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.