Mirrorless vs DSLR: What Kind of Digital Camera Do You Need?

by Akhil Kalepu

Jul 30, 2016

© Kiyoshi Hijiki | Dreamstime

Products / Technology

SLR cameras used to be the prerequisite for someone to be taken seriously as a photographer. This began to change with the introduction of DSLR cameras made affordable through a smaller crop sensor, but it wasn’t until recently mirrorless cameras began to compete on a professional level. If you’re in the market for a new camera, here are a few things to consider.

 

Ergonomics

DSLR cameras are big and obnoxious, whereas mirrorless cameras are much smaller and lighter, to the point they look like a consumer-grade point and shoot. This can be a serious advantage to street photographers and photojournalists who want something discreet that fits in the pocket.

 

Viewfinder

This could be a deal breaker for many. DSLR cameras reflect light into the viewfinder, allowing people to see a real-time image of what they’re going to snap. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, show a digital reproduction that will have a slight delay (there’s always a delay, but it’s more and more imperceptible). This feature does allow you to get a live preview of the photo with all its digital adjustments.

 

Autofocus and Image Stabilization

Mirrorless cameras can now compete with the best cameras in terms of autofocus speed. Your DSLR camera has phase detection, but the current line of mirrorless cameras offer a hybrid mode that combines phase with contrast detection. Both types of cameras offer image stabilization systems, with differences minimal.

 

Lenses

This is the biggest reason most people are sticking to DSLR cameras: availability of lenses. Manufacturers have been slow to unveil their mirrorless lens systems while there are hundreds available for DSLR cameras. For a serious photographer who likes to have a variety of lenses at their disposal, sticking to DSLR might be best. For someone new to photography who doesn’t need the widest palate possible, mirrorless could be an exciting new opportunity.

 

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