Extend Your DSLR with a Mirrorless Camera

Most photographers, whether professional or amateur, as much as they love their photographic gear, loathe the notion of lugging around tons of heavy equipment. What’s the solution, you may ask? Well, some would say, “why don’t you get a portable point-n‐shoot”, or “invest in one of those smaller mirrorless cameras”. Others disagree amusingly and grab their bulky DSLR with a smug on their face!

You might have found yourself in one of those tricky scenarios, where you really wanted to carry your bulky camera and yet you wished it was a few pounds lighter, a tad bit smaller but still gave you pleasing results. Thanks to technology whiz-­kids in the camera land, we have had a flurry of compact cameras being introduced recently that offer plenty of bells & whistles to satisfy even the most demanding consumer / prosumer, and professionals alike for their specific needs. Having said that, I admit these cameras may not entirely deliver quality that rivals pro level DSLR’s yet it’s suffice to say they pack quite a punch for intended purposes.

A shot from lower Michigan Ave. by the Chicago river

NEX-5 + E 16mm F2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 200, 1/3, f/5.6

(A shot from lower Michigan Ave. by the Chicago river. NEX-5, 16mm, f/5.6, 1/3 sec, ISO 200)

Compact systems

In search of a decent point and shoot camera, I found myself rather inclined towards the Sony NEX-5, which was a newly-released camera back then (the current version of the camera is the Sony NEX-5R, which Nasim reviewed a while ago). I bought it, took occasional photos of friends & family and enjoyed it from a point and shoot user perspective. In fact it would be fair to say I never really pushed the camera, and explored all the possibilities. For quite some time, read months and months, my camera was just sitting at home. Needless to say, since I invested very minimal time & effort into utilizing the camera to its full potential and improving my photography technique with it, I was left with images that were rather sub-­‐standard and eventually my self biased brain blamed it on the camera.

I must admit, it was the small form factor of the NEX system that made me swing back and want to carry it with me almost everywhere I went. Attached with a small 16mm pancake lens, it was easy enough to fit in a jacket pocket and be ready when the moment appeared. Definitely convenient than my Nikon D800 any given day!

Flamingo shaped abstract structure created by Alexander Calder

NEX-5 + E 16mm F2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 200, 1/1, f/5.6

(Flamingo shaped abstract structure created by the “Alexander Calder”. NEX-5, 16mm, f/5.6, 1 sec, ISO 200)

There are many websites that discuss the technical pros and cons of such smaller portable cameras, but in this article I’ll refrain from repeating those and stick to my personal experience. From what I can tell, having good equipment helps but its crucial to remember these are photography tools ultimately; and having a tool that helps you take more shots at the right time might be handy than the one that you left in your bag because it was heavy. I guess, what I’m trying to say is: Sometimes people get so much caught up with the technical aspects of capturing a photo they forget the reason why they got involved in the first place.

SE view of Chicago downtown from my condo

NEX-5 + E 16mm F2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 200, 13/10, f/5.6

(SE view of Chicago downtown from my condo. NEX-5, 16mm, f/5.6, 1 sec, ISO 200)

For those that argue about the technical ability of such compact systems basically need to re-­evaluate and ask themselves who their target audience really is. If you are only going to post your photos on social media and/or share it with friends & family; these system have enough potential to deliver images if you’re willing to up your game.

The very famous Chicago Bean, commonly known as the Cloud Gate

NEX-5 + E 16mm F2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 200, 6/1, f/5.6

(The very famous Chicago Bean, commonly known as the “Cloud Gate”. NEX-5, 16mm, f/5.6, 6 sec, ISO 200)

Eastern view of Chicago river walk

NEX-5 + E 16mm F2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 200, 1/10, f/5.6

(Eastern view of Chicago river walk. NEX-5, 16mm, f/5.6, 1/10 sec, ISO 200)

In my opinion, these compact systems act like a natural extension to one’s photographic needs without adding the bulk. For those that already have a DSLR, having a smaller system comes in handy in places where you don’t want the additional weight or risk losing those candid shots since most bulky DSLR’s tend to intimidate people. And, for those that would like to graduate from their cell phone cameras, these will serve you well for years to come.

