Should I Buy a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera?

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Depending on your taste and your need, you may choose to purchase the DSLR or mirrorless camera. What you should know as you begin your quest to make your decision is that both cameras are fantastic and they also have their limitations. 

The DSLR and mirrorless cameras have identical lens system. This means that you can change the lens between the two cameras.

To be able to know what exactly will be good for you between a DSLR vs Mirrorless camera, it is important to know the differences and similarities in their features.

Apparently, you should be able to decide for yourself after going through this page.

DSLR vs Mirrorless Camera

Sony and a Nikon camera side by side

Size and Weight

In terms of size and weight, the mirrorless camera stands out because it has a smaller body which makes it very portable. The DSLR camera weighs about 1.5 pounds compared with the mirrorless camera that weighs about 1.3 pounds. It can easily enter your small bag or pocket when you are traveling. 

When it comes to autofocus speed, there is really nothing to separate both cameras. DSLR camera features a new inclusion known as phase detection that rapidly measures the meeting of two beams of light. 

However, the mirrorless camera was limited to a feature known as contrast detection. This feature uses an image sensor to detect the most increased contrast. The latter feature which falls on a mirrorless camera is much slower, mostly if you are in a low light surrounding. 

Meanwhile, the new set of mirrorless and DSLR cameras presently have the contrast detection and phase detection features embedded into the image sensor. One interesting aspect of the autofocus feature is that DSLR cameras can imitate a mirrorless camera when it raises the mirror and shows a live preview of an image. This feature is known as Live View mode. 

The DSLR and mirrorless cameras shooting fast autofocus while using identical technologies. Although, if this is what you are really looking for, you should look for a DSLR camera model that has the feature of an on-chip phase-detection sensor. 

Image Stabilization

Photo comparison of image stabilization feature in cameras

The image stabilization feature is also not left out when comparing the DSLR and mirrorless cameras. While both cameras offer the image stabilization feature that prevents unstable hands and solves blurry images, one certainly stands out in terms of quality. 

DSLR cameras and a majority of mirrorless cameras only have the lens-shift option. This option allows the two cameras to offset shake along two axes, which are the horizontal and vertical axes. A few of the mirrorless cameras move the sensor and lens along two axes in a corresponding way and it provides for better stability than the DSLR cameras. 

The main reason why the mirrorless camera beats the DSLR camera in the image stabilization feature is that the former possesses a five-axis image stabilization feature. On the other hand, you can only get the feature in the expensive models of the mirrorless camera. 

Image Quality

The image quality is another important factor to consider if you are looking to purchase the DSLR cameras or the mirrorless cameras. Let’s get to it then. The two cameras have the capability of capturing high-quality images with identical resolutions. 

Previously, mirrorless cameras used to have smaller image sensors which captured images in poor quality, but the recent improvement in chips and other features puts it at an advantage. 

Both have similar image processors and sensors, which means the two cameras, can capture the best images with a high level of quality. 

Video Quality

The video quality is the next point of consideration if you are caught between choosing the DSLR camera and the mirrorless camera. The distinguishing factor in the video quality of the mirrorless and DSLR camera is the Autofocus. 

The mirrorless camera edges it in video quality because they mostly have the on-chip phase detection focus sensor which is absent in the DSLR cameras. Instead, the DSLR camera uses the contrast-detection focus feature which is not fast, and not accurate enough. 

Shooting Speed

Once again, the mirrorless camera edges it in shooting speed. While both cameras can shoot fast shutter speed and capture tons of images at a faster rate, the inclusion of a mechanical shutter to increase the exposure of an image for better results makes the mirrorless camera better. 

In addition, the mirrorless camera includes an electronic shutter that allows you to shoot faster and without sound.

Battery Life

On battery life, the DSLR camera is one to go after because it has better battery life. The DSLR camera is capable of shooting videos without the need to use a live view on an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen. 

Bottom line

So back to our question. Should I buy a DSLR or mirrorless camera?

Without a doubt, mirrorless camera edges it in terms of being portable, faster, compact, and the best for videos but it is limited to reduced lenses and lower battery life. 

DSLR cameras offer a larger choice of lenses, good battery life, and better optical viewfinder. If you are looking to purchase a reliable and comfortable camera, you should opt for the mirrorless camera.