Best Mirrorless Cameras

best mirrorless cameras of 2019 Shotkit article title graphic
3K Shares

If you’re researching the best mirrorless cameras of the year, you’re definitely not the only one. In 2019, their popularity is growing faster than ever.

Each day another photographer somewhere in the world is switching systems, or starting off their photography journey with one of these remarkable camera bodies.

Mirrorless cameras offer the very latest technology in a more compact package than DSLRs, often at more competitive prices.

shk-fs-table__imageSony a7III Despite fierce competition and newer releases, the a7III is still on top. Unrivalled performance at a great price. It's the camera I use :-)View Price

State-of-the-art technology like electronic view finders (EVF), leaf shutters, complete AF area coverage and in-camera stabilization, are just a few of benefits of mirrorless cameras, that can make photography easier and more fun.

I’m a happy user of a MILC (mirrorless interchangeable lens camera), and recommend them to all beginners and professional photographers alike.

Let’s have a look at the best mirrorless cameras of 2019

Best Mirrorless Cameras of September 2019

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imageSony a7IIIBEST ALL ROUND
  • Best Auto-Focus
  • Amazing Low Light Performance
  • Flexibile Customisations
  • Compact Body
Check Latest Price
shk2-table__imageFujifilm X-T3HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
  • Great Auto-Focus
  • Fast Frame Rate
  • Beautiful Colours
  • Great Lens Selection
Check Latest Price
shk2-table__imageSony a6400BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
  • Incredible Auto-Focus
  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Front Facing Touchscreen
  • Real-time AF Features
Check Latest Price
shk2-table__imageFujifilm X-T20BEST BUDGET
  • Great Film Simulations
  • Versatile Auto-Focus
  • Tilting Touchscreen
  • Great Lens Selection
Check Latest Price
shk2-table__imageSony a6000MOST POPULAR
  • Great Value for Money
  • Great Auto-Focus
  • Good Lens Selection
  • Compact & Lightweight
Check Latest Price
shk2-table__imagePanasonic GH5BEST FOR VIDEO
  • Great Value for Money
  • Incredible Detail & Depth
  • Impressive Image Stabilisation
  • Weather Sealed
Check Latest Price

Let’s just jump right in to the good stuff. Each mirrorless camera listed below well and truly deserves its place in this review.

I’ve included the Nikon and Canon bodies that weren’t in my ‘best of the best’ table above, as I appreciate that a lot of photographers reading this will still be interested in their abilities.

Sony a7III

Sony a7III best mirrorless camera of 2019

Megapixels: 24.3
Sensor Size: Full Frame (35 mm)
Weight: 653 g (23 oz)

Click here for the latest price

It may not be the newest camera on the block, but the Sony a7III still the best full frame mirrorless camera in 2019.

Most of the talk in the mirrorless industry last year revolved around Sony, with their the Sony a9 stealing headlines with its crazy speed initially, then the Sony a7R III leaving photographers’ jaws dropped with its enormous megapixel count.

[Related: See the full Sony a7 III review]

However, there’s one big problem that caused photographers to hesitate in their purchases – both the flagship Sony full frame a-series bodies are expensive, and as such, pigeon-hole their usage predominantly to pros or wealthy amateurs.

However, with the release of the Sony a7III in early 2018, this class-leading technology has been brought to the masses for a surprisingly affordable price (see latest discounts).

After 10+ years of using DSLRs, this is the camera that provoked me to switch to a mirrorless system.

I’ve used it for over a year for my wedding photography, and made the video below about my thoughts, including some quirks that you should be aware of.

So what does the Sony a7III bring to the table? Well, in true Sony style, everything but the kitchen-sink…

It all revolves around that glorious Sony 24.2 MP BSI full frame image sensor, which produces sharp, vivid and contrasty JPEGs and RAW files with acres of dynamic range.

Then there’s the ISO, which ranges from 50 all the way up to 204,800. I find that at ISO 6400, images are impressively clean, and the noise only creeps in slightly at ISO 12,800.

You can even get respectable images at ISO 51,200, which is actually even better than the Sony a7R III (which costs almost 1.5x the price).

This ability to shoot in near-complete-darkness makes the Sony a7III a firm favourite for wedding photographers. Other cameras may have similar high ISO ability, but the Sony takes it a step further with its incredible low light auto-focus capabilities.

The Sony a7III offers 693 phase-detection AF points with 93% image coverage. By comparison, the Fujifilm X-T3 ‘only’ offers 425 AF points, with 91% coverage.

Then there’s touchscreen LCD (admittedly with rather limited functionality), extended battery life (approx.. 700 shots), dual memory card slots, Enhanced Eye-AF, 5 axis image stabilization, Wifi NFC and Bluetooth, and more customisable buttons than you can shake a stick at.

In practice, I can get around 1,000 shots from one battery, which is pretty much the same as I got with my DSLR. This is really impressive, and one of the big reasons so many wedding photographers chose the a7III over any of the other full frame mirrorless bodies on the market this year.

That Eye-AF deserves a special mention for being the most mind-blowing tech to reach a digital camera in the past few years – the way that it finds and locks on to a subject’s eye (even when they’re wearing sunglasses) is incredibly useful for any photographer who shoots people.

The Eye-AF is another reason the a7III has been voted the best mirrorless camera for wedding photography. Capturing the bride and groom walking towards the camera in poor light has never been so simple.

Sony EYE AF

Sony’s Eye AF locks onto the subject’s eye in a scene with eery precision – my son was moving fast in this photo!

Another big reason that Sony a7III is still number one in 2019, despite much newer mirrorless camera releases, is an impressive firmware update, which we can assume is one of several in the pipeline for Sony shooters.

Firmware v3.0 brings the enhanced (and frankly mind-blowing) Real-time Eye AE performance to the a7III, available in AF-C mode with a simple half-press of the shutter button. This will work on both humans and animals!

The huge update also brings interval recording functionality, allowing the creation of simple time-lapse movies. AE tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted during interval recording, allowing for reduced changes in exposure over the shooting interval.

Another exciting new developing is the Imaging Edge software, to enhance mobile connectivity and expand the creative capabilities of the entire Sony mirrorless range.

Sony is taking a leaf out of Fujifilm’s book, releasing relevant firmware updates that add useful features to existing bodies, thus prolonging their relevance over time.

So why would I recommend the Fujifilm X-T3 as a viable competitor to this Sony, which seems to be extending its reign as the king of mirrorless?

Well, the 4 things that annoy me about my Sony a7III may be small, but are certainly worth mentioning – first off, the Sony menu system is a mess. Then there’s the ergonomics, which aren’t great (especially when compared to the Nikon and Canon mirrorless bodies).

Another thing is Sony’s colour science, which seems to be still trailing behind the other brands – skin tones just don’t look as nice straight out of camera.

Finally, and this is a strange one – the super-advanced technology in the Sony a7III make it so much easier for you to take photos, that it becomes… dare I say it, rather boring! (Some might say, effortless.)

This is true with all mirrorless cameras to some extent, but with the Sony it’s even more the case – sometimes I feel like I’m shooting with a computer, not a camera. The experience is a lot less fun than when using the X-T3.

However, I’m not complaining too much – the bottom line is, the Sony a7III makes it easier for me to do my job, and it definitely feels like the future of photography.

Despite being over a year old, the Sony a7III is still the best mirrorless camera for professionals in 2019, and one that I’d comfortably recommend to amateurs willing to invest in their passion.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE SONY A7III

Fujifilm X-T3

fujifilm xt3

Megapixels: 26.1
Sensor Size: APS-C (23.6mm x 15.6mm)
Weight: 539g (19 oz)

Click here for the latest price

If you’re looking for a less expensive option, yet one that can (almost) go head-to-head with the A7 III in many respects, then the Fujifilm X-T3 is the camera for you.

This third generation release has leapt light years beyond its predecessor, the excellent X-T2 (reviewed here), yet keeps the classic, retro-looking Fuji design. Available in black/silver, or all-black, this is one of the sexiest cameras you’ll see.

What’s improved most importantly of all on version 3 is the autofocus system (now one of the best on the mirrorless market alongside the A7 III), as well as its video capabilities, among other things.

The autofocus on the Fujifilm X-T3 is fast and accurate, and rarely leaves room for complaint. It’s not only far better than the already decent X-T2, it’s almost on par with the Sony a7III. Most of the time you won’t even be able to tell the difference.

Fujifilm_XT3_Review_02

Fujifilm X-T3 Sample JPEG | Bhagi Siva

Like the Sony A7 III, the X-T3 has face and eye detection, with the additional control of being able to choose the left or right eye, something that can be particularly helpful with portraits. It works so well in fact that I was able to shoot an entire video of our two hyper active boys playing and it never skipped a beat!

The continuous AF is stellar as well, with continuous shooting rates of up to 30 fps (electronic) without an additional camera grip – yes that’s right, THIRTY frames per second. Sounds like we’re talking about film, right?! It also has a blackout-free live view when shooting bursts – something the Nikons/Canon struggle with.

It’s in the video department though, that the Fujifilm X-T3 really shines. With 4K and DCI up to 60fps, and 10-bit internal recording, this gives it an edge for filmmakers and others who rely on accurate/flexible colour grading – it’s definitely the hybrid camera of the year.

Beyond that, it pretty much matches the Sony A7 III in all other video aspects (except for the benefits that a full frame sensor can give you, like slightly better performance in low light, and shallower depth of field).

On the topic of APS-C vs full frame, there will always be those photographers who turn their noses up at any APS-C sensor camera – I should know, as I was one of them!

Truth be told, a full frame sensor will usually out perform a sensor of a smaller size (i.e. APS-C in this case), but only in a small handful of situations.

That said, Fujifilm has always stuck by APS-C, and are without doubt the leaders in the crop-sensor arena, pushing the boundaries with every new camera release.

Cameras like the Fujifilm X-T3 are as close as you can get to full frame performance out of an APS-C sensor… and even exhibit numerous benefits over full frame.

I won’t go any deeper into the crop vs full frame debate here, but just remember – if you’re a full frame snob, this camera is different! You’re going to be seriously impressed.

Back to the review…

For those who like a more intuitive interface, the X-T3 shines here as well. Fuji’s trademark exposure control buttons definitely appeal to those not wanting to visit the menu for everything, and the tactile dials are as beautiful as they are functional.

Speaking of menus, the X-T3’s menu system is far easier to navigate than the Sony A7 III’s – way more intuitive and user-friendly, and frankly, just makes a lot more sense.

Fujifilm_XT3_Review_04

The Fujifilm X-T3 autofocus is impressive | Bhagi Siva

Other features that impressed me include the razor-sharp, fluid EVF that’s simply a joy to look through; a tally light so you always know if you are recording or not; and a completely silent shooting mode – an end to people turning their heads to look at you when the shutter clicks!

Of course, you also get the uniquely beautiful Fujifilm toning, colour and grain.

There’s something about this camera that just feels good. The dials, the look, the visuals… it’s really different to any other camera out there, and world’s away from the clunky Sony bodies.

Oh, and then there’s the weather-proofing – check out the video below of me being cheeky with an X-T2, which has much the same water-sealing as its successor – I bet the Sony wouldn’t be able to handle this!

So how about the cons? Well, the Fujifilm X-T3 lacks an in-camera image stabilisation system, which means that serious video shooters will need a gimbal. For us stills shooters, we can still take advantage of Fujifilm’s range of stabilised lenses, so all is not lost.

Then there’s the lacklustre battery life of approximately 3~500 shots per charge, and a grip that’s still rather small for larger hands/lenses.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the X-T3’s ISO (native 160 to ISO 12800 with the option to extend it down to 80 or up to 51200) isn’t quite in the same ballpark as the A7 III’s normal range of 100 to 51200 ISO, extendable to 50 (low) or 204800 (high), but this is down to sensor-size… cue full frame snobs!

In most normal situations, you won’t notice the difference in high ISO performance between the Fujifilm X-T3 and other full frame mirrorless cameras. It’s really quite remarkable what Fujifilm has managed to do with this sensor.

Even with all these minor niggles in mind, the X-T3 remains one of the best-performing and most versatile cameras on the market.

If you’re a hybrid photographer/videographer in particular, it’s an affordable way to get professional quality images and video, and is a true pleasure to use. Highly recommended!

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE FUJIFILM XT-3

Canon EOS R

Canon_EOS_R

Finally! A Canon full frame mirrorless camera | Image: Dustin Baker

Megapixels: 30.3
Sensor Size: Full frame (36 x 24 mm CMOS)
Weight: 660 g (23.28 oz)

Click here for the latest price

If you’re a Canon lover and have been waiting for the right time to switch to mirrorless, you’re probably over the moon that Canon is finally offering its first full frame mirrorless, the Canon EOS R… but can it really go head-to-head with the Sony A7 III?

In some cases, the answer is a resounding yes. However, as always, it depends on what you want to use it for.

If you’re used to shooting with a DSLR, then you’ll probably love the Canon EOS R’s build: its basically a slimmed-down version of a DSLR.

This is great in some respects, as the grip is definitely firmer and feels better to the hand than the A7 III, and the buttons are beefier, giving one a clear tactile sensation when being pressed. The flipside, though, is that the EOS R is a bit bulkier.

Personally I much prefer to hold a slightly bigger camera with better ergonomics like the EOS R, than a smaller one like the Sony A7III. The weight of both bodies is pretty much identical too, and if you’re going to chuck your camera in your backpack anyway, the slight size difference is negligible.

One of the huge advantages of investing in the EOS R system is the fact that all existing Canon lenses work so well with it, when using the surprisingly low-priced EF-EOS R adapter. Iconic Canon L glass such as the 85mm f/1.2L, which are notoriously slow/inaccurate to focus wide open, take on a new leap of life when attached to the advanced camera body of the Canon EOS R.

This is without doubt the main reason of choosing this full frame Canon mirrorless camera over any other brand:

Canon’s existing lens selection is second to none, and the EOS R manages to squeeze out even higher performance from every lens, whether new or old.

So while there are only four native lenses to go with the R mount right now, it’s definitely not an issue.

Of course, technically, all the existing Canon lenses can work on the A7 III by means of an 3rd party adapter, but it’s a rather half-baked affair. Since the lenses are non-native, Sony has limited involvement (if any?!) in their testing and compliance with Sony bodies.

I always advocate the use of native Sony lenses (or e-mount Sigma lenses) with Sony bodies, wherever possible.

Canon EOS R sample JPG | Image: Trent Gillespie

The R-mount lenses that Canon offers are expensive, but worth the price. If these are the starting lenses, then we can all see Canon’s intention with the R system.

They’re remarkably sharp, have a unique look, and they have something that the Sony lenses don’t have – character. The Canon 50mm f/1.2 in particular is a joy to use, and produces the kind of bokeh that Nikon shooters can only dream about!

As far as stills photography is concerned, with 30.1 megapixels the EOS R absolutely excels at detail. As for its autofocus system, it isn’t quite up to par with the A7 III, but still works great – even with the EOS R’s superior autofocus point count, the AF system on the A7 III still has it beat.

The difference can most clearly be seen in continuous shooting mode, where the EOS R is also considerably slower in frames per second: 8fps with no AF, and only 2-4 with AF (in actual shooting). In contrast, the A7 III goes a full 10fps in AF, so if you’re into fast action shooting, the Canon EOS R is probably not right for you.

If you’re a pro wedding/fashion photographer who likes to use the eye detection feature, the EOS R’s isn’t quite there yet, at least not in continual autofocus mode. It’s too slow and often not quite accurate – we all have our fingers crossed for the next firmware update to bring this up to speed.

For everyone else who doesn’t need that level of precision, though, the face/eye recognition does work well enough, especially in single autofocus mode. (Also, if you’re a wedding photographer, note that the silent shooting only works in single shutter mode, which is a shame.)

The ISO on the Canon EOS R is impressive, much like the 5D Mark IV: a normal sensitivity range of 100 to 40000 ISO. It also has an extended Low mode (ISO 50 equivalent) and two H modes that push the values to 51200 and 102400 ISO. This isn’t as sensitive as the A7 III, but it’s still formidable, and most photographers rarely even touch those upper echelons of night-vision anyway!

Another key factor to take note of is that there’s no internal sensor stabilisation in the EOS R. However, all the native R lenses come with in-built stabilisation, so this may not be a factor at all. In fact, we found that at long exposures, the Canon RF 24–105mm f/4‘s stabilisation performed better than the IS in the A7 III. (Night shots at around 2 seconds actually came out sharp handheld, which is incredible!)

One huge benefit for all those vloggers out there, is that the Canon EOS R has a forward facing flip-screen. Also, the video autofocus seems even better than the Sony A7 III’s, which was already pretty damn good.

Personally, I’d much prefer if the flippable screen could twist to a tilted state (horizontally) without having to flip it out to the left hand side first.

Being used to cameras such as the Nikon D750 with its easy-to-operate flip out screen makes the EOS R‘s ‘two-step’ version feel a bit clunky, when all you need to do is quickly shoot from the hip. However, this style of rotating screen is still a great aid when composing a shot with a tripod.

Canon EOS R is the first full frame mirrorless camera with a front flippable LCD screen | Image: Trent Gillespie

Like the A7 III, the EOS R shoots full width in 1080 and 50 frames per second. On the flip side though, there’s a 1.8x crop in 4k, 30fps max shooting speed, and a bad rolling shutter.

It has to be remembered though, that being able to smoothly edit 4k footage requires a powerful computer set up – I much prefer to shoot videos in 1080 for this reason, and the difference in image quality when viewed online is for the most part negligible.

Another thing to note in the video features of this camera, is that the slo-mo really isn’t up to scratch. It doesn’t record any sound, can only do 720p, and has no AF at all. That won’t matter for most of us, but if you’re someone who records slow motion regularly, best to go with the Sony or some other option.

Now, let’s tackle that elephant in the room. The Canon EOS R only has a single UHS-II SD card slot! SHOCK HORROR!!

The Internet has been set on fire by the ‘dual memory card slots or nothing’ crew, and while I do understand their grievances, it’s not all in vain.

There are a great many photographers out there who’ve never even experienced the safety net of a dual card slot camera body, and just as many who are quite happy to step back in time a few years when all cameras only had a single slot.

If you’re a studio or commercial photographer who shoots tethered, one slot won’t be an issue for you. Then there’s always the option of an infield backup to a portable backup drive like the excellent WD My Passport Wireless Pro.

You’ll have to decide for yourself if one slot is a deal breaker or not, but I do recommend you lower your guard a little – many great cameras only have one slot, and as long as you’re treating your memory cards well, the chances of a failure are greatly reduced.

While there are a number of features that don’t quite measure up to the excellent Sony A7 III (and it is obviously more expensive to boot – latest price here), if you’ve already invested in Canon lenses, the Canon EOS R is an excellent choice.

Honestly, Canon has arguably the best lenses in the world (no one ever said that about Sony!) I’m confident that the EOS R will only improve over time, especially with the firmware updates that are sure to come.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE CANON EOS R

Nikon Z6

Nikon-Z6

Megapixels: 24.5
Sensor Size: Full Frame (35 mm)
Weight: 675 g (1 lb 7.9 oz)

Click here for the latest price

Don’t worry Nikon lovers, you haven’t been left out. Nikon’s new Z6, the less expensive (and curiously, higher performing) version of the Z7, can still hold its own in this pack. It comes in at the same price point as the Sony A7 III and has many of the same features (including some that are actually better).

First off, the high-resolution electronic viewfinder will knock your socks off. With 3.69-million dots, it’s simply a joy to work with. In addition, unlike the A7 III, the touch screen is highly functional.

Similar to the D850 and the D5, the touch screen includes all the useful smartphone-like gestures that make it a lot of fun to use.

For me, the touch screen actually betters the EOS R as well. Just about anything you can do with buttons, you can do with the touch screen on the Z6.

It also inherits the same tilting LCD screen as the other Nikons with this feature – much simpler to operate than that of the EOS R, but doesn’t unfortunately flip to face forwards.

Nikon-Z6 screen

The flip/touchscreen on the Nikon Z6 is well implemented and genuinely useful.

Other important perks include Nikon’s 5-axis IS system, 12 fps burst shooting, and even more solid weather proofing than the others on this list.

As for video on the Z6, Nikon is finally turning the heads of videographers who were up to now firmly rooted in their Canon/Sony/Panasonic systems. Key features include the ability to record in 10-bit video when recording externally via the HDMI output, as well as the recent announcement of firmware that will allow support for the ProRes RAW codec, in addition to Nikon’s own N-Log format.

