Mirrorless cameras offer interchangeable lenses, just like DSLRs, but they’re smaller and lighter with more advanced viewing, focusing and video features. The argument still rages over which is best, DSLR vs mirrorless, but for a lot of people the argument is already won.
But how do you choose a mirrorless camera when there are so many on the market and covering such a wide range of users, experience levels and budgets?
Update: There have been so many new mirrorless cameras and changes in the market that we've completely refreshed this buyers guide to include cutting-edge
sports cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, the Sony A6400 for vloggers and the brand new Fujifilm X-T30.
Whether you need a full-frame mirrorless camera that will rival the best DSLRs around, or you're just after a cheap mirrorless camera bargain for casual use, we've got you covered.
We start off with what we think is the best all-round choice for most photographers right now and then look at some smaller-budget alternatives for people just looking for the best cheap camera.
But for some users quality is more important than price, especially if you’re a pro photographer, videographer or fine art photographer. So keep reading, because we’ve also included the best mirrorless cameras you can get for outright quality, and if the first couple of choices are too expensive, just keep on going as we look at cheaper options.
We’re not done yet. We’ve also got the best mirrorless cameras for travel, for blogging and for sports and action photographers, whether you’re a pro who wants to stay ahead of the curve or an enthusiast who also needs to keep an eye on the costs! The market is changing fast, of course, and we're also keeping an eye on what's on the horizon, including the rumored new high-end Sony A7000.
Talking of cost, we’re seeing lots of cheap camera deals right now, which means you might just bag a bargain – our price comparison tool, below, is pulling in today’s very best offers for each model. So without further ado, here are the best mirrorless cameras right now.
1. Nikon Z 6
It's just got the perfect blend of price, power, features and future-proofing
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 24.5MP | Lens mount: Nikon Z | Monitor: EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage | Continuous shooting speed: 12fps | Viewfinder: EVF | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p | User level: Enthusiast/Professional
The Nikon Z6 is a far more versatile camera than the more powerful and higher-resolution Nikon Z7. Sure, it offers a lower 24.5 megapixel resolution and not quite as many AF points as the Z7. But it’s also less than two-thirds the price, boasts a wider ISO range, full frame (no crop) 4K video and an even faster 12fps frame rate. Like the Z7, the Z6 has in-body image stabilisation, and Nikon claims up to 5 stops of shake compensation. Build quality is superb, with a magnesium alloy body and extensive weather sealing, and a 200,000-shot shutter life. When you factor in its more affordable price tag, we think the Z6 is the best mirrorless camera you can buy right now.
Read more: Nikon Z6 review
2. Fujifilm X-T3
The Z6 is great, but Fujifilm’s state of the art APS-C model is cheaper
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: : 26.1MP | Lens mount: Fujifilm X mount | Monitor: : EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage | Continuous shooting speed: : 11fps | Viewfinder: : EVF | Max video resolution: : 4K | User level: : Enthusiast
OK, we’d have loved a bigger buffer depth for its burst mode and in-body stabilisation would have been good. But, at this price and with this functionality, the X-T3 is a fantastic option for enthusiasts and pros alike. First, you get a superb 26.1MP sensor for faster focusing, improved subject tracking and increased autofocus sensitivity (down to -3EV). Second, the X-T3 can capture 10-bit 4K video at up to 60p with 4:2:0 colour sampling - which is exceptional for a stills/video crossover camera. One of the best things about the camera for us is that it feels like you’re shooting on an old-school DSLR with all the benefits of cutting-edge camera technology.
Read more: Fujifilm X-T3 review
3. Sony A6000
A powerful , classic APS-C model is a bargain at crazy discounted prices
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Lens mount: Sony E | Monitor: 3-inch tilting, 921,600 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
It may have been launched way back in 2014, and upstaged by the Sony A6500 and Sony A6400 since then, but the much cheaper Sony A6000 represents an excellent entry-point into the world of mirrorless photography. With a very capable autofocus system that blends 179 phase-detect AF points and 25 contrast-detect points, together with 11fps burst shooting with focus tracking, the camera is a particularly good option for anyone shooting action, although the 24MP APS-C sensor, high-resolution OLED viewfinder, tilting LCD screen and both Wi-Fi and NFC means that it holds masses of appeal for those shooting in other genres. Its age doesn’t hurt its performance, but it’s knocked its price right down to rock bottom!
Read more: The best Sony cameras in 2019
4. Fujifilm GFX 50R
Money no object image quality that’s actually not that expensive
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Medium format | Megapixels: 51.4MP | Lens mount: Fujifilm G Mount | Screen: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,360,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 3fps | Max video resolution: Full HD | User level: Professional
The GFX 50R is like a ‘rangefinder’ style version of the Fujifilm GFX 50S medium format camera. With a sensor 67% larger even than full frame, the GFX 50R’s 51.4 million pixels have room to breathe and produce not just super-high resolution, but superb dynamic range and noise control too. Compared to a full-frame or smaller mirrorless camera, the GFX 50R is a bit of a lump to use, but many will appreciate the way it slows down your photography and will definitely love the depth and quality of this camera’s images. The GFX 50R is the cheapest medium format digital camera to date, and not that much more than a top mirrorless full-frame camera.