A traveler from far east

NEX-5 + E 50mm F1.8 OSS @ 50mm, ISO 500, 1/80, f/1.8

(A traveler from far east. NEX-5, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/200 sec, ISO 200)

Ultimately, my intent in this writeup is not to encourage readers to go out and purchase a compact camera, or in case anyone’s thinking – recommend a Sony NEX system! No, I am not here to praise about one system or bash another. My goal is simply to reiterate: take as many photos as you can with what you have, and enjoy along the way. If a smaller system happens to make that task easier, by all means jump for it! Challenge yourself, and use the equipment you already have instead of buying the next-best-camera on the market.

Sony NEX-5 Sample #6

NEX-5 + E 50mm F1.8 OSS @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/60, f/1.8

In the end, I’m going to leave you with a rather generic comment, but one which got stuck in my head, “If your advantage is hardware, time will test you for sure but if your advantage is technique then time will be by your side and you’ll capture memories”.

I have a few more images I’d like to share. Enjoy, and thank you for reading!

Sony NEX-5 Sample #1

NEX-5 + E 50mm F1.8 OSS @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f/1.8

Sony NEX-5 Sample #2

NEX-5 + E 50mm F1.8 OSS @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/1000, f/1.8

Sony NEX-5 Sample #3

NEX-5 + E 50mm F1.8 OSS @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/4000, f/1.8

Sony NEX-5 Sample #4

Sony NEX-5 Sample #5

NEX-5 + E 50mm F1.8 OSS @ 50mm, ISO 200, 1/50, f/1.8



  1. 1) Pascal
    July 22, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I totally agree with the arguments made in this great article. But the main reason that kept me from buying such camera is the fairly high purchase price. A decent system camera comes in the range of a DSLR. And at that price point I prefer to keep investing in my current DSLR gear.

    Quick question: all the above night shots seem a bit… I don’t know how to call it… maybe HDR to me. The “daylight” images don’t look that way at all. Was there any “special” processing involved with the night shots?

    • 1.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 7:16 am

      Pascal, that sounds like something I’d have done too, if I were in your shoes.

      Yes, you are correct about the night shots – they are HDR photos (-2,0,+2 exposures blended together manually). I used Dfine for noise reduction and finally a tad bit of sharpening using Sharpener Pro! Thanks for looking :)

  2. July 22, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Hi Ankur: You make a very compelling point here. On a lot of family picnics within the city, I actually take my point and shoot or just the cell phone. A lot of time I post those pics on my blog. And I totally agree with you no point in spending more money unless you have used your current gear to full potential, specially for a hobbyist like me. Thanks

    • 2.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 7:22 am

      Prasad: Good decision! Enjoy your gear and keep those photos coming. Cheers!

  3. July 22, 2013 at 2:10 am

    A very timely post, thank you. I am considering buying either a Nikon Coolpix P7700 or the Olympus Stylus XZ-2. Being an owner of a D7100/D800 and the Nikon V1 system they all lack an important ingedient for me, that being the absence of an articulated screen. Sure, I could buy the D5200, but I also want light weight and to be able to use the camera for candid street photography. I think the absence of the articulated screen is often a deal breaker and certainly at present doesn’t exist on a mobile phone.

    Quite frankly and no disrespect to my own son, but his images posted on Facebook taken with an Iphone5 are absolutely terrible. Smart phones are capable of taking great photographs, but only in the hands of someone who wants to take great photographs. I think these are far an few between, so the compact camera may be replaced by the CCS systems, but either way it’s a more viable option for those who care about their photography.


    • 3.1) Jeff
      July 22, 2013 at 5:55 am

      I too heavily investigated a smaller P&S (Mirrorless) and felt the P7700 was a good viable option for my needs. The P7700 has commander mode (1 channel), a built-in 3-stop ND filter and NRW (RAW) capabilities. I am awaiting the line up refreshment which should be in August to see what the replacement model brings or a huge price drop on the P7700.

