DSLR vs. Mirrorless: Which is Best for You?

44Share

Two-sided debates have always consumed the photographic industry, be it film versus digital, primes versus zooms, or manual versus automatic. It is only fitting that the latest developments in camera design have spawned a new conversation: DSLR or mirrorless. Photographers old and new are asking the question, “Should I go mirrorless?” and, as we look forward to 2016, a definitive answer has only become more difficult to pin down. Right now there are some clear pros and cons to each system and, hopefully, after seeing the main points you will be better equipped when you make a decision.

Is Bigger Still Better?

When you look at a line of DSLRs, it has always been easy to pick out the top dog. Flagship models usually boast large bodies with added buttons, dials, controls, and super-sized batteries that mark them as the “professional’s” camera. And this is alongside industry-leading features and specs. Lately, the most revolutionary and impressive cameras have been tiny compared to these classic flagships, with models such as the Sony a7R II packing in a high-resolution full-frame sensor, along with stellar autofocus and 4K video recording.

With this camera being significantly smaller than most DSLRs, it is starting to change the opinion that bigger equals better, even though the Canon 1DX Mark II and Nikon D5 still show there’s merit to the bigger body.

Mirrorless has always touted its diminished size advantage, especially with the Micro Four Thirds format, which promised near-equal image quality to the common DSLR. The smaller sensor afforded designers the ability to shrink the camera while balancing image quality, making it much better than existing compacts with fixed lenses. Over time, other formats joined the mirrorless ranks, including 1", APS-C, and full-frame, but thanks to the omission of a mirror box and optical viewfinder, these cameras were able to shave off a chunk of weight and bulk with ease.

Today, you will likely be able to find a mirrorless camera that checks off all the necessary requirements and save your back and shoulder from a few more pounds of gear. But, make sure you find one that is comfortable for you. If a larger DSLR feels better in the hand, you may find the additional weight is not as important as comfort.

The Viewfinder Debate

One major point of contention of a mirrorless system is the use of an electronic viewfinder instead of the tried-and-true optical system. DSLRs are loved because of their true-to-life through-the-lens optical viewfinder system, which uses a series of mirrors to reflect light to your eye. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, eliminate all the prisms to make significant savings on size, but require an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen for image monitoring. If there is one thing photographers have learned to trust above any display, it is their own eye. We have even created the term “chimping” to describe the act of checking images on the rear screen. So where do shooters fall on the optical versus electronic spectrum? Right down the middle.

A DSLR with mirror and prism system that first reflects and then refracts light through the camera body to the OVF.

This is one of the easiest ways to decide if you should “go mirrorless.” If you can’t stomach the thought of replacing your trusty optical finder with an electronic display, then you will do best sticking to the classic SLR. There are other reasons to keep the OVF over a newfangled EVF, including the ability to compose without turning on the camera, an “unlimited” dynamic range, and the fact that it is the “real” image being presented to you with absolutely no lag or delay. Electronic viewfinders have usually been plagued by two things: resolution and refresh rates. If you look through an EVF and can make out the pixels, it can ruin the experience. Likewise, if you start shooting and miss the shot because the image you were looking at was a few frames behind, it can be incredibly disappointing. However, screen technology has gotten better and better, making this less of an issue today and even less so tomorrow.

An EVF does not rely on a mirror and prism system to bend light through the camera body. Thus unencumbered, mirrorless cameras with EVFs have leaner form factors than their DSLR counterparts.

The latest EVFs have gotten quite good, with current models offering in excess of 2.36 million dots (usually 3 dots = 1 pixel) and boasting refresh rates greater than 60 fps, making this less of an issue. It is still a concern if this is going to be your first EVF, but most forward-thinking users are able to quickly and easily adjust to the system and benefit from their numerous advantages. Being a screen, it has access to many digital-only features. Users can punch-in to check focus, put up a histogram for exposure, and have a digital level all in view without removing their eye from the viewfinder. Hybrid shooters can also record video with the same display with which they compose images, making it an apt documentary tool. I’ve shot in pitch-black theaters using the viewfinder to avoid the distracting “glow” of an LCD. One final bonus is that what you see is what you get, meaning that what you see in the viewfinder is exactly how the image will be captured. So, even if EVFs aren’t quite perfect, they do a spectacular job and are loaded with features.