Read more: Fujifilm GFX 50R review
5. Nikon Z 7
Nikon’s top-of-the-range full-frame mirrorless camera is superb
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 45.7MP | Lens mount: Nikon Z | Monitor: EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage | Continuous shooting speed: 9fps | Viewfinder: EVF | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p | User level: Enthusiast/Professional
The Nikon Z7 is an instant classic. It’s a superb (and superbly made) mirrorless camera, boasting a massive 45.7MP full frame CMOS, 493-point hybrid phase/contrast autofocus, 4K UHD at 30p and in-camera image stabilisation system (IBIS). Interestingly, the Z7 is a lot like its chief mirrorless rival, the Sony A7 series, in looks and is much smaller than the Nikon D850, the DSLR whose technology it largely shares. Nikon is still developing its range of native Z-mount lenses, but the Z7 ships with an FTZ adaptor which allows the use of any current Nikon DSLR lenses without restriction, so migrating from a Nikon DSLR to a Nikon Z couldn’t be easier.
Read more: Nikon Z7 review
6. Sony A7R III
So close to the Nikon Z 7 that even we can’t decide between them
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 42.4MP | Lens mount: Sony FE | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,440,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/professional
On paper, the Sony A7R III looks all but unbeatable. It’s barely larger than an old-fashioned film SLR and way more compact than current DSLRs, and yet it packs in a superbly sharp 42.4 megapixel full frame sensor. In the past you had to choose between resolution and continuous shooting speed in a pro camera, but the A7R III turns this on its head by offering both. To top it off, it has excellent 4K video capture, in-body image-stabilisation and is backed up by a steadily-growing range of consumer-level and premium quality G Master lenses. Our only criticism is that the body is just that little bit too small for a lot of external controls, and bigger lenses leave it feeling front-heavy.
Read more: Sony A7R III review
7. Canon EOS R
Canon’s top mirrorless camera blends specs and price rather well
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 30.3MP | Lens mount: Canon RF | Monitor: EVF, 3.69m dots, 100% coverage | Continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Viewfinder: EVF | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 29.97p | User level: Enthusiast/Professional
Canon has bucked the trend of having separate pro and enthusiast bodies - it is instead pitching the EOS R squarely in the middle. And that’s no bad thing. The Canon EOS R offers a full-frame 30.3MP CMOS sensor, which is on the same level as the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR. The two sensors share a lot but the biggest difference is that the EOS R features a more advanced phase-difference detection system using the 1D X Mark II’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and this delivers an amazing 5,655 focus points. The Canon EOS R is a great mirrorless camera but there are one or two niggles, notably its heavily cropped 4K video mode, lack of in-body stabilisation and its single memory card slot.
Read more: Canon EOS R review
8. Sony Alpha A7 III
It’s the entry-point to Sony’s full-frame system but really rather good
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Exmor R CMOS | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Sony FE | Monitor: XGA OLED type, 2,359,296 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Viewfinder: 3in tilting touchscreen, 921,600 dots | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30/24fps | User level: Enthusiast
The Sony A7 III doesn’t really put a foot wrong. Its specs actually belittle its price - you are getting a huge amount of camera prowess here for what is a decent price. Granted, its handling and control layout aren’t the best we have ever tried but its autofocus and continuous shooting performance, not to mention its 4K video capabilities are second to none. Okay, there is that 24MP resolution might put a few people off, given we have been spoiled with higher megapixel alternatives but pixels aren’t everything and this camera is a fantastic mix of performance, image quality and price.
Read more: Sony A7 III review
9. Canon EOS RP
The cheapest and smallest full frame mirrorless camera you can buy
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 26.2MP | Lens mount: Canon RF | Screen: 3in articulating touchscreen, 1,040,800 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
Canon is wasting no time in getting its new mirrorless EOS R system off the ground. Just a few months after announcing the EOS R (above), it’s come up with this smaller, cheaper EOS RP model. If the EOS R has a lot in common with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR, then the EOS RP is like a mirrorless version of Canon’s entry-level full-frame EOS 6D Mark II model. With the EOS RP you get a 26.2-megapixel full frame sensor, 4,779-point Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus, 4K video (cropped, admittedly) and a fully-articulating rear screen. The best news is the extremely aggressive pricing, which makes the EOS RP the cheapest current full-frame camera on the market (Sony is still selling older versions of its A7-series cameras for less, however.)
