A List for Evaluating Upcoming Mirrorless Cameras

A mysterious photo from Nikon’s teaser campaign for their upcoming mirrorless camera.

What’s going to make or break the upcoming Nikon and Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras?  Sony has taken the lead in full frame mirrorless, so the upcoming Nikon and Canon cameras will likely succeed or fail based on how they stack up against Sony’s full frame models (currently the A7III, A7RIII and A9).  In particular, I think stills photographers will be comparing them based on most or all of these key criteria:

  1. Autofocus, including tracking AF, low light AF, Face-AF & Eye-AF — accuracy, speed, coverage area, and ease of use;
  2. Image quality, including color for skin tones, high ISO, dynamic range, freedom from artifacts;
  3. Battery life and battery percentage indicator;
  4. Body size & weight;
  5. System size & weight, including key lenses;
  6. Viewfinder size and eye relief (especially for eyeglass wearers), quality, speed, smoothness and blackout time;
  7. Ergonomics, such as grip, shutter position, information displays, etc.;
  8. Pricing relative to similar options on the market;
  9. In-body image stabilization and availability of same for adapted lenses;
  10. Initial lens selection, and lens roadmap (if any);
  11. Lens adaptability, including functionality of legacy AF lenses and focusing method for manual lenses;
  12. Build quality & weather sealing;
  13. Dual card slots;
  14. Menu system logic and ease of use;
  15. Button & dial customizability;
  16. Startup time and wake-from-sleep time;
  17. Flash system options, including radio triggering features;
  18. Option for instant APS-C crop mode;
  19. Option for formats like 1:1, 4:3, 4:5, 16:9, etc. — important for framing in these formats;
  20. Option to set/sync camera clocks precisely to the second — important when using multiple cameras;
  21. Option to save/restore all camera customizations via memory card — important when a camera is sent in for repair and the technician resets everything to factory default;
  22. Availability of speedy factory service when needed.

I’m ignoring video functions for now, but videographers will have a whole additional set of criteria!

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