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Archive 2013 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.
  
 
Gyroscope
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p.1 #1 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


My interests are landscapes and wildlife. I could never replace my Canon DSLR's and big telephoto's with a mirrorless obviously but I am considering buying into a mirrorless system for 2 reasons. 1) I would hope that I could use the mirrorless for landscapes at times - especially when I have to walk some distance (or for a lighter backup body). 2) On overseas trips (to africa for example) when carrying my 500mm F4 & mid range zoom and a couple of DSLR's I could leave all my wide and medium range Canon lenses and my 3rd DSLR body at home and just take the mirrorless with a std zoom or wide prime. It would save a lot of weight and space I am sure.

Having never shot with any of them I wonder which systems would be the best for landscape photography mainly. Ie shooting of a tripod in live view with a filter system for NGD's and remote release. I'm after best resolution and image quality.

The sony NEX 7 seems an ideal candidate because of resolution, the FUJI X-pro 1 or XE-1 have amazing sensor's but the raw conversions I think are a little tricky? Or should I wait to see if Canon do a better M camera?

Thoughts would be appreciated especially from those who have had the opportunity to compare landscape pics between a mirrorless camera and a 5Dmk2 which is my main body. Thanks.



Mar 30, 2013 at 05:35 AM
StephenS_CP
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p.1 #2 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


I am primarily a landscape/outdoor shooter using a 5DMII and 50D. Last year I bought the NEX-7 with the 18-200 Tamron lens to use in informal social and family settings where I felt my Canon bodies with 77mm diameter L lenses was too intimidating for me to even pull out. I've found that with that lens, I use the NEX to fill the gap between my 100mm Macro and 300mm f/4. Its not comparable glass, but it is quite satisfactory. Better glass is available for a steep price. And next week I get to play with my new Speedbooster and my L glass in London and rural England.

My biggest problem is getting used to handling the dials, the EVF rather than optical viewfinder, and noticeable delay when starting up from sleep. I pretty much have to trust to my experience with how images end up on good sensors rather than what I see in the EVF. The LCD is seldom bright enough for me to use outdoors. But when I get home, the images are always better on my monitor than they appeared in the EVF or LCD. Absolutely no problem processing images with ACR and CS6.

Haven't done a lot of direct image to image comparisons. I just use the camera and get some great shots.




Mar 30, 2013 at 06:07 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #3 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Gyroscope wrote:
My interests are landscapes and wildlife. I could never replace my Canon DSLR's and big telephoto's with a mirrorless obviously but I am considering buying into a mirrorless system for 2 reasons. 1) I would hope that I could use the mirrorless for landscapes at times - especially when I have to walk some distance (or for a lighter backup body). 2) On overseas trips (to africa for example) when carrying my 500mm F4 & mid range zoom and a couple of DSLR's I could leave all my wide and medium range Canon lenses and my 3rd DSLR body at
...Show more

i think your two best landscape options for mirrorless would be the NEX-7 or the sigma dp models. i've only played with the 5DII a little, but i've processed raws from it with L glass and zeiss glass. from the perspective of detail rendered the NEX-7 beats it or matches (as long as your using excellent glass on the NEX) and does noticeably better in terms of shadow detail. color seems to be a personal preference between the two. the sigmas seems to beat anything for detail except for the d800 but have poorer dynamic range than the most dslrs and have files that aren't really supported requiring you to use multiple programs to process them. the fuji x series cameras seem very good, but can't match the nex-7 for high res detail, and can produce slightly odd looking foliage in certain situations.

there is a big problem with the NEX-7 for landscape though if you by landscape you mean wide angle to ultrawide angle: very few lenses can utilize the sensor. there aren't really any small wide angle lenses that perform well on it (i haven't tried sony's new ultrawide zoom, which some say is excellent). the sigma 19mm will probably perform comparably to the 17-40mm L on a 5DII if you like the ~28mm focal length, but it and the new zoom are really the only native options. my solution since i don't really shoot wide angle for landscapes much is to use the contax g 45/2 (which is the best landscape lens i've used on any system) and stitch when i need a wide angle of view.



