More and more people are choosing mirrorless cameras over digital single reflex lens cameras (DSLRs). Some do it because they are transitioning from a compact camera, others because they are too intimidated by the size and feature set of a DSLR.
Understanding your Mirrorless
First, in order to work your camera, you need to understand it. Mirrorless are in the Digital Compact Cameras category, which means they have tiny sensors and exchanging lenses is impossible. Being compact is one of the best attributes you can find in a MILC (mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera).
So, a MILC is like a digital SLR, only without the mirrors and all the extra features. It is also much, much smaller and lighter than a digital SLR, which means it is more versatile and chances are that you will be using it more on a daily basis, because it can easily fit in your bag. A MILC menu of controls and operation is very similar to a compact camera. But the best thing about mirrorless is that it has large sensors that help improve the image quality, giving you more accurate results.
Some people use a MILC as their only camera, other use it as an extension, while some photographers have a MILC that they take out on a daily basis, taking quick, beautiful snapshots. Either way, here are some tricks for you to make the best use of your mirrorless camera.
Mirorrless Camera Photography Tips
#1 The first tip is to invest in extra lenses. If you’ve purchased a camera with interchangeable lenses, take advantage of them. Most cameras come with the 18-35 mm zoom lens which is okay – until it isn’t. These lenses are versatile and functional, but they get in the way of achieving amazing results. For starters, you should use a wide-angle prime lens, which will help you take the most advantage of your tiny camera body. Look into the 35 mm or 50 mm prime with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 or faster. The point is, the lower the number, the better for you.
#2 In a mirrorless camera, the light gets through the lens, without a mirror, right onto the image sensor. This means that the more light that comes through the lens, the higher the sensor and the better the picture.
#3 High-end MILC use contrast detection to adjust their autofocus, while others only have contrast-detection AF. When looking to buy a MILC, the best advice is to go for one that has focusing settings similar to DSLRs. Nobody wants their pictures to be out-of-focus.
#4 Ideally, all MILCs have full Manual mode, Aperture and Shutter Speed. If you are a novice, you can try Program mode. The exposure will be correct, and this mode will also let you play around with Iso light sensitivity which is great for low light conditions.
#5 Canon mirrorless cameras have modes that some DSLRs don’t. Some of the features give you control over the level of background blur or adjusting the depth of fields and color richness.
#6 For moving photos, you should place your camera on a tripod and put it on Shutter Priority mode. Set the shutter speed to 1/250 seconds. This way, you will capture most of the movement. If what you’re capturing is a really fast movement, adjust the shutter speed to 1/1250. This should be enough to freeze the moment.
#7 When taking portraits with your MILC keep in mind that you have full control over the depth of field, so use the Aperture Priority mode as much as you can. 35mm prime (no zooming) lens or even a 50mm on a full frame camera will allow you to get the best results in photographing people. The aperture should be at around f/8, and if the distance between you and the subject is less than 6 meters, go for an aperture of f/5.6 or larger.
#8 Almost the same tricks apply when taking a landscape photograph, only now you aperture should be of f/9 or higher to keep things in the distance in focus. If you look to have everything in the picture as sharp as possible, set your aperture to 20 or even higher, and consider using wide-angle lens.
#9 Shooting in low light is tricky with any sort of camera, but once you get the hang of it, you will take amazing pictures. For example, using a tripod is advisable, but if you don’t have one, you needn’t worry. Turn your camera to Shutter Priority and set the shutter speed to 1/60 a second. If you don’t own a tripod, you could use something else, such as a table, or a pile of books on a chair on which to rest the camera.
#10 Even when shooting with a MILC, you should never neglect the ISO function. This allows you to get more detail in dark rooms or during the night. Of course, you could set it on Auto Mode and let the camera choose the right ISO, but you would get better results if you did it yourself.
After all, you know best. The general rule is that the higher the ISO, the more grained the image will be. Usually, during daytime, a low ISO of 100 or 200 is advisable. In low light conditions, use an ISO of 3200, especially with a mirror lens. Some MILCs offer features that help you with the noise reduction. Read the manual first and then experiment.
The obvious advantage of having a mirrorless camera is that your back will never suffer again from carrying your heavy DSLR. The results are similar to professional digital SLRs which is a big plus for a mirrorless. Plus, a MILC is better for a casual photographer who wants to take pictures all day.
A serious shooter is always going to go for a DSLR, especially in a studio or out in the wild. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which one you have, because there is absolutely no difference in image quality.
They both take excellent photos, but of course, they need you to make that happen.