Photography Explained

More Odd Photography Terms Explained - What Is A Mirrorless Camera?

April 20, 2021 Rick McEvoy Episode 56
Photography Explained
More Odd Photography Terms Explained - What Is A Mirrorless Camera?
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Photography Explained
More Odd Photography Terms Explained - What Is A Mirrorless Camera?
Apr 20, 2021 Episode 56
Rick McEvoy

What Is A Mirrorless Camera? Hi and welcome to Episode 56 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m Rick, and in each episode I will explain one photographic thing in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. Not Google. Well there might be the odd thing that I had to look up but mainly this is stuff that I know.

Here is my answer
A mirrorless camera has a sensor that is permanently exposed to light. When taking a photo a shutter covers the sensor, and then opens and closes to expose the image for a time duration set by the shutter speed. The viewfinder on a mirrorless camera is electronic. Mirrorless cameras do not have mirrors or the pentaprism found on DSLR cameras, so are smaller and lighter than DSLRs.

Or put it another way – a mirrorless camera does not have a mirror in it!

Listen for more, or check out the transcript and even the blog post - so many ways to find out more!

What’s next?
Glad you asked! In Photography Explained Podcast 57, Camera Lenses Explained For Beginners - 15 Things You Need To Know

What to ask a question?
Head over to the Want Me To Explain Something? page on the Photography Explained website and fill the form in and you are done!

Check out my my blog
Check out my photography blog where you will find lots more photography stuff all written by me.

Did you enjoy this episode?
If you did please do the following, which will help me and not take too much time.
·         Rate and review my podcast
·         Subscribe
·         Tell anyone you think might like my podcast

Thank you very much for listening and see you on the next episode.

Rick McEvoy – Photography Explained Podcast


Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Rickmcevoy)

Show Notes Transcript

What Is A Mirrorless Camera? Hi and welcome to Episode 56 of the Photography Explained podcast.

I’m Rick, and in each episode I will explain one photographic thing in plain English in less than 10 minutes (ish) without the irrelevant details. What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience. Not Google. Well there might be the odd thing that I had to look up but mainly this is stuff that I know.

Here is my answer
A mirrorless camera has a sensor that is permanently exposed to light. When taking a photo a shutter covers the sensor, and then opens and closes to expose the image for a time duration set by the shutter speed. The viewfinder on a mirrorless camera is electronic. Mirrorless cameras do not have mirrors or the pentaprism found on DSLR cameras, so are smaller and lighter than DSLRs.

Or put it another way – a mirrorless camera does not have a mirror in it!

Listen for more, or check out the transcript and even the blog post - so many ways to find out more!

What’s next?
Glad you asked! In Photography Explained Podcast 57, Camera Lenses Explained For Beginners - 15 Things You Need To Know

What to ask a question?
Head over to the Want Me To Explain Something? page on the Photography Explained website and fill the form in and you are done!

Check out my my blog
Check out my photography blog where you will find lots more photography stuff all written by me.

Did you enjoy this episode?
If you did please do the following, which will help me and not take too much time.
·         Rate and review my podcast
·         Subscribe
·         Tell anyone you think might like my podcast

Thank you very much for listening and see you on the next episode.

Rick McEvoy – Photography Explained Podcast


Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Rickmcevoy)

What is a mirrorless camera? Hi, and welcome to Episode 56 of the photography explained podcast. I'm Rick and in each episode, I will explain one photographic thing in plain English in less than 10 minutes without the irrelevant details.

What I tell you is based on my lifetime of photographic experience, not Google. Well there might be the odd thing that I have to look up but mainly this is the stuff that I know.

And when I say 10 minutes, yeah, it's 10 minutes ish. I'm not waffling to fill up 10 minutes, and I'm not stopping myself at 10 minutes - the episode will take as long as it takes for me to explain what I am explaining to a level that I'm happy with.

So let's do this odd question. What is a mirrorless camera?
It is an odd question, isn't it? But there are so in photography like this. But there is a logical explanation. So what is a mirrorless camera?

Well it is a camera without a mirror. Why would a camera have a mirror?
If you're starting today building cameras they won't have mirrors in them. So why do we call it a mirrorless camera? That's what I'm here to tell you.