    • 3.2) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Richard, thanks for looking. I understand where you’re coming from. I’d have to give Jeff a pat on the back for giving you my piece of mind. Given the options, Nikon P7700 would be a better choice for you, overall. (I can tell you that after using Nex-5, I do miss having the articulated screen on the D800.)

  4. 4) Bintang
    July 22, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Just three days before this article I bought a Nikon V1 + 10-30 kit lens with an Ft 1 adapter for Eur 500 together. The reasons were the same as described in this article. What a nice camera! The battery is compatibly with my D800, and D7000 and I can use my F mount lenses with it. According to the 2.7 multiplier even my Sigma 35 1.4 will be a portrait lens at 95 mm ekv. focal length, so I can use my lenses mainly for portraits, wildlife and macro, but the result is more than acceptable. This small camera makes my 105Vr 2.8 macro lens to an incredible 285mm 2.8 with a pretty good depth of field and the lens is shining on the V1. I can use all functions, like auto focus, VR, aperture change directly on the camera and with the new firmware AF-continuous mode is also available. You can imagine, what focal length is available with my 70-200 2.8 VR, or 300 2.8. That was one of my best purchases and outshines even my Sigma 35 1.4 purchase, which was also a great decision.

    • 4.1) Richard
      July 22, 2013 at 5:19 am

      Bintang: A good decision and the FT-1 brings the camera to totally different level. I never stop marvelling at the results I get even with the kit lenses. I haven’t read many reports on the V2, but gather that apart from the extra Mp I am wondering if it’s just an expensive upgrade to gain little.

      Enjoy your V1.


      • 4.1.1) Bintang
        July 22, 2013 at 6:04 am

        Richard, thanks for your response. I was wondering if the V2 is a better choice or not, but I decided to stay with the V1. This is my first MILC, so I didn’t want to spend a “fortune” with the possibility of regret. V1 has a pretty good price here right now. I have no doubt that the V2 is a better camera regarding ergonomics, and there is a little bit more space for crop, but I couldn’t justify the 2.4 times higher price. As far as I checked the tests and reviews, image quality is almost the same if not better by a hair @ the v1, which is pretty good till iso 400, good with some PP at 800 and acceptable for web and small print at iso 1600. I would use iso 3200 in special circumstances, but only with exposing for the shadows. There is some ugly banding at high iso if I try to dodge them during the post-processing. As you mentioned, kit lens is also useful. If Nikon will offer quick iso and WB settings and a small grip, this will be an ultimate “take it anywhere” camera for me, but it’s very close to it even without these features.

  5. 5) Murilo Gomes Neto
    July 22, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I currently have a point and shoot, but I’m planning and dreaming about the day I’m going to buy my DSLR (and it’s going to be soon). I can’t take it anymore all the limitations of the small sensors; in fact, all the limitations of the small cameras (speacially concerning low light performance and depth of field).

    I don’t know, maybe, someday, I prove myself wrong; but for now I feel like the bigger, chunkier, heavier the better.

    • 5.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

      Murilo, fair point you’ve got there – but keep in mind, with any system there will be some limitations. As I’ve mentioned earlier although these smaller compact systems don’t quite compete with pro FX sensor cams, but with good technique they do kick the bulky APSC sized cams in the belly in nearly all categories, in my opinion – be it low noise, high ISO, better IQ overall, etc.

      Having said that, I’m quite certain with your new DSLR you’ll take even better photos in times to come. Do share them with us :) Cheers!

  6. 6) MartinG
    July 22, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I am looking at exactly this. I am considering the Nikon1 v2 and the adapter to supplement the D800. I have 3 primes and 2 zooms only. I am not interested in more than one cx lens. (Possibly the 30-110)There are times when I find having to change lenses and then back again really inconvenient. My iPhone is good at times when I don’t have the D800 with me. Sometimes I need a lot more reach and sometimes I want slow motion video.

