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Definition: mirrorless camera


A digital camera that accepts different lenses but does not use a mirror to reflect the image into the viewfinder. Also called a "mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera" (MILC), "hybrid camera" and "compact system camera" (CSC), the body is thinner than a digital SLR (DSLR) because there is no mechanical mirror. Mirrorless cameras are also called "mirrorless DSLRs" or "mirrorless SLRs" because they support multiple lenses like a single lens reflex camera and generally offer an optional viewfinder.

Introduced in 2008, mirrorless cameras became popular with amateur photographers migrating from point-and-shoot cameras. As sensor size increases and more high-end features are added, they give the bulkier digital SLRs a run for their money. See DSLR and viewfinder.




The Lumix Hybrid
Panasonic's Lumix GX1 is a 16-megapixel mirrorless camera that takes Micro Four Thirds lenses and offers an optional viewfinder. See Four Thirds system. (Image courtesy of Panasonic USA.)