2018 is turning out to be a big year for the mirrorless camera market. Sony and Fujifilm have solidified their place as the leaders in this market and Canon and Nikon have just begun take this technology seriously.

Given that these cameras don’t have a mirror to reflect a preview image through the viewfinder they are able to be designed much smaller and thinner without sacrificing image quality. The downside of this is the fact that these cameras rely on batteries more than any other cameras. Yes, DSLR cameras are pretty much useless without batteries but with a lens on your DSLR you can look through the viewfinder to frame a shot even when the camera is turned off. Since a DLSR doesn’t need the battery to power an electronic viewfinder the same battery can last longer in a DSLR than in your average mirrorless camera.

Even before digital SLR cameras, film cameras became reliant on batteries to expose an image. My Canon EOS-1n is just as useless without a battery as my Canon 6D. This reliance on batteries was not always the case.

Two of my favorite cameras I own are the Nikon FM2 and the Canon FTb QL. Both of these cameras take batteries but only so the light meter can operate. They both are completely mechanical and can shoot images at any shutter speed with or without batteries. My FM2 has 2 more shutter speed options than my FTb but they are both great cameras. Even though they don’t need batteries I still like to keep good batteries in both of them because I like the meters on them but it’s always nice to know that if the batteries die I can keep shooting.

Canon and Fujifilm are announcing new cameras this week and I am excited to see what they have to offer. I know a mirrorless camera is in my future but I will always be grateful for these mechanical cameras that allow me to capture images with or without a battery.