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09-29-2016, 09:27 AM   #1
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Mirrorless vs Mirror?

I looked for a sticky thread but did not find one, so I hope this question is not out of place.

What is advantage, if any, of mirrored vs mirrorless? It look like the Flagship cameras have mirrors so maybe "better" but the mirrorless ones exist for some reason. Why? e.g. If I can find a great deal on a K-01 body should I snap it up?

09-29-2016, 09:36 AM - 1 Like   #2
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There are a few advantages of mirrorless. The biggest thing I think most folks notice is that they are able to be thinner. They often are similar height and width, but they aren't as thick. Having a shorter mount can lead to lenses being a little smaller in wide angles as well, although zooms will tend to be the same size. The other thing you notice with mirrorless is that they have electronic viewfinders. I hesitate to call this an advantage, because some people hate them and some people love them, but it certainly is different.

Traditionally the biggest thing that hasn't been as good with mirrorless has been auto focus, particularly tracking auto focus. I think it has come a long way, but it still probably lags top end SLRs.

In the end, I think these cameras are more similar than they are different. If you pay the same amount for mirrorless and SLR, you will probably get similar performance.
09-29-2016, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #3
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You can generate a large thread with that question. I'll leave to others to itemize all the differences. But both types of cameras will get the job done for a lot of things. You'd probably have to own a mirrorless to find out if you like it or not. The preferences of other people on this subject might not apply to you.
09-29-2016, 09:41 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Since this is the Pentax DSLR Discussions section, DSLRs win - end of topic

09-29-2016, 09:43 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Well this hasn't been mentioned yet, but it's kind of obvious SLRs have an optical viewfinder and can potentially consume less power, have a larger battery, or both.

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09-29-2016, 09:46 AM   #6
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Just ask Google
mirrorless vs dslr - Google Search
09-29-2016, 09:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Well, yeah, I could have done that, but I am learning more from talking to you folks. Google doesn't replace humans.

---------- Post added 09-29-16 at 09:53 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Since this is the Pentax DSLR Discussions section, DSLRs win - end of topic
OK, so I guess my mistake here was not actually knowing that dSLR = mirror and prism. (the "R" is the key here). My bad. Now I know.

Sorry!
09-29-2016, 09:58 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Mirror PROs:
* no lag, flicker, or rolling shutter effects in the optical view finder
* sensor stays cooler (better IQ)
* longer battery life
* can compose scenes with the power off
* generally faster AF

Mirrorless PROs:
* quieter
* smaller and lighter bodies
* less mechanical wear & tear
* lower cost
* no "chimping" to check the last picture
* some lenses can be smaller (but many aren't)

The use of mirrored designs on today's pro cameras probably says more about the history of interchangeable lens cameras (e.g., Canon, Nikon, etc. preserving compatibility with the old film-era lens designs) than it does about optimal choices. More recently, Fuji's and Hasselblad's latest medium format cameras are mirrorless and Leica has a very long history of mirrorless film and digital cameras.

Some people hate EVFs and some people love them.

09-29-2016, 10:01 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Well it is kind of a politcal debate in photography world. With a dslr you see the real world through the lens. With mirrorless a projected image of the real world. Because of the lack of a mirror mirrorless camera's are generally much smaller than dslrs. So easier to carry. But that doesn't take into account lenses. Wide angle lenses can be more compact on mirrorless, but a normal (say a focal length of more than 35mm) lens will be bigger. The bigger the lens, the less camera size will matter or a bigger camera will actually be better for balance. That's why the flag ship mirrorless camera's are not the smallest mirrorless camera's.
09-29-2016, 10:06 AM   #10
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Ok, so that might explain why the K-01 was sold with the flattie 40. Kind of made it a high end point and shoot. It's just that I see a lot of K-01's on eBay, but that might be just because they are more in my price range (or people are dumping everything to pay for the K-1) and it is my imagination that they are more prevalent.
09-29-2016, 10:11 AM - 1 Like   #11
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To answer the OP specifically: I wouldn't snap up a K-01 body personally, the lack of an evf is a deal breaker for me.

Between my K5 and my samsung NX20:

- K5 has much better high asa performance.
- K5 responds quicker, starts quicker, quicker to use, battery lasts much longer (it's a bigger battery!)

- NX20 kit lens is quieter and faster
- EVF auto compensates for dimmer light so is easier to use with less ambient light/slower lenses
- NX20 focuses more reliably with MF lenses, because it has one button magnification in the evf (5x or 7x, actually - note to Samsung - would like to have eg 2x/3x...), with this focusing can be very accurate, more accurate than anything I can do on the K5.
- EVF with MF lenses is WYSIWYG - great illustration of DoF actually.
- I can in principle adapt just about any vintage lens onto the NX20.
- metering I find is inherently more accurate on my mirrorless cameras than on the K5 (or the K-r I had). I was and am always chimping on the pentaxes.

Last edited by marcusBMG; 09-29-2016 at 10:20 AM.
09-29-2016, 10:19 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
OK, so I guess my mistake here was not actually knowing that dSLR = mirror and prism. (the "R" is the key here). My bad. Now I know.

Sorry!
No harm done.
This subject often generates heated debates in which we're told that DSLRs will/should/did die and such; but we're much more level-headed than a certain forum's Open Talk section

photoptimist gave you a good answer. Note that I also consider the mirrorless design closer to optimal from a theoretical point of view, but I just cannot work with EVFs (as in: I get tired quickly, and I can even get powerful headaches). Good quality optical reflex viewfinders are much, much kinder to my eyes. So when you hear about "hate" it might not be the literal meaning.
The SLR design appeared and evolved out of necessity, and it's still necessary for many of us.

A suggestion: try borrowing or otherwise getting both a good DSLR, and a mirrorless with a good EVF - use them a bit, side by side if possible, and in various situations. Some practical experience can tell you more than the SLR diagram from some internet site (though knowing what's inside helps, too).
Have fun!
09-29-2016, 10:27 AM   #13
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Ah, yes it appears that I opened a can of worms here. At least I am learning!

As a person who always looks through the eye hole and never at the LCD stuff on the back to compose a shot, I guess I've never thought about EVFs or how this preview image even gets generated (in my case with my K-r and my old ME Super it's with with mirrors and prisms and whatnot). I guess I can see how people can have very strong opinions about this.
09-29-2016, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #14
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My main concern about the future of the DSLR is that fewer and fewer companies are capable of building one.

It must take a certain amount of engineering expertise to make a mirror box with perfect alignment of focusing screen and AF module, and have it flap around reliably for tens of thousands of cycles. Mirrorless really only needs the alignment of mount and sensor. Software and electronics takes care of the viewing image and focusing. Maybe you don't even need a physical shutter (the Q can do without, with limitations).

There used to be a whole host of companies that made SLRs, from Alpa to Zenit. From the Pentax Auto 110 to the Graflex D, they came in every size too.

Now, the only manufacturers making true SLRs are Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad and Leica. I don't count Sony 'cause the mirror doesn't move anymore.

Have I left anyone out?
09-29-2016, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I believe mirrorless will eventually be the norm. The mirror itself is a source of many issues. Vibration is a big one, for me at least. The mirror mechanism is an art form in mechanical design; ie, unnecessary complication. That space may be better used for some other functions. I am very interested in the possibility of build-in filter (polarizer & ND). PDAF is not the same as focus on the sensor; hence, we need focus adjustment.

I think mirrorless is not quite matured yet at this time. Quite a few companies (Panasonic, Olympus, etc) see the future and push the frontier. I do have an Olympus m43 along with the primary Pentax system. The Pentax is very user friendly, but the m43 is not difficult to use either.
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