Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera

From Photopedia

A mirrorless interchangeable lens camera(MILC), or simply a mirrorless camera, is a camera featuring no reflex mirror or optical viewfinder. Many of the mechanical functions of DSLRs are replaced electronically. This can, however, create some battery life problems.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Per its name, a mirrorless camera is a camera without a reflex mirror. In traditional DSLRs, a reflex mirror reflects light coming in through the lens to the optical viewfinder. However, a mirrorless camera no longer needs that: instead, the optical viewfinder is replaced electronically.

Advantages[edit | edit source]

There are several advantages to not having a reflex mirror. For one, the camera body can be much lighter than a DSLR. The electronic viewfinder also poses some advantages. Changes in ISO, exposure compensation, shutter speed, and other exposure controls will reflect in the electronic viewfinder. In other words, what you see in the viewfinder is what you get. That isn't the case for most DSLR cameras.

Disadvantages[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

2004. The first early versions of mirrorless cameras were released as the Epson R-D1 and the Leica M8. They are not "true" mirrorless cameras, since they did not use a digital display system for live preview. Later, cameras like the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-R1 and the Sigma DP1 proved that a digital live preview system is possible and useful with APS-C sized sensors.

2008. The first ever mirrorless camera is marked as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, released in October 2008. It marked the start of the Micro Four Thirds system, developed for the mirrorless ILC system.

2009-2010. Following the release of the first mirrorless cameras, Olympus and Panasonic subsequently released more cameras for the Micro Four Thirds system. Samsung and Sony quickly followed with cameras such as the Samsung NX10 and the Sony Alpha NEX-3 which weren't part of Micro Four Thirds.

2011. Huge autofocus advances were made in 2011. Nikon innnovated the world's fastest autofocus and the fastest continuous shooting speed at 60 fps for their Nikon 1 J1 and Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera system.

2012. The Fujifilm X-Pro1, announced in January 2012, was the first non-rangefinder mirrorless with a built-in optical viewfinder. Its hybrid viewfinder overlaid electronic information, including shifting frame-lines, to compensate for the parallax effect. Its 2016 successor, the X-Pro2, features an updated version of this viewfinder.

2016. In late 2016, Olympus announced their OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera, a successor to the earlier and successful Mark I. The Mark II model retains a Micro Four Thirds image sensor of 17.3x13 mm and features a 20.4 megapixel resolution lens, representing a new generation of mirrorless cameras competitive with and in many respects superior to DSLR cameras.

2017. In early 2017, Sony announces the Alpha-9 mirrorless camera, offering 693 autofocus points, and 20 frame-per-second shooting. In October Sony announces the A7RIII, offering 10FPS shooting at 42 megapixels.

2018. In early 2018, Sony announced the A7III mirrorless camera, bringing the 693 autofocus points of the A9 at a much lower cost. In August, Nikon announced its new full-frame mirrorless Z 6 and Z 7 cameras, both using a new lens mount. Canon announced its first full-frame mirrorless model, the EOS R, and its own new lens mount the next month.

Mirrorless Systems[edit | edit source]