ swarmed the internet like locusts looking for crops…

The number of “reviews” based on spec sheets has been OVERWHELMING! My news notifications are filled with article headlines like “Why Nikon’s new mirrorless cameras suck! (on paper)”…

Great, good to know that someone who hasn’t tried the camera and admits that they already switched to Sony years ago thinks this camera isn’t for them. I see where you are coming from!

On that note, I recently read an article where brands were paying influencers to trash their competitors…I wonder if that happens in the photography industry?

The future was uncertain…

We don’t know what the future will hold when it comes to mirrorless camera options and technology. All I can tell you from my perspective is that I never get too excited about any new camera. It’s not the camera that makes the photos. It’s you!

And you don’t need the latest and greatest toy to take better photos. Don’t like the options available to you now? Improve your skills with what’s available to you. And wait and see what the future holds.

As Peter Venkman once said, “See you on the other side!”


 What do you think about the new mirrorless camera offerings? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

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The Nerdy Photographer

With more than a quarter century as a professional photographer, The Nerdy Photographer's goal is to spread knowledge and laughter throughout the photo industry. Please follow along on social media and subscribe to the podcast.

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