Mar 30, 2013 at 06:08 AM
frezeiss
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p.1 #4 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Fuji XE-1 & Fujinon 14 mm.

Yes, adobe raw conversion is still below par (even with RC 4.4) but if you could live with jpegs for the time being, its fabolous. Next contender is Sony NEX 6.



Mar 30, 2013 at 06:33 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #5 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Yeah, pair the NEX-7 with the right lenses and it's one of the strongest, most versatile performers available. Add a Canon to NEX Speedbooster and you won't have to worry about lugging around different lenses and filter system adapters. Except for AF, you'll have a camera that will keep up with your big guns. Same is true for the Fuji, of course, and common software seems to be catching up with the x-tran files. If you want a good line up of native primes for a system, then Fuji is likely the way to go.


Mar 30, 2013 at 06:54 AM
philber
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p.1 #6 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


I have migrated from Canon 5DII and 5D III to NEX 7, primarily for landscape, and I have never looked back. On the Canon I used Zeiss MF primes, and on the NEX 7, I use a mix of Zeiss and Leica MF primes.
Historically, I have been a Canon shooter, and bought a NEX 5 as a backup body, and for when I couldn't/wouldn't lug my large and heavy photo bag. Then, just before a photo trip to Patagonia, Canon came out with 5D III and Sony with the NEX 7, so I bought both essentially untested, as well as my trusted 5D II and NEX 5N.
When I came back, I was disgusted with Canon. The 5D III was no better than the II IQ-wise, even though 3+ years had gone by. The sensor on the NEX 7 was significantly better in terms of colour, contrast and DR. I sold all my Canon stuff immediately thereafter. Why bother with a heavy and bulky kit when the smaller lighter one produces better IQ? Obviously, shooting sports or wildlife would be another story, but for landscape and cityscape, that is how I felt.
Another plus for the NEX is that there are 5 companies developing M-mount-compatibles camera bodies (Leica, Sony, Ricoh, Panasonic, Olympus), so the bulk of my investment (lenses) is protected against the camera maker's fortunes. Actually, the speed at which the M-mount cameras progress is much faster than the Canon/Nikon pro platforms, where new models are 3+ years apart. The fact that my NEX is small, light and can handle all manners of alt lenses is purely a welcome bonus. Next month Sony are supposed to announced NEX 7N with a improved sensor, while 5DIII still has another 2+ years to go...

Interestingly, both in Patagonia and since then in the Lofoten I went with a friend who shoots Leica M9, and not one comment was posted regarding the inferior IQ that my NEX would impart to my pics compared to the M9. You can see that on both threads we published from these trips The same applies to the alt monthly competition thread where some very able shooters have won the competition (snowboarder, Philip Reeve) have won with NEX 5N-based pics.



Mar 30, 2013 at 08:08 AM
philip_pj
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p.1 #7 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


For low ISO (i.e. landscape territory) the NEX7 sensor is a resolution monster, a very harsh test of lenses. But it is a terrific achievement, we have one (with added SLT hit) in a Sony a77 and the CZ 16-80; and it is very close to the a99/CY lenses for all practical purposes for almost all deep images, except it has the advantage of tremendous DOF, again for landscapes - you can use the lenses at their best apertures more easily.

So the NEX7 looks plenty capable to me, esp if handled properly with tripod (small pixels) and great lenses. The new NEX7 will have a small but significant boost in DR and noise handling, according to 'rumours'.

Here is DxO giving you some metrics on the NEX7 vs Canon's 5DIII:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/795|0/%28brand%29/Canon/%28appareil2%29/736|0/%28brand2%29/Sony

To summarise, the overall score is the same, but at low ISO - below ISO 400 - the NEX7 has a much better DR, 1.5 stops (!) better than a FF sensor...at ISO 50-100, Sony sensors these days have wonderful performance. Colour sensitivity is about the same also, so at low ISO there is little IQ the NEX gives up to the most popular FF DSLR for the qualities needed for landscape work, large files too.



