Mirrorless Full Frame Debuts by Nikon and Canon!

We normally don’t talk about camera brands and specifications that much here at Jansen Photo Expeditions. Mainly because we have always focused on the creative end of landscape photography and how to get the best out of any camera you own already regardless of the make, model, or cost.

But today I had to address what’s been going on in the world of digital photography over the last couple of weeks.

Unless you might have missed the big announcements from Nikon and Canon, full-frame Mirrorless has arrived from both of these popular camera manufacturers, and you’ll now find plenty of information on them, and opinions on their specifications everywhere on the web by now.

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That’s not what I’m going to address here entirely, but if you’re a Nikon shooter like myself, or you in to shooting Canon, you’ve been waiting for this announcement for quite some time. Or, you most likely got tired of waiting and have already made the jump to Sony Full-Frame Mirrorless. I myself was patient and even skipped a couple Nikon 800 series DSLR camera body improvements. I have been waiting to move quickly on a solid, ergonomically built full-frame Mirrorless offering from Nikon. Mainly because for me, beyond any obvious technological reasons, a camera’s body should be kinda like a pair of comfortable boots, and Sony’s odd boxy camera body feel never made it for me personally. It’s good technology stuffed into a hard-edged box for the most part. The following comparison may seem odd to many, but just like a pair of good hiking boots, once I find a brand that fits my feet, I tend to stick with that brand regardless of some minor color or leather changes, as long as the fit hasn’t changed and they hold up in all the outdoor conditions from dust to rain and even mud. All of these conditions are encountered in my business as an outdoor photography guide for Jansen Photo Expeditions. If my feet feel good in them I’m happy.

When it comes to camera bodies, it needs to feel comfortable in my hands first and be able to withstand the elements!

I tend to embrace the new changes while being familiar with the old. I then learn to work through any, if perceived by others, minor imperfections. In the case of the new Nikon Z7 or Z6 and even the Canon R, the amount of memory card slots, eye focus feature or buffer issues really don’t matter with my style of photography. These tech issues, if they are actual problems, could perhaps be worked out in future firmware updates.

Like Many of us shooting DSLRs with either one of these brands, this seems like the time to make the leap from full frame DSLR to mirrorless full frame. This is true especially if you’re a landscape photographer and you already own a good amount of Nikon or Canon lenses. The adapters for Nikon seem to be working out fine, and I’m sure Canon’s R Mirrorless will as well.

As far as myself, being known as a fine art landscape and street photographer, full frame has always been my main requirement as far as print size options. This goes well beyond posting images for advertising and social media and allows me to shoot for large format projects.

The Canon R does have a fully articulating screen, great for Vloggers, while the Nikons have only a Flip up screen. This doesn’t allow you many options when video blogging.

This brings me to the actual need for a new mirrorless camera and all its advantages from behind the lens. I’m always talking about getting it right in camera with my clients in the field as far as composition goes.

It’s widely known to Sony users that getting it right in camera brings it to a whole new level beyond just composition. Seeing your exposures live, and making adjustments in camera before capture is truly remarkable. Not only this, but coming from a dyed in the wool DSLR user, seeing my live subject through the lens has always been important. I’m hearing the EV (Electronic Viewfinder) has been widely embraced by many newly introduced to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 as being as real as it gets and the switch from the classic prism naked eye viewing to Nikons EV is a seamless transition. I will definitely need to have one of these cameras in my hands to confirm this, but my hopes are high.

Photographing Big Sur During our Photography Workshop

I’ve always said this to my students and clients that most cameras produced over the last 10 years paired with good technique will produce superior images in most model ranges. The question is, will one of these new mirrorless full frame cameras actually make you a better photographer?

Probably not.

Will the images that you produce with them be crisper and better exposed than the ones you were shooting before with your previous camera?

Probably yes.

That is, as long as you understand that compelling landscape photography has little to do with camera gear and has more to do with understanding composition and exposure. There is no way around this, no matter how advanced the technology you use to capture your photograph, or how sharp your lenses are. This fact will never change.

