Most people use DSLR cameras because they are common, easy and get the job done well enough. However, there are a few who are more serious about their photography and prefer the image quality that can be offered to them by a mirrorless camera.
If you’re one of these people and you’re new to mirrorless cameras, then you may find that it’s more complicated to use than you expected. That said, don’t worry because there are a number of resources out there that can help you with taking great pictures. Below, we’re going to offer you a brief overview of how to use your mirrorless camera as well as some tips for specific kinds of photos and settings.

What makes a mirrorless camera different?

Unlike a standard DSLR camera, a mirrorless camera doesn’t include a reflex mirror or optical viewfinder. Many people find this option to be more suitable for taking professional-level pictures, but they certainly aren’t the most common cameras out there. On a mirrorless camera, you’ll find that the imaging sensor is actually exposed to light all the time.
You will be able to see a digital preview of the picture in most cases, through either an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen in order to help you get the ideal focus and image.

What modes does it offer?

You’ll typically find a few different modes on a mirrorless camera. There is often a program mode, which allows the camera to have a little more control over the aperture and shutter speed while you control things like light sensitivity. This is an easier method to use when you’re new to using a mirrorless camera and need a little guidance.
There’s also a manual mode, in which you control all the settings. This is going to be better for advanced users who want to set things specifically. In many models, you’ll also find some specialty modes to liven things up.

Are there any special features?

Many mirrorless cameras offer something called High-Dynamic range, which allows the camera to take multiple pictures of the same scene using a few different exposure levels. This can help you with finding the ideal level without having to stop and change the settings for each image.
There are also light-sensitivity settings that can allow the camera to focus more or less on a lighting source depending on what look you’re going for. Using both of these features, you’ll be able to ensure you get the right kind of feeling sent across in your photos.

How do I take…
Landscape shots?

For a landscape shot, you’ll want to consider how sharp you want it to be and use a lens that will be as wide as you need. You’ll also want to make use of Aperture Priority to keep things in the background from getting too blurry. The aperture should be set at f9 or higher for this purpose as well. You may choose to set it much higher if you want it to be a very sharp image.

Portrait shots?

For a portrait shot, you’ll most likely want to allow background objects to blur and fall away so that they don’t take the attention away from the main subject. To get the best result, you should set the Aperture Priority to Av or A depending on the brand. You may or may not want to also use a zoom lens. If you do, then make sure to set it to around 30mm to 35mm. If it’s shooting from a very short distance, you’ll also want to lower the aperture setting to fit whatever that distance is.

Action shots?

Action shots will typically need you to use faster shutter speeds in order to capture each little movement without a lot of blur. Depending on how quickly the subject is moving, you may want a shutter speed anywhere from 1/250 second to 1/1250 second. You’ll also want to set your camera to Shutter Priority mode, which may be labeled as either S or Tv depending on what kind of camera you have.

What other things can I adjust?

Mirrorless cameras can have a lot of different features and settings that can allow you to get the ideal images. These can include the exposure, white balance and more.
In order to make changes to the exposure, you can turn your exposure compensation setting up or down depending on what you’re looking for. This feature will often show up as EV, and you’ll be able to change the number associated with that in order to get the perfect level of exposure.
Adjusting the white balance can also help with balancing out the color in your pictures. There are typically a few different setting options including Tungsten, Daylight and Shade. You can also change the balance manually if those settings don’t make the exact adjustments you need.

Practice Makes Perfect

Most importantly, if you want to learn how to use your mirrorless camera efficiently then it’s a great idea to get out and practice. Play around with the settings as you take pictures of various people and objects to find out how the pictures are affected by the settings. Over time, you’ll get a good feeling for how to make adjustments to get the best possible photo results.
If practicing on your own doesn’t seem to be helpful enough, you can always look into a class that can help with guiding you through efficiently using your camera.


Using a mirrorless cameras can be tricky, but the more you use it the more you’ll get used to it and become more proficient. Before you know it, it’ll be second nature and you’ll know exactly what adjustments to make to get a perfect image every time.
Keep in mind that there are a number of ways you can get help with learning how to use a mirrorless camera well. From videos and online courses to local classes or even friends and family, there are many out there who will be willing to help you to succeed in your photography endeavors.

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