For decades, the DSLR camera has reigned supreme as the instrument of choice for both amateur and professional photographers alike. But that has changed now that mirrorless cameras have come into the picture. Combining the features of a DSLR and the portability of a point-and-shoot camera, the mirrorless camera provides photographers with a smaller, lighter, but no less powerful alternative to the mighty DSLR camera.
The Meaning of Mirrorless Camera
Here is an easy to understand mirrorless camera definition: A mirrorless camera, or compact system camera (CSC), is a high-end camera with a removable, interchangeable lens. Mirrorless cameras lack a reflex mirror. Light passes through the camera directly to the sensor. It features a digital display instead of a traditional optical viewfinder. Now for the more technical mirrorless camera definition: Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, ILC, are compact camera systems that have interchangeable lenses and make use of a digital imaging sensor instead of a movable mirror and pentaprism to reflect a digital preview of what the lens is seeing to the electronic viewfinder. The absence of the mirror mechanism that is typically found in DSLR cameras makes the mirrorless camera lighter and more compact, which is its biggest selling point.
Mirrorless Camera vs DSLR
When comparing the differences between mirrorless cameras and DSLR’s, it basically comes down to Mirror vs Mirrorless Cameras. With a DSLR camera, the light enters the lens, goes through the aperture opening, and hits a reflex mirror that’s situated in front of the sensor. It then reflects that light, as well as the image that the camera is seeing, up into the pentaprism, which then transmits it to the optical viewfinder. But because mirrorless cameras don’t have that mechanical mirror mechanism, the light that comes in through the lens goes straight to the sensor, which then transmits the digital information it captures to the electronic viewfinder or to the LCD screen.
Benefits of Mirrorless Cameras
If the technical differences are still a bit confusing, there are several more general differences when comparing mirrorless cameras vs DSLR. For example, there are several benefits of mirrorless cameras. With less moving parts and mechanisms, mirrorless cameras are generally much quieter than DSLR cameras. Another advantage with MILCs is that they are generally better for shooting video.
Mirrorless Camera Features
Essentially, MILCs and DSLRs serve the same purpose. Still, some photographers have switched over to mirrorless cameras for the significant advantages they have over DSLRs. If you’ve been thinking of making the switch, here are some mirrorless camera features to consider when investing in a high-end compact (CSC) camera.
Imaging sensors in mirrorless cameras come in a variety of sizes: full-frame, APS-C, Micro Four Thirds, and 1-inch. As previously mentioned, mirrorless cameras have the edge over DSLRs because of their compact size and portable weight. This is especially true with the Micro Four Thirds MILCs, which are smaller and lighter than APS-C mirrorless cameras. A powerful, responsive LCD screen with 4K technology, paired with the light camera body, make mirrorless the more popular option for videographers. They are more likely to shoot 4k video and they also shoot at higher frame rates, which means you can make those super sweet slo-mos. Ideally you’d like to be able to shoot at 120 frames per second, as the Canon EOS M50 from Buydig.com does, but 60 fps is also decent, as per the full frame Sony a7III. Another sought after mirrorless camera feature is the electronic viewfinder. It allows you to see what the photo will look like on the LCD screen before you press the shutter button.
Best Mirrorless Camera Under $500
One of Sony’s best, the a6000 should be on your list. The OLED EVF viewfinder will help you to capture details even when taking photos of moving objects. The ISO is expandable up to 25,600 to provide excellent image quality regardless of your light situation. Its hybrid autofocus system will allow quick and sharp focusing when taking photos as well as when taking Full HD 1080/24/60P video. The perfect choice when searching for a cheap entry level mirrorless camera under $500!
Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1000
Not to sound repetitive, but the Sony Alpha a6000 with power zoom lenses from Buydig.com is a beast if you want something within the middle of the prices you’ll find in beginner mirrorless cameras. Even with the two additional zoom lenses, it’s still the best mirrorless camera under $1000 allowing you to stay within your budget!
In terms of features and specifications, mirrorless cameras and DSLRs are mostly evenly matched. Your shooting habits, skill level, and the photography niche you are in will largely dictate which camera is better for you.