The film and photography industry has a history of witnessing advances in technology in their operation, techniques, and devices and hence has several debates of its own. With the change in time, the questions kept arising. The film based camera or a digital camera? Manual camera mode or automatic camera mode? And with the recent developments in camera making and design, a new conversation sparked in the industry. A DSLR camera or Mirrorless camera?
Those who are very familiar or professional with the photographic industry understand the most common difference between the DSLR camera and the mirrorless camera where the latter is the latest invention of technology in the photography field. Both of them are very similar in operation and results, there are certain areas where one of them is advancing over the other or vice versa. The best of these cameras are those who fulfill your needs and requirements from them and that’s why supporting any one of them is your personal choice based on your preferences, needs and the purpose for which you require a specific feature.
Several people around the globe have already accepted the latest creation of technology, the mirrorless cameras as the best camera, however famous photographer Ted Forbes says that new photography technology rarely ever replaces the older one. They are several different right tools for the right job and weather older or not, but certainly not obsolete and hence the debate is silly. If you are trying to find the best suited camera for yourself or you are confused over choosing between DSLR Camera or Mirrorless camera. Or maybe you are also looking for the answers about which of them is superior and why then you don’t have to worry. we have got you covered here.
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DSLR VS Mirrorless Camera – 2019 Comparison
Know the difference between a DSLR camera and a mirrorless camera, there functioning, features and the basic mechanism and design.
DSLR vs Mirrorless – Introduction
A digital single lens reflex camera or as we popularly know it as a DSLR Camera contains a mirror inside the camera body that reflects the incoming light from the lens to a prism that focuses it on the viewfinder where you can see a preview of the image you are going to capture. When you press the camera shutter button, the mirror flips, the shutter opens and the light directly falls on the image sensor which captures it and converts it into an image. Almost all of the camera makers Viz Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, etc use similar designs in the DSLR camera. The mechanism is all the same. The LCD and several other functions may vary in different models but the basic technology of capturing the image remains the same. You can choose to preview the image on either LCD or viewfinder. Apart from the basic mechanism DSLR cameras only differ in the range of lenses that can be equipped with them. They have a wider range of options in camera accessories.
Mirrorless Camera is also known as compact system cameras that allows you to have a wide range of lens selection that can be equipped with them as in the case of DSLR cameras but as its name says, they don’t carry the complex mirror arrangement inside the camera as a DSLR camera does. The light from the lenses falls directly on the image sensor which captures the final image based on user preferred shutter settings. This also means that the mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, and simpler than the DSLR cameras. There is no optical viewfinder in mirrorless cameras however some models have an electronic viewfinder on them. Since the mirrorless cameras are new in the market they have a smaller range of lenses compared to that of DSLR lenses that are available in the market however as time advances there will be more choices in mirrorless camera accessories.
Size & Weight of the camera:
DSLR Camera can be big and bulky since they have to contain mirrors and prism also. But this can help when shooting on a big telephoto lens and also where a good grip is required. It is heavier due to mirror arrangements inside the body. Mirrorless camera is usually compact and smaller than those of DSLR cameras. These are also lighter in weight but lenses can be as big as used in DSLR cameras. Also, some of the higher-end mirrorless cameras have a body and weight similar to that of a DSLR.
Winner- Mirrorless camera wins the segment. They are compact and hence can be easily carried around. You can carry more gear and lenses with the saved space. Also, size cannot always be an issue.
DSLR VS Mirrorless Cameras: Lenses of camera
DSLR cameras have a wider range of lenses to choose from. This is because DSLR cameras have been around for a long time now and hence the makers and manufacturers, as well as various third parties, also offer lenses suitable for DSLR cameras Mirrorless cameras have a wide range of lenses to choose from but comparatively less than those of DSLR cameras. However, more options are developing and will be covered soon. Since mirrorless cameras are new in the market so they are suffering from this cause as of now. With progress in technology and time, more lenses will be available for mirrorless cameras as well.
Winner – DSLR camera is the winner of the segment. They have a wide range of accessories and lenses to choose from. However, with time there will be more options for a mirrorless camera too.
Autofocus speed of the Camera:
DSLR camera works on a technology called phase detection. This technology helps the camera to detect the convergence of two beams of light on the focus. This is very useful in tracking the moving objects but is weak in the live view. The mirrorless cameras work on a technology called contrast detection which uses the image sensor and detects the highest contrast coinciding with the focus. Contrast detection is slow especially in low light conditions than those of phase detection.
Winner- The winner of the segment is a DSLR camera. The phase detection modules help the camera to autofocus very quickly even when the subject is moving. Few mirrorless cameras also feature both contrast and phase detection technology. But this is the segment where DSLR cameras certainly have an advantage over mirrorless cameras.
The viewfinder of camera:
DSLR cameras have an optical viewfinder which is very much preferred due to no power consumption, clarity, natural look as well as lag free viewing. These are standard on DSLR cameras. You can use either of viewfinder or LCD for a preview of the image before you capture it. Mirrorless camera does not have an optical viewfinder rather it comes equipped with an LCD screen or in some cases electronic viewfinder which can be used to preview the image as it is going to be captured before actually capturing it. The electronic viewfinder uses electricity and is a rendition of an optical viewfinder. Dell CD screen can be a bit difficult to look at in bright light conditions.
Shooting speed of the camera:
DSLR Camera is fast but yet lags behind the mirrorless camera when it comes to shooting speed since they have mirror arrangement which takes time to flip itself. the shooting speed of DSLR ranges up to 14 frames per second. Since a mirrorless camera does not have mirror arrangement inside it hands the light from the lens falls directly on the imaging sensor which can take more shots at the same time as compared to that of a DSLR camera. The shooting speed of the mirrorless camera ranges up to 20 frames per second.
Winner- Mirrorless camera is surely a winner in this segment. They offer fast shooting speed in less time. The image sensor of a mirrorless camera can capture images as per the user shutter settings in mechanical or digital.
Image stabilization in the camera:
DSLR cameras provide excellent image stabilization in photography or videography. Some lenses are also so bedded to provide great image stabilization when equipped with the DSLR camera. These provide good results in small shakes that the camera experiences while capturing images to avoid it being blurred. Mirrorless cameras also provide excellent image stabilization while taking a photograph of doing videography. However, there is a shortage of lenses with stabilization when it comes to mirrorless cameras. High-end mirrorless cameras provide 5 axis image stabilization which is not found in DSLR cameras yet due to which mirrorless cameras gained popularity among videographers.
Image & Video Quality Of Camera:
DSLR Camera has either of the APS-C Sensors or Full frame Sensors varying in different models and makers. Usually, the size of these sensors are as that of 35mm film. The bigger the sensor size, the good is the image quality and DSLR camera doesn’t short on it. These are very good when it comes to video quality since they were the first to introduce HD video recording format. However a DSLR camera cannot use the face detection feature while in video recording mode and hence uses the slower contrast detection technology which results in lower quality compared to that of mirrorless cameras. This is certainly not a problem if you are recording a scripted scene since you can adjust the focus as per the movement of your subject.
The Micro four thirds format used in some of the mirrorless cameras have a comparatively smaller image sensor size than APS-C or Full frame sensors. There are also some models that feature the same sensors and size as that of DSLR camera providing the same image quality and experience. Mirrorless camera also provides great video quality but since they have on-chip focus sensors, these are best suited for videography and shooting. Also, mirrorless cameras can capture 4K, HD and Ultra HD which is very common with them but the same is not the case with the DSLR cameras. Only high-end DSLR cameras are offering 4K and Ultra HD video recording.
Features of a Camera:
DSLR camera usually has full control manual mode hand automatic modes on it. The DSLR camera is a very powerful camera based on the features it offers to the users. Mirrorless cameras are still developing yet they match the features of a DSLR as well as advances in some of them.
