DSLR vs Mirrorless Discussion from Zoom

A few months back we discussed the pros and cons of mirrorless cameras vs DSLRs. Here are a few notes and helpful links from that discussion.

Mirrorless vs. DSLR cameras:

Mirrorless vs DSLR

A DSLR camera is a digital camera body that allows light to enter a single lens where it hits a mirror that reflects the light either upwards or downward into the camera’s optical viewfinder (OVF). DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex.

When you press down on the shutter, the mirror flips up out of the way. The shutter then slides open, and light coming from the lens takes a straight shot to the imaging sensor where a photograph is made.

A mirrorless camera is a digital camera that doesn’t have a reflex mirror. In a mirrorless, there isn’t an optical viewfinder and the imaging sensor is always exposed to light. It gives you a preview of the image on the electronic viewfinder (EVF), which is often an LCD screen on the back of the camera.

Video on the differences: Mirrorless VS DSLR Cameras | What's the Difference? (2019 Edition) - YouTube

Pros of DSLRs

Better battery life (though this is narrowing)

Larger lens selection

Faster autofocus (generally, although also narrowing)

Cons of DSLRs

Big and bulky

Slower shooting speeds

DSLRs offer 4k or Ultra HD video only for higher-end models.

Pros of Mirrorless Cameras

Light, small and compact

Less moving parts, they’re quieter than other cameras

No flicking mirror means no camera shake

Reliable video mode

The electronic viewfinder can be used in video mode, while the viewfinder on a DSLR cannot. Also, high resolution is built into most mirrorless even if they’re on the low-end, quality wise.

In-body stabilization

Cons of Mirrorless

Battery life (though getting better! See more on this below)

Ergonomics (small, maybe too small for anyone with big hands)

Limited lens selection (again, getting better! But a fair point)

Electronic viewfinder - limited in low light environments

Here are some of the mirrorless cameras that we mentioned during the discussion by artists Nanci Frace-Vaz and Slade Wheeler:

SONY A7 – III (mirrorless) https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Full-Frame-Mirrorless-Interchangeable-Lens-ILCE7M3/dp/B07B43WPVK/

SONY A3000 (mirrorless) https://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mirrorless-Digital-Camera-18-55mm/dp/B00EH5UGR6/

Sigma 60mm F2.8 EX DN Art (Black): https://www.amazon.com/Sigma-60mm-F2-8-Black-Micro/dp/B00CMRTVFE/

Links to some other discussions that mention this issue:


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