MILC vs DSRL – which camera should I buy
MILC vs DSRL – which camera should I buy ?
Perhaps this is the question most beginner photographer interested in today. First I define the terms in the title. DSRL means digital single lens reflex camera, MILC means mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. In terms of manufacturers: DSRL cameras made by the Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony. MILC cameras made by the same manufacturers +Panasonic, Olympus, Fujifilm, etc.
Differences compare to compact cameras
The main difference between Compact cameras and Milc or DSRL cameras are the sensor size, and interchangeable lens mount, and higher price.
-A usual sensor size for a compact camera is 1/2.3 ” or 6.16×4.62 mm, the Micro 4/3 system camera sensor size (Panasonic, Olympus) is 18x13mm, the Aps-C sensor size is 22,5x15mm, the Full frame or Film sensor size is 36*24mm. Usually the bigger the sensor the better picture quality you get, with increased price.
-Interchangeable lens mount: you can change lenses, can have better specialized lenses with higher price
-Higher price: In a compact camera you get everything:lens, camera, flash,etc, but at reduced quality is small form.
Original aim with MILC cameras
It is hard exactly to define but the aim was at designing MILC cameras to make DSRL like photo quality in a compact body.
Explanation in short
If you don’t want to adjust lots of things on your camera, don’t want to buy specialized lenses, and wants your camera works as usually the compact cameras, just having a little bit better picture quality, and size and weight is a high priority for you, perhaps the MILC cameras is the way to go. If you wants to be a professional photographer, wants to adjust your camera frequently, interested in bird, sports, portrait, or macro photography, wants to make pictures frequently in low light, perhaps the Dsrl cameras are better.
In short I name the biggest differences according to me:electrical viewfinder instead of optical one, size and weight, lens lineup, autofocus system
At above illustration we can see the main difference between MILC and DSLR cameras. The red line shows the way of the light in the camera.
-In case of the MILC cameras the light goes directly to the sensor and the picture we see in the viewfinder or rear LCD is the picture projected by the sensor. The sensor has limitations compare to our eyes:cannot catch the same light and dark details.
-In case of the DSRL we see as we see with our eyes, through the lens.
The biggest is the difference between the two system’s viewfinder is in the shadow and highlight areas, while our eyes can accommodate to the different lighting situations, the camera sensor is not, or not so perfectly. The MILC viewfinder also has some delay compare to reality, while the DSRL has not: we see everything simultaneously. On other way the Milc viewfinder has an advantage because we see the picture as the camera sees it: if it is too bright we can modify it, in Dsrl case we can guess how the picture going to be look like. To make things more complicate in case of the DSRL we can set exposure compensation compare to what we see to make pictures more pleasing to the sensor, on the other hand some Milc cameras can light the viewfinder a little bit electronically.
In short picture quality of the MILC cameras can be essentially the same as Dsrl cameras, but I only speak about the sensor. You can never make the same quality pictures with a mediocre lens and a good sensor, than with an excellent lens and a good sensor. This argument leads to my next point.
Lens lineup, accessories, software:
This is one of the biggest difference. The usual manufacturers (Canon Nikon) has an extended lens and accessories(flash) lineup-that is unrivalled by the relatively new MILC cameras. Ultimately the picture quality more depend on a lens than on a camera. If the lens misses to report a detail to the camera’s sensor(detail, sharpness, colour, micro contrast) mostly it can never get back again afterwards. While Canon, Nikon has hundreds of excellent, very high quality, feature packed lenses for almost every possible purpose, the MILC cameras has only fewer quantity mostly general usage lenses. The good lenses for Dsrl cameras are usually not cheap though (some of them cheaper), but rent lenses for Dsrl cameras are more and more common.
The sensor size is not necessarily depends on a camera type. Today there can be find MILC camera with a full frame sensor(for huge money), and several with an Aps-C sized sensor(Sony Nex, Fujifilm). Dsrls are not available with smaller sensors than Aps-C or Full frame. Some of the Milc cameras has the best sensors to date, some of them even can be better than the sensors of traditional Dsrls.
DSRL cameras: Canon and Nikon are the most common brands, I suggest them. Canon 70d, Nikon d7100, Nikon d5300 are the latest ones.
MILC cameras: Sony Nex 3,5,7 (higher number more quality), Panasonic G6, Gx7, Gh3, Fuji Ex-1, Fuji EX-2, Olympus E-M5 are the latest and best Milc cameras(Oct 2013).