Looking for the best mirrorless camera for an affordable price? Check out my review of 16 of the best mirrorless cameras that are user-friendly and compact. Over the last five years, DSLRs have been taking a backseat to mirrorless cameras, so it’s high time to follow the latest photography trends and add one of the following mirrorless cameras to your photography bag.
The DSLR camera market is so big, but everyone knows only the two most popular photography brands, Canon and Nikon. But if you start looking for the best mirrorless cameras, the market is bigger. Here you will see Sony, Olympus, Canon, Panasonic, Fujifilm, and Leica all providing a huge number of camera bodies for affordable prices. Check out my review of the 16 most popular and best mirrorless cameras for professional and beginning photographers.
Price: About $2,000
This compact mirrorless camera will impress you with plenty of available features. The 24.2MP full-frame sensor guarantees that you get the best quality photos with ease. The next significant advantage is the ISO range, which a photographer may expand to ISO 50-204,800. Keep in mind that you can also get a brilliant and detailed images, even at 12,800 ISO.
This model will be perfect for those who like silent shooting as the Sony A7III has everything to meet such a requirement. Fast continuous burst shooting up to 10fps, exposure adjustment and, of course, a fully electronic shutter – it’s all about this Sony mirrorless camera. These exact characteristics make it the best camera for amateur photographer and professional shooters.
85mm lenses allow for taking great flattering portrait photos thanks to a wonderful focal length. However, you should remember that the subject jumps out in the case of Sony 85mm f/1.8. In addition, you'll get a nice bokeh in the center. The sharpness assists with receiving rich and deep colors. The waterproof design of the lens together with dust protection enable shooting outdoors in the rain or snow.
Photo by Sony A7III
Price: About $1,900
All in all, the Fuji X-H1 is a compact mirrorless camera with great characteristics. It will impress users with the highest performance in the X series due to the APS-C X-Trans CMOS III matrix with 24.3 million pixels without a low-pass filter. As a result, photographers get brilliant shots of high quality. It captures nice color tones from pets, people and various objects. The color renderings can be easily compared to some Leica cameras, even.
If you want to check it out, just record video or take photo with low noise and high ISO sensitivity. This mirrorless camera Fujifilm also has autofocus with improved tracking of moving objects. Keep in mind that the camera will offer you a QR code for connection with your mobile phone during the first launch. You can easily skip this step, or let it set up time, date, etc.
The lens features top-grade five stops of image stabilization. It lowers ghosting and lens flare very well. The lens can boast of a quick autofocus speed (max. 0.10 seconds) as well as silent work (that is good for street photography). It is possible due to the low noise linear motor technology.
Photo by Fujifilm X-H1
Price: About $2,800
The iconic Leica is known as the best mirrorless camera for video as well as for street photography. Many users prefer the CL due to its compact body, modern autofocus system and the perfect quality of the final pictures. The Leica CL is an ergonomic and easy-to-use camera. It is equipped with a huge EVF, ASP-C sensor and simplified controls.
Its price is reasonable considering all the benefits of this model. It is praised for industrial design, convenient size, Wi-Fi connection and spotless results from shooting. Professional photographers will enjoy the native lens library, which is constantly expanding. Moreover, the focus works fast, so the camera is nice to use on a daily basis.
This is a typical example of a photo accessory that can be used while shooting with the Leica CL. The lens is an up-to-date variant of Summicron. It is characterized by perfect autofocus and the ability to work with a smaller APS-C sensor. Among its advantages are its small size and the ability to focus closer than the M-mount lenses.
Photo by Leica Cl
Price: About $1,000
From my point of view, it’s the best mirrorless camera of the X100 series. The refined controls and a 24MP photo sensor make it a nice example of professional equipment. As for specific features, I want to mention the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. The full-frame mirrorless digital camera has a number of remarkable benefits, for instance, top-quality results when taking pictures, as well as high ISO performance and good autofocus.
Reliable facial recognition makes the camera suitable for taking portraits, while the joystick allows for adjusting the focus very quickly. It’s a lightweight and good-looking camera. After examining the UI and controls, even an amateur photographer will feel confident using it. This camera is actually the newest version of a popular model, Fujifilm X100T. So, it’s a functional and flexible camera that meets strict users’ requirements.
Photo by Fujifilm X100F
Price: About $9,000
This model certainly deserves special attention. One of the top mirrorless cameras stands out with its high price. But the device has significant reasons for its cost. Many users assert it’s the best full-frame mirrorless camera because of a great number of benefits. First of all, you can see the appealing look of this professionally-designed device. The image quality is fantastic.