Mar 30, 2013 at 09:07 AM
Peire
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p.1 #8 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Take the same landscape photograph with 5D2 and NEX7 and two of your best quality lenses that will give similar FOV.Then have a look at pictures and you will know for yourself which format is better for landscapes.


Mar 30, 2013 at 09:22 AM
alwang
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p.1 #9 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Peire wrote:
Take the same landscape photograph with 5D2 and NEX7 and two of your best quality lenses that will give similar FOV.Then have a look at pictures and you will know for yourself which format is better for landscapes.


I've been thinking through this question myself, kind of going the other way. I've been shooting NEX almost exclusively for the last couple of years, but just recently bought a used Sony a850: my thinking was that I was pretty happy with the NEX for stopped down landscapes, but that it would be nice to have FF for large aperture shallow-DoF portraits (I had been using MF film for these kind of photos).

Now that I actually have the a850, I'm wondering if I shouldn't add a wide lens or two, because as others have mentioned it is difficult to get a decent wide solution for NEX. So I'm thinking through my NEX options, and what it would take to beat them on FF, and how much that would cost.

For really wide, I have the CV15 on NEX (22mm equiv.), which is great: as long you don't care about fixing the color cast, I'm not sure I could beat it on FF with anything less than the 21 Distagon, which costs more than I want to spend. I think the ZA 16-35 might also be close, but also very expensive. I'm pretty sure my CV15/NEX would beat the Minolta 20/2.8.

At 24mm equiv, there's a clear gap: there's only the Sony 16, which I don't have, but which suffers in the corners. I might be willing to spend more money in this area for the a850, because I like the focal length. I've been thinking about the ZA 24/2 or the ZS 25/2.8.

At 28mm equiv.,I have the Sigma 19. I think the Sigma is as good or better than most of the CaNikoSony AF primes/zooms at 28mm. My guess is the Sigma/NEX would get beat by something like the C/Y 28/2.8 or Nikkor 28 Ai-S on the a850. The ZE/ZF 28/2 would probably also beat it for landscape, assuming you can stop it down enough to avoid field curvature. And of course there's the 28 Elmarit, which would destroy it. The other option on NEX here would be the ZM 18, which I believe Philber uses.

At 35mm equiv, you have the ZA 24/1.8, which seems great, though I don't own it. I have a Rokkor 24/2.8, which I like quite a lot: I think stopped down, it would be pretty competitive with most CaNikoSony 35mm options. However, it is probably not competitive from what I've seen from a ZE/ZF 35/2, and I suspect the new Sigma 35 would also beat it pretty easily: I plan to get the Sigma for the a850.

The other NEX options would be high quality zooms: i haven't tried the NEX 10-18 because I generally don't care for power zoom, but it's supposed to be very strong. I also have a sony ZA 16-80 that I could put on NEX for a pretty small kit: thanks to Phillip for reminding me that's an option. It would be interesting to see how it compares against the primes at all these focal lengths.




Mar 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM
philber
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p.1 #10 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Alwang, as long as you are listing good NEX lenses, I feel the following should be added:
Sigma 30mm, Very good indeed, ridiculously good for the money, especially if you still can get hold of the kit with the 19mm.
Sony 35mm f:3.5 macro. Slow, but cheap and good.
Sony 50mm f:1.8: the best of the Sony primes.
Released but not shipping yet: Sony 20mm pancake, 3 Zeiss primes (12mm f:2.8, 30mm, 60mm macro, IMMS)



Mar 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM
 

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Karel Geertsem
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p.1 #11 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


I have the 5D2 and some Zeiss lenses. Recently I decided I wanted something lighter for travel and hiking, preferably a 1 lens solution. IQ of course as close to the 5D2/ZE's as possible. I asked here, people recommended the Nex and the Olympus E-PM2. I liked both cameras a lot, but didn't think the kit lenses were that great. In other words I would have to build another system.

