Best mirrorless cameras in 2024

Side view of Canon EOS R6 Mark II
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The best mirrorless cameras offer many of the benefits of DSLRs, such as great image quality and the ability to swap lenses, but tend to be smaller, lighter and increasingly faster.

That's why they are now the first choice for many photographers, both amateur and professional, to the extent that many camera makers have entirely given up on the DSLR market in favor of mirrorless.

If you're not sure which is right for you then our DSLR vs mirrorless guide should help you decide, but assuming you've settled on buying one of the best mirrorless cameras, you're in the right place.

We've tested dozens of models from Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Panasonic, covering full-frame, APSC and Micro Four-Thirds sensors and across all price points from a few hundred dollars up to around $2,500. In short, there'll be something here for you, whatever you're looking for.

Overall, we think the best mirrorless camera for most consumers is the Sony Alpha a6100. This camera costs around $850 with a lens, takes great photos in low light, has a fast autofocus system, and can record video in 4K. The a6100 has a similar design to other cameras in Sony's mirrorless camera lineup, which means a compact design that's easy to hold, a nice large touchscreen, and an electronic viewfinder. 

That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you though, so read on to see our pick of the best mirrorless cameras.

The best mirrorless cameras you can buy today

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We've broken down our picks for the best mirrorless cameras by experience level: beginners looking for their first mirrorless camera; intermediate users looking for an upgrade, perhaps from their beginner body; and advanced users, enthusiasts who've been shooting for a while and need more professional features. We've left out professional-level cameras, as we're only going up to a budget of around $2,500.

The best mirrorless cameras for beginners

Canon EOS R50 attached to tripod

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best mirrorless camera for beginners

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 15 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Vari-Angle, 1.62 million dots
Size/weight: 4.57 x 3.36 x 2.70 inches; 13 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 440 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely 4K video
+
Great for vlogging
+
Good kit options for vlogging
+
Outstanding AF
+
Surprisingly good ISO performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Overheats when shooting 4K
-
Very few native RF-S lenses
-
No headphone port
-
Scant direct controls
-
Slightly pricey for beginners

The Canon EOS R50 is our pick for the best mirrorless camera for beginners and vloggers. It's small and lightweight to come with you wherever your new photography or vlogging passion takes you. Meanwhile, it's well built, so it should last until you're ready to upgrade in the future.

It delivers beautiful stills, 4K video in 30p, natural colors straight out of camera, and Canon's ferocious autofocusing system. Indeed, it's the AF which really seals this camera as the best for beginners, as Canon has essentially packed into the R50 an (only slightly) slimmed down version of the AF found in its high end professional bodies — which is epic. There's also a flip out screen for vlogging, a dedicated product mode for demos and great vlogging and beginner kit options.

As with any beginner camera, there are a few compromises. It's a little pricey for a beginner body, and this is because realistically it isn't aimed at total newcomers. However, we think the features the R50 packs warrant the extra spend over the actual Canon entry-level body, the EOS R100, which is very basic. It could do with a few more direct controls on the body and when shooting at maximum resolution, the camera did start to overheat. None of these things change the fact that this is still a really great starter camera that will last you a while!

Read more in our Canon EOS R50 review.

The Fujifilm X-E4 camera showing its front

(Image credit: Theano Nikitas/Tom’s Guide)
A small rangefinder-style camera with great image quality

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26.1
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 30 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
Screen: 3-inch Tilt-Type, 1.62 million dots
Size/weight: 4.77 x 2.87 x 1.28 inches; 12.84 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 460 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality
+
Compact size
+
USB charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body image stabilization
-
Minimal external controls

The Fujifilm X-E4 is ideal for beginner and intermediate street photographers alike. At well under $1,000, it's a brilliant and relatively affordable starting point if you're new to Fujifilm cameras, which is why we've put it in our beginners section. Don't be fooled by its diminutive looks, though: this is also a superb camera for intermediates and even as a second camera for more advanced photographers. In fact, Tom's Guide's cameras editor Peter Wolinski used the X-E4 for almost a year, and loved it!

The X-E4 packs a lot into a small, rangefinder-style retro body, including a 3-inch touch-screen LCD that flips out by 180-degrees, a bright EVF and 4K video. But it's the 26-megapixel stills that really shine here, digging up masses of detail and handling exposure and dynamic range well. Noise is also well controlled, while Fuji's superb film simulations ensure that every shot looks just like you want it to.

