Debunking a myth: Mirrorless cameras now have superb autofocus performance that can (almost) match those of much more expensive DSLR.


You know what they say: DSLR still is more “professional” when it comes to autofocus performance compared to those cheaper mirrorless camera. But how much of that is truth and how much is myth?

TheCameraStoreTV team compared the best mirrorless cameras against the best (and 4-5 times more expensive) Nikon D4s. You will be surprised to hear the conclusions. Watch the video!

  • ejpb

    But, but… the D4S is not only a DSLR, it is a complete, full-blown bio-system. a very high sensitive FF, an unseen choice of lenses, accessories and using the Nikon CLS system. What can the rest offer? Crop sensors, less sensitivity, amateur-level noise management, family party flash technology and for the rest no support for accessories in the market. I wouldn’t bet the DSLR is soon going to disappear, it’s just a dream that is not confirmed in the sales numbers.

    • Christer Wikström

      Prise is far less!

    • Dummy00001

      > “full-blown bio-system.”

      (I’m sure you wanted to say “eco-system”.)

      One doesn’t need “full-blow eco-system” all the time. 99% of shooter are dealing perfectly fine without the extras. Important things are: sufficient IQ, lenses and flash system.

      Rest are the niche things for the niche needs. Not every system has to have all of them. It would have been nice though. But it seems no mirrorless vendor is actually interested in niche applications.

      > “What can the rest offer?”

      First time trolling? Do you?

      > “I wouldn’t bet the DSLR is soon going to disappear, it’s just a dream that is not confirmed in the sales numbers.”

      What do you know, the Nikon D5 might be mirrorless.

      Why do you care whether your camera has a mirror or not?

      On-sensor PDAF, as the test illustrates, has finally taken off big time. Best news: Pana’s DFD performed well and one doesn’t even need the PDAF!!

    • J Shin

      > it is a complete, full-blown bio-system

      Oh, yes, it’s true, and I remember people saying that about the Hasselblad 500. And Kodak. And Sinar. MS-DOS. Atari 2600. Apple ][. I’m sure people used to say that about Graflex. Leica Screw. Broad gauge railroad. The Roman Empire.

      Last time I salivated over the Hasselblad system in the KEH catalog was about 10 years ago, and, back then, digital IQ was nowhere near catching up to 6×6 film. One could say it still hasn’t. So, that’s how long I’d give DSLRs before they become niche products. The Roman Empire lasted considerably longer, but I think they had a little more engineering resource than Canikon have at their disposal.

  • Lou Dallara

    I wonder what memory card you used, you make no reference to it. Faster memory card, faster buffer emptying.
    You ready didn’t really convince me of anything.

    • Václav Mach

      Sandisk Extreme Pro (UHS-I) as mentioned in the video.

  • Louis Dallara

    I wonder what memory card you used, you make no reference to it. Faster memory card, faster buffer emptying.
    You ready didn’t really convince me of anything.

  • bobfromguam

    Its nice to see companies working hard to make good cameras, DSLR’s do seem to be very stagnant. Same old same old, is what we keep hearing. While the price remains high. Companies like Sony, and Olympus have offered a great deal at very reasonable prices. To imagine that top class DSLR actually compares to mid class offerings is wonderful.

    • Yannick Khong

      That sure-bet of a dSLR will probably balance better with those huge Sigma ART prime lenses or those F2.8 zoom-lenses than the tiny mirrorless thing, until they figure out how to miniaturize lenses to balance with mirrorless bodies. I do agree that general to enthusiast photography is taken over by the mirrorless wave, but as far as I can see, the systems are almost all prime-lens based to keep weight low.

      • joel richards

        The Sigma ART 50mm and the Sony FE55mm have similar performance and the Sony weighs much, much less. The farther past 50mm the less advantage you get from losing the mirror box (hence the 70-200 is actually a little fatter than the Canon 70-200 f/4) but the advantage is there. Sony made some poor choices by not optimizing the FE sensors for oblique light ray angles like the Leica M but I suspect even their zoom lenses (Sony’s notorious week point) will continue to improve in speed and size.

        Moving to crop frame sensors, there are plenty of examples of fast and more compact lenses. Yes, super corrected or super fast lenses will always be relatively large and heavy but there is a demonstrable (if sometimes slight) advantage in size and weight to all the mirrorless systems out there. What’s lacking is mind share and I think even that may be changing.

  • amalric

    It was due to happen. Now a pocketable camera like the smaller m4/3 ones and FAST focus offer shots that HCB could only have dreamt of. tHat the reason why Leica is taking the same path, a recognition of what P &O have achieved. Note that my E-PM1 is now 150 $, and I am perfectly satisfied :)
    It’s only for GAS addicts that m4/3 is expensive.

  • J Shin

    “Last bastion of SLR superiority.”

    I like that expression. There will always be things that SLRs are better at, just as there are always things that medium formats are better at, view cameras are better at, leaf shutters are better at, film is better at, etc. If you are doing those things, you should use those tools. Otherwise…

    And big kudos to Panasonic for upping the game with the GH4!

  • amalric

    Note that Canon sales are so low in Australia -80% that they are folding up. Not because of mirrorless I gather but because of cellphones.

    We are really entering a different century, where you don’t shoot anymore, but you *see*and record, wi fi and the social media as witnesses.
    We photogs are going to be a v. small niche, with much slower introductions, alas. Need to boost creativity and awareness to the expense of gear acquisition.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The Mirrorlessrumors website,, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps:
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: Addthis cookies:
Disqus cookies:
Vimeo cookies:
Youtube cookies:

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.