Which camera is better for beginners - DSLR or mirrorless?

Lens options galore

DSLR cameras have been around for decades. If you’re picking between a Canon and Nikon, chances are you’ll be spoilt for choice at the hundreds of lens options available at all price points and focal lengths.

Mirrorless cameras are only just picking up, so the selection is not as vast, though most common focal lengths have been covered. If you do pick up a mirrorless, you could get an adapter to fit DSLR lenses, but you may run into lens compatibility issues like not being able to autofocus.

Winner: DSLR, but mirrorless options are catching up

So really, who takes better photos?

Lenses aside, the main factor in image quality is not just megapixels, but the size of the image sensor. Both types of cameras offer the same high-quality images with similar resolution and little grain.

Just to compare, the mirrorless Sony A6000 uses the same APS-C sized sensor found in the DSLR Nikon D3300. In fact, Sony’s top-of-the-line A7 series of cameras uses full-frame sensors that match the flagship Nikon D5 and Canon 1DX Mark II DSLRs.

Winner: Draw


To be honest, you can’t go wrong with picking either a DSLR or mirrorless model as your first camera. If you travel often, a mirrorless camera won’t weigh down your bag, and it’s great for shooting street photography as it doesn’t look imposing on your potential subjects. If you have access to a wide range of DSLR lenses, or if you think switching batteries is a hassle, then a DSLR would be the better choice. If you can, try them both out and see which suits your photography style best.