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The Ultimate Guide to Find the Best Mirrorless Camera
To understand what makes a camera mirrorless, we should first get familiar with a DSLR camera. What does DSLR stand for? The traditional DSLR, or Digital Single Lens Reflex, camera needs a mirror to reflect the light coming through the lens up to the optical viewfinder. In a mirrorless camera, there is no mirror, as the name suggests. It doesn’t have an optical viewfinder either. The lens projects the image directly onto the sensor, and the digital image appears on the display or an electronic viewfinder.
The absence of a mirror means mirrorless cameras are often more compact and lighter than their more traditional forerunners. While it used to be that the downside of the smaller size was lower image quality, that isn’t the case anymore.
Who wins in the mirrorless vs DSLR battle? You can benefit from a mirrorless camera as it's usually lighter, more compact, faster, and better for shooting video. However, that comes at the cost of access to fewer lenses and accessories. DSLRs have the benefit in wider lens selection and an optical viewfinder that works better in low light conditions. But they’re more complex and cumbersome. Although the DSLR market is vast, there are only two main rivals in the game: Canon and Nikon. Mirrorless cameras are offered in various models by Canon, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Sony, and Olympus. You can find a mirrorless camera to suit most budgets.
A decent camera for beginners. For those who decide to take their smartphone photography skills to the next level, there’s a good and affordable offering at around $400. The Canon EOS M100 comes with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, confident focusing, Wi-Fi, and a touchscreen that can tilt up to face the subject. Not only is it a robust all-rounder, but it’s also an ideal starting point for vlogging.
Resolution: 24.20 MP; sensor size: APS-C (22.3mm x 14.9mm); kit Lens: 3.00x zoom 15–45mm (24–72mm eq.); viewfinder: no / LCD; native ISO: 100–25,600; extended ISO: 100–25,600; shutter: 1/4000–30 sec; max aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in. (108 x 67 x 35 mm); weight: 10.7 oz (302 g)
An alternative to the first camera on our list is the Panasonic Lumix GX800/GX850. It's a counterpart of the Canon EOS M100 and an entry-level mirrorless camera aimed to help anyone move from phone or compact camera photography. It features a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, swappable lenses, and, unlike the Canon EOS M100, it can record full HD and 4K video. Its touchscreen rotates 180 degrees, which is beneficial for selfies or vlogging. Among its drawbacks are the absence of a viewfinder and remote live video control.
Resolution: 16.00 MP; sensor size: 4/3 (17.3mm x 13.0mm); kit lens: 2.67x zoom 12–32mm (24–64mm eq.); viewfinder: no / LCD; native ISO: 200–25,600; extended ISO: 100–25,600; shutter: 1/16000–60 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.2 x 2.5 x 1.3 in. (107 x 65 x 33 mm); weight: 11.9 oz (336 g) with batteries and kit lens
The Fujifilm X-T100 is an excellent way to switch from smartphone photography. It’s a budget camera but still a good quality mirrorless camera. Designed for beginners and vloggers, it sports a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, built-in viewfinder, and a tilting touchscreen that flips sideways to face the subject. It allows you to take great-looking images with no effort.
You can record 1080p movies, but the 4K mode is limited to 15fps, which isn’t sufficient for satisfactory video quality. Ultimately, the Fujifilm X-T100 delivers photos that look as good as the best models in its class and can also be used for 1080p vlogging. So long as you don’t shoot fast action or need smooth 4K video, it’s a strong rival in the entry-level market.
Resolution: 24.20 MP; sensor size: APS-C (23.5mm x 15.7mm); kit lens: 3.00x zoom 15–45mm (22.5–67.5mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 200–12,800; extended ISO: 100–51,200; shutter: 1/32000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.8 x 3.3 x 1.9 in. (121 x 83 x 47 mm); weight: 20.6 oz (583 g) with batteries and kit lens
The A6000 is a Sony mirrorless camera and a strong rival among mid-range cameras. Those looking for a mirrorless camera that’s excellent at action shooting and can produce superb video should check out Sony’s Alpha A6000 series. There are three Sony cameras in this series: the original A6000, the A6300 (with 4K video, weatherproofing, and better autofocus), and the newest A6500 (which takes the A6300 and adds a touchscreen and built-in stabilization). All three are great choices, but if you don’t need 4K video or weatherproofing, go with the original A6000.