ProRes recording will require the ATOMOS Ninja V in order to output to that format, however.

As for its big brother the Nikon Z7, it was billed to be the mirrorless equivalent of the pro-D850. However, in my experience having shot with both cameras, it’s not even close.

The Z6’s autofocus is nowhere near the standards of the D850, but still performs reasonably well in most situations. The AF weak points are similar to those of the Canon EOS R, especially when you get into continuous shooting and low-light situations. (To be fair, the first generation Sony A7s had all the same weak points.)

Also, thanks to a firmware update, the Nikon Z series cameras will also feature Eye-AF – only time will tell if it’ll be on par with Sony’s offering, which is, quite frankly, akin to witchcraft!

The Z6 has better low light sensitivity and even faster performance (i.e. the fps). For landscape or commercial shooters who require more megapixels, I can see the attraction of the mammoth 45.7MP files out of the Nikon Z7, but for everyone else, the files are so large they become cumbersome in Lightroom.

How does the Nikon Z6 measure up against the Sony A7 III? Well in terms of image quality, very well actually.

They both have excellent dynamic range, with the Z6 actually being slightly better (ironic really seeing as the sensor is probably designed by Sony!).

The sensor size is virtually identical, with the Z6 having a little more resolution. ISO-wise, the Z6 is a bit more similar to the Canon, with banding occurring in low-light situations from ISO 3200 and up. The A7 III has some as well, but only at much higher ISOs.

The ergonomics of the Nikon Z6 are far superior to the Sony a7III, and on par with the Canon EOS R – nice, chunky grip and DSLR like feel.

If you’re looking for the smallest mirrorless camera, you’ll have to look elsewhere, but most photographers these days are willing to forego size advantages for excellent ergonomics, especially as most still use a dedicated camera bag to carry their gear anyway.

Nikon z6 vs sony a7iii

The Nikon Z6‘s body will feel more familiar to DSLR users than the Sony a7III

One thing that’s both a curse and a blessing for the Nikon Z6 is the burst rate of 12 frames per second. While that’s super fast (the A7 III is 8fps), it does seem a bit too fast for the its autofocus! It also fills up the rather sluggish buffer fairly quickly. (For me, it filled after just 15 shots at that burst rate in RAW.)

Luckily the XQD card writes fast and can clear the buffer fairly quickly.

Another annoying aspect (also shared with the Canon EOS R) is that there’s only one card slot. See above EOS R review for possible workarounds, and whether this is actually a non-issue…

For video, the 10-bit external recording is actually quite awesome and really puts the Z6 on par with some of the higher-end DSLRs. I also like that it has separate settings for both stills and video, something that’s particularly useful if you use your camera for both. Again, the autofocus isn’t up to Sony’s standards, but it’s at least as good as the live view on standard Nikon DSLRs.

For established Nikon users, the handling and menu functions will feel very familiar. Best of all, you can use all your Nikon’s F-Mount lenses with it (with the FTZ adapter).

This is an important factor, at least at the moment – the few kit lenses Nikon’s currently offering for both the Z6 and Z7 are definitely a bit lacklustre (the Canon R-mount lenses are much more expensive, but also currently outperform the kit lenses available for the Z6/Z7).

Should you buy the Nikon Z6? If you already have a good collection of Nikon lenses and are looking for an excellent full frame mirrorless camera, then yes! Compared to the Z7 (and even the EOS R), it’s at a really attractive price point too.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE NIKON Z6

If you’re on a Budget …

You can still take advantage of the technology and features of mirrorless cameras, even if you’re on a tighter budget… or you’re perhaps a beginner who doesn’t want to splash out too much on your first camera.

Mirrorless cameras are actually an excellent choice for beginners. As much as I love DSLR cameras, for beginners who can afford it, I usually recommend a mirrorless – bang for buck, you simply can’t get a camera that has so much useful technology and features crammed into it for such affordable prices.

For under $1,000, you can get a mirrorless camera which is far more technologically advanced than any other type of camera.

The criteria I used here is as follows: 1) price – both of body and subsequent lenses; 2) features – that are specifically useful for beginners; 3) ease of use.

Fujifilm X-T20

best mirrorless camera under 1000

Megapixels: 24.3
Sensor Size: APS-C (23.6mm x 15.6mm)
Weight: 383g (13.5oz)

Click here for the latest price

Fujifilm has a habit of releasing a pro body camera aimed at working professionals, then several months later releasing a smaller, more affordable model which shares many of the same features. Fujifilm’s aim is to market to all level of photographer, and what this means to us the consumer is that we have access to excellent cameras whatever our budget.

A few months after Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm X-T2 (reviewed here), it was inevitable that they would also announce a smaller, lighter and more affordable version – the Fujifilm X-T20.

Camera manufacturers must carefully decide what features to exclude from these cheaper models of camera, ensuring that they do not cannibalise sales of their flagship bodies.

Fortunately for us, the features that remain in the Fujifilm X-T20 make it a very appealing purchase for all levels of photographer.

Simply put, the Fujifilm X-T20 is a lot of XT-2 for a lot less money, and in my opinion, it’s still this year’s best mirrorless camera under $1,000. (Incidentally, you’ll struggle to get a great mirrorless camera under $500, so investing around a grand is a good decision.)

It’s amazing that this much technology can be packed into a camera at this price – comparing it to a similarly priced DSLR makes the DSLR look like a dinosaur!

[Locker] The locker [id=41054] doesn't exist or the default lockers were deleted.

Let’s start off with what’s similar between the X-T20 and the X-T2. The most important similarity is the 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, which delivers gorgeous, vibrant, clean and crisp images whether you shoot in RAW or JPEG.

Another welcome inclusion is the faster processor of the X-T2 on the Fujifilm X-T20, which means more responsive start up times, autofocus speeds, shutter lag time and shot-to-shot time – all in all, a large improvement on its predecessor the X-T10 which was no slouch by any means.

Battery life on Fuji mirrorless cameras has always been a weak point, but at least with the Fujifilm X-T20 you’ll get the same battery as the X-T2, which is at this point the best that Fuji can offer.

Expect around 350 shots per charge – a bit of a joke when compared to dSLRs, but that’s what you need to expect when using a camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) and other battery zapping technology.

The EVF is a huge advantage of mirrorless cameras over DSLRs, and allows you to see the exact exposure of your scene before you take the photo.

This is a great time-saver, and helps photographers better understand the effect of ISO, shutter speed and aperture on the final exposure (since changing each setting allows you to see the outcome right away in the EVF – a huge benefit of mirrorless cameras).

fuji-x-t20-back

Perhaps the best feature of the Fujifilm X-T20 is its class-leading autofocus at this price point, also borrowed from its big brother the X-T2.

325 selectable AF points is a massive increase from its predecessor (the X-T10 had 49), with the points covering the majority of the frame.

In addition, continuous AF fine-tuning means that when paired with a fast focusing Fuji lens, you’ll benefit from continuous autofocus on par with flagship dSLRs costing 3x the price.

Touchscreens should be standard on all mirrorless cameras in 2019, and luckily the Fujifilm X-T20 has one that won’t disappoint. You can set the focus point and shoot just by touching the screen, allowing for angles and moments that you may have missed otherwise.

You might be wondering why I’m not recommending the newer Fujifilm X-T100 in this list, especially with its front-facing touch screen LCD – the first for Fujifilm.

Well despite the image quality which is excellent as you’d expect from the big F, AF performance and general handling is rather lacklustre – perhaps more in keeping with its ‘entry-level’ pricing.

best mirrorless cameras in 2018 - fuji

Fujifilm X-T20 unedited JPEG

In terms of what’s missing from the Fujifilm X-T20 when compared to the X-T2 andc 3 (apart from the large price tag, of course!), there are several differences that aren’t particularly relevant to the average shooter (e.g. shallower buffer depth, customizable AF setting etc.)

Most of these differences revolve around the lack of an optional battery grip for the Fujifilm X-T20, but it’s safe to assume that only a small percentage of X-T2/3 users would actually invest in the pricey grip anyway.

The small camera body coupled with one of the compact Fujifilm lenses makes a great combination for travel photography, or any pursuit that requires a small gear footprint.

The Fujifilm X-T20 had to compromise a little with buttons and dials due to its reduced size. There’s also no weather sealing, no dual SD card slots and a smaller OLED viewfinder on the Fujifilm X-T20 when compared to the X-T2/3.

I think it’s safe to say that the ‘missing’ features of the Fujifilm X-T20 from its big brother are insignificant for most photographers.

This is a camera that costs half the price of the flagship X-T3, whilst still featuring a lot of the features and functionality that truly matter.

Yes, the X-T3 has a newly improved sensor with greater dynamic range and high ISO capabilities, but you need to ask yourself if any of that is really relevant for your photography. Unless you’re a pro who may rely on squeezing the most out of an APS-C sensor, I doubt it.

fujifilm xt20 sample image

Fujifilm X-T20 + Fuji 35mm f/1.4R | Image: Mark Maya

Make no mistake – the Fujifilm X-T20 is an absolute bargain of a camera and a great balance of size to pro-grade performance. I even went as far as naming the Fuji one of the best travel cameras, and I think it well deserves its title as best mirrorless under $1,000 too.

Best of all, you can pick up the Fujifilm X-T20 in a selection of competitively priced kits – my recommendation is this Fujifilm X-T20 + 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens kit for those who want a great all-round set up for most situations. Then I’d recommend a fast prime lens, like the impressive 23mm f/2.

If you want the body only, click the button below for the latest price and select between an all black body or silver/black.

In both colourways it looks and feels sexy. Fujifilm are still the leaders in making cameras that are inspiring to hold and shoot.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE FUJIFILM X-T20

Sony A6000

best mirrorless camera for beginners

Megapixels: 24.3
Sensor Size: APS-C (23.6mm x 15.6mm)
Weight: 468g (16.5oz)

Click here for the latest price

You may be wondering why I’m recommending a mirrorless camera released in 2014.

There are several newer models than the Sony A6000, but the fact remains – the Sony A6000 is the best-selling mirrorless camera of all time… and that fact doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon.

