My move to Mirrorless

I have used digital SLR’s since the Nikon D1 was launched so have many years of experience in getting the most out of this type of camera – so why have I now switched mainly to mirrorless?

The journey for me began with the purchase of a Panasonic GF-1 – an early micro-4/3 format camera with a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens. I bought this rather than a compact camera as it was very small and offered the opportunity to change lenses. I quickly discovered the drawback (until recently) of mirrorless cameras in that autofocus performance was excellent for static subjects but useless for moving subjects!

Mirrorless offered me an electronic viewfinder (though not great quality) and a compact lightweight camera body and reasonable results but no-way would it replace my DSLR’s.

As time moved on, I tried the Olympus E-P3 which offered built in stabilisation so I could use a lower ISO and still get sharp images at lower shutter speeds. The viewfinder was a clip on one and overall it was quite an improvement but still hopeless for moving subjects.

When the Olympus OM-D E-M1 came out this offered the promise of much improved continuous AF as well as a better image sensor, 5-axis stabilisation and a range of Pro lenses. I bought one and a 12-40mm f/2.8 pro lens and later the 40-150mm f/2.8 pro together with 17mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8 prime lenses then added the 9-18 wide-angle zoom. Overall this was a great package, lightweight and compact with good image quality and reliable continuous autofocus – though still not close to my Nikon full-frame system.

Then last year Nikon announced the Z system and after trying this out at several Nikon events and the Nikon School in London I decided to add a Z7 to my kit.

The Z7 has been a joy to use with its fantastic electronic viewfinder and superb image stabilisation system and the massive saving in size and weight compared to my Nikon D850. The lenses too show superb optical quality and are silent in use so I found myself using the Z7 with the 24-70mm f/4 S lens far more than the D850 with 24-70mm f/2.8E VR lens so I decided at that point to sell all my Micro 4/3 kit and purchase a Z6 body and trade in my D850, and 24-70 F-mount plus the 24-70mm f/4 Z mount lens for this plus a 24-70 mm f/2.8 S lens and 14-30mm f/4 S lens.

My kit now comprises of the following: Nikon Z7, Nikon Z6, Nikon D500, Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL AF-S VR ED, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, Nikon 16mm f/2.8D Fisheye, Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S, Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S, Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S, Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro, Tamron 350mm f/5.6 SP mirror Lens, Nikon 500mm f/8 N Mirror lens, Nikon TC14E, Nikon F-TZ x 2, Nikon SB-500 and SB-900 Speedlights, Nikon F100 film camera, Leica Q and SF64 flash, Sony RX-100.

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