Mirrorless or DSLR What Should I Buy?
Mirrorless vs DSLR What should I buy? I teach beginning digital photography in college. I have been waiting for mirrorless to catch up to the old DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).The first order of business is to explain the difference. The Digital Single Lens Reflex has been around for a long time. Before digital, it was the SLR or Single Lens Reflex. DSLR or SLR means the light passes through the lens, is reflected up with a mirror, and through a prism to your optical viewfinder. When the camera takes a photograph the mirror moves up out of the way of the curtain. The curtain is either a single curtain usually found in old film cameras or a dual curtain found in most digital cameras. The curtain opens and closes fast or slow depending on your shutter speed to expose film or your sensor. Digital cameras can be a little more involved but this is the basic concept.
Mirrorless cameras do not have an optical viewfinder or prism. The light enters the lens and hits the sensor. The image is sent digitally to an EVF or electronic viewfinder. When you take an image it can be done with a mechanical or digital shutter. A mirrorless camera will make less noise when taking an image because it does not have the flap of the mirror.
One main difference with an electronic viewfinder is you can if you are under or over-exposed you can see that in your viewfinder.
The three main camera companies Canon, Nikon, and Sony have spent more of their R&D on mirrorless cameras. Sony has the longest track record and only makes mirrorless but Canon is catching or has caught up. If price is your main concern the DSLR is still the cheapest. The main issue I foresee with DSLR is the mirrorless cameras use a different lens mount. You can buy an adaptor and mount your old lens but if you are new to photography I would say mirrorless is the way to go. In my case I own a lot of equipment and switching from DSLR to mirrorless would mean selling good lenses and a lot of money. I don't see the major camera companies introducing much if any new DSLR's. At this moment both Canon and Nikon have a lot of options(price and features) in the DSLR market for beginning, intermediate, and pro users.
Sony only makes mirrorless and has a variety of options as well as an off brand lens market. Canon and Nikon are new to the mirrorless world and rushed in with beginner-level models that are quite a bit more than their DSLR's. Both have released and intermediate and pro-level cameras and lenses however they are first-generation versus Sony with is on 3rd -5th generation. Canon's first-generation cameras seem to have gotten more praise than Nikon. Especially, autofocus with auto-eye tracking and really fast frames per second compared to DSLR. Mirrorless is also a great option for vlogging and video. DSLR does shoot video but the mirrorless is going to be at another level. In general size does matter to some people and in the beginning mirrorless cameras were much smaller than the DSLR. This is okay for small hands but people with big hands found the ergonomics difficult with these small cameras. Manufactures have responded with grips that are larger resembling the DSLR.
The goal of this article is not to talk about every difference between the two cameras, so here is what I suggest.
If price is important and photography is a hobby or you are unsure if it will be a profession a DSLR is a great choice. If you don't have a budget or you are going to be a photographer I would not waste my money on a DSLR and purchase a mirrorless camera. The switch from DSLR to Mirrorless will cost you money lots of money. A lens adaptor is not an answer but a temporary workaround. Spend more now and save in the long run. Hopefully, this will help in your next decision. If you want to compare and contrast the different cameras I use B&H Photo Video located in NYC. I am not sponsored but they often have the best price and free shipping. Good Luck with your purchase and feel free to post any questions below.
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