Posts By Scott Kelby

OK, technically, this is a “Photo Tip Friday,” and I’m aware this is Monday, but it’s too handy a tip to wait until Friday, so check it out below: (NOTE: although Moose is talking about his Nikon camera in the tip, the exact same tip applies to almost any camera, so it’s still a great tip for everybody no matter which system you’re using).

I’ve been preaching the first part of his tip for years, but that second part is something I’d never considered. Thanks, Moose!!!! (and here’s a link to his course, just in case).

Have a good one, everybody!

-Scott

There was something super important I left out of Monday’s Q&A post for those folks still holding out on making the jump to mirrorless (here’s a link in case you missed that post), and I talked it about yesterday when I was the guest on Vanelli’s Skylum Coffee Break podcast, which I embedded below (you can just listen to the audio if you want – let it run in the background). But, I wanted to include the missing Q&A here today, and that all-important missing Q&A is:

Q. I haven’t considered going to mirrorless because I don’t want to struggle learning a new camera system. Is it hard to learn the new mirrorless way of shooting?

A. If “learning a new system” is what’s holding you back, you’re in luck because it’s not really a “new” system – it’s a camera with changeable lenses just like you’ve always had; there’s just no mirror now. It’s a surprisingly similar system, and I think that catches a lot of people off guard when they first make the switch. I think they were expecting a very different experience when in reality, it’s very much the same (especially with today’s Mirrorless cameras). There isn’t a big learning curve because it works the same way as your DSLR; it even looks the same, with pretty much the same dials and knobs in the same place that all do the same things on a mirrorless that they did on your DSLR. 

Now, the latest mirrorless cameras do have more features available on them than your DSLR, but most of these new features are designed to make using the camera and shooting with it much easier – not more complicated, and you can just ignore those new features until you’re ready to learn them. Of course, you can just keep shooting as you did with your DSLR, but you’ll be missing out on some of the most fun and best things about shooting mirrorless from a usability standpoint anyway. So, I hope once you realize that, it’s really pretty much the same thing, and you’ll shooting along like always, that you’ll take a moment to start trying out some of those new features because it’s at that point that you’ll truly fall on love with mirrorless.

I hope that helps those of you out there with those same worries. I don’t think the camera companies have done a great job of communicating how “the same” these two platforms are, but maybe if they had, it would have slowed down the rush to mirrorless. Perhaps that’s why they made it all sound so new and intriguing when in reality, it’s a DSLR without a mirror.

Have a great weekend, and I hope to see you again right here next week. :)

-Scott

Last week on The Grid we did an open Q&A and there were a number of questions surrounding moving to mirrorless or sticking with a DSLR, so today I thought I’d do a quick Q&A to address some of these questions. Here we go.

Q. How will I know it’s time to switch to mirrorless?

A. I would say it’s when the big camera companies stop making lenses for DSLR cameras and only make Mirrorless lenses. Another sign would be, of course, when they stop making DSLRs altogether.

Q. How soon do you it will be before those things happen?

A. They’ve both already happened. The development of lenses for DSLR cameras from the big camera manufacturers has already stopped (they have all publically announced this), and so has releasing new DSLR bodies. For example, Sony’s last DSLR was introduced back in 2016, and it was discontinued last year. Canon announced back in 2020 that their 1DX Mark III DSLR (their big high-end pro body) would be the last version of their flagship camera that would be DSLR-based. All the big camera companies, and a number of 3rd party lens manufacturers, have essentially stopped developing for DSLRs, and are now focused on making lenses (and accessories) for mirrorless cameras. We all knew this day was coming – but even I’m surprised at how fast it arrived.

Q. Is there a lot of competition happening right now between camera companies that make mirrorless cameras?

A. Like crazy. Each one keeps pushing the limits of technology and trying to “one-up” their competition, so the releases of new bodies are coming fast and furious, with more features, better high ISO performances, and every bell and whistle they can think of. It’s an exciting time, and all this competition is great for us because it keeps prices competitive and each successive camera they release gets better and better. Right now Canon, Sony, and Nikon are making the best cameras they’ve ever made.

