The latest buzz is that Canon is going to be bringing a high quality, small camera to the market to compete with the mirrorless competitors from Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. While I understand why they need to compete in this area, they can probably count me out as a consumer, along with all the other manufacturers.
It’s not that I am opposed to a camera without a mirror, in fact I own one from Panasonic. It’s a point and shoot called the LX-3 and it really works for me in those situations where I just need a quick snap and don’t feel like lugging around my DSLR. But you won’t soon find me trading away the benefits of the DSLR for a smaller mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. There’s several reasons for this, and the first has to do with how you will frame your scene. See, mirrorless cameras don’t have a viewfinder, at least not in the sense that a DSLR does. Your main source for viewing what you will photograph is the rear LCD. This means that looking at the screen outdoors on a sunny day will be difficult at best.
Also, it’s hard to estimate things like depth of field because there aren’t any depth of field preview buttons on the cameras (although I think this would be easily solved). But the biggest problem for me would be viewing distance. My eyes aren’t getting any younger and I already find that I need to hold the camera further away to even see the rear LCD with any clarity. This has nothing to do with how good the screen or how much resolution it has. It’s simply a matter of not being able to see anything closer than 20″ from my nose with any clarity.
Poor vision isn’t a problem with my DSLR since all I have to do is adjust the diopter and I see things with crystal clarity. Besides, there’s just something great about looking directly through the optics of the camera that seems to make it more personal and connected. If you own one of the new mirrorless cameras, drop me a comment and share your experience with it.