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Mirrorless vs DSLR – What’s Right for You?

We’re seeing more and more videos from people who switched from a DSLR to a Mirrorless camera. That’s all fine, interesting and sometimes emotional, but is it really objective and helpful?

In this featured video by Matt Granger, he gives you an objective overview of the trade-offs you’re facing when you make the switch. Matt’s point is this: For every benefit a mirrorless camera gives you, you will also lose something. Check out the video and the list below that summarizes those trade-offs.

  • A mirrorless camera is smaller and lighter than a comparable DSLR BUT the batteries have far less capacity and mirrorless cameras tend to use more energy. Can you deal with all the spare batteries you need to buy and carry around?
  • You can adapt all kind of third- part lenses BUT it will make your camera bigger and unbalanced.
  • Electronic view finders are becoming better BUT they’re not comparable with real view finders yet.
  • Focus assist options are getting better and better BUT mirrorless auto focus still isn’t as fast and responsive as the focus in most DSLRs.
  • Mirrorless camera manufactures pack in all kinds of innovative pro features into their newest bodies BUT they lack things like dual card slots and only have a limited range of native fast lenses.

The bottom line is this: Mirrorless cameras are getting better (as DSLRs are), but in the end, they’re just another type of technology. They’re not better or worse than DSLRs and you should evaluate those trade-off carefully before you make a decision. Don’t be emotional about it.

Check out Matt’s other tutorials and resources at his website.

Are you planning to buy a mirrorless camera? Have you switched from a DSLR lately? What has been the main factor in your own decision? Tell us your thoughts below.

 

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9 Comments on "Mirrorless vs DSLR – What’s Right for You?"


Guest
Anonymous
1 year 10 months ago

Ty for that. Soo tired of the Dslr is dead rant… They are all getting better. So pick your weapon of choice and shoot. Me I like Dslrs. But either way, just shoot and produce what you will….

Guest
Geoff L
1 year 10 months ago

I made the switch from Canon DSLR to Sony ILC. For me it was the convenience of the smaller size. The old adage of “the best camera is the one you have with you” really applied to me as I was finding I’d leave the DSLR at home rather than lug it and the multitude of lenses with me, thus missing many a good shot. With the ILC I pretty much grab it any time I’m going out and usually find an opportunity to take a few shots. I’ve had to adjust a few things about my shooting approach (eg have developed the one handed flip-the-power on as I raise it to my eye technique since the ILC chews up battery constantly when on)

Guest
Anonymous
1 year 10 months ago

Not so many… (Sony ILC owner). To be more accurate just one (you see it s rechargable…).and guess what…you can shoot for about 450 times. For me as a beginner it is enough. Now, the difference in size is not so considerable. I would prefere it smaller just like newer models (compact bodies with interchangeable lenses). Greetings!

Guest
1 year 10 months ago

I have just traded in all my Nikon gear for the Sony A6000 and soon the A7 the trade off as the article states in my case is weight. The picture quality is, I think equal to the D800e and the D3s. Noise only comes in around 800 ISO and the picture control is limitless. My use is travel and some landscape images and I find using the songs a dream when compared to the Nikon. The Sony focusing is fast and very accurate and the electronic viewfinder is a pleasure to work with. Sony lens are also light and easy to use. I remember dreading using the Nikon 14-24 lens as it was so heavy and so big. My only complaint is some of my customers laugh when I now sit the Sony on the tripod as its so small, they do stop laughing when they see the images. Do I miss the Nikon, yes I do, why? I don’t know. I suppose after a lifetime of Nikon use switching to Sony was/is fun and sad. However if resaults count then it has to be the Sony Everytime. But I do miss the Nikon

Guest
Jon Urdal
1 year 10 months ago

Obviously, DSLRs are not dying in the (very) near future. However, to find real change and development, you have to look to the mirrorless camp, and manufacturers like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and a few others. In my opinion, mr. Grangers video and summary is both biased in favor of DSLRs and partly wrong.

Please allow me to make som comments to the summary:

=> BUT the batteries have far less capacity and mirrorless cameras tend to use more energy

A pretty general remark not very well suited to guide you whether to go mirrorless or not. It may be a problem for some mirroless models (which ones by the way?). I have never needed more than one spare battery pr day with my models (among them, the NX1). Never.

=> You can adapt all kind of third- part lenses BUT it will make your camera bigger…

That’s true in both camps. Dependent on the type of work you do, you obviously need a set of lenses. But you will not need a lot more lenses from third parties just because you happen to have a mirrorless camera.

=> Electronic view finders are becoming better BUT they’re not comparable with real view finders yet.

It used to be true. Not a big issue with high quality mirrorless cams anymore.

=> Focus assist options are getting better and better BUT mirrorless auto focus still isn’t as fast and responsive as the focus in most DSLRs.

Fast and responsive? At affordable levels, the situation is quite the oppsite. What DSLR can autofocus in 15 fps? A $1200 mirrorless can, with full autofocus. Most DSLRs are not even close to 15 fps whether you talk autofocus or not…

=> …(mirrorless cam manufacturers) pack in all kinds of innovative pro features into their newest bodies BUT they lack things like dual card slots and only have a limited range of native fast lenses

This is partly the same argument as no 2. Repeating a bad argument does not make it better. As far as dual card slots are concerned, there are no technical limitations regarding the number of card slots in mirrorless cameras.

To me, this video is not informative. Is is misguiding. To users who want to make a decision on mirrorless or not, this video is not bringing any useful arguments to the table. I agree with you, Harrmann, saying that the cameras are just tools with different abilities and you should choose what fits your needs best. That should be the angle upon which to evaluate the models.