I spent a month shooting with the Sony a6000 last year – you can see my full review here – and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The price of the a6000 has fallen considerably since its launch, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Other camera brands are still struggling to offer a mirrorless camera with similar features for such an affordable price (check the latest price here).

Sony got rid of the more familiar ‘NEX’ branding with the launch of the Sony A6000, and with it, marked a new era in its APS-C format of affordable, capable mirrorless cameras which can fit in your coat pocket.

Sony a6000 mirrorless camera

Sony a6000 of world-class adventure photographer Chris Burkard

I’m still impressed by this little camera, and don’t hesitate in recommending it to both beginners and more experienced photographers who want a great quality camera at an amazing price.

Another bonus is that Sony E-mount lenses are typically cheaper than comparable Fujifilm lenses, which is another plus for a beginner.

The 16-50mm lens that comes with this bundle is great value for money, or you can check out my list of the best lenses for the Sony A6000 if you want really want to make the most of what this camera is capable of.

One of the best features of the Sony A6000 for beginners is the advanced 179-point Hybrid autofocus system that covers 92% of the frame – coupled with machine-gun like 11 frames-per-second and impressive continuous auto-focus tracking, it’s pretty hard to miss a shot with this camera!

Due to the small size of most mirrorless cameras, selecting focus points with small buttons can be a little fiddly, especially if you have large hands like I do.

Thankfully, with the incredible auto-focus of the Sony A6000, you can rely completely on the camera selecting, locking on, and shooting your subject (several times) in a millisecond.

Also, the small size of the A600 is a huge plus when you carry a camera all day long – depending on the lens you have on the end of it, you’ll probably not even need to use a camera strap – the body is so light and easy to palm, and you could even squeeze it into a jacket pocket.

Sony a6000 mirrorless camera sample image

The discreetness of the Sony a6000 makes it great for travel photographers | Image: Eduardo Teixeira de Sousa

Beginners tend to compose photos with the subject in the dead-centre of the frame, which is perfectly fine of course. After a while though, it’s fun to experiment with off-centre compositions, and having focus points that extend the edges of the frame is really useful. There’s no DSLR that can offer anything close to this kind of coverage.

Beginners will often only have had photography experience using their smart phones. The latest phones can take amazing photos, so it stands to reason that a camera needs to have much better image quality than a phone to be worthy of being used. Thankfully, the image quality of the Sony A6000 is very impressive indeed.

The 24.3 megapixel Sony sensor delivers impressive dynamic range, especially for an APS-C sensor camera. If you’re a beginner photographer reading this, dynamic range refers to the variation from the brightest to the darkest areas of a photo – in general, the more range that’s recorded, the more life-like the scene.

Beginners will tend to prefer to stick to JPEG format photos for simplicity (no need to edit them on the computer). The JPEGs out of the Sony A6000 are great, with realistic colours and accurate white balance.

Images are also sharp, but not to the point of looking ‘crispy’, which is the case with some smart phone images.

Sony a6000 sample JPEG | Eduardo Teixeira de Sousa

Great colours and dynamic range from the Sony a6000 | Image: Eduardo Teixeira de Sousa

As beginners progress and want to experiment with the flexibility of the RAW format, the broad dynamic range allows for some fun in Lightroom, recovering highlights and shadows, or simply giving more ‘punch’ to an image.

Another reason I’m calling the Sony A6000 the best budget mirrorless camera for beginners is its ergonomics, or more specifically, its dials.

One of my peeves with entry level DSLRs is the lack of a second dial for adjustments. The Sony A6000 on the other hand features 3 dials – one on the top to select camera mode; another to change settings; and a final one on the back to adjust other settings – much like pro-grade Canon DSLRs.

This is great for beginners who have access to every automatic and manual setting with a twist of a dial, as opposed to holding a button and rotating a dial (like on most cheap cameras), or digging around in menus. Muscle-memory comes much quicker with dedicated dials, allowing you to focus on the moment rather than on the tool.

Another thing I love about the Sony A6000 is the 3″ tilting LCD screen, which really opens the door to creativity (not to mention saving your back/neck!) I just wish it was a front-facing screen (like on the a6400), which would make it perfect for vlogging!

As for the main annoyance I have with this camera, or rather most Sony mirrorless cameras in general, the menu system is rather convoluted. This is in part due to the sheer number of customization options available, which is rather overwhelming at first.

However, once you’ve spent some time setting up the Sony A6000, there’s really no need to keep accessing the menu, especially since all the main functions are accessible via the physical buttons and dials.

If you’re a beginner photographer, or simply someone who wants a great value for money camera packed with the latest technology, the Sony A6000 is really hard to beat. If you want to hit the ground running, I recommend going for this camera+lens bundle to start with.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE SONY A6000

Medium Format

Let’s be honest here – not many photographers will be reading this section of my review!

While the price of digital medium format has come down significantly in recent years, this type of camera is still out of reach for everyone other than serious professionals and wealthy amateurs.

2019 will be an exciting year for medium format, with Fujifilm releasing the range-finder-esque GFX 50R, and the formidable GFX 100, with its 100 megapixels.

Until then, let’s have a look at your best value option… if you’ve got the cashola ;-)

Hasselblad X1D 50c

Hasselblad-X1D-50c-review

Megapixels: 50
Sensor Size: Medium Format (44 x 33 mm)
Weight: 725g (25.6 oz)

Click here for the latest price

If you’ve made it this far down the list, you’ve obviously got money to burn! Make no mistake, the Hasselblad X1D 50c is the absolute Rolls Royce of mirrorless cameras, and arguably the best for portrait photographers who put a price on world-class image quality.

Let’s ignore the price for one moment and have a think about what we’re talking about here – it’s a digital camera with a world-class sensor that’s almost twice the size of a full frame (35mm) camera, in a smaller, lighter package than most flagship DSLRs.

The Hasselblad X1D 50c only really has one competitor right now, and that’s the other mirrorless medium format camera, the Fujfilm GFX 50S. It’s cheaper, has an expanding range of more affordable lenses, and is also an astounding mirrorless camera for portraits, but the Hasselblad X1D 50c is simply a better camera.

Hasselblad X1D - sample photo

Hasselblad X1D 50c sample JPEG | Image: Rick Birt

We shouldn’t really be judging a camera on its looks, but it’s hard to ignore the sheer beauty of this Hasselblad.

For a camera that’s packed with so much technology, its minimalist aluminium body (handmade in Sweden no less) is a pleasure to hold, and the few buttons and dials that it does have feel incredible.

The Hasselblad X1D 50c with a lens attached is roughly the same size and weight of a pro-grade DSLR + prime lens, so it’s easy to forget that you’re shooting a medium format camera, and will leave you wanting more from the shooting performance initially at least.

The auto focus is similar to an entry-level DSLR – not fast, but not too slow either. Following the most recent firmware update, you can now use the touchscreen rear LCD to move the focus point by dragging your finger around it, which feels intuitive and fast.

Unlike most of the other cameras in this list, the menu system of the Hasselblad X1D 50c is very simple to use. This is partly due to the fact that there really aren’t that many features of the camera – this is a mirrorless camera that’s been built to do one thing and to do it really well – take incredible images.

The image quality is simply breathtaking – sharp, detailed, rich, contrasty, smooth – basically every adjective usually associated with a medium format digital camera!

Hasselblad X1D 50c best mirrorless camera for portrait photography

Hasselblad X1D 50c sample JPEG | Image: Rick Birt

The 50 mega pixel CMOS sensor produces realistic skin tones that simply can’t be matched. The enormous dynamic range offers smooth, noise free gradiation from light to dark tones which surpass a digital image, reminiscent of a film medium format camera.

If you can afford the Hasselblad X1D 50c and can take advantage of its resolution and image quality in your work, it’s actually great value for money when compared to other medium format cameras.

Just remember that the price is for the body only, and you may have to keep selling off your vital organs to pay for the Hasselblad XCD lenses too ;-)

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE HASSELBLAD X1D 50c

Buyer’s Guide | Top Picks Compared

Sony a7III vs. Fujifilm X-T3

comparison of Sony a7III vs Fuji X-T3

Sony and Fujifilm have had a massive head-start on the mirrorless game, and it certainly shows.

Deciding between Sony and Fujifilm used to be a bit easier – you either needed a full frame sensor or you didn’t.

Here in 2019 with the incredible Fujifilm X-T3, the case for full frame is simply not as strong.

As a regular Sony a7III user, I was blown away by the imaging capabilities of the X-T3. I still can’t believe that a sensor 2.5x smaller (APS-C vs 35mm full frame) can resolve as much dynamic range and produce such high quality images at high ISOs.

With regards to image quality and flexibility in post production, there’s negligible difference between the top two cameras… despite the difference in sensor size.

I’ll help you make the decision of what mirrorless camera to buy with a quick Sony a7III vs Fujifilm X-T3 comparison run-down.

Don’t think in terms of full frame vs APS-C – there are specific features when deciding which camera is right for you.

Who should buy the Sony a7III
  • You need the best battery life out of any mirrorless camera
  • You need in-body image stabilisation
  • You need the absolute best low light performance
  • You need the absolute best auto-focus performance
  • You need more customisable buttons
  • You need dual memory card slots
  • You need shallower depth of field (than the equivalent Fuji lenses)
  • You need wider angles (no 1.5x crop)
  • You want to use more 3rd party lenses
Who should buy the Fujifilm X-T3
  • You need the best straight out of camera JPEGS
  • You need beautiful film presets
  • You need 4k up to 60fps video (vs 30fps on the Sony)
  • You need 10-bit video for 64x more colour depth than Sony’s 8-bit
  • You need light-weight (539g vs 650g)
  • You need a vertical flip out screen
  • You need dual memory card slots
  • You need blackout-free live view shooting
  • You’re on a stricter budget (for the body and lenses)
  • You need longer lenses (thanks to 1.5x crop)
  • You want a more enjoyable/good-looking camera

Summary

The Sony a7III is still our number one all round choice for stills shooters. (Its video capabilities are excellent, but the X-T3 is a better all round hybrid camera.)

Every photographer’s needs are different, but I’d go as far as to say that the a7III is the best mirrorless camera for professionals (and amateurs willing to invest in their hobby).

With recent firmware updates (in April 2019, the addition of class-leading real-time AF functionality),  as well as more shooting options via the Imaging Edge software, Sony is still one step ahead of Fuji… albeit a small step.

