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Are you considering switching your DSLR to a mirrorless? I am

I’ve been using DSLRs from the day I started doing photography. But frankly, with the growing quality of the Mirrorless market, I feel quite tempted to do the big jump … Still, will spending my hard earned money really be worth it? Today I’m sharing my thoughts, hopes and concerns about completely switching my photography gear.

Once upon a time …

Not so long ago, I remember living a happy and fulfilled life, taking pictures in the gyms with my two DSLRs, never second guessing my cameras or lenses. They were doing what I expected from them: Full Frame sensors, good image quality, good ISO capabilities, lovely fast primes for lowlight situations … In my mind, there was nothing more for me to wish for.

Then I went to WPPI. It wasn’t my first big expo but it was the first I could walk around and have a hands-on experience with the latest gear. That’s also exactly the precise moment I realized how innocent I was.

Thank you, Chris Anson, for capturing the “innocent me” at WPPI as I held a mirrorless camera for the first time, ever.

The triggering element

And then, just like in the movies, my life collapsed the second I looked through these until that moment the unknown electronic viewfinders. It was a revelation. How could autofocus be so fast?! How could colors look so pretty? How in the world could I take 20 (or even 60 — SIXTY!) frames per second? The B&H booth was like a candy store and I was a kid going wild in it (wild photographically that is). We could borrow all the camera bodies and lenses we wanted to walk around the huge expo floor. I loved the experience and knew I HAD to try some of them in the gym.

Regarding my professional needs, I had to look for bodies that had sports performance features (I’m still talking about cameras here). As the full frame Sony a9 and the newly released Micro Four-Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M1X looked like a perfect fit, I got in touch with both representatives. We got agreement on loan programs so I could give them a try on my real element back home (aka low-light-and-high-speed-action-environment). For those who don’t write about cameras check out local rental houses. A small amount of money gets the gear to use for a weekend of trials.

My concerns

Even if this looks like a fairy tale, I do have concerns and fears about switching technology.

With my Nikon D750, I can take almost up to 1,500 images with a single battery. I rarely had to change it — even for 8+ hours of sports events. Will an all-electronic device like a mirrorless camera force me to carry 10 batteries for the same events?

Will I lose image quality if I switch from full frame to a micro four-thirds camera?

Will I actually enjoy using a mirrorless camera in the long term?

How much money will I have to spend (or will I be willing to spend) to switch from my already paid gear? I am a big advocate of buying what I can afford. It’s easy to get caught in the latest technological hype and so is spending thousands of dollar bills. In my photography business — as in all my other life’s areas — I am not the kind of person who creates needs for herself. As long as whatever I own still works, I just keep it until death do us apart (which up to this day has always been “the object’s” death …).

Me with my trusty DSLR at Black Velvet Canyon in Nevada. -Thanks to my friend Richie Acevedo. Will I have a different camera in my hand in 2020? …

Last thoughts

I am the first to say that the camera doesn’t make the photographer. When I first started photography, I knew all great sports photographers were using top of the line DSLRs like the Nikon D5s. And boy, I thought how amazing my pictures would be if I had one of those! It didn’t take me too long to realize I still could create very good pictures — even with my used Nikon D5000. I am not considering switching my gear with the hope of becoming a better artist nor to feel more “professional” because I own more expensive stuff.

I am considering switching because I realize there might be better tools available for me to use to make my living. I wouldn’t become better but I could become more efficient. I wouldn’t develop more creativity but I could have access to more creative options. I wouldn’t change my photographic qualities but I could offer a better photo quality.

What’s next …

I just got the Sony a9 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1X at home for a couple of weeks. I’ll be using both of them for my “real life activities.” I promise to share what I like, what I don’t, as well as plenty of pictures. Hopefully, this experiment will benefit all who are facing the same choice as I currently am. To leap to mirrorless or not to leap, that is the question … I’ll keep you updated with reviews so stay tuned!

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