Mirrorless vs DSLR Cameras For Travel

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

Photography and travel go well together. Capturing the unique ambiance of a destination is almost as important as soaking in the destination while you’re there.

Pictures from an old trip bring back the feeling of being there in the moment. The perfect photograph triggers so many emotions, and the quest for the perfect photograph always leads to the quest for the perfect camera.

Mirrorless VS DSLR

When it comes to taking better travel photos, the question that always comes up is whether to buy a DSLR camera or a mirrorless camera. Both cameras give you more control than a traditional point and shoot and both offer more control than the best camera phones (even with the best apps installed), so in the question of Mirrorless vs DSLR what camera is better suited to someone who enjoys traveling as much as photography?

THE BASICS

DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex, they use a mirror within the camera that reflects light to the viewfinder that allows you to preview the shot you’re taking. For more on how a DSLR works, check out this video.
Mirrorless cameras are so-called because they don’t feature this mirror, leading to some advantages as well as a few disadvantages.

sony nex mirrorless

SIZE

DSLR cameras need to make room for the mirrors and prism resulting in a bulky body.
Mirrorless cameras pack the same technology (and sometimes more) of a DSLR into a smaller body. They’re much easier to pack when traveling, easier to walk around with and much less intimidating. People are much more natural when a huge pro camera isn’t pointed at them.

The much smaller size of a mirrorless camera compared to a DSLR comes in really handy when you have to travel light. You could fit more lenses in your camera bag or even use the bag to store other electronics.

travel photography tips

PICTURE QUALITY

It’s hard to tell the difference between pictures taken by a DSLR and those taken by a mirrorless camera that are in a similar price-range. With mirrorless cameras that have full-frame image sensors getting more market-share, the reasons for still buying a DSLR are dwindling fast!

dslr vs mirrorless travel photography

AUTOFOCUS SPEED

Autofocus has been called the new mega-pixel, and it allows you to quickly point your camera and snap rapid fire shots of your subject.
DSLRs once reigned supreme in the autofocus realm by measuring the convergence of two beams of incoming light (called phase detection) as opposed the to method used in mirrorless cameras and point and shoots called contrast detection.

This advantage no longer applies since even entry-level mirrorless cameras now use a hybrid autofocus system.

entry level mirrorless vs dslr

PRICE

At the entry-level, you’ll still be able to get a DSLR that’s cheaper than a mirrorless camera. Unless you’re in a rush to buy a camera, it’s worth saving a little extra money and buying a mirrorless.

mirrorless camera vs dslr

BATTERY LIFE

Having to use the screen on a mirrorless camera or even the electronic viewfinder to preview your image causes the battery of a mirrorless camera running out of juice faster than a DSLR.

Many people consider this the deciding factor in the battle of Mirrorless VS DSLR and and up buying DSLR cameras. However, battery life is not as important as it was a few years ago. Newer technology means that batteries charge much faster, and there are more than enough outlets in airports, planes, and trains.

mirrorless camera benefits

DESIGN

The basic DSLR look has stayed the same since the days of film, when they were simply called SLR cameras. Form should always follow function, and if a design works well then there’s no reason to change it, but you have to admit that DSLR cameras look really outdated.
Mirrorless camers either look like vintage rangefinders or minimalist sleek beauties. Basically, mirrorless cameras look really cool!

Mirrorless Vs DSLR: And the winner is Mirrorless!

There may be a few DSLR benefits that were not included because these are more beneficial for the professional photographer, but as mirrorless cameras become better the DSLR advantages are quickly eroding. Mirrorless is the future and many companies are focusing on developing their mirrorless options.

Even if you already have a DSLR camera and you’ve already invested heavy in lenses for it, it’s worth it to buy an adapter for your lenses and make the switch.

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