6 things to know about Mirrorless Cameras

Looking for a new camera? Mirrorless cameras seem to be the talk of the town at the moment. But should you buy it? We will go through 6 things you should know about mirrorless cameras to help you make up your mind.

What Are Mirrorless Cameras?

Basically it is a camera without a mirror. It is quite unlike the Digital Single Reflex camera or DSLR. Cameras have had mirrors since the 1950’s, then why remove it?

Following are the reasons as to why the mirror was removed:

  1. Cameras are no longer fragile and have a more comprehensible mechanism
  2. Camera shake has reduced
  3. The camera weighs less and is more compact.

An electronic viewfinder has replaced the mirror. It is a small, high resolution LCD screen.

6.Myth of the Size

Since the mirror and other subsequent parts are absent in a mirrorless camera, it is smaller and lighter compared to regular DSLRs.

The Myth

A mirrorless camera is the better choice if portability is what you value since it is smaller and lighter. 

The Truth

The first mirrorless cameras were made by Panasonic and Olympus. Electronic viewfinders were absent or optional in the camera. The mirrorless cameras available today are a little different.  Olympus still works with the MFT format. 

Fujitsu, Sony, Pentax, Nikon, Canon use APS-C and full frame sensors. The size of the sensor should not have a significant impact on the size of the camera body right?  True, but these are Interchangeable Lens Cameras or ILCs. The amount of light hitting the sensor depends on the size of the lens. Which means the size of the image that is projected depends on the lens. 

Full Frame Sensors require lenses like the ones that are used in full frame DSLRs. Another major drawback is that the camera-lens system is unbalanced. The camera tends to be heavier on the side of the lens since the camera body is smaller and lighter. It makes clicking photographs using your hand a little more tedious. 

An adapter makes things more complicated because it pushes the lens further ahead leading to more issues related to balance. It reduces the portability of the camera. Dedicated accessories exist in order to make the camera bigger and to help with the balance problems. Removable battery grips solve both these problems. They make the camera easier to hold while using smaller lenses and help with the balance while using bigger lenses. 


Verdict

Considering the portability issue, the size and weight arguments are not very effective. A high end bridge camera may suit you better for instance from the Sony RX10 family, better with a fast superzoom lens.

5.Lack of Accessories for Mirrorless Cameras

This stands true for MFT mirrorless cameras. It is quite difficult to find third party lenses for mirrorless cameras when compared to DSLRs. Tamron, Sigma and Samyang/Rokinon are some makers of such lenses.

It is possible to adapt lenses with different mounts, using lens adaptors. This lets you pair mirrorless cameras from Canon or Nikon with lenses from their subsequent DSLR counterparts. There are fewer flashes and remote shutters available for mirrorless cameras compared to DSLRs.

This is a false problem, since producers of accessories follow the market trends and demands which is dominated by DSLRs as of now, but the demand for mirrorless cameras is on the rise. And soon accessories for the same will be more easily procurable. 

4.Immunity From Light Leakage During Long Exposures In Daylight

Optical viewfinders may allow light to enter the camera through it. Leakage of light into the camera body from the viewfinder is not usually a serious problem and does not occur often, unless long exposures are being done, during which the viewfinder should be covered. The eye does not block all the light and it finds a way to creep into the body and ruin the image. 

Camera makers equip cameras to prevent damage from such problems. The strap that is provided with the camera has a small piece of soft rubber that is meant to be used to cover the viewfinder in order to protect it from Light Leakage. On the other hand mirrorless cameras do not have optical viewfinders hence are immune to this problem. 

3.The False Problem of Heavy Battery Use

Mirrorless cameras use more energy than DSLRs, even if the rear LCD is turned off. It uses energy to power the electronic viewfinder. An entry-level mirrorless camera will last upto 300 shots and a high end camera lasts upto 700 shots.

An entry-level DSLR may last upto 400 shots and a high end one may go upto 1000 shots. 

This is a false problem that people bring up as an argument against mirrorless cameras. Who shoots upto 300 images without the possibility of replacing the battery. It rarely ever happens. We do not need to shoot upto 900 images with a single battery. 

As mentioned above several accessories are available to help with this problem like power grips that allow you to use two batteries simultaneously. 

2. WYSIWYG feature in Mirrorless Cameras

This feature sets a mirrorless camera apart from a DSLR. ‘What You See Is What You Get’, basically means that the camera employs electronic viewfinders to display exactly what the camera sees. The effect that a change in the camera settings makes can be witnessed in real time.

It helps in improving your skills as a beginner in photography. Understanding the exposure triangle, aperture and shutter speed becomes easier. It also makes working in the manual mode much more convenient. It allows you to focus manually, this is helpful in nighttime, indoor and astro photography. 

Overexposing the image makes the scene brighter, which helps you to focus easily. A picture can then be clicked after returning the camera to its proper settings.

1.The Quality and Professional Myth

One of the most common arguments against the use of mirrorless cameras is that professional photographers still put their faith in traditional DSLRs. This is rather untrue, various world-renowned photographers have made the switch from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras. For instance, travel photographer, Trey Ratcliff, Andy Mumford and Phil Norton.