    Two camera bodies e.g. a 7100 would solve some of the problems but the Nikon 1 gives me a very different type of flexibility so it may be a better option.

    I also like the idea of a smallish camera that I can have readily to hand.

    My question is – what do other readers think of the Nikon1 v2?

    • 6.1) Richard
      July 22, 2013 at 8:07 am

      MartinG…Bintang. I am concerned that the level of sales of the V2 may not have matched Nikon’s hopes. Many folks were furious with Nikon over the ditching of the V1 after such a short life and even more annoyed that they had invested in a overpriced FT-1 and now had to pay the exorbitant price for the V2. The question “how much more does the V2 give compared to the V1?” Well, a built in flash, 2mP more, better controls format addressing many of the negative issues of the V1. I have seen so few reports or reviews applauding the V2 and guess the majority of buyers are first time CSC owners. Also I think folks are scared of paying the price, then Nikon pouncing again with a new model. This is a bit like the Coolpix P7000 to p7100 to p7700 in a period of less than 2 years.

      My feeling is that the V1 with it’s 10mp is more than capable of being a very credible camera. I have one and love its portability and picture quality. The ease at which dials can be accidentally changed is a real nuisance, cured by me with a small piece of blue tak.

      If I was buying a CSC for the first time I would undoubtedly buy the V2 kit, incidentally MartinG, the 10-30mm lens is no slouch and for the money and size a good little lens. However, I will not be rushing any time soon to upgrade my V1 as it does me just fine as a highly capable walkabout camera and with the FT-1 highly flexible too.


      • 6.1.1) MartinG
        July 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

        Thanks for the reply.
        I was recently on the other side of a small gorge with a nice Osprey nest in the view. I needed more than the D800 plus a f4 300 plus TC 1.4. Video of the male coming bask with sticks would have been nice. ( I am now back on my own side of the continent)

        I have some nice BIF shots. One of my zooms is the 70-200VRII so I could use that on the Nikon1 for some shots. My other zoom is a 16-35 F4 which is great for landscape.

        On my recent trip outback (Aussie for wilderness) I badly needed a second camera sometimes. One with heaps more reach. I know I will never buy the 300 f2.8 or 400 f4 to use with a TC20eiii.
        Some of those small birds are very shy. I never did get the shots of some of the birds I saw.

        I avoided the V1 – the V2 looks like the main benefit is a proper grip and dials that make sense.
        I also understand it does macro well. A built in EVF is surely a must.

  7. 7) Marcel Fortsch
    July 22, 2013 at 7:49 am

    My wife was recently looking at upgrading from a p&s to a SLR and I suggested for her to buy a Nikon body and we share the lenses that I have, mostly the kit lenses so not really that great a deal.

    She really didn’t like the idea of such heavy equipment and eventually decided on the Olympus OM-D EM 5 as it is light and has a view finder. Neither of us is a big fan of using the screen to take pictures, even our Canon p&s has a tiny view finder :)

    I have been handling her camera a little (not that I am really allowed to) and like the feel of the light weight camera. If it had been around when I got my D90, I might have chosen the Olympus over the D90. And picture quality of the micro four third sensor is certainly good enough for most of her and my needs.

    • 7.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Marcel, good call on the EM5 – it’s a very capable camera! Way to make your wifey happy, lol! I’m sure she’ll enjoy using it & capture some beautiful photos; you on the other hand will have to rely on stealing the cam from her ;)

  8. 8) John Adams
    July 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I shot with a Nikon D80 camera for many years. I traded up to a D700 when it first came out along with some better lenses but my gear is now somewhat heavier. I’ve been waiting a long time for Nikon to come out with a small camera that takes DSLR quality pictures I can use to supplement my D700.

    I recently took the plunge and invested in a Nikon Coolpix A. It delivers as advertised with compact size and full DSLR quality pictures. I now have a camera with me all the time and have taken some shots I would have otherwise missed. I find the small size makes it much easier to get candid shots of people.

