Best Mirrorless Camera Models for Beginners, Amateurs & Pros
This guide to the best mirrorless cameras has been updated to include reviews of all the latest models here in 2021.
Rather than recommend only premium mirrorless cameras, we have included a selection of more affordable types of cameras too, that offer incredible bang for the buck.
Despite fierce competition the a7III is still on top. Unrivaled performance at a great price.
Mirrorless cameras provide the very latest technology, making DSLR cameras look like dinosaurs in comparison.
Photographers of all levels can benefit from using a more compact mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF), leaf shutter, complete AF area coverage or in-body image stabilization, all features which can make photography easier and more fun.
Let’s have a look at the best mirrorless full frame and crop sensor cameras available right now.
Table of Contents
8 Best Mirrorless Cameras in 2021
|Sony a7III||View Price →|
|Fujifilm X-T3||View Price →|
|Sony a7R IV||View Price →|
|Nikon Z6||View Price →|
|Canon EOS RP||View Price →|
|Fujifilm X-T30||View Price →|
|Sony a6600||View Price →|
|Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III||View Price →|
I’m a happy user of a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC), and recommend them to all beginners and professional photographers alike – see my camera buying guide.
Let’s look at the best mirrorless cameras so far this year.
1. Sony a7III – Best Mirrorless Camera – Our #1 Pick
Sensor: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.5 megapixels | Viewfinder: 2359K dots | Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100K dots | Autofocus: 693+425 AF points | Max frame rate: 10fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 653g (1.4 lb)
When combining value and performance, the Sony a7 III is easily the best full-frame mirrorless camera on the market. Its speed, autofocus, dynamic range, and image and video quality are all simply fantastic.
Add to that the fact that the body costs less than $2,000, and it really can’t be beaten here in 2021.
In terms of value for money, the Sony a7 III is still number one – no other digital camera, mirrorless or otherwise, offers this much performance for under $2,000.
The a7 III’s 24-megapixel sensor has a full 15 stops of dynamic range and an ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800). This makes it one of the best low-light cameras available.
With 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection areas, the Sony a7 III’s lightening-fast hybrid autofocus system rockets past all of the top DSLRs. The autofocus also excels during continuous shooting mode, keeping the subject in focus even at 10 fps.
Frankly, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get great images with this camera. It’s fast, fun, and simply a joy to use.[
In the video world, the Sony a7 III’s 4K video footage comes out impressively detailed, even with frame rates up to 30 fps.
At 24 fps the Sony a7 III uses oversampled 6K video to downsize to 4K with no crop. Add to that the low light performance and ISO range, and you get beautiful footage every time.
There are also plenty of video capture features, including HLG and Log footage, slow motion capture, and zebra warnings for exposure and focus peaking. The headphone and mic jacks are a nice touch, as well.
If you’re a handheld shooter, you’ll be pleased to note that the a7 III has excellent 5-axis sensor-shift image in-body stabilization that works as well in the field as the specs claim. It makes shooting at night handheld a doable undertaking and allows you to take advantage of lower ISOs than you’d normally have to use.
Still photos, video, studio, landscapes, action photography, long exposures – this camera is amazing no matter what use you put it to.
If you need any more reassurance, the Sony a7 III has been the camera of choice of Mark (Shotkit’s founder) for over 2 years now, and he has no intention to change anytime soon!
👍🏼: Great value | Wide dynamic range | Small & light | Fantastic image quality | 5-axis IBIS | Dual SD slots | Good battery life | Wi-fi + NFC connectivity
👎🏼: Expensive lenses | Non-intuitive menu system |Limited touchscreen control | Tilt-screen doesn’t allow for vlogging
2. Fujifilm X-T3
Sensor: APS-C | Resolution: 26 megapixels | Viewfinder: 3.69M dots | Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.04M dots | Autofocus: 425-points | Max frame rate: 30fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 539g (1.18 lb)
You don’t have to be a Fujifilm fan to fall in love with the Fujifilm X-T3. It does just about everything, and everything it does, it does well.