The relative lack of manual controls won't be to everyone's taste, and there's no built-in image stabilization, but the price is reasonable for the feature set and Fuji's ever-growing lens range offers something for every situation and budget. 

Read our full Fujifilm X-E4 review.

The Nikon Z50 on a tiled floor with a floral pattern

Nikon Z50 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A versatile mirrorless camera at a great price

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 20.9
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 11 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
Screen: 3.2-inch Tilt-Type, 1.04 million dots
Size/weight: 5 x 3.7 x 2.4 inches; 15.9 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 300 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Great image quality
+
Solid build
+
Excellent feature set
+
Slow-motion 4K video

Reasons to avoid

-
Flip-down LCD blocks tripod mount
-
No in-body image stabilization

Nikon was a bit late to the mirrorless camera category, but it's making up for lost time. Following the launch of the full-frame Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, Nikon introduced the Z 50, which doesn't have a full-frame sensor, but offers a solid feature set, great image quality and good performance —  in a smaller form factor at a more consumer-friendly price. 

The Nikon Z 50 is a great mirrorless camera for Nikon enthusiasts; we liked its build and deep, comfortable grip, as well as its sharp electronic viewfinder. Its 3.2-inch touchscreen flips down for selfies, but is obscured if you have the camera on a tripod. The Z 50 has intuitive controls, in-camera retouching, and good performance in low light. However, there's no in-body image stabilization, and the single card slot only supports lower-end SD cards. 

Also look out soon for our review of the Nikon Z fc — a new mirrorless camera that has the same specs as the Z 50 but in an attractive retro body.  

Read our full Nikon Z 50 review.

The best mirrorless cameras for intermediate users

The Fujifilm X100VI mirrorless camera against a blue background propped up using the lens cap.

(Image credit: Peter Wolinski / Future)
A compact mirrorless for street photography enthusiasts

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 40.2
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 20 fps
Max video resolution: 6K @ 30p
Viewfinder: Hybrid OVF/OLED EVF, 3.69 million dots
Screen: 3.2-inch Tilt-Type, 1.62 million dots
Size/weight: 5 x 2.9 x 2.16 inches; 18.3 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 450 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Handsome design
+
Fantastic images
+
Tactile handling
+
Great build quality
+
Focal length adapters available

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Supply shortages
-
Mediocre battery life

The Fujifilm X100VI is the best compact camera you can buy, if you can find one. Fujifilm has experienced insane levels of demand for this camera, just like it did for its predecessor, the X100V, meaning the X100VI is rarer than hen’s teeth. If you can get your hands on one, though, it’s definitely worth it, especially if you're a fan of street photography. 

The X100VI packs Fujifilm’s latest and greatest technology, including the 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR image sensor, intelligent hybrid AF with numerous detection and tracking modes, and in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Surprisingly, Fuji have been able to add IBIS without sacrificing size or weight, as the X100VI is only a fraction bigger than the X100V. 

As a rangefinder style retro, this camera features tactile control dials, which not only look good, but offer an engaging shooting experience, too, making this one of the ultimate cameras for street photography. Its fixed 23mm lens offers a field of view equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full frame camera, which is ideal for street, travel or documentary photography. Fuji offers lens adapters if you’d prefer a wider or more telephoto field of view, but if you’d like the ability to switch lenses, consider the Fujifilm X-T5 if you’re happy to sacrifice the rangefinder form factor. If you’d like a rangefinder style ILC, the X-E4 is a great choice, if you’re happy to use Fuji’s older AF system, 26MP sensor and go without IBIS.

Read our full Fujifilm X100VI review.

A man holding the Sony Alpha a6100, number 1 in our list of the best mirrorless cameras

Sony Alpha a6100 (Image credit: Sony)
The best mirrorless camera for most people

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 1.44 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch tilting TFT, 0.9 million dots
Size/weight: 4.7 x 2.7 x 2.4 inches; 14 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 420 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Superfast, AI-driven autofocus system
+
Up to 11-fps shooting for action shots
+
Bright, clear OLED viewfinder

Reasons to avoid

-
Sprawling menu system
-
Poorly placed video-record button

We think most consumers will find the Sony a6100 to be the best mirrorless camera for their needs. Selling for around $700 with a kit lens, it's not overly expensive, but has many of the modern features you'll want, including an excellent autofocus system, a fast 11fps shooting speed, a bright electronic viewfinder, and sharp 4K video. (The camera even has a microphone jack for better audio.) Plus, the a6100 has an excellent design with a good hand grip, as well as an articulating 3-inch touchscreen, which makes it easy to hold the camera above or below eye level and still get the shot you want.

