Amateur Photographer - - Buying Guide -

In­ter­change­able-lens cam­eras come in two types: DSLRs with op­ti­cal viewfind­ers, and mirrorless mod­els with elec­tronic view­ing AL­MOST all se­ri­ous pho­tog­ra­phers pre­fer to use cam­eras with in­ter­change­able lenses, as this gives the great­est de­gree of cre­ative flex­i­bil­ity. At one time, this meant dig­i­tal sin­gle-lens re­flex (DSLR) cam­eras, but these have now been joined by mirrorless com­pact sys­tem cam­eras (CSCs) that use elec­tronic viewfind­ers. Pre­vi­ously, these lagged be­hind DSLRs in some re­spects such as aut­o­fo­cus. But the lat­est mod­els have nar­rowed the gap con­sid­er­ably, and are true al­ter­na­tives to DSLRs, of­fer­ing the same im­age qual­ity and cre­ative op­tions. Cam­era man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer a range of mod­els, from sim­ple, rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive be­gin­ner-friendly de­signs through to so­phis­ti­cated pro­fes­sional mod­els. In the mid­dle of the range you’ll find en­thu­si­ast cam­eras with more ad­vanced con­trol lay­outs.

Hand­grip DSLRs tra­di­tion­ally have rel­a­tively large hand­grips, while many mirrorless mod­els have much smaller grips to keep size down. How­ever, some can ac­cept ac­ces­sory grips to im­prove han­dling with larger lenses. Lens mount Each cam­era brand uses its own lens mount, and mirrorless cam­eras use dif­fer­ent lenses to DSLRs even from the same brand. How­ever, mirrorless mod­els can of­ten use DSLR lenses via a mount adapter. Con­trols En­try-level cam­eras tend to have sim­ple, easy-to-un­der­stand con­trols, while more ex­pen­sive mod­els add lots of but­tons and dials to give quick ac­cess to set­tings. Viewfinder The big­gest dif­fer­ence be­tween DSLRs and mirrorless cam­eras is that the lat­ter use elec­tronic, rather than op­ti­cal viewfind­ers. They’re more power hun­gry, but can dis­play more in­for­ma­tion and show ex­actly how your pic­tures will turn out. Size and weight Mirrorless mod­els tend to be smaller and lighter than DSLRs, and not just the cam­eras them­selves, but their lens sys­tems, too. How­ever, there’s still a wider choice of lenses avail­able for DSLRs.

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