Last year I produced a video comparing the pros and cons of using a mirrorless camera as compared to a DSLR camera. Here is the content of that video. The main points are all still valid today. The video is below.
What exactly is a mirrorless camera? Well, as a way of comparison, allow me to explain how a mirrored camera works. The high end cameras we all generally know, which contain a series of mirrors, are called DSLR cameras, or digital single lens reflex camera.
The bulbous top portion of the camera is where some of the mirrors are contained. When you view an image with a DSLR camera, you are actually looking at the image through-the-lens and it then gets bounced or reflected through a series of mirrors and then through the eyepiece.
DSLR cameras also have a digital viewfinder where you can also view your image electronically on the LCD screen.
So now onto the mirrorless cameras. These cameras do NOT have a mirror system. You can only view your image via the LCD screen. The biggest difference in appearance between this newer format of cameras and DSLR cameras is the added hood space at the top of the DSLR’s. Overall these mirrorless cameras are thinner and lighter than their big brothers.
As you would expect, you can also shoot video with MILC cameras.
So why go with a mirrorless camera versus a DSLR? Camera manufacturers are always looking to add to their product lines to try and capture new customers to the field of photography. So as technology advances a new format of camera shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
Allow me to provide you with the Pros and Cons of these new mirrorless cameras.
• The biggest pro is the reduced size you’ll get from mirrorless cameras compared to a DSLR. Reduced size obviously also means reduced weight. Now, we’re just talking the body of the camera here because the lens on a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and a DSLR camera can now use the exact same lens.
This interchangeability of lenses is great. It provides you with a great bang for your buck, by allowing you to use your lenses on multiple cameras. However, a word of caution. Not all lenses will fit on all mirrorless cameras. In some cases an additional adaptor is needed to ensure that your lens will mount. As with all new technologies it is always a battle between manufacturers to come up with accepted universal standards. I’m sure this will change over time. But for now, make sure your existing DSLR lens will fit on your new mirrorless camera.
• Another PRO for mirrorless cameras is the camera sensor size, for the most part, it’s greater in size than of point-and-shoot compact camera’s therefore you’re going to get a better image with greater raw detail. Some of the mirrorless models now have image sensors as large as their DSLR counterparts.
• And a final PRO – mirrorless cameras are quieter than DSLR cameras. This is because there are no moving parts. The DSLR has the mirror system that has to flip up out of the way for the image information to hit the sensor.
Ok, now onto the CONS.
• It’s not a DSLR, so you don’t have the added benefit of seeing your image actually through-the-lens, instead you’re getting a digital representation through your LCD viewfinder.
• If your personal photographer image is important to you and you’re still stuck on ‘bigger is better’ — then a mirrorless camera may not be for you. You may want a fully decked out DSLR to keep your ego truly happy.
• A big key point which needs to be remembered with regards to this relatively new class of camera is the sensor size. As I’ve mentioned before in other videos sensor size is a key deciding point of comparison when choosing a new camera. In general most DSLR cameras will provide larger sensors than that of the mirrorless variety. But this is changing all the time so make sure you do a keen comparison of this important technical statistic.
For me what I like most about this new class of camera is that because it’s smaller and lighter, I’m that much more likely to take it along with me in search of photo opportunities when I’m out and about.
If you enjoy photography, then I think you owe it to yourself to have a close look at mirrorless cameras.