Mirrorless: The Current in Camera Tech!
Posted on: September 13, 2019.

Today, almost everyone on the globe owns, or has used or been fascinated by, a camera. However, it’s been a long journey for Photography since the 1800’s tin-type photographs.

Cameras gradually evolved…
…from the likes of the 1948 Polaroid “Land Camera” 95/95A, the 1972 Kodak 110 “Pocket Camera”, and 35mm film camera,
…to the SLR (Single-Lens Reflex), the last film camera, and the “filmless” DSLR, its digital upgrade,
…maxing out with the high/ultra-high definition (HD/UHD) megapixel cameras in our smartphones today.

Let’s begin with a short, interesting episode on photography…

In the olden days of photography, the photographer would place, behind the lens of his camera, a metal or glass plate coated with a photosensitive liquid. He would then adjust the plate repeatedly the perfect placement was achieved, to give the photograph a frame, which was important.

As time progressed, the primary lens was supplemented by a secondary lens, to eliminate the need to constantly keep adjusting the primary lens-plate, and allow quick and easy framing and focus—a camera design which persists to this day. “Rangefinder” cameras, we call them, with the additional functionality of having a lens to look through, specifically to set focus.

At the cusp of the 20th century, two new camera types were created with the addition of a new component—mirrors.

In one type of camera, the image from an extra lens was bounced onto a small translucent screen by a mirror. Just beneath it was a second lens that focussed the image directly onto the film through the shutter. The secondary and primary lenses focussed synchronously.

In the other type, the mirror was placed between the lens and the film. A prism reflected the image on the film—the shutter opening up and the mirror flipping out of the way—when the shutter button was depressed.

In the second half of the 1990s, the Liquid Crystal Display “LCD” and “live view”—featuring for the first time ever in the Casio QV-10—defined the next generation of cameras. Looking ahead, how better could Photography have evolved and spawned new, fascinating enhancements?

The mirrorless camera—currently, the hot trend for serious photographers. But what real difference does it make?

  • Interchangeable lens cameras: Different lenses and larger sensors. Increased flexibility.
  • Multiple sensors, including full-frame and medium format, and crop sensors.
  • Faster shooting speeds compared to traditional SLRs. As mirrorless cameras do not have complicated mirror systems, they are much faster.
  • Incorporates advanced, excellent autofocus.
  • Replaces optical viewfinders with electronic viewfinders (EFV). Similar in use to an LCD screen, EFVs are  smaller and optimized for using right up to your eye.
  • On the flip side, mirrorless cameras have relatively shorter battery life than DSLRs, but even then, allow around 300 photos per day to be taken before battery gives out completely.
  • As mirrorless cameras were the latest to be introduced, they have only a limited selection of lenses, compared to DSLRs.

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