DSLR camera
In the last episode, I explained what a DSLR camera is. This is the camera with the mirror in it. I had to explain what a camera with a mirror in it was so I could then explain what a mirrorless camera is.

Okay, so let's do the answery bit.

A mirrorless camera has a sensor that is permanently exposed to light. When taking a photo a shutter covers the sensor and then opens and closes to expose the image for a time duration set by the shutter speed. The viewfinder on a mirrorless camera is electronic. Mirrorless cameras do not have mirrors or the pentaprism found on DSLR cameras so are smaller and lighter.

Okay, that's it. That's the answer.

So let's talk a bit about this.
Yes, I did do a bit of research on this one, I know I didn't (need to) research the DSLR one because I was fine with that. Mirrorless. Yeah, I knew what they were but I wanted to know a bit more, and I've come across a new term which I wasn't expecting to be honest with you.

What does DSLM mean?
DSLM means digital single lens mirrorless camera. I've never heard of that before. Have you? This is on the Panasonic website, which proves I did do some research to be fair, but um, yeah, DSLM is a new one on me!

Right then - so why get rid of the mirror?
Well, why was there a mirror in the first place? I explained why there was a mirror in the last episode. So I won't go into that again now. But this is a logical evolution. Sure, it's an unfortunate term, but SLR/ DSLRs had an optical viewfinder, and the mirror sent what you're looking at through the lens up into the mirror pentaprism and into your eyes. So you were actually looking at what you were taking a photograph of.

Electronic Viewfinders
Now if you replace an optical viewfinder with an electrical viewfinder, of course it has an acronym EVF, then you don't need the mirror. You don't need the pentaprism (the transcript came up with “bent person”).

You get rid of that big lump of stuff on the front of the camera. The problem is that electronic viewfinders weren't that good. And now they are fantastic. And they work really well. I've got one on my Olympus EM5, I'll get on to that later.

One thing that gets me about an EVF (I hate using acronyms, I'm sorry). One thing that gets me with the electronic viewfinder, I still can't get used to it (I'm still using my Canon DSLR which doesn't have an electronic viewfinder, It just has a small rubbish screen on the back of the camera). Take a photo with my Olympus EM5 and it's there (the photo I took) in the viewfinder.

You can look at it (the photo) in the viewfinder. It's amazing, the electronic viewfinder. Of course it can show you what the sensor has recorded. And it's just an amazing thing that I can pick up my camera and I can move it and still have that image - I'll get used to it.

It's not my fault I'm rubbish. And I say to my youngster.

Mirror gone
Okay, you get rid of the mirror, you get rid of the pentaprism and that's less stuff in the camera. And that makes the camera smaller.

So as I like to do from time to time, a few questions about mirrorless cameras.

Is a mirrorless camera better than a DSLR?
It depends, the awful, inevitable answer. It depends on the cameras you are comparing? I think the honest answer is mirrorless cameras are as good if not better than DSLRs because they have new technologies in them.

Will mirrorless cameras replace DSLRs?
I say, yes, without a doubt, there will come a point in time, which I think is coming quicker than we ever thought, when DSLRs will stop being made. I think it's already started to happen with the big manufacturers, Canon Nikon, there are others available, of course.

But Sony and Fuji (make mirrorless cameras) - I think Fuji might still do an SLR camera. But now I think, give it three years, and you won't be able to buy a new DSLR.

Let’s look at this in 3 years!
There you go. Come back to me in three years, that should be another (I don’t know) how many episodes, let say we will come back to this on episode 377.

Let's see. I'll make a note of that.

What type of mirrorless cameras are there?
Now we've been through the types of cameras in previous episodes. How big are the sensors in mirrorless cameras? As we've established before, the size of the sensor is an integral part of which camera system your camera sits in.

You can get full frame mirrorless cameras, you can get cropped sensor cameras (APS-C), you can get micro four thirds mirrorless cameras. In fact, you cannot get a micro four thirds DSLR - the two are completely different.

So full frame SLR to DSLR to mirrorless. That's the transition. Crop sensor (APS-C) is going in the same direction.

Like I say give it a couple of years and we won't have any (new) DSLRs.

