The big difference between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR comes from how their image sensors and viewfinders work.
Image sensors are the chips inside cameras that capture the photograph by detecting and recording the light coming into the camera. Viewfinders, meanwhile, are the part of the camera that you look through to compose a shot; they typically include a small optical lens are are placed at the top of the camera.
DSLRs use a mirror system, which bounces the light coming through the main camera lens up to the viewfinder. When you press the shutter button, the camera flips the mirror out of the way and the image sensor is exposed to light. The advantage of the mirrors is that they allow you to see frame a shot precisely the way the image sensor will record it.
As their name suggests, mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror. Instead, their image sensors are continuously exposed to light. Because they lack mirrors, mirrorless systems tend to be significantly smaller than DSLRs.
Most digital cameras, such as point-and-shoot ones, are technically mirrorless, so they generally don’t look like DSLRs. But many of the mirrorless cameras that have the latest advances perform, operate, and resemble DSLRs.
Source: Business Insider
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