    I’ll never give up my D700 for all my planned photo excursions but look forward to exploring some new avenues like street photography with my new compact. Thank you for sharing your experiences with a smaller camera. Your pictures motivated me to learn and grow even more with my photography.

    • 8.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

      John, thanks for looking. Great to hear your new Coolpix A is working it’s magic as advertised. I agree with you, it’s hard to explain to people to not feel intimidated when you point a big black dslr of a box in their faces; and yet with a small cam they all smile away without a second thought.

      I’m with you on planned shoots and alike, however, for majority of my casual photos I wouldn’t hesitate to carry the smaller camera. If you think about it, not more than 3-4 years ago, the tech we have in today’s smaller cameras was essentially peaking for semi-pro & pro level cams – given the technique used is good these cameras offer enough potential, to be fair.

      • 8.1.1) Richard
        July 22, 2013 at 9:35 am

        “it’s hard to explain to people to not feel intimidated when you point a big black dslr of a box in their faces; and yet with a small cam they all smile away without a second thought”.

        I remember the easier days of street photography, looking down at the waistline viewfinder on a Bronica ETRsi or Rolleiflex and averting the eye line of the subject. That’s why I want an articulated viewfinder and where in my view, Nikon missed a trick leaving it off the Nikon “A”.


  9. 9) Don
    July 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I am a long term Nikon DSLR user but recently added a Fuji XE1 compact camera for street and travel photography. After a few months with this system I encourage anyone considering buying a compact camera to look closely at the Fuji cameras and lenses. As someone used to the quality my D700 can generate I am absolutely amazed at the quality of the images the XE1 can produce. The Fuji sensor coupled with Fujinon lenses produce outstanding images. Compact cameras have come a very long ways!

    • 9.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Don, Thanks for the feedback! I agree, compact cameras have definitely come a long way.

  10. 10) Johny Wong
    July 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Hi Ankur,

    When I first heard about sony NEX, I immediately interested with it because it had APS-C sensor. But I didn’t it because it lack of external control. Even worse, I can’t customize any of its button. When the second generation of NEX came out, I immediately bought it. Btw, I bought NEX 5N. NEX 7 was too expensive and I didn’t like its noise performance.

    I know 5N doesn’t have many external button, but, at least, I can customize the button. Even then, I still felt shooting with 5N isn’t as pleasant as using DSLR. Because I have to compose using LCD screen, no dedicated button for important setting like ISO, exp compensation, WB. Fortunately, 5N picture quality is quite good and its also quite small, so I can live with it.

    About 1 year after I purchased it, sony released NEX-6. It has build in EVF,build in flash, and more button. NEX-6 is really what I want from a mirrorless camera. And I also learned sony’s pattern. They keep iterating camera each year with more and more feature that an enthusiast photographer wanted.

    I know iterating a product is camera maker’s habit. So, I use my experience of buying NEX 5N as lesson. I will only buy mirrorless camera that has features that I want. Right now, I’m interested in fuji XE series. It has build in EVF, picture quality is very good, noise performance is very good, many external button. I will wait for its third or fourth generation and hoping fuji will improve camera performance and, hopefully, eliminate any quirkiness.

    • 10.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Johny!

      It’s my understanding, at the time Sony released Nex-5 (about 3-yrs ago) they’d realized soon after that they’d created a class leading APS-C compact system. I was among the first to snag a piece even after knowing I’d miss the external controls with no built in EVF. Major bummer! Yes! Fortunately what lacked in the controls dept. Sony’s tiny sensor made up for it in the image quality dept. The RAW files coming out of Nex-5 had enough data for me to turn it into decent photos. Color me impressed? Maybe!

