Mirrorless and DSLR camera comparison

Why I Went Back to Using DSLR, and Sticking With It

This post should be titled Mirrorless and DSLR camera comparison, but I figured, as a former lover of DSLR cameras, the current title should be more fitting. When mirrorless camera made waves around 2006-2007 in the digital photography world. Boom! I sold my Canon DSLR and raised funds for purchasing a new shiny red Panasonic Lumix G3 mirrorless camera. I named him reddit (mainly because it was red and it was an “it”) and we took lovely vacation photos together.

Eventually, I fell in love with reddit. We travelled together for some time and had great shots together. My friends were envious of how my camera was the latest fad at that time and it was so compact and light compared to a DSLR camera.

#myanmar #yangon #barefeet #travels #botahtaungpagoda

A photo posted by carla abanes (@justtravellingsolo) on

As with most other relationships, all good things must come to an end. With my relationship with reddit, it had to end because there are some faults that I discovered. I really felt that it wasn’t working anymore. I felt the need to end the relationship.

As a traveller who had a previous relationship with a Canon DSLR, I have baseline comparison of the two camera technology. I know this is not fair to reddit, but I have a personal obligation to rally for truth and democracy here.

Mirrorless cameras have poor battery life

If you’re looking for a camera with the purpose of using it for travel photography, then its poor battery life will be a big issue for you. I always travel with 2 extra battery packs. I always have the need the charge the battery packs because by the end of the day, all 3 of them are drained. That is my number one issue with reddit. I cannot be lugging along a battery charger in my day backpack mainly because I move a lot on day tours and photo walks.

Nowadays, I travel with my DSLR and 2 extra battery packs. In eight days of backpacking around Northwest Luzon, I only drained 1 battery pack and the second one loaded into my camera now, is still working with 3 bars in its battery status.

Autofocus is still at its finest with DSLR

I find my 9-point auto focus awesome and fast. And even with this feature, it does not affect the already long battery life of DSLR. Mirrorless cameras rely on contrast detection unlike with the DSLR’s phase detection auto focus feature.

But some camera makers have included phase detection in their newer camera models. I have not used any of the newer models though so I will not be including them here.

Mirrorless lens are as heavy as with DSLR lens

I purchased a 14-140mm Panasonic telephoto lens for reddit and found it to be bulky and weighs almost the same as my old Canon 24-105mm lens that I lug around in my photowalks. The mirrorless camera unit might be compact and light but my preferred telephoto lens to use with it is heavy making the entire thing heavy and bulky.

For the EVF, you need to power on your mirrorless camera

Since mirrorless cameras don’t have mirrors that also means they don’t have optical view finder. They function similar to a point-and-shoot camera where you need to power on your camera to see anything in the electronic view finder.

Even with new mirrorless cameras now, this major hiccup still exists and always results in petty fights between me and reddit. I always have to remind myself to turn him on before I can see a thing.


After some years of travelling with reddit, I have decided that its time to part ways and to move on with our separate lives. I sold reddit on an online portal and found another newbie photographer who wanted to shift to mirrorless from DSLR. I also sold the telephoto lens to the same nice lady.

Canon 760D DSLR Camera

I used the money to buy myself a Canon DSLR.  Newer models of DSLR nowadays are designed with the travel photographer in mind. The entire camera unit is compact and light and has a built-in wifi! You can share your photos on social media while on the go!

And love is lovelier the second time around.

Disclaimer : This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon. This links will not cost you extra when shopping. Not a cent! But it will keep this site afloat and its just like you buying me a cup of coffee. Go ahead shop for your new camera using the links above.

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Add Your Comment
  1. Reply

    I am just about thinking of changing my camera! Good thing I run through your article. Now I will continue using it. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    Great article- I currently have a Canon DSLR but may need to get a new one soon and was eyeing the mirrorless models. To your point though, I noticed that once you stick a lens on them they’re just as heavy as DSLR- so what’s the point?!

    • Betty
    • September 4, 2016

    Nice article! Thanks for sharing your perspective about moving back and forth between camera bodies. I have a Canon DSLR, and I find that my shoulder sling bag is causing hip/joint issues when I go around. I’m thinking of sticking with my Canon, but going with a different bag. Do you recommend any camera bags?

      • carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com
      • September 5, 2016

      Hi Betty, I’m using an old reliable NatGeo camera pouch that fits in my Canon DSLR perfectly and then I put that pouch inside my backpack. So that the weight is evenly distributed between my shoulders. Like you, I also suffered some problems with carrying the camera bag on one side of my body.

  3. Reply

    awesome piece of writing..enjoyed reading it

  4. Reply

    Nice tips. My best friend is between buying a DSLR and a mirrorless. She will find this very useful.

      • carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com
      • September 5, 2016

      Thanks! I hope your friend also find it useful!

    • Mags
    • September 5, 2016

    I really need to up my photography game, I’ve been looking into getting a better camera. Always good to hear someone ‘s opinion, especially when mirrorless is all the rage!

  5. Reply

    I have an older Nikon DSLR and I absolutely love it. Heavy and inconvenient, yes, but incredible pictures. I have never used a mirrorless but I’m sure I would want one if I tried it. 😉

    • Lois
    • September 5, 2016

    I have been taking all of my photos on my iPhone since I could never figure out which camera to buy. Thanks for all this great information. It will help with my decision, for sure.

    • Jenna
    • September 5, 2016

    Great comparison! We travel with one of each and have always been a DSLR fan, but our mirrorless actually takes better video. We go back and forth on which one we like better. The mirrorless is definitely lighter, but as you mentioned, when you have a heavy lens it isn’t that much lighter in reality. I can definitely see why you switched back!

  6. Reply

    Great article. I love my DSLR and I don’t think I can ever go to something else!

  7. Reply

    Thanks for the detailed write up. We are thinking of upgrading our camera and considering a DSLR. Great tips in there. Thank you!

      • carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com
      • September 7, 2016

      Thanks and happy shopping! Please shop thru my links!

  8. Reply

    I love this post! Much like you I have contemplated between mirrorless and DSLR. The weight has always been the greatest reason why I loved mirrorless but for sure, nothing can really beat the quality photos that a DSLR can bring!

      • carlaabanes@justtravellingsolo.com
      • September 7, 2016

      True, most of the photos I use for my blog articles are taken with a DSLR. I find my old photos from my old mirrorless (reddit) were always not sharp or focused. Maybe its me too. hahaha. Thanks for dropping by!

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