Q. What about the competition in the DSLR space? Is there still any?

A. Well…not really. Well, I’m sure the manufacturers would tell you there still is (each company wants you to buy their existing DSLRs and lenses), but since they’re not releasing new DSLR bodies or lenses, how much competition is there? Really, none. Their sole focus is on mirrorless bodies and lenses. They’ve all publically said so.

Q. If I switch to mirrorless do I have to buy all new lenses?

A. You do not – Canon and Nikon have adapters that allow you to use most, if not all, of your existing Canon and Nikon DSLR lenses with a mirrorless camera.

Q. How much sharpness do you lose when you use one of these adapters?

A. You don’t really use any sharpness at all, and that’s what’s so great about these adapters. You don’t lose any f/stops of light or levels of sharpness – it works like it did on your DSLR.

Q. I want to stick with my DSLR – I’m just not ready to switch to mirrorless. Should I post an angry comment here or on Facebook?

A. No. Neither. There is absolutely no reason to be angry or defensive. You can absolutely stick with your DSLR (I have a few myself), and they will work just like they always have. They are great cameras, and DSLRs will still be around for many years (you probably won’t see many, or even any new DSLR bodies or lenses introduced from here on out, but they won’t come and take yours away, so you’re all set).

Q. So, you admit still have DSLRs. Are you going to be selling them?

A. Yes. Absolutely. They become worth a little less each day, so I’ll be selling all of them this summer.

Q. What will I gain moving to Mirrorless?

A. Well, besides having access to a mountain of new lenses (and more as they come out), the sharpness of today’s mirrorless lenses is nothing short of astounding. You don’t have to spend a bundle to have legendary sharpness anymore. They are just so sharp that you don’t really have to be on the hunt for a really “sharp” lens – they’re all pretty darn sharp now (in fact, I don’t really hear any mirrorless shooters talking about lens sharpness issues at all). You’ll also get all the latest features on these new mirrorless bodies. Things like shooting long exposures are so much easier, and there are auto eye-focus features that track movement which means you’ll get way fewer out-of-focus shots. You’ve got things like completely silent shooting and frames per second that no DSLR can touch. Add in-body stabilization, lower noise, less weight, and smaller physical sizes (I could go on and on), but it’s a whole different world of cool stuff, especially if you’re upgrading from a camera that’s four or five years old. You’ll be astounded at how far things have come.

Q. What will I give up moving to Mirrorless?

A. The optical viewfinder. We’re used to it in our DSLRs, and it does take a little getting used to with an Electronic Viewfinder, but the ones coming out today are SO much better than the first ones on the first round of mirrorless bodies, that you can’t even compare them. Today, they’re pretty incredible.

Q. Will I have trouble getting used to an electronic viewfinder (EVF for short)?

A. I certainly thought I would, and that’s the main reason I held out on going to mirrorless for as long as I did, but when I got a loaner of the original Canon R-series mirrorless, after a couple of days, I wasn’t even that cognisant of the difference anymore. It was the #1 thing I was worried about and it seems I was probably more concerned than I should have been, but again, it’s because the first one I looked at years ago was pretty lame. Today EVFs are vastly better and offer lots of advantages over an optical viewfinder (most of which I wasn’t aware of before).

