I've been asked this question several times in the past few days:
"The SLR camera is out! What should I do now?"
All these times belonged to someone who wanted to buy a new body and had already figured out in advance which SLR camera they wanted. But because of the seller's advice, they came home empty-handed, because buying an SLR camera is really wasting money, but the system camera, the future, is a lot more expensive.
"You always have such a sober look"
I hear that regularly and as a coach of so many photographers I have seen and heard a lot.
My counter question was immediately: "The petrol car is going out!! Should you also buy an electric car with the camera?"
The answer brought a smile to their faces. "Well, that car won't stop driving right away, hahaha, it can last for years, and most of the cars that are sold are still petrol".
There you also immediately have your answer. Last year I also bought a professional SLR, because it still works very well for me. So I postponed my switch for another 5 years (maybe longer).
This does not mean that I am against new technology or that I do not like the system camera. I think it's great that so many new techniques are being developed and that we are increasingly supported in our wonderful passion.
But sometimes I do have the feeling that there are more commercial reasons for a seller than a purely technical one. So let me list a few pros and cons for you:
Size and weight
The SLR has a mirror that allows you to look through the lens. This mirror must of course fit into the body and that is why the body is larger. And it has a mechanism to flip the mirror up when you take a picture. That is why the mirrorless system camera is a lot more compact and lighter.
With an SLR camera, the autofocus is done via separate AF sensors. With the system camera, this is done by the same sensor that your photo is taken with. At the moment, most SLR cameras are even faster with the autofocus.
Particularly with sports, you may notice that a subject that comes at you very quickly is slightly more often out of focus with a system camera than with an SLR (the biggest reason I bought an SLR). But the system camera is getting faster in terms of AF.
Number of photos per second
Do you want to be able to shoot a lot of photos per second? The system camera wins here, because with the mirror reflex, the mirror flips up and down with every photo, in order to focus again between each photo. This takes a lot of time and the system camera is not affected by this.
The first generation of system cameras had a lot of trouble with this: delay between what actually happens and what you see in the viewfinder. For sports, but also for spontaneous photography where you want to 'grab' that look or gesture, this was a misery, because when you take the photo, that 'split second' moment was just gone. The current generation is much less affected by this, but there is always a few milliseconds extra delay compared to an SLR. With the SLR you see the actual image in a mirror without any delay. For me personally this is also a reason not to switch yet.
In the viewfinder of the SLR you see the image as you see with your eyes, but through a mirror. The viewfinder of a system camera is digital, so it's actually a small screen. That has a number of advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you immediately see all the settings you make on your display. Photo too dark? Photo too light? You see it right away.
The disadvantage is that in the studio where you use 100% the light from flashes, you have no image, black, no more autofocus, nothing... Because your flash only fires when you take the photo and it doesn't give any light when you're alone. looking through the viewfinder.
There is a solution for this: you can turn off exposure simulation so that you always see everything 'normally', but a lot of people have already encountered this in the studio.
Another disadvantage is that the viewfinder is often beautifully clear and displays your photo super clearly. Sometimes too, because when you come home and look at your photo on the computer, it is disappointing, much less color and a lot more boring. Your viewfinder was therefore a little too enthusiastic with the display of your photo. So really get to know your camera well to avoid disappointment.
Looking through a mirror does not use electricity. Continuously having a display on, on the other hand, costs a lot of battery. And you notice that. The mirror reflex camera can often handle many days of shooting. Many system cameras race through a battery in a few hours. So an extra battery is often not a superfluous investment.
New technology is more expensive than older technology that has been around for some time and that is reflected in the price. Most system cameras are more expensive than many SLR cameras.
There's one thing here. Most system cameras also have a different lens mount. This means that you cannot just put your current lenses on it. Usually this is only possible with an intermediate ring. Usually not a huge problem, but something to be aware of.
Do not immediately get carried away with the stories of the seller. Take a good look around and make sure you make the right decision with all the information. And then just go for it.
Because whether you buy an SLR or a system camera, both will be old again in 5 years and will need to be replaced because both cameras will have been overtaken by new technology.