DSLR vs Mirrorless Camera | Which One Should You Buy?

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If you are planning to get into the photography profession, then you need to buy a DSLR camera. Besides DSLR camera, mirrorless cameras are also available in the market that also captures some beautiful shots. It’s quite challenging to choose one between DSLR vs Mirrorless camera.

In this article, we will give a piece of detailed information on DSLR Vs Mirrorless camera.

So, going further about the DSLR vs Mirrorless camera comparison, you have to know first what DSLR and Mirrorless camera actually is.

What is a DSLR Camera?

The term DSLR camera stands for the digital single-lens reflex camera. DSLR cameras have the same design as the 35mm film cameras.

Canon DSLR Camera
Canon DSLR Camera

Inside the body of the DSLR camera, a mirror exists that reflects the light. This light comes from the lens up into an optical viewfinder or by way of a prism or a series of extra mirrors.

When the user clicks on the shutter button, the mirror flips up, then the shutter opens, and the light falls onto the image sensor. This is how the DSLR cameras capture the final image. In the market, you can get many DSLR cameras.

Nikon D850, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Pentax K-1 Mark II, Nikon D500, Canon EOS 7D Mark II are some of the the best DSLR cameras.

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

As the name shows, a mirrorless camera doesn’t require a mirror that is the crucial component of a DSLR camera. It is the basic difference between DSLR cameras and the Mirrorless cameras.

Sony Mrrorless Camera
Sony Mrrorless Camera

In mirrorless cameras, the light passes through the lens and fall onto the image sensor. It captures a preview of the image and displays it on the rear screen. Some models of mirrorless cameras also come with a second screen inside the electronic viewfinder where you can put your eye up to.

Sony a7 III, Nikon Z6, Fujifilm X-T30, Canon EOS R, Panasonic LUMIX GH5 are some of the best mirrorless cameras available in the market.

DSLR vs Mirrorless Camera

For many years DSLR cameras have been more preferable to professional photographers than mirrorless cameras. Now, we will discuss the detailed difference between DSLR cameras and Mirrorless cameras.

Attributes DSLR Camera Mirrorless Camera
Size & Weight Bigger & Heavier Small & Light
Autofocus Good Good
Image Stabilization Average Good
Image Quality Good Good
Video Quality Good Better
Shooting Speed Normal Fast
Battery Life Good Average
Lens Availability Available Less Availability

In the photography world, both the mirrorless cameras and the Digital single lens reflex cameras are famous as they come with interchangeable lenses.

A smartphone camera or a point and shoot camera comes with a fixed inbuilt lens that can’t be changed whereas a DSLR or Mirrorless camera support multiple lenses for various needs

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Now you have to know where the DSLR camera differs from a Mirrorless camera.


DSLR cameras use phase detection features that measure the convergence of various beams of light. Phase detection of a DSLR camera is faster than the contrast detection of a Mirrorless camera.

Dslr Camera Focus
Setting a Proper Focus

The contrast detection is slower as it uses high contrast for focus detection. Phase detection is more rapid than contrast detection, and moreover, contrast detection gets worse in low light settings.

The advanced mirrorless cameras use a hybrid system where you can see a phase detection. The contrast detection is better for its autofocus capabilities.

So, you can choose a DSLR camera than a Mirrorless camera to get better auto-focus. Nikon D3500, Canon 80D are some of the best DSLR camera for beginners that you can go for.


Ergonomics is the most noticeable difference between a DSLR camera and a Mirrorless camera.

A DSLR camera is bigger than a Mirrorless camera. For the mechanical mirror flip mechanism, the size differs. This mechanism reduces the weight of a Mirrorless camera.

So, if the heavy weight of a DSLR camera bothers you then you can go for a Mirrorless camera.

Image Preview

By the optical viewfinder in a DSLR camera, you can see what the camera will capture. In a Mirrorless camera, the photographer can preview the image on the screen.

best dslr camera
Canon DSLR Camera

Presently, some Mirrorless camera comes with an EVF (electronic viewfinder) that imitates the optical viewfinder. In proper lighting conditions, the EVF manages to show the image preview that is very close to the captured image.

But with low light conditions, the image preview gets grainy while the mirror in a DSLR camera provides better image preview.

Image Quality

Both the DSLR and Mirrorless cameras are able to capture high-quality images with high resolution. Still, you have to keep in mind that the older Mirrorless cameras come with smaller image sensors that result in low capture of light.

The advanced Mirrorless cameras come with full frame sensors. So, there is not a severe difference between the image quality of a DSLR camera and the Mirrorless camera.

Image Stabilization

All of the photographers are not blessed with steady hands. So, if someone captures with low shutter speed or too much zooming in, then the picture will be blurry.

Image stabilization
Left Image: Without Stabilization; Right Image: With Stabilization

You can get the image stabilization system both in DSLR cameras and Mirrorless cameras. Both of these cameras come with sensors that measure the camera movement and counteract by shifting the lens in the opposite direction.

There is not so much difference about the image stabilization between the DSLR camera and the Mirrorless camera. Still, you have to keep in mind that Sensor stabilization is better than lens stabilization.

Sensor stabilization works with external lenses, whereas lens stabilization only works for the inbuilt internal lens.

Shooting Speed

Low Shutter Speed Image
Image Captured with Low Shutter Speed

As the mirrorless cameras do not come with the mirror prism mechanism, it is easier to capture continuous shots. A Mirrorless camera uses an electronic shutter that shoots quick images and without any sound.

So, if you want to shoot any continuous shots, then you can opt for a Mirrorless camera.

Video Quality

Mirrorless cameras come with on-chip focus sensors that use phase detection that provides better video quality. On the other hand, DSLR cameras have mirrors that use phase detection that rely on the slower, less accurate contrast detection.

As the DSLR cameras focus slowly, it leads to blurry frames.


The variety of lenses are less available for Mirrorless cameras than DSLR cameras. So, if you use a lot of different lenses during photography, then you can opt for DSLR cameras. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D850 are some of the best DSLR camera for professionals.

DSLR Camera Lens
Collection of camera lens

DSLR cameras has been ruling for many years. But presently Mirrorless cameras are also gaining popularity.

Though varieties of lenses of Mirrorless camera are not very available in the market. But in coming years, Mirrorless camera lenses will also be available in the market.

So, if you are new in the photography profession, and want a camera with various interchangeable lenses, then you can go with DSLR Camera.

Battery Life

DSLR cameras come with better battery life for its larger size and use the optical viewfinder. On the other hand, a Mirrorless cameras come with LCD screens and electronic viewfinders that drain the power.

So, if you want your camera with better battery life, then you can opt for the a DSLR camera.

But If you use the screen to preview photos, the battery life would be the same for both of the DSLR camera and the Mirrorless camera.

Final Thoughts

Here you have got all the detailed information on DSLR vs Mirrorless cameras. Hopefully, it will help you to select one between a DSLR camera and a Mirrorless camera as per your convenience.

DSLR cameras are very popular among photographers as they are in the market for very long period of time. But Mirrorless cameras are now catching them up at every front.

If you are a newbie and want a small, light weight camera which great video quality and perfect image and has a interchangeable lens, go for the Mirrorless camera.

Source: Techradar, Tomsguide


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