Photography has come a long way since the invention of the camera. Today, capturing high-quality photos has become accessible to everyone, thanks to the advancements in camera technology. One of the recent innovations in the industry is the mirrorless camera, which is taking the photography world by storm.
Mirrorless cameras are a game-changer, providing the same features as DSLRs but in a smaller, more compact, and lighter package. This design is a godsend for photographers who are always on the go and need to capture moments on the fly. Many photographers agree that the lighter weight is worth the extra cost.
But are mirrorless cameras really that expensive? The cost price might not be that different when compared to entry-level DSLRs. In fact, if you compare an entry-level DSLR to an entry-level mirrorless camera, you’ll find that the latter is often cheaper.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of mirrorless cameras, help you determine whether you should lean more towards them or not, and answer the burning question of whether they take better pictures than DSLRs. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of mirrorless cameras!
- DSLRs still have some advantages over mirrorless cameras, including longer battery life, better autofocus performance in low light, and a natural way to preview the image through the viewfinder. However, fewer DSLRs are being manufactured, and many photographers are switching to mirrorless cameras.
- Mirrorless cameras are capable of capturing great images with the right lens and settings.
- The absence of a reflex mirror in mirrorless cameras makes them less prone to shaking and produces sharp, professional-looking images.
- Mirrorless cameras offer better video quality, faster shutter speeds, and superior autofocus for video compared to DSLRs.
- Contrast-detection autofocus during video on DSLRs can be quite poor due to the primary autofocus method being blocked by the flipped-up mirror.
- Mirrorless cameras allow for easier composition and setup during night photography by boosting the ISO and showing the light of the scene in the viewfinder.
- The camera industry is launching high-end cameras, but there are also less expensive alternatives available.
- Some models that were once considered low-priced now look expensive compared to comparable models.
- The demand for high-quality lenses is increasing, and lens manufacturers are prioritizing quality over affordability, which increases production costs.
- Newer camera models may be more expensive than older ones due to a focus on high-end users and a decrease in low-cost options.
Do mirrorless cameras take better pictures?
Every camera can take magnificent pictures given the right lens and exposure settings. Mirrorless cameras are equipped with a smaller sensor and no reflex mirror making them highly attractive to travel photographers.
As mirrorless cameras do not have a reflex mirror, it is less prone to shaking, resulting in high-quality images and a professional look.
Mirrorless cameras offer better video quality even in lower-end models and can shoot more images at faster shutter speeds. The autofocus for video on a mirrorless camera is far superior to the DSLR.
Since the mirror needs to be flipped up for DSLRs to record video, the primary autofocus method is blocked. They can do contrast-detection autofocus during video, which can be quite poor.
During night photography, with a mirrorless camera, you get the advantage of the ISO of the camera to boost the light of the scene right in the viewfinder. You can easily see and set up the composition in seconds rather than performing a series of trial and error shots with a DSLR.
Advantages of a mirrorless camera
- Mirrorless cameras have the advantage of being lighter, more compact, faster and much better for video.
- Mirrorless cameras allow you to preview the settings that you have chosen before you hit the shutter button.
- Mirrorless cameras have fewer moving parts inside them, making them quiet, discreet and an amazing companion for candid and nature photography.
- Since there is no flicking mirror, there is less camera shake.
- Mirrorless cameras are more reliable for video as DSLRs offer 4K or ultra HD video only for high-end models.
- During video mode, the electronic viewfinder in the mirrorless camera can be used, while the viewfinder on a DSLR cannot.
- Most mirrorless cameras have an in-built resolution to bridge the gap if they are low, quality-wise.
- Mirrorless cameras offer a far better manual focus than DSLRs. The photographer can use focus peaking and focus point magnification to exactly see what is and what is not in focus.
- Mirrorless cameras can show a live histogram in the viewfinder, which is a huge benefit.
- There is another feature called the “Zebra Stripes” in some mirrorless cameras. It is a cool feature that puts white animated stripes on overexposed areas of the photo. Brands like Panasonic offer this feature.