The main reasons to choose the Fujifilm X-T3 over the Sony, are

1) the excellent Fujifilm lenses, which are cheaper, offer arguably better image character, and are smaller/lighter than the equivalent Sony offerings;

2) the great film simulation modes for beautiful straight-out-of-camera JPEGS and movie footage;

3) the all-round ‘fun-factor’ of such a beautiful and well designed camera body.

The retro-inspired Fujifilm X-T3 is simply more of a joy to use than the Sony a7III, which in comparison is rather soulless, akin to holding a mini-computer!

2. Nikon Z6 vs. Canon EOS-R

comparison of Canon EOS R vs Nikon Z6

Looking at my recommendations above, you may be wondering where the Nikon and Canon mirrorless cameras are hiding.

2018 was a huge year for the two camera giants, but unfortunately, their first steps into the full frame mirrorless arena didn’t create the ground-tremors many were hoping for.

While the Nikon Z-series and the Canon EOS-R are amazing cameras in their own right, they’re simply not on the same playing field as the X-T3 and a7III.

Rather than being a big step forward from their flagship DSLRs, the recent Canon/Nikon mirrorless releases are more like mirrorless versions of those same DSLRs – they take advantage of typical mirrorless camera features like an EVF, wider AF coverage and lighter bodies, but they don’t push the needle any further.

Having said that, I’d still recommend the Canon/Nikon mirrorless bodies over their DSLR equivalents, and if you’re a fan of Canon’s superior lens selection, the Canon EOS R is still a solid choice, even over Sony and Fujifilm.

(If you’re already invested in Nikon’s lenses, I’d recommend the Nikon Z6 over the Z7. It’s much better value, and offers better performance, especially if you don’t care for huge file sizes.)

I’m confident that with firmware updates and second generation body releases, the gap between Nikon/Canon and Sony/Fujifilm mirrorless camera bodies can be narrowed.

Who should buy the Canon EOS R
  • You’re already invested in Canon EF lenses
  • You need the widest lens selection (via adapted EF lenses)
  • You want the best lens character (both RF and EF lenses)
  • You want the best colour science
  • You want better AF performance from your old Canon lenses
  • You want better AF performance than the Canon 5D mark IV
  • You need the shallowest depth of field
  • You need the best camera body ergonomics
  • You need great battery life (real-world=approx. 1,800 per charge)
  • You don’t need 2 card slots
  • You want to adjust settings using the lens control ring
  • You don’t need insane dynamic range capabilities
  • You need a front-facing screen
  • You need more megapixels (30.6 vs 24.5)
  • You don’t need in-body image stabilisation
  • You only need 8fps (vs 11fps)
  • You need dual-pixel AF
  • You don’t need un-cropped 4k or 120p video
Who should buy the Nikon Z6
  • You’re already invested in Nikon FX lenses
  • You want better colours than Sony
  • You need in-body image stabilisation
  • You need 11fps
  • You need the best dynamic range
  • You need the best high ISO
  • You don’t need better AF performance than the Nikon D850
  • You don’t need two card slots
  • You need 4k video up to 30p & 120p in full HD
  • You need the best touch-screen implementation
  • You need a lighter body (585g vs 660g)
  • You want great ergonomics

Summary

I spent a few weeks with the Nikon Z6, and while it does have its quirks, it’s still an excellent camera.

Would I recommend it to a pro who’s coming from a Nikon D850 (or superior) camera? Probably not. Would I recommend it to someone who hasn’t used a prosumer Nikon before? Definitely!

It’s only when you compare the Nikon Z6 with the other mirrorless cameras on offer in 2019 that you start to realise its short-comings.

However, if you’re already invested in Nikon glass, I’m confident that with firmware updates this year, the AF performance will be greatly improved, and there’ll be a stronger reason (even for pros) to shoot with this camera.

As for the Canon EOS R, well I have to say it’s currently the better choice over the Nikon Z-series, if you’re a stills photographer (the Nikon is superior for video).

The major draw-card of the Canon EOS R over any other mirrorless camera is the existing Canon EF lens selection… and how the R actually -improves- each lens.

If you’re in love with Canon’s superior colour science and its exotic f/1.2 lenses, the EOS R is a wise investment.

The lack of in-body image stabilisation and a slower frame-rate than the other cameras isn’t such a big issue. Many of Canon’s lenses feature image stabilisation, and 8fps is more than enough for most.

Single Card Slot – Really a Deal-Breaker?

single card slot vs dual card slots

One step forward… two steps back :-(

If you’re still trying to decide between the Canon/Nikon mirrorless bodies and the Sony/Fujifilm ones I’ve recommended above, the question of the single card slot may be playing with your mind.

Both the Nikon Z6 and the Canon EOS R only have one memory card slot – XQD or SD, respectively.

If you’re an amateur who doesn’t rely on instant simultaneous card backups, this shouldn’t worry you in the slightest.

If you’re a pro photographer however, here’s where the debate gets rather heated… especially among wedding photographers, or those whose work benefits greatly from the safety net of an instantaneous backup.

One thing’s for sure, a camera with a dual memory card slot is better in every regard. That’s not the question here.

The real question is: Can a pro photographer -make do- with a camera with a single memory card slot, in 2019?

My opinion is that while 2 slots on these cameras would be amazing, it’s not a complete deal-breaker.

Many pros used DSLRs with only one card slot in the past. Many still do. Also, there’s probably more chance of you losing your camera or having it stolen than having a memory card fail.

Here’s how to live with the issue of only having one card slot:

  1. Use a cable to download images from camera to computer – this greatly reduces card wear and tear, that could leave to failure.
  2. If you use a card reader, eject each time – don’t just yank it out!
  3. Shoot tethered where possible – studio shooters don’t care about having 2 slots.
  4. Shoot with 2 bodies – wedding photographers can rotate bodies for a layer of redundancy.
  5. Use in-field backup solutions – the WD My Passport SSD is good option.

Yes, everyone would have loved it if Canon and Nikon had released their first full frame mirrorless cameras with dual memory card slots.

And yes, it’s a bit of an embarrassment for them that Sony and Fujifilm have been doing this for years.

However, this is the price you have to pay if you want to shoot with some of the world’s best lenses on a native mirrorless body.

Shooting Video with a Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic GH5

I’m a stills photographer who dabbles with video, but its in stills cameras where my expertise and knowledge lies.

I won’t pretend that I’m the best person to listen to when it comes to recommending a mirrorless camera for video shooting, so instead I’ll leave you with a fun YouTube review.

Despite it being shot in August 2018, the points the reviewer makes are all still relevant about the strengths of the Panasonic GH5 over its competition.

Despite all the cameras above being able to produce beautiful video footage, its the GH5 that continues to shine above all the competition.

A huge advantage of this camera for videographers is that it still makes a remarkably good stills camera for photography, and one that’s often overlooked.

Features such as class-leading in-body stabilization and impressive weather-resistance (dust, splashes and temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C)!!), are applicable to everyone, not just the film-makers out there.

It has to be said though, that if you’re leaning more towards stills photography than video, the cameras elsewhere in this review make a better choice – most of this comes down to the difference in sensor size.

During my time shooting weddings professionally, I’ve seen the rise in use of all manner of mirrorless camera by videographers.

However, its the Panasonic GH5 that’s most often noted as being the most versatile and best value for money option of the lot.

It’s truly remarkable what’s possible from a micro four-thirds sensor, dwarfed in comparison to full frame and APS-C.

Being able to use smaller, lighter and more affordable MFT lenses is also a huge advantage of the Panasonic GH5 over the other cameras on this list that shoot video.

Watch the video above, do some of your own research, then let me know in the comments if you think there’s anything better for shooting video here in 2019 ;-)

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRICE ON THE PANASONIC GH5

Frequently Asked Questions

Are mirrorless cameras better?

Mirrorless cameras are undoubtedly more technologically advanced than DSLRs. Whether they are ‘better’ or not depends on your needs.

What is the best mirrorless camera for beginners?

Anything from the Sony a6000 series of mirrorless APS-C cameras offers great bang for the buck and incredible shooting performance. Also excellent for beginners are the more affordable cameras in the range Fujifilm X-Series range.

Do professional photographers use mirrorless cameras?

Yes, more and more pros use mirrorless cameras. That said, a great many still use DSLRs too, and even medium format. Skilled professionals can use virtually any form of camera, mirrorless or otherwise.

What is the best compact mirrorless camera?

There are many great options, but our picks are the Sony a6400 and the Fujifilm X-T30.

Final Words

I hope this guide helps you to make a well-informed purchasing decision. There’s a lot of selection out there, but I’ve cut through all the noise in an attempt to reveal the best of the best.

I’ll be adding to this list as the year progresses, but only if appropriate – the newest model of mirrorless camera doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worthy of a mention here.

One thing’s for sure – 2019 will see a huge rise in the number of mirrorless camera sales, with everyone from amateurs to professionals either making the switch, or investing in mirrorless as their camera of choice.

Whatever model you choose, the most important thing is that you get out there and take some photos. Mirrorless camera, DSLR, or just your iPhone, it’s the capturing of moments that matters the most.

Cheers and happy snapping!

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.

111 Comments

  1. Jessica on September 18, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    These cameras look awesome. Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic looks great. Good post.

  2. Mayur on September 7, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Really helpful for who are love to click photos during traveling …thanks to tell about the mirror less camera by this article.

  3. Sggreek on July 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Mirrorless cameras are always on demand and professional photographer take best photo by them, i read your opinion and i sure said that you have excellent knowledge about it… thanks

  4. Saikat on July 24, 2019 at 2:29 am

    What a lovely content and photos. Thanks for share very good information

  5. oriental on July 4, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Good information. Lucky me I ran across your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have bookmarked it for later!

  6. variancetv on May 13, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks for the great article.

    • Andy Leslie on June 1, 2019 at 12:30 am

      No Olympus Omd Em1 mark ii – lots of us use them. Amazing camera with some fantastic lenses.

      • Mark Condon on June 1, 2019 at 6:50 am

        Yeah we’ll be having a review of that one on the site soon. I’m a fan of the EM5 and EM10, personally.

