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DSLR Versus Mirrorless cameras. Which one should you Buy!

DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras and mirrorless cameras are two main types of digital cameras, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the key differences between the two:


The most obvious difference between the two is the design. DSLRs have a mirror and prism system that reflects light from the lens to an optical viewfinder. You see the real image reflected througha mirror and the pentaprism.

Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, have no mirror, and the image is displayed directly on the sensor, which is then displayed on an electronic viewfinder (EVF) or the rear LCD screen. You see an electronic image.

Size and weight:

Since mirrorless cameras do not have a mirror and prism system, they tend to be smaller and lighter than DSLRs. This makes them more portable and easier to carry around. But this does not mean that they are so compact that they can be carried in a pocket. Mirrorless cameras are no doubt smaller and lighter but still bag enough that these need a bag to carry.

Camera Shake

In traditional DSLR cameras, the light passes through the lens and hits a mirror, which reflects it up into the viewfinder. When you take a photo, the mirror flips up out of the way, and the light hits the camera's image sensor. Because of the mirror's movement, there's a risk of camera shake, which can lead to less sharp images.Since mirrorless cameras don't have a mirror, they're able to eliminate this potential source of camera shake, resulting in sharper images.


DSLRs typically have good autofocus performance, especially when it comes to tracking moving subjects. However, mirrorless cameras have also caught up and offer advanced autofocus systems that rival those found in DSLRs. In fact, the lack of a mirror allows the camera to use a faster and more accurate autofocus system, which can also contribute to sharper images.

Image quality:

Both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can produce high-quality images, but the quality depends on the specific camera model and its sensor. Mirrorless cameras generally have better video capabilities due to their advanced autofocus systems and ability to shoot silently.

Battery life:

Mirrorless cameras typically have poorer battery life than DSLRs due to their reliance on electronic viewfinders and LCD screens.

Lens selection:

DSLRs have a wider selection of lenses available due to their longer history, but mirrorless camera manufacturers are rapidly expanding their lens offerings.

Range of Lenses

taking the case of Canon here, R lenses are the latest series of lenses designed for Canon's mirrorless cameras that use the RF mount. Compared to EF lenses, which are designed for Canon's DSLR cameras, RF lenses have several advantages.

First, RF lenses are designed specifically for the mirrorless design of Canon's latest cameras, meaning that the lens can be positioned closer to the image sensor, which allows for a larger aperture and faster autofocus.

Additionally, the RF mount has a larger diameter than the EF mount, which means that RF lenses can be designed with larger maximum apertures.

Another advantage of RF lenses is their control ring, which can be customized to adjust settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, making it easier for photographers to quickly adjust their settings without having to take their eyes off the viewfinder.

This is something that used to there in the earlier manual DSLR cameras when the Aperture used to be controlled from the dial on the lens.

In terms of optical quality, RF lenses use the latest technology and materials to produce sharp and clear images. They often have more elements and advanced coatings, resulting in better contrast, color rendition, and reduced aberrations.

Overall, R lenses are better than EF lenses in several ways due to their design and technology, but their compatibility is limited to Canon's latest mirrorless cameras that use the RF mount. On the other hand the existing EF lenses can used on any Mirrorless camera with the help of an adaptor. However, it makes the existing lens longer in dimension when attached to a mirrorless camera.

In summary, DSLRs offer better autofocus and battery life, and a wider selection of lenses, while mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, and offer better video capabilities. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference and shooting needs.

Canon EOS R with EF 40mm lens. Photographed by Munish Khanna

Photography - Munish Khanna

Shot on a DSLR Canon 5D Mark III, its difficult to see any difference from a Mirrorless unless the same Image is shot from both the cameras under the same specifications. Now that technology is shifting towards the Mirrorless, its better to invest in Mirrorless cameras unless there is a specific reason to opet for a DSLR.

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