Mirrorless cameras are all the craze right now, and with the recent advancement to them, they are becoming a pretty attractive choice. They were once reserved for beginners and hobby photographists, but these days even the professionals want to get a taste of sweet mirrorless cameras. But what are they exactly, why are they called mirrorless, what are they useful for, and are these cameras for you? These are the questions that I will answer today and inform you about the issue, so let’s get going.
As its name implies a mirrorless camera has no reflex mirror, unlike digital single-lens reflex cameras, which employ a reflex mirror to direct the light to the optical viewfinder, and also unlike DSLRs due to the lack of a mirror they do not have optical viewfinders, as they employ either an electronic viewfinder or just a live view LCD screen.
Starting from the name mirrorless, a lot of cameras can be mirrorless, like point-and-shoot or even polaroids. Because they don’t use reflex mirrors they technically are mirrorless cameras. However, mirrorless cameras that we are talking about today, and those that you will see on photography websites and blogs, are interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. So just like DSLR cameras that employ a lens to function, these work in the same manner. Since we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of using one.
Mirrorless cameras have lacked far behind, however, camera manufacturers have developed interesting technologies, to make mirrorless as capable, and in some cases even more capable of photography than DSLR cameras. Just like them, mirrorless cameras are very versatile, since most models have a wide range of controls and tons of lenses that will serve you in a variety of purposes. There were limited to the average crowd that didn’t need professional quality and performance, but now they are becoming the first choice of professionals.
Size and Weight
For the majority of buyers, the biggest selling point of mirrorless cameras is its small size and weight of these cameras. While most want the performance and image quality of the DSLR, they don’t want the large form factor that comes with it. The mirrorless is just perfect as they are more compact and lighter, but still bringing in performance to the table.
Let’s admit it every one of us suffers from shaky hands sometimes, and it really affects photography. While DSLR cameras have lens stabilization features, that somewhat eliminate the shaky effect, high-end mirrorless models are superior in this aspect. Most of these high-end models deliver amazing 5-axis image stabilization that is perfect for the pro videographer.
Low Light Performance
Most of the DSLR cameras have amazing low light autofocus and overall performance in those situations and fare pretty excellently in those scenarios. On the other hand, our mirrorless peers, can’t quite achieve the same performance, despite most of them rocking amazing autofocus systems that are perfect.
This is maybe the biggest reason that may deter some buyers, as getting a capable mirrorless camera may cost a lot, and buying lenses for them is a nightmare, as the selection for budget lenses is pretty scarce.
If you are in a budget, we wrote a guide about mirorless cameras under $500. Take a look at it and maybe you can find something you might like in there.
Since they don’t employ an optical viewfinder, and constantly use an electronic one and the LCD displays on the rear, these cameras can get nowhere near the all-day professional shooting battery life of DSLR cameras. So consider that before deciding.
Should you buy a mirrorless camera?
Well, it is pretty hard to answer, as these are pretty interesting cameras, offering the same and sometimes better performances than DSLRs, however, they are quite expensive. But if you are serious about photography they will be an excellent choice for you.
Photographer & Writer
I specialize in landscape, street and portrait photography and I have been featured in various galleries and publications. I believe that photography is a way to tell stories!