Want to just shoot and go? The JPEGs that come out of this little beauty are killer and need next to no processing.
Want full RAW control? The X-Trans 4 sensor captures more information than any other Fujifilm mirrorless camera, allowing ample room for recovering shadows or pulling back highlights.
The Fujifilm X-T3’s new 26-megapixel X-Trans 4 sensor is able to gather considerably more light than the sensor on the X-T2 or any other APS-C Fuji mirrorless camera. It’s even allowed the camera to drop its native ISO to 160.
The autofocus of some of Fuji’s X-series lags a bit, but not the X-T3. The 425 selectable AF points really nail it, even in continuous shooting mode, making this the best Fuji camera for sports photography, and anything involving a fast moving subject.
The manual dials and analog look of the X-T3’s camera body really make for a unique, tactile shooting experience in this digital age.
There’s something deeply satisfying about the feel of a physical dial when adjusting settings like aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. It certainly beats having to dig into a menu.
While the Fujifilm X-T3 is a great all-rounder with stills, it really hits home when it comes to video. You’ll be hard pressed to find more video recording options on any other mirrorless camera.
The 4K video is lightning fast at 60Fps, and if you don’t want to do your own color grading, the new Eterna colour mode turns out fantastic footage.
The only real issue with the video is that the LCD screen doesn’t flip around for vlogging. Everything else is just fantastic.
Other features include dual memory card slots and a headphone and mic jack. Fujifilm also has an impressive lens line-up (see our guide to the best Fuji lenses), with many stabilized lenses to choose from, making the lack of IBIS not really a huge issue.
If you’re looking for an excellent stills-video hybrid, it’ll be difficult to out-do the Fujifilm X-T3. Oh, and we didn’t even mention the incredible weather-sealing yet either – check the video below of an X-T2, which has much the same water-sealing as its successor.
It’s is small enough for travel and street photography, high enough resolution for landscapes and portraiture, and unbeatable for video. Sure, it has an APS-C sensor that will immediately exclude any full frame ‘snobs’, but the features are really hard to beat!
There are certainly more expensive full-frame mirrorless cameras that provide better still image quality, but no other camera offers such an excellent balance of still image and video quality.
👍🏼: Fast autofocus | Weatherproof, ergonomic body | Up to 30 fps continuous shooting | Incredible video | Dual UHS-II SD card slots |Extremely customizable | Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
👎🏼: Battery life could be better | No IBIS | Noise after ISO 6400 | Rear LCD doesn’t allow for vlogging
3. Sony a7R IV
Sensor: Full-frame | Resolution: 61 megapixels | Viewfinder: 5,760K dots | Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 21,400K dots | Autofocus: 567 Phase + 425 Contrast | Max frame rate: 10fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 665 g (1 lb 7.5 oz)
If you’re looking to get the utmost in image quality, the new Sony a7R IV is where it’s at, and the pinnacle in the current Sony Alpha range.
The only place you’ll find higher resolution is in a medium format camera, and few of those can match the Sony a7R IV in features.
At a whopping 61 megapixels, the a7R IV comes out as the highest-resolution full-frame camera on the market, mirrorless or not. If that’s not enough for you, the a7R IV has a Pixel Shift mode that lets you create images up to 240 megapixels!
On top of the impressive megapixel count, the Sony a7R IV’s Exmor R CMOS sensor offers 15 stops of dynamic range.
This, along with its standard ISO range of 100-32000 makes it an excellent performer in low-light conditions, turning out low noise images even with the higher pixel count.
As far as autofocus is concerned, the A7R IV’s 567 autofocus points literally blow the competition out of the water. All the other high resolution cameras have fewer than 160 AF points, DSLRs, medium format, and mirrorless cameras alike. It even outdoes the Sony a7 III.