What about lenses?
There's a few issues that come out of that like lenses and stuff. But you can get adapters now. So it's not a great problem. All I'm talking about lenses in the next episode, just thought of sneak that one in there.

I'm only saying that because I just written the script for it. Yes, there is a script.

How much are mirrorless cameras?
Well the price range is fairly similar to the price range for DSLRs, to be perfectly honest with you. The now sort of mirroring each other you can get mirror - Oh god, that was dreadful poem, wasn't it?

(Rick tries again)

Mirrorless and DSLRs are sort of side by side. Now, obviously, there's a bigger range of DSLR cameras because they've been around for a lot longer but but the price levels compared to the (equivalent) quality, standards, and everything else are broadly comparable.

Next question.

A big burning question I have

This isn't a Google question. This is my question. 

Can't they come up with a better name than mirrorless cameras? I mean, what are we gonna do in three to five years, when there's no such thing as a DSLR, they've all been pensioned off.

No one makes them anymore.

So you're looking at a camera, which is a mirrorless camera. It's like saying, I'm having a mirrorless coffee, it will be about as relevant then. Or let's go for a mirrorless pint, as it will become a meaningless term.

So I'm starting a campaign now
Let's come up with a better name than mirrorless. Camera - that does it for me.

Yeah, I understand the term mirrorless camera. It makes sense. The evolution makes perfect sense. Just can we just do something better going forward?

What do you think?

Do I use a mirrorless camera?
I use a DSLR Canon 6D. Still using the old workhorse, still taking brilliant photos. But I also use an Olympus EM5 Mk2. Now this is smaller than my Canon, and I really like using it. It's a lovely piece of kit.

And it's mirrorless camera.

It's a micro four thirds mirrorless camera. But I still love using my DSLR so yeah, foot in (not 14) both camps. No particular reason why.

If I were starting now I'd probably buy a mirrorless camera. I probably wouldn't even know what an SLR was. But I've got a lot of years in, we're going back to, I can't say this, I was 13 when I had my first SLR camera. Can I just say that it was it was more than 30 years ago? Quite a bit more really - don't tell anybody.

So I've got a lot of time and, well, attachment to SLRs (and DSLRs). But I also enjoy the new stuff, which isn't even cutting edge technology.

But all these cameras take great photos. Let's not forget that. All these cameras, mirrorless, SLR, DSLR, they're all fantastic cameras. I can't think of a bad camera to be honest with you.

So that's it.

My one line explanation.

A mirrorless camera does not have a mirror. Genius, isn't it? Instead it has an electronic viewfinder with light travelling directly to the sensor.

Okay, then we're done with that one. I enjoyed that. I've been looking forward to getting to that, but there's quite a lot to get through together.

So what is next?
You might have noticed on the podcast feeds that the numbering has changed because I just noticed on Apple podcast, it was saying 54 dot 54. Hadn't even noticed that so that's gone, there was an instant refresh, which was good. (You didn’t need to know that).

So Episode 57.

Episode 57 - camera lenses explained for beginners - 10 things you need to know. But I think I'm at 15 at the moment and I'm finishing the script. So it's between 10 and 20 things you need to know - this is a good one.

It might take more than 10 minutes.

This one's taking more than 10 minutes. I failed again. But it's not the longest one.

Thank you
Anyway, thank you for listening to my small book perfectly formed podcast (it says here). Check out my websites Rick McEvoy Photography to find out about me and my photography blog and also the Photography Explained Podcast website where you can find out all about this podcast and ask me a question of your own.

This episode was brought to you by the power of Alta rica coffee and half a chocolate or digestive - being good today. I didn't go for a full one. I think I might have the rest afterwards.

I’ve be Rick McEvoy. Thanks again very much for listening to me and for giving me 12 minutes 30 seconds, not 45 seconds but if I don't shut up it will be 45 seconds of your valuable time. And I will see you on the next episode which I'm looking forward to.

Cheers from me, Rick.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

mirrorless camera, mirrorless, camera, mirror, episode, sensor, electronic viewfinder, dslr cameras, slr, viewfinder, Olympus, light, podcast, question, minutes, smaller, lenses, dslm, Canon