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DSLR Vs. Mirrorless Cameras: Which is best for You?

dslr and mirrorless camera
dslr and mirrorless camera

If you want to get into photography but confused between choosing a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, then you are at the right place. Both are great in clicking high-quality photos, but each has its pros and cons that we will discuss in this article so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s start with a basic introduction of DSLR and a mirrorless camera:


DSLRs are similar in design as 35mm film cameras that were used in the past. They are bulky because of a mirror inside their body that reflects the light coming in through the lens up to a prism, and into the optical viewfinder so you can clearly see how the final image will look.

Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras are just like DSLRs but they don’t have a mirror inside their body. They use a different mechanism to capture images i.e. the light passes directly onto the image sensor through the lens, which is then previewed on the camera’s rear screen.

Following is the list of some points that can help differentiate between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera, so you can decide better:

1.     Size and weight

As DSLR cameras include a large mirror and prism in them, they are comparatively larger and bulkier than mirrorless cameras. While the mirrorless cameras are compact and lightweight that will allow you to fit more gear into your camera bag.

Winner: Mirrorless Camera

2.     Autofocus speed

When it comes to low-light shooting and autofocus speed, DSLRs are generally considered supreme over other types of cameras. But this has begun to change with some mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7R III and Canon M6. In short, both types of camera excel in autofocus speed but still, DSLRs remain far more superior in terms of autofocusing on fast-moving subjects.

Winner: DSLR

3.     Viewfinder

Both have viewfinders but they differ in terms of working. A DSLR has an optical viewfinder that shows exactly what the camera will capture. While a mirrorless camera shows a preview of the image on-screen. Most of them feature an electrical viewfinder that stimulates the optical viewfinder. When shooting in good lighting, you will get a good preview on-screen but in low-lighting or shooting fast-moving objects, the preview will become dull and grainy.

So, if you want something that can perform well in both indoors and outdoors, you should consider a DSLR but if you aren’t often shooting in challenging situations, then a mirrorless camera is perfect.

Winner: Draw

4.     Video Quality

Hands down, mirrorless cameras provide the best video quality. In fact, all high-end mirrorless cameras are best suited for HD video shooting. Most DSLRs can’t use phase detection while recording video due to which they have to use the slower and less accurate, contrast-detection method. It leads to a blurry look when the camera starts finding the right focus. But this isn’t the case with a mirrorless camera as high-end ones can capture even in 4K or ultra HD with superior autofocus. This is why most filmmakers opt for a mirrorless camera.

Winner: Mirrorless Camera

5.     Shooting Speed

Mirrorless cameras take the lead here too due to the lack of mirror and prism that enables them to take image after image with twice the speed of a DSLR. However, if ‘fraction of a second’ delay in shooting speed doesn’t matter to you then you can go for either one.

Winner: Mirrorless Camera

6.     Battery Life

In general, DSLRs have longer battery life because they do not use EVF (electrical viewfinder) that consumes a lot of power. However, this point solely can’t justify that either to use a DSLR over a mirrorless camera or not. Many mirrorless cameras can still survive longer than DSLRs in terms of battery life due to their simple mechanics. And not to mention, all DSLRs and mirrorless cameras come with a removable battery so you can always rock a spare one and continue shooting when the primary battery gets dead.

Winner: DSLR

Final Verdict

Mirrorless cameras are compact and lightweight that give them an edge over bigger and bulkier DSLRs. While DSLRs have an advantage of freedom when it comes to lens selection because mirrorless cameras have access to fewer lenses and accessories, unlike DSLRs. However, both carry the power to provide you high-quality results if used in the right way.

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