Mirrorless Cameras Are Disrupting The Camera Rental Industry (Here's how to stay ahead of the game)

Amanda Gardner

Mirrorless, Mirrorless, Mirrorless! You may be reminded of that infamous Brady Bunch "Marsha Marsha Marsha" episode, where Jan had just about enough of hearing about her sister. It may feel the same way with Mirrorless cameras, and you might have valid reasons for not making the switch! Why fix something that isn't broken, right? Trust us, we understand. We often hear from DSLR shooters about what they still love about their camera setups and why they haven't been convinced that the grass is greener on the other side.

We have witnessed a rapid transition in the industry, moving from a substantial inventory of DSLR bodies dominated by camera giants like Canon and Nikon, to a dynamically evolving inventory of mirrorless cameras. Now, with some major players in the market that include Sony, Fujifilm, Lumix, and others.

Mirrorless cameras, sometimes seen as the “new kid in school” by the industry, are gaining popularity among both amateur and professional photographers. They have made a significant impact on both the photo and video industry and are definitely here to stay. These cameras have been designed to bring together the quality and flexibility of DSLRs, while also providing the convenience and user-friendliness of compact cameras. This transformation has sparked a revolution in the world of photography, and it's certainly influencing our evolving inventory selection at Aperturent.

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PROS AND CONS OF MIRRORLESS!


Pros...What makes these cameras great?

  • Size and Weight:  One of the best things about mirrorless cameras is their compact size and lightweight design. They are much smaller and lighter than (most) DSLRs, making them perfect for travel, street photography, or any situation where portability is important. When these cameras first entered the market they were all small, compact and lightweight. As the technology is changing and new flagship bodies are being made, the size and weight of these cameras are slowly growing and evolving, potentially back to some resemblance of our old familiar DSLR’s. But for now, we still see this as a big pro!

  • Compatibility: With the invention of adapters that support DSLR lenses onto mirrorless bodies, mirrorless shooters are now able to explore a wide array of lenses. This really opens up a world of technical and creative shooting for everyone!

  • Silent Shooting: Mirrorless cameras often come with silent shooting mode, which makes them much quieter than DSLRs. This feature is especially useful in situations where loud shutter sounds can be disruptive, such as weddings, events, journalism or wildlife photography.

  • Autofocus: Many mirrorless cameras feature advanced autofocus systems that use on-sensor phase detection or contrast detection. This results in faster and more accurate focusing, especially in challenging lighting conditions. Mirrorless cameras often feature advanced autofocus systems, offering precise subject tracking and eye detection. These technologies make it easier for photographers to capture fast-moving subjects, ensuring sharp and well-focused images. Additionally, mirrorless cameras provide real-time feedback on exposure, white balance, and composition through their electronic viewfinders or LCD screens, enhancing the overall shooting experience.

  • Focus Peaking: Speaking of advanced autofocus technologies, we are seeing really great growth in the manual focus world too. While focus peaking is a tool that has been around for a while and found in many DSLR bodies, we are finding that the combination of focus peaking technology and the ever-improving quality of the LCD screens create a win-win combination for those shooters where tack sharp focus is a priority, or anyone still needing to utilize manual focus!

  • EVF and LCD Screens: The electronic viewfinder (EVF) or high-resolution LCD screens provide real-time feedback, making it easier to compose shots and review images without the need to switch between the EVF and the LCD. Mirrorless cameras have eliminated the optical viewfinder and the traditional mirror mechanism found in DSLRs, opting for an electronic viewfinder (EVF) or simply using the rear LCD screen for composing shots. As the industry has moved into Electronic viewfinders we have the ability to make exposure changes in real time and remove a lot of the guesswork! 

So are there any cons?

While we hate using the term “cons” (because we all know there are things that could be improved on) it’s ok to talk about what we might not love about Mirrorless cameras. We are sure some of our "old-school" renters who transitioned from film to digital could chime in here! When we talk about the things that we don’t always love in technology we can also better point you to something else that may be a great fit for you! It is NOT a one-size-fits-all situation…

  • Battery Life: Mirrorless cameras tend to have shorter battery life compared to DSLRs, mainly because the EVF or LCD screen requires constant power. It's essential to carry extra batteries for extended shoots. We make it affordable to add additional batteries to your order with Aperturent so you have exactly what you need throughout the course of your shoot. We recommend that wedding and event photographers, people filming full days, or anyone with limited access to power rent an extra battery or two to make sure you are covered! 

  • Lens Compatibility: I know we wrote above about how awesome it is to have access to a wide variety of lenses, but occasionally there are some crossovers that just aren’t great. Older DSLR lenses may be best shot with a better DSLR body than the latest and greatest mirrorless. While mirrorless cameras can often use DSLR lenses seamlessly with an adapter, they are best utilized with lenses designed specifically for mirrorless systems. There are some really wonderful features built into some of the newer mirrorless lenses, like changing exposure compensation, autofocus modes, white balance and more!