      Also, being a tech user all my life I believe I’m very flexible when it comes to adjusting to the so called “improvements” that manufacturers generally throw out in the form of layout changes, addition/removal of external buttons, ports, etc. It doesn’t really bother me, but I have a feeling it does matter to some. The current lineup of pretty much all the compact systems is really good. You’re pretty accurate when you mention about Nex-6, and the XE series; however, as with all non-pro systems most manufacturers tend to add some updates and release a new model every other year. So it might be worth the wait, like you said. Cheers!

  11. July 22, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Any good pro or amateur for that matter in all honesty wouldn’t lug around a bag full of kit would he?…well the truth is a lot from the past didn’t…Cartier Bresson, Gary Winogrand to name but two, but I wont go into that here…you can read what I have to say on it here for free, because I wrote a book on it: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/4380408-one-camera-one-lens-one-reason

    But yes in principle I would agree I recently bought an Olympus OMD and am currently assessing it in various roles, so the jury’s still out :)

    • 11.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Martin, Thanks the sharing that! :) Quite an interesting read and as much I want to differ, I feel restricting yourself to limited piece of equipment helps drive passion a tad more by challenging yourself.

      Feel free to share feedback about your OMD experience as a user! Cheers!

      • 11.1.1) Martin Davey
        July 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        Your welcome Ankur, and yes as soon as I’ve tested it a little more I shall :)

  12. 12) Antonio Mario
    July 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm


    Thanks for the article. Indeed, mirrorless cameras have been all the rage in the past few years; you have a good point there.

    However, I just felt that the camera you chose to exemplify your point may not have been the best one. The NEX-5 is a very capable camera on its own right, but an APS-C sensor WILL require relatively large lenses, defeating the purpose of a mirrorless system. Also, the NEX-5 has a viewfinder that is only optional and a bit pricey, again working against this camera as an extension of the work one does with an DSLR for most people.

    The Nikon 1 V1/V2 and the Olympus OMD would possibly be better examples of truly portable systems with an incredible list of possibilities; a typical Nikon user could use his/her middle range zoom lens (say the 70-300mm IF-ED) in a lot of situations and still have a very portable system. Bintang’s post exemplifies this well.

    Nice pics. Did you use HDR (or at least some form of double-processing)? They have a somewhat surreal feel.


    • 12.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Antonio, thanks for looking and sharing your thoughts! :)

      I admit Nex-5 may not be the best camera to demonstrate, considering it’s already 3 years old and lacks a bunch of bells & whistles today’s compacts systems come equipped with; however, if I may – I’d like to reiterate the intent of this post – to encourage users to push themselves with their compact systems, and not to advise them to purchase one camera system over another. Since I already had the first gen Nex, I decided to put together images to showcase its usage in different scenarios.

      Now that being said, I’m certain other compact systems like Nikon 1 V1/V2, OMD, XE series – all perform remarkably well, but the decision to purchase a certain system will likely revolve around one’s need, level of experience, expectations and the ability to deliver intended images.

      Yes, you’re correct – Night time shots posted here reflect HDR implementation (-2, 0, +2 exposures blended together manually).

      • 12.1.1) Antonio Mario
        July 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        Ankur, thanks. Your night time pics came out real well. Nice job!

        • Ankur Puri
          July 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm

          Antonio: Thank you for such kind words! :)

  13. July 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Wanting to move up from a P&S but not wanting the size and weight of a full size DSLR camera I finally decided to go with the Nikon V1 when the price dropped. I am VERY happy with my choice.

    • 13.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Joni, Good call on the Nikon V1 – with that price drop it’s all the more alluring now. I must admit, in capable hands these systems have the potential to deliver! Enjoy your V1 :) Cheers!

  14. 14) James
    July 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    I have a D600 with a few good lenses. There are definitely a few places I would prefer something smaller. I am thinking about getting the Sony RX100 II…good sensor and small size coupled with not committing to a compact lens system.

    I also think having something like a Nikon 1 body with a 10-100 lens (or similar 4/3 combo) is a good option. That would give you the framing similar to a full frame camera with a 28-300 lens, I believe, which would be great for scouting out new locations without being weighed down by larger equipment. If you found a great place for photos, you could always come back with the big full-frame guns later.

