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The best mirrorless camera in 2022: get the right camera at the right price!

best mirrorless camera
(Image credit: Adam Waring/Mike Harris)

The best mirrorless cameras can do everything that DSLRs did and more besides. They are especially well suited to travel, thanks to their more compact design, and video, because of their constant live view image capture. But which one should you get and how much should you spend?

There are lots of things to think about when choosing a mirrorless camera. Do you want to shoot stills or video or both? Almost all of the cameras in our list can shoot 4K video, but some have in-body stabilization for smoother footage, professional 'log' modes for colour grading and higher frame rates or capture quality. If video is a priority, you should also check out our guides to the best cameras for vlogging, the best 4K cameras for video and the best cinema cameras.

And for stills photography, how much resolution do you need? It's tempting to assume that the higher the resolution the better, but this does bump up the costs. A 20MP Micro Four thirds camera may have all the resolution you need, even for big prints for wall hanging, and while a 40MP+ full frame camera may be very tempting, both the cameras and the lenses cost a lot more – and you'll end up with a pretty heavy kit too.

Sensor size is actually a key decision in choosing the best mirrorless camera for your needs. Here's a run-down of the main sizes available:

• Micro Four Thirds is the smallest sensor format, but the image quality is surprisingly close to that of larger APS-C cameras. The Panasonic Lumix G100 is designed specifically for novice vloggers but is also a great stills camera, while the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of our favorite small cameras. 

APS-C cameras provide a good balance between quality and affordability, with a sensor roughly twice the size of Micro Four Thirds cameras. It includes mirrorless cameras like the Fujifilm X-S10 and the Nikon Z50, which offer good resolution and powerful controls.

Full frame mirrorless cameras have sensors the same size as 35mm film negatives, and about twice the size of APS-C. This gives them better quality, but they are also bigger and more expensive. However, affordable full-frame options include the Nikon Z5 and Panasonic Lumix S5.

Medium format cameras have sensors even larger than full frame. They're generally for slightly more specialist applications where you really need the pixels, and while they were once prohibitively expensive, these days we're seeing more  'affordable' (sort of) models appearing on the market. These are still pretty specialised, though, so we've got a separate guide to the best medium format cameras for these.

Now that's all taken care of, let's get to the best mirrorless cameras you can buy right now!

The best mirrorless cameras in 2022

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
Fujifilm's flagship X-series camera is a rugged powerhouse for both stills and video shooters

Specifications

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/Professional

Reasons to buy

+
26.1 megapixel sensor
+
4K video at 60fps
+
In-body-stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty pricey

The X-T4 is the current flagship model in Fujifilm's X-mount camera range. Its predecessor, the X-T3, was a tough act to follow, with high-speed continuous shooting, advanced autofocus and class-leading 4K video capabilities, but the Fujifilm X-T4 takes things up another notch. The X-T4 now has in-body stabilization, a vari-angle touchscreen display and better battery life. The X-T4 isn't just a terrific stills camera, of course. It also has cutting edge 4K video performance, with 60p 10-bit internal recording. It's just a shame Fujifilm dropped the headphone socket (you'll need an adaptor now). The only thing stopping this camera climbing higher in our list is its price, which has stayed high and is only a notch below that of some very good full frame rivals. Recommended kit lens: Fujinon XF18-55mm or XF16-80mm.

Read more: Fujifilm X-T4 review

(Image credit: Future)
Compact and affordable, the Olympus is easy for beginners to learn with but packed with powerful features for later

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 20.3
Lens mount: MFT
Screen: 3-inch 180-degree tilting touchscreen, 1,037k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
Max shooting speed: 8.7fps
Max video resolution: 4K UHD
User level: Beginner/intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Latest 20MP sensor
+
5-axis in-body stabilisation

Reasons to avoid

-
MFT sensor smaller than APS-C
-
Plastic build

The E-M10 series has always been designed for value, but this Mark IV version adds power and sophistication too, with a 20MP sensor, improved in-body image stabilization and a new flip-down and tiltable monitor. Retaining the 4K video and attractive styling that made the Mark III so attractive, the Mark IV is an ideal choice for anyone looking for an entry-level camera that can do pretty much everything. The E-M10 series has long consisted of our favorite pint-sized cameras ever, so we're really pleased that the Mark IV AT LAST got Olympus's latest 20MP sensor. Even better, at today's prices it's one of the cheapest mirrorless models on the market too, which is pretty amazing considering what it can do. Recommended kit lens: M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ 'pancake' zoom.

