Mirrorless full-frame camera systems

All of a sudden, there are 4 full-frame mirrorless camera systems to choose from: SONY A7 series, Nikon Z mount, Canon EOS R mount, and the Panasonic/Leica/Sigma L-mount.

Any thoughts on which, if any, has major advantages or disadvantages? Which would you choose if you were switching to mirrorlesss full-frame now?

Or should I say, does any of the new systems present clear advantages that offset SONY’s lead and the advantages that come with it (cameras already refined over 3 product cycles, many native lenses available)?

I was tempted to get into the new Canon mirrorless system, until I learned that they won’t work with my collection of EOS lenses. So, if I have to start from scratch, I think I would go with the Sony system for the very reasons you stated. But so far, I’ve resisted the urge to plunge in.

They do. You need this adapter, but it should preserve all functionalities of your EOS lenses.

There are also EOS adapters for the SONY cameras, but I would expect the lenses work better with Canon’s own body & adapter.

Oh. My. GOD! You mean the dude at Best Buy was wrong? Thanks for passing that along. Although you may have just cost me a lot of money!

…if you aren’t already invested in an ecosystem then I’d tend to either the Sony or the Panasonic, I personally would jump on the Sony train. They’ve got a more mature product than the offerings from Canon and Nikon, they’ve learnt from earlier mistakes and the latest Sony doesn’t have some of the limitations that the two mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon have.

But all of them are rather excellent, and it really is nitpicking to choose between them. Make sure you hold them in your hand: from the early reporting the Canon fits the hand like a DSLR and that sort of thing might be important to you.

I’d personally go with the Canon: but only because I’m invested with plenty of Canon glass and I’m just comfortable with how Canon works. But all of them are mighty fine cameras, so I would suggest thinking about what is important to you from a camera, and also thinking about “what comes next” for you in terms of lenses, support, direction etc, when you want to buy a new camera body in a few years time.

It’s not mirrorless but the Pentax K-1 uses a similar sensor as the A7 with the same sensor image stabilization for significantly lower price. If you don’t need the smaller body of a mirrorless versus as DSLR its a good option. With Canon and Nikon you are paying a permium for the name; if you aren’t already invested in optics either the Sony or Pentax are better technical options.


Yes the K1 does look like a great camera. But I’ve been using Micro Four Thirds for a few years and I’m completely spoiled by the benefits of mirrorless cameras - not just the compact size but also the LCD screen live preview and completely silent operation. I don’t think I could go back to a SLR.

I understand the SONY bodies have dual memory slots while Canon and Nikon don’t. And Canon’s first EOS-R bodies don’t have in-body image stabilization. Is there any other limitation I’m missing? Battery life too, I guess.

I admit to having a soft spot for Nikon because I loved the FM-2 and used those for many years. But I’ve long since sold all my Nikon lenses.

…yeah, the dual slots are one of the reasons why many think that Canon and Nikon got it wrong with this release. Sony didn’t have dual slots either first time around, but they learnt from their mistakes :slight_smile:

The differences are small. The Canon and Nikon are also really untested in market. I’d look at the lenses, and maybe make a call based on that. The dedicated Nikon lenses on release don’t look that great (although like the Canon you can get adapters) but the Canon ones look good. I don’t know enough about the Sony or Panasonic lenses though. I would suggest going to the shops and having a play. When I bought my first DSLR I was all set to buy a Sony Alpha: until I went to the shop and I found out that I really didn’t like the sound of the shutter! :eek: Such an unimportant detail I know, but at the time it made all the difference! So I went with the Canon instead. Much more pleasing to my ears :smiley:

Also note there are multiple adapters with different features:


I dont think that Canon or Nikon even thought of putting dual slots into the bodies, not until the camera’s get into the pro market. Until then, they are just boutique prosumer camera’s. The need for an adapter for the EF len’s is not going to get good marks in the community. Not qualified to talk about Nikon, but I don’t see this camera taking a leading role in shoots that are currently being shot with 5DM3’s at the minimum.

I jumped from Nikoin to Sony about a decade ago for reasons that are probably still pretty accurate (consider the dual slot comments above)…I had a Nikon D50 and wanted to upgrade or jump brands. Nikon had an ‘artificial’ segmentation in their product line where the moved the motors into the lenses and only the more expensive bodies had a motor to drive older/non-motorised lenses. I didn’t recall caring for the Canons at the time, but don’t recall why.

Sony, on the other hand, had an EFD eyepiece, a motor in the body (which drove the long-zoom lens), and did so 10-15% cheaper than Nikon and Canon…the impression was that the established brands were gaming the system and Sony was hungry for new customers.

The fact that the sensor was the same in all of their bodies at the time and that they manufactured 90+% of the sensors for the phone market didn’t hurt either (experience + economy of scale)

The only real downsides I’ve seen with the a57 I bought are an occasional reboot needed to restore sanity, the main display coating is peeling off, and the ‘50 prime equivalent’ lens was about twice the cost of Nikon and Canon. The quality has been AWESOME…allowing me to take the kinds of photos that look like someone much better than me could take.