Digital Trend's Latest Look at Mirrorless Cameras


Digital Trends recently took a look at the mirrorless cameras. Given how well this kind of camera is selling, it’s certainly worth a closer look at them. Mirrorless cameras have come a long way since their introduction almost ten years ago. Let's start at the beginning. What's the difference between a mirrorless and a DSLR?

mirrorless camera trends

Difference between DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras:

DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex and is the digital version of a traditional film SLR camera. Instead of film to capture images, it uses a digital imaging sensor. Just like a film camera, light enters the lens and is reflected off a mirror in the camera's body which then bounces light into the viewfinder. When you shoot, the mirror flips down exposing the digital sensor which then absorbs the light and captures the image.

A mirrorless camera, on the other hand, means there is no mirror which in turn means there's no way to preview the image through the viewfinder. That's the most fundamental difference between the two types of cameras.

Mirrorless Cameras:

Let's take it back to Digital Trends' article on mirrorless cameras. You can read the entire article for yourself, but we thought we'd highlight some key points.  Let's start with the most obvious and important point regarding mirrorless. Today's mirrorless has come a long way since its introduction with more and better options.

Here are Digital Trend's ratings for mirrorless:

Let's take a look at three of the cameras reviewed by Digital Trends.

Sony A9

sony a9

Top-rated mirrorless camera: The Sony A9 is their top-rated mirrorless camera for professional and enthusiast photographers.

Why it's a must-buy in a nutshell: "Full-frame image quality meets phenomenal speed and performance."

A deeper dive into the why it's a must-buy: The Sony A9 offers a 20-frames-per-second (fps) burst speed and a 693-point autofocus system thanks to its stacked sensor and ability to layer pixels, reading pixels, and short-term memory for pixels. Its fast performance makes it a good option for sports and action shots. It can operate silently and the electronic viewfinder won't blackout when shooting.

Downsides: Fewer lens choices than others and a $4,500 price tag.


sony a7r

Best full-frame mirrorless camera: Sony A7R III is ideal for both professionals and enthusiasts wanting a versatile camera.

Why it's a must-buy in a nutshell:  A more affordable camera ($3,000 body) with a lot of excellent features and capabilities.

A deeper dive into the why it's a must-buy: It's half the price of the Leica M while still a full-frame mirrorless with enhanced autofocus system and image stabilization. Keep in mind that this isn't the newest model in this line-up, but, according to Digital Trend, the more impressive. It has a longer battery life (twice as long), "twice the autofocus speed, and twice the burst rate."

The A7R III has both a 42-megapixel sensor and can do 10 frames per second burst rate. The A9 is faster, but we think of the A7R III as being more versatile in a wide variety of scenarios. It's a great combination of resolution and speed to the benefit of the photographer.

And while the line as a whole continues to impress, the A7R III offers the best balance between resolution and speed.

Upside:  The design has pretty much remained the same for those traditionalists out there, but they've added a joystick for easier selection of autofocus points.

Canon EOS M6

canon eos m6

Best mirrorless for beginners: Digital Trends selected the M6 as the best mirrorless camera for beginners and those purchasing their first mirrorless. We agree; it's the best choice if you're just starting out.

Why it's a must-buy in a nutshell: Its reasonable price point, $700 (body only), $900 (w/ EF-M 15-45mm lens), $1,300 (w/ EF-M 18-150mm lens), makes it a good starter camera.

A deeper dive into the why it's a must-buy: The M6 has the same sensor as the more expensive M5, which means you're getting an identical image quality for a much cheaper price.

Downside: It had to give up something to hit the price point, but maintain the image quality. So, it sacrificed the electronic viewfinder of the M5 which leaves you with an LCD screen. Also, there's no 4K video and not a lot of lens options.