DSLR and mirrorless cameras work in different ways to take photos, and the outcomes of each of these may be preferable to some. The DSLR includes a mirror inside of its body that guides the light going through the lens at a 45-degree angle into the optical viewfinder, as explained by Adorama. This is where the image you see in this viewfinder comes from. Once you take your photo, the mirror flips so the light can reach the sensor underneath it. Then, the resulting picture is saved. 

Mirrorless cameras, given their namesake, don’t have a mirror. The light travels directly to the sensor but is viewed electronically. When you take a photo, the light information on the sensor at that moment is saved. This is a very different method from the DSLR and has some advantages over that technology. Mirrorless cameras are lighter than their DSLR counterparts, for example, and they’re generally faster, easier to use, images are electronically stabilized, and you don’t have to worry about maintaining the mirror element. However, for some users a DSLR may be more suited to their needs, particularly because DSLRs support a wider variety of lenses and attachments. As well, DSLR cameras offer better battery life, which may be ideal when working in remote locations.

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