Mirrorless cameras – the new generation photography technology
The innovative technology that produces the mirrorless camera is relatively new, so we expect many enhancements as the technology matures. Over the last two decades, the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras have dominated photography. However, a new mirrorless camera technology has emerged, and it is giving the DSLR the run for its money.
If you are not a techie, you may not appreciate the difference between these technologies. Anyway, the mirrorless camera is the hottest thing in the world of photography right now. Whether you should upgrade to a camera that uses this technology depends on the photography and videography tasks that you perform as a professional. The following paragraphs give a vivid comparison between these two leading technologies.
The most critical difference between the DSLR and the mirrorless camera is the functions of the image sensor and the viewfinder. The image sensor is crucial to the operations of the camera; it is a photo-sensitive chip that captures images and video when the camera views an object. On the other hand, the viewfinder is an optical lens at the anterior part of the camera that allows the user to preview and compose a shot.
Now, coming to the technical aspects of the two technologies; the DSLR uses a mirror technology that reflects the image coming into the camera lens to the viewfinder. When the operator presses the shutter, the mirror is flipped out of the way, and the image sensor is exposed to the light to grab the image. The viewfinder is the previewer that moves out of the way for the image sensor to take the shot.
On the other hand, mirrors are conspicuously absent in the mirrorless cameras. In essence, the image sensors are exposed to light continuously. The absence of mirrors makes this type of camera to have a significantly smaller size compared to the DSLR cameras. The conventional digital cameras that users simply point and shoot to take pictures do not have embedded mirrors but operates differently compared to DSLR. On the other hand, the latest technology-enhanced mirrorless camera has a parallel performance with DSLR, and the mode of operations are quite similar.
How does a user compose a shot on a mirrorless camera?
Most digital cameras use a digital viewfinder technology that displays the same image that the image sensor sees. The output is the same as the DSLR viewfinder, but this time around, it is a 100% replica of the final shot when it is taken. The function can be compared with the live-preview feature in modern DSLR cameras in which the rear LCD screen displays what the sensor is seeing live. Mirrorless cameras usually have a large LCD screen in addition to the viewfinder which gives the user a choice to use any of the two screens to compose shot.
The digital viewfinder has the advantage of giving the user a better overview of how the actual shot will come out because it displays the preview basis the exposure settings at every point in time. On the other hand, the optical viewfinder presents the preview based on what the operator sees.
Digital viewfinder in mirrorless systems has a shortfall.
However, the digital viewfinder also has its own shortfalls; it takes a toll on the battery life of the camera while the optical viewfinder in DSLRs presents an analog view which does not need to draw battery power. In essence, the battery of the camera with the digital viewfinder will drain faster than the one with an optical viewfinder when taking pictures.
But the digital viewfinders are excellent for shooting videos.
The DSLR camera automatically uses the live view mode on the rear screen of the camera when shooting videos which can cause the battery to deplete faster. In contrast, the mirrorless camera has a digital viewfinder already, there is no need to power up the rear screen to view the recording in a digital mode. In this respect, the backup time of the camera in a mirrorless system will last longer than that of the DSLR system when shooting long videos.
Besides a longer back up time in video mode, the mirrorless camera also has the size advantage. The smaller size makes it more comfortable for the operator to carry and use without getting stressed by the weight.
Summarily, one can say the cameras with the mirrorless system are portable compared to their DSLR counterpart but are as powerful as their bulkier counterpart and matches the device feature for the feature.
Cameras with the mirrorless systems are super silent.
The DSLR system needs to flip to expose the sensor when the operator clicks on the shutter. This is what causes the unique shutter sound that is peculiar to conventional photo cameras. Although this sound is normal and indicates that a picture has been taken. In some scenarios, taking pictures without the shutter sound can be a huge advantage. A typical example is taking a picture when filming actors; the click sound can serve as a rude distraction to the performer. However, a mirrorless camera takes a shot silently because it has no need for flipping mirrors.
The vast difference between the two is the price tag. The high performing mirrorless cameras that are parallel to DSLRs are expensive. Hopefully, the price will lower in due course when the technology advances.
The innovative mirrorless technology featured in cameras that are parallel in performance with the DSLR is still in its infancy. This is the reason why these kinds of cameras are expensive. Consider the pros and cons; if you do not really need the mirrorless cameras, you can settle down for the lower-priced DSLR camera which has the same performance as the former.
However, if you can afford the mirrorless camera, you will be delighted with the new technology and get the value for every cent you paid for it.
Although the major players in the camera manufacturing industry are late adopters; bigwigs such as Nikon and Canon are adopting the mirrorless technology in recent models of their products. The Nikon Z mirrorless series of cameras just launched, while Canon EOS-R model that uses the mirrorless technology was introduced this year as well.
With more companies embracing the mirrorless camera technology, the possibility of finding a mirrorless option that supports your core photography accessories such as lenses is high. Although you may need an adapter to connect your old lens because the lens mounting system of the new mirrorless camera differs from that of DSLR.Source