Since mirrorless digital cameras entered the photography scene in the late 2000s, the question has been whether they could be a better option than DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex). Since that time, the mirrorless system has grown in popularity, so it is clear photographers are increasingly making it their preference.
What’s a DSLR?
DSLR cameras (or digital single-lens reflex) use the design of old-school 35mm bodies, with light taking a path from the lens to the prism and then to the viewfinder, where you can see the preview of your image. As you hit the shutter button, the mirror flips up, a shutter opens and light reaches the image sensor, which retains the picture.
What’s a mirrorless camera?
The big difference with the mirrorless camera is that it has no mirror that flips when you open the shutter. Instead, light moves directly from the lens to the image sensor and the shot displays on your screen.
Which style is lighter?
Because mirrorless cameras do not need to store a mirror and a prism, they do not need to be as heavy or as large. If you like to travel with your camera or just enjoy a lightweight rig, then you may prefer the mirrorless system.
Which body has better focus?
Many years ago, DSLRs had the reputation of being the better – or at least faster – model for autofocus shooting. This is because DSLRs used phase detection, a quicker method that relies more on the camera’s electronic sensor, rather than contrast detection, the slower but more accurate system utilised in most mirrorless bodies. However, mirrorless cameras have since improved in this area. Now, many mirrorless bodies, including Fujifilm’s newer models, employ a contrast-phase hybrid autofocus system.
Which style is suited for continuous shooting?
If you want to capture fast-moving action, you may want a camera with the capacity for continuous shooting. Mirrorless cameras, with their simplified path for obtaining images, excel here. For instance, the Fujifilm X-T2, when photographing from its continuous shooting boost mode, shoots about 11 frames per second, well ahead of most other cameras on the market.
Which one shows an accurate shot in its viewfinder?
Mirrorless cameras also have viewfinders that display truer to what your photograph will become. Their electronic viewfinders allow you to see, in real time, adjustments to aperture and ISO, whereas the optical viewfinder found in DSLRs displays those changes only after you shoot the image. The mirrorless style has a big advantage here, as it saves you time from going back and forth between shooting and adjusting.
As with many debates over photography equipment, the choice comes down to your personal preference. If you find a camera that you handle comfortably and shoot naturally, then proudly make it yours and enjoy creating great shots with it!
For more Fujifilm camera options, download our 2017 Buying Guide.
nice blog very informative..
I hope anyone considering a new purchase reads this and goes Fuji. It would be awful to find out how good they are AFTER buying a heavy DSLR 😉
Thank you for your post very much!
Agree, I have had a mirrorless for many years, but on the big disadvantage side, the sensor, being right there, not protected by a mirror, gets dirty much more quickly, something we don’t hear much about…..
I have experienced no dust/etc on sensor on my 2 Fujifilm cameras.
I’d been shooting with Nikon DSLRs for a long time. Latest kit was a D500, Sigma 150-600 Sport, Sigma 18-35 Art and Nikon 70-200 2.8.
I sold the entire kit and moved to an X-T2, 16-50 2.8, 50-140 2.8, 100-400 and 35mm f1.4. My new entire kit weighs about as much as the Sigma 150-600 alone. I don’t have as much reach as the 150-600 but the mobility of the lighter and smaller kit means I take as much time as I want to get closer and wait for the perfect shot instead of hauling the massive camera around. The amount of in camera features is excellent too, the wireless connectivity to my phone is a million times better than Nikon’s attempt. The ONLY thing I miss on the X-T2 that was on the D500 was the touch screen, was really handy for reviewing photos instead of using an arrow pad or joystick, strange that the X-E3 and X-T20 have the touch screen but the higher end one doesn’t, but I can deal with that.
With the lighter kit, I’ve also been able to start on other aspects of photography, instead of leaving half of the kit at home I can take all of my lenses in a reasonably small bag and travel tripod, so when I’m on the hunt for birds if I see a landscape shot I want to take I’ve got the right gear with me all the time.
If anyone is concerned about hit rate for nature shots, with the different focus modes available it makes it very easy to catch birds in flight, even the more erratically moving ones, I’m probably getting a better keep rate than I was with the 150-600.
As for dust, I’ve had 2 spots of dust which were easily removed with a rocket blower, during my time in the Nikon camp I had to get sensor cleans at least once a year.
No Fuji’s not paying me, I’m just really impressed to have a mirrorless camera performing as well, if not better than Nikon’s flagship DX body. (Fuji if you want to pay me I’ll happily quit my day job to become a full time photographer 😉 )
While Fujifilm cameras are extremely well made from a “block of metal”, I have found the shutter to be fragile and anemic. My 18 month X-T10 stopped working last week, while my oldest Nikon D5100 + Sigma 8-16mm, is rugged and still clicking away.
I have to send it off for repair, but unsure what to do – wait for the forthcoming X-T2 with IBIS, repair X-T10, or forget about Fujis, and stick to my other 4 cameras – D5100, NX1, A7Rii, 6D, RX100 iv.
Four months ago, I decided to learn manual, and other modes, and leave Auto/scene modes behind. It was time to stop aiming my cameras like a gun – point and fire!!! Learning curve for Fuji cameras is longer – the way settings for aperture, shutter are controlled is different to the other cameras. But make no mistake, Fujifilm mirrorless cameras are a piece of quality art, has great colors. If only the shutter is more assuring, like the shutter on a Sony.
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