Resolution: 24.30 MP; sensor size: APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm); kit lens: 3.13x zoom 16–50mm (24–75mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–25,600; extended ISO: 100–51,200; shutter: 1/4000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8 in. (120 x 67 x 45 mm); weight: 16.5 oz (468 g) with batteries and kit lens
The EOS M50 is Canon’s first mirrorless camera with 4K video, a fully articulated touchscreen, eye detection, and silent shooting options. It’s a robust upper entry-level model, suitable for those looking for their first swappable lens camera. Paired with a hot shoe mount and microphone input, the M50 will be the perfect offering for vloggers and for those wanting to switch from smartphone photography.
Resolution: 24.20 MP; sensor size: APS-C (22.3mm x 14.9mm); kit lens: 3.00x zoom 15–45mm (24–72mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–25,600; extended ISO: 100–51,200; shutter: 1/4000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3 in. (116 x 88 x 59 mm); weight: 17.1 oz (484 g) with batteries and kit lens
The OMD EM10 III is a compact, friendly, affordable (between $500-600), and feature-packed camera for beginners and more advanced photographers. At first glance, it may appear to have only slight differences from its forerunner, the EM10 II, but it has been successfully upgraded. The series III not only got decent 4K video but now presents its wealth of advanced shooting modes in a much more accessible manner. It still has the model II’s viewfinder, tilting touchscreen, built-in stabilization, and flawless controls.
The downsides remain the same too: it struggles to stay focused on fast subjects, and the 16-megapixel resolution is dated. If you mostly shoot static subjects though, the autofocus is fine, and the resolution is sufficient for most situations. In general, the OMD EM10 Mark III is hard to beat for the value. It’s an attractive and enjoyable camera that’s useful in most situations.
Resolution: 16.10 MP; sensor size: 4/3 (17.4mm x 13.0mm); kit lens: 3.00x zoom 14–42mm (28-84mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 200–25,600; extended ISO: 100–25,600; shutter: 1/16000–60 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.8 x 3.3 x 1.9 in. (122 x 84 x 50 mm); weight: 17.7 oz (503 g) with batteries and kit lens
The Fujifilm XT20 is impressive mid-range camera, giving spectacular out-of-camera image quality. Plus, it boasts decent autofocus and the great shooting and video capabilities of the flagship X-T2 but in a more compact and much more affordable body.
Unlike its competitors, the Fujifilm X-T20 lacks built-in stabilization, 4K movie clips longer than 10 minutes, video above 60 fps, a reasonable geotagging solution, and a card slot that can exploit UHS-II card speeds. But still, it’s perfect for day-to-day needs and is an easy-to-use camera.
Resolution: 24.30 MP; sensor size: APS-C (23.6mm x 15.6mm); kit lens: 3.06x zoom 18–55mm (27–84mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 200-12,800; extended ISO: 100 - 51,200; shutter: 1/32000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/2.8 (kit lens); dimensions: 4.7 x 3.3 x 1.6 in. (118 x 83 x 41 mm); weight: 25.2 oz (713 g) with batteries and kit lens
The A7 model II is rather old, but it’s the first among Sony cameras that combined the powerful features of its forerunners (A7, A7r, As). It kept the 24-megapixel resolution, added a deeper grip, improved the autofocus tracking, and most importantly became the first mirrorless Sony camera with built-in image stabilization that works with any lens. The Sony Alpha A7 II is a superb camera that has all the privileges of a full-frame sensor without the bulk. It has good autofocus, excellent image stabilization, and produces high-quality images in a wide range of conditions.
