I notice many of the Youtube posts where a person has recently joined in the excitement of photography and went mirrorless from the start with a brand they feel will meet their future growth and they marvel at the mirrorless camera and lens they own and I admit in most cases they have valid points - smaller, lighter, silent, etc. But for someone like me with a considerable investment in DSLR equipment, my history in photography started with my fathers Rolleiflex twin reflex then moved to an SLR then to digital point and shoot, and transitioned to the world of DSLR. So, here I am like many of you who are facing the transition to mirrorless.
Going obsolete with the DSLR gear you currently have. If you boil down and simplify what a camera and lens are you logically conclude it is a tool to capture moments in time or video of events people, places/vlogs etc. Some of us use our cameras as a way to capture the beauty of things and the wonder of the sites we visit. Question is if we as users are happy with what we currently have would it even make sense to worry about a transition and the cost of moving to a new mirrorless system? My fathers old Rolleiflex still works and can capture the same quality images just like it did 50 years ago, but photography has been evolving ever since it was invented back in 1839. Going obsolete is when the system you have becomes onerous to own and maintain when support and parts become a challenge to find and eventually those electronics and mechanics will fail, leaving you on a small island by yourself away from civilization.
So, my belief is none of us want to go or be obsolete. If you invested over the years in DSLRs, you are now most likely contemplating your Transition strategy, and this is a huge concern considering as you total up all your DSLR investments and you are into this with tens of thousands of dollars of bodies and lenses. Consider camera company x currently offers a $10,000 super telephoto and you bought it two years ago for your DSLR, and now company x has an updated version for their mirrorless body that is faster and lighter for the same price. What will be the resell value of the DSLR lens or how useful will it be with an adapter on a Mirrorless and the resell value of the DSLR camera bodies? This is not just for the super expensive lens but all DSLR lens and especially the bodies - will company XYZ continue developing DSLRs? And this is akin to the generation of auto exposure and autofocus, and the older lens that did not support the new technology fell by the wayside. Consider the NOCT lens and how well it resells even today for DLSR use because it is hard to find and not a modern equal available today, but what happens when a new faster NOCT is sold for mirrorless?
SIDE NOTE: DSLR companies are in a tough place trying to appease to their customer base with backward compatibility and not making their DLSR bodies and lenses resell value goes into the dumpster, and the Company is all the while moving to Mirrorless as their future - To me I see this will cause price increases for their mirrorless offerings to help reduce deflation of the legacy items. Ask yourself in 2 years from today - would you buy a DSLR?
Sell off your DSLR stuff and join the mirrorless herd: It is obvious some of the DSLR gear will transition easier than others, I think flash and lighting systems will be pretty much the same for both systems. When I sell off my older gear and buy replacement items it comes at a cost with the reality of this is a financial investment of the difference. In this context, I suggest the following strategy.
- Sell only the items that will no longer support your new system and especially if you don't use it that often with the DSLR system.
- Keep your lighting systems as those seem less impacted by the mirror to mirrorless move.
- consider your lens as sunk investments suited for the purpose when they were purchased, even with adapters. This is a sad situation for all of us to find ourselves.
- I don't recommend continuing purchases in the DSLR lens if you are serious for a Mirrorless system.
- Keep an eye open for 3rd party lens options for your camera brand; this can be a huge money saver.
- Stay positive and look at this as a journey of improved photography that dates back to 1839.
Jumping Ship: Is it time? if you have been thinking about wanting to move to company x brand, this might be the perfect time to do so. Yank the band-aid off and get over the pain.
I have chosen to pick-up the Nikon Mirrorless as you may have guessed I shoot mostly Nikon with some Fuji which I have also ordered the XT-3 to replace my XT-2 and over time I will sell and replace as I always have in the past to spread the pain and cost out over time. Besides, we all know this will continue to evolve no matter which camera system you are or go with even if the system you go with has only one slot - oh trust me, in time there will be a two-slot version that is faster and better.
DSLR to Mirrorless
This article will be picked up by Youtubers and offered as their own original thoughts.
- Nikon D7200
- Nikon D500
- Nikon D810
- Nikon 1 V3
- Fujifilm XE-3
- Fujifilm XT-2
- R1C1 Wireless Close-up system
- TC-14E III
- TC-17 II
- WR-A10 Wireless Adapter