My hubby and I have always been into photography for as long as we can remember. And that of course meant we owned an assortment equipment, from small compact digital cameras to expensive professional and semi-professional equipment. As good as the equipment was, it was not always very practical to carry around, especially for travel and holidays when you need it the most. And since the arrival of Kayden, packing light has became a necessity in order to make extra space for the requirements of an infant.
So, a decision was made to part with some exceptional Canon gear, and research into suitable replacement gear started in earnest. It was around the time of his birth that significant developments in mirrorless cameras were taking place. The advantages being offered by mirrorless systems in terms of size and weight were substantial, and with the technical and performance gap between mirrorless and DSLR systems shrinking, a move to a mirrorless system was becoming a reality.
So, we sold off all of our beloved equipment. And if you have ever looked at the second-hand camera market, you know that they hold their value fairly well, especially if the equipment is taken care off, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
Being Canon fans, and after many hours of research we opted for the Canon EOS M5 body, aimed mainly at photography, but with the ability to do vlogging and general videography. Some of the notable specs are as follows:
- DIGIC 7 Processor with Dual Pixel Autofocus
- 24MP APS-C Sensor (as used in the Canon 80D)
- ISO 100 – 25600
- Full HD Video (60fps)
- Built-in Electronic Viewfinder (2.36 million dot OLED)
- Rotating touchscreen LCD (1.62 million dot) with Touch Autofocus
- Canon EF-M lens mount
The M5 is very light (427g) and capable camera and I absolutely love it. I will not bore with an in depth technical overview, but you can check out DP Review for all the technical details.
There are however two major flaws which I cannot ignore and is worth mentioning:
- LCD does not rotate to the side or up
- Lack of 4K video recording
There was huge backlash from customers regarding the limited LCD rotation, especially for vlogging. You can tilt the LCD 180deg downwards, but if you happen to use a tripod, you cannot see the screen! What was Canon thinking?
To stem the negative criticism, Canons answered by introducing the Canon EOS M6 with a properly rotating LCD screen. But the M6 ditched the built-in viewfinder. You could of course add an external viewfinder on the hotshoe, but then you lose the ability to have an external flash! And still no 4K video?
Then came the Canon EOS M50 with built-in viewfinder, 4K video recording and an LCD that opens to the side with 180deg rotation. At least Canon were starting to listen to what customers were asking for! I am still contemplating whether a change from the M5 to the M50 makes sense or not. Or perhaps I should wait for an M5 replacement? Decisions, decisions!!!
But based on previous experiences, we opted for the 15-45mm and 55-200m to give us a greater focal length coverage, as we were used to shooting close to 200mm quite often. With the small size and weight of the EF-M lenses, carrying around two lenses instead of the single kit lens was not a significant disadvantage.
Canon has also introduced an EF-M to EF Mount adaptor which allows any existing EF/EF-S lens to be used on the mirrorless range of cameras. So, if you own existing Canon lenses that you want to keep and just want to change to a mirrorless body, then the mount adaptor is all you need to buy to make full use of your existing lenses.
Where to from here:
- Adding the EF-M 28mm or EF-M 32mm Macro lens as we love macro related photography
- Adding the EF-M 22mm F2 for low light, night and landscape photography
- An ND filter set for long exposure photography
We kept our trusty Canon 580 EX II Flash and see no reason to upgrade or change that any time soon. It is a workhorse and we have had no issues with it. We just added a Phottix Stratto for off camera flash photography.
If small and practical is your goal, then the ingenious Joby GorillaPod is the way to go. It is a flexible tripod with wrappable legs that can be mounted almost anywhere. It is such a versatile solution that we rarely leave home without it.
The latest addition to my kit is the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, which when paired with my iPhone X is increasingly becoming my favourite piece of kit. There are obvious limitations with mobile photography / videography, but if you can’t afford to carry any photographic equipment, then a smartphone phone paired with a gimbal is the next best thing, and the results can be astonishing.
We have used a DJI Spark in some of my YouTube videos. Except for the lack of 4K recording, it is a very capable little drone and lots of fun to fly. With the SACAA limitations regarding where you can fly for recreational reasons (without a license) and the increasing spotlight on drones, its use is becoming very limited, especially if are intent on following the letter of the law.
But I would love to upgrade this to a Mavic Air or Mavic Pro 2 in the near future, as drone photography and videography is another powerful tool for expressing your creativity.
Photo and Video Editing
And last but not least, after all the photos and video footage has been captured, its time to edit those into something more visually appealing…
We have a paid subscription to Adobe CC, and which includes Adobe Lightroom for general photo corrections and editing and Photoshop for more advanced editing, this is where hubby does most of the editing and he absolutely loves it!
For videos, we have recently started using DaVinci Resolve. It’s a free software program, but with loads of functionality. It is a very good alternate to paid programs like Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro.
The decision to move away from DSLR to mirrorless has been worth it. For the type of photography and videography that we do, the Canon mirrorless system is more than adequate. Can you get away with less equipment? Absolutely! But there is always a trade-off to be made.
Whether you are looking to trade-in old equipment or just purchase new gear, we highly recommend Outdoorphoto, as they have an extensive range of products and impeccable service.
There are also loads of Buy-Sell groups on Facebook which are very popular. As is the case with most online activity, always be aware of possible scams!
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