Thoughts on My First Mirrorless Camera

I may be a bit late to this party, but I recently purchased my first mirrorless camera.  I’m a Canon shooter and my primary camera is a 5D mark iv.  I had heard one of the benefits of the mirrorless cameras was their size and weight and this intrigued me.  I had just returned from a trip to Europe with my son and carried around the 5D, the 24-105 lens, and a wide angle 16-35 for architecture photography. I may have even brought along my Sigma 50mm 1.4 art lens for artsy and low light shots (never happened).  After carrying all this equipment around Europe for 10 days and not being able to take the time away from the usual sightseeing to do sunrise and sunset shots I thought seriously about getting a lighter camera. 

The Canon EOS R was not critically acclaimed when it was released.  I had read all the reviews, tests and opinion pieces that I could find, and watched most pieces on YouTube.  In recent times Canon has updated the firmware at least twice and improved the eye autofocus to where many say it is almost as good as Sony’s.  I also like the Canon menu system and find it easier to use than others.  As a Canon shooter it would be easy for me to learn.  The 24-105 L lens that comes with the camera if you purchase the kit is slightly better than the earlier lens for the DSLRs.  One recent improvement was much better stabilization in the lens itself.  I later learned from experience it is substantially better, at least in my opinion.  I have taken handheld shots down to 1/6 second that were very sharp. 

I decided to buy the EOS R with the 25-105 lens, in part because of its smaller and lighter frame and the outstanding lenses that are available for it.  The reviews on the other lenses that are available seem to be second to none, although pricey to say the least.  The fact there was a $700 discount on the combination certainly influenced my decision.  

I have had the camera for about a month or so.  It took a few days for me to feel comfortable with the smaller size of the camera body.  The button for Back Button Auto focus was in a different location and felt odd initially, not any longer.  I don’t use the camera for video, so I wasn’t interested in any of those features.  I have found the still images to be very sharp, the colors amazing and, all in all, I can see why some are beginning to give this camera a second look.  I like the electronic viewfinder.  It keeps me from shooting with the wrong settings as you can see what you will get if you take the shot.  One problem I do have, and I am getting better at it, is using the electronic viewfinder while wearing glasses.  The camera will start the electronic viewfinder when you put your eye up to it and will turn on the back screen when you take your eye away.  With glasses I don’t always get my eye close enough into the viewfinder window to activate the sensor which turns on the viewfinder.  I am getting used to this though and it is not as much of a problem. 

I have also found the use of the standard EF lens for full frame cameras works seamlessly with use of the adapter.  I purchased the adapter with the control ring and have set up the control ring to change my ISO.  With the EF lens the control ring is close to the body of the camera and is ergonomically perfect for holding the camera and lens and being able to change my ISO on the fly with the use of the control ring.  Speaking of lenses, benefit to this camera is that it has a shutter that covers the sensor when you remove one lens to replace it with another.  This really helps to keep dust from getting on the sensor, one problem I have heard other mirrorless camera users complain about.  Good thinking Canon.

I have really begun to enjoy this camera and lens combination and carry it with me almost all the time.  Practice makes perfect and as I get the camera dials and buttons configured the way I like I think it will be my primary camera for many years to come.  Nancy and I hope to travel to Ireland this year and I think this will be the only camera and lens I bring along.  

The EOS R is said not to be a good wildlife camera as its frame rate in continuous or Servo mode is too slow, and the electronic viewfinder doesn’t actually show you what you are shooting in real time.  My 5D mark iv will be my wildlife camera as it has the optical viewfinder that you can follow animas in real time and it rarely misses focus.  It also has a faster frame rate, not as fast as I would like but I can work with it.  I think this is one reason the DSLRs will be around awhile as there will always be sports and wildlife shooters.  All in all, I am very happy with the EOS R and really enjoy using it. 

If you have information about a photography topic and would like to share your experience or ideas, please share them with the members or send an article to me and I will send it out for you and add it to our website for others to see.  

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you soon,