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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lighten Up! Go Mirrorless!

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera systems are a fraction of the size and weight of most DSLRs, and they can produce top-level images. What’s not to love?

Labels: CamerasD-SLRsGear
Adapters Expand Lens Options
Sony offers two adapters that let you use Sony (and legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum) SLR lenses on the NEX mirrorless cameras. Nikon's FT1 Mount Adapter lets you use Nikon DSLR lenses on the J1 and V1, providing single-shot autofocusing with Nikon AF-S lenses. Samsung makes a Pentax adapter that lets you use Pentax SLR lenses with the Samsung NX camera. As yet, Pentax does not provide adapters for the Q cameras.

Independent companies such as Novoflex and Pro-Optic offer adapters to attach a wide range of lenses to mirrorless cameras. While the adapters provided by the mirrorless camera makers generally support all camera features, the third-party adapters usually just let you attach the lens; there's no autofocusing, and exposure is either manual or aperture-priority. Some of the lenses that you can adapt to mirrorless bodies include the Canon FD and EF, Contax/Yashica, Leica M and Leica R, M.42, Minolta Maxxum/Sony A, Minolta MD, Nikon, Olympus OM, Pentax K, Tamron T2 and even Pentax 67, Mamiya 645 and Hasselblad medium-format lenses. The Pro-Optic NKM43A attaches Nikon lenses and provides tilt capability. Redrock Micro's LiveLens Micro Four Thirds adapter lets you mount Canon EF lenses on Micro Four Thirds cameras.

While mirrorless camera systems currently aren't as comprehensive as DSLR systems, they still offer a number of useful accessories besides lenses and lens adapters. Note that not all mirrorless accessories are compatible will all camera models in a manufacturer's mirrorless line; check compatibility before purchasing a specific unit for a specific camera.

For the J1 and V1, Nikon offers a wireless remote control, a geotagging GPS unit, a stereo microphone and the SB-N5 flash unit (V1 only).

Accessories for Olympus mirrorless cameras include the MAL-1 Close-up Spotlight/Macro Arm Light, PEN PAL Bluetooth Communication Unit PP1, Electronic Viewfinders VF-2 (1.0x magnification) and VF-3 (1.5x magnification, 100% field of view), External Microphone Adapter Set and two electronic flash units—all of which connect via the accessory port atop the camera (and thus can be used only with models that have this port). There are also filters, cases, grips for the E-P3, underwater housings for the E-PL1 and E-PL2, and fisheye, wide-angle and macro converters.

Mirrorless System Lenses
System Sensor Size System Lenses*
Fujifilm X 23.6x15.6mm 3 27mm 90mm
Nikon 1 13.2x8.8mm 4 27mm 297mm
Olympus PEN & OM-D 17.3x13.0mm 12 18mm 600mm
Panasonic Lumix G 17.3x13.0mm 15 14mm 600mm
Pentax K-01 23.7x15.7mm 37 18mm 450mm
Pentax Q 6.2x4.6mm 5 27.5mm 100mm
Samsung NX 23.4x15.6mm 9 24mm. 300mm
Sony NEX 23.5x15.6mm 5 27mm 300mm
*Current number of lenses offered specifically for system by manufacturer; doesn't include lenses available via adapter
**35mm-camera equivalent


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