Although the camera doesn’t work very quickly and has a poor battery life, it’s very convenient to carry and use. A noteworthy feature is the 50MP sensor. It allows for getting outstanding results for high resolution photo printing. The manufacturer works on the updated version of this camera to make the customers fully satisfied with this piece of equipment.
Providing a 71mm field of view, this lens is the best choice for shooting portraiture. Small dimensions and minimal weight make it a convenient model for travelers. The focal lens has a wide aperture, which gives an opportunity to isolate little elements and an excellent bokeh effect.
Photo by Hasselblad X1D-50C
Price: About $2,000
Having a 20 MP MOS sensor, this mirrorless camera enables taking amazing pictures and top-quality videos. What I like the most is the articulating LCD touchscreen, which works perfectly with the in-body automatic viewfinder. The camera gives an opportunity for framing choices and high-speed shooting.
For instance, speed up to 180 fps helps record professional looking, detailed and modern videos, even in poor lighting. The Panasonic GH5 is the best mirrorless camera for video in this list. If you can afford it, you will be satisfied with its quality and convenience. Aside from its compact size, this camera is well-protected from various weather conditions. So, you can take it outdoors for shooting and traveling without any worries.
The first representative of the LUMIX G Series is characterized by the F2.8 zoom. It can be successfully used both by beginners and experienced photographers. The digital interchangeable zoom lens is suitable for outdoor or indoor photography.
Photo by Panasonic GH5
Price: About $4,500
Photographers who have a large budget should take the Sony A9 into consideration. First of all, the model can boast top quality shots and fantastic autofocus. Moreover, it is a nice example of Sony “recovery” from previous mistakes. The Sony Alpha A9 is one of the new mirrorless cameras with a large viewfinder and continuous shooting at a frame rate of 20 fps.
The unique feature of this model is a full-frame 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. The developers guarantee you can shoot even at night thanks to an ISO range of 100-51,200 that is increased up to 50-204,800. However, the camera won't be suitable for those who take photos of landscapes or any other objects that require high detail. In this case, you'd better pay attention to such models as the Canon 5DS-R or Sony A7RIII.
Intuitive Zeiss anti-reflective coating will impress you with a clear in-camera picture even before taking it into your favorite image editing software. The lens is quite expensive and heavy. But these aspects don't cause a problem as you won't need any other lens for your work when you take the first shot.
Photo by Sony A9
Price: About $5,500
The developers promised top quality images for this best mirrorless camera, as well as a great dynamic range, and they managed to do it. First of all, it has an amazing resolution of 51.4MP combined with brilliant tones, premium optics and progressive color reproduction. These parameters will make any interested fashion and studio photographer want to try this camera.
Besides, the model will assist in achieving higher picture quality than the X series can offer. What about the cost? Is the price quite reasonable for you? In case you intend to use this Fujifilm mirrorless model as a 35mm, then the answer is negative. It is quite obvious as there are more opportunities with a 35mm (mirrorless/ DSLR) while shooting. Choose this particular camera if you are going to work under controlled conditions for fantastic range and high resolution. But it is up to you to decide.
This mid-telephoto macro lens was created specifically for the new G Mount and 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor. The lens is made of 14 elements in 9 groups (featuring 3 ED lens), providing high-resolution photos with the slightest aberration due to the floating focus system.
Photo by Fujifilm GFX 50s
Price: About $550
It might become the best mirrorless camera for photographers who are seeking a small interchangeable lens model. Its sensor is similar to the popular and expensive GX85 and G85 cameras, but is still quite small. Do you have Micro 4/3 lenses? Then feel free to use them with a tiny Panasonic GX850 body. You can even put a pancake lens on the body and go for a walk, keeping the camera in your outerwear pocket.
Pay attention to the presence of the built-in Wi-Fi function that lets you transfer necessary images to a smartphone easily and quickly. Moreover, a built-in flash and the rotatable selfie screen will be another advantage for fans of top-quality portraits. The 4K photo modes allow you to focus on stacking rather than transferring shots to a computer for picture editing. Mind you, there is a wide range of Micro 4/3 lenses. Unfortunately, the camera can’t boast of its image stabilization, but still remains a powerful and compact one.
It was awarded as “the best lens” in the “Lenses of the year 2015” category. This lens is a perfect choice for portrait photographers due to high diaphragm rate, ƒ/1,7-85 mm, and effective field of view (in terms of 35 mm film due to 2-times Micro Four Third multiplier framing).
Photo by Panasonic GX850
Price: About $500
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III can be easily recognized as the best budget mirrorless camera. The model features a 16-megapixel resolution from a Four Thirds-format Live MOS image sensor and is able to span the sensitivity gamut from a low of ISO 100 to a high of ISO 25,600. It can boast a capture rate of 8.6 frames per second that is a bit higher than its forerunner.