What you don't get at this price are features such as in-body image stabilization, and the A6100's viewfinder is a lower resolution than higher-end models. But these tradeoffs are more than acceptable. We think this is a great camera for intermediate photographers, but would also be a great choice for beginners too.

Read our full Sony a6100 review.

An image of the Canon EOS R10 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
A lightweight APS-C body with some powerful video credentials

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 23 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 60p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Tilt-Type LCD, 1.04 million dots
Size/weight: 4.82 x 3.4 x 3.3 inches; 15.1 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 430 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic autofocus
+
Strong video credentials
+
Good value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels cheap
-
Lack of native RF-S lenses

The EOS R10 is aimed at casual and intermediate photographers and can be had for around $1,000 with a kit lens. However, we've seen this camera go for much less than that on offer, potentially making this a great choice for beginners too.

The Canon EOS R10 is super lightweight and relatively compact — ideal for a street or travel camera. Our Cameras editor Peter Wolinski spent a few days using it and was impressed with its autofocus system, which can track both human and animal eyes. This makes it great for anyone who likes taking photos of animals and wildlife, too.

The EOS R10 also offers some impressive video features, shooting 4K/60p — a rare feature in its price range — and offering up to 10-bit color for a wide color gamut. The R10 doesn’t feature IBIS or a 720-shot battery like our best mirrorless camera for video, the Sony a6600. But if your budget can’t stretch to the Sony, the R10’s 4K/60p and superb autofocus make it an ideal tool for aspiring video-creators stepping up from a smartphone.

However, the EOS R10’s lightweight design causes the body to feel cheap in-hand. Currently Canon’s RF-S lineup of bespoke APS-C lenses for their mirrorless R-System, is also lacking, meaning you’ll have to settle for non-native full frame RF lenses if you want fast maximum apertures or prime lenses.

Read our full Canon EOS R10 review.

A pair of hands holding the Sony Alpha a7 II mirrorless cam and pointing it towards the viewer

Sony Alpha a7 II (Image credit: Sony)
Pro features, on a budget

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.3
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 5 fps
Max video resolution: Full HD @ 60p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.35 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Tilting TFT, 1.22 million dots
Size/weight: 5 x 3.87 x 2.37 inches, 19.6 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 350 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Effective 5-axis image stabilization
+
Bright, clear pictures
+
Surprisingly small for a full-frame camera
+
Good bang for your buck

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow writing to memory card
-
Quirky autofocus
-
Motion distortion from shutter roll in action video
-
No 4K video

The Sony a7 II is a few years old at this point — it's been succeeded by the Sony a7 III, which offers full frame HDR 4K video and better battery life, and by the a7 IV, which has a new 33MP sensor among many other things. But the a7 II is still a powerful camera, and it's a lot cheaper than the more recent models, making it a better bargain and a great choice for intermediate photographers wanting to upgrade to their first full-frame camera with professional features.

The Sony a7 II carries in-body 5-axis image stabilization, is compact enough to fit in most bags, and packs a bunch of customizable buttons and knobs for quick access to your favorite controls. We also loved the bright, clear pictures and relatively low amount of noise (graininess) even at high ISO light sensitivity levels. Thanks to effective wireless capability, you'll be able to beam your shots to your smartphone or computer within seconds. If you can stretch to an a7 III, though, you'll benefit from improved autofocus and battery life.

Read our full Sony A7 II review.

Fujifilm X-T30ii on desk

Fujifilm X-T30 II (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Fantastic retro-styled mirrorless camera

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26.1
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 30fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch tilting TFT, 1.62 million dots
Size/weight: 4.66 x 3.25 x 1.25 inches; 11.6 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 390 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful image quality
+
Even more beautiful design
+
Lightweight but premium build
+
Creative film simulation modes
+
Good AF detection

Reasons to avoid

-
Awful Q button placement
-
No IBIS
-
Not the best in low light
-
AF tracking not great
-
Mediocre video features

The Fujifilm X-T30 II is one of the best mirrorless cameras you can pick up for under $1,000. We loved the original Fujifilm X-T30, as it offered many of the same features as higher end cameras in the Fuji lineup. Given the formula was such a good one, we can forgive the X-T30 II for not being too much changed from its predecessor. 

The X-T30 II offers stunning image quality to match its beautiful retro looks, performing well in most lighting conditions, thanks to its brilliant X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 combo.

The X-T30 II is an ideal mid-range choice for enthusiast photographers wanting beautiful, artistic imagery, as it comes packaged with 18 of Fuji's legendary film simulation profiles. It's lightweight, built extremely well and offers a respectable 1.62m dot LCD (upgraded from the 1.04m dots screen in the original) and decent 3.62m dot EVF. 

There's an awfully annoying Q button on the back, though, and video performance is limited thanks to a lack of IBIS, and a cap of 30p and 30-minutes when shooting in 4K. If your main purpose is video, check out the Sony a6600 instead, as the X-T30 II is first and foremost a camera for photography.

Read our full Fujifilm X-T30 II review.

Canon EOS R8 on tripod

Canon EOS R8 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Full frame mirrorless at an affordable price

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.2
IBIS: No
Max shooting speed: 40 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 60p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 3.36 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Vari-Angle, 1.62 million dots
Size/weight: 5.22 x 3.39 x 2.76 inches; 16 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 370 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful stills and video quality
+
Incredible autofocus
+
Ultra-fast 40fps burst
+
Unlimited 4K/30p recording

Reasons to avoid

-
No IBIS
-
Small viewfinder
-
Only one card slot
-
Limited direct controls

The Canon EOS R8 is the spiritual successor to the EOS RP, Canon's previous 'entry level' full-frame mirrorless camera. That said, nothing about the EOS RP was truly entry level, as it was a camera firmly designed for the lower end of the enthusiast market — your first proper upgrade after some time using a beginner's camera. And the same is true of the EOS R8.

This camera packs some really powerful features into its compact shell. Its 24.2MP full frame Dual Pixel CMOS sensor produces fantastic quality images and video, with Canon's famous color rendition generating beautiful natural colors and skin tones. It can shoot in 4K at 60P, while 4K at 30p is available without any time limitations. And it features Canon's truly sublime autofocus, which can detect and track human eyes and faces, as well as animals and vehicles, making it a versatile tool for a range of photo and video genres.

Unfortunately, the EOS R8 is hamstrung in its use as a professional body. It features no IBIS, which is a pain enough for low light photography, but a serious headache for serious video creation. There's no AF joystick, which is annoying when shooting through the viewfinder, and it only features one SD card slot, which will make anyone looking to dabble in professional work shudder. As such, it's firmly confined to the enthusiast market, but a great camera nonetheless.

Read our full Canon EOS R8 review.

The Nikon Z5 mirrorless camera sat on a white table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A reasonably priced mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.3
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 4 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 3.69 million dots
Screen: 3.2-inch Tilt-Type, 1.04 million dots
Size/weight: 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 inches; 23.9 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 250 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable Grip
+
Double SD card slots
+
Weather sealed
+
In-body image stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
Tilt screen, but no flip screen
-
Cropped 4K video
-
Short battery life

The Nikon Z5 is an excellent midrange mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor, letting you get large and luscious images. Though larger than the Canon EOS RP, we liked the way it handled, allowing us to keep a firm grip. It's weather-sealed against the elements, too. 

The Z5 took excellent pictures in low light, thanks to in-body image stabilization and an ISO range up to 51200. It can shoot 4K Ultra HD/30p video, but the image is cropped, but the camera has a mic and a headphone jack. Last, the 3.2-inch touchscreen is large and bright, but only tilts up and down, and not to the side. Overall, though, this is a great option for those who don't want to spend more than $1,500 on a full-frame mirrorless camera.

Read our full Nikon Z5 review.

The best mirrorless cameras for advanced users

Fujifilm X-T5 on tripod

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

11. Fujifilm X-T5

The best camera for enthusiast photographers

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 40.2
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 20 fps
Max video resolution: 6.2K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 3.69 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Tilt-Type, 1.84 million dots
Size/weight: 5.1 x 3.6 x 2.5 inches; 19.6 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 580 shots

Reasons to buy

+
High-res 40.2-megapixel image sensor
+
Tenacious autofocus system
+
Super-fast shutter speed and drive rates
+
Intuitive controls
+
Beautiful design

Reasons to avoid

-
Rear touchscreen not fully articulated
-
No top panel info display
-
Mediocre high-ISO image quality
-
Shallow buffers

The Fujifilm X-T5 is the best mirrorless camera for enthusiast photographers. It may look and feel retro, but under the hood it boasts Fujifilm’s latest 40.2 MP X-Trans CMOS 5 image sensor and X-Processor 5 pairing. The high resolution sensor delivers outstanding image quality and leaves plenty of flexibility for cropping or large-format printing.