After some more research I ended up with the Fujifilm X-E1 with the kit lens. So far (have it for one week now), I REALLY like it. Amazingly, the JPEG's SOOC are stunning.

Now, here in the Netherlands the weather is not so great, but if you like I can compare ZE 35/2, ZE 50MP2 on the 5D2 with the Fuji + 18-55/2.8-4 (remember, crop is aronund 1,5). You have to tell me how to test though and how to get the RAW's (+Fuji JPEG's) "at your doorstep". (have seen too many comments on Fredmiranda where people complain about testing methods).

Oh, and Fuji (amongst others) has an (intelligent) M-adapter:
http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/accessories/lens/mount/fujifilm_m_mount_adapter/
I might look into the CV 15mm with M mount myself.

And you can find the Fuji X lens road map here:
http://www.fujixseries.com/discussion/933/fujifilm-x-mount-lens-road-map-2012-2013/p1
I am terribly tempted by the 14mm or the announced 10-24mm.
That sounds an awfull lot like a step by step replacement of my Canon/Zeiss, doesn't it...

Zeiss has announced 3 auto focus lenses for the X-Mount:
http://blogs.zeiss.com/photo/en/?p=2864



Mar 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM
kwalsh
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p.1 #12 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Some quick thoughts:

- If you actually want the best resolution then the lenses are what you should be looking at. All of the bodies will be able to out resolve the native lenses for every mirrorless system in landscape shooting (i.e. the corners and edges when stopped down).

- If you shoot UWA then that will likely be the limiting case. If you want to adapt something then go with the APS-C sensors (NEX, Fuji), there are no good adapted UWA options for m43. If you want to go native zoom then m43 has the best options at the moment, but the NEX lens appears like it has promise and Fuji has a pretty good prime out and a zoom on the road map.

- Based on your use case (tripod mounted) I wouldn't worry about this sensor's DR vs. that sensor's DR. If you actually care about DR and are doing landscape you should be shooting AEB and merging to a 32-bit HDR file before doing any processing. Again, all the recent mirrorless options are functionally equivalent when shot that way (but do give the older m43 bodies a miss, they have a old 12MP sensor with poor base ISO).

I think the most important question you can answer for folks here is are you shooting landscapes with zooms or primes? That would change the options and suggestions significantly.

Ken



Mar 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #13 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


I think for landscapes the NEX 7 with the 10-18 f/4 zoom would be a very good place to start. Then you could safely add the Sony/Zeiss 24 f/1.8 (which is by all accounts a very good lens), and then I would adapt other lenses for longer focal lengths if you need it. If you aren't satisfied with the 10-18 f/4 the Zeiss 12mm will be out soon as well as the Zeiss 30mm. A combination of the Zeiss 12, 24, and 30mm would give you an excellent set of primes.


Mar 30, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Phillip Reeve
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p.1 #14 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


philber wrote:
Interestingly, both in Patagonia and since then in the Lofoten I went with a friend who shoots Leica M9, and not one comment was posted regarding the inferior IQ that my NEX would impart to my pics compared to the M9. You can see that on both threads we published from these trips The same applies to the alt monthly competition thread where some very able shooters have won the competition (snowboarder, Philip Reeve) have won with NEX 5N-based pics.

you forgot sebboh and briantho. Mine was taken with a Canon 5dII though .
For landscaping i prefer the Nex-6 any time, the 5dII is for shallow DOF



Mar 30, 2013 at 03:31 PM
dcjs
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p.1 #15 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


kwalsh wrote:
- Based on your use case (tripod mounted) I wouldn't worry about this sensor's DR vs. that sensor's DR. If you actually care about DR and are doing landscape you should be shooting AEB and merging to a 32-bit HDR file before doing any processing. Again, all the recent mirrorless options are functionally equivalent when shot that way (but do give the older m43 bodies a miss, they have a old 12MP sensor with poor base ISO).


