Why Am I Still Shooting a DSLR?


If you look at my equipment page you'll see two DSLRs listed as the camera bodies I am currently using (the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EOS 7D Mark II). I wanted to write a quick blog to explain why I haven't switched to mirrorless cameras yet.

The main reason I haven't swapped to mirrorless is because the cameras I have include the resolution, features, and capabilities I want so, even though they are pushing 10 years old, they still meet my needs. The 7D Mark II even includes a built-in GPS receiver. I can't understate how much I appreciate being able to geo-tag my raw files with the exact longitude and latitude where the photo was taken. With that information in the raw file I can look at the photo years later and still know exactly where it was taken. The 5D Mark III doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver but supports a hot-shoe mounted one which I have and always use unless I am actually using a flash, again to ensure my files include location data. While I've seen Canon mirrorless bodies include the digital levels I constantly use to keep my photos level to the horizon, I have not seen models that include a built-in GPS receiver. I won't swap to mirrorless until one is available with both a digital level and GPS receiver.

Me at Yellowstone National Park, WV.

Additionally, my current cameras also work with all EOS lenses. Since the EOS system has been around since the 1980s the lens selection is huge, and the EOS R mount just doesn't have the same selection available yet. Canon appears to have stopped developing both DSLR camera bodies and EOS mount lenses, however, and is regularly putting out new R mount lenses, so I'm sure the R mount will eventually have a similar selection of lenses. Even so, I don't want to incur the large expense of re-purchasing all the same lenses in a new mount so know I will be using a lens mount adapter whenever I swap to mirrorless, and only replace my current lenses as new ones come out with compelling features (e.g. larger zoom range, sharper, closer minimum focus distance, less weight) that warrant update. Fortunately the R mount adapters appear to support both the electronic aperture and auto-focus systems so you don't lose any functionality by putting an original EOS lens on a mirrorless body.

There are two reasons I will eventually upgrade to a mirrorless body once one is released that includes both a digital level and GPS receiver. First, Canon has continued to improve their auto-focus systems and the latest and greatest auto-focus is only available on their latest mirrorless cameras. Second, since the mirrorless cameras don't need a mirror they weigh less, which makes them easier to carry around. I'm always up for some weight savings, especially when I am hiking long distances or through changes in elevation!

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