Read more: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The best combination of features, performance and value for enthusiasts

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26.1MP
Lens mount: Fujifilm X
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
Max continuous shooting speed: 30/8fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Intermediate/Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Small size & excellent build quality
+
Vari-angle touchscreen
+
In-body image stabilisation

Reasons to avoid

-
Conventional mode dial

The Fujifilm X-S10 doesn't have the external exposure controls of the higher-level X-series cameras, but that's the only thing we can find to complain about, and it's clear this is no 'amateur' camera. as its build quality and handling stand out straight away. The swap to a conventional mode dial might disappoint Fujifilm fans, but the excellent finish, build quality and handling and the inclusion of IBIS (in-body stabilisation) gives this camera a very broad appeal, especially in this price sector, to produce perhaps the best combination of performance, quality and value in the APS-C mirrorless camera market right now. It even has a vari-angle rear screen, which is another reason why we rate this new camera above our previous favorite, the X-T30. Recommended kit lens: Fujinon XF18-55mm or XF16-80mm.

Read more: Fujifilm X-S10 review

(Image credit: Adam Duckworth)
Great for stills and even better for video, the full frame S5 is sold with a unique, super-wide 20-60mm kit lens

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: L-mount
Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.84m dots
Continuous shooting speed: 7 fps (mechanical shutter), 6K Photo Mode (18MP @ 30fps)
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots
Max video resolution: 4K/60p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Light and compact
+
Exceptionally good video
+
Extra-wide 20-60mm kit lens

Reasons to avoid

-
Contrast AF only
-
More expensive in the US

The original Lumix S1 and S1R are impressive and powerful cameras... but big. Panasonic has taken this on board and somehow (we're still not sure how) came out with the Lumix S5, a camera that offers basically all the same imaging power as the hefty 24-megapixel Lumix S1, but in a body weighing about 300g less. It's also something of a spiritual successor to the video-oriented GH line, with best-in-class video specs. It shoots 4K/60p 10-Bit 4:2:0 video, and in terms of dynamic range, on paper only the pro-level Sony A7S III can lay any claim to matching or beating it. The colour science is finely optimised for a beautiful image. Stills shooters can also make use of 6K Photo mode for effective 30fps burst shooting, ensuring they never miss a moment. As hybrid full frame cameras go, this is extremely tough to beat, especially at today's prices. Recommended kit lens: Lumix 20-60mm.

Read more: Panasonic Lumix S5 review

(Image credit: Nikon)
A great value full frame camera and an introduction to Nikon's fast-growing Nikon Z mirrorless ecosystem

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 24.3MP
Lens mount: Nikon Z
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040k dots
Continuous shooting speed: 4.5fps
Viewfinder: EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage, 0.8x magnification
Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Good price for full-frame
+
Twin card slots

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 4.5fps burst
-
Cropped 4K video

While Nikon has done a solid job with filling out the very upper end of its Z range of full frame mirrorless cameras with the flagship Z7 II, and even found room for a cheeky APS-C offering with the Z50, it was arguably lacking an entry-level gateway to full frame. That has come in the form of the Nikon Z5, a stylish little shooter that offers full-frame features at an attractive price. With twin card slots and 4K UHD video it takes a few cues from professional bodies, though you won't be burst-shooting at anything higher than 4.5fps. Still, with full weather-sealing, five-stop image stabilisation and a spectacular electronic viewfinder, anyone making their first jump to full frame is going to find themselves absolutely spoiled for features. What we like most about this camera is its keen pricing – well below the Nikon Z6 II – and its neat retracting kit lens. Recommended kit lens: Nikkor Z 24-50mm or Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4.

