src="http://www.mirrorlessons.com/wp-content/themes/mirrorlessons The Switch from DSLR to Mirrorless - 9 Great Articles
MirrorLessons
Mirrorless Photographers

Date: 25/10/2013 | By: Heather

“I’m Making the Switch!” – 9 Great Articles About Dropping the DSLR for Mirrorless

switch-from-dslr-to-mirrorless

“I’m Making the Switch!” – 9 Great Articles About Dropping the DSLR for Mirrorless

Perhaps you’ve read the odd article about how mirrorless cameras are rapidly catching up with DSLRs in terms of image quality and performance. You may also have read a handful of posts that go as far as to claim that the demise of the DSLR is on the near horizon. While it is easy to make claims and predictions, they only become credible once proof of the so-called “shift from DSLR to mirrorless” is seen in the actions of actual professional photographers.

How many of them actually use mirrorless? And how many of them are so convinced of the evenly-matched quality that they’ve parted ways with the old system?

Of course there is no way to calculate the exact number of photographers who have dropped the DSLR for mirrorless, but the growing collection of articles written by professional photographers of all genres proudly describing the switch is evidence of a definite change in mindset. Below you will find some of the most interesting articles I’ve come across which discuss the “switch” and the motivation behind each photographer’s choice to do so. The articles were mostly written by professionals but I’ve thrown a couple of advanced amateurs into the mix as they raise some excellent points in their writing. When you’ve finished looking through this selection, you may also be interested in our ever-expanding Mirrorless on the Job series which describes how mirrorless cameras can be used for professional work!

Are you a professional who has “gone mirrorless”? If so, share your story in the comments section!

E-P5 , 1/320, f/ 4/1, ISO 100
Switching from DSLR to mirrorless. We did it. Will you? :-)


1. Gone dSLR Gone:: Fully Mirrorless!

by Riley Joseph

Canadian X Photographer Riley Joseph used to be a Canon man but has now switched over to the X-Pro1 and X100s combo for his personal and professional work. Though he still loves the 5D Mark II and III, he hasn’t looked back since the switch. Read more…

2. Professional reportage with Olympus OM-D: My transition from reflex to MFT cameras

by Stefano Moscardini

Stefano was a self-admitted Canon fanboy but he decided to switch to the OM-D E-M5 when he realised that he had only touched his Canon reflexes a couple of times throughout the year. The OM-D gave him everything he wanted – light, fast, small, vintage-looking and great image quality. Read more…

3. Goodbye Canon, Hello Olympus OMD E-M5 – Switch to mirror-less for travel photography

by Erick Redcloud

When Erick realised that his Canon DSLRs were getting too heavy for the kind of travel photography he did, he figured it was about time for a new system. He settled on the OM-D E-M5 for its resemblance to film cameras, the wide variety of lenses available for the system, and of course, the weight and size. Read more…

4. Hello Sony. Goodbye Nikon. The story of why I am switching from Nikon to Sony

by Trey Ratcliff

HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff famously switched from Nikon to the Sony NEX-7 back in July 2013. The switch caused a real stir-up, and I am sure that many professionals have subsequently switched to the NEX system because of Trey. While many photographers choose to carry around more gear, Trey is just as happy to carry around “less metal and glass and silicon” as he puts it. Read more…

5. From Nikon to Fuji or DSLR to mirrorless

by Matt Hart

After forty-plus years with Nikon, Matt Hart has decided to break off the relationship to pursue the beautiful Fuji X series. He now uses an X-Pro1 and X100 for all his work as he finds the system lighter and smaller, two characteristics he’s desired from his gear for quite some time. Read more…

6. The Truth Behind the Migration

by M. Shafik (advanced amateur)

Though M. Shafik has fond memories of his Canon gear and praises the quality it delivers, he has been very happy with his move to the OM-D E-M5. He uses it to photograph his growing family. Read more…

7. Thoughts from a DSLR to Micro 4/3s convert 

– by Swee Ching (advanced amateur)

Back in 2009, when the mirrorless movement was just beginning, Swee Ching dared to do what many advanced amateurs and professionals would never have dreamed of. He sold off all his Nikon gear and went for the smaller and lighter Panasonic GF1 for his travel photography. Read more…

8. Another Camera for 2012

by D. McGaughey (advanced amateur)

D. McGaughey’s switch from his Canon system wasn’t a direct one. He hopped onto the NEX-5 and 7 stepping stone before finally settling on the Fuji X-Pro1 in 2012. Like all Fuji users, he loves the quality of the Fuji lenses, the image quality, the manual controls and the optical viewfinder. Read more…

9. At work with the Fuji X-Pro

– by Ed Jones

Being a self-proclaimed all or nothing kind of person, Ed Jones decided to sell off all his DSLR gear in favour of the Fuji X-Pro1. He knew that if he didn’t sell off the Canon, the Fuji would always remain a play-thing and nothing more. Having used it for quite some time on its own now, he has more confidence in the Fuji X system than ever before! Read more…

Even more “Making the Switch” articles (last updated on February 8th)

Since new articles about professionals and advanced amateurs dropping the DSLR for mirrorless are constantly showing up across the Web, I will add them here as I come across them. Do not hesitate to share any link you come across dealing with this topic in the comments section!

