Camera: DSLR, mirrorless or compact

DSLR Mirrorless Compact
Best battery life Less battery life
Least battery life
Purity/clarity of optical viewfinder, but you can’t see the final result Electronic viewfinder or rear display only, less clarity but what you see is what you get Electronic viewfinder or rear display only, less clarity but what you see is what you get
Fastest, most accurate autofocus Good autofocus but a notch below DSLR Another notch below mirrorless
Most lens options for Nikon and Canon, allows maximum creativity and choice Good lens options, lack of a mirror means smaller lenses and slightly better optics than a DSLR Only one lens means less creative control but lightest, least bulky option
Heaviest and bulkiest, good for professionals but bad for tourists who want to pack light Much lighter than a DSLR but also less stable for video and when shooting with large lenses Extremely light, often pocketable size


Full frame APS-C Micro Four Thirds Type 1
Largest consumer size (36 x 24mm) and highest resolution, up to 50 megapixels Second-largest common size (22.2 x 14.8mm Canon and 23.5 x 15.6mm others), resolution up to 24 megapixels 17.30 x 13mm sensor size, resolution up to 20 megapixels 13.20 x 8.80mm sensor size, resolution up to 20 megapixels
Largest pixels for dimly lit photos and video with less noise, usable up to ISO 104,200 Pixels still big enough for low-light photos but more noise than full frame Not the best for low light, with the exception of purpose-built models like Panasonic’s GH5s Even the best models like Sony’s RX100 V will be noisy above ISO 6400
Razor-thin depth of field for artistic bokeh The sweet spot for video but fewer artistic bokeh possibilities than full frame Decent but not spectacular bokeh You’ll need to zoom in and use a low f/stop for blurred backgrounds
Narrow depth of field creates problems with focus and bright sunlight Easier to control focus and shoot in bright light Focus and light more easily controlled Relatively easy to nail focus, even wide open


Source: How to buy a camera in 2018

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