With so many megapixels to play with, a manual shutter speed of 15 fps and electric shutter speed of 20 fps is impressive. However, in testing, the X-T5's buffers filled very quickly due to the lack of CFExpress ports, so you wont be able to utilize those faster shooting rates for long. Nevertheless, with a deep-learned AI autofocus system, the X-T5 will be able to keep up with even fast-moving subjects.

The ISO range is expandable to 51,200, and while its noise suppression is effective (it has to be when packing this many pixels onto an APS-C sensor), it does lead to an artificial smoothing effect and a loss of detail in images shot at higher sensitivity. Still, we came away with usable images even at ISO 12,800.

Strong light metering and a range of Fujifilm’s beautiful color simulation profiles helps the X-T5 offer users a quality result without the need to be a post-production master, while its compact and lightweight design and 5-axis IBIS make it an excellent option for on-the-move shooting.

Video performance is decent, offering up to 6K at 30p and 4K at 60p, but this camera is primarily designed for demanding enthusiasts and professional photographers — and there it excels.

Read our full Fujifilm X-T5 review

Nikon Z f sitting on table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A fantastic full frame retro for enthusiast photographers

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24MP
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 30 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 60p (crop)
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 3.69 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Vari-Angle, 2.1 million dots
Size/weight: 5.7 x.4.1 x 2 inches; 22.9 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 430 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality
+
Handsome design
+
Solid build quality
+
PD charging
+
Dual card slots

Reasons to avoid

-
No joystick
-
No auto ISO on dial
-
No charger included
-
Second card slot is Micro-SD

If you're in the market for an enthusiast retro body, but want the benefits that a full frame has to offer over the APS-C Fujifilm X-T5, top of your shortlist should be the Nikon Z f. 

Nikon has absolutely nailed the looks of the Z f, which harkens back to classic Nikon SLRs of the film era — it's absolutely stunning. It isn't just about looks though, and the Z f's retro layout means it handles exceptionally well. It's build exceptionally well, too.

Images from the 24MP full frame sensor are beautiful, while up to 8-stops of in-body stabilization keeps shots sharp even at slower shutter speeds. The Z f can record at up to 4K/60p with a crop, or 4K/30p without, and has dual card slots for dual writing or a backup of photos and videos. This camera also features PD charging to fill batteries back up quickly.

So what are the cons? Well, there are a few. Firstly, one of the Z f's card slots is a Micro-SD port, which will limit what can be written to it, and there's also no joystick for focus control — something that will seriously bug many enthusiast photographers. And while 24MP is a respectable resolution, if you need more pixels for larger prints, the Fuji X-T5 has a higher resolution (albeit smaller sensor). 

Still, if you want a retro and it has to be full frame, the Nikon Z f is about the best camera on the market for you right now.

Read our full Nikon Z f review.

Sony a6700 camera sitting on desk

Sony a6600 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best mid-range video camera for enthusiasts

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 120p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 2.36 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch tilting TFT, 1.04 million dots
Size/weight: 4.7 x 2.7 x 3.0 inches; 17.4 ounces
Battery Life (CIPA): 570 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent autofocus and tracking
+
Compact and lightweight
+
Solid image quality
+
Fantastic video features
+
Vlog-friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one memory card slot
-
No focus control joystick
-
Modest EVF

The Sony a6700 is the long-await successor to the a6600, which was previously our pick of the best video camera for most people. And the new model is more of the same. If you want to produce high quality video — perhaps for YouTube — without breaking the bank, the a6700 is for you. 

This camera packs incredible autofocus, 4K video oversampled from 6K at 60p, and can shoot 120fps slow motion at 4K. It's built beautifully, can take lovely photos and also gives you access to the huge number of Sony E-Mount lenses. There's also an awesome Auto Framing mode which gives solo shooters the effect of having a camera operator follow them through frame.

