Can I Use Canon DSLR Lens On Mirrorless Camera

Upgrading your camera body or changing manufacturers is an exciting time.  You have all these creative ideas and overwhelming thoughts of possibilities.  Then it hits you.  You know you’ve invested a lot of money in lenses.  You then start asking the question, can I use  Canon DSLR lens on  mirrorless camera.

Well, you’ve come to the right spot.  Not only are we going to answer that question, we are going to give you options to help you out right now and in the future.

Once you have read the entirety of this article, you’ll have much more peace of mind knowing what you’re able to do going forward.  You’ll be able to go back to being creative instead of worrying about the technical!  

Let’s get started!

Can I Use Canon DSLR Lens On Mirrorless Camera

The mount is what makes the lens compatible

Can I Use Canon DSLR Lens On Mirrorless Camera

This article is directed to those going from canon DSLR to Canon mirrorless OR Canon DSLR lenses to any other manufacturer (Nikon, Sony, Fuji, etc). Canon DSLR lenses are EF mount.  Keep this in mind as you read this article.

But yes, the mount itself is the element in question.  Generally speaking, there is a change in the mount (the threads and pins that the lens screws into) when a manufacturer goes from DSLR to mirrorless.  Rarely do you see a manufacturer go from DSLR to mirrorless and not change the lens mount (and glass, to an extent).

To answer the question, can I use a Canon DSLR lens on a mirrorless camera.  The answer is yes.

We are going to cover a widely (and reliable) way to adapt your Canon DSLR lenses to a mirrorless camera.

Fix to the problem : Adapter

Can I Use Canon DSLR Lens On Mirrorless Camera

Seeing as the only problem with DSLR lenses and mirrorless versions is the mount - your best ( and only) way to work around this is to adapt your lenses.

Don’t worry, it’s not hard, difficult, or confusing.  Stick with me here.

All you would need to do is purchase an adapter.  This adapter locks into your camera (much like a lens) prior to you putting your lens on.

The steps to this include

  1. Take your camera body with no lens attached.
  2. Attach an adapter that's compatible with both the body and lenses you’re adapting
  3. Attach the lens to the adapter

That’s right.  It’s literally that simple. Once the lens is adapted, it will work as if the lens was on a DSLR camera.  Features such as autofocus and aperture will work normally as well.

Determining which one is best for you is something we included in this article as well.  Continue reading to learn more!

Which adapter should I purchase?

In this section we thought it would be fitting to include all major manufacturers.  Seeing as the question, can I use a Canon DSLR lens on a mirrorless camera is quite broad.  For your convenience, here is the list of mounts for all major manufacturers.

  • Canon DSLR lens mount: EF mount
  • Nikon mirrorless mount: Z mount
  • Canon Mirrorless mount: RF mount
  • Fujifilm mirrorless mount: X mount

Below is a list of affordable and reliable adapters.  Be sure to double check that you have chosen the correct adapter for your camera.  It’s a common mistake to choose the wrong adapter for the camera or the lenses you’re attempting to adapt. 

The negatives to adapting lenses

While being able to use pretty much any type of lens on any type of camera has its perks; there are also negatives involved.

The first (and most important) negative is the fact that there is another layer of glass that light has to pass through.  This means there’s another fail point for something to go wrong.  

Dust/dirt and fingerprints are a common problem.  Other less common (but more severe) technical problems include the inability to use autofocus/aperture settings .  This is a problem with the electronic pins located on the camera body, adapter, and lens.  The solution to this problem is to purchase high quality adapters (like the ones mentioned above).

The last negative would include price.  If you decide to just adapt, it won’t break the bank too much.  But if you’re attempting to adapt and speedboost (topic for another article) - those start to hurt the bank a bit.  

Your decisions and my thoughts

Now that you know you can adapt your Canon DSLR lenses to a mirrorless camera, you need to make a few decisions.

Are you comfortable with spending a little more money to allow you to use them on mirrorless.  But, are you ok with the idea that it’s more equipment and it could fail.

If you answered yes, then go for it.

My opinion

This is my opinion on the matter.  If you’re ok with the pros and cons and own a lot of Canon DSLR lenses, then I would purchase it.  There is no reason you should attempt to sell your Canon lenses (and lose money) to change to a different mount or manufacturer.  Not to mention, Canon has some of the best glass on the market (this coming from a Sony-only user)  

This is actually common practice for those using the EOS R.  Many users adapt older Canon lenses because of the cost of the new RF lenses (very hefty price-tag).

On the other hand, if you only have a couple lenses that aren’t worth much and are changing manufacturers, then I would jump ship completely.

That’s all for now!

I hope you learned a thing or two from this article.  You should be much more relaxed at this point knowing you can use Canon DSLR lenses on mirrorless cameras!  Not only that, you have a clear solution to the problem.

If you would like to learn more about photography (or videography) in general, be sure to check out the rest of our site!

You can also check out our work at JnRPhotoVideo.  We offer photo and video services to the greater San Diego area!

As always, thank you all for reading.  Until next time, keep shooting and creating!


I have been taking photos and film since I was a child. Now that I'm in my mid 30's, I want to share with the world what I have learned over the years. I attempt to live every day to the fullest and share that with you through my blog. I am an electrician by trade and photo and video lie within the "hobby" aspect of my life at the moment. It's what I'm truly passionate about.
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