Lenses, Mounts, and Adapters

DLSRs will have the greatest selection of lenses, with many specialized optics, and have tried-and-true electronics with complete autofocus support and stabilization. They will also have greater selection of certain common lenses such as all-in-one zooms or the classic 50mm and more third-party support. Mirrorless systems are newer, and so are still working to catch up, though they do have impressive optics themselves. If you are looking at a new mirrorless system, make sure that you can get the lens you need in the system you want to purchase, as the lens will have a larger impact on your images than the camera and will last far longer.

If you already own a vast and varied collection of lenses, mirrorless may be the way to go, since the adapter market has exploded in recent years— you can pair almost every kind of vintage or current lens with a modern camera body. So, if you prefer manual optics or are looking to move into digital from your film setup, a mirrorless camera may be best. Also, newer adapters are incorporating electronics, such as these from Metabones for connecting Canon EF lenses to Sony E bodies with full communication, and this Techart PRO option that adds autofocus to purely manual Leica M-mount lenses.

Which Takes Better Photos?

Neither. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras each offer their own unique features and are constantly being updated. It seems that mirrorless bodies have been getting more attention, as of late, with some of the latest features coming to these models before DSLRs, but DSLRs are very much in the game.

Interestingly, point-and-shoots have also edged their way up the chain with powerful models like the Sony RX1R II and the Nikon DL series that offer professional features in exceptionally compact forms. Photographers may be better off picking up a point-and-shoot instead of a mirrorless if all they want is a small camera for travel or day-to-day use.

In the End…

… it doesn’t really matter. Pick the camera that you feel most comfortable with or gives you the features you need for your work. If you need 4K video and exceptionally high-resolution stills, you may be best suited with a Sony a7R II. If you want to shoot fast-paced sports in a professional environment with some long glass, then a Nikon D5 or Canon 1D X Mark II may be just what you need. Trying to save on weight for your next camping trip, an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II could be right up your alley. Or, if you are a new parent wanting great images in a camera that fits in a purse, the Nikon DL24-85 could be just right, and you don’t even need to worry about lenses. Find out what is comfortable and fits your needs, and don’t worry about the DSLR versus mirrorless debate.

44 Comments

Thank you, this was helpful, it was to the point and covered the important bases. I am not ready to go mirrorless according to what I have read and seen.

Thanks for your feedback and thoughts, Richard S. We all have our preferences in terms of workflow, gear, and personal style. That's the great thing about tech products today—there is an incredible range of possibility for creativity. Be true to yourself and what works best for you, but thanks for reading!

This article is worthless -- states nothing but general consumer biases. IMO pick a side or stay out of the fight. Deep down an experienced photo journalist or enthusiast with access to this technology would have a personal opinion. 

This article expressed nothing but generic fodder.

I run Canon DSLR gear and prefer its organic look (obvious to me) and feel. This opinion is subject to change -- hence my wasting time reading this article.

Good luck to those out there looking for a good reason to switch.

Wow, what a jerk.  Your arrogance managed to write quite an offensive article in just 2 short paragraphs.  What is amusing though, is that you contradicted yourself in the first two sentences; "states nothing but general consumer biases."  It wasn't biased, nor should it have been. 

Next sentence; "IMO pick a side or stay out of the fight."  If it was biased, as you said it was, he would have picked a side. 

The article was not intended for those who know-it-all. It is intended for those of us who are either buying our very first digital camera or who have an early model digital and need to know the differences and similarities between the two types of digital cameras available on the current market.  It certainly helped me. I don't believe that it didn't help others as well. 

As I stated above, the author should not have been biased. An article intended to inform what the difference is between a DSLR camera and a mirrorless camera and the pros and cons of each type is supposed to be just that; informative. It should not be an editorial. The author may very well have a preference. But the job that he was paid to do was to write an objective and informative article using common popular opinions.  If he were to steer people towards one over the other and not explain the pros of the type he does not prefer or the cons of the type he does prefer, not only would he not be doing the job he was paid to do, but he would also be doing a great disservice to those of us who may have only one specific thing that will be the deciding factor (e.g. weight/size, or the "what you see is what you get" of the mirrorless, or the lag time issue, or the fact that the lenses are not interchangeable, or the cost difference).

You seem to believe yourself to be quite and expert in the field of photography, so if your only intention was to read an article that is a first-time buyer's *unbiased* guide to help with choosing which of these two types of digital cameras fit one's particular preference, and then offend the author and potentially consumers who read it for that purpose, you have done a stellar job.  

Unfortunately (for you), whatever point you were trying to make had all but fallen flat with the first two contradictory sentences (that means that the two sentences oppose each other when they are supposed to support each other).

You did succeed in proving one point: you are excellent at being offensive. 

Hey John M., I am sorry if you are such a camera genius as to be offended by this article. Maybe it insults your knowledge and camera wisdom. If I may ask, what did make you read this article? You should be the one writing it! I do hate stupid jerks like you that plague the internet with their own personal life trouble.

I have been using the Nikon D810. I havs a good collection of Nikon lens and for that particular reason I will stay with Nikon. I am hearing that Nikon may come up with a mirrorless system sometime this year. If that’s the case, can I continue using my Nikon mounted lens on the mirrorless systems without the need for any adapter? 

Unfortunately, I cannot say at this time.  Until Nikon officially announces the mirrorless camera system and states what lens mount will be used on the camera, we do not know and cannot state if the current lenses will be directly compatible with the mount on the camera, though I would guess they will have a lens adapter similar to those offered by other manufacturers for using their existing lenses on the new cameras.  The honest answer is that we simply have to wait for Nikon to offer any information about the mirrorless system they plan to release.  With the specifications of the camera, we would then be able to answer if they are using the same F-mount on the future camera or if they are using a new mount system that would require an adapter.  My guess is it will be the latter, as due to the difference in flange distance in mirrorless cameras, they may need a smaller lens mount and smaller lenses for a mirrorless system, but again, that is a guess and we will simply have to "wait and see."

I have been in the Canon EOS ecosystem since 1999, with my current camera being the 6D.   I also own the Sony A6000.   I love the EVF, especially with old m42 lenses.  The A6000 is a stellar camera, however, I find I pull out the 6D 8 times more.     I am looking forward to what Sony comes up with this year, maybe an A7mk3?   Probably this year I will retire my 6D (except for Astro) and upgrade to the Sony FF bodies.    The one feature I want my next camera to have:  IBIS.   Having IS in the lens is great, but it doesn't help when the lens doesn't have it built in.   And I don't see Canon adding it to their cameras in the next few years.

Are mirrorless still inferior in low light or has that gap been closed? I'm deciding between Sony a7ii and Nikon d750. I'm really looking for a hard deciding factor in which I can pick one over the other, because right now it seems very neck and neck. I do nature and night scene (city/street) photography. Battery life with the a7ii isn't a factor, as carrying another small battery isn't much of a hassle. Any suggestions?

Hi Amanda,

The low light gap has most certainly been closed, and in terms of sensitivity the a7S II is probably the best camera currently available. For AF the DSLRs may still beat mid-range mirrorless cameras in dim lighting, but for most situations it is at least equal. As for your a7 II vs D750 debate, I would be on the fence there myself. If you already shoot Nikon then I would say it might be best to just stick with the D750, as it is a great camera and you can use your current lenses. If you want a smaller camera or like a few of the specific advantages of mirrorless (EVF for example), then you should have no worries about the a7 II. Hope this helps!

Question: The Techart PRO Option mentioned.  The link goes to the top of a list of adapters, none of which appear to grant auto focus to maual focus Leica lenses.  Is there such a thing?

Hi Noel,

It seems that the URL has been changed. I have correct the link in the article and if you would like a direct link, please click the one below:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1239028-REG/deo_tech_deoafm2semk1_leica_m_mount_lens.html

Both a Canon 7D MKII and Sony a6000 meet different needs at different times.  The DSLR Canon seems to be more versitle and a bit sharper.  It's size is perfect for street photography and its light weight allowed me to continue taking pictures when I had shoulder surgery and couldn't manage the DSLR.  Being as compact as it is it lacks some of the versitility on the Canon and isn't quite as comfortable in my big hands.  The Canon offers me more versitility, easier to manage controls without having to go to any menu type functions due to more dials on the body.  Besides having two cameras with different focal length lenes is useful when shooting events while not carrying as much weight as two DLSRs. 

