What is a mirrorless camera?

The newest addition to the digital photography world is the Mirrorless Camera. Though still fairly new (and expensive) this new level of digital technology is exactly what pushes professionals to new creative heights. The big difference is of course that these cameras do not have mirrors that reflect the light captured through the viewfinder. Instead, a mirrorless camera shows you the image through an electronic viewfinder before you actually press the shutter to take the shot.

In this case, you are no longer looking through the lens optically (through mirrors). You are seeing a computer rendition of your scene.  Some professional photographers have strong opinions for and against this new technology. Many believe it takes us out of our reality, which is where we want to be when we are capturing photos. But others love the computer-generated power that allows these cameras to do so much more with so much less.

In a mirrorless camera, the camera lens and body are closer together, more compact, and needless components to work. Therefore, they are much smaller and weigh much less. Because the camera lens is closer to the sensor, these cameras tend to have better abilities to focus, especially in low lighting conditions. Mirrorless cameras are the newest form of digital camera technology, and so they are more expensive and not everyone is quite ready to make that switch, including me.

Why are some professionals not ready to make the switch, but maybe you are?

I personally made a HUGE photography purchase just last year. I bought the Nikon d850 ($2800). I almost made the switch to mirrorless but decided to wait a few more years. Here’s why.  I have been shooting Nikon gear for over 10 years. Switch to mirrorless would mean having to sell all of my Nikon gear and buy all new lenses and gear to fit the new mirrorless system I might buy. Remember, whatever system you choose, you should try to stick with it so you can continue to master your skills and add gear to your camera bag as the years go on.

I also chose to wait because as much as I would love to carry around less weight (especially traveling!), purchasing a mirrorless camera system would have cost me about 30% more and I would have to take time to practice building my confidence with the new gear. All of these factors could be different for you.

Maybe this will be your first camera purchase, so learning a new system is what you need right now. Plus we can help you learn in our beginner photography classes. Maybe you have a bigger budget for a full-frame mirrorless camera system. Or maybe you want to start with less gear, which I think this is a good thing!

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