Why Small Mirrorless Bodies Are My Best Friend as a Low Budget Shooter
I have talked time and time again about my love for these small Canon EOS-M bodies (of which I just got a 3rd one). You simply can’t beat – in my opinion – the performance to cost ratio that these provide. They aren’t the only great deal on small mirrorless bodies either, but they are the one I prefer due to my familiarity with the Canon menu system in combination with Magic Lantern.
Today, I wanted to talk about why I chose to ditch my full frame Canon body in favor of having multiple small EOS-M bodies, specifically in relation to my video projects. The fact is that I sat down and took stock in what I was actually spending time doing, and taking pictures with my DSLR was not high on that list.
In addition to my writing here on SLR Lounge, I also write and manage a local soccer specific site in the Portland area. As part of that, I write articles, but I also produce simple video content for local soccer fans to enjoy. What sold me on using these small EOS-M cameras over a big DSLR was mainly size savings to be honest. I can pack two EOS-M bodies and 3-4 old manual focus Olympus lenses in my UNDFIND 13″ One Bag and still have room for my audio equipment and such.
Basically, these are easier to store and travel with, and I still get great quality video – and stills for that matter – out of it. All of my videos go online, pretty-much exclusively to YouTube, so I don’t need the absolute best, and these little cameras are plenty capable of producing great quality video for web circulation.
This is the case for many small mirrorless cameras, like Sony’s now abandoned NEX line, which you can pick up for a great price. For me, it’s all about price vs performance, and it’s hard to beat that with the M. That is not to say I don’t need, or find myself wanting that full frame rig back every now and then for action photo purposes, but in those cases, I can rent.
My Current Run-N-Go Kit
- Two Canon EOS-M Bodies
- 1 Olympus 24mm F/2.8 Manual Focus Lens w/OM to EF-M Adapter
- 1 Olympus 50mm F/3.5 Macro Manual Focus Lens w/OM to EF-M Adapter
- 1 Olympus 35-70mm F/4 Manual Focus Lens w/OM to EF-M Adapter
- 1 Canon EF-M 22mm F/2
- 1 Rode VideoMic Go
- 1 Tascam DR-05
Nothing special, but for me, it gets the job done while keeping things as simple as possible in the storage and travel department. The above kit allows me to get virtually any shot that I need (with the exception of far distances, need to grab myself a 200 or 300mm). The best part is it all cost me less than buying one DSLR body (~$500 for the M Bodies, ~$200 total for the lenses, and $100 for the mic), and instead, I have a kit capable of doing multiple angles and handling various shooting situations. I love it.
This may not be the case for you. You may need a bigger rig, or a nicer setup to do what you want to do. The point of this post is not to try and convert you, but just to share what it is that works for me, and maybe show you that a lot more can be accomplished with some cheap mirrorless bodies and old manual focus lenses than you think.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree that price to performance is one of – if not the – most impressive aspects to these cheap mirrorless bodies? Leave a comment below!