The best cheap mirrorless cameras provide an incredibly cost-effective way to hop onto an exciting camera system. We've picked out the following cameras for this list because we believe they represent genuine value for money – you'll be able to use them and get value out of them for years to come. With competitively sized sensors and impressive megapixel counts, these aren't just good cheap cameras, but good cameras in their own right.
Many of them are great choices for vlogging, as well. With video content creation becoming ever more accessible, all of these models can shoot video - and many of them in 4K. If you're looking to get into YouTube, filmmaking, or content creation on a budget, cheap mirrorless cameras are the ideal place to start.
Prices do fluctuate, especially when it comes to older cameras. However, all the cameras we've included on this list are consistently available at prices significantly lower than the average for a mirrorless camera. Though one thing to always check is whether the camera is packaged body-only or with a lens
One more thing. When you're shopping for cheap mirrorless cameras, be sure to check whether the camera is 'body only' or comes with a lens. We'll give our thoughts on the best lenses to get below.
best cheap mirrorless cameras: our top picks
Best for vloggers
The Panasonic Lumix G100 is a fantastic starter camera for vloggers and has clearly been designed with that exact audience in mind.
Best budget option
All the way back in 2014, Sony debuted the A6000, a camera that would kick off a whole series of enthusiast-oriented APS-C mirrorless models.
Best for beginners
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II may seem like a fairly minor upgrade over the previous Canon EOS M50 – and that's because it is.
The best cheap mirrorless cameras in 2023
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The Panasonic Lumix G100 is a fantastic starter camera for vloggers and has clearly been designed with that exact audience in mind. Unlike most consumer mirrorless cameras, it's got a fairly sophisticated built-in mic setup, meaning that while you can plug in an external mic with the 3.5mm jack, you don't have to, and that's hugely handy for casual vlogging.
Its approachable button layout makes it easy for pretty much anyone to pick up the Lumix G100 and start shooting high-quality 4K video. The tactile ergonomics make it a pleasure to use, and even though it's a relatively new model, the price has already come down a little.
We appreciated a lot of features of the Lumix G100 when it came into our hands for a full review – with a bright electronic viewfinder and high-quality LCD screen, it's just an all-around pleasant shooting experience for stills and video.
Read our full Panasonic Lumix G100 review
All the way back in 2014, Sony debuted the A6000, a camera that would kick off a whole series of enthusiast-oriented APS-C mirrorless models. Why are we still talking about it in 2023? First, because Sony is much better than a lot of other firms at keeping its older models in production, and second because it's still a really good camera.
The fundamentals on the A6000 are incredibly solid, for photographers at least. With 11fps burst shooting, 24MP of resolution, and a highly capable autofocus system, it's got pretty much everything most photographers are going to need. It's far more powerful than many similarly priced beginner camera, and its slimline body makes it perfect for travel.
There's a reason we kept saying "photographers" in the previous paragraph – as we noted in our Sony A6000 review, its video specs have aged. It predates the 4K boom, and the lack of a mic port really hurts it when it comes to vlogging. We wouldn't recommend buying the A6000 as a primary video camera, but for photographers, it's a bargain.
Read our full Sony A6000 review
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II may seem like a fairly minor upgrade over the previous Canon EOS M50 – and that's because it is. However, the additions that have been made are quite sharp, with Canon clearly having listened to feedback on the previous camera, and that makes this one worth your buy, especially now the price has come down.
The autofocus has been improved, with the addition of eye detection in stills and video modes. Video shooters also get a clean HDMI out – perfect for streaming – as well as the option to shoot in a vertical orientation for social media.
It's worth noting, as we did in our review, that the EOS M50 Mark II is at its best when shooting in Full HD 1080p, as shooting in 4K causes it to lose the Dual Pixel AF in favor of slower contrast-detect autofocus. And that's not even talking about the vicious 1.6x crop incurred by 4K. Full HD is more than good enough for most purposes though and having 24.1MP of resolution and 10fps burst shooting further rounds out this solid package.
Read our full Canon EOS M50 II review
We love the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. Its predecessor, the Mark III, was (and is) a perennial favorite around the DCW office, and we're full of admiration for how sensibly Olympus went about updating this beloved camera.
