What is a Mirrorless Camera and is it for you?
A guide to mirrorless cameras that’ll help you make an informed buying decision
If you’re planning on upgrading to a professional camera, a DSLR is the way to go. But when you’re out to buy one, you will likely come across a relatively new term - ‘mirrorless cameras’.
A query to the store executive or a quick search online will tell you that in most use cases a mirrorless camera is better than DSLRs. So what is a mirrorless camera, and why should you go for one? We answer that and more in this article.
What is a mirrorless camera and how does it work?
A mirrorless camera works on a similar principle as a DSLR, albeit with one significant difference. Unlike a DSLR – Digital Single Lens Reflex – a mirrorless camera doesn’t have a reflex mirror. In simpler words, a mirrorless camera doesn’t use a ‘mirror’ to bounce the light to the viewfinder and image sensor.
This also makes the working of a mirrorless camera more straightforward than the DSLR . Since the incoming light directly reaches the camera’s sensor, a live preview of your subject is seen in real-time on the electronic viewfinder. This allows the photographer to adjust various settings before hitting the shutter button.
What are the advantages of a mirrorless camera?
There are many advantages to a mirrorless camera, and none more so than the compact nature of the camera itself. Since there are no complex parts inside, a mirrorless camera tends to be smaller and lightweight, and thus easy to carry around without the need for tent-sized bags.
Then there’s the real-time preview of a shot on the electric viewfinder where a photographer is able to adjust aspects like exposure, contrast and more before pressing the shutter button. This goes a long way in getting the perfect shot in one click.
Simpler mechanism also allows mirrorless cameras to shoot faster than a DSLR. While both support fast shutter speeds, the lack of a physical mirror reflecting light to the sensor, makes a difference in the speed. Such speeds are particularly handy when shooting action photos or a burst of photos.
This lack of mirror mechanism also has another advantage – better image stabilisation. With fewer moving parts inside, there is less chance of the camera shaking when shooting photos. This is also what makes mirrorless cameras quieter to operate than DSLRs.
It’s also been observed that mirrorless cameras tend to shoot better videos. They have faster and more accurate autofocus systems, which is great for any videographer. Recent mirrorless cameras also offer better 4K resolution without any pixel binning or cropping.
Why should you buy a mirrorless camera?
For beginners taking the first step into professional photography, mirrorless cameras are a better choice due to their comfortable size and simpler controls. These cameras also use touchscreens for many functionalities, making them more like smartphones.
It’s not perfect though, and two things that go against mirrorless cameras are the cost and versatility. Entry-level variants of the mirrorless kind are priced much higher than entry-level DSLRs. The second is the choice of lenses and accessories. DSLRs, having been around for longer, have a far bigger arsenal, while mirrorless cameras are playing catch up.