How Sony’s Mirrorless Cameras Are Changing Photography
What You Need to Know Before You Purchase
New cameras are always exciting, but Sony’s mirrorless cameras are transforming the photography industry. Sony continues to improve the technology behind mirrorless cameras including an increasingly powerful CMOS sensor. This gives you a chance to capture your subject with the benefits of mirrorless camera technology.
At Meets The Eye Studios, we have the studio space and amenities you need to take your Sony mirrorless camera and create beautiful images. Centrally located in the Bay Area, making it an ideal location for your product photography shoot or other client needs.
The Strengths of Sony’s Mirrorless Camera
Because the technology behind mirrorless cameras has been around since 2009, many of the problems have been solved. This makes it the ideal time to buy a mirrorless camera. Companies like Sony have continued to develop their products, and there are a number of benefits to purchasing a mirrorless model.
- Smooth autofocus
- Benefits for Video
- Enhanced shooting settings
One of the advantages of mirrorless systems is its hybrid autofocus. As the technology has improved, the differences between DSLR and mirrorless cameras’ autofocus have become nearly obsolete. Hybrid autofocus systems use a type of phase-detection method and is similar to that in DSLRs, but they are now more accurate and consistent.
This is because mirrorless cameras determine its focus from the imaging sensor and not a separate module. These developments have especially helped the consistency when working with wide-aperture lenses.
A mirrorless camera also has more “scene awareness”, which allows the camera to track a subject through the frame while maintaining its focus.
The Sony a7R II is also the first mirrorless camera that can autofocus other brands’ DSLR lenses. Most brands are capable of using SLR lenses, but with adapters. Sony, though, has created a way to use the mirrorless cameras’ autofocus benefit with a DSLR lens.
Benefits for Video with Mirrorless Cameras
Sony’s mirrorless cameras are ideal for photographers who are also interested in video, or those who need to do both in the same shoot. Their latest models have 4k capabilities as well.
Because there is no mirror blocking the sensor, mirrorless cameras can more fluidly switch from photo to video. With the same means of previewing and shooting, you can shoot better footage and use the same shooting habits as when taking photos.
Enhanced Shooting Settings
Using a mirrorless camera offers you a chance to use certain post-processing while shooting. While DSLRs may have a portrait or landscape setting, a mirrorless camera gives you the opportunity to see black and white or enhanced color.
As one professional photographer describes, this allows him to look for depth, light, and mood instead of getting distracted with color. With the Sony Alpha a6000, you can change the contrast, saturation, and sharpness without waiting for post-processing.
Weaknesses of a Mirrorless Camera System
While we think mirrorless cameras are a great advancement for photographers, there are some weaknesses. This is due in part to how new it is compared to DSLR cameras, and also to the nature of the technology itself.
- Less consistency
- Battery life
- Autofocus sensors
- No optical viewfinder
Because the technology is still fairly new, there is less consistency across brands. Ergonomics and user interfaces vary widely, which can make switching between models confusing. This is slightly nitpicky, though, because once you settle on a brand like Sony, the user interface will remain largely the same.
A significant change, though, is the impact on battery life. The screen is always on, and the sensors are as well, leading to diminished battery life. Always make sure to bring more batteries than you think you’ll need!
Brands that are newer to the space are also still finding a way to make their autofocus work more efficiently, though Sony’s sensors are some of the best.
There is also no optical viewfinder in a mirrorless camera, which some photographers may dislike. Some photographers appreciate the “part of the moment” feeling you get from a viewfinder, and displays tend to lag, too.
While these are not major downfalls, some photographers may appreciate the viewfinder and want to stick to DSLRs.
Sony’s CMOS Image Sensor
In late 2015, Sony announced a brand new sensor, adding to their already impressive record of covering nearly half the image-sensor market. Previously, the industry used CCD sensors to produce the high quality images consumers wanted. But once companies like Sony began focusing on CMOS, camera technology began evolving at a rapid pace, coming to where we are today.
Previously, photographers would choose between resolution and low-light performance. However, Sony developed their CMOS sensor to perform in all lighting conditions.
In their Alpha A7R II, the 42.4-megapixel CMOS sensor features backside illumination, which is the first of its kind. The quality is impressive, even at a high ISO level. These advancements offer you the best camera technology can offer, and it will handle whatever you put it through, in or out of the studio.
Cost Differences for Mirrorless vs. DSLR Cameras
Now for the big question: what’s the price difference? For entry-level cameras, DSLRs often offer the best quality for an affordable price, largely due to the fact that mirrorless cameras are a newer technology.
Professional level mirrorless cameras, though, are comparable to DSLRs in price. For the same number and type of features and performance, the price range is similar and often not a contributing factor to purchasing a mirrorless model.
Should You Buy a Sony Mirrorless Camera?
Now that we’ve worked through the pros and cons of mirrorless cameras, should you purchase one? Purchasing a new camera system can be expensive, especially if you aren’t planning on selling your old gear to keep as a backup. The Sony mirrorless camera line offers a range of specifications, depending on the type of photography you focus on.
Sony has developed a line of mirrorless cameras for every level of photographer. For professional photographers, their a99V A-mount camera features their XGA Tru-Finder OLED viewfinder and their dual autofocus system.
Sony’s a9 model features a full-frame stacked CMOS sensor built for high speed processing with its integral memory. It can shoot up to 20fps, and features their Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF. This hybrid autofocus offers wide coverage and a 693-point focal-plane phase-detection autofocus that ensures you’ll always be ready to shoot.
While every photographer is different and has different needs and likes, we do believe that Sony is changing the photography industry with their mirrorless cameras. It will only continue to improve as they further develop their product, and it can truly enhance your shooting capabilities.
At Meets The Eye Studios, we have the space and amenities to help bring your photoshoot to life. From the 12′ x 12′ loading doors to extensive rental studio, we can help take your mirrorless camera to its limits and create incredible photos.
For more information, or to schedule a tour of our pre-lit green screen and white wall San Carlos studios, give us a call at (650) 508-8801.