Q. What do you like about an electronic viewfinder?

A. I would get fooled a lot by optical viewfinders, because they show you what your lens is seeing, but not what your camera sensor will actually be capturing. So, for example, I’d be taking a shot that looks good to my eye; looks the same through my optical viewfinder, but then I take the shot and my sensor captures something completely different, and my subject is totally backlit and in shadows. An EVF shows you the scene as your camera’s sensor is going to capture it, which is a huge advantage and you can adjust for things like that on the fly. Plus, the amount of information you can choose to see in your viewfinder, which is very customizable, is pretty awesome. Another benefit is that you can review your images in your viewfinder, so seeing your images on the screen outside in bright light isn’t an issue anymore – you can just view them within the darkness of your viewfinder. Try it once, and you’ll fall in love with it. Also, instead of taking a shot and then seeing you’re clipping the highlights, you can see this warning in the viewfinder, so you can deal with it before you take the shot, and not after and having to retake the same shot again. You also can actually see your depth of field before you take the shot, instead of taking the shot and then seeing how it came out. You’re seeing things like you’ve never been able to before and that’s exciting (and saves a ton of time on wasted shots). If you need another advantage; EVFs work great showing you the scene in front of you in low light situations, and they are absolutely killer when doing long exposures (you can skip the first three steps altogether that you’d have to do with a DSLR when shooting long exposures).

Q. Do I need to switch to Mirrorless right now?

A. Nope. But I would certainly start getting used to the idea of going mirrorless, as it’s not just where the camera industry is headed, it’s where they already are now. That way, when it’s time for you to make the jump to mirrorless, it won’t freak you out. In the meantime consider this: sometime very soon the only DSLRs you’ll be able to buy will be on the used camera market.

Q. What if I never switch?

A. That’s OK, too. There are still some folks out there shooting with their film cameras and they never went digital (probably the same folks who are still using Lightroom 6). You can still order traditional film online, and send it off for processing. It all still works.

Q. Well, I don’t think I’ll ever own a mirrorless camera.

A. I hate to be the one to tell you, but you already own a mirrorless camera. It’s in your phone.

Hope you found that helpful, and remember – you don’t have to post a comment telling me you’re sticking with your DSLR. Lots of people will wait until the last possible minute to switch, just like people did with their film cameras. It’s OK. We all have our own timelines – today I just wanted to make sure you’re up-to-date on where the market is today, what’s going on with the big three manufacturers, to help you make the decision easier when it’s time to make the jump.

Here’s wishing you a better-than-average Monday. :)

-Scott

This week I got to share a bunch of travel photography tips on a wonderful podcast from photographers Jeff Carlson and Mason Marsh, and if you want to hear some of my favorite tips (including some real insider stuff), we cover all that in more in this podcast. Let it run in the background while you’re editing your travel images.

You can check it out right here (below):

Hope you found that helpful. A big thank you to Jeff and Mason (two very awesome, and fun guys) for having me on your show – it was an honor, and hope we can do it again some time. :)

Here’s wishing you all a glorious weekend, filled with sunshine and moonshine! ;-)

-Scott

P.S. We talked a little about my latest book, “The Travel Photography” book, which is now, finally, available in print (it’s been a while coming), and I humbly invite you to pick up a copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Happy Monday, everybody! Here are a couple of events coming up very soon that I’m a part of, and I hope you’ll be able to attend.

1. The B&H Photo Depth of Field Conference

I am honored to be teaching again at the 5th Annual B&H Photo Video Pro Audio Depth of Field Conference (the online portrait, wedding, and event photography conference) kicking off this Wednesday. A fantastic roster of instructors (including Joe McNally), and of course, B&H Photo runs a first-class conference from beginning to end.

This year I’m doing a keynote presentation and can’t wait to share some really cool Photoshop and Lightroom magic to enhance your outdoor portraits. RSVP now at this link: https://bhpho.to/3qhEABqt

2. The Landscape Photography Conference

It’s just a week or so away (March 29th and 30th, 2022). It’s two full days, two simultaneous training tracks, all online with an all-star instructor team, and, everyone’s invited. Not only that, you get full access to all the classes to stream on-demand for an entire year after the conference, so you rewatch any classes or catch any classes you missed. It’s an incredible value!

