Hey, Thinking of Upgrading your Camera Gear?

I know you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the raging debate between DSLR and mirrorless cameras. It used to be so simple – you just needed to pick a decent DSLR! But now, there is a new kid on the block threatening to disrupt it all.

Let me walk you through the key points to help you understand what mirrors have got to do with cameras in the first place! I‘ll also share what pro photographers themselves are choosing based on their specialities.

First, a Quick History Lesson!

DSLRs have been the gold standard since the late 1980s when Canon introduced the EOS system that remains popular. These digitized the existing 35mm film SLR system into the digital world.

They literally took the "film" out and put in a digital sensor instead. This meant you could see exactly what was going to be captured through the eye-piece, adjust settings like shutter speed instantly, and immediately review photos instead of waiting for film processing.

DSLRs improved by leaps and bounds over 3 decades making digital photography accessible widely. They got cheaper, lenses got better and amateur hobbyists could take professional quality photographs.

The Mirrorless Revolution

Sony fired the first salvo in 2010 with their NEX series mirrorless cameras. It had the same sensor as a DSLR but packaged into a way smaller and lighter body.

How? By removing the entire mirror and optical viewfinder system. Instead you just preview the image on the rear LCD screen, just like a smartphone!

These initial mirrorless cameras were pretty average. But things evolved incredibly fast. Within a couple of years, features and performance matched and even exceeded top level DSLRs!

And the prospect of downsizing cameras and lenses without compromising image quality was truly revolutionary. Size and weight reduction of 30-60% meant way better portability.

So What‘s the Core Difference?

There is no visual difference between images shot on DSLRs versus mirrorless cameras these days. But how you can view or compose the scene as you shoot is quite different.

DSLRs use a mirror that reflects what the lens sees towards a glass prism and into your eye. This optical path gives you a smooth, lag-free view even for fast action like sports.

Mirrorless models have no mirror! You compose the image using the electronic display that shows a feed directly from the sensor. Think of it like a live preview window on your computer screen.

Modern EVFs resolve over 5 million dots matching optical viewfinders in resolution. And the latest models have almost imperceptible lag times less than 0.005 sec!

Lots of Small Changes Lead to a Big Shift!

Let‘s look at a few other improvements mirrorless cameras brought:

  • 50% faster burst shooting speeds
  • Twice as fast autofocus, specially for video
  • 5-axis sensor stabilization equal to expensive DSLR lenses
  • Larger image sensors in smaller bodies
  • 4K 60p video shooting with slo-mo modes

And the best part is you can adapt legacy lenses from obsolete film cameras easily. So endless creative possibilities open up!

Here‘s a quick comparison table:

Sensor sizeFull frameAPS-C/MFTDraw
Lens options300+60+DSLR
Focus speedSlowVery fastMirrorless
Burst frames per sec6-10 fps10-20 fpsMirrorless
Battery life1500 shots400 shotsDSLR
Weight30-50% higherSuper lightMirrorless
Video capabilitiesPoorExcellentMirrorless
CostMuch lowerHigherDSLR

Phew! That‘s a lot of differences. Let me try simplifying further.

Need Portability Over Performance? Go Mirrorless!

Carrying heavy camera gear is a pain, I get it. I‘ve had terrible shoulder and neck strain from long shoots.

Many enthusiasts and pros now prefer mirrorless formats for lighter travel and outdoor photography. The weight savings allow them to carry more lenses and accessories without suffering.

Sony makes brilliant mirrorless cameras purpose-built for stellar image quality like the A7R V. And their lenses are compact yet sharp. Invest in their system and reclaim your neck!

For more casual needs, Fujifilm makes the cutest rangefinder style bodies. They pack impressive image quality and lovely film simulation modes into retro inspired designs. Photography veterans get all nostalgic using them!

Is Tracking Action Your Top Priority? Pick a DSLR!

Viewing fast erratic motion like birds, athletes or vehicles through an EVF has some challenges. The fraction of a second lag could mean missing the peak action completely.

That‘s why sports and wildlife photographers still swear by the zero-lag optical viewfinders in DSLRs. They precisely track the subject and nail perfect moments consistently.

The Nikon D6 with its new 153 AF point system is purpose-built for such photography. Combine it with their rapid shooting 200-500mm telephoto zoom lens and you‘ll come back with incredible shots!

Canon also has class leading DSLRs like the EOS-1D X Mark III tailored for action. It can shoot an insane 16 fps to keep up with the fastest sports. Both brands offer stellar lens collections too.

The Best Camera is the One You Have!

Sure DSLRs served us well over 30+ years. But newer technology eventually wins out. Film gave way to digital, plasma TVs got destroyed by 4K OLEDs etc.

Mirrorless cameras take everything that was great in DSLRs and shrink it down while making improvements for the 2020s. It does feel like our lovable dinosaurs might be on the way out!

But ultimately, choose what suits your style of shooting. Learn techniques to get around the limitations that each format brings. Don‘t obsess about specs or measures too much.

Great photographers can create magic even with smartphone cameras these days! The camera is only a tool. So pick one that inspires you to get creative. That is far more important to making great photographs consistently.

Hope this helps provide some clarity on picking between today‘s camera options. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled