Are you looking to get a video camera? There are two main variants of the video cameras that should be noted. They are the DSLR and the Mirrorless video cameras. In this guide, we would be discussing the differences between DSLR and mirrorless video cameras.
What is a Video Camera?
The video camera is a camera used for electronic motion picture acquisition (as opposed to a movie camera, which records images on film), initially developed for the television industry but now common in other applications as well.
Video cameras are used primarily in two modes. The first, characteristic of much early broadcasting, is live television, where the camera feeds real-time images directly to a screen for immediate observation. A few cameras still serve live television production, but most live connections are for security, military/tactical, and industrial operations where surreptitious or remote viewing is required.
In the second mode, the images are recorded to a storage device for archiving or further processing; for many years, videotape was the primary format used for this purpose, but was gradually supplanted by optical disc, hard disk, and then flash memory. Recorded video is used in television production, and more often surveillance and monitoring tasks in which unattended recording of a situation is required for later analysis.
Types of Camcorders
First, decide on the type of high-definition camcorder you want to buy. If you want better quality and more options, consider a full-sized model. If you need a smaller, more portable model, get an action cam, which is about half the size of regular pocket camcorders. Keep in mind, however, that today’s full-sized camcorders are smaller and more lightweight than previous models.
They fit easily in your hand and weigh as little as a half-pound yet still include at least a 10x optical zoom lens and other powerful possible features: Ultra High Definition, or 4K, resolution; 3D capability; GPS for geotagging; and built-in, or pico, projectors.
Unlike analog camcorders of the past, digital models allow you to do a lot more with video than just play it back on a TV. You can edit and embellish with music using a computer, then play your productions on a computer, or on a DVD or Blu-ray player. You can also email recordings or upload video clips to sites such as YouTube. Many video-editing software suites also let you combine video with digital stills, graphics, and text.
Most full-sized camcorders have at least a 10x optical zoom, although some have more (as much as 50x). At maximum zoom, most full-sized camcorders will produce jittery videos because of a handshake or other factors. To compensate, most have an image stabilizer.
One feature found on many full-sized HD camcorders is an HDMI output, the best way to connect your camcorder to an HDTV.
If you want a camcorder that’s more compact than a full-sized model, you should consider an action cam, like one of GoPro’s Hero line of camcorders. Such models are very small and lightweight, and they often have rugged bodies.
Action cams are designed for people who engage in outdoor sports and activities such as biking, surfing, and snowboarding, and want the ability to capture hands-free video. Because of their compact size, they may lack features such as a viewfinder or an LCD. Although some have a waterproof exterior, most have a rugged and waterproof housing or removable case and mounting brackets for attaching the camcorder to a helmet or another object.
DSLR vs. Mirrorless Video Cameras: What’s Right For You
DSLR Video Cameras
DSLR Video cameras are one of the most common types of video cameras available out there. The best part of them is that they can click amazing pictures along with great videos. And there are almost every YouTuber is using DSLRs to shoot their videos.
DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera. Inside the body of the camera, there is a mirror that reflects the light coming from the lens. Also, when you hit the shutter, the image gets flipped up and the light coming out from the lens shot by an image sensor, and this is how a photograph is made. Also, for video, the image sensor starts recording it instead of clicking a shot.
The camera also supports the various size of the lens. As a result, you get to click or shoot different types of videos or images. Overall, DSLR cameras are the most popular types of cameras, and they are pretty affordable too.
Pros of Using DSLR Cameras
Electronic viewfinders in mirrorless cameras can be a battery drain, and mirrorless batteries tend to be smaller, so DSLRs tend to deliver more shots per charge. A pro DSLR, for instance, can take up to 1,000-2,000 shots per charge, as compared to the 300-400 typical for a mirrorless camera. If you travel to spots where access to power is limited, this is one factor to take into consideration.
“I use a DSLR, a Canon 6D Mark II because I like the long battery life,” California-based photographer Eric Kunau tells us. “That said, you can take equally stunning photos with a mirrorless camera, which can also be more practical if you’re on-the-go.”
