DSLR V Mirrorless. The Switcher Debate.

For some background check this post first.

The problem with writing about cameras is that there is always a bunch of techo togs out there who bombard you with specs about why this and that camera out performs another . (“If you enlarge 5000% you can see a slight degrading in her eyelashes due to colour refraction of the ZXC sensor and the moire effect produce by the removal of the low pass filter which causes a slight halo effect which is visible (only) to an electron microscope”) Most of this information is irrelevant to most situations and has little to do with my photography. That is not to say there are disciplines of photography that demand certain technical specifications to shoot the desired result BUT for the vast majority of togs out there all the extra bells and whistles are wasted. Pick the camera to do the job you want it to do. There really is no one size fits all.

Do you get rid of all your DSLR gear and buy mirrorless?
My answer would be no. It’s not a swap. The two camera systems are different and my little Fuji does different stuff differently to my Canon.

The only advantage in changing a camera system is if it’s easier to shoot your stuff and your stuff looks better. If you’re a sports photographer then dont buy a Fuji XT-1. You’re going to be disappointed and frustrated. On the other hand if your like street photography the Fuji wins over a Canon 5D MK111.

But, the techo togs shout, “What about image resolution?”. The Fuji’s sensor is a mere 16MP as apposed to the Cannikon GT at 50MP and an ISO range of 1 – 3,000,000. These togs are a bit too trigger happy with their CMD+ keys in PS (BTW, as a rule of thumb if it looks too dark to get a decent picture then it probably is.)

Here are 2 unedited photos, shot on 2 cameras with the same ISO2000. The lighting is a fraction different but not so much as to distract from this argument.

_DSF1608-Edit _39A2578-Edit

Can you see any discernible difference in the image quality of the 2 images at this size? Of course you can’t.

What about now



The one on the right is smoother with less grain, the other is sharper. But I had to zoom in more than life size to see the result! Are both images acceptable in terms of quality for reproduction either web or print. Of course they are! Which you prefer is a matter of personal preference but has little to do with sensor MP in this case.

Here are the settings. Fuji left, Canon 5D MK111 right



For my work I use the Fuji XT-1 for most headshot set ups and street and travel photography. The Fuji is smaller and lighter when hand holding and less intrusive ‘in the street’. I use my Canon when I need speedlites and studio flash. Both do a great job. Both do it differently.


  1. Well said John, Totally agree, I have both Fuji and Canon and feel the images straight out of camera sharper with the Fuji, but as you say its what you prefer and what you are doing with it.

  2. Gus Samarco says:

    Well, I shoot my headships with a D800 and use the Fuji’s for everything else. In your case the Fuji shot is the winner… for the simple fact that the expression on that shot is exponentially better 🙂

    • John Clark says:

      Agree Gus the fuji shot is better. Its just the Canon Raw was the only one left with almost the same set up. Anyhow the blog is not about the quality of the image. Neither is it about what camera is better

  3. I use Fuji X-T1 in studio with my Profoto and its great for the job 😉

  4. Tom F Watson says:

    I’m a DSLR shooter now having just switched back from the a7ii. I doubt a client will tell any difference meaning they would like either image. The Fuji does look better in every way to me. In fact, at first I was going to say the image on the left was the Canon because I assumed the 70-200mm would have produced a better image. I don’t really care either way in the debate, I’m just after the best tools for the job (that I can afford…). Great post and great images.

  5. Those are great portraits, but is it me or the focus point in the Canon shot is in the tip of the nose instead of the eye? And the composition and light is much more flattering in the Fuji shot.

    • John Clark says:

      Hi. Its not about the pictures its about image quality. Of course the Fuji is the better portrait and the light is slightly different as I pointed out in the blog. But both cameras do their job.

      • Exactly John! That’s why I said the Canon portrait is out of focus and the light quality and the composition is better in the Fuji example. With that light and angle, the 5D MK III can’t deliver a more pleasant light and skin tone and texture as the Fuji.

      • John Clark says:

        Sorry. But that is not the point.Under exactly the same conditions both camera would do a great job. and BTW the Canon IS in focus…Its just personal preference on which you file you like.

      • Yes, both cameras would do a great job. I have both cameras and can confirm that. But John, if you show details of the eyes and refer the sharpness, it’s fair if the portraits were shot exactly one after the other in the same light conditions, from the same angle and with the same focal point. And if you look closer, the Canon is indeed in focus but in the tip of the nose and the hair, not the eyes.

  1. […] is not really a competition between DSLR v Mirrorless. As I said in a previous post I would not go out and sell all your DSLR to buy mirrorless. The cameras do different jobs in […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.