Updated 18 Jun, 2013, 8:58 pm IST
Buying guide to mirrorless compact cameras
| by Aaron Almeida
A couple of years a ago, when the first mirrorless compact camera was launched, many believed that it would not make a significant impact in the market as many people would find it difficult to move away from conventional digital single lens reflex cameras, owing to their quality. An understatement, the concept, initially did not take off as expected. However, last year in 2011, a significant amount of cameras flooded the market and many consumers adopted this concept of cameras and purchased them, as opposed to buying traditional DSLR cameras or high-end point and shoot cameras that are the mainstay in the market and sell more in comparison.
Why choose a Mirrorless compact camera?
While purchasing an interchangeable lens camera, one should know what the advantages of this breed of cameras are. The basic thing to understand while considering an Interchangeable lens camera is that one would want a camera that is pocketable, while still retaining features that are not found on standard compact digicams, such as manual controls, high quality images and being user-friendly.
The 14-42mm lens that is bundled in the kit
The size of the camera
This is one of the biggest determining factors, which one would have to bear in mind, while going to the market for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. These cameras are a lot similar in size to compact point and shoot cameras and can easily fit in one’s pocket. However, if paired with a lens, this feat will not be possible; unless of course it is a pancake lens, which flushes against the body without much protrusion. The weight is another big deciding factor and these cameras are only slightly heavier than compact cameras. They can be toted around easily and shooting with one hand is possible. Some of these cameras feature the retro styling as well, which can appeal to a potential buyer as it is pleasing to look at as well.
Full manual control
Consumers buying a compact camera have to settle with the fixed lens that comes with it therefore leaving users limited to what is part of the body. With mirrorless cameras, the body is a lot smaller than DSLR cameras, hence the lenses are also a lot smaller in comparison. As mentioned earlier, size is a big deciding factor that one has to bear in mind while opting for a mirrorless compact camera and hence manufacturers launch lenses that are a lot smaller as well. To make these cameras pocketable, brands have launched lenses known as pancake lenses. These are fixed focal length lenses that are not obtrusive and fall almost flat against the body of the camera. Apart from these, the normal and wide-angle lens are also not that big. However, a telephoto lens may be on the larger side. With the ability to change lenses, one can get the maximum out of a camera and brands tend to bundle up more than one lens along with the body of the camera.
Flagship model of Olympus
Ease of use
Mirrorless cameras have been designed as a go between a point and shoot camera and a DSLR. These cameras, by no means have been crafted to work as replacements for either of those cameras, but rather have a niche of their own. These cameras are also designed for those looking to step up from a standard compact camera. Hence, there's ease of use, here that is similar to standard compact cameras, but with all the neat abilities to tweak settings.
Ability to view images instantly
Cameras with Interchangeable lenses have been manufactured with the ability to provide information, like autofocus and preview on the display what is going to be shot by using the imaging sensor. This makes it a lot similar to compact cameras. Many mirrorless cameras come without a viewfinder, giving one the option to preview the content to be shot, on the display itself.
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