Maybe the question is not which is better, but which serves what purpose.

Hi Jerry,

Your point is very true. I shoot both DSLRs and mirrorless, depending on the situtation. Many people will not be able to justify having two cameras however, in which they must make a choice and choose whichever best suits their needs.

Imagine an alternative universe, where photo technology moved directly from small, Leica-like rangefinder cameras with tiny lenses, to high-quality EVF digital cameras, also with small, lightweight lenses, but also more accomodating to macro and telephoto photography, and capable of displaying in the viewfinder not just the framed scene, but also what the resulting image will look like, along with a wealth of other information.  Assume, if you like, that 24x36mm images are the holy grail of photography (and not just a convenient way to reuse 35mm movie film sideways).  So you have a camera, from your preferred manufacturer, with your preferred image size, with a short flange distance and no huge retrofocus lenses.  And an EVF.  Maybe even a completely silent, electronic shutter.

Now, imagine in this alternative universe someone announces they have invented the end-all camera with a pentaprism, noisy mechanical mirror flopping around (and needing to be locked up to reduce shake), and a much larger flange distance... i.e., "normal" lenses and wider will be much larger, you give up all the information in the viewfinder, the camera is bigger, heavier, and more prone to mechanical failure, and you can't use any of your old lenses.  But you are seeing, optically, through the lens (even though the viewfinder blanks out at the exact  time of the exposure).

How many DSLRs would sell in this alternative universe? 

Denny's thought experiment is interesting, salient and makes a point, but the real world doesn't operate that way.  The SLR and its offspring the DSLR have become highly refined, quite reliable in spite of the mechanical circus going on inside, and very familiar to millions of photographers.  They are a known quantity.  Mirrorless cameras are still evolving, many of us have had disappointments with some of them, while at the same time prosumer level full-frame DSLRs have shrunk to a comfortable size for many.

While I do expect that eventually the SLR configuration will be supplanted by very highly developed cameras with EVFs, it will not be anytime soon.  

Has anyone checked out the Fuji X100T?  I have been shooting with a Nikon D800 with prime lenses for years.  I bought the Fuji as a walkaround camera.  This camera is amazing!  I have printed images measuring 24 X 30 and the quality is startling.  I am a professional and have been for many years.  I have tried and used many different cameras from 4 X 5 to the most current DSL r's and the little Fuji is just so hard to beat as a street camera or for almost any use. The ergonomics are a little hard to get use to as no matter where I put my hand I seem to hit a button or control, but I'm getting better.  I recommend this camera without reservation.  The lens is tack sharp and there really are no negatives unless you insist on interchangeable lenses.

"The ergonomics are a little hard to get use to as no matter where I put my hand I seem to hit a button or control, ... ."

This is a huge negative for me, in fact a deal breaker!

I think the whole OVF vs EVF is nonsense. It is not the same as rangfinder OVF vs SLR OVF. It is no longer true that an OVF is better. The new EVFs are very clear and very fast. You get to see the shot befor you take it and you have so many more options with an EVF (such as manual focus and veiwing information). I recently tested a Fuji Xpro 2 and there was no perceptable lag in the EVF... none. I shot cars coming at me at about 25MPH at 8 FPS and did not see any out of focus shots and I saw every shot as it was being taken. Why on earth would you need to frame a shot with the camera off? That doesn't even make sence. It just sounds like someone being stuborn and making up silly stuff to support an argument. If my camra is off and I raise it to my eye my finger is on the power button. You can flick it on and of very quickly. It is true that battery life is an issue but you don't need to hold extra batteries in your hand while you are shooting (they can be in your bag on the ground) and mirrorless batteries are smaller and lighter. Giving up all the etra versatility to save battery life seems silly to me. I am not a full professional yet but I am a formally trained semi professional photographer and shoot on an almost daily basis. I am not a person that brakes out their SLR a few times a year to shoot the kids, flowers and butterflies. I've owned several DSLRs and two mirrorless cameras just in the last couple of years. So I am speaking from more than limited expereince. 