Battery Life of Camera:
A DSLR Camera battery lasts longer since it can shoot without an LCD screen or electronic viewfinder both of which consume a lot of power. These have removable batteries also. Normally 600-800 shots on a single charge are seen. However, better models can shoot over 1000 and up to 2000 shots on a single battery charge. Mirrorless camera battery lasts less than that of a DSLR Camera however if both of them are used with an LCD screen, both will last similar to each other. Since mirrorless cameras don’t have a viewfinder or an electronic viewfinder so it consumes more power. 300-400 shots on a single charge are seen. Some higher-end mirrorless cameras can shoot around 500-600 shots in a single charge.
Winner – DSLR Cameras is certainly the winner and that too with a huge margin. A mirrorless camera requires the user to look at the LCD more than that of a DSLR in the absence of a Viewfinder. Also, electronic viewfinders consume battery in a mirrorless camera whereas an optical viewfinder In DSLR Camera doesn’t require any power.
The durability of the Camera:
The DSLR Camera has a very durable build quality with metal alloy and high grade premium fibers used on the body. They are weatherproof so can withstand light splashes and jerks. These were the ones that provided a durable and sturdy camera body for the first time. The build quality of the Mirrorless camera is nothing less than that of a camera. They both are similar in terms of durability with the same material and weatherproof features. However, mirrorless cameras have still a lot to develop.
Price of Camera:
Within its price range, the cheapest of the cameras may miss out the 4K, UltraHD videos, touchscreen and some other features. Being around the market for quite a long time, these appear thinner on price and highly versatile in features. Mirrorless cameras in its cheapest range miss out viewfinders, phase detection, large size image sensors and other features. These have been in the market for a decade now but still, are in their development phase and hence more features are very Costly compared to that of a DSLR Camera with similar functions.
Bottom Line: The Final Verdict
DSLR Camera – These cameras are considered as sturdy and good value cameras offering top image quality, a wider range of lens selection, More battery life and an optical viewfinder that works well in bad lighting conditions. However, these are big and bulkier in design & weight and not all of them are good at shooting speed and video quality.
Mirrorless Camera – These cameras are considered as smaller and compact, technically more advanced and hence is the future of the photography industry. They are lighter, more compact, faster in capturing images and very good at video recording. However they have fewer options in the lens and it consumes more battery power but these are in the development phase only and certainly, there is a lot more to come with time.
The technology in the photography industry has come a long way. Both the DSLR Camera and Mirrorless Camera carry powerful abilities to produce outstanding results, stunning performance, and convenience. If you are a beginner, a mirrorless camera will be easy to start with due to its smaller size, simple controls and touch screen features but if you are on a budget, an entry-level DSLR Camera offers a lot more than cheap mirrorless cameras. However, when you move up in the price range there is not very much difference in the size of both cameras. Unless there is a big need of 4K video mode, a pro photographer will go for a wider range of lens options and phase detection zooming that is offered in DSLR Cameras.
There are several pros and cons however the only way to decide is to have them tested in your hands for your photography skills. Some of you might prefer the heavier, fat and chunky feel of a DSLR camera or may you like the smaller body and precise feel of a mirrorless camera. It depends on your preferences, what you like to shoot and what the camera in hand can deliver. You may like your handling and viewing system with increased battery output and also there is a close call in the price range of both the cameras. You have to pay attention to the lenses and accessories available as well as service centers too.
Day by day and features by features, there are fewer and fewer technical reasons why a DSLR camera should be considered the best option for the photographers. Mirrorless Camera serves different purposes and is arguably a way ahead in the photography industry. It is developing day by day. As the famous photographer, ‘Ted Forbes’ said, the debate is silly and both of these tools are serving their purpose and are never going to be completely obsolete. You just have to be sure of the purpose and your needs to find the not better but best suited for yourself.