Are you looking for the best mirrorless camera? Want to be in trend and take photos with this compact and professional camera but without wasting thousands of dollars? Believe me or not, finding the best mirrorless camera that is cheaper than is easy. Even semi-professional photographers and videographers can find perfect models in this price range. We review to list the best mirrorless cameras currently on the market.
Which is the best mirrorless camera?
The pioneer of the camera world, mirrorless cameras are pioneering a completely electronic, quickly evolving form of composition. From EVFs (electronic viewfinders) to autofocus systems that cover the entire frame rather than just a diamond in the center, these cameras are packed with features and offer an exciting alternative to DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras), which have optical viewfinders and internal mirrors.
There is an abundant wealth of options on offer, so it can be hard to know which mirrorless camera is right for you. Our round-up of the very best ensures every type of photographer will find what they need.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, featuring a built-in viewfinder, is an excellent example of small, competitively priced starter models that work with a huge range of Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The Fujifilm X-T3 represents the next level in terms of capabilities, hitting a brilliant sweet spot that combines size, performance and lens choices. If you’re seeking the same kind of power in a smaller body, then the Fujifilm X-T30 is also a fine choice.
Right now, the models contesting for the title of the best full-frame mirrorless camera are the Sony A7R III and Nikon Z7. Sony’s lens system and overall feature set are more mature than Nikon’s new mirrorless all-rounder, but the Nikon Z7 shows great promise and in many ways has the edge on the A7 III in areas such as as as handling. If you already have a collection of Canon EF lenses, then the pricier Canon EOS R is also well worth investigating.
If you got tired of toting around a bulky, heavy DSLR camera body and lens kit when you just want to take some photos outdoors, I recommend you replace your old DSLR with a new, compact, high-quality mirrorless or micro-four-thirds camera. After exploring the current mirrorless cameras market, I’ve gathered 10 best mirrorless cameras under 100 that are good for beginners.
1. Nikon Z7
The Nikon Z7 is a full-frame and high-resolution mirrorless camera. There is almost nothing the Nikon D850 can do that the Z7 can’t do almost as well and there is a lot that the Z7 can do that the D850 cannot. While the latter is a more affordable all-rounder, the Z7 is for photographers who demand 45.7-megapixels of resolution for landscape, wedding or still-life shooting.
Compared to the Z6, it also offers a superior 493-point AF system, along with ISO sensitivity that ranges from 64-25,600. Resolution isn’t the only high thing about the Z7 – its price is also steeper than the Z6, with the latter expected to find favor with amateur enthusiasts, rather than professionals.
This means the Nikon Z7 is very much pitched against the Sony A7R III. Impressively for a first-generation camera, it manages to compete with its more seasoned mirrorless rival. It’s one of the best cameras Nikon’s ever made.
2. Sony A7R III
Sony Alpha 7R III is the latest high-resolution, full-frame mirrorless camera. It offers spectacular well-rounded specifications, with a 42.4MP sensor, 10fps continuous shooting, a hybrid AF system that employs 399 phase-detection points covering approximately 68% of the frame, and 4K video recording. It costs $2798 body-only.
Touching the camera for the first time felt great. It had a nice weight and sturdiness to it. Yet, still light enough to make it a nice walk around camera. As far as appearances go, Sony is living up to the hype. It’s a great looking camera in size, design, and feel. But we all know appearances only go so far.
There are beautiful cameras out there but disappoint when shooting with them. And there are some real clunkers that are actually amazing cameras. It’s pretty awesome when a camera company can create something that embodies both. Of course, we’ve seen one thing terribly similar recently, with the Nikon D850 earning high praise as the best DSLR we’ve reviewed to date.
3. Fujifilm X-T30
Like the Fujifilm X-T20 it replaces, the X-T30 isn’t significantly bigger or heavier than a premium compact camera, weighing just 383g including the battery. Seeking a camera that has most of the power of the Fujifilm X-T3, housed in a compact, travel-friendly body? The X-T30 could well be the model for you. It’s a close battle between Fujifilm’s little powerhouse and rivals like the Sony A6400 and Panasonic G90. But for this size and price, the X-T30 is the best option around – as long as you don’t need a front-facing screen, weatherproofing or image stabilization.
Specs and raw performance certainly make this a great camera for travel and street shooting – and the X-T30 also nails intangibles such as usability. From its retro dials to Fujifilm’s charming film simulations, it’s simply one of the most enjoyable cameras around to shoot with, whether you prefer stills, video or a mixture of both.
No one could accuse the X-T30 of prioritizing style over substance. Under the bonnet, you’ll find the same sensor and processor combination as the excellent X-T3, which helps it shoot 8fps (with the mechanical shutter) or an impressive 30fps with the electronic shutter. Image quality straight out of the camera is superb – a boon if you don’t like to do much post-processing – while its 4K video quality is also among the best at this price.
Throw in the X Series’ fantastic range of lenses, which includes 16 primes and 11 zooms, and you have a pro-level system that’ll serve you well for years to come.
4.Sony Alpha A6500
Sony’s A6000 series cameras have long been excellent mirrorless all-rounders, and the A6500 is no different – it’s one of the best sub-$1000 cameras around. The only real downside is its slightly fiddly handling and controls, which make using it a little more awkward than we’d like. Still, you can customize the controls to suit your style and its other considerable talents more than compensate for these niggles.
The A6500 really stands out for its incredible autofocus performance, which copes extremely well with fast-moving subjects in sports or action shooting. The new real-time AF functionality keeps targets in sharp focus throughout an 11fps burst. This AF performance also comes in handy for shooting portraits, with Eye AF very helpful for nailing the focus on faces – and this also works for pets and other animals, with a firmware update soon.
Sadly, there’s no in-built image stabilization, so unless you use image-stabilized lenses, you’ll need to use fast shutter speeds and high ISOs to prevent blur. This means fans of low-light shooting should still consider the older Sony A6500 (despite rumors that this could be replaced by a Sony A7000 later in 2019).
If you don’t mind the A6500’s slightly awkward handling and lack of IBIS, it’s a great alternative to the Canon EOS M50 and the imminent Fujifilm X-T30, which also have APS-C sensors. The A6500’s autofocus trumps both, however, and these two rivals only surpass the A6500 for superior vlogging and burst shooting powers respectively.
5. Canon EOS M50
Canon’s been making mirrorless cameras for almost six years, but until now it doesn’t seem to have been wholly convinced by the idea, shying away from making models that might compete directly with its own DSLRs. Now, though, we have got the Eos M50, and perhaps things are starting to change.
The Canon EOS M50 is an upper entry-level mirrorless camera with a 24 Megapixel APSC sensor, confident autofocus (for stills and 1080p video), small but crisp OLED viewfinder, excellent wireless, and becomes Canon’s first mirrorless with 4k video, a fully-articulated touch-screen, eye detection, and silent shooting choices.
Most notably, the EOS M50 marks the debut of the firm’s latest DIGIC 8 processor, making it the first Canon consumer camera capable of recording 4K video.
As you’d expect, connectivity options for Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth are all available, with the latter capable of forming an always-on connection to your smartphone using the free Camera Connect app for Android or iOS. To share photos, you can either push your favorite shots from the camera to your phone while browsing in playback mode or view your images on your phone and pull them across.
The EOS M50 manages to be simple and approachable for beginners or vloggers, while also offering enthusiasts a full degree of manual control – Canon has come up with a very likable camera. In the face of stiff competition, the only major factor against it is the limited number of lenses currently available in the Canon EF-M lens range.
6.Sony Alpha A7R IV
The A7R IV is a unique camera – one that appears to be just as comfortable out in the wild, shooting action and wildlife, as it does in the studio taking 61-megapixel product photos.
In the past, combining billboard-friendly resolution with large sensors has produced still life cameras that were about as portable (and versatile) as a bowling ball. But a new breed of mirrorless mavericks are now crossing studio performance with all-rounder skills – and they’re being led by the new Sony A7R IV.
Right now, the A7R IV is a one-of-a-kind camera. It’s the world’s first 61.1-megapixel full-frame, but it’s also (like its predecessors) surprisingly small and capable of 10fps burst shooting, which gives it a freakish, Jonah Lomu-esque combination of power and speed.
This kind of performance ably backed up by Sony’s class-leading autofocus system, makes the A7R IV a fearsome challenger to the likes of Fujifilm’s GFX 50S, which has an even bigger Medium Format-sized sensor. It also makes it a potentially very appealing all-in-one camera for everyone from product photographers to landscape shooters and even wildlife fans.
7. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
If you’re looking to upgrade from a smartphone to your first ‘proper’ camera, there is now a huge range of mirrorless options with built-in viewfinders. While the most desirable is arguably Fujifilm’s X-T100, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III remains our pick due to its all-round talents and a huge choice of lenses.
The OM-D E-M10 Mark III has a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is smaller than the APS-C sensors found in the likes of Fujifilm’s X-T100. Built-in image stabilization helps to compensate for this, however, and the smaller sensor size means you also get much faster burst shooting at 8.6fps.
The sensor is paired with Olympus’s latest TruePic VIII image processor – the same one used in the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II – which helps to boosts its performance in low light. An even bigger benefit is the ability to record 4K video at up to 30fps, along with 120fps slow-motion video at 720p HD. Sadly, your vlogging options are a little limited as there’s no way to attach an external microphone, nor does the OM-D E-M10 Mark III have a headphone output.
Still, autofocus is very impressive, thanks to its 121-point contrast-detect system. The AF points cover practically the entire frame and, while focus acquisition isn’t quite as fast as some of the hybrid AF systems employed by other mirrorless manufacturers, it’s still impressively quick. Olympus’s in-camera five-axis image stabilization technology is also on hand to provide up to four stops of shutter speed compensation – even when non-stabilized lenses are attached.
The OM-D E-M10 Mark III feels solid and sits in the hand nicely thanks to its redesigned handgrip and sculpted thumb rest, though it lacks the weather sealing of models higher up the Olympus range.
This all adds up to a fantastic little camera for anyone who’s upgrading from a smartphone or looking for a take-anywhere second camera. The OM-D E-M10 Mark III combines a strong feature set, classic design and a huge choice of lenses, making it our pick at this price point.
8. Panasonic Lumix G9
The Panasonic G9 is on a par with Panasonic’s premium GH5 and GH5S models in the Lumix G lineup and ranks above the new Panasonic G90. While the GH series has always appealed to videographers, the G9 sets out to fulfill the demands of passionate stills-focused photographers. It certainly does this with an impressive specification, but it’s the blistering speeds it’s capable of that really set it apart from many other cameras.
Shooting regularly in its AF-S mode, the G9 can rattle out a burst at 12fps for as many as 60 frames in RAW, or at 60fps for 50 frames in RAW by activating the camera’s electronic shutter. Switching the camera over to its continuous AF mode (AF-C) does mean the burst speed drops – but to a highly respectable 9fps using the mechanical shutter or 20fps using the electronic shutter.
The G9’s new 5-axis Dual I.S II image stabilizer, which offers 6.5 stops of compensation to counteract camera shake when shooting stills or movies, is dual purpose. It also allows the camera to offer a new 80-megapixel high-resolution mode in which the sensor is shifted precisely between eight shots, to create a single image with much finer detail. It’s wonderfully executed and so simple to use.
There’s, even more, to like about the camera. Like most DSLRs, it has a top-plate LCD and also features a superb 3680k-dot resolution electronic viewfinder with 0.83x magnification, and a sensitive three-inch, 1040k-dot vari-angle touchscreen. All of the above are combined with a spritely autofocus system, relying once again on a formula of contrast detection and Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology.
While the G9 doesn’t deliver a really high-end feel or an in-camera panoramic mode, it’s an incredibly versatile mirrorless camera that’s very capable of producing satisfying results in the hands of those who love photography. There’s great value to be had from the Panasonic Lumix G9, which currently offers better value than the newer Panasonic G90 if you don’t mind its extra size.
If you rate video quality over stills, then this is the best compact system camera you can buy. Impressively for such a small camera, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S can capture 4K footage at 60fps, with Hybrid Gamma Log HDR and no limits on recording time.
Its comparatively average still photos lack detail due to its 10.28-megapixel sensor, so the GH5S isn’t really a mirrorless all-rounder – but it’s a pro-quality video camera in an incredibly small, weatherproof package and, in this field, none of its rivals come close.
The GH5S produces astonishingly sharp and natural-looking 10-bit footage, even straight out of the camera without any color grading. Thanks to the ultra-sensitive sensor’s large pixels, low-light performance is impressive too, with an ISO range that stretches to 51,200 in normal mode and 204,800 in extended mode.
Video options are superb for a camera of this size and price, with some handy slow-motion options in 4K and 1080p (the latter available at 240fps) and the ability to record HDR footage.
If you also like to shoot still photos, there are undoubtedly more well-rounded options at this level, such as Olympus’s OM-D E-M1 II and Sony’s A7 III. But if you’re after pro-quality video from a DSLR-style body, the Panasonic GH5S is the best mirrorless camera for videographers that we’ve seen so far.
10. Fujifilm X-T3
If you’re looking for a mirrorless camera that’s a great all-rounder and won’t break the bank, the Fujifilm X-T3 is one of the best options available. A replacement for the X-T2, the X-T3 emulates its predecessor’s classic style and will probably be adored by lovers of vintage cameras. All those tactile buttons and dials, many of which are customizable, make for a fantastic shooting experience.
Outwardly, the old and new models don’t differ too much, but the sensor and processor have received very welcome upgrades, and a raft of intriguing new video capabilities will certainly capture the attention of any budding movie maker.
Fujifilm’s X series uses an APS-C-sized sensor, which means these mirrorless cameras fall somewhere in the middle in terms of size. Fujifilm uses this to its advantage, pointing out that this gives you the best balance between image quality and portability. After all, it also has a ‘super full-frame’ range, in the shape of its medium-format GFX models, if you want the ultimate in picture quality.
With its superb autofocusing, fantastic image quality and great handling, you might consider the X-T3 somewhat of a mini X-H1, but without the in-body image stabilization. You may want to shell out for an extra battery if you’re intending to use the X-T3 on your travels, as battery life is a little disappointing.
How to Choose the Best Mirrorless Camera?
As you’re picking the ideal camera for your needs, there are many camera characteristics you need to keep in mind before making your decision.
Firstly, you have to study the physical dimensions and resolution of the matrix. Full-frame models usually offer the best images. Also, the better the resolution, the bigger and more detailed photographs you’ll take.
The larger the value, the better result you’ll achieve. If you dream of taking breathtaking photographs, this figure should be set somewhere in the 800 to 1600 range. If the ISO is lower, you risk taking dark or unclear pictures.
3. Image Stabilization
Image stabilization systems come in two forms: integrated into the body or built into the lens. If you go with the former, the stabilizer is a part of the matrix, which increases the cost of the camera, but provides superior stabilization results. You can buy models that possess both kinds of IS, but they aren’t very common.
A viewfinder is meant to build the frame and to adjust the sharpness and focus of the picture. Additionally, the display shows the primary settings of the device: shutter speed, aperture, ISO, exposure, etc.
Even though most mirrorless cameras already allow you to record videos, I recommend you definitely purchase one that has this feature, even if you don’t have any moviemaking ambitions for now. If this aspect is important to you, I’ve mentioned in the article which cameras have this function. Keep in mind that most have a max resolution of 1080p since models with 4K support are usually slightly more expensive.
6. Battery Life
Cameras with an electronic viewfinder have a disadvantage of draining the battery faster since they have a screen that needs to be powered constantly. Overall, mirrorless models are known to have poor batteries, but they are getting better with each next generation. For now, you always need to bring a couple of extra batteries with you.
7. Additional Functions
Cameras can offer extra, non-essential features. For instance, some models have Wi-Fi and NFC support, include various artistic presets, or have advanced LCD screens.
How do we test mirrorless cameras
Every mirrorless camera we review is put through a series of rigorous tests, using the very best industry software to analyze its performance. This means our reviews are the most authentic you’ll find.
We test for color – different sensors and camera image processors can interpret color differently, while this could also shift at different ISO sensitivities. We then get down to the nitty-gritty of resolution; our lab tests show us exactly how much detail each camera’s sensor can resolve. Even though cameras can share identical pixel counts, some perform excellent than others. Then we glance at image noise since different cameras can produce cleaner images at higher ISOs than others. Finally, we get out and shoot with each camera in real-world conditions to find out how they perform. you will get each of the products we list below.