Despite its high resolution, the Sony a7R IV reaches up to 10fps in burst shooting. The new tracking algorithm is also quite impressive – once the autofocus locks onto a subject, it follows it everywhere.
Like the Sony a7 III, the a7R IV comes with excellent 5-axis image stabilization. Other features include a more rugged build and better weather sealing than its predecessor, the a7R III. There’s also more refined controls and a much-needed larger grip.
When shooting video, the a7R IV offers full-width and APS-C crops for both 1080p and 4K. The AF tracking during 4K video capture is quite impressive and the level of detail in the footage is the best in its class.
There are also plenty of video capture tools, including zebra exposure warnings, focus peaking, and a variety of Log modes.
One downer is that the footage is only 8-bit, but this is unsurprising considering how difficult it is for a sensor to capture high resolution and read out quickly enough to produce good video footage. Still, that’s literally the only limitation.
In the end, the high resolution and portability of the a7R IV make it one of the best cameras for landscapes, portraits, and weddings – anywhere you require the best image quality for print, or the ability to crop heavily and not lose quality.
The extraordinary performance overall and all-around amazing-ness make it an awesome camera for just about everything else as well.
👍🏼: Stunning image quality | Best autofocus performance in the industry | Large, high-res electronic viewfinder | Great battery life | Excellent customization options | Wi-fi + NFC connectivity
👎🏼: Slightly noisier files than its predecessor | Exposure settings carry over between video and stills | 8-bit 4K video files | Pixel Shift workflow is cumbersome
4. Nikon Z6 – Great Value Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
Sensor: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.5 megapixels | Viewfinder: 3,690K dots | Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100K dots | Autofocus: 273-points | Max frame rate: 12fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 675 g (1 lb 7.9 oz)
Nikon’s answer to the amazing Sony mirrorless cameras came out last year with the launch of the Nikon Z6 and the 46MP Nikon Z7.
While the Z7 is more of a landscape and portraiture camera, the Z6 is – like the Sony a7 III – an impressive, more affordable all-rounder. In fact, it’s probably Sony’s closest competitor – see our comparison: Nikon Z6 vs Sony a7 III.
The Nikon Z6’s full-frame 24.5-megapixel sensor ensures high resolution images without going overboard in file size, while the native ISO range of 100 to 51,200 to (expandable 50 to 204,800) gives it a dynamic range that rivals the class-leading Sony a7 III.
The Z6’s build quality is top of the line, with the ruggedness we’ve come to expect from Nikon bodies. In fact, it’s quite likely the best-built mirrorless full frame camera on the market right now, with great ergonomics and match.
Nikon camera owners will find its controls and menus quite familiar, as they mirror Nikon’s DSLR line. There’s even a top plate LCD that DSLR shooters will readily appreciate.
One thing that is quite different, though, is the lens mount. Nikon ditched the old F-mount in lieu of the new Z-mount, which is designed to let in more light to the Z-series sensors. In fact, a new manual-focus 58mm f/0.95 S lens is expected very soon. Talk about a fast lens!
At the moment though, there aren’t many native lenses available for either the Z6 or Z7. Luckily most F-mount lenses will work just fine with the new FTZ mount adapter, although at around $250 it’s not cheap.
Another thing that stands out in the build of the Nikon Z6 is the fantastic electronic viewfinder. It’s crisp, clear and boasts an exceptionally high resolution.
The downside of this is that the 60Hz refresh rate is a bit slow, especially when shooting in burst mode. The touchscreen is also quite beautiful, but for some reason lacks touchscreen autofocus while you’re looking through the viewfinder.
Speaking of autofocus, the Z6 keeps up with the Sony a7 III in most situations, although loses out in low light. It also does a reasonably good job of tracking subjects, both at 5.5 fps (with live view) and 9 fps (no live view).