Hi Russell,

OVFs and EVFs are very different, each with its own advantages and disadvantages which the article helps to lay out. Also, many photographers worked for years without any way to check their images after capture, relying on their own abilities to know that they nailed focus. As for your issue with framing a shot with a camera off, that was brought up because it saves battery (a sticking point on mirrorless as you mention), and it requires no start up time. EVFs usually have a split second to turn on and this lack of responsiveness can be bothersome to individuals who have years of experience with OVFs. Also, one personal thing I have noticed during shooting is that EVFs, while showing a great representation of your final image, can blow out highlights and have pure blacks with no information, both of which are not entirely representative of the malleability of a raw image file. OVFs are not limited by a screen's dynamic range, which in my opinion is incredibly useful. The article never states one is better, but that each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages that one must choose between.

Even though I agree with the advantages of mirrorless (I myself shoot mostly with a Sony a7R II now as opposed to my Canon DSLR), I will say that one thing I miss is the OVF, though I have adjusted to the EVF. And it is a huge sticking point for many experienced professionals.

I find out my Canon 5D M3 is as good as I want to. It is beyond me that this article uses Canon-1D X as an example. I had one and it is collecting dust because of its size, I travel a lot and 5D M3 with Canon prime professional lenses or equivalent models from Nokin etc.. are good enough for nearly everything I want.

I also try  to put my Canon 85mm prime lens on Canon M3 mirroless body. I do not like the feel. The image quality is also not as good as those when used with 5Dm3. And those who say image quality in top DSLR models is near the same as those from  mirrorless camera, is to me not true at all, .

I gave up the mirroless for now and hope for weight reduction in full frame DSLR. The weight of a top DSLR is the only concern I have.

my sony a 700 was stolen on a trip back in december of 2014..............so i decided to try a different camera and selected the  cannon sx40 because the specs seemed so good...........however i just could not get used to the evf and returned it to b and h and ordered another 700............i have since bought an a 850 and absolutely love it too.............even with the weight issues i'm sticking with ovf

When digital became the norm, I fought to keep my film Nikons and Leicas but finally gave up.  I bought several Canon digitals, the an Olympus Micro Four Third body...then I bought a Panasonic Micro Four Third and have stayed with Panasonic ever since.  The reduction in weight and size is a big plus, but the amazing quality of the images is the reason that I have stayed with it.  The prints that I make are routinely 11 x 17 and frequently larger.  Mirrorless M43 has treated me well.

My expereince is somewhat the same as LMN. I sold my my Canon and Nikon bodies and special lenses and purchased a Panasonic four third instead, including a Leica prime lens. The images are sharp. Difficult to beat at half the size.  

Hi!  Thank you for doing this comparitive.  I've been looking at mirrorless cameras, but I am disappointed int the low MP of these cameras.  Also, as you mentioned, the lens selection is terrible (for what I need in my shooting).  So, I'm sticking with a new dSLR.  My choices right now are Canon 7D MKII or the New Canon 80D.

Hi Dennis,

While your lens selection point is the most important for choosing a system, I am a little confused by your statement about low MP counts of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless and DSLRs tend to have very similar resolutions when it comes to image sensors, so keep in mind that IQ and resolution should be taken out of th equation (unless you specifically need or want a certain resolution), with many other points to help guide your decision. For example, the Sony a6300 and Canon 80D actually have the exact same 24MP resolution. 

I hope you read this, because your comment makes zero sense. There are mirrorless cameras with far more megapixels than the DSLR's you mentioned. In fact, your 2 Canons are APS-C based, which means their sensors are the same size or SMALLER than many mirrorless cameras. Furthermore, Canon's sensors are among the least capable in terms of noise and dynamic range these days. That's why even a smaller micro four thirds camera can often match or even beat them in those aspects. And in many cases mirrorless lenses are becoming as good and better than what Canon has. I suspect your post is rooted in facts, but more in rationalizing brand loyalty.

