Talk:Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera

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Mirrorless Leicas?[edit]

Leica rangefinder cameras are mirrorless in the sense that they don't have a mirror in front of the sensor (or film). They do have an optical viewfinder. Since MILC was defined to make a distinction between reflex (e.g. SLRs or TLRs) and non-reflex system cameras, a Leica M or the Epson RD-1 camera is a MILC. One should think of MILC as a super category with EVF and Rangefinder categories. EVF can then be broken down into what you'd call "compact" and "(D)SLR-like" subcategories. Where would Fujifilm's X100 fit? Well, maybe you'll need a third "Hybrid" category. Guy Paris (talk) 06:04, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

The Leica M8 and M9 were listed as mirrorless; it's my understanding that the optical overlay of a traditional rangefinder is indeed a pentaprism [1] and thus not a mirrorless camera. As far as the EVIL acronym goes, it's also an optical viewfinder, thus it's not an EVIL in any case. That said, I don't know enough about the internals of the M8 and M9 to know if they are now using some other technology for the rangefinding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deirdresm (talkcontribs) 00:21, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The article in it's current state was updated to reflect the above. Digital rangefinders (M8, M9, and R-D1) do not have a pentaprism, but they are optical viewfinders. The purpose of a pentaprism is to upright the image when viewed through the optical viewfinder because the regular image is upside down coming off the lens. As for AF differences: in an SLR, the mirror is what splits the light to go into the viewfinder with some of that light is passed through and mirrored down to the bottom of the camera if the SLR has auto-focus. A rangefinder has no AF, but does phase detect focusing by sampling with two separate viewfinders. An SLR achieves a similar trick by sampling the image coming from two ends of the lens. A prism in the AF system is used to achieve this trick (but it isn't the pentaprism). This is where your confusion comes from. (BTW, the X100 fits under rangefinder but not in a MILC because the lens is not interchangeable. When an SLR is not interchangeable it is called a ZLR which is a subset of "bridge" cameras. The X100 is a bridge rangefinder design so therefore not relevant to this article) - tychay (tchay@wikimedia) (talk) 00:30, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Update: asked over on the l-camera-forum [2]. It sounds like the M8 and M9 use essentially the same mechanism as predessors from at least the M3 on. So it seems either a) rangefinders should be excluded from this page (which frankly makes more sense); or b) all rangefinders should be included, which would cloud the discussion of the modern trend toward mirrorless cameras. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deirdresm (talkcontribs) 03:41, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

The subject of the article is a class of cameras which are digital, have interchangeable lens and are not SLR, i.e. don't have TTL optical viewfinder. Digital rangefinder cameras fit this definition. We cannot restrict article to only "EVIL" cameras (many don't have an electronic viewfinder) or to completely mirrorless cameras (you can find mirror not only in rangefinder, but in some electronic viewfinder designs). "Mirrorless" in the article title means just "non-SLR". --M5 (talk) 08:14, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

The Epson R-D1 was released in 2004. It should be included if the Leica M8 belongs here, since both are digital rangefinder cameras. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgmj (talkcontribs) 17:11, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

It is already included. --M5 (talk) 10:03, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I didn't see it in the table. I was thinking about the history section though, where the Leica M8 is mentioned and maybe should be replaced with the Epson R-D1 since it was released two years before the Leica M8? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:14, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

One of the things that classes a Mirrorless camera in the sense that most photographers mean is not just the lack of a physical mirror, but also the mode of operation. That is, the camera takes a live image from the camera's imaging sensor and displays it on an EVF or on a screen, or at least has the ability to do so. Though this may not be explicitly stated in the article, this is the way most people in the photography field would define a "mirrorless". The Leica M8, M9, and Epson RD-1 do not use this method of image composition and focusing. They are mechanical M-mount rangefinders, just like the Leica film M's going back to the M3, and the current Bessa and Zeiss cameras. Digital rangefinders are rangefinders, not mirrorless cameras in this regard. Put more simply, if you take a layperson and hand them an Olympus or Sony MILC, then a Leica M8 or M9, the Leica will be operated in a completely different way, as you compose with framelines, not on the LCD or an EVF, and your image through the viewfinder is not representative of the actual final image as it is on a MILC. However, the newest leica M-series rangefinder, refered to simply as the "M" with the internal designation "240", Not only has a mechanical/optical rangefinder mechanism like the older Leicas, but also has the ability to display a live view from the image sensor to the LCD screen or a separate detatchable eye-level electronic viewfinder. I would say that even though it has a rangefinder, its ability to display a live view from the sensor means that it is, in fact, a mirrorless camera in every sense of the word. If this is truly about the presence of a mirror, rather than the method of operation, A 4x5 view camera would also be "mirrorless", and it is clearly not. I think attention has to be paid here to the method of focus confirmation and composition of the image by the user, not merely the presence or nonpresence of a mirror in front of the sensor. Unixrevolution (talk) 14:37, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Totally agreed with Unixrevolution. In no way I can see Leica being mirrorless CSC. Leica never qualified itself do this category either, nor most of the companies do. I don't know why suddenly an article about mirrorless on Wikipedia BEGINS with the photograph of Leica that hardly can be called a MILC in a first place. SkywalkerPL (talk) 23:01, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Expert attention[edit]

I've cleaned up this article a bit from its original submission, but if there are any experts on video camera technology out there that find this, it could definitely use some attention from someone more knowledgeable regarding the topic. ɠǀɳ̩ςεΝɡbomb 19:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Ginsengbomb – thanks for your yeoman’s work!
I’ve significantly re-written and expanded (and re-named) the article; it could use work, but it’s now quite serviceable.
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 03:28, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi Nils von Barth / Nbarth - I just discovered you integrated / moved the 'evil camera' page, and indeed changed and added a lot to this subject. I consider it definitely as an improvement, so, thanks a lot! Keep up the good work. I might have some additional information especially concerning the speed of contrast detection autofocus versus phase detection autofocus. But I'll have to look that up, maybe, maybe, next week. I'll put it in the discussion first --Yvolution (talk) 14:29, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Sensor size[edit]

I think talking of entry-level DSLR sensors is confusing. As far as I know, APS-C sensors are for example used in all Canon DSLRs up to the 7D, which clearly is not an entry-level DSLR (nor is the 40d or 50d). (talk) 20:26, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


  • MaGioZal suggested a merger in revision 379063247 - IMHO it's a very bad idea. Right now the ILCs are not only micro 4/3s - they are also the NEX system and the NX, not saying about Leica M. No reason at all to merge it unless author have anything to add? —Preceding unsigned comment added by SkywalkerPL (talkcontribs) 18:14, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I am against the merge too. Makes no sence.--Kozuch (talk) 06:34, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

"MILC" term more popular.[edit]

The term "MILC" (as opposed to EVIL) is becoming more popular in the forums these days. As it is also the title of this topic, should it not get a mention ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Preroll (talkcontribs) 22:29, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

The page seems to be called MILC now. I noticed that the term "MILC camera" crops up in places - that's redundant, isn't it? Should it be corrected, or would it be more confusing to just use 'MILC' in those places? Denny de la Haye (talk) 18:05, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Sony SLT range?[edit]

How are Sony SLT cameras considered mirror-less cameras when they obviously have mirrors? They are subtype of DSLR cameras. Also, there's already an article for SLT cameras (Single-lens translucent camera). I suggested Sony SLT range should be removed from list of EVIL cameras. Satellite779 (talk) 12:03, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Sony SLT is EVIL, see below. --M5 (talk) 16:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I guess 'PILC' for 'prismless' would be more accurate ? But that would just be adding to the mayhem eh? (Preroll (talk) 22:37, 23 September 2010 (UTC))

I agree with Satellite779 that Sony SLT cameras definetely are DSLR. Their mirror just does not move, that is the only difference from all other DSLRs. Therefore it can not be considered as mirrorless. About 'prismless', most of the DSLR do not have prism, instead it have pentamirror. RedAndr (talk) 16:01, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