Read more: Canon EOS RP review
10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
You get a lot more for your money with Micro Four Thirds
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 16.1MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 8.6fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
Not many cameras walk away with a full five stars upon being reviewed, but the O-MD E-M10 Mark III very much deserves its maximum score. With a similar form to the Mark II (still on sale) but with a better processing engine, 4K video and a superior autofocus system on the inside, the camera looks small and cute but is actually a real pocket powerhouse. It has Olympus’s excellent five-axis image stabilisation system, a 2.36million dot OLED viewfinder and tilting rear LCD. The only criticism we have is that its 16.1MP sensor isn’t quite the latest generation, but this isn’t a significant issue for everyone and, as a MFT model, the camera provides access to a raft of Micro Four Thirds lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic, as well as many further capable options from the likes of Samyang, Sigma and even Voigtländer.
Read more: Olympus OM-D E-M10 III review
11. Sony A6400
Brilliant for vloggers, the A6400 has 4K video and front-facing screen
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Sony E | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
Not so long ago, any camera with a 180-degree front-facing screen was instantly dismissed as a ‘selfie’ camera, but the rise of blogging, vlogging and Instagram has brought video to the fore, and the A6400’s front-facing screen sets it apart from many of its rivals and makes it a powerful and desirable tool for single-handed video shooters who need to talk directly to the camera. Unfortunately, brilliant as the A6400 is for video and vlogging, the design, controls and viewing system have not moved on from the original A6000 design, which was good in its day but is now looking very dated. The A6400 is great for video, then, but less convincing as an all-round stills camera.
Read more: Sony A6400 review
12. Fujifilm X-T30
A very compact and affordable all-rounder
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 26.1MP | Lens mount: Fujifilm X | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 30fps (electronic shutter, 1.25x crop), 8fpt (mechanical shutter) | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
With the X-T3 (above), Fujifilm brought out the highest resolution APS-C sensor currently on the market and one of the most highly-sophisticated autofocus systems, and now this technology as filtered down to its smaller, cheaper, lighter sibling, the X-T30. The old X-T20 was one of our favourite cameras for the way it combined a compact body, affordable price and powerful photographic tools and there’s no reason to suppose we won’t love the new and improved X-T30 even more. We just need to get our hands on one to test it properly!
Read more: Fujifilm X-T30 review
13. Fujifilm X-H1
Designed for pros, this mirrorless camera is now well priced
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Lens mount: Fujifilm X | Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 8fps (up to 14fps) | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/professional
It’s difficult to know where to start with the X-H1. On top of everything that made the X-T2 a winner – from its 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and expansive AF options through to its three-axis LCD and multitude of physical controls – Fujifilm has ramped up the feature set to include body-based image stabilisation, a huge top-plate LCD and an even wider selection of options for videographers than before, including both DCI 4K and UHD 4K options. As we found in our review, the combination of the sensor and previously seen X-Processor Pro translate to very reliable image quality, with speedy autofocus and a clear OLED viewfinder to make the user experience as good as it can be. But the more advanced tech in the X-T3 is now making the X-H1 look due for an update (though this does mean that the price of the X-H1 has got a lot more tempting!).
Read more: Fujifilm X-H1 review
14. Sony A9
This high-speed sports specialist meets pro DSLRs head-on
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Sony FE | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,440,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 20fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Professional
Where the Sony A7 series is designed for all-round use, the Sony A9 is built purely for speed and professional sports, wildlife and action photography – where its £5,000 price tag is pretty much par for the course. It is, however, one of the most exciting mirrorless models we’ve seen in recent times, and its advantages over equivalent DSLRs arguably make it far better value for money. It houses a 24.2MP full-frame sensor and a 693-point phase-detect AF system that covers around 93% of the frame, together with blackout-free shooting from the electronic viewfinder when shooting at up to 20fps and even 4K video to boot.
Read more: Sony A9 review
15. Olympus OM-D E-M1 X
Pro sports camera that’s more affordable and portable than its rivals
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 20.4MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 60fps | Max video resolution: 4K
When Panasonic joined the full-frame mirrorless L-Mount Alliance in 2018 it looked as if the Micro Four Thirds format might be left out in the cold, but Panasonic is still committed to this smaller format and Olympus insists it’s still ‘relevant’ – and has launched this highly sophisticated, high-speed sports camera to prove it. It’s true that the sensor is about a quarter the size of those in full-frame mirrorless cameras, but the E-M1X is also smaller, lighter and cheaper, and the same goes for Olympus’s excellent and growing range of pro lenses.
Read more: Olympus OM-D E-M1X review
16. Panasonic Lumix G9
Panasonic’s brilliant all-rounder gives you pro speed without the price
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds sensor | Megapixels: 20.3MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Monitor: EVF, 3.68m dots and 1.66x magnification | Continuous shooting speed: 60fps | Viewfinder: EVF | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
The Panasonic G9 is a brilliantly fast and effective camera that is great for both 4K video and things like fast-action sports and wildlife photography. It’s great in the hand, which means that it offers up a good grip, especially when it is equipped with longer lenses. Its image quality is very good and this is despite it having a smaller MFT sensor. The only issue for us is that when it comes to shooting regular static subjects, there are plenty of rivals that deliver the same quality for not as much money.
Read more: Panasonic Lumix G9 review
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