Skip to content

Mirrorless vs DSLR Cameras: Key Differences

Want to know the difference between Mirrorless and DSLR cameras? We break down the pros and cons of these two popular types of cameras so that you can make an informed...

Want to know the difference between Mirrorless and DSLR cameras? We break down the pros and cons of these two popular types of cameras so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing your next camera. 

  • What is a DSLR
  • What is a Mirrorless Camera
  • Key Differences
  • Pros and Cons

What is a DSLR?

DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex, and these cameras have been around for quite some time. They use a mirror and prism system to reflect light into the viewfinder, which allows you to see exactly what your lens is seeing. When you press the shutter button on a DSLR, the mirror flips up and the image is captured by the camera's sensor.

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

As the name suggests, these cameras do not have a mirror system! They are generally smaller and lighter than DSLRs. Instead of using a mirror to reflect light into the viewfinder, mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which displays a digital preview of what the camera's sensor is seeing. This can be a great advantage when it comes to composing shots, as you can see exactly what the image will look like. 

Key Differences

1. Viewfinder

DSLRs use an optical viewfinder, which allows you to see the scene through the lens via a mirror and prism system. Mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which shows you a digital preview of the scene. Some mirrorless cameras also have the option of using the rear LCD screen as a viewfinder.

2. Size and Weight

Mirrorless cameras are generally smaller and lighter than DSLRs because they do not have a mirror mechanism. This can make them more portable and easier to carry around. 

3. Autofocus

Mirrorless cameras typically have faster and more advanced autofocus systems than DSLRs because they use the same sensor for autofocus and image capture. DSLRs use a separate autofocus sensor, which can be slower in live view mode. 

4. Lens Selection

DSLRs have been around for much longer than mirrorless cameras, so they have a larger selection of lenses available. However, this gap is narrowing as mirrorless cameras are getting more advanced and popular. 

5. Battery Life

DSLRs typically have longer battery life than mirrorless cameras, because they use an optical viewfinder and do not need to power an electronic viewfinder. However, newer mirrorless cameras have improved battery life. 

6. Video

Mirrorless cameras generally have better video capabilities than DSLRs including 4K video, higher frame rates, and more advanced video autofocus. 

7. Sensor Size

DSLRs typically have larger sensors than mirrorless cameras, which can result in better low-light performance and image quality. Many mirrorless cameras are now full-frame, which produces excellent optical image quality. 

 

Pros and Cons 

Below is a general list of Pros and Cons of the two systems- we note that these are generalisations as specific cameras will have slightly different strengths and weaknesses.

DSLR Camera
Mirrorless Camera
 Pros

Large range of lenses available

Optical viewfinder is clearer

Longer battery life

Better low light performance (on average)

More durable

Smaller and lighter

Faster autofocus and continuous shooting 

Electronic viewfinder provides a digital preview of the scene you are shooting

More advanced video features

Generally better in-body stabilisation

Cons

Larger and heavier than mirrorless cameras

Slower autofocus in live view

Can be noisy due to mirror mechanism

Less advanced video features

Smaller range of lenses available (this is improving)

Electronic viewfinder may not provide natural view of scene

Generally shorter battery life

Limited weather resistance (improving)

 

     Other Articles 

    Why are digicams making a return in 2023? 

    Understanding different film camera formats

     

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published..

    Cart

    Your cart is currently empty.

    Start Shopping

    Select options