What is a Mirrorless Camera?
A CSC or Mirrorless camera refers to Compact System Cameras or Mirrorless Cameras that have interchangeable lenses, sometimes an electronic viewfinder (EVF) but does NOT have an optical viewfinder nor a pentamirror like a DSLR. They also use sensors that are either APS-C size (22mmx15mm), Micro 4/3 size (17mmx13mm) or 1” size (13x9mm)
CSCs (Mirrorless) do not require the Mirror mechanism in front of the sensor since they do not offer an optical viewfinder. This allows the design to be much more compact offering a smaller camera dimension as well as less weight.
The lenses that are designed for CSCs (Mirrorless) have less space to travel since the mirror mechanism is no longer needed in the body of the camera. This shortening of distance allows lenses for CSCs (Mirrorless) again to be much smaller in design adding to less weight in the overall system.
A lot of CSCs (Mirrorless) like Fujifilm’s X series CSCs offer an APS-C size sensor which is exactly the same size as most DSLRs giving you the same or better image quality you would achieve with a DSLR. Fujifilm’s X-Trans Sensor goes one step further by removing the Optical Low Pass filter to offer less moire and better colours at higher resolution. This provides image quality that rivals some Full Frame sensor DSLRs.
Auto Focus Speed
CSCs (Mirrorless cameras) sometimes use a somewhat slower Contrast Based detection AF System but more frequently CSCs (Mirrorless) are now starting to use the same DSLR Phase Detection AF System that is built right on the sensor itself as found in FUJIFILM’s X-Series. The gap between Auto Focus speeds of a DSLR and CSC (Mirrorless) cameras are much less thanks to this new technology.
Auto Focus Accuracy
DSLRs use an external Auto Focus sensor to determine focus but if the mirror is slightly misaligned which sometimes happens, this means the focus will be off as well (called Back Focusing or Front Focusing issues). Since CSCs (Mirrorless) use the sensor to determine focus vs a separate AF sensor, they tend to be much more accurate in focusing, especially when shooting wide open with fast aperture lenses.
Now that you’ve got a basic idea of how Mirrorless cameras work, we invite you to learn even more at our Mirrorless Photography seminar this Friday with superstar photographer Brian Capporicci and our friends at Fuji. Register here – it’s free!