In the past, when it comes to digital photography there are only basically two types of cameras in the market to consider: the DSLRs which are what professionals and would-be professionals in photography would use, and the so-called “point-and-shoot” cameras the casual photographers use.
Then came the mirrorless cameras to the market. And since then, digital photography would never be the same. Mirrorless cameras have helped shake things up in the world of digital photography as more and more photographers, whether professional or casual ones, are now using these types of cameras for their photography.
But what exactly is a mirrorless camera and what makes it a popular type of camera nowadays? We will attempt to provide an answer those questions here in this particular article.
The Definition and Technology of the Mirrorless Camera
As the name implies, a mirrorless camera is a type of camera that does not have a mirror. But what is this mirror being talked about here? It actually refers to the mirror found inside a typical camera body. You see, in cameras such as DSLRs, when you press the camera shutter, this mirror flips up as the shutter opens so that the light can pass through to reflect on to mirror which in turn will bounce the light off to the sensor which will capture the image. In this setup, the mirror is an integral part in the image capturing function of the camera.
So with the mirror now gone in the mirrorless camera, how does such a camera now do the image capture? In this case, when light passes through the shutter, the sensor automatically captures the light directly to eventually capture the image. This technology the mirrorless camera employs not only allows a more direct image capture system, it also lessens the bulkiness in size that DSLRs typically have, now that a space-consuming component like the mirror is no longer present.
Does the lack of the mirror in the mirrorless camera mean lower image quality of the camera? Well the short answer to that is no. in fact, the image quality of such a camera is comparable to that of the DSLR. Comparing them side by side shows no difference at all in quality, which means a mirrorless camera will perform just as good as a DSLR.
However in some cases, the DSLR works better, especially when it comes to the focusing system. At the moment, mirrorless cameras generally do not have a fast focusing system that DSLRs have. This drawback is factor as to why it is rare to see mirrorless cameras being used for sporting events and wildlife photography.
Like a DSLR, Almost
As far as features are concerned, the mirrorless camera is in many ways made to be just as feature-heavy as a DSLR, putting in as much functionalities and controls in a small but powerful camera body such as adjusting exposure, shutter, ISO, among many others.
Another feature of the mirrorless camera that echoes that of the DSLR is the ability to change lenses. The mirrorless camera offers a range of lenses for various photography needs, whether it is for macro, wide angle, or for subject that are located farther off. Typically, these lenses are not as bulky as DSLR lenses.
However, such lenses specially made for mirrorless cameras are hard to find in the market compared to DSLR lenses. To get around this, some manufacturers offer lens adaptors that allow you to use a DSLR lens on a mirrorless camera body. But such would defeat the purpose of going to a mirrorless camera, especially if size is a factor.
Technology however continuously evolves at a pace more rapid than it was before. In the case of the mirrorless camera, this holds very true. Even with the current drawbacks of mirrorless cameras, advances in photography technology creates a fix for these shortcomings as they help further narrow the gap between them and DSLRs in the years to come.
In just a short period of time, mirrorless cameras have managed to make a mark in digital photography, providing consumers and photographers with more choices as far as what camera to use. Ultimately, the choice lies in the consumer and photographer (like Marc Godfree and Emma Joy for instance) as to what camera suits him best.