  • Size and weight: I know we have mentioned above that size and weight is a pro for mirrorless, but for some, the smaller size can be a big con. Some people prefer to have slightly larger camera bodies, especially if they are adding on huge telephoto lenses, or want something that feels sturdier in their hands. 

Mirrorless and Video 

To be fair, video has always had to stay at the forefront of technology in this industry. With the continuous evolution of resolution in movies, television, and our phones, video is constantly striving to keep up with the quality, resolution, and technology in our homes. 

In addition to still photography, mirrorless cameras excel in videography. Many models offer 4K (and even 8K!) video recording, and with advanced features like in-body stabilization, state-of-the-art autofocus, subject tracking and more, mirrorless cameras are at the forefront of video content creation. These incredible features which are now available in a compact and affordable camera set up, used to be reserved for high-end cinema cameras. This has opened up new opportunities for content creators, and filmmakers to produce high-quality videos at a fraction of the cost.  

Mirrorless cameras have ushered in a new era of video production. Their combination of portability, exceptional video quality, lens versatility, and advanced features make them a game-changer for anyone getting their feet wet in the industry to the most seasoned pro’s. Whether you're a content creator on YouTube, a budding filmmaker, or a professional videographer, mirrorless cameras provide the perfect tools to bring your video vision to life.

TOP MIRRORLESS RENTALS AT APERTURENT

Take a look at what's always leaving in those black boxes…

📷  Sony Alpha a7 IV: Say hello to this versatile camera! Its splendid image quality has made it a favorite among photographers and videographers. Our trusty a7 IV is an advanced hybrid mirrorless camera and a key player in our rental inventory. It features a 33MP Exmor R full-frame sensor, which delivers crystal-clear images, minimal noise, and vibrant colors. Even in low-light conditions, it shines with a sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200. It boasts a dynamic range of about 15 stops and supports raw, JPEG, or 10-bit HEIF formats. The camera's 4K 30p XAVC HS 10-bit recording makes the most of the full sensor width, guaranteeing sharp and lifelike image capture. Plus, S-Log3 allows for an impressive 15+-stop dynamic range, giving you more control over grading.

Sony Alpha a7 IV Body (E-Mount)
A Full Frame compact mirrorless digital camera featuring a 33MP sensor.


📷 Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a versatile tool to meet the photo and video requirements of a contemporary imaging workflow. This full-frame mirrorless camera revolves around a refined 24.2MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC X processor, which afford quick shooting up to 12 fps, apt 4K60 video recording, and wide-ranging sensitivity to ISO 102400. It also sports 5-axis in-body image stabilization to help steady shots when working in low-light conditions.

As a do-everything, highly versatile camera, the R6 also employs the sensor and processor for robust focusing performance. Dual Pixel CMOS AF offers quick, smooth, and intelligent focusing using 1053 selectable points that cover the entire field of view. This focusing system has also been updated to make use of Deep Learning technology for improved subject tracking as well as precise eye, face, and head-detection for both people and animals.

Complementing the imaging capabilities, the R6 sports a bright and detailed 0.5" 3.69m-dot electronic viewfinder, with a high 120 fps refresh rate, and a rear 3.0" 1.62m-dot touchscreen LCD with a vari-angle design to accommodate vlogging needs as well as benefit working from high and low angles. Additionally, dual SD UHS-II memory card slots offer flexible storage and there is of course Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless sharing and remote camera control.

Canon EOS R6 Mark II Body
A full-frame mirrorless camera featuring a 24.2MP CMOS sensor, continuous shooting up to 12 fps, and 4K60 video recording.


 📷 Canon EOS R5 Body is truly impressive, offering a wide range of features that will surely meet your needs. With its 45MP CMOS sensor, you can enjoy capturing stunning 8K raw videos and take advantage of its 12 fps continuous shooting capability. Plus, the 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization ensures that your images are always sharp and clear. You'll be amazed by the quick and intelligent focusing performance, thanks to the DIGIC X image processor and its 1053 selectable points. The advanced Deep Learning technology enhances subject tracking and detection, making it easier to capture both people and animals in focus.

In terms of design, the R5 is designed with the needs of EOS 5-series users in mind, offering a familiar and comfortable layout. You'll love the high-resolution electronic viewfinder and the convenience of the vari-angle touchscreen LCD monitor. The top status LCD ensures a smooth workflow, and the dual memory card slots provide ample storage space. And with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can easily share your amazing shots with friends and family.

Overall, the Canon EOS R5 is an incredible camera that combines versatility, performance, and convenience. It's a perfect choice for both amateur and professional photographers.

