Mirrorless vs DSLR Cameras: Which is Best?

Choosing the right camera can be a daunting task if you have no clue about the subject. Maybe you have heard about the mirrorless or DSLR and are wondering which one is best. You can take good shots with either, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, I have compiled a list of these to help decide which is best for your photography.

Defining DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

DSLR cameras use the same design as the 35mm film cameras used in the past. This model has a mirror inside the camera body that reflects the light coming in through the lens to a prism and then into the viewfinder, allowing you to preview your shot. When the shutter button is actually pressed, the mirror flips upwards. The shutter opens, allowing the light to pass on to the image sensor, after which the final image is captured.

Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, pass light via the lens and moves directly to the image sensor, which takes an image preview to display on the back screen. In some models, you will find a second screen placed inside an electronic viewfinder.

Comparing DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

Size and Weight

DSLR cameras have a comparatively larger body since they need to fit in the optical viewfinder and mirror mechanism. I have used the Nikon D3500, and while it is smaller than its predecessor, I still find it bulky. To securely put the lens on the front, one must go three-inches deep. The total weight of the camera is about 1.5 pounds.

A mirrorless camera, on the other hand, has a smaller body compared to the DSLR. I have a Sony a6100, and I love its simplistic construction. With a body thickness of just 1.6 inches, this camera weighs only 1.3 pounds. This is a compact enough design that allows it to effectively fit in any pocket or small purse.

Image Previews

The DSLR has an optical viewfinder that displays exactly what the camera will capture. Mirrorless cameras will display a digital preview of the image on-screen, with some having an electronic viewfinder. When taking photos in good light, the mirrorless cameras’ preview will be quite similar to the end image. But suppose the camera struggles to capture images due to poor lighting or fast-moving objects. In that case, the preview will be affected, becoming grainy and dull. This is because a mirrorless camera needs to slow down the speed at which it captures an image to allow more light in but still has to display a moving object’s preview. A DSLR camera, on the other hand, reflects the light straight to your eye.

However, I find the electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the mirrorless cameras offers you an advantage. It gives you an impression of how the final image will look like. If you adjust the shutter speed, for example, the display on the EVF will change accordingly. This is different from the DSLR as the optical viewfinder reflects the light without changing the image. This means that you will be relying on the camera’s metering and your skills to guess what your final image will look like.

Video Quality

Autofocus is what determines whether a camera can take quality videos or not. Mirrorless cameras have always been the best for this since they feature an on-chip phase detection focus sensor. The majority of DSLRs don’t have phase detection when recording videos; hence they use the contrast detention focus technique, which is slower and less accurate. This leads to images being a blur when the camera starts finding the right focus.

When it comes to photography, we all need to take those clear shots. In addition to skill and expertise, the right equipment is essential. Start by hunting for the right camera, and you will have the best photos ever! If you are looking for the best camera in the market, you can start by reading this review and choose between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera.