Mirrorless Cameras All Have This Frustrating Flaw, But I Fi... - Jonathan Cartu - Wedding & Engagement Photography Services
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Mirrorless Cameras All Have This Frustrating Flaw, But I Fi…

Mirrorless Cameras All Have This Frustrating Flaw, But I Fi…


Hey Sony, Canon, and Nikon! You’re about to race each other to the patent office. Get ready!

OK, maybe somebody already thought of this. Have you? I haven’t heard a single person suggest this yet. Either way, the fact that I haven’t seen it yet in any of the exciting current-generation mirrorless systems is very frustrating, so I’m here to fire the starting pistol.

Actually, let’s be honest: I’m here to beg. Please, Sony, Canon, and/or Nikon, make all your mirrorless cameras work this way!

[Related Reading: Click here to read my Canon EOS R review!

[Related Reading: Click here to read Pye’s 6-month Canon EOS R review!

[Related Reading: Click here to read my review of the Sony A7R3!

[Related Reading: Click here to read my review of the Nikon Z7!

If you’ve read my gear reviews over the past year, you’ll know that I’ve been very vocal about how much I like all of the current-generation mirrorless cameras, and how I’ve been growing tired of the drawbacks of a  DSLR camera system.

Well, I’m here today to trash talk mirrorless a little bit. I’m here to throw a little shade at all three of the major full-frame mirrorless systems, because to me, they have all missed the mark in one glaring way, and I’m ready to speak up about it.

Don’t get me wrong, mirrorless cameras are already great, and DSLRs are still great. I could easily go the rest of my career as a wedding & portrait photographer with either system if I had to.

However, it’s my job to review camera gear and tell you how cameras could be better. So, really, this isn’t trash talk at all. It’s what I think is a genius idea. Hopefully, you’ll think it’s a genius idea too.

If you think it’s a dumb idea, or if other camera companies have already thought of this, comment below! I’m humble enough to enjoy being shown something I overlooked.

[Related Reading: How Canon Is Going To (Eventually) Take Back The Mirrorless Market]

But, if you do think it’s a genius idea, please share this article so that everybody sees it, and hopefully, this functionality will in the next generations of mirrorless cameras!

Mirrorless Cameras Still Don’t Operate Like DSLRs, But They Could

Here is my premise: Many photographers’ first cameras were SLRs or DSLRs. The optical viewfinder is still a nifty thing, too; it just works. It is always there, ready to help you click a photo the instant you turn the camera on. In fact, even with the camera off you can raise it to your eye and frame your shot and (roughly) achieve focus! Plus, you’re always seeing the real world, in real-time. But I digress.

Part of why many pros prefer optical SLR viewfinders is definitely their dependability; their very nature offers an interface with the subject that electronic viewfinders can’t truly match.

Sony a9, Canon EOS R, Nikon Z7

The fact is, electronic viewfinders have been getting so high-res that they look truly real, (the EOS R’s viewfinder is gorgeous!) and with nearly zero lag and/or a fantastic framerate. (The Sony a9 viewfinder is definitely ready for most all types of action sports, and it’s only going to get better with its eventual successor!)

However, they’ve focused so much on these impressive, exciting specs that it almost feels to me like they’ve forgotten one thing that makes optical viewfinders so reliable.

With that in mind, here are my suggestions to make the EVF more like the OVF:

Unfortunately, all mirrorless camera viewfinders have a sensor that usually turns the viewfinder off if it’s not actively raised to your eye.
(In other words, the above feature isn’t very useful, but it COULD be…)

The Always-On Viewfinder

First, here’s the craziest idea: as much as I do understand and enjoy the WYSIWYG and other benefits of electronic viewfinders, I still love optical viewfinders because they’re always on. When you raise the camera to your eye, you don’t have to worry about whether or not it will be ready to show you what it’s pointing at.

I wish electronic viewfinders could be more ready to shoot, more often. Would it be too much to ask to just have the EVF stay on the whole time the camera is on?

Yes, that would consume battery power like crazy, but battery technology is getting better, and EVF power consumption is getting much more efficient. It wouldn’t be too bad; as a working pro who shoots 12-15+  hour long weddings,  I’m already in the habit of turning my camera off whenever it’s hanging from my hip (Spider Holster!) and not raised to my eye. And from the older days of both DSLRs and early-generation Sony A7-series cameras, I’m no stranger to needing 5+ batteries to get through a day.

Currently, I do mostly use the auto-switch function so the camera changes between the EVF and the rear LCD. But, I would still like to have the option for the EVF to just always be on. Why not make it at least an obscure menu option?

Admittedly, however, this isn’t just about the EVF being on or off, unfortunately. There are two other crucial issues that harm my ability to get a shot. Let’s talk about those next!

…Well, that’s VERY helpful!…

Jon Cartu

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