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Mirrorless Cameras Guide

Mirrorless cameras have become more popular in recent years among both professional and amateur photographers, because they present a number of benefits for photography and videography. All camera manufacturers (aside from Pentax) make mirrorless cameras, vying to design the most popular model with the best features. So, if you're looking to learn more about mirrorless cameras, we've got all the information you need in our guide.

The uiltimate guide to mirrorless cameras

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

A mirrorless camera is quite simply a type of camera without a mirror, which also means there is no need for a pentaprism or optical viewfinder, so they have an electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead. This provides several advantages, but perhaps most importantly, they allow manufacturers to design smaller and lighter camera bodies.

Mirrorless cameras are made with four sensor sizes, which affects the amount of light they can gather, as well as the size and weight of the camera body and interchangeable mirrorless lenses. In order of size, these are micro four thirds, crop sensor (APS-C), full-frame and medium format.

Better focusing with a mirrorless AI driven focusing system

How Does a Mirrorless Camera Work?

A mirrorless camera works differently from a DSLR, because the mirror mechanism has been removed. Without a mirror, light enters the attached lens and hits the digital sensor directly, rather than reflecting off a mirror onto the sensor, as it does in a DSLR.

Without a mirror, there’s no need for a pentaprism, which is usually responsible for directing the light into an optical viewfinder that we look through to view the scene on a DSLR. Instead, mirrorless cameras have an electronic viewfinder – or EVF- which displays a digital image on a small screen. An EVF allows you to punch-in closer to your subject, displays useful shooting information and can be extremely sharp and detailed.

Captuing fast action with a mirrorless

Are Mirrorless Cameras Better for Video?

Mirrorless cameras are better for video than a DSLR as they tend to be smaller and lighter, which makes them easier to handhold while recording. You’ll find that many mirrorless can cameras capture 4K and even higher quality, and have state-of-the-art technology to help you make better videos.

Video technology is being rapidly developed for mirrorless cameras, with camera companies investing heavily to create the best video-capable features for their users. Many models include fast and accurate autofocus systems with ‘sticky’ tracking, artificial intelligence subject detection, incredibly effective body stabilisation, as well as flip-out LCDs, which are better for vlogging.

Extremely comact system

The Best Mirrorless Camera for Video

Every camera brand makes extremely capable mirrorless cameras for video, which is great news for anyone who wants to get into videography, vlogging or is a hybrid photo/video shooter. You’ll find any Sony, Fujifilm or Canon mirrorless camera range has models for beginners through to professional creators. We’ve hand-picked some of the best options for anyone starting out, all of which feature a compact APS-C size sensor, a kit lens and will help you to progress your skills.

The Sony ZV-E10L captures high quality 4K/30p and 120p Full HD slow motion, harnesses Sony’s Real-time Eye Autofocus and has a fully articulating LCD for selfie-videos.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 II makes a great choice for newcomers, as it combines high-speed autofocus performance with 4K/30p video in a compact, portable form.

From Canon, the EOS M50 Mark II camera has plenty of video features. It’s perfect for vlogging or live streaming and includes accurate Dual Pixel AF, touchscreen video control and records 4K movies.

The heritage-style Nikon Z Fc camera captures beautiful full-sensor 4K video and comes with a versatile lens, which resolves all of the details perfectly.

Both Panasonic and Olympus design super-compact micro four thirds cameras, with excellent features for videography, including some of the best body stabilisation for extra-smooth footage. 

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV boasts a 5-axis stabilisation system, 4K video and a flip-down LCD monitor for selfies and vlogging. Panasonic’s G9 camera is another great choice for video with 4K, 6.5 stops of in-body image stabilisation and delivers extremely fast AF speed.

Smaller than a DSLR

The Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel

When you’re heading away on holiday or jetting off for a weekend trip, it pays to bring a camera which is lightweight, compact and easy to use. When travelling with a camera, you should look for:

  • A camera which is compact, so that you always bring it with you and capture photos and videos which are far better than your phone is capable of. Any compact camera such as the Sony RX100 VA, RICOH GR IIIx or Panasonic Lumix TZ90 capture brilliant 4K videos, superb photos and are easy to transport around. They’re also easy to use, with auto modes for quick snapshots, as well as more advanced modes when you can take the time to get the perfect shot.
  • A weather-resistant camera is a good idea if you’re travelling somewhere snowy, sandy or wet, like a beach holiday. The Olympus Tough TG-6 handles any adventure with ease, as it is waterproof, shockproof, crushproof and freeze-proof. The Insta360 ONE RS Boosted 4K Edition offers similar features, being tough, waterproof and is even more compact.
  • If you’d like the ability to shoot selfies when travelling, look for a mirrorless camera with a flip-out LCD screen, such as the Olympus PEN E-P7, or the beautiful Fujifilm X-A7.

So whether you're a keen traveller, or just looking for the perfect camera to take with you on your next holiday there are plenty of excellent options to choose from.

Mirrorless are great cameras to travel with

The Best Budget Mirrorless Cameras

When it comes to shopping for a mirrorless camera, budget is often one of the most important considerations. Whether you're heading on holiday and don’t want to bring your main camera, you may be a student or beginner trying photography out before committing to expensive gear. Whatever the reason, there are options available for every budget and you’ll still get plenty of features for capturing great content.

The Sony a6100 with 16-50mm lens comes with now-legendary autofocusing capabilities, has 4K movies and allows you to switch lenses as you develop your skills. The Panasonic Lumix G80 with 12-60mm lens is another interchangeable lens camera with 4K video, and includes a number of brilliant photography features too.

Both of these manage to pack great features, although you won’t get some of the more advanced features, which you’ll find in more expensive models. For example the Sony is lacking body stabilisation for video and the LCD and EVF are relatively low resolution, which help to keep the cost down. The Panasonic meanwhile does include body stabilisation, however it doesn’t offer as advanced image quality, being more video-centric.

You might also consider buying a used camera as a means of getting a really capable mirrorless system at a fraction of the price of buying new. There are considerations when thinking about how to buy a second-hand camera, however you can often find nearly new kit which is barely used, getting yourself an excellent deal.

It’s easy to appreciate why mirrorless cameras have become so popular. They tend to be smaller and lighter than DSLRs, offer incredible photo and video features and are perfect for travelling. With this knowledge under your belt, browse our huge range of mirrorless cameras from the best brands to find the perfect one to tell your unique story.

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By Park Cameras on 19/05/2022

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