As far as movie footage is concerned, no disappointments here. The Z6’s 4k movie footage is simply stunning, with frame speeds up to 30p for 4K UHD, as well Full HD video in 60p and 120p slow-motion in HD.
As expected, the Nikon Z6 also comes with plenty of capture tools, including 10-bit Log output.
Like the Sony a7 line, the Nikon Z6 comes with effective 5-axis image stabilization, allowing you to handhold it in low light and still achieve steady shots, even at 0/5~1 second shutter speeds!
One thing of note is that Nikon opted to go with a single XQD card slot rather than dual card slots. That’s a bit of a gamble, as at the moment there aren’t a lot of XQD cards available, and not having an immediate card backup like the Sony a7III may deter uses for professional photography.
Still, if you’re a Nikon lover and especially if you’ve already invested in Nikon glass, the Nikon Z6 is a great mirrorless option. It keeps up with the Sony a7 III in many respects and exceeds it in build quality and EVF quality.
The Z6’s autofocus system lags a bit behind the a7 III’s and the battery life isn’t quite up there, but in general, it’s still a solid full-frame mirrorless camera that every Nikon lover should consider.
👍🏼: Excellent resolution | High ISO performance | Excellent build quality | 5-axis image stabilization | 12fps burst shooting | super hi-res EVF | Stunning 4K video
👎🏼: Limited buffer | Limited native lens selection | XQD card format has limited support
5. Canon EOS RP
Sensor: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 26.2 megapixels | Viewfinder: 1,040,000 dots | Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen | Autofocus: 5,655-point AF | Max frame rate: 5fps | Video: 4K | Weight: 485g (1.07 lbs)
If you’re looking for a full-frame mirrorless camera that won’t break the bank, the Canon EOS RP might be for you. Its feature set is relatively modest compared to the other models on this list, but it’s well built, turns out excellent JPEGS, and it is affordably priced – see latest price here.
We left out its big brother the Canon EOS R from this list since the RP offers much better bang for the buck. Image quality is marginally better with the R, notably in low light, and video features are more advanced, but for the money, the RP is the best option for most photographers.
Weighing it at only 1 lb (485g) and retailing for less than $1,300, the Canon EOS RP is both the lightest and the least expensive full-frame mirrorless camera available right now.
Despite being so light, the build and handling is excellent and it feels great in the hand. The front and rear dials allow you to adjust shutter and aperture settings. The other dials and settings all seem to be in the perfect place, and everything is customizable.
The Canon EOS RP’s small size does lend to a few limitations, however. For example, there’s only a single UHS II card slot (same as the EOS R), and the tiny battery only offers around 250 shots per charge.
Performance-wise the Canon EOS RP does well, though. Its Dual Pixel autofocus system (which isn’t available in 4K video) performs admirably.
It’s also the king of low-light shooting at the moment. In fact, many say it’s the best low-light shooting camera out of all the sub-$2,000 camera models.
The 26.2 megapixels in the Canon EOS RP’s sensor ensure plenty of detail and make it a great beginner full-frame option for landscape and portrait photographers.
The high resolution gets in the way of the camera’s burst speed, though, with only 5 fps in single-shot autofocus mode and 4 fps in continuous mode.
Strangely, the Canon EOS RP’s dynamic range leaves much to be desired. Images taken in RAW are noisier than they should be, especially when compared to the camera’s peers. That undoes a bit of the low-light shooting excellence.
Unlike many full-frame mirrorless cameras, the LCD screen flips fully around. This is great for vlogging, as long as you don’t need anything very complicated from the footage – the video features on the Canon EOS RP are a bit mediocre, and the rolling shutter, cropped 4k video, and 8-bit recording leave much to be desired.
Another limitation is the lens selection. At the moment there’s only one affordable RF lens option. The other two options are about twice the price of the camera body. Of course, you can always invest in an EF lens adapter for around $100, and Canon is famous for its amazing lens selection – see the best Canon lenses.
