Mirrorless Cameras - Not a Compact. Not an SLR. The Future of Portable Amateur Video.

Today, it’s hard to find a consumer-oriented camera without full automation and a permanently attached zoom lens. Digital photography began to take off in the early 2000s, and many consumers quickly forgot about the days of swapping lenses on their film cameras to get the right shot. Digital compact cameras, complete with zoom lenses and automatic settings, quickly took over… and you could put them in your pocket. Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras became affordable around 2004, but the bulk and weight associated with these systems prevented many consumers from purchasing them.


Over the past few years, a new kind of camera has emerged in the market - the “mirrorless compact camera.” These new kinds of cameras attempt to bridge the gap between underperforming compacts and professional-grade SLR cameras while maintaining portability.


How do they accomplish this? Three ways:


  • Mid-sized sensor: Compact cameras are compact because they capture images on a tiny sensor (the digital equivalent to a piece of film). Digital SLR cameras use sensors that are significantly larger than compacts, and their size shows. Some mirrorless cameras select a sensor size in between that of compacts and SLR cameras, which helps them hit the “sweet spot” between portability and image quality. Recently, Sony and Samsung have released models that cram an SLR-sized sensor into these compact camera bodies.


  • Removal of the mirror: Mirrorless cameras are referred to as “mirrorless” because they have removed the reflective mirror from the camera housing. SLR cameras use this mirror to project the light from the lens to the viewfinder. Mirrorless cameras do not use a mirror; instead, they allow the lens’ light to hit the sensor and then show a preview of the image on the LCD screen of the camera, just like compact cameras. The removal of the mirror cuts down on size and weight.


  • Interchangeable lenses: A principle complaint of compact cameras is the lack of versatility. You usually cannot remove the lens from a compact camera and swap it for a wider or more telephoto unit. However, with SLR cameras, you have the utmost in creative control with an entire line of lenses available to you. Mirrorless cameras allow you to change lenses but still maintain a size profile more akin to a compact camera than an SLR.


With larger sensors, small size, and the ability to change lenses, mirrorless cameras are absolutely the future of portable amateur video. These cameras have sensors and lenses capable of throwing the background out of focus, just like professional set ups. These devices are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the recent release of the Nikon 1 series, the Sony NEX-5n and Nex-7, the Samsung NX200, and the most recent Micro 4/3 cameras from Olympus and Panasonic.


The jump in consumer video quality that mirrorless cameras provide will dramatically raise the bar for those who use video for marketing. Video marketing requires excellent artistic creativity, modern SEO practices, and a full understanding of the Web - not just an understanding of camera equipment. At Gearshift TV, we can film your video with the best equipment; however, our search engine optimization skills will make your video reach the most viewers possible. We make videos for everyone. Our video marketing for professionals includes videos for attorneys, bands, doctors, companies, car dealerships, and local restaurants.


Give us a call at 1.877.477.STUDIO to get started with your video campaign.