- The Landscape Photography Book: The Step-by-Step Techniques You Need to Capture Breathtaking Landscape Photos Like the Pros
- National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish
- The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography
Photo by Sharosh Rajasekher on Unsplash
The DSLR to mirrorless transition has been slow, and at times, painful. There has been considerable pushback amongst many photography circles against the mirrorless revolution.
But, as with many technological advances, there are benefits to mirrorless cameras. And, since I enjoy landscape photography so much, I think everyone should use a mirrorless camera for landscape photography at least once.
They are lighter, which is the biggest bonus considering you often need to trek miles through the middle of nowhere with an incredibly heavy pack for landscape photography. But, I think you may be surprised to find all of the benefits mirrorless cameras come with.
Mirrorless Cameras Are More Portable
Photo by Edward Virvel on Unsplash
This is the most obvious benefit of using a mirrorless camera for landscape photography. They are easily dragged around everywhere with you due to their size.
They are much smaller than traditional DSLRs, but they are also usually substantially lighter, which is my favorite characteristic.
Plus, when a camera is portable it is usually also versatile. Mountain climbing and only have one moment to snap a quick pick off the side of a cliff? A mirrorless camera is your answer.
photo by Solovyova via iStock
And as time goes by, mirrorless cameras are getting more and more incredible features. One only needs to look at rigs like the Sony a7R IV and the upcoming Canon EOS R5 to see why.
But it isn’t just high-end mirrorless cameras that have tons of capabilities.
The Sony a6000 - which is six years old - is a fantastic entry-level camera to take with you on your travels in the great outdoors.
Recommended Landscape Photography Books:
Use the Electronic Viewfinder to Your Advantage
First off, for those of you who don’t know the difference between an EVF, or electronic viewfinder, and an OVF, or optical viewfinder, then Jared Polin has you covered.
But, basically, an EVF is available on mirrorless cameras while an OVF is on most DSLRs.
A lot of photographers refused to shoot with mirrorless cameras for a long time because they liked OVFs, but that all changed with the advent of the EVF.
The Fuji Guys Channel covers some of the benefits that came with the first EVFs.
But, the biggest advantage of an electronic viewfinder is that you can see the photograph exactly how it will be taken. You can also see a wealth of information about the scene and the photo right there in the viewfinder.
I almost always use my mirrorless camera for landscape photography for this exact reason. Whereas I can see the photo I’m going to take in Live View with my DSLR, the sun is often too bright for me to be able to use my screen, which is where my EVF comes in handy.
Mirrorless Cameras Have Smaller Lenses and Accessories
While this video by Sony is really just dissecting the differences between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, it also showcases just how much smaller a mirrorless camera is.
And it doesn’t stop there. Mirrorless cameras themselves are more portable, but so are all of their accessories.
Landscape photography gear needs to be as light as possible, especially when you’re trekking miles to get the perfect shot. You’ll need room in your pack for food, water and a first aid kit, so the lighter your equipment is, the better.
photo by Momolelouch via iStock
Many mirrorless lenses are lighter with a smaller form factor than their DSLR counterparts (unless you’re carrying certain RF lenses from Canon…).
And sure, a few years ago you could complain that there weren’t as many options for mirrorless lenses and accessories, but that is no longer the case in 2020.
A prime example of this is Haida's M7 filter holder system.
This lightweight filter system is ideal for landscape photography because it is perfectly sized for mirrorless lenses.
The aluminum holder can be used with 75mm rectangular filters as well as a variety of round drop-in filters, like the Haida 3-stop circular polarizer/ND filter shown above.
The filter holder itself is made of lightweight aviation-grade aluminum to help reduce the weight you have to carry as you seek out the best shots.
It has a new quick-release design that enables faster filter operation and installation, that way you don't miss critical shots.
The separately available round circular polarizer for the Haida M7 filter holder can be clipped into the holder, which means there is no need to screw the filter in place. Again, this allows for much faster setup times.
The M7 filter system is well made, durable, and easy to use - just what you need for landscape photography!
You Can Easily Protect Your Mirrorless Camera in Adverse Weather
Aside from portability, this is easily the best part about using a mirrorless camera for landscape photography. Since they are smaller, they are easier to keep out of a thunderstorm.
My favorite accessory for keeping my mirrorless camera away from sleet, hail, rain and dust is the mini Camera Canopy, which is a huge step up from a gross plastic bag.
Unlike using a camera rain cover that restricts your access to the camera’s controls (and viewfinder, for that matter), the Camera Canopy shields the camera and lens from above. This means you have unfettered access to the camera controls.
The Camera Canopy saves your mirrorless camera from damage for just $59.99 and is incredibly easy to use because you just need to mount it onto your hotshoe.
If you’re going to be doing landscape photography anytime in the near future, you need to have a backup plan for protecting your camera in bad weather, and the Camera Canopy is it.