In the wake of Canon and Nikon’s new release of their version of a Mirrorless camera, I only saw it fit to address the elephant in the room. For a few years, we’ve observed as Sony became giants not only in the photography industry but creating some top-shelf equipment that has been excelling in videography as well. Gone are the days when music videos were being shot with a camera so big, it would probably take a whole front seat in a car. Camera’s are now becoming more compact while still producing amazing results. These mirrorless cameras are now able to fit easily in the palm of your hand takes little to no effort to carry around. Does this mean the days of hauling around a DSLR is coming to an end? In this article, I aim to discuss and share some of the advantages and disadvantages or pros and cons of a Mirrorless camera Vs. a DSLR. Some of you may be confused as to what the difference is between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR which I will clarify before we dive into this discussion.
A mirrorless camera is pretty much a self-explanatory name as it does not have or require a reflex mirror. A reflex mirror is one of the key components that can be found in a regular DSLR camera which Canon and Nikon have produced a lot of over the years. The mirror that can easily be found in DSLR camera essential reflects light up into the optical viewfinder which then shows us exactly what we are capturing. The process is completely different in a Mirrorless camera, as a result, the image sensor is completely exposed to light at all times. This produces the digital preview you see on your little LCD screen as well as through the digital viewfinder. This basically inspired the nickname “Mirrorless Cameras”. Now that you have an understanding of how a Mirrorless camera works and why it’s called that, let us dive in.
– As I mentioned earlier, we cannot argue how compact and travel-friendly mirrorless cameras are. As opposed to a bulky DSLR, it’s a lot easier to stuff a mirrorless camera into your backpack with a few lenses and then get on the move. A DSLR is a bit more complex than that as it requires a whole camera bag most times, if not all the time. In addition to its compact size, it’s very lightweight as well. Mirrorless camera has a lot less moving parts than a DSLR and this works to its advantage as it can be operated very quietly.
– The digital viewfinder or as it’s more popularly known as the EVF (electrical viewfinder) enables its user to see a preview of the image taken with exposure settings and corrections applied during real time. This makes it a lot easier for the user to compose their shots in low light situations as the gain is increased automatically to assist in making the subject more visible.
– The Autofocus or AF systems found in mirrorless cameras are almost unparalleled. I have personally given one of these mirrorless cameras a try and I was immediately blown away as to the capabilities of the AF system found in this compact machine. This system, combined with the decisive on-sensor phase detection as well as a precision of contrast detection makes it pretty hard for DSLRs to compete.
– Last but not least, these mirrorless cameras do enable of layers of the viewfinder information. What this means is, while you’re shooting, the camera is relaying all the information you need through things such as setting, levels, and even histograms. It can also provide you with a magnified view of the area you’re focusing on and give you playbacks of the images or videos you’ve taken, seamlessly.
– You know with all those good things, comes some drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is found in your battery life. With all that information and digital work being done by your mirrorless camera, it has to come from somewhere. When it comes to getting the full time needed from your battery, a mirrorless is yet to compare to a DSLR. You will often find photographers or videographers who use a mirrorless camera hauling around a charger and extra batteries as well. Most if not all Mirrorless cameras are capable of shooting in 4K as well and this consumes a lot of battery life. So if you plan on purchasing a mirrorless camera, be prepared to buy some extra batteries and chargers as well.
– Most mirrorless camera, namely sony tend to have a startup lag which can be detrimental depending on the type of photography you’re doing. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer and you find that you mirrorless camera falls asleep, it will take a solid 2-3 seconds before its back up and ready to go. This can, of course, be annoying and have you missing a bunch of key shots.
– A DSLR camera is obviously bigger in size and carries a more healthy weight. However, this size enables the manufacturers to dedicate more buttons to specific control for fast and easy usage in the field. When shooting with a specific DSLR camera for a year or for a majority of your photography career, navigating these buttons on your camera becomes a part of you. Eventually, you will find yourself not having to look at your camera to change a setting at all. Having these buttons dedicated to specific functions eliminates the task of having to browse through too many menus or settings to change one thing. I have a couple friends with mirrorless cameras and I have seen them go through this struggle while shooting.
– Speaking personally, I have large hands and I know photographers with hands similar to mine will agree with this point. DSLR cameras feel more robust and like an actual camera is in your hands as opposed to a Mirrorless that feels like a point and shoot. I generally like to feel the weight and feel of having a DSLR camera in your hand is a lot better than a mirrorless. The compact nature of a mirrorless camera is great but it’s just something about a DSLR.
– Last but not least, the durability of DSLRs throughout the years have proven to be unmatched. When it comes to reliability and performance, DSLRs are consistent. Most DSLRs are equipt with some weatherproofing to protect the hardware inside in the event of light rains or even some snow. This comes in handy when mother nature decides to hand you a little surprise while shooting. This durability and reliability have been really helpful throughout the years as a photographer.
– One of the first cons of a DSLR is pretty obvious in its weight and size. When shooting for an extended period of time, this weight can be stressful on your shoulder or neck. Most DSLRs are two to three times the weight of mirrorless cameras and this can sometimes be a hassle.
– Lugging around a big camera can also take some dedication. Coming from someone who owns and shoots with a full-frame DSLR camera, you have to devote or designate a bag for your camera. This can serve as an issue if you’re just trying to get up and go as opposed to packing a whole bag to haul around just to keep your camera and equipment safe. It might sound lazy but it can often be a task.
I truly hope this article has severed to be an eye opener when discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of camera. Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you again.