Should you buy the Canon EOS RP? If you’re a casual user looking to try out a full-frame mirrorless camera for the first time, then yes.
Its size makes it a great street photography or walk-around-town camera, and its resolution and face/eye tracking make it great for portraits.
It’ll also make a great compact second camera if you already use a Canon as your primary camera, and with the adapter, you can take advantage of all the amazing Canon EF glass.
However, if you’re looking for video, long battery life, or stellar dynamic range, though, you’ll be better served by some of the other cameras on this list.
👍🏼: Great handling | Fast autofocus | Excellent low-light performance | Super light | Excellent eye/face detection | Great color | Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity
👎🏼: No in-body stabilization | Mediocre 4k Video | Low dynamic range | No weather-sealing | Short battery life | Silent shutter only works in “scene” mode
6. Fujifilm X-T30
Sensor: APS-C | Resolution: 26.1 megapixels | Viewfinder: 2,360K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen display, 1,040K dots | Autofocus: 425-points | Max frame rate: 30fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 383g (13.5 oz)
If you’re looking for a well-performing mirrorless camera under $1,000, the Fujifilm X-T30 is a fantastic option. It has the same 26-megapixel sensor and many of the same features as the awesome X-T3, but is smaller, lighter, and much less expensive.
For around $600 less than its big brother the X-T3, Fujifilm X-T30 with the you’re getting impressive image quality, beautiful 4k video, and all the manual dials that make Fujifilm cameras a pleasure to use.
Build-wise this camera is tiny, which ups its portability factor quite a bit. For some, the ergonomics will be a deal breaker (especially those with large hands), but for those needing something small and light with awesome image and video quality, the Fujifilm X-T30 will be a dead ringer.
It’s such a ‘palmable’ size in fact, that many photographers don’t even use a camera strap, or at least, use something very minimal – see our best camera straps for mirrorless guide for slimline options that suit this body well.
The X-T30’s autofocus is easily as fast and accurate as the X-T3. The burst shooting is also impressive, with speeds up to 30 fps in sports mode. There is a 1.25x crop when you do this, but there’s no blackout in the viewfinder and the continuous autofocus stays impressively locked on.
On the other hand, the 4K video quality is down-sampled from 6K and looks fantastic. It also records 8-bit video directly to the SD card or 10-bit to an external recorder. You also get Fujifilm’s suite of film simulations, which are beautiful in themselves.
One thing that’s lacking for both video and stills is IBIS (image stabilization). That being said, Fuji has a number of excellent lenses that offer stabilization, so you’re covered there.
Honestly, this a lot of camera in a compact, lightweight body. Its nearest competitor, the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95/90i comes with IS and a nicer EVF, but the X-T30 has better autofocus, crop-free 4K video, and better battery life.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is also less expensive, and has a much better lens selection, with options to cover the entire focal range needed for 99% of photographers.
All in all, the X-T30 is tremendous value for the money, especially for those looking to get into the X-system without having spent a lot of cash.
👍🏼: Superb out-of-camera Jpegs | Excellent autofocus | Same sensor as the X-T3 | Compact size | Great burst rate | High quality 4k video | Strong eye/face detection | Wi-fi + Bluetooth connectivity
👎🏼: Ergonomics could be better | No IBIS | Rear LCD doesn’t articulate | Short battery life | Single SD card slot (UHS-I only) | 4K video only 10 minutes at a time
7. Sony a6600
© Marc Bergreen
Sensor: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2 megapixels | Viewfinder: 2,359K dots | Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 922K dots | Autofocus: 425-points | Max frame rate: 11fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 539g (1.18 lbs)
If you’re looking at the Sony a7 III but find it a bit too expensive, the Sony a6600 has a number of similar features packed into a much more affordable price.
It also offers that all-important feature for vloggers and fans of the selfie – the front-flippable LCD screen. Being able to compose with yourself in the shot is currently very difficult with any of the full frame Sony camera lineup, but this little APS-C option fills the gap nicely.