Read more: Nikon Z5 review

(Image credit: Future)
The Z fc is a good value first camera with wonderful retro styling – though 'native' APS-C Nikon Z lenses are needed

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Megapixels: 20.9MP
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots
Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots
Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p
User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Glorious looks
+
Dial-based controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Z50 is cheaper
-
Few DX Z-mount lenses

The Nikon Z fc is, without a doubt, one of the coolest-looking mirrorless cameras around right now. It's a retro-styled mirrorless machine with dial-based controls, and it's a joy to handle, to use, and to be seen using. Internally, it's basically the same deal as the Nikon Z50, with the same APS-C sensor and processor and many of the same specs. A few extra features like a built-in flash have been shaved off, and it is more expensive than the Z50, so if you don't care about aesthetics then Nikon's other DX-format camera is the smarter choice. But if you're the sort of person who can't resist the siren song of the best retro cameras, the Nikon Z fc will be right up your alley. The only thing we've got against it – and it is a pretty major thing, to be honest, is that there are still only two Nikon Z DX lenses to go with it. However, many photographers just want a kit lens and no more, so for them it's not a problem. Recommended kit lens: Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm.

• Read more: Nikon Z fc review

(Image credit: Jon Devo)
A compact, portable and affordable MFT camera perfect for vlogging and travel

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 20.3
Lens mount: MFT
Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dots
Max continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Max video resolution: 4K UHD
User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Quality video and stills
+
Audio-recording capabilities
+
Bright EVF and articulated LCD

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body stabilization
-
No headphone jack or USB-C

One of the cheapest cameras in our list is also one of the best for beginners, vloggers and travel photography. For many of us, video is just as important as still images, if not more so, and it's these vloggers and content creators that the Lumix G100 is aimed at. It makes it easy to capture high-quality video and stills with its approachable button layout. Even people uninterested in the technicalities of capturing great-looking videos will be able to get results with this camera. By giving it a decent viewfinder and “proper camera” ergonomics, Panasonic has given the G100 an edge in a highly competitive market. This is a great camera to start with if you're more interested in vlogging than regular photography and a useful step up from the GX80/85 both on resolution and video features. Recommended kit lens: Lumix G 12-32mm 'pancake' zoom.

Read more: Panasonic Lumix G100 review

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
Possibly the best camera Nikon has ever released – and it shoots 8K video too

Specifications

Type: DSLR
Sensor: Full-frame
Megapixels: 45.7MP
Autofocus: 493-point hybrid phase/contrast detect
Screen type: 3-inch bi-directional tilting touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 20fps
Movies: 8K
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
8K 60p video resolution
+
120fps burst shooting
+
Deep Learning AF

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen not fully articulated
-
Some features not available til 2022

Nikon might've been late to the game in launching its professional, top-spec mirrorless but the Nikon Z9 was definitely worth the wait.  It's an absolute beast of a camera when it comes to video, knocking the Canon EOS R3 out of the park. It's capable of 8K 60p video recording or 8K 30p with an enormous 2-hour record limit. Nikon decided to remove the mechanical shutter completely which means the Z9 is capable of 120fps continuous shooting and has a max shutter speed of 1/32,000 which makes it perfect for sport and bird photography. The Z9 is powered by Deep Learning AF which makes the camera capable of nine kinds of recognition: human eyes, faces, heads and upper bodied; animal eyes, heads and bodies; and cars, planes, trains and motorbike. It has the same 493 AF points as the Nikon Z7 II which seems impressive until you find out that the Canon EOS R3 has a whopping 4,779 AF points. The Z9 comes in quite a bit cheaper than both the Sony A1 and the Canon EOS R3 and it has a lot of advanced features.

