Your old camera isn’t good enough for the most solemn moments of your life and it’s time to find a new tool for keeping your memories alive? Then you are definitely on the right track. We have prepared the list of the best mirrorless cameras which are as compact as point and shoot cameras and at the same time possess the highest quality of a DSLR.
Some Facts to Know About Mirrorless Cameras
The story of mirrorless cameras started more than 10 years ago and since then this type of cameras has been gaining more and more popularity among photographers. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a real pro or just a novice who’s making the first steps into the world of photography.
All mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lens, what means that you can choose one which is suitable for a specific occasion. This type of cameras is called “mirrorless” as they have no movable mirror-like DSLR or SLR cameras have. There is also no secondary autofocus mirror as well as an autofocus sensor array. What is more, in this camera you won’t find any separate light metering sensors.
Besides, instead of an optical viewfinder, there is an electronic one and a mirrorless camera has a digital image sensor that provides an image to it. Note that despite the absence of a mirror there is a real-time preview of an image caught by the camera lens.
As mirrorless cameras need no mirror or a viewing prism, they are smaller than DSLRs. As a result, they are also quite light what becomes a real windfall during long journeys.
At the beginning of the mirrorless camera life-story there were some doubts concerning its future but later it proved to be highly competitive. Such weak points as resolution, clarity and response of EVW and slow CDAF turned to be its real advantages. Today, many mirrorless cameras have an accurate autofocus due to the PDAF pixels built in the image sensor. Furthermore, very often a continuous shooting with a mirrorless camera is faster than with a DSLR one.
In the modern market, you can find mirrorless cameras of different brands. However, one of the real pioneers was Sony which still remains among the most advanced manufacturers of mirrorless cameras. It’s also necessary to mention that with the rise of mirrorless cameras such photography giants as Nikon and Canon had to join the new trend of mirrorless cameras in order not to lose their positions in the world of photography.
So, it’s not strange that nowadays there are various models of mirrorless cameras with a great range of options.
How Choose the Best Mirrorless Camera
Image sensor and megapixels
While selecting a mirrorless camera, pay your attention to the size of an image sensor – the bigger it is, the higher the quality of images you will get. We should admit that almost all mirrorless cameras have large sensors, but still, they have some differences.
A common mistake among customers is to put megapixels above image sensor size. In fact, megapixels are important, but they do take second place. So, first of all, pay attention to the image sensor and then at the number of available megapixels. Note that with a high-quality lens even the smaller number of megapixels can produce fine results and as all mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses 16 megapixels isn’t a verdict.
EVF and autofocus
Keep in mind that cheap mirrorless cameras do not have an electronic viewfinder and a photographer usually shoots using LCD screen. But for professional shooting EFV plays one of the most important roles.
Another feature that must be taken into account while choosing a camera is autofocus. The more points it has the more accurate image you will get.
This feature is essential for those who know that their shooting process must not be interrupted because of certain weather conditions. By the by, almost all mirrorless cameras are waterproof and dustproof.
On the whole, the choice of any camera usually depends on customers’ personal needs and requirements. We would like to offer you our list of the best mirrorless cameras which were selected according to features, quality and cost.
12 Best Mirrorless Cameras in 2019
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
The Best Entry-Level Mirrorless Camera
Its light body and compact design make this camera a true companion in all your trips and a witness of your most significant life events. Apart from the pocket-size Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III has a range of improved options and some new features you will definitely appreciate.
This mirrorless camera has a new intuitive touchscreen interface for easy and simple use. There is also an option of Touch AF, so you can easily decide which scene or its part needs to be focused on. All you have to do is just to tap the area of the screen where you want to focus.
Besides, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is equipped with in-body image stabilization to make both stills and 4K videos sharp and smooth. There are also 15 built-in Art Filters you can choose from. Add to this a built-in flash as well as Advanced Photo Mode and you get one of the best mirrorless cameras of nowadays.
- Sensor: 4/3 Live MOS sensor
- Megapixels: 16.1 mp
- Max ISO: 25,600
- Shooting Speed: 8.6 fps continuous shooting (4.8 fps with continuous AF)
- compact size
- high build quality
- articulating touch screen
- 4K video
- 5-axis image stabilization
- built-in flash
- 15 art filters
- remote control with a smartphone
- high price
- limited app connectivity
- no environmental sealing
- ISO performance drops fast after ISO 3200
Panasonic LUMIX G95
The Best Mirrorless Camera for Video recording
The Panasonic LUMIX G95 is an interesting mid-range 20.3 Megapixel camera, which is similar to the G90 and G91 sold outside the US. The G95 basically beefs up Panasonic’s popular G-series by blending a plethora of features with pretty good image quality and amazing video capabilities. And speaking of image quality, inside the G95 you’ll find the same top-notch sensor as in Panasonic’s high-end G9, a versatile piece of gear that works across an ISO range of ISO200-25,600, which is pretty good to say the least.
The body features built-in image stabilization, but the new model can be best described as being more video-centric compared to previous generations (G80/G85). If you’re into video recording, the Lumix G95 is an excellent choice, as it captures full HD at up to 60p and unlimited 4K/UHD at 30, 25 and 24p.
- 20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
- 9 fps shooting with AF-S, 6 fps with AF-C
- UHD 4K at 30 and 24 with V-LogL profile, 4K Photo mode
- Headphone and Mic sockets
- very good image quality for the price
- ergonomic design and weatherproof
- pretty fast in everyday use
- the AF system is very quick and precise
- features the company’s latest 20MP sensor
- not the smallest mirrorless camera out there
- battery life is not great
- comes with generic lens
- not worth the upgrade for G80 users
A Mirrorless Camera With a Massive Sensor
Nikon Z7 has a large 45.7MP sensor with OLPF and backside illumination. The PDAF system has 493 points and covers 90% of the frame horizontally. It also has a new hybrid autofocus system designed specifically for this Nikon FX-format camera. As for the viewfinder, it’s top of the line with an icon-driven display in the viewfinder which gives you a full measure of control.
If you prefer panels, you won’t be disappointed with the 3.2” QVGA display or the small display across the top. The same can be said for image stabilization. The Nikon Z7 has in-body 5-axis VR image stabilization which can handle shaky footage with ease. Subject tracking is solid, and if you love shooting video, you’ll get full-frame 4K and 10-bit HDMI output as well.
Nikon didn’t pull any punches with the Z7, and it has everything you need from a mirrorless camera with only a few slight drawbacks. It’s obviously not budget-friendly which may rule it out for beginners, and we wish it had more than one XQD memory slot.
- ISO 64 – 25,600
- Icon-driven viewfinder
- 5-axis IBIS
- 8K time lapse
- 493 autofocus points
- The price tag
- Face detection needs work
- Only one XQD slot
The Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1000
The new X-T30 from Fujifilm is a very small camera by any metrics, and the company actually uses the moniker Little Giant to describe it, proving once again that Japanese people are pretty cringe in regard to sense of humor. However, even if the X-T30 is a small gadget, it’s built for high performance, making for a cut down version of sorts of the X-T3, which incidentally is Fujifilm’s flagship. So, yeah, you can call the X-T30 “Little Gojira” if you like, and you’d be closer to the truth.
The X-T30 is the ideal tool if you’re looking for a high performance and sophisticated mirrorless camera, but you’re not ready to break the piggy bank, nor your back carrying it around. To give you a little taste, the Little Gojira comes packed with top-notch hardware, i.e. a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C image sensor and an X-Processor Pro 4 image processor. Needless to say, the autofocus system was improved, and the same goes for eye/face detection technology; in real life, you’ll get better image quality in low light conditions.
The video-department has been upgraded too, as the X-T30 can capture 4K UHD video at 30p and you’ll also get Fujifilm’s new ETERNA cinema film simulation mode, which is pretty cool.
- Sensor: 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4, 23.5 x 15.6mm
- Image processor: X-Processor Pro 4
- AF points: 2.16 million phase AF pixels, 100% coverage
- ISO range: 200 to 12,800 (exp. 100 to 51,200)
- impressive performance and technology crammed into a small body
- excellent for sports/action subjects due to the camera’s autofocus/continuous shooting speed performance
- near-perfect image quality
- old school exposure controls
- solid build quality, lots of customization options
- lacks in-body image stabilization
- weirdly placed Q button
Sony Alpha a6400
Perfect Mirrorless for Vlogging
The Sony Alpha a6400 is the successor of the A6300 and it makes for the company’s latest mirrorless camera, boasting a highly advanced AF-system; some even say that the A6400 is a best-buy for photography aficionados, since it’s relatively close in terms of performance to the A6500, the top-dog in the line-up, which is already 2 years old, but way more affordable. On the other hand, some may say that the A6400 is just a minor upgrade over the old 6300, and yeah, that’s true in many ways.
However, what’s really important about Sony’s new mirrorless camera is the highly advanced autofocus, which works great, and the under $1000 price tag. But let’s talk a little shop: the new A6400 features the same 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor as the top of the range 6500, but has the latest-gen BIONZ X image processor and a front end LSI. In layman’s terms, the new Alpha A6400 is 180 percent faster compared to the 6300. Color reproduction was also dramatically improved, but the bad news is that there’s no in-body image stabilization feature, hence you’ll have to rely on lens-based stabilization.
