THE LAST YEAR and a half has been tough for most professional photographers across all genres, but there’s still a need to stay up to speed in terms of technology, since you dare not get left behind by your rivals. There is, however, a solution, in the form of the second-hand market and the opportunities presented by trading up kit you might not be using regularly any more.

The truth is that pretty much all professionals have bits and pieces tucked away that quite simply isn’t earning its keep, and now could be the time to run an inventory to see what’s lurking in those dusty corners to see if there’s some value that could be realised. You could be surprised by how much your unwanted used gear could be worth, and a dedicated second-hand specialist such as MPB is determined to make the whole process of trading up as simple, straightforward and, above all, safe as it possibly can be.

When you go to a reputable dealer you can buy and sell with confidence, knowing that you’ll get a pre-agreed fair price for the kit you’re putting back into circulation, with the entire transaction process being taken out of your hands and payment or the gear you’ve upgraded to usually arriving within a matter of days. It’s the modern way for many professional photographers to do business and it means that you can be acquiring cutting-edge gear without having to upset your cashflow by making a large financial investment.

THIS MONTH’S TRADE UP:
DSLR to Mirrorless

AFTER A SLOW trickle, the move from DSLR technology across to mirrorless has now turned into a raging torrent, and it’s clear where the lion’s share of the R&D budget for the major manufacturers is going these days. All of which means that in the future, it’s the latest mirrorless marvels that will have all the cutting-edge bells and whistles, along with the obvious advantages that come with a mirrorless approach, such as compact and lightweight bodies, ‘what you see is what you get’ functionality and a new breed of superfast high-performing lenses that are designed to take the whole process of picture taking onto the next level.

There was only going to be one winner in this battle once electronic viewfinders reached a certain level of performance, and the modern EVF is astonishingly true to life. This, of course, opens up all kinds of possibilities, including super-fast shooting speeds, the ability to see in real time how your exposure is working out and a view of the scene that’s constant, with no blackout as the mirror lifts up.

There’s also the fact that, if you’re shooting a scene at night, it could be very difficult to compose and see what’s going on through a DSLR viewfinder. With a mirrorless camera, you can adjust the ISO to boost the light output and to get a much clearer view, then move it back down again to take your picture.

In this age of the hybrid professional, it’s also the case that generally mirrorless cameras will be better for video production. There are still some brilliant filmmaking capable DSLRs around, of course, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, but mirrorless cameras were designed from the ground up to be video capable, and their technology is well suited to this medium.

Take autofocus, for example, something that, despite old-school reticence, is now becoming more accepted by the filmmaking fraternity. With a DSLR, there’s a big issue in that the mirror needs to be flipped up while filming is taking place, meaning that the primary autofocus method is blocked, while mirrorless models obviously don’t have this issue.

MPB Mirrorless Prices

Sony A7S II – price from £839

Nikon Z 7 – price from £1,439

Canon EOS R6 – price from £2,559

Fujifilm X-S10 – Price from £839

In general autofocus terms, mirrorless cameras also tend to offer a higher number of focus points, which are spread out across the entire frame. Yet again, the mirror imposes restrictions on DSLRs and makes them less efficient in this department.

Another big benefit of mirrorless is the quietness of operation. With no mirror having to flip up and down, they can be virtually silent, making them perfect for occasions such as a wedding ceremony or for wildlife situations where you could be close to your subject.

What is Mirrorless Perfect For?

  • Because of their compact size and lightweight nature, mirrorless models are brilliant for the likes of travel and street photographers.
  • Filmmakers will find that the AF is much improved over DSLRs, with models such as the A7S I and II and Panasonic S1H designed specifically for video production.
  • Shooting speeds are lightning fast since there’s no mirror to flip up and down, so if you’re shooting high-speed action you’re in for a treat.

 

Disadvantages of Mirrorless Cameras

  • The number of lenses designed specifically for mirrorless cameras is increasing, but you might still find you need to use converters.
  • Because a mirrorless model is using power for its EVF on an ongoing basis, battery life will be far less than for a DSLR, so spare batteries are a must.
  • Prices for used mirrorless cameras will be higher since the best models aren’t that old, but this sector is rapidly reaching maturity, with even some of the older models still highly capable.

TRADING UP

CONVINCED THAT MIRRORLESS is the way you’re looking to go? It can be pain-free to trade up if you happen to have gear you’re not using that you can sell through MPB.

If you’re looking to check out the world of mirrorless, there are lots of pro-minded cameras from all the big players to consider, and even some of the most recent and highly regarded models are available at highly affordable prices. If you’re looking to trade in an entire DSLR system and move across to a different brand altogether, that’s easy to accomplish, while if you’re staying within the same system and looking to trade up that way then that’s similarly straightforward.

Decide on what your killer features are, whether that be the likes of facial recognition, blisteringly fast shooting speed,

ridiculously high ISO or image stabilisation, and then make a call on the model you feel ticks all the necessary boxes. If there are things you can live without then that opens more doors, and it’s a fact that models that could be two to three generations behind can usually still do a fantastic job and will cost substantially less.

The MPB website is geared up to offering trade ins and you’ll be able to input details of kit you have to sell and also add at that stage any gear that you’re looking to buy. You’ll receive an honest quotation and will be able to work your way up to the cost of the kit you’re looking to acquire, topping up the amount with cash if necessary or coming away with a surplus that will be paid direct into your bank account.

❚ mpb.com

Potential Trade-Ins:

  • Nikon D750, Good condition £560
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm
    f/1.8G, Good condition £190
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm
    f/2.8G IF-ED, Good condition £385

TOTAL: £1,115

From

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