You will learn so much, you’ll glean insights, come away with new ideas, inspiration, and real education, and if you sign up right now, you’ll save a bundle. Tickets and more info are right here. Hope to see you there. :) 

3. Picture Perfect Prague Photography Workshop

I have one spot open for my Prague Travel Photography Workshop in May. You could grab that spot and come with me to Prague in May. It’s a small group of just 12, and we’ll be shooting on location in one of the most photogenic cities in the world (it’s a photographer’s paradise), and we’ll be learning in the classroom, and eating lots of yummy food, drinking lots of wine, and making new friends. Details are right here – hope you can grab that last spot – it will be an epic experience and you’ll come back with some incredible shots, fun stories, and a few extra pounds. ;-)

Hope you have a great Spring Break kinda Monday (and don’t forget to stop back by tomorrow for Travel Tuesdays with Dave. :)

-Scott

About every three years or so, I upgrade to the latest Mac model, and while my iMac is a few years old now, I recently got the new M1 Apple MacBook Pro. It’s nice, but there’s something I’ve learned throughout these many upgrades that’s especially important to consider now, as I know many photographers are thinking of upgrading to these Mac Studios machines. The specs are really good, and the cost isn’t as nearly high as the “Mac Pros,” but they have similar if not better performance.

I’m not getting one, and I’m not recommending them.

Not for photographers anyway, because I think it would be a waste of money. Here’s why: Think about the programs we use and what we do on our computers for photography. I primarily use Lightroom, Photoshop, Photo Mechanic, and a handful of plug-ins. When I used them on my 3-year old MacBook Pro, I would move a slider (say in Lightroom), and it did whatever I wanted it to instantly. For example, if I wanted to make my photo brighter and dragged the Exposure slider to the right, my photo got immediately brighter. I didn’t move the slider and then sit and wait. It was instantaneous. Same on my iMac. In Photoshop, when I open an image, add a Gaussian Blur, an Unsharp Mask, Use Camera Raw, Duplicate a layer, etc., it all happens instantly. On my old MacBook Pro, on my now getting old iMac, and it works exactly the same way on my new M1 Macbook Pro that cost thousands of dollars.

Is it faster? I guess.

Really, as a photographer, how would I even know? The applications I use day in/day out are already so responsive there’s almost no way to tell it’s faster for the work I do every day. Maybe when I use a plug-in, instead of taking 6-seconds to process it, maybe now it only takes 4-seconds (A 33% speed increase), but I don’t really even notice it. It’s 2-seconds. I spent thousands of dollars on the upgrade, and I hate to admit it, but besides the battery life (which is far better than my old MacBook Pro), I really can’t say it’s noticeably faster.

If I were a video professional, rendering video files every day, I would probably notice a big difference.

But I’m not. I’m a photographer and a writer, and I check email, and I use my Web Browser, and I make Zoom calls and run Keynote slideshows and all kinds of regular stuff where I don’t notice any real speed difference at all. If I was a full-time pro video editor, I am sure I would see a difference, but since I’m not, I don’t. I couldn’t recommend the upgrade to a friend who is a photographer telling them they should spend the money because I don’t think they’d notice the difference either. What’s worse is I hate to admit this to myself (or even worse, to my company).

I don’t want you to be disappointed. Like me.

I had heard so much about the M1-powered MacBook Pros; I guess I expected to really feel the speed, but with what I do…how could I? Is that Apple’s fault? Is it their fault I don’t do processor-intensive tasks, and so I don’t see the benefits? I don’t think, but I guess the M1 chip upgrade isn’t really necessary what I do.

The reason I’m telling you all this is if you’re considering buying one of these new Apple Mac Studio machines, take a look at what you do, and if getting one would really make a significant speed difference for you in your day-to-day work. Do sliders in Lightroom and Photoshop, and other photography programs produce immediate results, or are you waiting for progress bars to complete before something happens? Heck, ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a progress bar? If you’re not seeing progress bars (or seeing them infrequently), and you’re not waiting around for stuff to happen a whole bunch, what exactly would you be gaining?

Something to chew on this weekend. Have a good one. :)

Scott

P.S. Please note I did not mention PCs, nor did I compare the Mac to PCs in any way. There’s no reason for you to in the comments either. If you’re not interested in a Mac, there’s a lot of other stuff on the Internet to see today. Don’t be “That Guy” – just keep scrolling.

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