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How to Choose the Right Mirrorless Camera For You

Are you a video photographer, sports photographer or Vlogger looking for a quality mirrorless camera for your job? Then, worry not as you’ve come to the right place.

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Currently, there are many mirrorless cameras on the market since Panasonic first introduced the first mirrorless camera in 2008. You will find different mirrorless camera models for all kinds of users from beginner to mid-range, professional, and much more.

Unlike DSLRs that have two brands (Nikon & Canon) to buy from, mirrorless cameras have a wide range of models and brands to choose from which include Sony, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, and Fujifilm.

In this detailed  guide, we’ve managed to come up with some of the top mirrorless cameras for different users after many hours of rigorous research. Read this review to the end to find out which mirrorless camera is ideal for you.

What is a mirrorless camera?

A mirrorless camera enables the owner to change lenses just like with DSLRs, but these cameras do not have a mirror inside, hence mirrorless.

DSLRs feature a mirror that reflects light from the lens onto the viewfinder so you can view what you’re taking a photo of, while a mirrorless camera doesn’t have a mirror. So, instead of reflecting light to the viewfinder, a mirrorless camera allows light to hit the sensor directly, with a digital viewfinder showing a preview of what the sensor is seeing.

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Since the mirrorless camera doesn’t come with a mirror, it is slightly lighter and smaller in size when compared to DSLRs with mirrors. Also, instead of having an optical viewfinder, mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinders. It is good to note that a good number of cheap mirrorless cameras don’t come with a viewfinder at all.

A Guide to Buying the Best Mirrorless Camera

A few decades ago, choosing a professional camera for shooting quality photos was easy as the DSLR was the most ideal camera to use. Today, there are a lot of cameras to choose from and this gives photographers a very hard time. But with the right research, you can still find a quality camera by understanding what features to look for:

  1. Image quality – even though the image quality of a camera is only as good as the photographer, it is important that you select a camera with a high resolution for quality photos.
  2. Availability of lens – when choosing a camera, you should first look at the lens of the camera. At times, a higher resolution may not be the best option as it may bring a lot of attention to the lens’ optical flaws. While a stellar lens with fewer megapixels can provide more clarity than a high resolution.
  3. Size of the sensor – the image sensor records the information about what is seen through the lens. Therefore, it is important to get a camera with a bigger sensor as it will record more information than a smaller one and the images will also be better.
  4. Size and weight – Depending on where you will be using the camera the most, weight and size matters. If you travel a lot, a compact and lightweight camera will be great. DSLR cameras are heavier than mirrorless cameras.
  5. Features and functionality – one of the vital features to look for in a mirrorless camera is the viewfinder. Unlike viewfinders in DSLRs, mirrorless cameras usually feature an electronic viewfinder (EVF). The EVF is more convenient to use as what you see is what you get.
  6. Durability – When it comes to durability, mirrorless cameras are not very durable as they usually lack sealing from extreme weather like some DSLRs.
  7. Battery life – mirrorless cameras also have a shorter battery life which is kind of a nuisance to people who intend to use the camera for long. This is as a result of the EVF which uses a lot of energy. Just carry a spare battery if you are worried.

Advantages of using a mirrorless camera

  • The lens is small in size and weight
  • It provides a more accurate representation than DSLRs of what your photo will look like
  • Mirrorless cameras are small in size and weight
  • It is compact and very easy to conceal even in a crowd
  • They are sold at amazing prices

Disadvantages of using a mirrorless camera

  • They have slightly lower image quality than DSLRs
  • It has a smaller range of lenses and accessories
  • Mirrorless cameras normally have a shorter battery life
  • They often have poor weather sealing and are not very durable

10 Best mirrorless cameras

Sony A9 – Best Camera for Sports and Action Photographers

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If you engage in high-speed and professional sports, action photography, and wildlife, the Sony A9 will be an ideal mirrorless camera for you. This is a sleek and powerful camera designed for all uses.

Features

  • 24.2 MP
  • Advanced real-time Eye-AF
  • Up to 11fps3
  • Interchangeable lens
  • 4K movie
  • 180-degree fully tiltable LCD touchscreen

The Sony A9 is one of the most advanced mirrorless cameras on the market. It has more advantages than DSLR cameras in the same category. The camera comes with a 24.2MP full-frame sensor and a 693-point phase-detect AF system that covers up to 93 percent of the frame. Also, it has an electronic viewfinder and captures 4k videos. With the 180-degree fully tiltable LCD touchscreen, you can shoot different images at different angles.

Pros:

  • It has a fast and effective autofocus
  • It has an interchangeable lens
  • It has a lag-free EVF
  • It has a tiltable LCD screen for versatility
  • It is fast and accurate up to 11fps

Cons:

  • It is quite expensive

Click for current pricing and more info

 

Nikon Z6 – Best mirrorless camera

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The Nikon Z6 is the best mirrorless camera that you can lay your hands on as it has most of the features that you can desire in a quality camera.

Features

  • 24.5MP
  • 4K video at 30p
  • 3.2” tilt-angle touchscreen
  • 273-point on-sensor phase-detect AF system
  • Mount adapter

The Nikon Z6 FX-Format comes with a new larger Z mount for revolutionary optical performance. Moreover, the camera has a 24.5MP sensor with an exceptional electronic viewfinder and 4K video for shooting quality images and videos. Other great features include a tiltable touchscreen, 360 F-mount Nikkor lenses, and focus peaking.

Whether you’re a beginner, professional, or Vlogger, you will find the Nikon Z6 to be a great bargain.

Pros:

  • It has outstanding image quality
  • It is silent during the shooting
  • It is compact and lightweight
  • It is easy to handle

Cons:

  • It has a limited buffer depth
  • It comes with just one card slot

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Sony Alpha A6400 – Best Camera for Vloggers

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If you’re a vlogger and want a great mirrorless camera that will shoot high-quality videos for your YouTube channel, the Sony Alpha A6400 will be a good choice.

Features

  • 24.2MP
  • 425-point AF
  • APS-C sensor
  • Interchangeable lens
  • 3” tilt-angle touchscreen
  • 4K video

The Sony Alpha A6400 mirrorless camera features 4K video and a 3-inch flip-up screen that allows the user to capture clear videos at different angles. Also, with the multiple movie functions, you can make slow or quick motion videos without having to post-process. At 11fps of continuous shooting at 24.2MP, this is a fast and accurate camera.

Pros:

  • It has an excellent autofocusing system
  • It has a tiltable touchscreen for versatility
  • It comes with a bright EVF
  • It provides high-quality photos and videos

Cons:

  • It has no IS
  • It lacks a headphone port

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Best travel Camera

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The Olympus OM-DE-M10 Mark II is one of the best travel cameras on the market. Not only is this camera lightweight and easy to carry around, but it is also easy to use and very accurate.

Features

  • 20.4mp
  • 121-Point Dual fast AF
  • Micro four-thirds sensor
  • 3” vari-angle display screen

Despite having a micro four-thirds sensor size, the Olympus Mark II comes with 4k video, which helps to shoot quality videos. Also, it is durable as it has a weather-sealed body that can withstand tough outdoor conditions. The micro four thirds may not be as popular as other sensors but if it provides speed and you can change as many lenses as you want to.

Pros:

  • It has an exceptional image stabilization system
  • It is durable with a weather-sealed body
  • It is compact and portable
  • It is fast and accurate
  • High-quality videos with the 4K function

Cons:

  • It has a low 20MP
  • The UHS-II comes with only one card slot

Click for current pricing and more info

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Best Mirrorless Camera for Video

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The Panasonic Lumix GH5 mirrorless camera is one of the best cameras for youtube and video recording aside from taking high resolution photos. It provides full HD video at up to 180fps and 4K videos at up to 60fps. With the 20.3MP, you can be sure to shoot clear videos wherever you go.

Features

  • Micro four-thirds sensor
  • 20.3 MP
  • Records 4K videos at up to 60 fps
  • Full HD video at up to 180 fps

The GH5 mirrorless camera is also compact and sturdy for longer use. It has built-in 5-axis sensor stabilization that can function with particular lenses to trigger dual I.S. 2 for highly shale correction. The autofocus system is fast and accurate for convenient use.

Pros:

  • It is compatible with a wide range of lenses
  • Compact design for easy storage and carry
  • It is fast and accurate
  • Shoots excellent videos

Cons:

  • It is quite heavy
  • It is not very effective in low light

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Sony A7R II Best Professional Camera

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This is an exceptional mirrorless camera that can be compared head-to-head with the Nikon Z7.  So, if you love Nikon instead of Sony, you can opt for this camera. It is ideal for professional photographers considering its high price and high-quality features.

Features

  • 42.4 MP full-frame high resolution
  • 3” LCD touchscreen
  • Front end LSI image processor
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Continuous shooting speed of 10fps

The Sony A7R II is slightly smaller than the older DSLRs but it still comes with an outstanding 42.4 MP full-frame sensor. Unlike other high-end cameras that you have to choose between continuous shooting speed and resolution, this one offers both. Besides, the camera offers 4k video, quality G master lenses, and in-body image-stabilization for exceptional results.

Pros:

  • It is compact
  • It delivers high-quality videos
  • Fast image processing
  • Accurate tracking

Cons:

  • It is quite big when compared to other mirrorless cameras

Click for current pricing and more info

Here is a good source for Sony lens comparisons.

 

Fujifilm X-T30 – Best Midrange Camera

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If you’re slightly tight on the budget, but still want a quality mirrorless camera with exceptional features, you will love the Fujifilm X-T30 camera.

Features

  • 4k video recording
  • 26.1MP
  • 120fps at 1080p
  • 3” tiltable touchscreen LCD
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth V
  • Image sensor technology

The Fujifilm X-T30 camera allows you to record high-quality videos with the 4k function and upload them to your channel instantly through Wi-Fi. You can also share the videos with colleagues through Bluetooth. The camera is compact with a fast and accurate autofocus system. With the advanced CMOS 4 image sensor and 3-inch LCD touchscreen, this is a camera that you can rely on for excellent results at work.

Pros:

  • It is small and compact
  • It has a fast autofocusing system
  • Clear and quality videos
  • It has accurate autofocus tracking and face detection
  • Wireless Wi-Fi connection

Cons:

  • It lacks in-body stabilization

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Best Mirrorless Camera Under $500

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There are many mirrorless cameras under $500 but the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is one of the most outstanding ones. This camera is an upgrade of the Mark II and it is suitable for beginners as well as enthusiasts.

Features

  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • 14-42mm EZ lens
  • 4K video
  • TruePic VIII image processor
  • 3” tilting LCD monitor
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization

Even though the Mark III camera has a smaller micro four-thirds sensor, it has a little effect on the quality of the image. It is also compact and lightweight for easy storage and transportation. With the electronic viewfinder, 5-axis stabilization system, and 4k video shooting, this is a great investment at such a great price.

Pros:

  • It is compact and lightweight
  • It shoots smooth 4k video
  • Simple to use design
  • Captures clear videos and photos

Cons:

  • It has a lower resolution of 16.1MP
  • It has a smaller sensor than most mirrorless cameras

Click for current pricing and more info

 

Panasonic Lumix S1R Best high-end Camera

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If you’re a professional and want nothing less than the best, then the Panasonic Lumix S1R is a great option. This is a high-end camera suitable for professionals and avid photographers. It shoots very stunning videos and crisp clear photos.

Features

  • 3.2” LCD touchscreen
  • 4k HDR video
  • 47.3MP MS high resolution
  • Full frame sensor
  • L-mount lens
  • 187MP high-resolution mode

Panasonic is the pioneer of mirrorless cameras and they still offer some of the best mirrorless cameras on the market. The Panasonic Lumix has 5.76 million-dot electronic viewfinder which is ahead most of its competitor. It is also ruggedly constructed for longevity and the 4K video shooting and sensor-based stabilization ensures that you shoot quality videos.

However, it is quite expensive and heavy, but considering its features, it is worth every penny.

Pros:

  • Produces stunning videos and photos
  • Excellent viewfinder
  • Durable construction for longevity
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Outstanding range and great performance at high sensitivity

Cons:

  • It is big and heavy
  • It is quite expensive

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Sony Alpha A6000 – Best Budget Camera

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Last but not least we have the Sony Alpha A6000 mirrorless camera. This is suitable for beginners or enthusiasts who don’t have enough money to spend on high-quality mirrorless cameras.

Features

  • 3LCD
  • 24.3 MP
  • 179-point focal plane phase-detection
  • OLED EVF
  • Up to 11fps continuous shooting
  • Compatible with Sony E mount lenses

The Sony A6000 mirrorless camera features a powerful, classic APS-C sensor with 1080p resolution for outstanding video shooting. The A6000 has a wonderful autofocus system that combines 179-point focal plane phase-detection and 25 contrasts-detects points for great performance. Also, the OLED EVF and tilting screen makes capturing videos and photos to be fun. With the Wi-Fi and NFC connection, you can easily share content with colleagues and friends.

The only shortcoming of this unit is that it lacks 4K video and a touchscreen like most of its competitors.

Pros:

  • It is affordable
  • It has an excellent autofocus system
  • It is fast and accurate
  • Has a maximum resolution of 1080p
  • It is Wi-Fi and NFC compatible.

Cons:

  • It lacks 4k video
  • It has no touchscreen

Click for current pricing and more info

 

Conclusion

Mirrorless cameras are becoming better and a favorite to many travelers. These cameras are lightweight and small in size, which makes them very portable. Most photographers believe that mirrorless cameras are the future of cameras but DSLRs are not going anywhere as well.

However, mirrorless cameras are not very durable and their image quality is not as good as that of DSLRs. This may not be an issue if you are a beginner, an amateur, or a pro looking for a second camera.  Overall, mirrorless cameras are easy to use and affordable. Being versatile with pictures they are ambidextrous and shoot great videos which can great for vlogging. Select a camera that will have a great impact on your work and use our guide to choose the best one.

FAQ

Q. Are mirrorless cameras better than DSLRs?

A. Mirrorless cameras provide more options to pick from. This is unlike the DSLR which has only two brands to choose from which are Nikon and Canon. Mirrorless cameras have a wide range of brands to choose from which include Panasonic, Olympus, Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Leica.

Q. Are sensor sizes the same in mirrorless and DSLR cameras?

A. Yes, they are. They start from micro four thirds, APS-C, and full-frame sensors. Slightly larger sensors capture more light and reduce the amount of ISO compensation needed to excellently expose a scene. Also, full-frame sensors provide more creative freedom to set apart your subject from the background.

If you are looking for your first DSLR, have a look at this article.

Joshua N

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