    • 14.1) Ankur Puri
      July 22, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      James: I agree with you, infact I have done the same numerous times! Both the camera systems you mentioned, RX100 M2 and Nikon 1 offer tremendous potential – end result lies in the hands of the user. The thing that sets most people back is the expectations they have from smaller systems. You can’t expect these compact systems to go head to head with pro level cams; and like you said – for those situations where you know what you need in terms of image quality, bring back the big guns and fire away!

  15. 15) KSPGM
    July 24, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Well done Ankur ! I had stopped using this site so much, as aggressive anti-mirrorless responders spoilt my experience of the Mansurovs well-mannered website.

    You have hit the nail on the head with your title ‘Extend your DSLR with a mirrorless’ This is exactly the reason many of us chose to buy into the system, we don’t expect a Nikon 1 system to outperform a DX or FX system but, in my experience, it comes pretty darn close in many situations. And of course, what many anti-mirrorless do not seem able to get their heads around is the size weight and convenience advantages of these systems. I am able to carry round a V2 + 10-100 every day, all day, if I wish and never miss a shot. That’s the point and yet with an FT-1 and, say my 70-200 f/4 I also have a convenient lightweight super zoom combo. That said, I have to admit that I get better pics from my D7100 and 70-200 + Tcx1.4 . . . but only when I make a special effort to carry it with me – going to an air-show or wild life park, for instance. But on all other occasions I take my Nikon 1 kit. I have both primes and both wide and all-purpose zooms – and, if I need it all, it all fits inside of two children’s cylindrical pencil cases!

    For me, the main drawback of the CX sensor is its relatively poor low light performance. I do a lot of shooting in dimly lit museums and, even with the 18mm f/1.8, I’m struggling to get reasonable ISO noise free photos. I have ordered the 32 f/1.2 months ago (Nikon seem to be playing games with us again here in the UK as there is no sign of it despite announcements for pre-orders). I’m hoping that this will help the low light drawback. Fingers-crossed! Any helpfull suggeations on this low light issue would be well received.

    Thanks again for a great mirrorless friendly posting and many more please?

    • 15.1) Ankur Puri
      July 24, 2013 at 10:54 am


      Thanks for such kind words and taking the time to share your thoughts with us! :)

      If I may, I believe PhotographyLife has done an exceptional job in keeping the content fresh and providing much value added benefit to all the readers in terms of the quality & quantity of its posts.

      I can relate to your personal experience shooting with the CX system. To some, being in denial has become second nature instead of embracing what gets them where they intend to be, quickly and effortlessly. These are the same people who will manage to find reasons to complain about every little thing. From my personal experience, majority of them lack either the skill, will or a combination of two resulting in rather sub-standard images compared to some shooters who churn out fantastic photos even from a smaller compact system. I would be delusional to point fingers at anyone, but I leave it to one’s personal judgement to decipher.

      Having said that, as with any non-pro system (and in some cases with pro systems as well) there are going to be certain trade-offs with the limitations (tech/$$ value, size, weight, convenience, etc.) one has to design a system within. Low light performance has been in the cross-hair for many, and I find stacking multiple shots in-camera/twilight mode helps if you can’t really use a tripod to trigger either one exposure or multiple exposures to blend manually in post. This image might be a good example of blending multiple (-3 to +3) exposures manually. (http://bit.ly/1bht12f)

      In the end, I’d like to thank Mr. Mansursov for letting me present my opinion in front of a broader audience via this medium, and hopefully can continue to contribute with a few more articles in near future :)

  16. 16) gregorylent
    July 28, 2013 at 1:52 am

    for sure, we will laugh at ourselves in the near future.. these d800s and huge lenses will be seen just as we now see the brick-sized cellphones of the 90’s :-)

    • July 28, 2013 at 2:12 am

      Lots of truth in that …Leica owner have been doing that for years….now its available to the masses :)

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