Sony’s top APS-C mirrorless camera comes with 24MP of resolution and excellent 4K video capture. It’s pretty similar to its forebear – the a6500 – but comes with a bigger grip and the best battery life in the mirrorless world – over 800 images per charge!
The a6600 also features Sony’s state-of-the-art autofocus system, which tracks both human and non-human subjects with the tenacity of a pit bull.
As far as image quality is concerned, the Sony a6660 uses the same sensor as the a6500. Luckily the a6500 produces great images as well, so while an upgrade would have been appreciated, the a6600 can still hold its own.
Sony’s color output is some of the best in the industry and images come out sharp, crisp, and clear, whether you’re shooting JPEGs or RAWs.
For action shots, the 11fps burst rate is quite competitive. There’s also in-body image stabilization, which is still fairly rare in APS-C cameras, and helps when you shoot video too.
One main limitation, though, is the single UHS-I SD card slot – a hint that Sony wants to keep pros on their full frame line up. For a top-of-the-line APS-C camera this is a little disappointing, especially since the slow write times can get in the way of the buffer clearing.
Its primary competitor, the Fujifilm X-T3, has a more modern sensor, faster burst speeds, better video, twin UHS-II card slots, and better ergonomics… but Sony’s autofocus still has everyone else beat.
Add to that the IBIS, the front-facing LCD screen and the supreme battery life and the Sony a6600 is still a top contender.
👍🏼: Fantastic autofocus | Excellent image quality | Image stabilization | Best battery life in the mirrorless market | Weather sealing | Wi-fi + NFC connectivity | Nicely customizable | Front facing screen
👎🏼: Ergonomics are lacking | EVF not improved | Clunky menu system | Single UHS-I card slot
8. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
© Meg Loeks
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1 megapixels | Viewfinder: 2,360K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,037K dots | Autofocus: 121-points | Max frame rate: 8.6fps | Video: 4K at 30p | Weight: 410g (.9 lb)
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 III is a bit different from the other mirrorless cameras in this list in that it has a micro four thirds sensor.
Micro four thirds sensors are a bit smaller than APS-C sensors. Normally that would be a strike against it, but Olympus pulls off the micro four thirds sensor with one of the best in class.
Not only does the smaller M4/3 sensor size make for an extremely compact and lightweight build, the lenses are lighter and more compact as well – even the zoom lenses. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 III can literally fit in your pocket, lens and all – try that with your bulky DSLR…
While it’s true that larger sensors work better in low-light situations, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III does well in the lower ISO ranges and its 5-axis IBIS helps keep shots sharp in low light.
The 16 megapixels may seem a bit low, but Olympus has a number of best micro four thirds lenses that pair extraordinarily well with low-megapixel sensors. The resulting images are crisp, sharp, and beautifully contrasty. You’ll honestly be surprised at the image quality.
Its predecessor – the OM-D E-M10 Mark II – became famous for some of the best image quality, IBIS, and other advanced functions packed into a camera that fits in a pocket.
The OM-D E-M10 III adds to these features with more autofocus points, 4K video, and the TruePic VIII engine taken from the more advanced OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
For such a small micro four thirds camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III handles beautifully. Aperture and shutter speed can be easily adjusted with manual dials. The touchscreen has both a lightning-fast touch-shutter and touch-focus, so is an easy upgrade for smartphone users and tons of fun to use.
Overall, it feels nice in the hand and is fun to work with, both in auto and in manual, with autofocus speeds that rival much more expensive cameras.
The 4K video on the M10 III is particularly superb. It comes with a combination of both mechanical and digital stabilization, creating almost gimbal-like footage.
Video recording options include 30, 25 and 24fps. There’s also IPB compression recording at 102Mbps.
The one thing that can sometimes get in the way is the inconsistent autofocus. It often performs well, but can at times be rather indecisive in lower light.