The drawbacks? There aren't many. The EVF isn't the best in the price range, and there's no focus joystick on the back, which is a pain, particularly for photography. If you're relying on your video camera for any paid work, then the single UHS-II card slot is a big issue, as you won't have a backup of your footage or photos if your SD card goes kaput. 

The main rival of the a6700 is the Fujifilm X-S20. The Fuji is better for stills and vloggers, thanks to its Product Priority Mode, but the a6700 has it pipped (just) for enthusiast videography thanks to the 4K/120fps recording and humungous range of lenses (although you won't be short of lenses with the Fuji). 

Read our full Sony a6700 review.

Side view of Canon EOS R6 Mark II

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best 'pro' camera for hybrid shooters

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.2
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 40 fps
Max video resolution: 4K @ 60p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 3.69 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Vari-Angle, 1.62 million dots
Size/weight: 5.45 x 3.87 x 3.48 inches; 1.5 lbs
Battery Life (CIPA): 760 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible autofocus
+
Blistering 40-fps burst rate
+
Professional video specs
+
8-stop IBIS
+
Great low light performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Modest megapixel count
-
No BSI sensor
-
No OLED info panel

The original Canon EOS R6 long held the position of the most expensive camera on this list. And the Canon EOS R6 Mark II continues that legacy. That said, while it's pricey, you get a lot for your money, The R6 Mark II is a camera designed for serious enthusiasts and professionals, with a spec sheet to match. For most people, this camera is serious overkill, but if you're getting paid for your work, or hope to be, you'll welcome its pro-oriented feature set.

The EOS R6 Mark II is a hybrid camera, meaning it's designed to shoot both stills and video. Its relatively modest megapixel count of 24.2 means it won't be the best for large photography printing jobs, but on the flip result in larger photosites (essentially pixels) than on a higher resolution sensor and therefore better low light performance. For video, there's 4K at 60p in 10-bit color, HDR PQ and C Log 3 available, all of which provide greater post-production flexibility for pro filmmakers.

Canon's deep-learned AI autofocus is just phenomenal, and can track human eys and faces, animals and vehicles, making this a versatile tool for different genres of photography.

If we're nitpicking, we'd have liked to see Canon's highest level BSI (Back Side Illuminated) sensor equipped, and pro users might have liked an OLED top panel display, as you'd find on the similarly priced APS-C Fujifilm X-H2S, and the EOS R5 (this camera's bigger sibling). 

However, if you're a hybrid shooter moving into or already doing paid work, and need a powerful workhorse for photos and video, the R6 Mark II is a formidable camera.

Read our full Canon EOS R6 Mark II review.

Panasonic LUMIX S5IIX attached to tripod

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The ultimate advanced camera for video

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.2
IBIS: Yes
Max shooting speed: 30 fps
Max video resolution: 6K @ 30p
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 3.68 million dots
Screen: 3.0-inch Vari-Angle, 1.84 million dots
Size/weight: 5.29 x 4.03 x 3.55 inches; 1.64 lbs
Battery Life (CIPA): 370 shots

Reasons to buy

+
Pro video specs
+
Fantastic build quality
+
Much improved AF
+
Brilliant IBIS
+
Intuitive controls

Reasons to avoid

-
AF still a little lightweight
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No CFExpress slot
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Battery life mediocre vs rivals

The Lumix S5IIX is the best advanced camera for video in our price bracket. Costing under $2,000, this camera will offer enthusiasts and semi-pro videographers all they need to produce professional quality video for their projects. Heck, it should even be more than enough for pro filmmakers too. 

The Lumix S5II and S5IIX (they are separated only by a few additional video features on the S5IIX, some of which can be added to the base S5II via a paid firmware update) are the successors to the legendary Lumix S5, and follow very much in its footsteps. The S5IIX features a huge range of video resolutions and formats, compression types and bitrates, allowing users to customize their content to workflow, quality and storage requirements. 

The camera features Panasonic's incredible IBIS system to keep everything stable when shooting handheld, and most importantly uses Panansonic's latest AF system — this is now a combined phase and contrast detection system, fixing one of the main issues on the original S5. As a mirrorless hybrid, it also takes beautiful images with lovely color rendition and all the benefits of a full frame sensor in regards to depth of field and low light performance. 

