A mirrorless camera is exactly what it claims to be: a camera without a mirror. DSLRs and cameras of the past use a mirror inside the camera body to reflect light into a prism. This light is redirected into the viewfinder of the camera. When a picture is taken, the mirror flips up and the shutter opens, which diverts the light into an image sensor. This is how you capture an image. In contrast, mirrorless cameras do not have this mirror. Instead, light is passed directly onto the image sensor constantly. This dramatically cuts down the size of the camera, and has additional positive benefits.
Mirrorless cameras tend to be much smaller and easier to construct than the equivalent DSLRs. Mirrorless cameras have no mirror, so the lens can be much closer to the light sensor compared to traditional DSLRs.
Hybrid autofocus has enabled mirrorless cameras to take center stage in the camera world. This has improved the autofocus of mirrorless cameras to the point where they can now compete with DSLRs for most applications, outside of more professional uses like sports and wildlife photography.
Mirrorless cameras are particularly effective for getting great quality video. With no mirror comes no issues that mirror brings for shooting video. Instead, mirrorless cameras provide crisp, quality video at high speeds at up to 4K.
Significantly, the mirrorless marketplace is still relatively new. This is great news for photographers that adopt mirrorless cameras, because they have a wide-array of industry-leading lenses to choose from. They don’t have to worry about old, outdated lens models, because there simply hasn’t been time for that to be an issue yet.
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