Even an experienced shooter will be impressed with a great viewfinder, fantastic single-shot autofocus and a nice touch-screen display. You won’t have problems with transferring necessary photos to a mobile phone thanks to the wireless function. A good camera for travel photographers.
It is a swift telephoto lens created for the PEN series of digital cameras. The lens offers fantastic portrait shooting along with thin depth of field thanks to the 2x crop factor and the equivalent field of view that is 90mm.
Photo by Olympus E-M10 III
Price: About $1,500
It is the best mirrorless camera for video every vlogger or Youtuber can even dream of. First of all, it is nicely designed and features fantastic color science. The Fuji XT-3 has a top 26.1MP sensor for rapid focusing, enhanced object tracking as well as expanded autofocus sensitivity (up to -3EV).
Photographers are able to shoot up to 8000 ISO. One more advantage is video potential. Be ready to record 10-bit 4K video with a resolution of up to 60p with 4: 2: 0 color sampling. It is impressive for video and photo combination. The Fujifilm X-T3 can be customized. Just open a very intuitive menu and change any setting.
A lens features an optical design and can be trusted in any shooting conditions due to wonderful characteristics. It offers a maximum aperture and a linear motor which guarantees high-speed AF performance. Moreover, it lets you use shutter speeds 4.5 stops slower.
Photo by Fujifilm X-T3
Price: About $450
The list of full-frame mirrorless cameras has a very appealing model, the Sony Alpha A6000. It is a nice choice in terms of price for those who don’t have a large budget to enjoy brilliant shooting and get sharp images. A wonderful grain structure provides a unique opportunity to take photos at ISO 6400. The model has a compact design, manual controls, nice 24 MP images, OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder, as well as the presence of various lenses.
These features make it the best mirrorless camera under 500 dollars. All in all, this mirrorless model is a perfect variant for beginners who are interested in taking photos of landscapes and portraits.
It has an appealing optical design. A remarkable wide-angle lens was created in accordance with the original Sonnar concept that involves F2.8 maximum. Moreover, three double-sided aspherical elements decrease aberration. As a result, great resolution and contrast are kept out to the photo edges at all apertures.
Photo by Sony Alpha A6000
Price: About $3,000
From my point of view, it’s one of the best mirrorless cameras. This Canon camera sets new standards for professional studio shooting. I highly recommend this model, if you haven’t used such mirrorless devices before. The innovative device is equipped with a full frame 30.3 MP sensor. As a result, you will get very detailed and accurate images. The camera is characterized by Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology and high ISO sensitivity.
Besides, you can use it with RF lenses, which give an opportunity to take fantastic street images. This camera may become a favorite device for all travel lovers because of the Wi-Fi /Bluetooth connection that guarantees quick access to images. You can send files to your smartphone, as well as to cloud storage. Speaking of other advantages, I’d like to mention high productivity and perfect depth of clear and detailed pictures.
It has perfect dust/moisture protection. The lens follows the best Canon's standards of professional optics. It was created for active outdoor or indoor shooting. So, this lens is popular among traveling, reportage, event, and celebrity photographers. The main feature is the ring-type USM motor, which helps achieve extra frequency vibrations to drive autofocus with high speed and without any noise.
Photo by Canon EOS R
Price: About $2,800
According to the recent mirrorless camera reviews, this model has many useful features and interesting specifications. Equipped with a 42.4-megapixel sensor, it provides high-quality images. It’s really important that it is stable under any conditions and has an ISO 50-102400 range in extended mode. Other noteworthy features include autofocus with eye detection. It helped me a lot when I was shooting portraits. Moreover, I noticed that the a7RIII can capture the model’s eyes, so it isn’t necessary to move the focus point.
Because of the fantastic eye-AF, this is the best portrait camera you can buy. I also enjoyed excellent eye-AF, the live view and noiseless smoothing. This camera suits photographers that specialize in taking pictures of various events or celebrations. I would recommend the a7RIII as a nice choice for landscape shooting too, as it provides high resolution and pixel shift. You will be satisfied with the top-quality of final shots.
Thanks to the full-frame 24mm to 240mm zoom range, this piece of equipment can be used for very different professional purposes. It’s worth buying this lens for photographing cityscapes and landscapes, as well as portraits and snapshots. It is lightweight and is convenient for travel lovers. I also like the opportunity to switch from wide angle to telephoto, which allows for taking amazing shots.
Photo by Sony A7R III
Price: About $3,400
The Nikon Z7 was created for studio and magazine photographers. The full-frame model has a 45.7 MP CMOS backlit sensor with a wide setting range. Many users enjoy its handling, as well as the opportunity for quick shooting. Customizable features are among the main benefits of this mirrorless camera.