The last line was supposed to be:

I suspect your post is not rooted in facts, but more in rationalizing brand loyalty.

Dear Friends,

Buy a camera because it takes very sharp photos. That is what a camera is for. Please don't buy a camera because it fits in your pocket, they all have very small sensors and very samll pixels, which they do not say in "Sales Reviews". I would recommend the MFT or the same size 4/3, as the smallest, especially for videos, which need less sensor & pixel size. I also suggest, if you are just starting: Shoot/test first and print it out at 13"x17"/A3+ and see. Buy a less expensive camera model APS-C/DX ($400-$600) camera model with a better lens (I.E. an Full Frame/FX 16mm-35mm) this way you can save a lot on the body and put the saved $400-$600 into a very good lens which you can use as a 24mm-52mm "now" and a 16mm-35mm later if you go to a full frame camera in the future. Also, a Full Frame/FX lens at 16mm-35mm is/should be much sharper than a 16mm-35mm APS-C/DX or the usual 18mm-55mm or 18mm-105mm kit lenses. I would still buy the camera with the kit lens if the price is low since it would be good to use for a little more tele and/or for everyday use.

What is often not disclosed by the manufacturers is that most DSLR's when switched to video mode require the camera to be in live view. Not only does this disable the viewfinder and make you use the viewscreen which can be difficult on a bright day, but they switch the camera to contrast detection focusing which will most times cause the camera to hunt for focus if a re-focus is needed. The hunting ruins a video any time the camera is required to re-focus. The Cannon D70 uses phase detection in video mode and allow re-focus based upon touching a point on the viewscreen. Some of the camera manufacturers use contrast detection in almost every camera for video so a pan of varying depths will result in a focus hunt and with some models a zoom will also result in a focus hunt. In general they do not disclose this.

Nikon's releasing a DL camera body with three different lenses that can't changed. So I can't use my old lenses, and just buy an up to date 4/3 body with interchangeable lenses. Wow, smart move again, Nikon!

For people that wear glasses a EVF is normally a better choice. I loved the viewfinder of my Nikon F, then they started adding all sorts or sensors in the viewfinder they shrunk the SLR viewing windows.  Since my F I have never been able to see all four corners until the advent of the EVF. Most of the EVFs have large viewing windows, almost like a sports finder. Be careful; it is not always true. My new Sony A7, that I bought sight unseen, has a EVF that is impossible to use with glasses (otherwise great camera). Luckly the eyepiece is removeable and I can almost see all four corners with it off. For some reason reviewers of camers never mention suitability of the viewfinders for glasses wearers. When the user's prescription is greater then the +- adjustment, taking your  glasses off is not an option.

The difference here is a specification that's not mentioned very often, oddly enough.  It is listed as "eye point" or "eye relief" when listed, but often it is not, and the values seems wildly inconsistent with the level of the camera.

E.g.. the Nikon D 7200 has a 19.5 Eye Point, the D750, 21 mm - OK so far - but the D810 and D5, have only 17mm!  (More is better).  The D5000 and D3000 series don't list a spec. 

With Canon, the entry level Rebel has 21mm, as does the 7DII, while the top end Canons don't include it in their specs (from B&H listings)! 

For Panasonic EVF cameras, the DMC series has 21 mm at both the top and bottom of the line, pricewise.

The Olympus OMD E M-1 and the M-5II have 21 mm, the M-5 has 18, the M-10II 19.2.  Go figure.

This is a very important spec for glasses wearers, and important for all in terms of comfort of use. It's surprising that it is so seldom mentioned. I would not consider a camera or a binocular (or any other optical device) without having this information! 

Hi AustinTexan,

Very interesting point, and it is unfortunate when people buy cameras they find uncomfortable. The problem is that many users will decide on a camera based on feature sets before ergonomics, which is likely why it isn't discussed more. As a glasses wearer I do find the differences between different camera viewfinders very noticeable, and it makes me really appreciate larger and brighter ones.

