Everything You Need To Know About Mirrorless Cameras

16 July 2021

Mirrorless cameras have taken hold of the kingdom, dethroning Digital SLRs who once ruled the land of interchangeable lens cameras.

The secret to their success? Size. Unlike their typically bulky predecessors, mirrorless cameras offer almost identical results to their DSLR counterparts but within a much smaller and travel-friendly form factor. Couple that with fewer moving parts, auto-focus benefits, tailor-made lenses and zero camera shake, and you’ve got yourself a camera worthy of the throne. Read on to discover all the benefits of mirrorless cameras, including which mirrorless camera to buy based on Ted’s recommendations.

What is a Mirrorless camera?

To understand mirrorless technology, we first need to establish how DSLR cameras work. DSLR cameras capture photos using a mirror and prism system, reflecting the image captured by the lens up through the camera’s optical viewfinder. When you press the shutter button, this mirror flips up, exposing the image sensor and capturing a photograph.

On the other hand, mirrorless cameras do not have this mirror system, hence the name. Instead, images captured by the lens pass directly to the camera’s sensor without needing to be reflected. For this reason, mirrorless cameras feature an electronic viewfinder (EVF) instead of an optical one. An EVF displays the image captured by the image sensor, just like a camera’s LCD screen.

Everything You Need To Know About Mirrorless CamerasEverything You Need To Know About Mirrorless Cameras

What are the benefits of Mirrorless cameras?

Everything you need to know about Mirrorless camerasEverything you need to know about Mirrorless cameras

The simplified design of mirrorless technology allows manufacturers to produce much smaller and lighter cameras than your standard DSLR camera. When deciding between a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, the choice is often hotly debated. While camera-purists may argue for the true-to-life benefits of an optical viewfinder, an EVF offers an accurate representation of the final image, which many find more useful. 

This reduction in size doesn’t stop at the camera. Lenses designed for mirrorless cameras are generally smaller and more compact, making them far more portable than a standard DSLR lens. Fortunately, manufacturers, such as Canon with its EOS R-compatible RF range of lenses and Nikon with its Z-mount lineup, are taking advantage of mirrorless technology to produce even higher-quality lenses than before.

While early examples of mirrorless cameras, also known as Compact System Cameras (CSC), were more primitive due to autofocus issues. The mirrorless camera arms race has since discovered the benefits of on-sensor phase-detection autofocus. This kind of autofocus is swift and accurate, allowing modern mirrorless cameras to make their mark in the world of sports photography and video capture.

Choosing a Mirrorless camera that is right for you

Mirrorless cameras were initially considered for beginners or enthusiast-level photographers. However, unlike the CSC and Mirrorless cameras of the past, manufacturers are challenging DSLRs with serious competition. Fortunately, the mirrorless camera lineup ranges from easy-to-use beginner-friendly cameras to professional juggernauts that can do it all, and then some. If you’re unsure about which mirrorless camera to buy, read along to discover some of the best mirrorless cameras available from Ted’s Cameras.

Everything you need to know about Mirrorless camerasEverything you need to know about Mirrorless cameras

The best Mirrorless cameras for beginners

Entry-level mirrorless cameras are still incredibly compact and budget-friendly, so if you’re someone who prefers taking photos on something smaller, like a smartphone, it’s worth upgrading to one of these beginner models for a dramatic increase in image quality.

Here are some of our favourite mirrorless cameras for beginners:

Intending to give beginners everything they could ever need in a camera, Canon crams every ounce of mirrorless tech into the Canon EOS M50 II. It has a 24.1MP APS-C Sensor, 4K Video recording, a 143-point AF system, Dual Pixel AF and a 3-inch Vari-Angle touchscreen. The EOS M50 II is a creator's dream.

    Fans of traditional film SLRs will love the form factor and aesthetics of the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. Compact, lightweight, this camera features a new 20 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, 15 fps high-speed sequential shooting and 5-axis image stabilisation featuring up to 4.5 shutter speed steps of compensation.

    Sporting Nikon’s Z-mount lens for the first time, the Nikon Z50 features much of the same characteristics as the larger Z6 and Z7 but in a more compact package. Inside, you will find a 20MP APS-C sensor and EXPEED 6 processor, which work together to allow 11 frames per second continuous shooting and a suitably fast and accurate 209-point hybrid AF system. 

    The best Mirrorless cameras for enthusiasts

    Mirrorless cameras are dominating the enthusiast market. Gaining widespread popularity with short filmmakers and vloggers, their portability and high dynamic range make these cameras an excellent bang for your buck purchase. Here are three of our favourite mirrorless cameras for enthusiasts:

    Maintaining that classic Fujifilm aesthetic, the X-T4 excels with In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS), a large-capacity battery, fast AF performance, 15FPS Continuous shooting, a 26.1MP X-TransTM CMOS 4 sensor & X-Processor 4 Engine. It’s a powerhouse. 

      Like the Sony A7 series but want something more compact? Look no further than the A7C. 24.2MP Full-frame sensor, 4K resolution video, Built-in 5-axis Image Stabilisation and 693 point phase-detection AF system. What more could you ask for?

      Showcasing the fantastic capabilities of the EOS R System, the R6 offers class-leading speed and full-frame quality. Boasting up to 6,072 selectable AF points and algorithms that enable automatic face, eye and animal AF tracking modes, it’s a must-have mirrorless camera for sports and wildlife photographers.

      The best Mirrorless cameras for professional photographers

      At the top end of town is where mirrorless cameras really shine. Boasting high-resolution image sensors, sturdy build-quality, portability, and the latest and greatest technology to keep you up to pace with various subjects, professional mirrorless cameras are incredible pieces of technology. Here are just some of our favourite mirrorless cameras for professionals:

      Say hello to Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera, the Alpha A1. Offering a world-class user experience, the Alpha A1 features a 50.5MP full-frame Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor, 8K video recording, a Hybrid AF system (759 phase-detection & 425 contrast-detection points) and 5-AXIS SteadyShot stabilisation. It’s got all the bells and whistles.

        Join Canon as they jump leaps and bounds ahead in mirrorless technology with the EOS R5. 8K Ultra Hi-Def Video, up to 8 Stop Image Stabilisation, 20fps shooting at 45MP and Canon’s DIGIC X processor. It’s a trailblazing camera. 

        Vying for the top spot in the mirrorless camera market is the Nikon Z6II. Like the original, version 2 is a true all-rounder, with a 24.5MP FX-Format sensor and 4K UHD resolution video recording. Coupled with Nikon’s Dual EXPEED 6 processing engines, it’s hard to deny the pedigree of the Nikon Z6II.

        Pick up your Mirrorless camera now

        If you’re still unsure about which mirrorless camera to buy, check out Ted's Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras for more inspiration.

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