Deciding between DSLR vs mirrorless vs point and shoot? All three continue to evolve and improve with the latest innovations in camera technology. So where does the debate between DSLR vs mirrorless vs point and shoot stand? Let’s break it down.
Mirrorless vs DSLR?
DSLR is the digital version of a film SLR camera. Light enters through the lens, which is reflected off a mirror in the camera body that bounces light into the viewfinder. When you click the shutter, the mirror flips down and exposes the digital sensor, which absorbs the light and captures the image. With a mirrorless camera, the lack of a mirror means there isn’t a natural way to preview the image through the viewfinder. But the simple, streamlined design also allows for a considerably smaller and more portable device.
Size & Weight
One of the main selling points of a mirrorless camera over a DSLR is its portability and significantly lighter body weight. Still, some APS-C DSLR cameras can also be lightweight, such as the Canon EOS Rebel T7 from Beachcamera.com, which only weighs 14.25 ounces.
DSLRs have a wider selection of lenses to choose from. But as mirrorless cameras continue to grow in popularity, their lens offerings are catching up.
Mirrorless continues to fall short here, which can be a big negative when shooting in the field for long stretches. Smaller mirrorless camera bodies equal smaller batteries, and mirrorless camera sensors are perpetually active, which can drain battery life quickly.
Both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are capable of fantastic image quality, partially because either design is capable of using the latest and greatest full-frame sensors on the market. If you were to compare image quality between two evenly matched DSLR and mirrorless cameras, you’ll see that they’re about the same.
DSLRs may have a wide range of choices when it comes to lenses, but only high-end DSLR models can produce 4K or Ultra HD quality videos. That’s why, in this case, mirrorless cameras have the edge because they have the ability to produce such quality even with some affordable models.
DSLR vs Point and Shoot Sensors
DSLRs have larger sensors which mean larger pixel size that can capture more light and more data points. Not only does this reduce noise in the image but also allow you to tinker with shutter speeds and ISO settings. Point and shoot cameras tend to be small and can be carried inside your pocket. Because they’re so easy to carry around, you can have them on you all the time. This will ensure you never miss a worthy opportunity. These cameras also don’t make any noise. This allows you to capture images without disturbing the subject.
The thing that stands out for a DSLR is its ability to support multiple lenses. You may own a great point and shoot camera with a high-quality lens that can take great photos but it will always lack diversity, and constrain you with only one lens. A DSLR, on the other hand, allows you the flexibility to maneuver lenses so that you can take micro shots of a bee one day and capture the Grand Canyon on another using the same camera just by replacing lenses.
The reflex mirror in a DSLR allows the optical viewfinder to accurately show what you’ll capture when you click. Point and shoot cameras come with LCD screens to view the shots you’re about to take. It’s very convenient for a beginner to just flip the screen and capture the shot at different angles, which isn’t possible using the optical viewfinder.
The one area where point and shoot cameras have an edge is the Automatic mode. Most users of these cameras are amateurs. Manufacturers make an effort to improve the auto modes so that anyone can take great pictures. Generally speaking, DSLRs are faster to boot and autofocus, the shutter lag is also less compared to point and shoots.
DSLR vs Point and Shoot: Which Camera to Buy
If you’re passionate about photography, desire greater control and care a lot about minute details go for DSLRs. If you want a small camera that fits in your pocket, and would let the camera decide what’s best for the photo, go for the point and shoot.
Mirrorless vs Point and Shoot
At first glance, when comparing a mirrorless vs point and shoot, they aren't that different. That makes it difficult to decide which one suits you.
Size and Weight
A point and shoot camera is compact, so it's also lightweight. You photograph with an integrated lens that you can't change. Perfect for when you only need a camera to take photos at parties and on vacation. These cameras have an optical zoom up to 85x, which is more than enough for those situations. The performance of a mirrorless camera is often comparable to an SLR camera. This is due to the advanced system. Because of that, a mirrorless camera from Beachcamera.com is bigger and heavier than a point and shoot.
The simplest point and shoot cameras have a menu with a small number of options. Because of that, they're often easy to operate. With the automatic option and pre-programmed modes, you can take photos with 1 click. You won't have to think about complicated settings. If you want more options, you can adjust the aperture and shutter speed on most models. Point and shoot cameras in the higher price range will offer more manual setting options. You do the same with a mirrorless camera as you can with an SLR camera. You can set up the camera just how you want it with the control buttons. You can adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and light sensitivity. Because of these features, a mirrorless camera is suitable for the advanced photographer. In addition, there are also pre-programmed programs on a mirrorless camera, so the novice photographer can also use it.
There's no room for a large sensor in a point and shoot. The smaller sensors in point and shoots don’t perform as well in the dark. Advanced point and shoots have a CMOS sensor of around 20 megapixel, which provides more color and detail in your images. Most mirrorless cameras have a Micro Four Thirds sensor or an APS-C sensor. These sensors are a lot bigger than those of point and shoots. A Micro Four Thirds sensor captures enough light to bring more details into the photos, thanks to its size. The APS-C sensor is a bit larger and provides even more details in your images. That's why a mirrorless camera is better suited to take pictures in low-light situations. If you want more options in terms of usage, choose a mirrorless camera. A point and shoot is more suitable for the photographer who wants to keep it simple. In addition, point and shoots are suitable for creating vlogs.