  7. Tech blog on April 30, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for! Good informative article

  8. Frederic Hore on April 20, 2019 at 1:27 am

    A superb review and assessment of the current popular mirrorless cameras on the market Mark.
    With a heavy investment in Nikkor glass, from 12mm to 500mm, I personally did a comparison between the Nikon Z7 with the FTZ adaptor and the Nikon D850, and found that the Z7 was lacking, and worse, was more expensive than the D850, which had more features!

    You were right on the money when you wrote:
    “Would I recommend it to a pro who’s coming from a Nikon D850 (or superior) camera? Probably not.”

    My big complaint with all the mirror less cameras is that bright EVF. As one who pursues a lot of night photography, the EVF IMHO is a great way to wreck your night vision, and appreciation of the night skies. When I need critical focus, I have found the live view works fine on my Nikon DSLR’s for when I need it in challenging situations.

    Will I eventually change over to mirrorless? Perhaps. Right now, I am playing the wait and see game, much as I did in 2006 when I finally made the switch from 35mm film to FF digital. I certainly won’t turf my Nikon system for another brand, especially when the range of lenses and quality optics are not there yet in mirrorless world.

    Like everything these days, change is in the wind, and no doubt mirrorless will progress and get better. I’m just not ready to plunk down the hard dollars and switch… yet!

    Cheers from Montréal.
    Frederic Hore
    https://www.instagram.com/frederic_hore/

    • Mark Condon on April 20, 2019 at 8:10 am

      Glad to hear you agreed, Frederic! Thanks for the long comment :-)

  9. David Wilkins on April 5, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Excellent review thanks for sharing

    • Silky on June 3, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      I agree, your review was thorough and detailed. Lots of information for a potential buyer of a mirrorless camera.

  10. Rey Colón on April 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Awesome! This blog is very usefull! Thanks for provide great information.

  11. Nikul on January 31, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    This is an awesome list of mirrorless cameras. I am very appreciative of your writing! I learned so much about the various Mirrorless Camera.

    • Mark Condon on February 3, 2019 at 5:23 am

      Glad to hear it, Nikul.

      • Daniel Frick on March 30, 2019 at 7:23 am

        Where is the Leica CL?
        Dan

  12. Martin Ellard on January 22, 2019 at 12:07 am

    I have been using the Sony A7/A9 series cameras for a few years off the back of 15 years with Canon and I’m so happy with them I’ve not felt the need to try any of the new offerings from other manufacturers and with the news of some impressive firmware upgrades to the Sony system this year the cameras I have are basically going to be upgraded to the next level without me having to wait for a new model.

    • Mark Condon on January 22, 2019 at 4:47 am

      Exactly, Martin! Exciting times ahead with Sony and it’s great to see them adopting more of a ‘kaizen’ approach to updating existing bodies with firmware, similar to Fujifilm.

  13. mike on December 28, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I completely agree that mirrorless cameras are very good for travellers

  14. james on December 28, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    First time here on your blog and it’s amazing! Really had a great time! Keep up the good work.

  15. […] I’m traveling for work, I take a couple of mirrorless cameras, two prime lenses a few more batteries and a couple of tiny flashes. I’d do the same if I still […]

  16. […] how mirrorless cameras are disrupting the throne that’s been held for so many years by the trusty […]

  17. Frame Camera on October 15, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    This advice is just what I needed! I am struggling with grainy pictures and I have been shooting with 800 ISO. I’m going to bring it down and see how that makes my pictures better. Thanks for sharing all the resources also!

  18. Nowshad Rahman on September 16, 2018 at 5:49 am

    First time here on your blog and it’s amazing! Really had a great time! Keep up the good work.
    Is it sony a5100 best mirrorless camera for beginners?

    • Mark on September 16, 2018 at 8:00 am

      Thanks! I’d recommend the a6000 – see here

  19. tonykakkar on July 29, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I completely agree that mirrorless cameras are very good for travellers but due to low sunlight, they can’t compete with DSLR.

    • Mark on July 30, 2018 at 11:37 am

      hmm I don’t agree with the statement about sunlight Tony! There are several that are easily on par with DSLRs

  20. Techmen on July 2, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Actually, i was looking for the best mirrosless camera.. thanks for this post…

  21. Techmen on June 25, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Very useful post with full information about product…i really enjoyed reading and will suggest other camera geeks as well…

  22. Aaron Hank on May 23, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I’ve heard mirrorless can’t compete with DSLR’s in situations of low light and moving subjects such as children indoors. Is this really true?

    • Mark on May 24, 2018 at 6:20 am

      It depends on which mirrorless and which DSLRs you are comparing, but as a blanket statement,, I haven’t found that to be true with the mirrorless cameras I own, Aaron. Obviously if you’re comparing with a flagship DSLR like the D5, no, a mirrorless won’t compare with AF in low light.

  23. Nowshad Rahman on April 26, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Your selected cameras were too good.
    This blog is unique.I just like it!
    Thanks for the insightful article.
    Sony a9 is most interesting one.

  24. SSS809 on April 21, 2018 at 1:37 am

    I enjoyed reading your reviews. I am strictly an amateur, I make no money off photography. I love shooting portraits and have taken senior pics for my nieces & nephews. I am no considering going mirrorless as I am losing the desire to haul a dslr and lenses. Please recommend a camera and 2 lens setup for portraits. The vast majority of my photos are taken outdoors. Thanks

    • Mark on April 22, 2018 at 7:20 am

      Any of the camera in this list are suitable for portraits. As for lenses, I’d recommend a 35mm, 50mm or 85mm.

  25. […] DSLR camera. However, that’s not always true as there are many cameras out there such as a mirrorless camera that can take stunning photos that are as good as DSLRs. They don’t just take great photos, but […]

  26. Carrie on April 6, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Now that the Sony a6500 is out, and updated with IS amongst other things, how do you think it rates compared with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II? I’m looking for a decent quality interchangeable lens camera with low-weight lenses as well as a low-weight camera body?

  27. martine on February 13, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Matt!
    I just bought the Sony A6000, and am curious, do you ever take prime lenses when travelling? I’ve seen some amazing travel pictures taken with Sony primes. Amazing blog, keep up the great work!

    • Mark on February 13, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      I always take only primes with me when traveling! Mark- not Matt ;-)

  28. Kerilou on February 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for the informative article, Mark. I am thinking of upgrading from the Olympus OM-D E-M10, as I am getting more interested in bird photography. I already have 4 lenses for this camera, incl. the M.Zuiko 75-300mm. So I am considering purchasing the Oly O-MD E-M1 Mk II, but am concerned that the image quality is not sharp enough when you crop in post editing. Do you have an opinion? And what would be your top mirrorless choice for bird photography? Thanks

    • Mark on February 12, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Hey Kerilou, I think you’ve made a good choice with the Micro Four Thirds format for bird photography – those sensors really provide some useful reach to your lenses. If you can avoid cropping in post, it’s always a good thing, but the 20.4MP sensor of the Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mk II will allow for some adequate crops so I wouldn’t worry too much. The burst mode on that camera is amazing too – perfect for fast moving birds. Here’s a post I did recently on recommended micro 4/3 lenses you may find useful too: https://shotkit.com/best-micro-four-thirds-lenses/ All the best with the birdies ;-)

      • Kerilou on February 12, 2018 at 11:36 am

        Thanks so much for that confirmation, Mark – and your prompt reply. Good luck with your business. Cheers

  29. Sara on February 5, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    The camera for beginners part was insanely helpful. Actually, this entire website is, which ive been reading for the past two hours. Is there a section where you talk about the settings when you first get your Sony A6000 camera? You had mentioned once you get it programmed or settings right then its pretty easy.

    • Mark on February 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      haha thanks Sara, glad you’re finding it useful! I’m writing a full review on the a6000 at the moment – if I get a chance I’ll add a section in about the settings. This post should help you too: https://shotkit.com/sony-a6000-lenses/

  30. Family Road trip in Canada | Gold Hat Photography on February 1, 2018 at 11:12 am

    […] taken with a Fujifilm X100F – see: mirrorless camera reviews on my site […]

  31. Family Holiday in France | Gold Hat Photography on February 1, 2018 at 11:11 am

    […] photos were taken with a Fuji X100F, a camera I named the best mirrorless camera for travel of the year on a guest post I wrote for Fujifilm […]

  32. Gus on January 25, 2018 at 12:05 am

    I come from DSRL and really tried whit the Fuji Xpro-1, but all the fuji´s (and the new ones) have that shutter lag that is very annoying. The Sony´s havent that problem.

  33. Emezie on January 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Please, what is the best on-camera speedlight I could use on a Sony A7R III? Is there something as good as the SB 910 on my Nikon?

    • Mark on January 17, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      I’d go with this Sony HVL-F45RM, Emezie! Pretty similar performance to the Nikon SB-910 in a much smaller, lighter package ;-)

  34. Eddie on January 2, 2018 at 5:16 am

    I’m a professional wedding photography and very heavily invested in a pro Nikon setup (2x D810s, Nikon Primes, Nikon 70-200mm) along with lots of speed lights and off-camera speedlight equipment.

    I’d love to go mirrorless – the saving in weight, the silent electronic shutters, the less ‘in your face’ photography using smaller cameras – all great, but like many others here there is not only a lot of dependence on low light photography at weddings but the sheer unpredictable nature of a wedding means you need a camera ready for action, capable of working instantly for perhaps 12 hours straight and for now only a full frame DSLR can do this for me.

    There is also the matter of battery life. I can get though a whole wedding with my 2 x D810s with battery grips on them without a single battery change.

    Last year I supplemented my setup with a Fuji X-E2 and a prime which was occasionally used remotely and occasionally used when I thought the electronic silent shutter was needed. Sadly I was unimpressed with the image quality in really low light (and especially disappointed with the banding which appears using the electronic shutter in some lighting conditions). Also unimpressed with its battery life and just it’s general lack of responsiveness when things became demanding.

    It’s an odd thing. When I use a mirrorless for fun / holidays they seem brilliant, fast and handle everything I through at them. As soon as I use one at a wedding it just falls apart. Weddings are so demanding on the photographer and therefore their kit that a full frame DSLR, for now is, in my opinion, still an essential.

    • Mark on January 2, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Hey Eddie thanks for the comment. It’s worth mentioning though that the limitations you describe aren’t unique to the mirrorless format, but rather, to APS-C sensor cameras like the Fuji X-E2. I’m sure that if you used the full frame mirrorless options mentioned above, the results whens shooting at higher ISOs would be similar or better than your D810… although those bodies are still a bit more pricey!

      • Eddie on January 2, 2018 at 10:54 pm

        Good point Mark. The X-E2 was very similar in terms of image quality to the APS-C Nikon D7000 I still have in my bag along with the D810s – as a third backup body – typical paranoid wedding photographer!

        I am still convinced mirrorless will become a real option for me in the mid-term future – ideally full frame – and I am watching the market with interest and will be holding on to the Nikon system in the meantime. The Sony A7 III now has dual memory card slots now and so is even more viable already. Later this year I may rent one for wedding to see how it goes.

  35. Sarah on December 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I loved the article but I’m currently losing sleep over deciding between the XT-20 vs the E3… thoughts?

    They’re both around the same price and have similar tech, it seems to be a bit nitpicky in relation to the differences (assuming the XT-20 gets the firmware upgrades that the E3 apparently is already rocking) and being a noob I was hoping to get your spin on what those differences actually mean.

    Cheers,
    Sarah

    • Mark on December 15, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Hi Sarah, yep they’re very similar – Fuji likes to do that! I’d say go for the one that feels best in your hands as the body shapes are quite different.

  36. Allison on December 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I have been slowly getting into photography over the past two years, and finally purchased a Sony A6000 mirrorless last week. I consider myself really lucky; I have been able to use my dad’s Canon point-and-shoot extensively and have also been “borrowing” my mom’s Canon DSLR with three lenses for almost three months and have been able to try out my interests and abilities somewhat before investing in a camera system myself.

    My only regret, really, with the A6000 is that I bought the body with the 16-50mm power zoom kit lens. As much as I dislike the weight/feel/menu of the DSLR, I REALLY REALLY REALLY miss manual zoom and manual focus. I’ve been getting the feeling that with the DSLR cameras, most people stick to the same company’s lenses, whereas mirrorless users seem to branch out a lot more. I still don’t know enough to know what kind of lenses will make me happy or what kind of lenses will challenge my photography skills in a good way versus frustrating me.

    I’m overwhelmed and excited about the options that this camera presents me. There’s so many different kinds of photography I can play with, and different equipment I can experiment with. Just… where do you start?!? haha

  37. Lucie on November 13, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Mark. I’m a beginner/ enthusiast and looking to switch from a dslr to a mirrorless. I mainly use the camera for sports photography. Could you recommend a camera and a prime and zoom lenses respectively (need to capture at least 400ft away)? This article is packed with great information!!
    Warm regards,
    Lucie

    • Mark on November 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Lucie, it’s a bit of a broad question, but I’d recommend the Fujfilm X-T2 (reviewed here), due to several reasons but most notably its high frame rate, excellent image quality, and the fact that it’s a APS-C (which will give you more reach on your lenses for those sports that require it). As for the lens, check out the zooms in this post: http://www.shotkit.com/best-fuji-lenses/ Hope that helps!

  38. Sylvia Panico on November 8, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Mark. Looking at your last comment regarding Canon M series.. I well can read between the lines. Canon has launched their EOS M6. Any change of heart or mind. Not sure why they skipped the 4k. Price is pitched at a more inclusive market.
    I notice Sony ans OLympus have released new cameras in their series. Impressed?
    I am an enthusiast, enjoy street /portrait, macro for garden plants, bugs and birds (Hope to do some timelapse photography on the latter).
    Would sincerely appreciate your recomendation regarding which mirrorless camera and lenses you would recomend. This will be my 1st digital camera. Still have my 20yr old Nikon slr!
    Thank you very much.
    Kindest regards
    Sylvia

    • Mark on November 9, 2017 at 3:10 am

      Hi Sylvia, it’s such a broad question with so many variables! I’d say start with one of these Fuji X Series cameras since they give great bang for the buck. You can see the best lenses here.

  39. YY on September 23, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I’m curious to know how you would rate Canon EOS M series of mirrorless cameras against those you mentioned in this article. Would love to hear your insights! :)

    • Mark on September 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Let’s just say that I’m looking forward to seeing what Canon does with their next era of mirrorless cameras!

  40. Jamin on September 3, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Several of the cameras listed have the incorrect weights posted. I think you’ve posted the “packaged weight” instead of the actual weight of the camera body.

    • Mark on December 31, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Thanks for the heads-up Jamin – I’ve updated the whole post now for 2018, and all the weights should be correct this time.

  41. […] also wrote a post on the best mirrorless cameras which you may find interesting too – mirrorless cameras really are the future when it comes to […]

  42. Manuel rodriguez on August 21, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this excellent article! After researching cameras ( these particular cameras) for a week , I have never seen such a comprehensive comparison of all the features that make a difference. I am very appreciative of your writing!

    • Mark on August 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      Glad to hear that Manuel! Thanks for letting me know.

  43. Meghna on August 12, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Hi guys
    Would like to buy a camera(mirrorless or Dslr), i am unable to decide.
    I am a beginner, love Photography and would one day get professional.
    Could someone suggest me which one should i buy ?!!
    I travel a lot (national parks, islands,etc).
    I want to buy something perfect for a low light cave photography to a bright sunny day beach photography (landscape & portraits).
    Thought initially of sony A7 r II, but read of Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II reviews.
    It’s really confusing, i was thinking of mirrorless because i am not used to carrying lot of stuff while hiking.
    Well I would like to use the first camera i buy for atleast few years initially, don’t want to buy something & regret, so plz help.

    • Mark on August 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Hey Meghna, if you’re a beginner, I’d go for something a lot cheaper than the 2 you have in mind – they are for pros or serious enthusiasts. You can upgrade to something like that as and when you go pro. Look around the $1-1500 mark, so maybe the Fuji XT20 which is an excellent all round mirrorless camera.

  44. Gabriel on July 17, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Hi everybody! I really enjoyed the article and I’m getting more interested in the mirorless system. I really love the look and feel of Fuji and seariosly thinking about making a change in my gear. I would really appreciate an advice for my situation:

    – Mostly wedding photography
    – I have a fast shooting style ( not into arranging and posing the “perfect” shot )
    – I have 2 Canon 5D mk 3, 35 mm 1.4, 135 mm 2.0, 85 1.2
    – all my gear is old and kinda used up so it needs some maintenance and defiantly need some new lenses. Plus I have big issues with autofocus which I think it might be from the usage and age of the gear ( haven’t given them much maintanance lately )

    So I’m reading all these good things about Fuji but also that mirorless are still not a serious competition for DSLRs… is it worth it to start changing to Fuji? I feel that I need a fresh start or at least something new to be exited about but business is kinda slow and I’m on a very tight budget… so for example should I buy a 70-200 2.8 or sell everything and start building on Fuji?

    Thank you and I hope you can understand my English. :)

    • Mark on July 19, 2017 at 12:28 am

      The main benefits are size/weight, EVF and the great lens options (https://www.shotkit.com/best-fuji-lenses/). I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, but rather, you have to evaluate your own personal needs. If you need the maximum dof, dynamic range and high ISO, a full frame sensor will always ‘beat’ Fuji’s APS-C offerings. If you don’t need to rely on these things, the Fuji system can be a real game changer.

  45. […] formats continue to disrupt the industry, with photographers of all genres slowly switching to the best mirrorless cameras available, mostly from the likes of Sony, Fuji and […]

  46. p nelson on March 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I agree with all the advantages of mirrorless cameras. But I have a huge investment in a dozen Nikon lenses for my (three) Nikon DSLR bodies – mostly top-of-the-line pro lenses, all full-format, many fast primes, not kit zooms. If one of these mirrorless body makers really wanted to crack the “serious” market they should make a body that takes Nikon lenses. I assume it’s only a matter of time before Nikon comes out with a pro or prosumer mirrorless body with a full-format sensor that takes their family of lenses.

  47. Dan on February 13, 2017 at 10:06 am

    This is great information. It seems like the debate over DSLR vs Mirrorless is still raging. DSLRs are definitely more common but who knows, maybe mirrorless will become the new standard similar to how digital has all-but replaced film.

  48. Mark Edin on December 21, 2016 at 6:43 am

    This has all been a massive help to me. Thanks for sharing this.

  49. Warren on August 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Mark, interesting comments from Constantine and although I totally appreciate what he says I think the clue is in the title “Shotkit- The camera GEAR of the worlds best photographers”. Glad to hear you are making a living from it, great site I have enjoyed it for some time and wishing you every success. Just one from me is all the links take you to Amazon.com where I am on Amazon.co.uk not sure if I get kicked back to .co.uk your affiliation will work? Good luck and best wishes…

    • Mark on August 6, 2016 at 6:27 am

      Thanks for your kind words of support, Warren. Hopefully the UK purchases help to support Shotkit too! Cheers

  50. Constantine Loskutnikov on August 2, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    I don’t want to be rude, I’m sorry if you’ll think so, or I’ll be looking so.
    My point is. There is no specific theme in this article. There are four main mirrorless cameras and you just said this. You were started like japancamerahunter.com telling about different photographers and their gear. But photographers were different, not just film lovers.
    I was hoping to read ypur own articles about photography as an art, to get some inspiration in the future, but you just told me about four main mirrorless cameras…
    Please, let me read an interview with interesting persons, with camera makers and other art people.
    I’d like to donate this kind of work, not just books about fundamentals of everything and nothing.

    p.s.
    I know, someome might say, “Go to another blog or start your own” But I was in the begining of your journey and it is a harm to see content like this.
    Don’t be like phoblographer.com(3 lenses for this; 5tips about that, etc)

    Thank you.

    • Mark on August 3, 2016 at 4:26 am

      Hi Constantine

      Thanks for your comment and helpful feedback.

      I understand where you’re coming from and know my content won’t be for everyone.

      I did start out that way, and appreciate you being there from the launch.

      However, Shotkit is now my full time job, so I rely on the income for my family. I’d love to write articles about photography as an art, but to be blunt, these things don’t pay the bills.

      Instead I need to focus on things that help people, interest the majority and also allow me to maintain the site/support my family if someone finds the info useful and chooses to make a purchase.

      I hope you understand, and sorry to disappoint you!

      Mark

      • Constantine Loskutnikov on August 3, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        Oh I’m so happy you understood me (Russia English is far from English English)

        To my mind you should play with different forms of writings…
        I was shocked, when I saw a New Yourker like article on the website about games. It was like a thunder strike. I think you should write more of your own feelings or something on your mind.

        Btw, the most important thing, that you and your blog forcing me to start my own blog for my clients. I’m happy to thank you for this!

  51. Elc Magic Mirror Laptop Reviews – TIps Top on July 2, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    […] Mirrorless Camera Reviews – Best Mirrorless … – Shortcomings with Mirrorless Cameras. Finally, there are other aspects to consider when using mirrorless cameras for work and this is related to what doesn’t work … […]

  52. DE Moore on April 22, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Thank you! I learned so much about the various Mirrorless systems with the excellent article of the Pros and cons of each.
    I am trying to decide when & what Wireless system I want.

    • Mark on April 22, 2016 at 6:48 am

      Glad you found it useful. What do you mean by ‘Wireless system’?

  53. Peter on January 2, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Nice article. A couple of years ago I would never have bought a mirrorless camera because of their earlier flaws. Today I’ve got both the Fujifilm X-T1 and X100T and they’re great cameras. They’re small, lightweight and have great image quality (Fujinon lenses ar excellent), but they’re still not for every task. My Canon 5D MkIII still destroys them when it comes to autofocus speed for example, but I use my Fujifilm cameras probably 90% of the time.

    • Mark on January 2, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Totally agree Peter – those Fujis are excellent cameras, but they still have their limitations. dSLRs are still leagues ahead for auto focus. Thanks for the comment!

  54. John on December 3, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Just made the switch from Nikon to Fuji X-system. After years being a staff photojournalist, I left that world and opened up a documentary photography wedding/event studio. Fuji x-system is ideal for this task. If I was a fashion photographer, or did studio work exclusively, or shot professional sports… this is not the system. However, for straight photojournalist photography, I believe there is nothing better out there.

    • Mark on December 3, 2015 at 5:11 am

      I’m sure many would agree with your comment John. Expect to see bigger advancements in Mirrorless cameras in 2016 ;-)

  55. Ben Russell on October 16, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Thanks for those insights Mathieu, they’re really helpful. I’m an enthusiastic E-M1 user, and it’s good to keep things in perspective. It’s nice to see that your reservations about the E-M1 are being addressed in the Nov 2015 firmware upgrade — silent mode and extended video capabilities, as well as focus stacking for macro, are all coming our way. Olympus are hyping that up with the slogan ‘Download your new camera’, but it’s not too far from the truth. I’ve put together a page to compare the current Olympus models (including the Nov 2015 firmware upgrades) here: http://bit.ly/1VUot9k.

  56. Hilmar Kieskemap on January 29, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I always enjoy your articles by different people. I certainly respect you for the photography I have seen from you. Thanks for this synopsis of mirror less cameras. Personally, I still have my rather ancient Canon 7D with all the three lenses. (24-70mm f:/2.8; EF-S lens 10mm-23mm f:/ 3.5-5.6; 70-200mm f:/4).
    Someone hacked my computer and I am missing my early photos from 2006-2009. These all were taken with my G2 and my Canon 20D. It is with great sorrow that they are gone as I am a person that gets attached to the pictures that I have taken. I keep all the good ones, and it is with sadness that I will continue to plug on and get others that I will enjoy greatly.

  57. yin on January 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    which mirrorless camera is fast enough to focus in low light? I shoot a lot of wedding and during the reception, it’s always indoors with very dim light. When people are moving and dancing, I’m worried that they are not fast enough to get the focus right. any suggestions? thanks!

    • Mathieu on January 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      I used with success the E-M1 for dancing moments with the Fl-600r flash and the AF illuminator turned on. It is the camera I have most experience with so it certainly the one I feel to recommend. The A7s also works well in low light.

    • Steve Solomon on February 21, 2015 at 6:27 am

      Greetings! I’m Very impressed with your article on Mirrorless Systems, as I’m on the fence between the Fuji XT-1, Olympus EM-1 Mark II, and the Sony A7 II. My primary concern is maintaining high sharpness and detail when printing large (20×30), as well as having a weather-resistant system for shooting marathons in the Pacific Northwest. I like the Fuji XT-1 ergonomics and excellent Fuji optics, but have read about issues of “mushy” detail in green foliage, perhaps being related to the particular raw processing software. The Oly system is intriguing, but the smaller 4/3 sensor gives me concern when printing very large. The Sony A7 II sounds exciting, except not many weather-resistant lenses available. Based on all this, your expert opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

  58. Andrew on January 9, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Thank you very much for the feedback!The M1+Grip+12-40mm f/2.8 will be delivered tomorrow! :)

  59. Andrew on January 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    That is a nice article, thanks for your time!
    I am so in love with the Olympus E-M1 OM-D with 12-40mm f/2.8 lens !
    Right now, I shoot with a D610 + 24-70mm f/2.8 lens but I am thinking a lot about moving to a mirrorless camera. I am not a professional photographer, I mean, I am not doing this for living, but still, I spend a lot of time taking with my camera and I also enjoy post processing – I wish I had someone saying “go, sell your D610 and lens and flash and triggers and and and…and get the Olympus E-M1 OM-D as you won’t regret it!!!” – I shoot portraits and landscapes, will this camera work for me ?

    • Mathieu on January 4, 2015 at 7:17 am

      For portraits and landscapes the E-M1 works really well. There is a nice selection of lenses for portraits, same for landscapes. Colour rendering is really nice as well. If you like to travel and walk a lot for your landscape work, it can make a difference.

    • Ben Russell on October 16, 2015 at 1:32 am

      Hi Andrew — I was going to say ‘go sell your D610 etc, and get an E-M1 and 12-40, you REALLY won’t regret it’, but I see that task has been crossed off the list a long time ago! How are you getting on — have you any regrets? I’m so confident when I’ve got that combo in my hands.

      Best regards, Ben Russell

  60. V. Opoku on December 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Good read. I have been Mirrorless for the past two wedding seasons. I shot you my kit a little while ago, Fujifilm X-Pro 1 & X100S.

    Happy holidays,
    V.

    • Mark on December 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks V. I’m getting there with your submission ;-)

  61. Stuart Marshall on December 24, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I keep trying mirrorless and love the size and weight and retro feel most have.
    I instantly fall in love until I use the them.

    To put it simply they are just not fast enough for me yet. Not talking about specs I am talking mainly about auto focus, menus and ergonomics.

    Pro level DSLRs still ‘just work’ how I want and in the instant I want.

    • Mark on December 26, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      I know what you mean Stuart, and I have to say I agree. I guess everyone has a different concept of ‘fast’ though. I guess you have to decide what is appropriate for your style and genre of photography.

    • Mathieu on January 4, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Cameras like the OM-D E-M1, Lumix GH4, Sony A6000 and the recent Samsung NX1 are proving mirrorless cameras can do well with autofocus and overall speed. DSLRs have still an advantage also because all DSLR cameras have good AF while with mirrorless, only certain models really excel in this. But I believe that in a few years MILCs will equal DSLRs to say the least.

      • Kharrahou Qumag on June 12, 2017 at 6:58 pm

        I beg to differ from the claim that all DSLR cameras have good AF. Basically, what you see on the viewfinder of DSLRs is often not the actual focus on the sensor. That is because the focus showing on the viewfinder often is not the actual level of focus on the imaging sensor. DSLRs indicate focus using a different set of sensors below the mirror box, and often there is a discrepancy of the indicated focus from the actual focus on the imaging sensor behind the mirror and shutter. And entry-level DSLRs don’t allow for AF micro-adjustment. With higher-end DSLRs, you can adjust focus in individual camera units to prevent front-focus or back-focus. Contrast this with mirrorless, which uses no mirror box and the imaging sensor itself is also the focusing sensor. That’s why focus with mirrorless cameras is usually bang on, tack sharp right on the subject you intended. There is no discrepancy from tiny misalignments or imprecise assembly. Lucky for you if your particular DSLR is a perfectly assembled unit, because usually there are minute variations within the same production batch.

        • Kharrahou Qumag on June 12, 2017 at 7:13 pm

          I have an aging Canon EOS 550D that probably has suffered from all that mechanical flip-flopping and it is probably no longer in its correct angle for viewing focus manually. The images I get with manual focus as well as with AF are now noticeably soft. However, when I use Live View, I always get excellent focus.

  62. joe pyle on November 22, 2014 at 4:55 am

    The only dilemma for me is that working with light, ie. flashes and strobes, is not yet “up to speed”. When this comes around, I’ll jump in with a Sony for sure. I need to be able to bounce light around at weddings.

    • Mathieu on January 4, 2015 at 7:10 am

      I agree, flash units can be better especially with Fuji cameras.

  63. Jack Danyaloff on October 28, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    great article, very interesting and useful. but I have one question that u didn’t touch in your article, what about using mirrorless cameras for wedding? I’m using Nikon DSLR and Fujifilm X-M1 as a second body and I’m very impressed with the image quality of X-series and the convenience by using small body and now I wanna fully switch to X-series.

    P.S. sorry for my English :)

    • Mathieu on January 4, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Many photographers, including people that I know personally, started to use mirrorless cameras for wedding. Some of them switched totally.
      Fuji cameras are the most popular among wedding photographers because the mix of quality and portability works really well. Also the kind of colour rendering the X-trans sensor has suits those weddings and portraits looks.
      Also the E-M1 from olympus, the Gh4 from Panasonic or the Sony A7s work well.
      In september I did a wedding with a mix of cameras: A7s, E-M1, E-M10 and X-T1 plus a GH3 in a photo corner where people could take selfies with a remote. It worked like a charm.

    • Warren on August 4, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Hey Jack, we are currently on a train on our way to Tuscany, Italy to shoot a wedding this weekend with a Fuji XE2 and XT1. They are both excellent cameras for weddings but the big factor in all this for weddings are the lenses. Fuji glass is pretty bloody good and when you are in a dark reception or church with a F1.2 56mm or f1.4 23mm fitted we have found the image quality is great. We have shot about 12-15 weddings using purely Fuji and have no complaints so far. Back Sunday then off to Toronto Canada for another Fuji wedding ???? Can’t wait for the XT2 though!

      • Tim Whiting on February 9, 2017 at 3:31 am

        Really interesting to hear your views on mirrorless weddings Warren. Thank you.

Leave a Comment