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Photographers can finally stop arguing over what to officially call the latest generation of interchangeable cameras that forgo the prisms of past DSLR brethren. A number of various names have existed including Compact System Cameras (CSC), Mirrorless System Cameras (MSC), Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM), Digital Interchangeable Lens System Cameras (DILSC), and Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens (EVIL). The Consumer Electronic Agency has picked a name, and they are keeping it simple.

The official name for these small shooters are “mirrorless cameras”. Did you see that name choice coming? Not every technology retailer was expecting the decision. Popular electronics store Best Buy sold mirrorless cameras under the “compact system camera” title for quite a while. This decision from the CEA will help to standardize branding conventions, and create a more customer-friendly environment.


Mirrorless cameras have taken off in the market over the past 12 months; according to The NPD Group, overall revenue for the category has grown by 16.5%. During the same period, DSLR cameras have dropped in sales by 15%. Ben Arnold, Executive Director at The NPD Group, noted that “growth in the mirrorless segment shows this new technology and form factor are resonating with consumers.” The upward trend in mirrorless camera sales is expected to continue while DSLR sales are expected to decline.

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At the current time, the most popular brand for mirrorless cameras is Sony Electronics. Over the past 12 months, Sony’s mirrorless camera sales have been boosted by 66%; the company has held the position as #1 overall mirrorless brand for the past four years. Other top mirrorless camera brands include Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Samsung.

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According to studies from The NPD Group, most mirrorless camera purchasers use their gear for travel and vacation photography. Other top events and situations include significant family events, day trips, outdoor scenes, and special events (festivals, concerts, etc.).

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Mirrorless cameras have an official name, and they are positioned to continue growing in popularity over the years. For now, most mirrorless cameras are not purchased for use in professional environments, but that may quickly change as we move forward.