The 411 on Mirrorless DSLR (MILC)

If you had recently stopped by your local electronics store, you may have seen more advertising pushed on a new type of digital camera class – the mirrorless DSLR.  These cameras look like digital point and shoots (POS) but they have the ability to change lenses.

Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera (MILC)

Mirrorless Interchangeable-lens cameras (MILC) are just that – they are cameras without the mirrors.  MILC cameras use electronic viewfinders, which is just the rear LCD screen, to look at your subject.  Moreover,  some have no viewfinders at all.  Because of this, MILCs can be smaller and lighter, similar to POS digital cameras.

Mirrorless DSLRs use interchangeable lens just like the DSLR’s do.  Now you have the option to use regular pancake lenses, wide-angle lenses, and telephoto lenses, unlike digital POS cameras where the lenses are fixed with limited zooming and focusing capabilities.

Here is a quick list of existing MILCs out there and their manufacturers:
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Nikon V1, Nikon J1
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3, Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Olympus E-PM1, Olympus E-PL3, Olympus E-P3, Olympus OM-D E-M5
Samsung NX-200
Pentax K-01, Pentax Q
Sony NEX-C3, Sony NEX-5N, Sony NEX-7

So are MILC cameras worth your time and money?  If you are either a Full-Time or Part-Time photographer – you have already made your peace with MILC cameras by now and would not need my advice on anything.  I know I would like to own a few of these for traveling and experimenting, but I would not be shooting any paid gigs with MILCs since they have smaller sensor sizes compared to DSLRs and have limited focus and contrast capabilities.  Most importantly, MILCs are not compatible with DSLR lenses, which means you will have to spend money on all new lenses and, frankly, lenses are expensive.  One last item, MILCs are also priced well above digital POS cameras and can cost the same as a consumer or prosumer DSLR camera.

If you have been using a digital POS cameras or the “just for fun” type and want to upgrade your gear to the hot new fad – you might want to take a look at MILCs.  And if you are new to the world of photography, and have the time and funds to invest, then MILCs might also be a good option.

Contributed by Joshua Ong
FUELED BY FAITH – Photographer

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