Last updated: August 20, 2021

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You are very welcome! Looking to buy a new camera and wondering if mirrorless is a good idea? Stay with us! Below, we will bring you the main information that will help you make the best purchase!

Mirrorless cameras are an option to DSLRs and have advantages because they are lighter, smaller and easier to handle. Throughout our article, you will learn the main differences and learn how to find the model that suits you best.




The most important facts

  • There are mirrorless camera models for beginners and for professionals. They work differently than DSLRs, but they also produce incredible images.
  • Anyone looking for a professional camera to shoot video has a lot to gain from a mirrorless. The ease of movement and light weight make it very versatile.
  • Among the traditional disadvantages of mirrorless cameras are the viewfinder and the battery. Research whether your preferred models can excel in these categories.

The best mirrorless camera: Our picks

Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about mirrorless cameras

What is a mirrorless camera anyway? What's different about it? Is it ideal for beginners or professionals? Our buying guide has all the answers!

Imagem mostra uma pessoa segurando uma câmera com o visor aberto.

Many professional photographers use mirrorless cameras.(Source: Luke Lung / Unsplash.com)

What is a mirrorless camera?

A mirrorless camera is a type of camera that competes with DSLRs for the professional market.

To understand what mirrorless is, you need to know what a DSLR is: The acronym stands for "Digital Single Lens Reflex". It works by means of an internal prism and mirror system that reflects the image to the viewfinder and, after the click, to the sensor.

The internal composition of a mirrorless camera, on the other hand, eliminates this complex prism and mirror system, and the image goes directly to the sensor and viewfinder.

Therefore, it is a type of camera with simpler operation and that can gain other advantages for it, such as smaller size and weight.

Did you know that mirrorless cameras are much newer than DSLRs, with the former only coming to market in October 2008?

Mirrorless and DSLR cameras: What are the differences?

The most important question for photography enthusiasts or professional photographers is what differs DSLR and mirrorless cameras. There are several important categories for analysis.

Because mirrorless cameras do not have an internal system of prisms and mirrors, they are lighter and more compact. Thus, they are ideal for people who carry them a lot and for street photographers, for example. Another clear advantage is the better accuracy of what you see in the viewfinder in relation to what will come out in the photo.

The price of a mirrorless camera may be a little lower than that of a DSLR of the same level, but the difference is not considerable.

The DSLR is better for those who are already used to it and how to handle it. It may be that weight and size are no problem for several professionals. Another important issue is the wider variety of lenses available, important in many jobs.

See a chart that compares DSLR and mirrorless cameras:

DSLR camera mirrorless camera
Size and weight Larger and heavier Smaller and lighter
Viewfinder Can be used at any time, less faithful to reality Can be used only with the camera on, more faithful to reality
Lenses There are a large number of lenses available There are a small number of lenses available
Videos It is good for videos It is very good for videos
Battery Has good endurance Has poor endurance

Are mirrorless cameras good for beginners?

If you aspire to be a professional photographer one day, or if you just want to shoot casually but with a high quality camera, a mirrorless makes even more sense than a DSLR.

Because it's easier to handle, lighter and smaller, it easily meets the requirements of those who want to learn to take it easy or just record their highlights.

As with DSLRs, it's possible to find more basic mirrorless camera models, ideal for those who don't want so many features, and cheaper, while others are complex and suitable for professionals.

An entry-level mirrorless camera can be great for those who want to take their first steps into the world of photography!

Imagem mostra uma câmera digital em destaque.

Mirrorless cameras are more compact than DSLRs. (Source: Ryan Lansdown / Pexels.com)

Are mirrorless cameras good for professionals?

Depending on the type of photography a professional does and where they work, a mirrorless camera is, yes, a great choice.

Mirrorless cameras are also great for videographers

We recommend mirrorless cameras especially if you move around a lot with your camera, if you visit clients or if you are in the habit of moving around during photo sessions. If you're also a videomaker or youtuber, mirrorless is a great option.

The problem with the mirrorless camera is for photographers who need to change lenses frequently or who take photos that come out better with special lenses like wide-angle and telephoto lenses. DSLRs still have a big advantage in this regard.

It is important that you are a versatile photographer who is able to recognise which equipment is best in which situations. If owning cameras of different types is not a possibility due to high costs, it is ideal to understand whether DSLR or mirrorless makes more sense for your desired career.

Buying Criteria: Factors for Choosing a Mirrorless Camera

With all the information we have given you, you might want to buy a mirrorless camera. It's time, then, to get to know the technical criteria that will help you choose the ideal model!

Viewfinder

The viewfinder is one of the main points of differentiation of mirrorless cameras. In some models, it doesn't even exist, and in others it can be delayed in relation to reality, which is bad for moving videos or photos.

As we already mentioned, mirrorless viewfinders are more accurate than DSLR viewfinders when it comes to framing. To take advantage of this, however, you need to analyse what your chosen model delivers in this regard.

Imagem mostra uma câmera junto com três lentes diferentes.

Mirrorless cameras don't have as many lens options as DSLRs. (Source: Tim Gomes / Pexels.com)

Compatible lenses

Among the main disadvantages of mirrorless cameras is the smaller number of compatible lenses compared to DSLRs. If you opt for a model from a leading brand in the photographic market, such as Canon, Fuji or Nikon, it is possible to lessen the impact of the problem.

Some brands offer lens adapters for mirrorless cameras

If changing lenses is an important issue for you, check if your chosen model has such accessories available for you to change, especially the ones you like or need most for the photos you take.

One option is to use a lens adapter for mirrorless, available from some brands. However, many times it does not have much quality and the photos taken with it are far from ideal.

Available resources

High level photography is not easy. You need study and technical knowledge. The more professional a camera is, the more features it offers.

Simpler cameras adjust issues such as focus and light input in an automatic way, making a beginner photographer not to worry about them. But those who want to grow in the field must know how to take the equipment off automatic and put it on manual adjustment.

At this point, the more features and autonomy the camera offers the photographer, the better. Check the camera's specifications and pay attention to what features are available!

Battery

Because mirrorless cameras use much more battery than DSLRs, you need to look at what capacity and autonomy your chosen model offers.

Compare the batteries of the cameras that interest you the most and remember that this is a very important question, since it can be the difference between your equipment not being able to last almost any time of use or letting you work with peace of mind.

Summary

Mirrorless cameras can be professional or entry level and compete with DSLRs on the market. They have advantages like being more compact and lighter and disadvantages like lower battery capacity.

Photographers who like light weight equipment, who shoot a lot in the street or in distant places and who want more fidelity between viewfinder and final image can choose mirrorless cameras. The difference in prices is not significant.

(Source of the highlighted image: Visually Us / Pexels.com)

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