Mirrorless vs DSLR Camera: How Do They Compare?

Mirrorless vs DSLR Camera: How Do They Compare?

When mirrorless cameras first burst on the scene over a decade ago, professional and amateur photographers alike became excited over the possibilities that this new type of camera would bring. The emergence of the mirrorless camera also presented a potential threat to the much-loved DSRL cameras that dominated the market.

Today, both mirrorless and DSLR cameras are beloved by professionals and enthusiasts alike. But how do they really compare?


Mirrorless vs DSLR Camera – does it even matter?

Many people want to know which is the better type of camera, but the answer is far more complicated and isn’t black and white. Take a look at some of the details surrounding each of these cameras and how they stack up to one another. Each camera has its own unique benefits depending on what you are looking for in a camera—you just need to decide which option is for you.


What is a DSLR Camera?

When most people think of digital cameras, they are thinking of DSLR cameras. DSLR stands for digital single lens reflex camera. The perk of this type of camera is that you can use interchangeable lenses on the same camera body.

The camera works when light enters the lens, allowing the photographer to see their subject in the optical viewfinder through a reflection of light from the mirror inside the camera. When you take the photo, the mirror actually swings out of the way and allows light to go through the digital image sensor and captures the image on a SD card.

Photographers have loved DSLR cameras for years because it allow you to add new lens attachments to the existing camera body. This means you can use the same camera to shoot virtually any type of photo with the swap of a lens. So, whether you want a wide-angled shot, portrait or macro photos, there is something for every type of image.

DSLR cameras come in all different price ranges, and may not have as many advanced tech features as some mirrorless cameras, they are still beloved by many professional photographers and can deliver stunning, high-quality photos you can be proud of.

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

Mirrorless digital cameras may not have been around as long as DSLRs, but they’ve been making a huge impact for the past decade and continue to rise in popularity.

The name “mirrorless” comes from the fact that the camera works without a reflex mirror. This means that light passes through the lens directly to the digital sensor and displays the image on the LCD screen. This means you can adjust your camera’s settings and preview your image before its even shot.

Today, nearly every major camera brand has their own line of mirrorless cameras, meaning there are many more options to choose from now then there were a few years ago.

These cameras come with a number of benefits, including the fact that they are lightweight and portable. The real-time previews of exposure and contrast also allow photographers to make changes in the field, meaning less editing on the backend.

However, it is important to note that mirrorless cameras have a shorter battery life and tend to be more costly than DSLR options.

What is the Major Difference Between These Two Cameras?

So, now that you have a basic understanding of what these two cameras are and what they can do—it is time to look at some of the major differences between the two cameras. While there are plenty of differences between each individual camera depending on the brand and style, here are some of the major differences between these types of cameras.

  • Mirrorless cameras tend to be smaller and lighter. While the lenses of each of these cameras are the same size, the camera itself on a DSLR tends to be bigger and heavier. This is an important factor to keep in mind for those who want a more portable option or who are avid travel photographers.
  • Mirrorless cameras don’t have tradition viewfinders. If you prefer to look through a traditional viewfinder, then DSLR cameras are for you. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, only have an electronic viewfinder.
  • DSLR cameras are typically more budget-friendly. If you have a tighter budget in mind, then DSLR is typically a better solution. You can buy an entry-level or mid-level DSLR camera and still enjoy plenty of impressive features. However, when you start getting to more budget-friendly mirrorless cameras, you are not going to get as much bang for your buck and as many features for the money.
  • Mirrorless cameras tend to be more tech-driven. Mirrorless cameras tend to embrace more technological advancements that you won’t find with DSLR cameras. This doesn’t always directly impact image quality either. If you are looking for cameras that have features like Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS, faster burst rates and touch screens—mirrorless cameras will typically take the cake.
  • DSLR cameras have more lens options. DSLR cameras have been around much longer than mirrorless cameras, and because of that, there tend to be way more lens options with DSLR. If different lenses are important to you than mirrorless is a great option.
  • Mirrorless cameras tend to have better video quality. If video is also important for you, typically mirrorless cameras are going to be a little better. Both cameras can have video options, but typically only high-end DSLR models have 4K or Ultra HD video quality. However, nearly all mirrorless cameras, including lower end models have these high-quality video options.

Whether you choose a DSLR or a mirrorless, it is important to remember that there is a lot more than just the physical camera when it comes to mastering the art of photography.

Practice and ongoing education is the key to truly mastering this art form. All you need to do is get out there and start shooting, and make sure that you are staying on top of all of my latest tips and tricks to really make the most of your passion for photography, with whatever camera you feel is best for you.

I hope this article helped you understand the difference between mirrorless vs dslr camera functionality.

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