Some photographers prefer the bulkier, weightier feel of a DSLR. Especially if you prefer to shoot with long lenses, the solid, reliable body of a DSLR might be the way to go. Plus, they have more space for various external manual controls, which is a game-changer for some photographers who don’t want to rely as much on a digital interface.
- DSLR Pro: The Optical Viewfinder
With a DSLR, you’re looking through the lens as opposed to a video screen. While mirrorless screens continue to improve, many photographers still prefer the dynamic range that comes with viewing an image through your own eyes.
In addition to being bulky, DSLRs are resilient. They’re built to withstand heavy use and difficult conditions. Similarly, DSLR sensors are more protected from the elements than mirrorless sensors, so they require fewer cleanings, especially if you’re dealing with dust in the great outdoors.
DSLRs have been around far longer than mirrorless cameras, so they tend to give you more options in terms of lenses. DSLRs are also easier to buy used for this same reason.
“I use both a mirrorless and a DSLR, but I use my DSLR for client work, as I have a variety of lenses to choose from, depending on the session,” Washington-based photographer Erika Roa tells us. With that being said, you can use lens adapters to mount most lenses on a mirrorless camera.
Mirrorless Video Camera
Mirrorless Video Camera is a bit different from the DSLR cameras. However, they are quite similar in many ways. They look the same. However, as the name of the camera suggests, mirrorless. Hence, there is no mirror in the camera that we get to see in a DSLR. In a mirrorless camera, the image sensor is exposed to the light always and offers you a digital preview of your image on the LCS screen.
Both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras are pretty powerful. However, by eliminating the mirror, the camera manufacturers can simply compact the size of the camera. As a result, mirrorless cameras are much smaller. And they are a pretty good option for casual photographers. Even there are quite a lot of professionals who like to use Mirrorless cameras.
Pros of Using Mirrorless Cameras
- Mirrorless Pro: Portability
Mirrorless cameras tend to be much smaller because they’re made without a mirror box and the prism needed for a DSLR. That also means they’re lighter and more portable, making them a favorite among travel photographers. They’re also much more inconspicuous.
“I have both types of cameras — DSLR and mirrorless — but, for now, I prefer to work with mirrorless cameras,” Georgia-based photographer Anna Bogush explains. “They’re lighter, more compact, and faster, while also giving me the same quality level I expect from a DSLR. Overall, they help to be more mobile, especially when I shoot outside the studio.”
- Mirrorless Pro: Silent Shooting
Mirrorless cameras don’t have the mirror flip characteristic of a DSLR, and that means they make less noise. They also have fewer vibrations for the same reason. For documentary photographers, the ability to shoot silently can make all the difference.
- Mirrorless Pro: Live View
With an EVF, what you see is what you get, unlike when using an optical viewfinder. For beginning photographers, the ability to see your exposure while composing your shot is a significant advantage of mirrorless cameras. You’ll see in real-time how your settings change your exposure, depth of field, and more.
- Mirrorless Pro: Stunning Lenses
If DSLRs come with more lens options, mirrorless cameras can compete by having some of the best, most cutting-edge lenses available. Due to a shorter flange distance (the distance between the lens mount and the sensor), manufacturers have been able to create some wide-angle lenses that just wouldn’t exist for a DSLR.
Another side-effect of the mirror in DSLRs is that it physically limits camera speed, so here’s another area where mirrorless cameras take the lead.
Ask many of today’s leading photographers and they’ll tell you that the future is video. In recent years, mirrorless cameras have come out ahead in this respect. Most mirrorless cameras offer 4K, even on the lower end of the price scale.
“I currently use a mirrorless camera — the Sony a6300 — in part because it helps with video production,” Brazil-based photographer Gabriel de Almeida Vergani tells us. “I like having the ability to easily shoot 4K video.”
The choice between going mirrorless or staying with a DSLR will ultimately depend on your comfort level and your specialty. If you’re a travel photographer who values staying light and mobile, mirrorless cameras might come out ahead. On the other hand, an adventure photographer looking for rugged durability and a long battery life might prefer a DSLR.