DSLR cameras have TTL optical viewfinder with reflex mirror, and Sony SLT does not have TTL optical viewfinder. Sony SLT cameras are not "mirrorless" but they are EVIL, i.e. have Electronic Viewfinder and Interchangeable Lens. --M5 (talk) 16:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

The title of the page is "MIRRORLESS interchangeable lens camera", so Sony SLTs should be removed, simply. A mention that SLTs fit EVIL terminology should be made, or a separate page on EVILs linking to MILCs and SLTs, saying EVIL = MILC + SLT should be added. Remember: DPreview has a poll on MILCs (, suggesting that MILCs should reasonably become the industry-standard term for all those cameras. It depends on us and the MILC page on Wikipedia whether such terms will spread and become standard, so I suggest to just remove all SLT occurrences on the page and take position, finally decide on which term to use, citing the others as synonyms simply, and ending the confusion! Darrask (talk) 12:15, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


On terminology – since the terminology is not yet stable, I propose keeping alternative terms in the “Terminology” section (not cluttering the lede). Once a stable term emerges, but not before, we can use that throughout (e.g., MILC, ILC), and move the page to the proper name (if different).

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 22:24, 24 September 2010 (UTC)


I removed DEVIL acronym from the lead - source given [1] is not notable enough and I could not find any other usages of the acronym. Also, the word "Digital" is redundant when used with "Electronic Viewfinder". --M5 (talk) 08:32, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Shutter and flash sync speed[edit]

Does a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera have a mechanical shutter (like today's normal DSLRs) or an electronic shutter (like today's compact cameras)? If it has an electronic shutter than one of its' benefits is an (almost) unlimited flash sync speed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Itamarhason (talkcontribs) 11:19, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

As far as I know, as of today, all MILCs have mechanical shutters. There are cameras (not necessarily MILCs) that use both a mechanical and an electronic shutter (to provide a higher flash sync speed). Interestingly, there is at least one DSLR (there may be others) that has only an electronic shutter (the Nikon D40; the D40x has a mechanical shutter). One might assume that therefore MILCs, like DSLRs, have a limited shutter life. ( -- (talk) 19:50, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

[citation needed]?[edit]

The purpose of micros is to provide high quality imaging in a smaller body than in DSLR cameras. [citation needed]
While I can see why some might see this as some kind of unwanted original theory construction, it's an assertion that's backed by the whole article, it's common knowledge and it's actually such an obvious fact that I'm not sure if the [citation needed] tag is any more necessary there than for other claims in this article that are comparably "new" and "uncited" (like that the term MILC is "the most accurate one" or that these cameras "have generated significant excitement" or that they're "undermining the advantage that existing camera makers have in precision mechanical engineering" and many others). -- (talk) 19:27, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

What's funny is the Pentax Q belies this statement. It should be "The purpose of MILCs is to provide the versatility of use-specific lenses in a smaller body than dSLR cameras" (no citation needed because that's the ontology of the term MILCs) - tychay (tchay@wikimedia) (talk) 00:33, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

A55 and A33 wrongly placed[edit]

Article clearly says in first lines: "an emerging class of digital system cameras, intermediate between compact digital cameras and digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs)" - SLTs are equal to DSLRs, these two are above entry-level and below advanced DSLR models. Also you write that these cameras have drawbacks like "Contrast detection autofocus, rather than phase detection autofocus system" and "Incompatibility with existing lenses" - while that's CLEARLY not the case with A55 and A33.

These two should be put in exact same place as eg. Leica M8 - mention them in "Classification" section - M8 also doesn't fit the MILC type, but from different reasons (IMO it's actually closer to MILC definition than A55 and A33 is). (talk) 19:41, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

This article should be broken into separate articles[edit]

This article attempts to define a very fuzzy category, and is therefore confusing.

The subjects covered in here are mostly covered in other articles such as EVF, System Camera, Autofocus and Image sensor format. Based on the writing so far, it's hard to believe some of the editors are even aware of these other articles.

I would propose that the sections on Advantages/Disadvantages be substantially removed. Useful redundancy exists, but this is not it.