I much prefer the term advanced compact camera rather than point and shoot. I hope the day comes soon when we can stop calling cameras point and shoot even when they have an incredible amount of manual controls and options like the Sony RX1R and the Nikon DL series mentioned in this article. In the old days there were cameras that had a fixed focus and no exposure control, all you could do was in fact, point the camera and shoot. If you buy a disposable film camera today, that is usually all you can do - point and shoot. There is no option to adjust anything. It seems like if a camera today has a built in lens, regardless of whether it can shoot raw, have a gazillion exposures modes and functions, it still gets called a point and shoot.

Hi Greg,

I agree with your point, and also would like to add that I personally dislike the term "mirrorless" as point-and-shoots, advanced compacts, and rangefinders are all mirrorless and are not the same type of camera. These terms will stick around for a while though, as it has become the easiest way for customers, especially those new to photography, to sort between many different camera models.

I moved "up" to a mirror less Olympus Stylus 1s last year and as a result my two DSLRs have been collecting dust. The Stylus takes consistently better shots with its 12MP sensor and fixed f2.8 zoom than my two semi-pro DSLRs with aftermarket lenses and larger sensors. I have been in digital photography quite a while but this little camera never fails to amaze me when I pull raw formatted shots into Lightroom and view what it is capable of. Plus the smaller size and attached lens makes it convenient to stick in a coat pocket. This translates to more shooting opportunities. 

  1.  

Hi Bari,

While not technically a "mirrorless" camera due to its fixed lens, the Olympus Stylus 1s is a great option and I am glad that you find it the best option for you.

I recently purchsed the SonyA7RII after many years with a full-frame Canon's.

I love this camera because a GREAT picture with an exciting dynamic range... and I hate this camera becaus of ergonomic.

Even after months of regular usage I see that I can't feel myself comfortable with Sony. tiny body which hard to handle, poor controls... EVF is great - when lighting is OK, but in darkness, or in the studio with strobe, it's terrible thing: ex[posure emulation is useless with strobes, you will see nothing, and terrible noise in the drkness make manual focusing very difficult (almost impossible), and noisy picture make even shooting itself problematic.

And alot of other things... will noy mention them, but I have alot of complauns, really.

Plus, native lenses are extremely expensive, and adapters, even the better ones, doesn't allow full functionality.

So, I keep my Canon, and I don't rush to sell my Canon lenses. Mirrorless is a great amateur's camera (if you can drop the price's reasons), or perfect addition to your DSLR for creative works, to play with a manual-focus lenses, for perfect pictures in a relaxing environment... but it still not a professional tool, regardless to the exceptional picture quality, unfortunately.

For sure, mirrorless system have some advantages. My dream is a mirrorless system in a full-size DSLR-style body with professional controls and good battery. 

I have had a terrific Nikon Coolpix 8400 since 2004. It has a EFV and monitor. Granted, it has fixed zoom lens and small, by today's standards, sensor. However, I fail to see a significant technical difference between my old camera and today's "mirrorless" cameras. Are Nikon, Sony, and the others just putting 10+ year-old technology in a modern package and trying to make us feel good about it ?

Hi Chuck,

Today's cameras may not differ much at first glance just on a basic operation level, but improvements in technology have resulted in greater resolutions, improved sensitivities, higher quality EVFs and LCD screens, faster processing and handling in nearly every aspect, and much more, including Full HD and 4K video recording. If you were to compare the specifications between your 8400 and a modern mirrorless, you will see major advances across the board.

Not true, you would not believe how bright and responsive the Fujifilm X-T1 EVF is. Plus the added benefit of zebra stripes and other additional information overlay.

Hello ABC,

Regardless of the EVF quality of certain modern mirrorless cameras, many photographers still prefer the reliability of the optical viewfinder. I personally moved from Canon to Sony mirrorless and one of the things I miss is the OVF. But, when I have shot event video, the EVF was indispensible. Also, many people do not need or desire zebra stripes and other overlays, so while it may be best for you, you must understand that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to cameras. Photography has always been more about the photographer than the camera.

Yes, a DSLR and lenses are a load. But shooting with anything less means giving up the big, bright, through-the-lens view when composing images. Staring at a dim little LCD on the back of a camera, or a little LCD-based viewfinder, does not offer the compositional capabilities, or the photography experience I am looking for. I can get that  LCD experience from my phone; I don't want it from my serious camera. 

Close

Close

Close