Best Mirrorless Cameras 2018

Product Use case Rating
Sony Alpha a6000 Best Beginner Mirrorless Camera 9
Sony Alpha a6300 Best Intermediate Mirrorless Camera 9
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II (M5 MII) Best Mirrorless Camera for Video 8
Sony Alpha a7 II Best Pro Mirrorless Camera 8

If you're looking to pick up a new camera with not just more resolution, but better optics, a more capable image sensor and lots of versatile features, then you really want to consider a mirrorless camera. 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. They're great if you're looking to step up from a smartphone or point-and-shoot, as well as those looking for something that's smaller than a DSLR, but still produces quality images.

The mirrorless camera we'd recommend for beginners is the Sony a6000, which costs just under $650 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 (May 2018)

  • Fujifilm has a new retro-styled entry-level mirrorless camera: The X-T100 includes a 24.2 MP APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, high magnification electronic viewfinder, and a horizontal tilting rear LCD screen. It captures burst modes at 6 frames per second and can capture HD video at 60 fps, but if you’re looking to shoot 4K video, you may be disappointed, since it only captures it at 15 fps. The X-T100 will be available mid-June in black, silver, and gold, and will be sold in two configurations: as body only, for $599.95, and as a kit, with the Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ power lens for USD $699.95.

  • Olympus has introduced a new mirrorless camera, the PEN E-PL9 ($599.99 for body-only and $699.99 with kit lens), targeted at entry-level photographers and those wanting to step-up from a point-and-shoot or smartphone camera. It features a 16-MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor, a 3-inch swiveling touchscreen LCD, body-based 3-axis image stabilization, 4K HD-resolution video, and built-in Wi-Fi, and can shoot burst of photos up to 8.6 frames per second. The more expensive camera kit will include with a 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens, which is also an electric-powered zoom lens.

  • The Canon EOS M50 is a step up from the lower-priced EOS M100, but includes a number of important features not available on the M100, including a high-quality electronic viewfinder, a fully articulating touchscreen, a hot shoe for an external flash, and 4K-resolution video capture (although at just 24 frames per second). It comes with a 24.1-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and features Canon’s latest processor, the Digic 8, which allows it to fire off 10 frames per second (or 7.4 in servo AF mode) in burst mode and HD-video capture at 120 fps (at 1280 x 720) for slow-motion video.
    The M50 also includes Wi-Fi (which adds a nifty auto-transfer feature), dual-sensing image stabilization (which integrates mechanical body-based IS with optical, lens-based IS for its M-series lenses), and a new CR3 RAW file format. The EOS M50 will be available this April and sold in three configurations: Body only for $779.99; with the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens for $899.99; and with two lenses (in black only)—EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and the EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM—for $1,249.00.

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.

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  • 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.