Michael Barkowski (talk) 15:14, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

System comparison lineup[edit]

I have not been able to figure out why the systems are sorted in this particular order. Is it market share, that puts Sony and Four Thirds on top? Wouldn't the "Relese date" not be a better default? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Done Racklever (talk) 10:50, 30 October 2011 (UTC)


Sony NEX was described as having a pseudo-APS-C sized sensor, while Samsung NX a quasi-APS-C sensor. I have taken the libery to remove those qualifiers, because, while the sensors are, indeed, smaller than Advanced Photo System Classic film frame, I think the term APS-C is, in general, used generously to describe all imaging surface roughly that size.--Polymeris (talk) 10:08, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Auto-focus minor cleanup?[edit]

  1. The paragraph ordering is a little confusing. It probably needs to be broken up to start with some general discussion of the pro/con of contrast AF vs. phase detect and then separate paragraphs which describes each model compensations/exceptions.
  2. Another factor contributing to the faster benchmarking of the Olympus and Nikon 1 vs. dSLR's is the smaller sensor (the DoF is larger so it doesn't have to iterate as long before a focus lock is achieved
  3. CDAF (even on newer models) is slower than AF lock in dark conditions (currently). The wording seems to imply that Contrast AF is superior as long as the subject is not moving
  4. In the section on the Nikon 1, if you are going to mention that CDAF is not prone to calibration errors in the very next sentence, it deserves mentioning that this systems PDAF is on-sensor therefore is not prone to calibration issues either. Calibration issues is a function of it being in-sensor vs. out of sensor. In general when talking about that, this should be a separate paragraph where the distinction is made between in sensor/film and out-of-sensor focus systems (CDAF is primarily in sensor, and PDAF is primarily out of sensor, but this is not always the case). Exceptions: Nikon 1, manual focusing without screens on a SLR, …
  5. There is no discussion of the Leica M series being (while not AUTO-focusing) a phase detect, out of sensor style. Probably should drop in a reference to the subpart on rangefinders there.

(I'd make some changes, but it's been years since I've edited en wp) :-) - tychay (tchay@wikimedia) (talk) 00:20, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

The main problem, as with the whole article, is lack of references. We cannot say that X is faster/better than Y without a reference.--Racklever (talk) 06:24, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Too many mentions of specific systems[edit]

I feel this article is rather confusing and hard to read, as it has too many mentions of systems, sensor sizes and other technical details pertaining to one brand/model of camera or the other. I am not an expert in this topic and not very experienced with wiki guidelines either, but this paragraph --just an example, there are many other similar cases-- reads like if everyone wanted to make sure their prefered camera brand or model was mentioned:

"Not all MILCs have a large sensor: Pentax Q (announced in June 2011) has a 1/2.3" sensor (typical of compact cameras). In September 2011 a new sensor format was announced by Nikon for its first MILC: the CX format,[2] with a sensor area 2.6 times bigger than the 1/1.7" sensor equipping high-end compact cameras, and about half the size of a Four Thirds sensor.[3] The Sony NEX looks like a compact camera with a zoom lens, but has a larger sensor; its APS-C sensor is the same size as that of most (amateur) DSLRs.[4] The Samsung NX10 (APS-C) and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 (Micro Four Thirds) have larger bodies and appearance similar to DSLRs[citation needed], but are significantly smaller than entry-level DSLRs."

Would a lot be lost if it was replaced by a one or two sentences that just said MILC sensor sizes ranged from comparable to compact camera to APS-C? The details are available in a table further down anyway!

C.f. the DSLR article: not every paragraph contains a comparison of available systems.--Polymeris (talk) 07:46, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree, we already have a table that lists available systems. --Racklever (talk) 08:08, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Another thing is that half of these sentences sound like an advertisement, not a fact (eg. Nikon 1 having AF faster than DSLRs - before my edit someone wrote it as an doubtful fact, which clearly isn't the case). We really need to have two things done here:
  • Clean-up from constant comparisons between systems
  • Clean-up from advertisement
as in the current form it leaves much to be desired. SkywalkerPL (talk) 23:05, 7 March 2013 (UTC)


The last sentence in the Benefits section is incomplete.

Dcell59 (talk) 16:18, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^