Resolution: 24.30 MP; sensor size: 35mm; (35.8mm x 23.9mm); kit lens: 2.50x zoom 28–70mm (28–70mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–25,600; extended ISO: 50–51,200; shutter: 1/8000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in. (127 x 96 x 60 mm); weight: 32.8 oz (930 g) with batteries and kit lens
Sony Alpha A6500 is a solid full-featured mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor. The A6500 is attractive thanks to built-in stabilization, a touchscreen, a deeper buffer, and Bluetooth for hassle-free low-power location tagging. In short, the Sony A6500 took the best of the excellent A6300. This camera is a good choice for sports shooters due to its much more generous buffer depth, and its new hybrid image stabilization system and touchscreen display will be of benefit to all. However, the price of around $1000 may appear too high compared with its forerunner, the A6300. To make the right decision, learn all the pros and cons.
Resolution: 24.20 MP; sensor size: APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm); kit lens: n/a; viewfinder: EVF / LCD; native ISO: 100–25,600; extended ISO: 100–51,200; shutter: 1/4000–30 sec; dimensions: 4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in. (120 x 67 x 53 mm); weight: 16.0 oz (453 g) with batteries
A superb camera for travelers. The Lumix GX-9 is a solid, high-performance camera with a robust weather-resistant body and great controls. It has an enormous viewfinder, a fully articulated touchscreen with a friendly user interface, fast autofocus that can track action, burst shooting, effective built-in stabilization, and high image and video quality from the 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor that outranks the 24-megapixel APS-C sensors in all but the highest sensitivities. It’s a tremendous camera and a joy to use.
Resolution: 20.30 MP; Sensor size: 4/3 (17.3mm x 13.0mm); kit lens: n/a; viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 200–25,600; extended ISO: 100–25,600; shutter: 1/32000–60 sec; dimensions: 5.4 x 3.8 x 3.6 in. (137 x 97 x 92 mm); weight: 23.2 oz (658 g) with batteries
The GH5 is easy to use for video experts and is a compelling stills camera. Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 is a decent flagship camera, greatly succeeding the earlier GH4 in quality and features. With a crisper viewfinder, twin SD slots which both support the full speed of UHS-II, effective continuous autofocus at 9 fps, and built-in stabilization, it appears to be a solid stills shooter. Thanks to its improved sensor and image processing, Lumix GH5 delivers great-looking images.
Furthermore, Panasonic’s unique 4K photo modes work with high performance, and 6K modes allow you to extract higher resolution stills from videos. Unsurprisingly, it’s the movie modes which really impress with unlimited 4K video internally at 60p or in 10-bit at 30p (or both if you’re using an external recorder) and a bunch of features including vectorscope and waveform displays, anamorphic capture, programmable focus transitions, optional XLR inputs, and very flat output (especially with the VLog L update). Therefore, the Lumix GH5 is one of the most portable and professional movie solutions for the money at around $1500.
Resolution: 20.30 MP; sensor size: 4/3 (17.3mm x 13.0mm); kit lens: n/a; viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 200–25,600; extended ISO: 100–25,600; shutter: 1/16000–60 sec; dimensions: 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4 in (139 x 98 x 87 mm); weight: 25.6 oz (725 g) with batteries
Designed for videos and action shooting alike, the Fujifilm X-T3 is a mirrorless camera with high performance, more-than-capable photos, and multimedia flexibility.
Fujifilm’s latest 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor has significantly improved autofocus, burst speed, and especially video (4K up to 60p with 10-bit internal recording). The X-T3 has become the best APS-C camera for video and outranks the Sony A6300/A6500 for action shooting as well. Among its disadvantages are lack of built-in stabilization, short battery life, and skewing that limits the usefulness of the electronic shutter modes; vloggers would also want a screen that pivots forward.