Canon EOS R5 Body
A full-frame mirrorless camera featuring a 45MP CMOS sensor, continuous shooting up to 12fps, and 8k video recording.


📷 Sony Alpha a7R V Body is an incredibly capable full-frame camera that is well-known for its impressive stills and video performance. It boasts a powerful 61MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and an enhanced BIONZ X image processor, which results in smooth and high-quality images with a wide dynamic range.

This camera has the ability to shoot up to 10 fps and record UHD 4K30 video, with advanced features like Real-time Eye AF and Tracking AF technologies. The Fast Hybrid AF System with 567 phase-detection autofocus points ensures quick and accurate focusing. Despite its high resolution, the a7R IV offers a flexible ISO range from 100-32000, allowing you to capture stunning photos in various lighting conditions. Additionally, this camera is equipped with 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which effectively reduces camera shake by up to 5.5 stops. This is the build of a camera most of our aperturent customers are looking for and it will be a well loved camera body for years to come.

📷 Nikon Z8 Body: Built with flagship DNA, the Nikon Z8 is a compact, lightweight camera that incorporates the advanced technology of the Z9 in a more portable package.

The Z8 is known as the ultimate hybrid camera, offering the same proven sensor, processing, and AF capabilities as the flagship Z9. It features a new body design that is optimized for gimbal use, event shooting, and handheld applications.

Equipped with the same sensor as the Z9, the FX-format 45.7MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor provides a winning combination of resolution, fast readout speeds, excellent clarity, and low noise. The stacked design helps reduce rolling shutter, while the BSI designation ensures better noise performance when shooting at high ISOs within the extended range of 32-102400. With its 45.7MP resolution and full-frame sensor, this camera is ideal for detail-oriented photographers and supports video recording up to 8K. It's the perfect mirrorless camera for Nikon enthusiasts who have been hesitant to head into the mirrorless world!

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STAFF PICKS AND ALTERNATIVES

📷 Canon R7: We are in love with this EOS R7, Canon's big leap into APS-C with the mirrorless R system, a perfect blend of performance and portability. Equipped with a 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor, it strikes the perfect balance between resolution, speed, and low-light performance, making it a dream come true for both photo and video enthusiasts. The high-resolution design is a boon for 4K video, providing a 7K area for oversampling footage. Plus, the sensor also offers high-res UHD 4K 60p internal video, 10-bit sampling with Canon Log 3, and 120p recording at Full HD for those amazing slow-motion playback moments. We believe it is one of the most underutilized cameras in the mirrorless world. The build, quality, and functionality of this camera are quite impressive!

📷 Sony Alpha a6700 Body (E-Mount): Say hello to the a6700 a compact little dynamo packed with Sony's latest innovations, including some pretty smart AI technology. Despite being lightweight, it boasts a powerful 26.0MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and a nifty BIONZ XR processor. This means you can snap away quickly for still images or even capture UHD 4K video. Plus, this advanced system delivers 10-bit UHD 4K imagery with high resolution and minimal noise, offering over 14 stops of dynamic range and a wide ISO range. This little camera sure can pack a punch!

📷 Canon EOS R100 Body is designed for content creators and offers a wide range of features. It has a 24.1MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 processor for excellent still-image capabilities, as well as 4K 24p cropped video recording.

With its 24.2MP APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, the R100 strikes a balance between resolution, file size, speed, and low-light performance. It offers a native ISO range of 100-12800 and can shoot continuously at up to 6.5 fps.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 3975 autofocus points ensures accurate focus across the entire image plane. It also supports automatic subject detection and Eye Detection AF.

For connectivity, the camera has USB-C, micro-HDMI, and 3.5mm microphone ports. It can be wirelessly connected to compatible smart devices using Bluetooth and the Canon Camera Connect app. It also has built-in Wi-Fi for file transfer and GPS location data.

Given the size, ease of use, quality and affordability it has quickly become one of our favorite cameras to see in our inventory here at Aperturent. We know it’s not for everyone but it seems to be a really great entry point into the mirrorless world!

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SO, ARE YOU READY FOR THE MIRRORLESS REVOLUTION?

Mirrorless cameras have changed the photography and videography landscape, and every player in the industry is taking notice. Aperturent wants to help you through this transition, whether you're or all in - or not.

We love to stay informed on the camera gear news and we're constantly adding to our inventory! Whenever a new camera is announced we often pre-order it so we can be one of the first places to offer it to you! If you're interested in a specific camera but don't see it on our website yet, you can always make a request and we'll look into it!

We know big shifts in the industry like this can be exciting or scary depending on your point of view. We're here to help! If you are ever unsure about a camera choice feel free to ask us and we'll do our best to guide you to the best selection for you!