I recently released a free eBook called Moving to Mirrorless that chronicles my transition from the Canon dSLR system to the Sony mirrorless system. This excerpt outlines why I made the move and wrote the book. Enjoy!

My Move to Mirrorless

You may have read or heard this before but now is a truly amazing time to be a photographer. The rate of innovation that the photo industry is experiencing is staggering, with companies producing new cameras and lenses that keep improving on image quality and functionality while also shedding multiple ounces and inches in size. A camera body that can fit literally in the palm of your hand can output photo files with the same resolution and quality as a body more than twice its size and weight! Additionally, we are starting to see the infusion of technological advancements with the inclusion of WiFi, NFC, and GPS radios, bringing an unprecedented agility in the way one can review, edit and share their photos wherever they are without the need for a computer. Given all of these changes, it shouldn’t be hard to see why a tech and photo nerd like myself couldn’t wait to make the jump over to mirrorless. I just needed to wait for the right moment.

Before we begin, let me say what this book is not. It is not a resource covering technical details around cameras, lenses, specs, MTF charts, etc. There are so many wonderful reviewers who have already spent tons of time putting together helpful, objective reviews that I don’t see the need to do the same. It is also not a soapbox where I extol the virtues of mirrorless cameras while deriding dSLRs. Both camera styles bring so much to the table and its your responsibility to figure out which suits your needs (hint: there doesn’t have to be only one correct answer). This also is not a holy war on camera manufacturers where I try to convince you that Sony is the only brand worth investing in and that you should avoid the other infidels at all cost. It is your responsibility to decide which brand offers you the camera and lens family that works best for you. In my case, that brand is Sony and it serves as the impetus for this book.

It All Adds Up

One of the greatest benefits with Sonys Mirrorless system is that, along with the smaller size of the camera and lenses, there is also a dramatic reduction in weight, which truly pays off on those long hikes.

For example, the three most common lenses that I take with me are the Sony ZEISS FE-Mount 16-35mm f/4, the Sony ZEISS FE-Mount 24-70mm f/4, and the Sony FE-Mount 70-200mm f/4. The combined weight of all three of those lenses is only 3.92 lb (1778g)! If you were to compare that to the Canon equivalent lenses that I used to own, the total weight would be 6.63 lb (3007g). Now, while I may be giving up a stop of light with my Sony lenses, it doesn’t have a material impact on my type of photography because Im almost always shooting between f/8 f/16, so the weight savings is a huge boon.

Additionally, if I were to compare the weight of my Sony a7R to my former Canon 5D Mark III, I cut that load in more than half! With batteries inserted, the Sony a7R weighs in at 1.03 lb (467g) whereas the Canon 5D Mark III weighs 2.09 lb (948g).

Click here to download Moving to Mirrorless for free

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Doug Hall

I wonder how much money Sony and Fujifilm have spent on “marketing.”

Richard Harrington

I doubt any more than Nikon or Canon… don’t be a jerk.

Brian Matiash

I’m not sure what you mean by your comment, Doug. Regarding this book, as I stated within it, I pursued this book solely as a personal project. I did not receive a red cent from Sony nor any other company. Now, as far as your comment as a whole, it is so beyond myopic that it makes my head hurt. As Rich mentioned, do you honestly think Canon or Nikon or Fuji, Panasonic, Sony, etc, don’t pour millions upon millions in marketing? This is business, son. This is how business is done. It’s the cost of doing business. I wrote… Read more »

Vanelli

Brian breath taking photos!

Brian Matiash

Thanks much, V!

Levi Sim

Amen! These are the same reasons I’ve moved to mirrorless myself. Nicely written and beautifully illuminated.

aristepp

Thank you for the taking your time to create and share. I made the move this year. From hauling big ass Canon’s and 2 pound lenses to Fuji. I’m never looking back. Not that Fuji is the end all, it’s not, but it works for my style and lenses are every bit as ‘ridiculous” as any Canon L series I ever shot. This time, I’m ahead of the game!

Vanelli

Hey guys HUGE misunderstanding. My new buddy Doug was talking about Sony’s and Fuji’s marketing strategies to get the public to understand mirrorless. Not that they are paying you to write the article. He brings a point. Beta some say was a better system than VHS, but VHS won. I think the camera companies have done a great job at reinventing photography, I agrees with Brian, a smaller camera that fits in the palm of your hand that takes incredible photos is awesome. I would carry it around more for candid shots. I tried the Nikon One thinking it was… Read more »

Nexus

I’m I wrong in stating that many Canon 5D mk2 users of late are feeling under-pixed and thus moving into the 36mp A7r or under iso’ed and looking at the A7s ?

I’ve read your book and I find it fascinating on your move to the Sony system. I have been thinking about making the move from Canon 5D Mark II to the Sony or the Fuji system primarily because of weight. Since the Fuji system uses APS-C they can make the lenses lighter than Canon EF lenses. However it doesn’t seem like there’s a big weight savings when it comes to Sony FE lenses. For example the Sony FE 70-200 weights about the same (maybe a little more) compared to my Canon 70-200 f/4. Brian do you see a big savings… Read more »

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