It had been expected for some time, but then it happened very quickly. Within a few days, Nikon and Canon, the two big players in the DSLR market, presented their first mirrorless full frame cameras, closely followed by Panasonic. At Photokina 2018, mirrorless was definitely gaining momentum.
Previously, Nikon and Canon had only half-heartedly ventured into mirrorless territory: Nikon with its Nikon 1 system with a 1 inch sensor, Canon with the EF-M system based on the APS-C sensor format. Both offered only few and mostly slow lenses. It seemed both companies were anxious not to jeopardize their enthusiast and professional DSLR sales.
However, competition did not sleep. Olympus and Panasonic had pioneered the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera market with the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) standard. Pentax followed with its tiny Pentax Q system. Sony introduced the E-mount for APS-C and the first full frame mirrorless camera. Fujifilm followed with an APS-C line and the first mirrorless medium format camera. Leica introduced the L-mount for APS-C and full frame.
At Photokina 2018, the newcomers from Canon and Nikon were met by the Sony Alpha 7 III, already the third generation of the Sony full frame mirrorless camera. So can they offer enough to compete?
Much will certainly depend on the lenses which are available for a system. So far, Micro Four Thirds offers the most comprehensive lens catalog. Sony E has the broadest lens lineup for full frame cameras. The lens catalogs of the Leica SL and the new Canon RF, Nikon Z, Panasonic S and Sigma fp systems are so far small, but growing. It will be very interesting to see how they will differentiate from each other, and if they will allow third parties to step in. Take a look at the best lenses for MFT and full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and see what’s available or announced.