Mirrorless Camera vs. DSLR

Read the article to find out the differences:

  • Size, weight, and bulk
  • Image quality
  • Focus peaking and zoom
  • Price and battery life

Edited by Nataly Bogorad

August 20, 2019

Mirrorless Camera vs. DSLR

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The everyday advancement in technology is, without a doubt changing the face of photography. There is a prospecting increase in the change from the well-known DSLR camera to a mirrorless camera. Going by the name mirrorless camera, could there be anything as such? Yes, the mirrorless camera is possibly the future of digital camera but why the name?

To unravel the concept behind the name; mirrorless camera, as well as, understand its advantages and shortcomings, it is essential that you know the basics of the technical design of a DSLR camera. This knowledge will prove pivotal to help you choose which camera suits your purpose best; DSLR or mirrorless camera. Also, it will help to know the differences between mirrorless and DSLR camera as well as illuminate lights on its comparison.

DSLR cameras such as Canon, Nikon are built such that light rays enter into the camera through the camera lens. The light rays are bounced off through a distinctive prism and finally end up at the viewfinder. During the photography process, the clicking of the shutter button will cause the mirror to flip up, and the light will hit the actual image taken on the camera. This process explains how the picture is taken on the DSLR camera. However, with the advancement of technology, the flip-up mirror strategy could be done without hence the name 'mirrorless camera.' The mirrorless camera is also referred to as Compact System Camera (CSC), Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC), or DSLM. It can also be called ILC or hybrid camera.

At first, the reason for making CSC is to make available a camera with higher image quality as well as replace the numerous DSLR prism with interchangeable lens although in a smaller camera. However, this aim has become obsolete now. Producers of cameras have now shifted their focus to different sizes of the sensor even full-frame sizes.

Whether you are a photographer or an entrepreneur who needs a camera to take pictures for digital marketing, you have done well by desiring to know which camera is better. Perhaps you want an answer to the age-long debate; mirrorless camera vs. DSLR. This guide is the right compass to provide insight on which is better DSLR or mirrorless. It put into consideration factors such as size, image quality, live preview, weight, price, battery life, and several other factors.

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The Differences between Mirrorless and DSLR Camera

Size, Weight, And Bulk

One of the questions that you probably will love an answer to, based on the debate DSLR vs. mirrorless camera; is bigger better?

The SLR (Single Lens Reflex) usually have a protruding top and a bigger width to contain the mirror and the prism. Also, there is a need to make space for the viewfinder, which makes the DSLR camera more significant and bulky.

The mirrorless camera, on the other hand, has a smaller size and hence less bulky. The reason for this is not farfetched. Some of the components evident in the traditional DSLR camera has been replaced or removed by modern technology. The compact size means it is handier, and a lot of photographers find it more convenient to use the mirrorless camera.

Image Quality

The question of image quality is unavoidable in the discussion of mirrorless vs. DSLR camera. The simplest answer to this question comes by identifying the difference between mirrorless and DSLR camera in terms of the viewfinder. Although mirrorless cameras are getting updated regularly, the classic SLR cameras aren't doing wrong either.

The SLR digital camera uses the optical viewfinder (OVF), which makes use of several mirrors to reflect image light. However, mirrorless camera replaces this mirror with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) to project light. Deciding which is better is a difficult decision because each has its pros and cons. Besides, individual preferences also play a significant role in this decision making.

The OVF offers an unlimited dynamic range, little to no delay or lag in capturing the image. Other advantages of the OVF over EVF include higher resolution and refresh time, although this has been upgraded and can only pose an issue for beginners. Besides, photographers trust their eyes so much. Some would rather believe their eyes to know which effect to adjust rather than put their trust in all digital results of the mirrorless camera.

However, the EVF also has some benefits that you cannot enjoy with the use of OVF hence its numerous advantages. The EVF gives you the chance to get an image review. You may have to settle for looking through the LCD screen of the OVF before you can get a picture review. Also, EVF gives you more accurate information about image size (100% image coverage) compared to the OVF. Images captured on OVF are 5% smaller in size hence a 95% image coverage.

Focus Peaking and Zoom

Images that give the wow sensation are captured because the images are in focus. Image focus is affected by light, and this invariably affects the image display. A DSLR camera with its optical viewfinder work best with moderate light. When the beam of light entering is weak, focusing becomes difficult, and you can tell the effect of this on the image. However, the mirrorless camera with its electronic viewfinder effortlessly solves this issue. It has the feature to normalize image brightness level and capture image as of daylight although there may be a presence of noise.

You may ask, mirrorless vs. DSLR cameras, which one takes the lead when zooming an image? Both cameras provide a 100% zooming option; however, it is essential to say that the mirrorless photo gear comes with ease and comfort.

Price and Battery Life

The endless debate DSLR versus mirrorless camera, which camera is better cannot be completed without referring to price. Without much ado, both cameras come with numerous benefits and its shortcomings or area that needs improvement. However, it is pertinent to say that the features on each camera are a function of its price tag.

Conventionally, it is cheaper to produce mirrorless cameras such as your favorite smartphones than the traditional DSLR camera. However, due to the cost incurred to upgrade camera features to premium, the selling price is relatively higher than that of a DSLR.

Although mirrorless camera gives you the joy of enjoying EVF and premium camera features, it has low battery life. The mirrorless camera is often rated to 300 shots per battery charge in contrast to the long-lasting DSLR with 800 shots per battery charge.

Future Prospect

Many photographers regard the mirrorless camera as the future of photography, although there are continuous updates on the DSLR as well. However, with features such as eye and face tracking enablement, one can only opine that the future is brighter for a mirrorless camera. The growing technology favors it. Also, the choice of EVF over OVF has provided a solution to eye damage experienced with the latter.

Final Takeaway

DSLR vs. mirrorless camera, will mirrorless replace DSLR camera? It is tight to give a definite call. However, I recommend that you decide which digital camera offer you the features that suit your task best. Criteria such as weight, image quality, battery life, convenience, resolution, focus, and price should guide you before getting one. For beginners, it is cheaper to use a Single Lens Reflex camera. You can then work your way to the top, although the digital mirrorless camera may come with modern and premium features.

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