Now when it comes down to the actual purchase of one of these new Mirrorless cameras, first, you’ve got to ask yourself, should I wait for the next model improvement, which seems to come about every 2 Years with Nikon and Canon, or just jump in? In my own personal experience with Nikon, I’m tending to wait a bit until I get my hands on one at least. Nikon has a habit of dropping that (S) model trick. You think you gotta have it, but you find you should have waited for the upgraded version of the newest camera body. I personally keep my camera bodies for years.

Certainly, I would enjoy the compactness for my street shooting and all the live view mirrorless features for my landscapes, but I have yet to exhaust my present Nikon 800 series cameras. These cameras are built to last and I tend not to replace something that’s doing an excellent job for me. This is also paired with the fact it’s such a brand new camera, and what I said above, the improvements on the next generation Z6 and Z7’s may be truly remarkable and might be worth the wait.

That is unless these cameras begin to be used by professionals in the field and they rise to a higher level of form and function than ever expected. Then I might be convinced to bite the bullet and go for it! We’ll have to wait and see.

Just a few thoughts…

All the Best,

Mark Jansen



If you would like some help with your photographic vision, join us at Jansen Photo Expeditions for one of our private or group workshops in California, Oregon, Wyoming, Iceland, or the destination of your choice. You will have an enriching learning experience and go home with a camera full of prized photographs.

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Mark’s interest in photography and love for landscape photography draws him into some amazing places and he freely shares this knowledge on his photography workshops. He researches his subjects extensively, making many trips to selected areas waiting for the perfect light, an interesting approach to the subject, and just the right moment. His goal of "freezing time for others to enjoy" is what drives him to create his visions and teach workshops.

Mark offers photographic workshops in numerous U.S. and International locations with his business, Jansen Photo Expeditions. He is an expert and personable instructor, expedition leader and award winning, visionary photographer. 

Mark has over 25 years of professional fine art and photographic experience. He has a passion for landscape and classic aviation photography and provides large scale commercial installations of his fine art photographic murals and print works throughout California. He works with both small and large corporate businesses in helping them project a powerful impact through his images.

4 thoughts on “Mirrorless Full Frame Debuts by Nikon and Canon!”

  1. Hi Mark
    Something that has never been explained. What is “mirroless” and why is it better?

    1. Hi Diane! Nice to hear from you!
      As the name suggests, a mirrorless camera is one that doesn’t require a pair prism or mirror. In your DSLR, you are seeing the actual image through the lens. When you push the trigger, the mirror moves out of the way and exposes the image to the sensor for a brief second, just like film. In a mirrorless camera, you are actually seeing a digital representation of the image, not the actual image as in a DSLR. It’s not necessarily better, it just gives you more ability to adjust the exposure as it’s happening in real time. The camera bodies are generally smaller, but the lenses are the same size if you are shooting full frame.
      All the best!

  2. dianemarinos@gmail.com

    Even though a mirrorless camera is highly desirable, I still have never read an articl explaining just what is mirrorless and how it effects or changes the image and how images are better. If yu have the time to explain just what “mirrorless” is and how it effects the image, I would be most appreciative, kor point me to an article to learn more.
    many thanks

    1. The images aren’t necessarily better, it’s just another way to create images. By not having a mirror in the camera, the overall size and weight of the camera can be less. But as you know, the camera doesn’t make the photographer. Still all the same concepts in photography apply. I have been using the Olympus mirrorless for about 6 years, and have been very happy with it. It is micro 4/3rds so is a smaller sensor size. (This is Holly responding.) I think I would like to upgrade to full frame, but I’m not sure I want to put out the $, or carry a lot of heavy equipment around again. Mark is interested in the Nikon mirrorless, but I think he’s going to hold out until all of the bugs have been worked out. For me, I will stay with the Olympus mirrorless, and upgrade to the new body in the near future. Thanks for your comments Diane. Nice to hear from you. Holly

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About Mark and Holly
Mark and Holly Jansen
Jansen Photo Expeditions
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Email: Mark@markJansenphotography.com

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