Do You Need A Lens For A Mirrorless Camera

While the answer to the question, do you need a lens for a mirrorless camera, is a simple one.  We’re going to take it a step further in this article and dive a bit deeper into this topic.

In this article we are going to answer the question, touch a bit on mirrorless cameras in general and why you may (or may not) need a lens for a mirrorless camera.

By the end of this article you’ll not only have the answer, but a more clear understanding about mirrorless cameras and lenses in general.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Do You Need A Lens For A Mirrorless Camera

So, do you need a lens for a mirrorless camera?

Do You Need A Lens For A Mirrorless Camera

The clear cut answer to this question is yes.  

Technically, you don’t need a lens to take a photograph.  I’ll be honest though, your image will be completely unusable.  You’ll only see a vague difference between lights and darks.  There won’t be any definitive shapes or distinctions between any object within the scene.

What the lens does is funnel light through a series of curved glass elements within the lens itself.  It funnels that light to a specific point within the lens allowing it to hit your sensor and give you a clear image.  There is an incredible amount of engineering behind each lens on the market.  

Each focal length is created differently - as are zoom lenses.  But, all lenses on the market have one goal in mind.  To funnel light to a specific point to allow that light to be absorbed correctly by your camera sensor.

What makes a camera mirrorless?

Do You Need A Lens For A Mirrorless Camera

When you hear the word (or acronym) DSLR - do you have any idea what it means?

Well, without getting too technical, it’s a camera that uses a mirror.  This mirror is in front of your camera's sensor. It then bounces the light coming through your lens to another mirror that you see through your viewfinder.  When you take a photograph, this mirror flips up for a fraction of a second (depending on shutter speed), sending that light onto your sensor.

There isn’t anything “new” about this technology.  It’s been perfected over many many years and honestly, works great.

Placing a DSLR camera in live-view (to shoot video or preview your shot on your screen), flips this mirror up.  Your camera basically becomes a mirrorless camera at this point (you aren’t using the mirror at all when it’s flipped up).

Do You Need A Lens For A Mirrorless Camera

So, when you think about it, a mirrorless camera is built much like a DSLR. Just without the mirror elements or moving parts.  Not having those elements makes your camera lighter, smaller, and less moving parts (less objects to fail).

The benefits of a mirrorless camera over a DSLR are very significant. They're for those wanting lighter, smaller, and equally capable cameras (especially for travelers).

Here are some quality lenses to take a look at!

I thought it would be fitting to include some articles of mine that cover both mirrorless and DSLR lenses.

Do not worry, you can use just about every lens on any camera on the market.  Check my article on using adapters to convert DSLR lenses to new mirrorless camera bodies.

I would encourage to take a gander at a couple of the articles.  They will give you a great idea of what lenses would be best for you and your situation.  Feel free to bookmark them so you can go back later when you decide to take the leap and buy one!

That’s it for now!

I hope this article has helped you!  

You came here for an answer and got that.  But more importantly, I hope you understand why you need a lens and how a mirrorless camera works!

While the answer was simple, I believe it is equally (or more) important to know why something is the way it is.  It makes the answer make a lot more sense.

Going forward, you know a mirrorless camera requires a lens to take photographs (and why). You also have a better understanding of what makes a good mirrorless camera lens.  All of that sets you up really well going forward!

If you would like to see some of our work, head on over to JnRPhotoVideo.  We offer video and photo services here in San Diego!

As always, thank you so much 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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