Why are Mirrorless Cameras so Expensive?

Mirrorless cameras offer many of the same features as DSLRs but due to the lack of an internal mirror, they are smaller, more compact and lighter weight.

Hence, many photographers agree to pay more for such a lighter design. However, some might feel that mirrorless cameras are steep in price, but the cost price does not differ that much.

If you compare the entry-level DSLR with an entry-level mirrorless camera, you will find out that the mirrorless cameras are cheaper. Let’s take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of the mirrorless camera, whether you should lean more towards them or not and if they take better pictures than the DSLR.

Do mirrorless cameras take better pictures?

Every camera can take magnificent pictures given the right lens and exposure settings. Mirrorless cameras are equipped with a smaller sensor and no reflex mirror making them highly attractive to travel photographers.

As mirrorless cameras do not have a reflex mirror, it is less prone to shaking, resulting in high-quality images and a professional look.

Mirrorless cameras offer better video quality even in lower-end models and can shoot more images at faster shutter speeds. The autofocus for video on a mirrorless camera is far superior to the DSLR.

Since the mirror needs to be flipped up for DSLRs to record video, the primary autofocus method is blocked. They can do contrast-detection autofocus during video, which can be quite poor.

During night photography, with a mirrorless camera, you get the advantage of the ISO of the camera to boost the light of the scene right in the viewfinder. You can easily see and set up the composition in seconds rather than performing a series of trial and error shots with a DSLR.

Panasonic LUMIX GH6, 25.2MP Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Camera with Unlimited C4K/4K 4:2:2 10-bit Video Recording, 7.5-Stop 5-Axis Dual Image Stabilizer, 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 Leica Lens - DC-GH6LK

Advantages of a mirrorless camera

  • Mirrorless cameras have the advantage of being lighter, more compact, faster and much better for video.
  • Mirrorless cameras allow you to preview the settings that you have chosen before you hit the shutter button.
  • Mirrorless cameras have fewer moving parts inside them, making them quiet, discreet and an amazing companion for candid and nature photography.
  • Since there is no flicking mirror, there is less camera shake.
  • Mirrorless cameras are more reliable for video as DSLRs offer 4K or ultra HD video only for high-end models.
  • During video mode, the electronic viewfinder in the mirrorless camera can be used, while the viewfinder on a DSLR cannot.
  • Most mirrorless cameras have an in-built resolution to bridge the gap if they are low, quality-wise.
  • Mirrorless cameras offer a far better manual focus than DSLRs. The photographer can use focus peaking and focus point magnification to exactly see what is and what is not in focus.
  • Mirrorless cameras can show a live histogram in the viewfinder, which is a huge benefit.
  • There is another feature called the “Zebra Stripes” in some mirrorless cameras. It is a cool feature that puts white animated stripes on overexposed areas of the photo. Brands like Panasonic offer this feature.
  • When shooting burst mode in a mirrorless camera there is no blackout.
  • Mirrorless cameras offer facial recognition. Many photographers are still manually choosing focus points but facial recognition looks more promising. The benefit of facial recognition is that it can be helpful for auto-white balance. If the camera can recognize the face, it will know the colour balance of the face and will be able to determine the white balance accurately.
  • With a mirrorless camera, you can set your picture style to black and white so you can preview the image while shooting the same way it will look when finished.

Disadvantages of a mirrorless camera

  • Mirrorless cameras have a smaller collection of lenses and accessories.
  • Compared to DSLRs, mirrorless cameras have shorter battery life. You will have to carry extra batteries or charging solutions on extended outings. Processing RAW images drain the battery even faster.
  • Even though the electronic viewfinder has its use, it’s limited in low light environments. There is also a slight loss of clarity due to the limitations of pixel density. The viewfinder is lower resolution.
  • While changing the lens on a mirrorless camera, the sensor becomes visible and without the mirror to protect it from dust particles, the sensor becomes vulnerable.
  • The small size of the mirrorless cameras does not fit well in large hands. Holding the small grip for extended periods may cause your hand to cramp.
  • The autofocus in the mirrorless cameras does not perform to its full potential in low light situations.
  • The image processing is slow.
  • The electronic shutter in some mirrorless cameras reduces aperture utilization in automatic lenses.
  • The mirrorless camera takes a moment to start up or to come out of standby mode, while the DSLR is ready to shoot the millisecond you flip them on.
  • Without specific settings, mirrorless cameras tend to focus more on the background instead of the closer, blurrier objects.
  • Due to the lack of a mirror, there isn’t a natural way to preview the image through the viewfinder. The viewfinder image in the mirrorless cameras is created electronically.

Why have cameras and lenses become expensive?

The camera industry has been launching high-end cameras on the market recently, but not all of them are expensive models. There are less-expensive alternatives that exist.

Some models were considered low-price once upon a time, and now those models look expensive alongside other comparable models.

The demand for lenses is getting higher in terms of quality and performance. So every lens manufacturer is focused more on quality than affordability. Making high-end lenses, keeping in mind every detail increases the production cost.

Some new models are more expensive than the older ones but this is mainly because there are fewer low-cost options as the camera industry is focusing more on high-end users.

Mirrorless cameras vs DSLR

The debate of which camera to buy between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR has been going on for quite some time. In a way, mirrorless cameras have won this debate as very few DSLRs are being manufactured.

When you compare mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, you need to consider that both the cameras come in different price ranges and feature levels.

Where once photographers always chose a DSLR, they are now switching to mirrorless cameras. However, there are a few older models of DSLRs which are still available and are worth considering.

Some photographers still choose DSLRs as it has a more professional look than mirrorless cameras. However, this is changing. Companies that are manufacturing mirrorless cameras are making them robust to match the durability of DSLRs.

Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs are both hard to beat when it comes to image quality in optimal conditions. But since DSLRs are large and heavy, it is less suitable to carry them all day for a long shoot.

If having a larger lens selection is important to you then DSLR is the better option. But, as mirrorless cameras are growing in popularity, their lens selection is slowly catching up.

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Conclusion

Cameras are a big investment. Most photographers buy cameras according to their preference and genre of photography. On a professional spectrum, DSLR and mirrorless cameras are evenly matched.

You get almost the same features and roughly the same power and performance with either of the two cameras.

For a novice photographer, it’s not worth switching to a completely new camera system only for the benefits of a mirrorless camera. Not this soon. But if you are adamant about switching, mirrorless cameras have a great deal going on for them and are a good choice.

Shabbir
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