Best Mirrorless Cameras 2018

Product Use case Rating
Sony Alpha a6000 Best Beginner Mirrorless Camera 4.5
Sony Alpha a6300 Best Intermediate Mirrorless Camera 4.5
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II (M5 MII) Best Mirrorless Camera for Video 4
Sony Alpha a7 II Best Pro Mirrorless Camera 4

Mirrorless cameras are the fastest-growing segment of the market with good reason: They have many of the benefits of larger DSLRs (such as great image quality) but are far more compact, making them easier for amateurs and professionals alike to carry. And, you'll find a wide selection in the models now in the market, with prices ranging from around $500-600 up to $4,500. So, there's a mirrorless camera to suit almost every photographer. 

The mirrorless camera we'd recommend for most people is the Sony a6000, which costs just under $550 with a lens, yet shoots at a blazing-fast 11 fps, takes great pictures in all conditions, and has a compact body. More advanced photographers might prefer its successor, the Sony a6300 ($900), which takes even better photos in low light, and can record video in 4K. If you want to wait—and splurge a bit more—Sony has also unveiled the a6500 ($1,400), which also has 5-axis image stabilization. Regardless of which one you choose, you should check out our guide for taking great pictures with Sony's line of A6000 cameras.

If you prefer mirrorless cameras not made by Sony, check out Olympus' OM-D E-M5 Mark II, which at $899, is a great camera for both stills and video. (Or consider its successor, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III.) Some of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II's most noteworthy features include 5-axis image stabilization, a sturdy weather-resistant body, and a super high-resolution 40-MP mode.

Latest News and Updates (September 2018)

  • Nikon has announced its first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the 45.7MP Nikon Z7 and the 24.5MP Nikon Z6, which will both include a full-frame (or Nikon FX–format) CMOS sensor.  Each camera has a high-quality OLED electronic viewfinder (3,690k dots), a 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization system, a hot-shoe for external flashes, and a 3.2-inch touch-sensitive swiveling LCD (2,100k dots). The Z7’s sensitivity range is ISO 64–25,600 (expandable to 32-102400); the Z6’s sensitivity range is ISO 100–51,200, expandable to ISO 50-204,800. Each can shoot 4K HD-resolution video at 30 frames per second and will have built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to mobile devices. Unlike most consumer models, though, each model will store photos and video on XQD-memory cards, instead of SD memory cards. And like all mirrorless cameras, these models can shoot RAW as well as JPEG, TIFF, and a combination of JPEG and RAW. The Nikon Z7 will be available September 27 for $3,399 (body only) or $3999 with the 24-70mm f/4 S kit lens. The Nikon Z6, available in late November, will cost $1,995 (body only) or $2,599 with the 24-70mm f/4 S kit lens. 
  • Canon also launched a full-frame mirrorless camera system: The EOS R includes a 30.3-MP CMOS sensor, Canon’s DIGIC 8 image processor, shooting speeds of up to 8.0 frames per second, 4K UHD video up to 30fps (and the ability to record in 10-bit 4:2:2 with an external recorder), Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus with 5,655 manually selectable AF points, a built-in EVF (3.69 million dots), a swiveling touchscreen LCD, and a dot-matrix LCD panel. The ISO range runs from ISO 100 to ISO 40,000, and is expandable to ISO 102,400. It also has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The Canon EOS R will be available in October for $2,299 (body only) and as a kit with the new RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $3,399. Here's how the EOS R compares to the Nikon Z6 and Z7.
  • Fujifilm's X-T3 ($1,499 body only, available September 20), is the successor to the X-T2, but while it has a very similar design, the X-T3 has a new 26.1MP X-Trans backside illuminated CMOS sensor, a new quad core processor, 425 phase detect autofocus points that provide 99 percent coverage, a lower base ISO of 160, and support for 4K/60 fps video.

MORE: DSLRs vs Mirrorless Cameras

Four Tips For Choosing a Mirrorless Camera

In today's diverse marketplace, choosing a mirrorless model is too expensive to be an impulse purchase. To make sure you end up with the right camera, here are four tips to help you decide which is best for you.

Try out your mirrorless model before your buy.

Advanced mirrorless cameras come in different form factors, sizes, and types. In order to really know if a particular mirrorless camera is the right model for you, make sure you actually pick it up, hold it in your hands, and try it out in a store. Or borrow a model from a friend. That way, you'll get a sense of how the controls respond to your touch, how heavy it is, and if it really feels good in your hands.

Decide what features are important to you.

Are you interested in buying a mirrorless camera that can capture bursts of photos with the fastest possible frame rate? Or maybe you're looking for a model that offers stunning image quality with a high megapixel count? Or perhaps you want a model that has a touchscreen LCD that lets you snap images right from the display? Do your research on the camera manufacturer's product pages on the web to get in-depth information on these and other features, and then prioritize which features are most important to you.

Be skeptical of sales staff.