Drawbacks? There are very few and we almost awarded this camera 5 stars. The AF is still a little spartan versus rivals in terms of detection modes. There's no CFExpress port for fast data speeds when not shooting to SSD or external recorder — this is something you'd find on the Lumix GH6. And the 370-shot battery life isn't when compared to rivals. That said, for the money, this camera is phenomenal.

Read our full Panasonic Lumix S5IIX review.

How to pick the best mirrorless camera for you

The criteria when shopping for a mirrorless camera are pretty much the same as when you're looking for any sort of camera. 

First, what is your budget? While our picks of the best mirrorless cameras all fall under $2,500, you can find models that are twice as expensive, and their features are very tempting. 

Next, what is your experience level? If you're new to mirrorless cameras or photography in general, it's worth getting a lower-priced model with more beginner-friendly features, such as in-camera guides that explain various settings.

Last, consider what you want to do with the camera. If you're shooting sports or wildlife, you'll want a camera that can take a lot of pictures quickly, as well as one with in-camera stabilization. And, while mirrorless cameras are known for their smaller size relative to DSLRs, you'll want one that's more compact if you're planning to take it traveling. 

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: This is the lens that most people who buy an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless model as a kit use 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 so you know that 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.

What are the different sensor sizes in mirrorless cameras?

You've probably seen references to full-frame, APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors — but how do they differ?

Well, full-frame is the biggest sensor you'll find on most mirrorless cameras. And we say most, because Medium Format cameras are bigger still — but also way out of most people's price range, so we'll skip them here.

Full-frame is actually an old term and refers to a sensor the size of that in a 35mm film camera (roughly 36 x 24mm). The Sony A7 range, Nikon Z5 and Canon RP are all full-frame mirrorless cameras.  

APS-C is the next size down (approx 22 x 15mm) and is found in most mirrorless cams including Sony's A6000 range, most of Fujifilm's X series and some Canon and Nikon models. It has around 2.5 times less surface area than full-frame.

Below that is Micro Four Thirds, a sensor size developed by Olympus and Panasonic specifically for mirrorless cameras; you'll only find it on models by those two manufacturers. This is almost a quarter the size of full-frame.

So, what does it matter? Well, in general, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality. Larger sensors can gather more light and will generally have less noise than smaller formats. But obviously other factors also come into play here; this is a guide rather than a hard rule. Against that, a smaller sensor can allow for smaller cameras and — just as importantly — smaller lenses. 

What are the differences between mirrorless cameras and DSLRs?

Mirrorless cameras have come a long way in the past decade, and now rival — and often beat — the best DSLR cameras in most regards. 

Our comprehensive mirrorless vs DSLR guide gives you the full lowdown, but briefly, the key differences are:

  1. Size and weight
    Mirrorless cameras don't have a mirror (the name gives that away) and as a result are usually a lot smaller and lighter than DSLRs.
  2. Viewfinders
    DSLRs have an optical viewfinder, which shows you the scene as it really is. Mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which is a small screen showing you a video feed of the scene. Also note that some cheaper mirrorless cameras don't have any kind of viewfinder, leaving you reliant on the rear screen as on a smartphone.
  3. Speed
    Mirrorless cams are almost always faster, once price is taken into account, offering burst speeds that exceed that found in many DSLRS. They can also use an electronic shutter that can shoot faster still, though this usually reduces image quality. 
  4. Battery life
    DSLRs have the edge here: by not needing to power an EVF or in some cases an LCD screen, they can usually go for a lot longer. 
  5. Choice
    Very few DSLRs are being made now, with only Canon, Nikon and Pentax releasing new models (and even then, not that often). Canon and Nikon also make mirrorless cams, as do Fujifilm, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and others.
  6. Lenses
    Because DSLRs have been around for much longer, they have a richer range of lenses to choose from. Plus, second-hand lenses are readily available — often for a low price.

How we test mirrorless cameras

To determine which models make our list of the best mirrorless cameras, we first put each through a battery of tests, and evaluate them for such things as image and video quality, battery life, design, and usability. How fast can the camera shoot? Is its autofocus quick to lock on to subjects in the frame? When recording video, does it use the full sensor, and at what resolution can it record?

We also look at things such as button placement, how easy it is to navigate in-camera menus, if its touchscreen can fold outwards, and if you can access all the camera's settings using the display.

Finally, we consider such things as what features the camera has, and what competitors are offering in cameras that cost around the same price. 

Other camera buying guides

Be sure to check out all of our camera picks:

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