While the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III is considered an entry level mirrorless camera because of its low price (under $500), it functions much more like a mid-level camera.
It might not have the specs of any rival mirrorless camera, but image quality is right up there with other comparable cameras.
Additionally, its weight, size, and especially the size of its lenses makes it exquisitely portable and easily one of the best mirrorless cameras for those who need to travel light. It’s also ideal for smartphone upgraders looking for a compact, DSLR-like experience.
👍🏼: Stylish, compact body | Weather-sealed | 5-axis image stabilization | Incredibly smooth video footage | Surprisingly good ergonomics | Wi-fi connectivity
👎🏼: Only 16 MP | Harsh JPEG sharpening | No USB charging | Autofocus could be better
Mirrorless Camera FAQ
Why are Mirrorless Cameras Better than DSLRs?
These days, many mirrorless cameras perform as well or better than DSLRs in just about every category.
DSLRs still outperform most mirrorless options in battery life and a few other areas, but in autofocus, burst speeds, and overall read times, many mirrorless cameras are far superior.
Another bonus is that the mirrorless format generally much smaller and lighter bodies and lenses than their DSLR counterparts, yet have image quality that is definitely comparable (if not better). They’re also often more affordable as well.
Mirrorless cameras also have an electronic viewfinder, which can display a lot more information than an optical viewfinder. The image on the screen is what the camera will capture, so you can easily dial in your exposure settings. This makes shooting in manual a total breeze!
For wedding photographers and other event photographers, there’s also the option of totally silent shooting, something likely to become the industry standard.
Lastly, mirrorless cameras, being newer on the market, often have more features than DSLRs. The newer models are some of the best cameras out there right now, with even medium format options available.
Overall, mirrorless is definitely the way of the future – see more in our mirrorless vs DSLR guide.
Are Mirrorless Cameras Good for Beginners?
Mirrorless cameras are excellent for beginners. Shooting in manual mode is especially easy, as the LCD screen and electronic viewfinder show you what each change in exposure will do to your image.
With DSLRs there’s a lot more guesswork, even with a histogram and light meter.
Another way mirrorless cameras are good for beginners is that many have LCD touch screens that have similar controls as smartphones, so if you like pinching and swiping you’ll have an easier time getting used to your new camera.
Also, smartphones that are best for photography can often cost more than $1,000. You can buy a good entry level mirrorless camera for half of that, begin building your lens system, and then upgrade cameras when you’re ready.
All the time you’ll be learning how to take pro photos while getting image quality unmatched by your smartphone.
Which Mirrorless Camera Takes the Best Pictures?
All of the mirrorless cameras in this list take excellent pictures. For the best image quality though, you’ll want to pay attention both to the sensor size and the quality of the lens you’re using. (The megapixel count isn’t as important as most people think.)
The larger the sensor size, the more information gathered by your camera and the better the image quality.
That’s why cameras with full frame and medium format sensors take such amazing pictures, especially in low-light conditions (in this list that’s the Sony a7III, Sony a7RIV, Nikon Z6, and Canon EOS RP).
On top of that, it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of the lenses you’re using. Here’s where you usually get what you pay for.
In fact, if you have a mirrorless camera with a super high megapixel count (i.e. greater than 24MP) but are using a cheap lens, you’ll often have a hard time getting your photos super sharp.
Other things to look out for are what kind of photos you want to take. For example, if you’re doing sports photography, you’ll want a camera with fast autofocus that performs well in burst mode.
If you’re doing mostly landscapes, a camera with a high megapixel count – like the Sony a7RIV – will get you the best results.
In the end, it will depend mostly on your budget and what you want the camera for.
Despite fierce competition in 2020, the a7III is still on top. Unrivaled performance at a great price.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.
Usnea Lebendig is a travel and landscape photographer who loves trekking in the wilderness, exploring other cultures, and using photography for social activism.