Not sure about the Nex 6/7, but the 5n even with the latest FW still has that braindead limitation of not being able to use AEB together with remote control or timer, so you have to manually press the shutter release for bracketing, which is something you don't really want to do when going for the highest possible quality for landscape with according apertures/shutter times.



Mar 30, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Glenn NK
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p.1 #16 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


I've also been considering something smaller/lighter for landscape work, and have spent (too much?) time at DPR comparing RAW images of four cameras:
Olympus EM5, Fuji X-E1, Sony NEX-7, and my own 5DII (heading No.21 Image quality compared - RAW of the review):

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5/21

I've looked at ISO from 200 to 6400, and selected many of the zoomed in views, and the Olympus holds its own quite well it seems. At first the Fuji looked attractive because of is low ISO performance, but the DPR samples seem to indicate it is cleaner but softer than the others.

Glenn



Mar 30, 2013 at 04:29 PM
LightShow
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p.1 #17 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


I would wait to see what Canon do for their next EOS M body, and also wait to see what the soon to be released NEX-7N & Zeiss 12mm AF lens can do, they may be the combo to beat for landscapes.


Mar 30, 2013 at 04:34 PM
galenapass
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p.1 #18 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


Glenn NK wrote:
I've also been considering something smaller/lighter for landscape work, and have spent (too much?) time at DPR comparing RAW images of four cameras:
Olympus EM5, Fuji X-E1, Sony NEX-7, and my own 5DII (heading No.21 Image quality compared - RAW of the review):

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5/21

I've looked at ISO from 200 to 6400, and selected many of the zoomed in views, and the Olympus holds its own quite well it seems. At first the Fuji looked attractive because of is low ISO performance, but the DPR samples seem to indicate it is cleaner but softer than the others.

Glenn


I looked at the X-E1 samples on DPR as well. It seemed that the Fuji examples were OOF. Did it not? I also wonder if the softness can be dealt with in post well.

The Fuji is attractive to me because the 18-55 has such good reviews.

For example,
http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/783-fuji1855f284?start=1

I find myself undecided after all this research. Perhaps it is time to rent.



Mar 30, 2013 at 04:57 PM
galenapass
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p.1 #19 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


LightShow wrote:
I would wait to see what Canon do for their next EOS M body, and also wait to see what the soon to be released NEX-7N & Zeiss 12mm AF lens can do, they may be the combo to beat for landscapes.


I have lost confidence in Canon and their product "innovation". I think this is a sentiment shared by many, if I read correctly. I would be much less interested in what Canon will do and more so with regard to Fuji or Sony, who are producing very interesting sensors with good DR at low ISO.



Mar 30, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Glenn NK
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p.1 #20 · Replace DSLR with mirrorless? - mainly landscapes.


galenapass wrote:
I looked at the X-E1 samples on DPR as well. It seemed that the Fuji examples were OOF. Did it not? I also wonder if the softness can be dealt with in post well.

The Fuji is attractive to me because the 18-55 has such good reviews.

For example,
http://www.photozone.de/fuji_x/783-fuji1855f284?start=1

I find myself undecided after all this research. Perhaps it is time to rent.




Considering the time and effort DRP puts into this, it would surprise me if the samples were OOF.

It's possible I suppose.

And yes, one must also consider the lenses, but assuming the samples are focused properly, then the good results for the Olympus shouldn't be results obtained with a bad lens.

Something is getting them results that are competitive with a 5DII (I usually change the default cameras in the comparisons to compare models I'm interested in and so that I have a reference - in my case the reference being a 5DII.).

Renting is not an option where I live, but fortunately, I can "borrow" and "test drive" the real thing for a few hours from the camera shop where I've been a regular customer. All I have to do is buy a small SD card. Both the Oly and the Fuji are in stock, and I've played with them in the store.

Glenn


Edited on Mar 31, 2013 at 04:11 PM · View previous versions



Mar 30, 2013 at 05:25 PM
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