I am super excited because…I made the switch to a mirrorless camera! Recently my autofocus stopped working in the camera body of my DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. I didn’t realized how important autofocus was until I didn’t have it. Seriously, it made me so frustrated trying to manually focus, I wanted to just throw it out the window.
When the autofocus went, it was a clear sign I needed to upgrade. But even before the autofocus quit working, I was already planning on making the switch to a mirrorless camera, just maybe not this soon. Mirrorless cameras are overall really great cameras, but for travelers specifically they’re ideal! There are multiple reasons why I made the switch to a mirrorless camera, and I’ll explain them all below. Let’s go!
7 Reasons Why Mirrorless Cameras are Perfect for Travelers
1. Mirrorless Cameras are Smaller and Lighter
I absolutely love how light and petite my mirrorless camera is! The biggest difference between a DSLR camera and a mirrorless camera is a mirrorless camera does not have the mirror box or pentaprism which is needed for the optical viewfinder. Instead, mirrorless cameras have an electronic viewfinder which allows them to have smaller camera bodies and more compact lenses. This makes them ideal for travel!
When traveling I took my DSLR camera everywhere. Whether sightseeing around a city or hiking up a mountain, my camera came with. After a while the weight of it would wear on me. I would actually find myself not wanting to go out with it simply because I didn’t want to carry around the added weight. With my mirrorless camera, that isn’t a problem at all!
2. Mirrorless Cameras are More Discrete
My chunky DSLR camera almost immediately drew unwanted attention my way. When out exploring, I like to feel as if I am invisible. I try to take urban photos (or photos in general) without drawing a lot of attention towards me. I don’t mind some small talk with strangers, but people would frequently come up to me and ask if I was a photographer or something similar. With a smaller mirrorless camera, you receive a lot less attention which is perfect for travel!
3. Autofocus Speed
DSLR cameras used to have a faster autofocus because of their better technology. But that is no longer the case! The autofocus speed in a mirrorless cameras are just as good as DSLR’s and shouldn’t deter you from making the switch.
4. Continuous Shooting
Having a camera with high frames per second (fps) is important to me so I can increase the chances of getting a photo I like. This is especially important for when I ask strangers to take my photo. Typically I will set my camera to continuous mode, and tell the kind stranger to keep the shutter speed held down so the camera can take multiple shots rapidly. This way I can make small movements that are all captured on camera. The real bonus, mirrorless cameras tend to have faster shutter speeds. #winning
5. Image Quality
Mirrorless cameras used to have the stigma that they produced lower quality photos than DSLR cameras. However, with advanced technology, that is not the case either. You’ll find mirrorless cameras are just as good, and sometimes even superior to any DSLR camera.
6. Video Quality
Even though DSLR’s are popular amongst pro’s for video, just wait, mirrorless cameras are catching up! And quick. Actually, more and more mirrorless cameras are offering 4K capabilities, even with entry level models.
If you like to vlog your travels, a mirrorless camera is a great option because it’s so lightweight, you could take it anywhere!
7. Mirrorless Cameras are (Arguably) the Future
It seems that mirrorless cameras are catching up with DSLR functionality and technology at alarming rates. And not just catching up, but even surpassing in certain areas. It seems that technology is headed in this direction, and pretty soon DSLR’s might just be a thing of the past.
CONS for Mirrorless Cameras
So far I am absolutely loving my mirrorless camera, however there were two cons that I noticed right off the bat.
1. Battery Life
It is without a doubt that the battery life does not last as long as with DSLR cameras. Mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder instead of the optical viewfinder found in DSLR cameras. Because of the electric viewfinder, the battery life gets drained quicker. The best advice I can provide is to be sure to charge your battery every night, and if you are in a location where that is not possible (camping, etc.) then definitely invest in multiple batteries.
2. Lens Range
There are more lens range options for DSLR cameras. Mirrorless cameras offer less, however don’t be deterred because the selection is growing. Olympus offers the largest range of lenses, but my assumption is this is purely because they have offered mirrorless cameras longer. I personally do not feel restricted with my lens options, and I doubt this will be much of a problem as the popularity of mirrorless cameras grow.
Great Mirrorless Camera Options
If you are interested in making the switch to a mirrorless camera, I found the following cameras to be the best choice. They offer you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to price vs. quality of camera. All of these options are great entry-level to intermediate cameras that range from $900 to $1,500 for camera body alone.
For Sony I was very impressed with the Sony A6300. The Sony A6300 takes excellent quality photos and offers great features. I especially liked the Sony because of the 4K video and if you are wanting to expand into travel video and vlogging, this would be a major asset. The Sony LCD screen does have a tilt feature, however its abilities are limited. For those of you who like the LCD screen to have a full swivel affect, this might be a bit of a let down.Fujifilm X-T20
From Fujifilm the Fujifilm X-T20 is a great option! The vintage look of the camera body alone is worth purchasing it. ? This camera actually earned a gold award when it was reviewed last year, which is impressive. It also has 4K video but a downside is the touch functions on the tilting LCD screen are limited.
Panasonic LUMIX GH4
Panasonic doesn’t get mentioned that much anymore in the camera world, but the Panasonic LUMIX GH4 is right up there in price vs. quality. This little beauty also has 4K capabilities, and it’s actually the video making features that makes this camera stand out. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Lastly we have Olympus’ OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Something that stands out is the image stabilization capabilities, which is important if you do travel photography. The LCD screen also has a swivel affect, and just like the Fujifilm’s X-T20, the vintage look of the camera body is also drool-worthy. ? A major downside is it does not offer 4K video capabilities.
All of these cameras are leading the charge when it comes to the best mirrorless camera available. Any of them would make a great choice if you decided to make the switch, it just depends on which camera is best to suit your needs. If you’re curious which mirrorless camera I purchased, stay tuned, I’ll update you soon on which one I chose!
Are you thinking of purchasing a mirrorless camera? Love to know your thoughts below!
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Another con is dust on the sensor as it sits unprotected directly behind the lens mount, the lag in the monitor image. You always need to turn on the camera to see thru the lens.
Oh wow I haven’t even noticed that one but thanks for bringing it to my attention! which one do you have??