Although you might get lucky, it's hard to rely on in-store help, particularly at a large, retail consumer electronics stores. Oftentimes, the sales staff will either not understand the technology or features, or they'll purposely try to push certain cameras based on features like a high-megapixel count, which is not the only factor in determining a mirrorless camera's quality.

Skip extended warranties.

There continues to be fierce competition in the mirrorless camera market, which is good news for consumers. Such competition drives camera manufacturers to continually produce and improve their products, which in many cases means it's very likely the mirrorless model you buy will be very reliable for years to come. So, it may not be worth it to buy an extended warranty for your mirrorless camera.

How to Choose a Lens for your Mirrorless Camera

One of the most important qualities that mirrorless and DSLRs share is that they accept interchangeable lenses, which can dramatically improve image quality and bring your photography to a new level. But there are scores of lenses to choose from, which can be confusing. To help you get better acquainted with this important camera accessory, here's a quick rundown of types of interchangeable lenses that are available for your mirrorless camera:

Standard zoom lenses: It's the lens that most people who buy an entry-level SLR or mirrorless model as a kit know first. Mirrorless kits generally come with a 14-42mm lens. They typically include a small amount of zoom (3x), and are often inexpensive, but not the highest quality. However, in the past several years, the quality of these kit lenses has improved.

Prime lenses: You can save money by choosing a prime or non-zoom lens. They offer excellent quality, and are often much more affordable. If you need to zoom, just use your feet and walk closer to your subject!

Telephoto zoom lenses: If you shoot a lot of sports or other types of events, consider these powerful zooms, which can bring you closer to the action and provide features to capture images with shallow depth-of-field. They can be a bit heavy and bulky, but most manufacturers have been inventing new lenses that are smaller and more compact, but are still high quality. The 70mm-200mm is a good example of this type of lens.

Wide-angle lenses: If you're traveling, this type of lens, such as a 16-35mm zoom, can be very valuable, since it allows you to capture different types of wide-angle shots. Want to shoot a group portrait? Set the zoom lens towards the 35mm end of the range, which will avoid distortion at the edges of the image. Or if you want to capture a broad, sweeping landscape, use the lower end of the zoom, nearer to the 16mm end. However, these lenses can be pricey.

Macro or Close-up lenses: If you're looking to capture close-up shots of small objects, you'll want a good quality macro lens, which come in a variety of focal lengths, such as 50mm and 100mm. Be sure to do your research to be sure the lens you want has macro capabilities. 

Specialty lenses: One of the most notable specialty lenses in this category is the ultra-wide fisheye lens, which some photographers love for the exceptionally distorted point of view. Other types include tilt-shift and soft-focus lenses.

More Camera Recommendations:
Best Cameras for the Money
Best Bridge Cameras
Best Compact Cameras
Best DSLRs
Best Waterproof Cameras
Best Action Cameras
Best 360 Degree Cameras
Best Security Cameras
Best Phone Cameras

Create a new thread in the Digital Cameras forum about this subject
7 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Rui Soares
    I´m sorry but the olympus camera is far from being the best camera for video from that lot, a camera like the samsung nx1 or the sony a7rII or the best mirrorless camera for video is prob the sony a7IIs but certainly not the olympus.
  • Leroy_kthx
    The nx is Lister for 2017 But that camera system is completely dead. While the fujifilm x-t2 gets no mention (even with all the love its been getting from the photography world), not does the sony a7RII ( probably the most loved pro mirrorless camera in the wild right now )
  • professionalcamerastore
    up with their amazing autofocus and interchangeable lenses, really give the usual dominance of DSLR cameras a run for their money. Today we wanted to take the time to review, compare and contrast the best
  • pauldiamond
    Sam!
    You've decided that "mirrorless SLR" is the answer to any question. A reviewer must overcome personal bias. Doing so means that what the camera is used for and the output quality for that use is the #1 issue. If you review cars that can drive to the grocery store for apples, every one can suffice. If you want top quality handling in the curves and a 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds, the field narrows considerably.

    For me, the sharpest and best lenses used with a higher 36 MP sensor in my Nikon gives better "pro" quality pictures of landscapes, product photography, weddings/portraits, action, etc. My Nikon D800E/D810 can take pictures comparable to my old 35 mm film cameras and medium format size too.
  • Hrunga_Zmuda
    That is far from the best Olympus camera. That would be the OMD E-M1 Mark II which does 4K. Panasonic's GH5 is about the same. The Olympus for is you lean towards stills overall, or the GH5 if you lean towards video. The cool thing is, both cameras can use any MFT lens.

    Sony's A9 or A7S mark II would also be good choices. Any mirrorless from Canon? Do not even consider it.

    You did say 'high end" cameras. The E M-5 Mark II is old, there's a Mark III now. Plus, the M1 Mark II is the best MFT camera in existence.
  • Saga Lout
    The last post is removed as Spam and this thread is overdue for closure.