Good bye DSLR, Hello Fujifilmby Michael McQueen

Ditching the DSLR for Mirrorlessby Cha of SLRLounge

My Toolsby Neil Buchan-Grant

Leaving the DSLR Camp for Fujifilm CamerasRyan Lam

Mirrorless Cameras for Professional Wedding and Portrait PhotographersBryan Caporicci

Why I left Nikon for FujiJiri Ruzek

Fujifilm X-E2: first and second chaptersFabio Camandona (Italian)

The great switch: From Canon full frame to Fuji X-Trans – Carlo Milani

Have you made the switch from DSLR to mirrorless? If so, tell us your story in the comments section below!


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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • www.sonya7s.com

    I’m done with DSLR. I’ve made the complete with to SONY (A7s, NEX6 & A6000) and I’m not looking back. There are just so many reasons to switch, I could not wait.

    Here are just a few reason I switched:
    1. A7s – full frame/ high dynamic range.
    2. A7s – very good internal audio and works with pro mics very well. (no need for external recorder).
    3. A7s/NEX6/A6000 – great apps… time-lapse, upload images directly to phone or web, trigger camera from phone.
    4. They are all small and lightweight!
    5. They all use the same batteries!
    6. Endless lens options and even more to come…
    7. A7 comes in 4 versions as of today (011115) and Sony keeps rolling out innovative versions at lightening speed.
    8. Inexpensive!
    9. A6000 – 11 fps!
    10. A6000 – Amazingly fast tracking focus!
    11. Zebras, focus peaking, instant focus zoom
    12. A7s – Audio meters
    13. A7s – downstream audio monitoring
    14. Interchangeable memory cards.
    15. Great LCD electronic viewfinders!
    16. Tilt screens!
    17. A7s/A6000 – Great video codecs
    18. more and more…

  • http://edjonesphotography.com Ed Jones

    thanks for sharing my blog post. A quick update is this.. I still love my X-series, having added an X100S, and now very torn about the possibility of an XE-2. The only thing holding me back is the potential for the next generation of the X-Pro.. with what fuji are doing with IQ, between the lenses and their X-Trans II sensors, its just getting better and better. I’ve been using the X-Pro with the 55-200 in the studio, a lens a lot of DSLR faithful write off as a “kit lens” due to the apertures, but theres nothing kit like about its performance or build.. now I’m really getting restless waiting to get my hands on a 56 1.2!
    I still cop a bit of skeptical flack from my DSLR peers, they cannot see how you can shoot with less than a FF and get brilliant results… I guess the Hassie owners could say that about the Full Frame faithful.
    To summarise, I can’t see myself picking up a DSLR again. from here, the only real step up is into Medium Format, and really, you have to have specific (profitable) needs to make that jump.
    The X-series is right for me, without a doubt

  • Heather

    You’re welcome :)

  • http://www.jiriruzek.net Jiri Ruzek

    thank you for sharing my article :)

  • http://gbfotografia.com Giorgio

    No, anche qui… 😉

  • Rick Rocamora

    I have been a professional photographer for more than 25 years with my work published and exhibited. For most of my professional life, I used the Leica M system and my favorite lens was the Leica 21mm lens. I only started using DSLR’s in 2006 working in Africa using a Nikon. I switched to Canon later and used it till late 2013. In October last year I decided to try a Fuji XPRO1 to test its capabilities. To cover the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines for a UN agency, I used the Fuji XPRO1 and 14mm lens exclusively for 20 days. When I went back to California bringing exhibition prints for an upcoming exhibition, and when I was replacing the prints on the frames made with Canon 5DMK11 and L lenses with the ones made with Fuji, I saw the difference and that was the clincher.. same photographer, same printer, same size of prints. I saw with my naked eyes the difference in the end product. I sold all my L lenses and now using exclusively the Fuji X system. I am glad to make the adjustment to save my shoulder as I get older and also go back to my old way of shooting with a 21mm lens. Fuji 14mm 2.8 lens is sharp edge to edge and practically no distortion visible. While it is true that our cameras are just a tool, I saw the difference in the end product and the experienced the comfort of using the Fuji X system, I am very happy and confident that it will deliver great result on my next major assignment.

  • LaTricia D.

    Anyone that wants to give me their “old” DSLR, I will take it. I don’t have a camera and would love to have one. Thanks…

  • Mathieu
  • http://www.fabiocamandona.com fabio camandona

    tnx, where I can send it to you ? :)

  • Mathieu

    Of course you can 😉

  • http://www.fabiocamandona.com fabio camandona

    Hi, i was a “nikon school teacher”, using d600 and d700. Memner of Fearless Photographers and some other things.
    Now I collaborate with Fuji Italia: i was very interested from ml. Now I use a ml for professional works.
    Can i tell you my “switching story” ? 😉

  • http://erik0.viewbook.com/ Erik Olaerts

    I’m already switched for a year of 3 – –> To the Sony NEX system – as overall known -excellent performance in lowlight conditions.
    Recently I not only switched to the CSC but with the new SONY Alpha also to (my first) fullframe! Sensor-size matters. Excellent DSLR-image quality! All the advanced qualities of a mirror-less camera plus DOF- posibilities… in a compact body. Using all the lenses ever worldwide exists!

  • Paul Cronin

    I made the switch from 5D MKIII to Olympus OM-D EM1 with Olympus 75mm f/1.8, Olympus 12-40 f/2.8. I could not be happier, the picture is amazing and ease of use is excellent. I do this for a living and could not be happier to be done with Canon, their product is overrated and overpriced.

    Can’t beat the MFT for travel and the EM1 is the leader in the cameras currently on the market. If you are thinking about this just do it and you will not be disappointed. Half the side, half the price, and better IQ in my opinion.

    Appreciate all of the above articles which helped me make the move.

  • Heather

    Well, the E-M5 usually comes with a kit lens which is fine if you are just starting out. We would also recommend the high quality 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens as it is quite cheap (about $350 new) and can be found second-hand all over the place. The wide-angle 12mm f/2 is also very handy, though it costs a bit more (around $800 new and $600 second-hand). Both lenses are light, tiny and very portable.

  • Sarah

    Hello,
    I am just about to buy my first digital camera and and seriously considering Olympus OMD EM5 over the Nikon D7000 mostly cos of ease of portability and cos that Nikon camera is too heavy! Do you think I can get reasonable priced lenses for Oly OMD EM5?
    Please advise me

  • Mathieu

    Hi Stéphane, it isn’t an easy choice I’ll give you that especially these days when there are new announcements every month.
    The E-M1 is really a “pro” camera and the MFT system is very complete concerning lenses, accessories and second bodies.
    The Fuji X line is fascinating. It still lags behind Olympus concerning AF and lacks the fabulous 5-axis stabilization but the x-Trans sensor is top quality.
    I guess you have to consider whether you need a better AF and a more complete lens system or if the film-like rendering of the Fuji’s is more appealing.
    I know it’s hard to choose. Personally, for now, I am keeping the E-M5 (soon E-M1) as my primary camera and the X100s as a second/alternative camera. This combo has been perfect for me so far.
    I’ll wait to invest in the Fuji X system when AF will be improved and after seeing the next year release (full frame camera is rumored).

  • http://stephanetranquillin.com Stéphane

    There is also Neil Buchan Grant that will stick to the Olympus OM-D and sell all his Leica Stuff except for the lenses : http://buchangrant.com/blog/?page_id=71.
    Thanks for your articles and this website, I’m currently thinking a lot myself to know what I have to buy as I plan to settle as a pro photographer. I had a lot of gear in the pas as an amateur : full frame Canon, then lots of hybrid (Olympus, Sony, Panasonic) which I find so good, before selling everything and keeping just an x100s.
    But now that I need to think about what gear I have to invest in to make photography for a living, I’m a little bit torn between hybrids and DSLRS…
    My heart would go for hybrids (Fuji X or/and Olympus OMD Em1) because I know it’s the future, and I don’t want to invest in a dying breed (DSLR’s) but I don’t know how clients would react…
    But reading all those articles made me really think that if a lot of professional photographers take the plunge, then I really should do it too !

  • Mathieu

    I think that Nikon and Canon will join the mirrorless enthusiast/pro oriented market once it is 100% ready and sales produce a larger revenue. And probably the Sony A7/A7r could be a good test for that. For now, DSLRs are still leading the sales so they are playing the waiting game. Nikon also has the 1 system which didn’t get them what they hoped for. So now they are trying another strategy, releasing a retro style DSLR to compete with other retro style models like Fuji cameras. This move is certainly interesting and could attract a niche market because there are more nikkor lens owners out there. Of course, the price needs to be reasonable.

  • http://sonaten.se/ Jonas

    Mirrorless seems like the future, yes. The Fujifilm X100s even has phase detect AF, so nowadays there are very few sacrifices and many advantages. It’s just sad that I seem to have chosen a horribly poorly forward-thinking company for my DSLR lens setup: Nikon. A compact, prosumer-oriented APS-C based mirrorless camera to compete with the Fujifilm X-E1/2 and/or X-Pro 1? Yeah, one can always dream. Maybe in 2019 after they’ve got around to releasing the Nikon D5800.

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