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Everything you always wanted to know about the semi-transparent mirror technology (but were afraid to ask)

19 January 2015
Szymon Starczewski

6. Benefits and losses. Pros and cons. Facts and myths.



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Such a long text (and I am truly sorry for it) deserves a concise summary.

A fixed film mirror has a lot of advantages over the classic solution:

  • Burst mode can be faster
  • Dirt won’t invade the interior of the camera so easily
  • The camera might be more reliable
  • The camera is physically lighter and can be potentially cheaper
  • The camera might offer continuous preview (not necessarily if you deal with an electronic viewfinder, though)
  • Phase-detection AF in the LV mode and during registering a movie
Of course there also many reasons why classic reflex cameras have been sold on the market up to now. Some of them are listed below:

  • Bright optical viewfinder
  • 1/3 more of light = faster speeds or lower ISO, an advantage in dynamic range and noise
  • The mirror can be cleaned without any risk and it’s less prone to damage
  • A damage of a film mirror influences the resolution of photos; a damage of an ordinary mirror won’t have such consequences.
As usual, the choice is difficult and everybody has to take a decision they deem the best on their own.


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