Resolution: 26.10 MP; sensor size: APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm); kit lens: 3.06x zoom 18–55mm (27–84mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 160–12,800; extended ISO: 80–51,200; shutter: 1/32000–900 sec; max. aperture: f/2.8 (kit lens); dimensions: 5.2 x 3.7 x 2.3 in. (133 x 93 x 59 mm); weight: 30.7 oz (869 g) with batteries and kit lens
A fantastic set of specifications for action shooters. The Olympus OMD EM1 II is a supremely confident and capable camera with a chunky and sturdy body. It’s an improved version of the model I. It has a deepened grip and twin memory card slots and gets the longest battery life of any mirrorless camera. In addition to fantastic stabilization, the Olympus OMD EM1 employs a higher resolution and offers a smart composite mode which, under ideal conditions, can increase the resolution up to 50 MP.
EM1 II shots are of a tremendous 4K quality, and Cinema 4K video works a treat with the stabilization. At the same time, the new autofocus genuinely tracks action at up to 18 fps In Single AF, this camera can even shoot up to 48 RAWs at 60 fps. The EM1 II is perfect for capturing great images, 4K videos, and burst capabilities.
Resolution: 20.40 MP; sensor size: 4/3 (17.4mm x 13.0mm); kit lens: n/a; viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 200–25,600; extended ISO: 64–25,600; shutter: 1/32000–60 sec; dimensions: 5.3 x 3.6 x 2.7 in. (134 x 91 x 69 mm); weight: 20.2 oz (574 g) with batteries
Professionals shooting one-off occasions will like the security of twin SD card slots, studio photographers will enjoy the high-speed tethering and USB power, while travelers and Instagram photographers will love the Wi-Fi and flawless location tagging over Bluetooth.
The Sony Alpha A7 III is a feature-rich camera that reinvents the expectations from a full-frame body at this price level (around $2000). It offers detailed images from its 24-megapixel full-frame sensor and shoots satisfying 4K video in either full-frame or cropped APS-C modes. While perfectly handling action with 10 fps bursts and phase-detect autofocus across almost the entire sensor, the Sony Alpha A7 III also seamlessly detects faces and eyes.
Resolution: 24.20 MP; sensor size: 35mm (35.6mm x 23.8mm); kit lens: 2.50x zoom 28–70mm (28–70mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–51,200; extended ISO: 50–204,800; shutter: 1/8000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/3.5 (kit lens); dimensions: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in. (127 x 96 x 74 mm); weight: 33.3 oz (945 g) with batteries and kit lens
The Z6 and Z7 models are both mirrorless cameras in the long-awaited full-frame Nikon mirrorless Z system and are aimed at enthusiasts and experts. Let’s see what’s under the hood.
The Nikon Z6 is the more affordable brother to the Z7 and a serious rival of the Sony A7 III. The new Z6 is Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, and it’s almost identical to the sibling Z7, especially from the outside. The design, weight, buttons, and controls are all the same, and the key differences are only visible from the inside.
Instead of the Z7’s high-resolution 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor, the Z6 offers a more reasonable 24-megapixels for detail-rich images and a decent amount of cropping potential, while the 273-point autofocus system and 12 fps burst shooting ensure you’ll never miss a shot. The handling is at the fingertips, and the large and bright viewfinder is a joy to use.
Resolution: 24.50 MP; sensor size: 35mm (35.9mm x 23.9mm); kit Lens: 2.92x zoom 24-70mm (24-70mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–51,200; extended ISO: 50–204,800; shutter: 1/8000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/4.0 (kit lens); dimensions: 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7 in. (134 x 101 x 68 mm); weight: 41.4 oz (1,175 g) with batteries and kit lens
The Nikon Z7 is a high-end full-frame mirrorless camera with a stellar 45-megapixel resolution, phase-detect autofocus across most of the frame, built-in stabilization, 4K video up to 30p, 9 fps bursts, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. From a quality perspective, it’ll match the respectable D850 for resolution and noise as well as dynamic range in all but the most extreme cases. The built-in phase-detect autofocus ensures a better video experience over previous Nikon mirrorless cameras and great quality, particularly in the DX format.