Read more: Nikon Z9 review

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
For professionals who need a do-it-all stills and video camera for any assignment, this is it

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 45
Lens mount: Canon RF
Monitor: 3.15-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 2,100k dots
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 5,690k dots, 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification
Max continuous shooting speed: 12fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic
Max video resolution: 8K
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Best AF on the market
+
Best full-frame IBIS
+
8K video is astounding

Reasons to avoid

-
Video recording limitations
-
Standard 4K is just okay

As a stills camera, the Canon EOS R5 is simply Canon's finest product ever. It’s the perfect amalgamation of the EOS R’s form, the EOS 5D’s function, and the professional-grade autofocus of the EOS-1D X. If you're a stills or hybrid shooter who flits between photography and videography, it's one of the best cameras you will ever have the pleasure of using. Alas, we can’t recommend the R5 if your primary interest is pure video shooting. Don’t get us wrong, its video is incredible – but having to navigate the overheating restrictions prohibits it from being your A-camera (unless you only shoot 4K 30p, in which case you don’t need this anyway). It's not perfect at everything, but it's so good at so much that it's still a landmark camera. The Sony A1 sneaks ahead on specifications, but the Canon is A LOT cheaper.

Read more: Canon EOS R5 review

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The Sony A1 is the king of the hill – for now. It combines resolution, speed and out-of-this-world video specs

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 50.1MP
Lens mount: Sony FE
Screen: 3-in tilting, 1.44m dots
Viewfinder: Electronic, 9.44m dots
Max burst speed: 30fps
Max video resolution: 8K
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
50MP resolution
+
8K video
+
30fps continuous shooting

Reasons to avoid

-
Stratospheric price!

The Sony A1 is everything that Sony says it is. It’s a technological triumph, a camera that really can do everything. Previously, cameras might offer speed, resolution or video capability, but the A1 offers all three, and even beats dedicated sports and video cameras at their own game. However, good as it is, the price is, and will remain, a major obstacle, and its appeal is limited to photographers who need everything it does, not just one or two of those things. Sony has also practically killed two of its other cameras by making this one! The Sony A9 Mark II is a terrific camera for sports, but beaten by the A1, while the Sony A7S Mark III's excellent 4K video capabilities pale against the A1's 8K capture.

Read more: Sony A1 review

(Image credit: James Artaius)
The Sony A1 is the king of the hill – for now. It combines resolution, speed and out-of-this-world video specs

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: CMOS Full frame
Megapixels: 24.1MP
Lens mount: Canon RF
Screen: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 4.15 million dots
Viewfinder: Electronic 0.5-inch, 5.76m dots, 120Hz, 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification
Max burst speed: 30fps electronic
Max video resolution: 6K
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
6K RAW video
+
30fps stills
+
Blackout-free shooting

Reasons to avoid

-
"Only" 24.1MP
-
No 8K video
-
Split SD / CFexpress

The Canon EOS R3 is a top-tier tool of choice for working professionals. Whether you shoot sports, weddings, portraiture, pets or news, the blackout-free 30fps stills and 6K RAW video mean that you never miss a moment of action or detail – and the improved AF performance, coupled with ghostly good Eye Control AF, ensure that every shot is focused exactly where you want it. It sets a new dynamic range benchmark for pro-level cameras, and its lower pixel count enables it to generate significantly less noise than the higher resolution rivals from Sony and Nikon. This is the professional camera of the future – and it's here now.

Read more: Canon EOS R3 review

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.

More camera guides:

The best DSLRs right now
The cheapest full frame cameras today
The best cameras for vlogging
Best cameras for beginners
Best professional cameras

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specialising in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound and many more for various advertising campaigns, books and pre/post-event highlights.


He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected in to BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 


He is familiar with and shows great interest in medium and large format photography with products by Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa and Sinar and has used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI and everything in between. His work covers the genres of Equestrian, Landscape, Abstract or Nature and combines nearly two decades of experience to offer exclusive limited-edition prints to the international stage from his film & digital photography.