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder
- 4K video recording
- ISO range from 100-32000
- Tilt-angle touchscreen and electric viewfinder
- Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth
- high-tech autofocus system
- proper burst shooting speed
- image quality is excellent
- electronic viewfinder and tilt-angle touchscreen are great for vlogging
- good value for money
- not enough external control options
- the menu system is complicated
- EVF and rear screen are dated
Canon EOS R
Another Hit from Canon’s EOS Lineup
You can’t have the best mirrorless camera list without including something from Cannon. This time around it’s the EOS R, a sleek device with a hybrid dual-pixel autofocus system with over 5000 points and a fully articulated rear LCD.
The EOS R is another camera that can do a little bit of everything. The 30.3MP full frame sensor takes pro level shots in the right hands and 4K video at 30 frames per second looks great. The autofocus system is noteworthy as well with a wide coverage area and low-light AF. Manual mode maxes things out with 5,655 selectable points and a focus time of only 0.05 seconds under optimum conditions.
Consumers who dig tech will love the OLED EVF with its 23mm eyepoint and 3.69M-dots. It’s sharp, but so is the flexible 3.15” touchscreen display on the backside which flips out and swivels as needed. Other highlights of this camera include a multi-function bar, 4K 10-bit video at 4:2:2 (externally), and an ISO range of 50 to 102,400 in extended mode.
We’re big fans of Canon cameras, and the EOR R is one you should consider if you like the line and want to go mirrorless. While there are cheaper options with a few more features, this one won’t let you down and is available with the body only or with an array of accessories like a battery grip or 50mm lens.
- 30MP full frame CMOS sensor
- 3.15” swiveling touchscreen LCD
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- 4K video at 30 fps
- Cropped 4K videos
- Lack of in-body stabilization
- Range and noise reduction could be better
Panasonic Lumix GH5
The Best Mirrorless Camera for Video
Another Panasonic mirrorless camera is Lumix GH5. Though it can’t be called an absolutely professional camera its quality won’t disappoint even real pros.
Lumix GH5 is equipped with a high-performance low-pass filterless 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor that allows you to capture sharp images with a high-dynamic range. An option of smooth 4K 60p/50p video with great motion compensation is included as well. What is more, there is 6K Photo mode at 30fps and 4K Photo mode at 60fps.
As well as Lumix G9 this Panasonic camera takes care of a smooth image and therefore is provided with 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2.0. This image stabilization corrects all lenses, even if they do not include O.I.S. motion.
Long battery life is another great bonus you will get together with this camera. By the by, you can adjust this Panasonic camera to the conditions of professional shooting but to do this you will need to get some additional accessories (XLR Expansion, Shoulder Rig, Follow Focus, etc).
- Sensor: 3/4 CMOS sensor
- Megapixels: 20.3 mp
- Max ISO: 25,600
- Shooting Speed: 12 fps
- large EVF
- 4K video
- 4K/6K photo
- great battery life
- in-body image stabilization
- articulating touch screen
- low-light shooting is not the best
- needs additional accessories for professional setting
- Log Profile must be purchased separately
Canon EOS RP
Excellent Full-Frame EOS for Beginners
The Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera Body is advertised as the smallest and lightest full-frame EOS camera available on the market today, and it comes with an RА mount compatible with RF lenses and EF/EF-S lenses, which means you can hook up this bad boy with basically anything you want. In terms of image quality, because after all’s said and done, that’s what really matters, the EOS RP features the company’s excellent 26. 2 Megapixel full-frame CMOS Sensor and a DIGIC 8 Image processor for high quality images even in low lighting conditions, as well as Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast and accurate autofocus.
The EVF feature is well implemented and works great, especially for landscapes, as it allows you to control every little thing, exposure included, so yeah, you can forget about Live View through LCD, because EVF is that good. The autofocus is also amazing, and low light performance is admirable, on par with Canon’s best full-frame cameras.
- small and light
- excellent price point for a full-frame camera body
- sharp RF lens
- EVF is sharp and bright
- great ergonomics
- feels a little bit cheap quality-wise
- poor battery life
Sony Alpha 7R IV
King of the Medium Format Territory
The Sony Alpha 7R IV is the company’s first attempt to win the hearts and minds of photographers looking for a medium-format full-frame camera. One of the main attributes of this high-end camera is represented by the world’s first 61MP full-frame 35-millimeter back-illuminated Exmore R CMOS Image Sensor, as well as its impressive shooting speed, which stands at 10 fps4 with full AF/AE tracking.
The Sony Alpha 7R IV is also perfectly capable of producing beautiful 4K8 HDR videos, but the main selling point is arguably the Pixel Shift Multi-Shift shooting mode, a very interesting feature that was present in previous models, but it’s now refined. This gizmo works by capturing a series of pictures that are subsequently mixed/merged, in order to deliver a single high-resolution composite file of sorts.
Battery life is good enough to last you for 530 shots, and you’ll also get 2x SDHC/SDXC card slots on each side, both supporting UHS-II cards. The grip has been redesigned for improved comfort and better support, while the body is moisture and dust resistant.
- 61MP back-illuminated full-frame sensor
- 4K video recording to 24 and 30p
- 5-axis sensor-based stabilization
- Fast Hybrid AF system with 567 PDAF and 425 CDAF points
- 10fps continuous burst shooting with AF tracking
- 5.76-million dot OLED viewfinder
- superb image quality with plenty of detail
- Pixel Shift Multi Shooting is definitely impressive
- class-leading pixel count sensor, amazing 4K video quality
- high contrast, sharp and bright viewfinder, intelligent and fast AF system
- improved ergonomics and great handling
- Pixel Shift mode lacks motion correction
- touchscreen needs work
- doesn’t offer 60p/50p video
Sony a7 III
The Best Full Frame Sony Camera
The Sony A-series has always been a fan favorite and an excellent option for beginners or pros. Our favorite mirrorless camera from the company is the Sony a7 III, a full-frame camera with plenty of points and a long list of flagship features.
Sony went with a 24.2MP sensor for the a7 III. The camera has something called 4D focus, which is a combination of 693 AF points for phase detection and 425 for contrast. This allows you to capture an array of stunning images, especially when you factor in the ISO range of 100 – 51,200 which is further expandable with stills.
Like all the best mirrorless cameras, the Sony a7 III is capable of handling 4K HDR video with ease and FHD at 100/120 frames per second. As for image stabilization, it’s in-body with a 5-way sensor-shift system. The EVF is sharp at 2.36M-dot with 0.78x magnification, and you’ll get a small AF joystick to boot. That display pops but isn’t on par with other cameras in this class that top 3 million-dot.
From the ability to shoot in bursts at 10fps to the sweet autofocus system, this Sony a7 III is an excellent all-around camera. While they did cut a few things to keep the cost down, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with this one, and it’s available in a dozen configurations including a Lowepro backpack bundle and one with a 28-75mm Tamron lens.
- 24.2MP BSI CMOS sensor
- 4D focus
- 10 fps burst mode
- Wide variety of ports
- NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 & Wi-Fi
- EVF could be better
- AF system can be difficult at first
- Lenses are pricey
Panasonic LUMIX S1R
The Panasonic Lumix S1R is the company’s flagship mirrorless camera, boasting a mighty 47.3MP MOS full-frame High-Resolution Sensor and impressive video recording capabilities: 4K video – up to 4K 60P/50P recording plus 6K PHOTO functions and HLG photo. Since we’re talking Panasonic flagships, the Lumix S1R comes with impeccable built quality, excellent image stabilization, and amazing EVF, with both image and video quality being top-notch, as expected.
What’s not so great about this mirrorless camera is the AF system, which lags behind its peers. However, after all’s said and done, Panasonic did a great job with the Lumix S1R, which incidentally is one of the highest res full-frame mirrorless camera on the market, ahead of the Sony’s A7R III and Nikon’s Z7. By the way, the camera is resistant to dust and splashes, the control buttons are backlit, which is kind of cool, and the EVF is big and sharp.
- 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor
- 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 system
- 4K video recording to 60/50p
- 5-axis in-body stabilization
- excellent build quality, good ergonomics
- best in class viewfinder
- good buffer depth, above-average noise control at high ISOs, excellent detail
- dual card slots, excellent high-res video recording performance
- not impressive low light performance
- kind of large and heavy
- the autofocus system is not the best out there
- battery life could be better
- very expensive
An Excellent Option for 4K Video
Looking for a camera with a classic style but modern components? While there are a few options out there, the Fujifilm X-T3 is at the top of our list due to an excellent price point and its ability to capture 4K footage at 60 frames per second.
The X-T3 takes stunning photos in a variety of conditions thanks to a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS sensor. The back-illuminated sensor takes images to an all new level, and the ISO range is set at 160 to 12,800 or 80 to 51,200 in extended mode. Whatever mode or setting you choose; the new X-Processor 4 ensures you’ll get top-tier performance from this mirrorless camera.
4K video is a big draw for the Fujifilm X-T3. There are a wide variety of frame rates available up to 60 fps with a top bitrate of 400 Mbps on the lower end at 24 to 30 fps. Chroma sub-sampling is 10-bit at 4:2:0 and you’ve got jacks for headphones and a mic as well. Video autofocus is about what you’d expect with continuous or single modes and the AF system as a whole is quite capable on both ends. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the EVF as well which is a 3” tilting OLED touchscreen panel set at 3.69M-dot.
While you won’t get some of the same bells & whistles found on higher-end cameras, the X-T3 brings a lot to the table without breaking the bank. It’s available in a base configuration in Silver or Black sans lens or with a variety of XF lenses depending on your needs.
- 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS sensor
- 10-bit 4K video
- 16 film simulation modes
- 425 focus points
- Tilting OLED touchscreen
- No in-body stabilization
- Better alternatives for sports