DSLR vs Mirrorless Camera

If you are in the market for your first serious camera, you have probably noticed two avenues to go. The traditional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras or the new Mirrorless cameras. Maybe you’ve had DSLR cameras in the past, and have been considering the switch to a mirrorless systems? I was in your shoes a little over a year ago. After doing exhaustive research, I chose to switch over to mirrorless cameras. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in photography.

I became interested in mirrorless camera systems several years ago after reading many articles written by photographers I respect. These smaller, lighter mirrorless cameras were reminiscent of the small Leica cameras that photojournalists carried back in the film days. Small, unobtrusive cameras capable of producing high-quality images, in the right hands.

Not being one to make rash decisions when it comes to purchasing camera gear, I spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons and reading every review I could get my hands on. Here are some things I took into consideration.

Pros:

  • Mirrorless are much lighter and smaller than DSLR. (roughly half the weight of a DSLR)
  • They are a lot cheaper than a comparable DSLR system.
  • Just as capable of shooting high-quality images as any professional DSLR system.
  • Electronic View Finder. (what you see is what the sensor is going to record)
  • Built in NFC and Wi-Fi allows for easily uploading images to a cell phone in the field or directly to social media sights using apps in camera.

Cons:

  • Not sure if people will accept me as a professional photographer if I show up with what looks like a point-and-shoot.
  • Don’t like the thought of losing my investment in my Nikon systems.
  • The mirrorless system I chose does not have the moisture sealing that my Nikon systems have.
  • Because mirrorless systems use an Electronic View Finder, they eat batteries. (luckily the batteries are small and cheap, so carry at least 3 to 4 of them)

Finally convincing myself that the time was right, I purchased my first mirrorless system a little under a year ago. I chose the Sony mirrorless systems. Fuji offers outstanding mirrorless cameras, but as of this writing, they don’t offer a mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor. Something that I wanted down the road.

My first purchase was the Sony Alpha A6000 with the 16-50mm kit lens. This little camera has totally blown me away. Although it has an APS-C sensor, its 24-megapixel sensor produces outstanding quality images that rival any Canon or Nikon enthusiast camera system. Yet, the entire camera with lens comes in just under a pound.

Over the past ten months, I have added the Sony A7ii full-frame mirrorless camera as my primary and moved my A6000 to secondary camera. When needed, the APS-C sensor on the A6000 will give me a bit more reach with my lenses due to the crop factor.

Additional lenses I’ve chosen for my Sony cameras thus far are:

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, switching from my Nikon DSLRs over to Sony mirrorless cameras is one of the best decisions I’ve made in photography. I don’t believe that purchasing the latest and greatest camera will make me or anyone else a better photographer. Having a smaller and lighter platform for making images has made my job easier though. I now carry a small camera bag with a couple bodies and four lenses that weighs seven pounds. Two pounds of that is the camera bag.

Then there’s the fun factor. I don’t know what it is about the Sony mirrorless cameras, but I just find them fun and exciting to shoot with. Since going mirrorless, I find myself grabbing up my cameras and heading out to shoot more often and at a moments notice.

I believe that mirrorless cameras are the future. Based on what I’ve read and on my experience with mirrorless systems, I don’t believe mirrored DSLRs will be around much longer. With the quality of the Electronic View Finder and the ability to see what the actual image is going to look like before triggering the shutter, there’s no reason to use a mechanical mirrored system in cameras any longer.

Should you take the plunge and get into mirrorless cameras. Only you can answer that. If you are looking for your first serious camera, then I would definitely recommend considering a mirrorless system. You can get a great camera for a lot less than you would pay for a comperable DSLR.

If you already own a DSLR and are considering the switch to a mirrorless camera, I say go for it. Once you have a mirrorless camera in your hands and then see the images they can produce, I think you will be happy with your decision.

 

If you want to learn more about Sony mirrorless cameras, I recommend watching the video linked below.
10 Reasons Why a Professional Photographer Left Nikon and started shooting with Sony by Jason Lanier

 

Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below and share your opinions.

 

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2 thoughts on “Should You Consider a Mirrorless Camera Over a DSLR?

  1. I just wanted to comment on the Nikon vs Sony battery problem. I would charge up half a dozen batteries before going out with my Sony, only to find they would take a couple of photos and lose their charge. Even new rechargeable batteries and using various chargers did not help. I found this so frustrating and counterproductive that I bought a couple of Nikons that I’m thrilled with. I am a painter, not a photographer, so I need to capture light/shadow/color at a certain moment and don’t want to lose it fussing with batteries. Mine are just point and shoot but one gives me 42X zoom and the other 5X is so small I can carry it in my wallet. Just thought I’d give my perspective and appreciation for your blogs. Thanks

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment Cindy. I agree that battery life on the Sony’s can be an issue. I carry six batteries myself. The two that came with my camera bodies and four aftermarket batteries. I typically get two or three hours per battery. A far cry from my old Nikon batteries which would run the camera an entire day.

      One of the problems with the Sony cameras is there’s a sensor near the viewfinder that turns it on when you put the camera to your eye. Unfortunately, just having the camera on a neck strap and against your body also turns it on, draining the battery. Some working photographers solve the problem by deactivating the viewfinder and using only the LCD.

      I use a different approach. When not actively shooting, I switch the camera off. The on/off selector is at my fingertip, so I don’t even have to look at the camera.

      Thank you again for the comment. Do you have a web site where those who read this can look at your art?

      Reply

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