You can change the focus ring in order to use Z mount lenses. What is more important, the manual focus doesn’t cause any problems. Touchscreen shooting also works fine, as well as the in-body image stabilization. The user can just touch the camera to put the focus on the marked area. Purchase it if you want to experiment with new S-Line Z-mount lenses from Nikon. You won't regret it!
The pioneer among the Z-mount series of lenses for mirrorless cameras. It is designed by Nikon to cover the needs of professional photographers. It provides an angle of view resembling the human eye and a natural- looking perspective.
Photo by Nikon Z7
Price: About $400
As for me, it’s the best mirrorless camera designed by Olympus! This compact mirrorless camera has a convenient rotatable monitor, which is very useful if you often take individual or group selfie photos. The main advantage is the quality of the final pictures, which is surely very high. The important features of this device are a TruePic VII processor, 16-megapixel Live MOS matrix, a resolution of 1.04 and excellent image stabilization.
Look at the price! The camera costs only about $400. That’s why I can say that I found the best mirrorless camera under 500, which is especially appropriate for outdoor and travel photo shoots. I love the results because I can see vivid separate colors in detailed and beautiful pictures.
It’s a modern, well-designed piece of equipment made of high-quality metal. Using this lens, you have an opportunity to set focus with a distance indicator. The single-focal-length lens works really quickly, providing a wide angle of shooting. I recommend it if you want to get dramatic pictures, or shoot cityscapes or landscapes. The lens shows good results in poor lighting.
Photo by Olympus PEN E-PL8
|Sony A7IIIOUR CHOICE||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-H1WITH WIFI||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony A9BEST SONY||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm GFX 50SFOR PROFESSIONALS||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic GX850BUDGET||VIEW PRICE|
|Olympus E-M10 IIIFOR BEGINNERS||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-T3||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony Alpha a6000 UNDER $500||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EOS R BEST AUTOFOCUS||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony a7R III||VIEW PRICE|
|Leica CL||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm X100F||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon Z7||VIEW PRICE|
|Olympus PEN E-PL8||VIEW PRICE|
|Hasselblad X1D-50C||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic GH5FOR VIDEO||VIEW PRICE|
To choose a mirrorless camera that will be best for your purposes, you need to take into account several important details – the matrix, low light shooting, stabilization, the viewfinder and the ability to shoot videos.
Physical size and resolution are the most important indicators of the matrix. First of all, you should pay attention to them while looking for new mirrorless cameras. It’s necessary to remember that full-frame models have the best picture quality. Resolution is no less important. The larger it is, the more detailed the shot will be.
When buying the best mirrorless camera for beginners, pay attention to ISO. The higher this indicator is, the better the shots you can get. In order to transfer high-quality pictures, this parameter should be set within 800-1600. If the value is too low, it might result in dark and blurry pictures.
This is a vital aspect, according to a mirrorless camera review. There are two types of stabilization: inside the device and inside the lens. As for the device, if the stabilizer is built into the matrix, the camera’s price and stabilization performance will be higher. There are also a number of models featuring both types of stabilization, but they aren’t so widespread.
Speaking of the best autofocus camera, I should mention a viewfinder. With the help of this function, you may build a frame and deal with sharpness and focus. The display demonstrates the primary indicators: aperture, light sensitivity, shutter speed, exposure compensation, etc.
Full-frame mirrorless cameras are perfectly capable of video recording. However, the Full HD format is absolutely required.
Mirrorless cameras do the same thing as DSLRs – take pictures and shoot videos. Their design is very different and has several advantages over DSLRs, but also a number of drawbacks.
All DSLR cameras are equipped with a built-in optical viewfinder. Some mirrorless models feature only an LCD display. Some of the expensive mirrorless cameras are modernized with electronic viewfinders. They demonstrate the picture directly from the matrix, not the mirror system.
First of all, DSLRs are really bulky. So, they aren’t very convenient and easy to use. On the other hand, mirrorless devices are compact and lightweight.
As for DSLRs, they have a high-quality, effective and convenient autofocus. It functions really perfectly. But the hybrid autofocus system of popular mirrorless devices isn’t worse.
The majority of DSLR models are able to take approximately 600-800 pictures without the need to recharge. In terms of this parameter, mirrorless cameras are inferior and may shoot 300-400 frames per charge. You are free to take advantage of extra batteries.
Even an ideal DSLR isn’t capable of competing with the best mirrorless camera. Therefore, if you aim at taking action photos, it’s a good idea to buy this kind of device. Because of the absence of a mirror, even the best budget mirrorless camera that costs less than $500 works really fast.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.