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Mirrorless Camera Advantages

Lesson 3 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

Mirrorless Camera Advantages

Lesson 3 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

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Lesson Info

3. Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is a Mirrorless Camera?


Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Mirrorless Compatibility


Live Shoot: Mirrorless vs. DSLR


Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii


Compare Mirrorless & DSLR Images


Posing Techniques Overview


Lesson Info

Mirrorless Camera Advantages

So let's talk about advantages to shooting with mirrorless, and there's a number of advantages, I could never talk about all of them 'cause we'd be here all day and I really wanna shoot. So we're gonna talk about the highlights. Again, the biggest thing is the electronic viewfinder. On mirrorless cameras, what you see is what you get, which means again, exactly the photo that you're gonna get, before you push the shutter, you see it, you take the photo. If the image doesn't look right in the viewfinder, change your settings, take the photo. That's a very powerful thing. The next thing is that the cameras are typically smaller and lighter than your DSLRs. And you have the option of getting crop sensor and full frame sensors. So back in the day, you had to compromise, because you would get a smaller, lighter camera body, but it didn't have the same image quality that a DSLR would have. So for professionals, they would say, well, that's cute that I can get a smaller camera, but I need to ...

have my workhorse camera. It needs to big and rugged and strong and have a full frame sensor or a crop sensor in order for me to do my pro work. Well the cool thing is, these mirrorless cameras nowadays, they have full frame and crop sensor options. So now, you have smaller, lighter camera bodies that you could take with you pretty much anywhere and not really have to break a sweat. You get features like silent shooting. So because there's not all these moving parts, right? You don't have the mirror popping up and down, you actually have cameras like the Sony a7RII, the a7SII, the original a7S, and the a6300, that actually give you the ability to shoot completely silently, meaning it doesn't make a sound. The focusing, you don't get the focus confirmation, you could turn that off so it doesn't make any sound, and then the shutter, there's no sound. So imagine if you're an event photographer, if you're a wedding photographer, if you're a street portrait shooter, if you're a paparazzi, you know, whatever, you could literally take photographs and no one knows that you're actually taking a photo 'cause the camera doesn't make a sound at all. It's very, very powerful. The other thing is that you have these two features which, I kind of put them side by side, they're different, but they work awesome in conjunction with one another. One is called focus peaking, and one is called focus magnification. So focus peaking, what it does is, let's say, for example, you have a lens on a mirrorless camera, whether it's a native lens, in the case of these cameras that I'm using today, you can actually take your lenses from Canon, from Nikon, from Leica, Pentax, any brand, and you can actually put it on the camera body, and it works. And I'll show you guys that in a bit. But the way that I'm able to make it work is through a feature called focus peaking. So what happens is, I can have the lens on manual focus, and I'll twist my manual focus ring to get the image in focus. Now, on a regular DSLR, you have probably had this situation where you try to focus manually with a lens and it looks like it's in focus, 'cause it's an optical viewfinder, so it always looks like it's correct, but then you take the photograph, and you chimp and you zoom in, and you realize, oh man, it's not in focus. That's a problem. With mirrorless cameras, you have focus peaking. So what happens is, you start twisting your manual focus ring, and everything that's in focus will light up a certain color. So it'll light up either red, yellow, or white on the cameras that I use. And whenever, let's say if I'm taking a portrait of somebody and I'm focusing using the manual focus ring and their iris has a little overlay, it lights up a color, I know their eyeball is tack sharp and in focus, and I could take my photograph. So it oftentimes makes shooting with a lens, it actually makes it easier sometimes to shoot wide open manually on a mirrorless camera than it does on a DSLR, 'cause I can actually see what's in focus 'cause it lights up. Again, it's like a Game Genie cheat code for focusing. So, you also get focus magnification, which is really powerful. So through an optical viewfinder, if you guys are sitting there and I want to take your portraits. And I'm sitting here with a DSLR and I face it at you and I see everybody in the frame, I basically can only see that, 'cause it's an optical viewfinder. I can't zoom into you guys to see if you guys are in focus after I've either used auto focus or manual. It's just, that's what it is. With a mirrorless camera, I can actually zoom in. From where I'm sitting here, I could zoom into the first group, which is a five-power zoom, and I could see to make sure that my setting is perfectly sharp and then I push the button again and it's a ten-power zoom, so the folks sitting in the back row, I zoom in back there, and I could evaluate whether or not my depth of field is correct, that you guys are perfectly sharp. Push it one more time, I see my actual frame, and I take my photograph. Super, super powerful. Something that you can't really do with an optical viewfinder with a DSLR. You would physically have to walk up to see that it's in focus, and then of course, you don't have your framing right anymore. So it's a really powerful feature for a mirrorless camera. The other thing is, with certain camera bodies, they offer what's called in-body image stabilization. So we spend big, big money basically getting lenses that have IS or vibration compensation, or whatever they call the technology based on the brand you're using. But it's all the same thing, where it basically kind of helps you to get a stable shot. And they usually have a premium upcharge to be able to buy a lens that has image stabilization. In the case of the a7II series of Sony cameras, the a6500, you have 5-axis in-body image stabilization, which means any lens that you put on this camera body, whether it's stabilized or not, is now stabilized. So it's actually done inside the camera body. So it's a very, very powerful thing. You could take lenses, like old school lenses, that basically, they didn't even think at that time to do image stabilization, and it is now stable, because it's built into the camera body. So it's super, super powerful stuff. The other thing is that with mirrorless cameras, you have the opportunity to install applications that add additional functionality to your camera. So for example, the camera that I use, I was in Las Vegas and I realize, I look in the app store and there's a time lapse app that you can download for your camera. And I've never shot a time lapse before, I had no idea how they worked. I did research and they said you had to buy a little intervalometer, and I'm like, I don't want to spend extra to just shoot a time lapse, that seems crazy, and you gotta do all this math, and I hate math, and so I see this app and it basically does everything for you and you don't have to buy any extra accessories, it's just an application you download on your camera. So I download it, and literally within minutes, I'm sitting there and I'm shooting time lapses and it actually stitches the time lapses in the camera. So once it's done taking all the photographs, you have the photos that you can go back home and create a time lapse. Or, it actually stitches it together in the camera and you could see the time lapse in its entirety. It's super awesome. And they have double exposure applications, they have HDR apps, portrait apps, all sorts of things that you can download and install in the camera that basically gives you additional functionality. So it's very, very powerful stuff.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Miguel's Exposure X2 Alien Skin Presets

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!

Danae Khan Jones

Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!


WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!

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