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Mirrorless cameras reached the consumer market in 2008. They matched integrated cameras and DSLRs by value in 2017 and 2018; by 2021, the mirrorless segment accelerated to $350 million in sales. Meanwhile, integrated cameras and DSLRs have flatlined at around $36 million.
A major portion of the mirrorless camera market focuses on beginners. So, in this article, we’ll take a closer look at why many photography enthusiasts are starting out with mirrorless cameras.
Pros of mirrorless cameras
Mirrorless cameras have a smaller sensor size than DSLRs, and their complete lack of a mirror mechanism means that they can offer more image stabilization. This equates to less shaky photos alongside quieter, more discreet equipment.
The fact that they are lighter and more portable than other cameras, while capable of accommodating a variety of lenses, also means that they can suit the niches of outdoor and travel photographers who wish to track moving subjects with high-quality autofocus. By choosing a mirrorless camera with a fast sensor readout, photographers can also indulge in night shoots thanks to improved color reproducibility and low-noise performance at all sensitivities.
Furthermore, mirrorless cameras tend to have an easier learning curve because their electronic viewfinder allows you to see how the different camera settings affect the image in real-time. Beginners can thus start shooting in auto for a basic feel for the camera before moving up to shoot in aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual modes.
Cons of mirrorless cameras
Mirrorless cameras are beloved for their portable size. However, this can become disadvantageous to photographers with larger hands. Purchasing an extended hand grip may thus be necessary to reduce fatigue and cramps.
This additional expense adds to the already costly price of mirrorless cameras. Many mirrorless cameras sell for a premium over DSLRs due to the demand. This can make costs heavy for beginners to the hobby, who likely lack the knowledge necessary to benefit from any extra features on pricier models. In the earlier referenced article from Forbes, travel journalist Larry Olmsted explained that almost all DSLR cameras have a viewfinder and LCD display. However, only the more expensive mirrorless versions include the viewfinder.
The good news is that mirrorless cameras are theoretically more durable than other cameras. That’s because they have fewer moving parts and lack a shutter, which is a mechanical wear item and, thus, the component most likely to break. Mirrorless cameras also seem to hold their market value for longer than DSLRs do.
At the end of the day, mirrorless cameras are favored by beginners for their optimized interface paired with their flexibility of quality grading footage. There’s now a wider range of mirrorless cameras available compared to a few years ago, so beginners can look towards choosing the right camera for them so that it becomes an investment worth its initial cost.
For one, the Canon EOS R10 is a cult favorite and has made for a solid starter among Canon’s budget crop-sensor RF cameras since its release in July 2022. Its dual control dials and articulating touchscreen means that smartphone users can make the switch easier.
Otherwise, enthusiasts can better appreciate the Canon EOS R6’s mirrorless camera specs, like its high-performance CMOS sensor and DIGIC X image processor. Thanks to its user-friendly feature set, beginners will soon be photographing action sports and easily filming 4K cinematic videos.
Be patient with your research and check out our other blog posts on Photography Alert. With time and practice, you’ll soon be handling your mirrorless camera like a pro.