- When shooting burst mode in a mirrorless camera there is no blackout.
- Mirrorless cameras offer facial recognition. Many photographers are still manually choosing focus points but facial recognition looks more promising. The benefit of facial recognition is that it can be helpful for auto-white balance. If the camera can recognize the face, it will know the colour balance of the face and will be able to determine the white balance accurately.
- With a mirrorless camera, you can set your picture style to black and white so you can preview the image while shooting the same way it will look when finished.
Disadvantages of a mirrorless camera
- Mirrorless cameras have a smaller collection of lenses and accessories.
- Compared to DSLRs, mirrorless cameras have shorter battery life. You will have to carry extra batteries or charging solutions on extended outings. Processing RAW images drain the battery even faster.
- Even though the electronic viewfinder has its use, it’s limited in low light environments. There is also a slight loss of clarity due to the limitations of pixel density. The viewfinder is lower resolution.
- While changing the lens on a mirrorless camera, the sensor becomes visible and without the mirror to protect it from dust particles, the sensor becomes vulnerable.
- The small size of the mirrorless cameras does not fit well in large hands. Holding the small grip for extended periods may cause your hand to cramp.
- The autofocus in the mirrorless cameras does not perform to its full potential in low light situations.
- The image processing is slow.
- The electronic shutter in some mirrorless cameras reduces aperture utilization in automatic lenses.
- The mirrorless camera takes a moment to start up or to come out of standby mode, while the DSLR is ready to shoot the millisecond you flip them on.
- Without specific settings, mirrorless cameras tend to focus more on the background instead of the closer, blurrier objects.
- Due to the lack of a mirror, there isn’t a natural way to preview the image through the viewfinder. The viewfinder image in the mirrorless cameras is created electronically.
Why have cameras and lenses become expensive?
The camera industry has been launching high-end cameras on the market recently, but not all of them are expensive models. There are less-expensive alternatives that exist.
Some models were considered low-price once upon a time, and now those models look expensive alongside other comparable models.
The demand for lenses is getting higher in terms of quality and performance. So every lens manufacturer is focused more on quality than affordability. Making high-end lenses, keeping in mind every detail increases the production cost.
Some new models are more expensive than the older ones but this is mainly because there are fewer low-cost options as the camera industry is focusing more on high-end users.
Mirrorless cameras vs DSLR
The debate of which camera to buy between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR has been going on for quite some time. In a way, mirrorless cameras have won this debate as very few DSLRs are being manufactured.
When you compare mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, you need to consider that both the cameras come in different price ranges and feature levels.
Where once photographers always chose a DSLR, they are now switching to mirrorless cameras. However, there are a few older models of DSLRs which are still available and are worth considering.
Some photographers still choose DSLRs as it has a more professional look than mirrorless cameras. However, this is changing. Companies that are manufacturing mirrorless cameras are making them robust to match the durability of DSLRs.
Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs are both hard to beat when it comes to image quality in optimal conditions. But since DSLRs are large and heavy, it is less suitable to carry them all day for a long shoot.
If having a larger lens selection is important to you then DSLR is the better option. But, as mirrorless cameras are growing in popularity, their lens selection is slowly catching up.
In conclusion, the decision to choose between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera ultimately comes down to personal preference and photography needs. Both cameras have their advantages and disadvantages, and professional photographers can achieve excellent results with either one.
However, for novice photographers, it’s not worth switching to a completely new camera system only for the benefits of a mirrorless camera. It’s best to stick with what you have and continue to learn and improve your skills.
But if you’re in the market for a new camera and want to explore the world of mirrorless cameras, there are plenty of reasons to make the switch. Mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, and more compact, making them perfect for travel and on-the-go photography. They also have advanced autofocus systems, high-speed continuous shooting, and other features that make them a great choice for professionals.
Ultimately, the key to making the right decision is to do your research, consider your photography needs, and invest in a camera that fits your style and budget. With the right camera in hand, you can unleash your creativity and capture stunning photos that will last a lifetime.