Resolution: 45.70 MP; sensor size: 35mm; (35.9mm x 23.9mm); kit lens: 2.92x zoom 24–70mm (24-70mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; Native ISO: 64–25,600; extended ISO: 32–102,400; shutter: 1/8000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/4.0 (kit lens); dimensions: 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7 in. (134 x 101 x 68 mm); weight: 41.4 oz (1,175 g) with batteries and kit lens
Still shooters will love Canon’s sensors paired with the excellent color science, while movie shooters will enjoy the fully articulated screen and C-log with 10-bit output at a much lower price than a cinema camera.
The Canon EOS R is a full-frame mirrorless camera that has both pluses and minuses. On the one hand, it delivers compelling photos, has a new robust mount with two native exotic lenses, provides great video autofocus, and boasts the highest performance from adapted Electro-Focus lenses on a mirrorless camera. On the other hand, there’s no built-in stabilization, a single SD card slot, extremely cropped 4K video, standard action shooting capabilities, and face and eye detection in low light conditions. Plus, those first native lenses don’t exactly suit a compact system.
If you’re looking for the most potent full-frame mirrorless camera, you’d better go with a Sony, namely the model A7 III, unless you’re a faithful Canon mirrorless camera owner.
Resolution: 30.30 MP; sensor size: 35mm (36.0mm x 24.0mm); kit lens: 4.38x zoom 24–105mm (24-105mm eq.); viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–40,000; extended ISO: 50–102,400; shutter: 1/8000–30 sec; max. aperture: f/4.0 (kit lens); dimensions: 5.3 x 3.9 x 3.3 in. (136 x 98 x 84 mm); weight: 48.0 oz (1,360 g) with batteries and kit lens
Wow! This is a serious participant in the ‘Best Mirrorless Camera 2019' contest. The Sony Alpha A7R III is a high-end camera coming with an amazing 42.4-megapixel sensor. Let’s see what a customer gets for around $3000.
The Sony Alpha A7R III is a capable camera that’s equally good at shooting stills and fast action and filming quality video.
With the 42 MP full-frame sensor, the Sony Alpha A7R III delivers outstanding image quality. Shooting at 10 fps with a silent shutter and great autofocus makes the A7R III good for sports and wildlife shooting. Videographers like the solid 4K quality alongside 1080p/120 fps for slow motion. On the whole, shooting with the A7R III is an impressive experience, and this camera can meet the demands of a broad array of photographers.
Resolution: 42.40 MP; sensor size: 35mm (35.9mm x 24.0mm); kit lens: n/a; viewfinder: EVF / LCD; native ISO: 100–32,000; extended ISO: 50–102,400; shutter: 1/8000–30 sec; dimensions: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in. (127 x 96 x 74 mm); weight: 23.2 oz (657 g) with batteries
The Sony A9 is here to completely dethrone the DSLR as the first-class camera for professional sports and action photographers. With a brand-new 24-megapixel stacked sensor, fast processor, and burst speeds up to 20 fps with continuous autofocus, the A9 outranks every rival in its class. Image quality is excellent, and its burst rate and C-AF chops are some of the best we’ve ever seen. With a rugged body, longer battery life, more controls, and a fair price compared to flagships by Canon and Nikon, the Sony A9 is and up-and-coming all arounder. While professionals are considering whether to switch to this model, the Sony A9 remains the most exceptional mirrorless camera on the market.
Resolution: 24.20 MP; sensor size: 35mm (35.6mm x 23.8mm); kit lens: n/a; viewfinder: EVF/LCD; native ISO: 100–51,200; extended ISO: 50–204,800; shutter: 1/32000–30 sec; dimensions: 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in. (127 x 96 x 63 mm); weight: 23.7 oz (673 g) with batteries
We hope our ultimate guide to finding the right mirrorless camera will help you. Because having powerful and versatile gear is crucial if you want to become a pro. If you want to stand out and are looking for your authentic style, consider processing your photos with photo editing software. Using a photo enhancer like Luminar 3, Aurora HDR, or Photolemur can turn a routine workflow into a creative process. You can add a burst of sunshine to a flat image or revive a dull sky with the AI-driven Sky Enhancer filter in Luminar. All this and more is possible.
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