The addition of the 20.3MP sensor from the PEN-F was a great shout, and we were immensely glad to see improved Continuous Autofocus further expanding Mark IV's burst shooting capabilities. After all, it's not much good being able to shoot at 15fps if you can't focus worth a damn!
The extra-tiltable screen impresses too, and the fact that it flips down 180° makes the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV a tempting proposition for YouTubers and vloggers. For the money, the Mark IV is absolutely stuffed with features, and the fact that it's so portable makes it a great choice for travel.
Read our full Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review
The GX80 uses a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor which sounds an old tech these days compared to the beefier 24MP plus APS-C sensors used by rivals, but what you lose in sensor size and megapixels, you gain in other areas, notably the built-in electronic viewfinder, in-body image stabilization, great 4K video, and Panasonic’s ‘4K Photo’ mode, where you can capture 8-megapixel images at blisteringly fast 30fps, or if your a little lazy shoot first and focus later, using the ‘Post Focus’ mode.
We especially like the retracting 12-32mm kit lens usually sold with this camera. Its slim profile makes the camera very pocketable when it’s not in use, and while the effective focal range is 24-64mm it’s an ideal lens for travel and street photography. Given the features you get with this camera, current prices are just plain silly. It's another cheap mirrorless camera that's actually rather good.
The EOS RP was Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera, and it's smaller, lighter, and a lot cheaper than all of the others. It's designed to be a compact, affordable and easy-to-use entry point into Canon's full-frame mirrorless system, and it succeeds brilliantly.
Its small dimensions mean it can sometimes feel overbalanced by larger lenses, though, and the 4K video mode comes with some caveats – the image frame is cropped by a factor of 1.6 and you can't use Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system unless you drop the resolution to full HD.
On the upside, the pictures are clear and sharp, the vari-angle touchscreen display is a real advantage for both stills and video, and the inclusion of an EF lens adaptor means you can use existing Canon DSLR lenses alongside the new but growing RF lens system.
At $1,000/£1,000 or more you wouldn't say it was 'cheap' in the general run of things, but for a full-frame camera, its price is practically miraculous.
Read our full Canon EOS RP review
The Lumix G7 was launched back in 2015, so it’s a few years old now, and that shows in its styling and specs. It’s the ideal choice for mirrorless camera buyers who prefer the heft and gripability of a DSLR-style body, and it comes with a viewfinder, which is terrific in a mirrorless camera at this price. Bad points?
The G7 was launched before Panasonic started including in-body stabilization in its cameras, so you’re reliant on any optical stabilization in the lenses themselves. It also has a relatively old 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, which knocks back the image quality ever so slightly compared to current APS-C sensor offerings. Prices vary a lot, so keep your eyes peeled, we have seen some crazy twin-lens deals on this camera. Read our full Panasonic G7 review.
Olympus specifically targeted "step-up" users with its Pen E-PL9, referring to users looking to make their first jump from a smartphone to a proper camera. Thus, it's incredibly easy to use, with intuitive controls and helpful guide modes to get the most novice users familiar with the camera very quickly. It doesn't hurt that it looks pretty snazzy as well, and it is light enough to slip into a small bag or even a large jacket pocket.
There is no viewfinder, but the screen does tilt up and down and even flips out for selfie-shooting and vlogging, and it comes in a useful kit with Olympus's 14-42mm pancake lens. Images from the Pen E-PL9 look great immediately after you hit the button, making it easy and tempting to share them straight away with its built-in Wi-Fi function. If you can't get the E-PL9, try the E-PL10 instead – they are practically the same camera.
Read our full Olympus E-PL10 review
This is not the cheapest mirrorless camera in the list – but it is the only one with a big, full-frame sensor – and it is remarkably good value. The Sony A7 II was the first camera in the Sony Alpha mirrorless camera range to include sensor-shift image stabilization. Now that it's a few years old, you can pick one up pretty cheap and it offers a pretty big upgrade on the original Sony A7.
It's compatible with a range of Sony lenses as well as third-party companies such as Sigma or Tamron. An updated processor means it is a much faster camera, it has a 117-point phase-detect autofocus system and 25-point contrast-detect AF ensuring sharpness no matter where the subject is in the frame.
How we test cameras
We test cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use both real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides.