What Mirrorless Camera Should I Buy

By | 28/10/2022

If you are shopping for a new camera, the hype of the moment is the
mirrorless camera. But what is a
mirrorless camera? And why should you buy one?

This commodity will hash out half dozen things you should know about mirrorless cameras. Have a read and then make up one’s mind if mirrorless is the fashion to get.

What is a
Mirrorless Camera?

So what is a mirrorless camera? As the proper name suggests, mirrorless cameras accept no mirror. This is unlike digital single reflex cameras, meliorate known equally DSLRs.

The mirror has been used since the 1950s. So why change it? There are at least three practiced reasons to remove the mirror:

  1. No longer a delicate and complicated mechanism
  2. Reduces camera milkshake
  3. It makes for a more compact and light camera body

An electronic viewfinder (EVF) replaces the mirror system. This is a small, loftier-resolution LCD screen.

The paradigm below shows an old Olympus OM-1 35 mm moving picture camera and a mod Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark Ii.

Diptych showing the mirror in the Olympus OM-1 SLR camera (left). On the right no mirror is present the interior of the modern Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mk ii mirrorless camera
A mirror in the Olympus OM-1 SLR camera (left). No mirror in the modern Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II
mirrorless photographic camera,
and the sensor is visible (right).

6 Things You Should Know Nearly Mirrorless Cameras

A small disclaimer… I am a long-time
mirrorless camera
photographer and enthusiast. But if you are going down the
mirrorless camera
road, you should know that it’s not all roses.

6. Mirrorless Cameras Are Smaller and Lighter Than a DSLR: The Size Myth

The mirror (with all the other related parts) is non in that location anymore. This makes the camera trunk smaller and lighter than DSLR bodies. This is especially good for pro-graded gear.

  • The Myth: A
    mirrorless camera
    is a perfect camera to bring everywhere. They are minor and calorie-free. If you value portability, you should purchase 1 of these cameras over archetype DSLR ones.
  • The Truth: This is historically authentic. The first mirrorless cameras were Panasonic and Olympus cameras. They had no electronic viewfinder (or it was optional). They also sported a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensor. This is half the size of full frame sensors.

Just what near today’s mirrorless cameras?

One of the first Olympus mirrorless cameras: the EPL-2 with MFT sensor and no EVF.
One of the get-go Olympus mirrorless cameras. The Olympus EPL-2 with MFT sensor and no EVF.

A Comparison of Sometime and New Olympus Mirrorless Cameras

Olympus is however working with the MFT format. What well-nigh competitors like Fujifilm, Sony, Pentax, Nikon, and Canon? They’re using APS-C and full frame sensors instead.

But the size of a full frame sensor should non change the size of the camera trunk significantly. Correct? Truthful, only these cameras are ILC cameras. This stands for “interchangeable-lens cameras.”

The size of a lens determines the amount of sensor that is illuminated. This means it affects the size of the image the lens projects on the sensor.

Very compact and lightweight interchangeable lenses tin can illuminate MFT sensors. But for full frame sensors? They need lenses as large equally those used by DSLR full frame cameras.

The Olympus EPL-2 with the 14-42mm lens - mirrorless camera facts
The Olympus EPL-2 with the fourteen-42 mm lens (28-84 mm equivalent focal length on full frame, or EFL) is a classic kit lens. The SD card is in that location to show the scale of size.

And there’s another drawback. The photographic camera body is squeamish and minor. Only this means that the photographic camera-lens system is unbalanced on the lens side.
This is tiring and abrasive when photographing handheld with big lenses.

If you need an adapter, things become fifty-fifty worst. The heavy lens is pushed further in front end of the photographic camera trunk. This will make an already unbalanced system worse.

Top view comparison of a 28mm wide angle lens on the old OM-1 (right) and on the OM-D EM-5 Mk ii (left).
A top-view comparing of a 28 mm wide-angle lens on the OM-D EM-5 Mark II with the necessary adaptor (left) and on the old OM-1 (right). The lens sticks further out with the adaptor, moving the weight far from the photographic camera body.

This as well reduces the portability of a full frame mirrorless system. What you gain is only on the size and weight of the camera body.

But to make things more ergonomic, the bodies are often non fabricated equally small-scale equally they could be. Defended accessories even exist to make the body larger and easier to hold.

Beneath is a comparison between the Olympus OM-D EM-5 Marker II and the EPL-ii. You tin can meet them with and without the accessory power grip for the OM-D.

Diptych comparison between the EPL-2 and the OM-D EM-5 Mk ii with and without power grip.
Comparing betwixt the EPL-ii (small) and the OM-D EM-five Marking Ii (large) with and without a power grip.

Removable battery grips are an interesting solution. It lets the camera stay minor when paired with small-scale, lightweight lenses. And ergonomics are improved when using heavy and long lenses.

Equally you see, the statement nigh size and weight is not specially adept. That’s specially true if y’all care about portability.

If this is your case, try a loftier-end bridge camera similar the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 4 from the Sony RX10 family. Add a fast superzoom lens if needed. It tin be a ameliorate solution.

Diptych of the OM-D EM-5 Mk ii with power grip Vs the Sony RX10 bridge camera - mirrorless camera tips
The OM-D EM-5 Marker Two with a power grip vs the Sony RX10 bridge camera.

v. Mirrorless Cameras Are WYSIWYG Cameras

Mirrorless cameras take a much stronger advantage over DSLRs. They arewhat yous see is what you go” cameras. And this volition make you meliorate faster as a photographer.

How? They always apply the electronic viewfinder (or Live View) to show you what the mirrorless digital camera sees. Plus, yous see the effects of changing photographic camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO). And you lot see these in real-fourth dimension.

The video below shows the effects of changing the shutter speed in real-time.

A gif showing settings applied real time to the scene displayed on the LCD or EVF.
The settings are applied in real-fourth dimension to the scene and displayed on the LCD or EVF.

This will assistance you sympathise the exposure triangle, aperture, shutter speed, etc. It will also make it easier to piece of work in manual manner, particularly for photography beginners.

Another do good? It will help yous to manual focus in the dark. This is particularly truthful if you are trying astrophotography, nighttime, or interior photography.

Overexpose the paradigm to burnish the scene plenty that it will be like shooting fish in a barrel to focus. Then render to the proper settings for taking the photo.

4. Mirrorless Cameras Don’t Suffer From Lite Leakage During Long Exposures In Daylight

If you have an optical viewfinder, light tin enter your camera from it. In the photograph below, the image you lot see on the mirror comes from what the viewfinder sees.

Light from the optical viewfinder of my OM-1 forms this image on the mirror.
Light from the optical viewfinder of my OM-1 forms this image on the mirror.

Low-cal leakage from the viewfinder is non ordinarily a problem. But if you lot’re doing long exposures, you should comprehend it. Your heart volition not block it. Calorie-free can creep into the trunk, ruining your image.

If yous wait at the strap that came with your photographic camera, you lot will find a small black slice of soft rubber. That is what your camera maker wants y’all to apply to close the viewfinder during long exposures.

The cover for the optical viewfinder of a Canon DSLR.
The strap cover for the optical viewfinder of a Catechism DSLR.

Since mirrorless cameras have no optical viewfinder, you don’t have to practise this. And you can’t do anything even under harsh midday sun (and I exercise infrared photography with a mirrorless…).

3. Battery Life is Poor With a
Mirrorless Camera:
The False Power Problem

Mirrorless cameras bleed their batteries faster than DSLRs. Even if the rear LCD is OFF, it uses energy to ability the electronic viewfinder.

On average, the battery life for entry-level mirrorless cameras is about 300 shots. The high-terminate Sony a7 III camera reaches an astonishing 700 shots.

Entry-level DSLRs besides allow y’all to take around 400 shots with a charged battery. Y’all can accept up to 1000 shots with the pro models like the Canon 80D.

People seem to brand a big bargain out of that. To me, this is a false problem.

How many of u.s. shoot more than than 300 images without the possibility of replacing the battery with a spare ane? Practise nosotros need to shoot 900 photos with a single battery?

Besides, equally I said, power grips are available for many high-end mirrorless cameras. These allow you lot to utilize two batteries at the aforementioned time.

I practice astrophotography with my Olympus OM-D EM-5 Marking Ii. I am out there at night, in the common cold or humid weather.

Even when taking 200-plus images of the starry sky, I never run out of battery. Even without using the power grip.

ii. Mirrorless Cameras Accept Fewer Accessories Than DSLRs

That may exist true, at least for MFT mirrorless cameras. Third-party lenses are scarcer than in the DSLR world. There are only some from Sigma (three lenses), Tamron (one lens), and Samyang/Rokinon (less than 3 lenses).

Lens adaptors are usually available to arrange lenses with a unlike lens mountain. Yous can pair mirrorless cameras from Catechism and Nikon with existing DSLR lenses.

There may also be fewer wink and remote shutter products than those available for DSLRs. Once again, though, this is something of a faux problem.

Makers of camera accessories follow the market. And the mirrorless market is growing by the minute. They have started building defended accessories and lenses.

1. “Pros Don’t Use Mirrorless Cameras”: The Quality Myth

What’s the most common argument against mirrorless cameras? “Professional person photographers are only using DSLRs.”

That’s not true. Many world-renowned photographers have switched to mirrorless.

1 of the start to do so was travel lensman Trey Ratcliff. Other notable photographers include Andy Mumford and Phil Norton.

Image quality is nigh the lens and sensor (and electronics) combination. The mirror has no part in that. If you want to give the mirror a office, it’s the bad guy slapping around and blurring your long exposures.

In that location are many pro-graded lenses for mirrorless cameras. So prototype quality is not an upshot.

There are ii very practical reasons why most pros are still using DSLR cameras:

  1. They have spent a piffling fortune on photography equipment. So switching is expensive.
  2. People tend to acquaintance small cameras with amateurs. And big, bulky DSLRs with big lenses are equated with professionals. The thinking is that if y’all are a wedding lensman with a pocket-sized Olympus PEN-F, you will not attract many customers. And those you will get will requite you weird looks.


We hope nosotros’ve answered the question, “What is a
mirrorless camera?’

If you are in the market for a new camera and you are interested in going mirrorless, here is what you should know:

  1. Mirrorless cameras are not ever the pocket-sized and light package people say. The most compact ones are MFT mirrorless cameras. Their smaller sensor can exist illuminated with small, compact lenses.
  2. A
    mirrorless camera
    tin can make yous become a better photographer. You volition be able to come across the effect of your settings in existent-time.
  3. Aye, a
    mirrorless camera
    has shorter battery life than a DSLR. But do yous really need continuous shooting of more than 300 photos without irresolute the battery?
  4. There is a larger number of camera accessories and third-party lenses for DSLRs than for mirrorless cameras. But the situation is changing every bit
    mirrorless photographic camera bodies
    gain more than and more market share;
  5. Image quality is on par with that of DSLR cameras. Many pro photographers (particularly those in travel photography and mural photography) accept completely switched to
    mirrorless photographic camera

For more peachy information, check out our neat guide to the different types of digital cameras.

Source: https://expertphotography.com/mirrorless-cameras/