Difference between Mirrorless and Point & Shoot camera?

Hamed Dehghani

TPF Noob!
May 2, 2015
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I know how do work DSLR and Mirror-less but I don’t about compact camera


would you tell me compact camera Difference with figure ?

I think there's a bit of a language barrier here.

The title and question are asking about the difference between a point and shoot camera and a mirrorless, but the diagrams are showing the difference between a mirrorless and a DSLR.

A DSLR contains a mirror, an optical viewfinder, a large sensor, and has the ability to change lenses.

A mirrorless has no mirror, an electronic viewfinder (or just an LCD), a large sensor, and has the ability to change lenses.

A point and shoot has no mirror, an electronic viewfinder if it has one at all, a small sensor (unless it is very high end), and cannot change lenses.
Some mirrorless cameras have fixed lenses
Such as
  • Fuji x100s - APS-C
  • Nikon Coolpix A - APS-C
  • Sony RX1R - FullFrame
  • Ricoh GR - APS-C
  • Panasonic LX100 APS-C
and others

Compact cameras may vary but usually are more compact.
For instance Nikon's "Compact" camera page
Compact Cameras Overview | Waterproof, Shockproof, Zoom & more | Nikon
which seems to include small bridge cameras
Coolpix A is in there
along with a P7800 which has full manual controls but a fixed zoom lens that retracts into the body for compactness.

I think compacts may be more about the lens retracting (partially or fully) into the body for compactness.

"Point and Shoot" cameras seem to be compact cameras with no controls. You just point and shoot. No viewfinder (or a small one) and a LCD screen. Fixed variable length lens. Just very basic cameras with smaller sensors.
A P&S is a mirrorless camera
The terms that you tend to see are marketing designations ... mirrorless cameras should be called mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.
P&S designates its software functionality instead of hardware.
A system camera is a camera that is part of a system, most importantly has exchangeable lenses, but also possibly a flash system, exchangeable sensor, and other associated extras.

A compact camera is a camera that is NOT part of any system and is complete on its own, including coming with a fixed lens.

A point and shoot is a compact camera that can be pointed and shot without further ado, meaning it doesnt have much in respect to photographic controls and doesnt need much photographic knowledge. There are no system cameras that are this simple, because that wouldnt make much sense. You can use most system cameras as a point and shoot, though, since they have the so-called "green mode" - i.e. AUTO - which does everything just like a P&S.

The term "mirrorless" usually refers to an EVF based mirrorless camera, the new competition to the previously (and in fact still) dominant DSLRs. There are a ton of pre-SLR camera designs that are technically also "mirrorless" - large format cameras, rangefinders, twin lens reflex cameras, etc.

Back in film times there have been SLRs which have been compact cameras. These no longer exist.

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