best mirrorless camera for video under 1000

When it comes to mirrorless cameras under $1,000, there are many good options nowadays. These bodies offer a great balance of image quality, compact size and control, all wrapped up in an affordable package.

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That said, there’s a reason these cameras remain less expensive: they lack some of the features of their high-end brethren. So when browsing these bodies, know from the get-go that you’re choosing among intermediate cameras. A pro might find some features lacking, while a beginner might think some of the controls are overkill. For many, though, that’s precisely why these cameras hit such a sweet spot.

So what’s the catch? Well, when compared to more expensive prosumer cameras, there are some common compromises. Build quality, for instance, might not be as robust and with less weatherproofing than in the cameras for the pros. And in lieu of 40- or 50-megapixel sensors, these bodies typically provide around 24 megapixels. However, that’s still quite a reasonable resolution; large enough for quality printing but not so big as to create a cumbersome workflow.

These mirrorless cameras are also light and compact—a definite plus for those who prefer traveling light or simply want to remain unobtrusive while they shoot. The downside is that they generally suffer from shorter battery life simply because they don’t have the physical capacity of a bigger battery that a bigger body allows.

In-body image stabilization is becoming more common among mirrorless ILCs in this price range, though a couple of the cameras listed here have sacrificed it. Likewise, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are also usually present and make social media sharing a snap. Electronic viewfinders are included on all of these bodies, and most include articulating 3-inch LCDs, as well.

One of my favorite mirrorless camera features is also consistently present: face-detecting autofocus. This tool is a great way to ensure photos with people will have sharp faces, and it even tracks focus as the subjects move across the frame. While this might have seemed like something out of science fiction not long ago, now it’s become a de facto standard even on affordable, intermediate cameras.

In terms of video, these cameras also offer 4k capture, though it’s often cropped and with frame rate limitations as well. Unlike more expensive cameras, these bodies don’t always have dedicated microphone inputs and headphone outputs, so serious video shooters may find them a bit limiting.

Lastly but maybe most important are the sensors. Mirrorless cameras at this price point typically sport sub-full-frame sensors, either APS-C or Micro Four Thirds. That’s true of this list as well—with the exception of one.

So without further ado, read on for eight great bodies we’ve deemed the best mirrorless cameras available for under $1,000.

Best for a Tight Budget – Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II boasts a 24.2MP APS-C sensor and the EF-M lens mount for compact Canon lenses. At $599, it’s the most affordable camera on our list, and for just 100 bucks more, it comes with a 15-45mm zoom lens as well. For those who want even more zoom range, the two-lens kit adds a 55-200mm zoom yet the whole package still comes in well under $1,000. The M50 Mark II is also packed with features that make it especially useful for those who want to shoot and share video online: wireless YouTube streaming, vertical video and an HDMI out. It captures UHD 4K at 24p and 1080p HD video, as well as 720p HD at 120fps for slow-motion playback. Dual pixel autofocus is fast and accurate and has some notable upgrades over the original M50, while battery life has also improved. The 5-axis in-body image stabilization makes handholding video possible, and helps when shooting stills in low light. (See our in-depth review of the original Canon EOS M50.)

Photo from original Canon M50 – 55mm, f/11, 1/500s, ISO 100 (Photo by Jeremy Gray)

Shortcomings: Battery life is not great, not many fast/bright-aperture lenses for EF-M mount.

Estimated Street Price: $599 – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best Full-Frame – Canon EOS RP

Squeaking in just under our price wire is Canon’s EOS RP, a compact mirrorless camera with a 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor and a $999 price tag. While 26.2MP may not be anything to write home about, the sensor size sure is. For those who want the full-frame look, there are few mirrorless options under $1,000, unless you go the route of a pre-owned camera. Full-frame sensors make achieving wide angles of view much easier, a boon to landscape shooters and street photographers alike, as well as anyone who relishes buttery smooth bokeh (the quality of the out of focus area of an image) and generally lower noise when shooting at higher ISOs (all else being equal). That low noise/high ISO attribute improves image quality indoors, in low light and when shooting at night.

35mm, f/2.2, 1/60s, ISO 1000 (Photo by William Brawley)

Speaking of low light, the EOS RP offers ISO expansion up to a whopping 102,400. The RP uses Canon’s Digic 8 image processor (as does the aforementioned EOS M50 Mark II), which is the same processor used in the EOS R at nearly twice the price. The EOS RP captures UHD 4K and full HD 1080p video, too. Another great feature is the RF lens mount, which can accommodate Canon’s professional L-series lenses, both native RF-mount and EF-mount L-series lenses by way of an adapter.

Shortcomings: No in-body image stabilization makes handholding video all but impossible. 5fps burst mode isn’t much. Dual-pixel AF is unavailable with 4K video. 

Estimated Street Price: $999 – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best for Sports and Wildlife – Sony A6100

If you hate waiting for a camera to find focus, Sony’s A6100 may be the model for you. It’s a 24.2MP APS-C compact camera with great autofocus that tracks moving subjects very well and is also easy to use. It’s practically a point-and-shoot, but what pocket camera offers burst shooting up to 11fps with continuous autofocus and great subject-tracking? The autofocus is so fast and accurate, and with such great sensor coverage, that the A6100 becomes a viable option for wildlife and sports enthusiasts who want to freeze fast action. Wildlife shooters will also appreciate that the eye-detect autofocus can be set to track animal faces and eyes, as well. Though there are certainly other cameras with higher performance and additional capabilities for sports and wildlife pursuits, they are more expensive. The Sony A6100 provides a lot of performance in a small and affordable package. 

The A6100 also captures high-quality 4K video at 30p with a crop, though at 24 frames per second it’s crop-free. And the AF system works well in video, too. It may not be the newest camera on this list, but it’s consistently well-liked. It’s got the same sensor and processor as the higher-end A6600, so one might consider the A6100 to be a distinct upgrade over the older, also widely loved, A6000.

Shortcomings: EVF is SVGA (rather than OLED) and the body is plastic with minimal weatherproofing. No S-Log, which serious video shooters might miss.

Estimated Street Price: $748 – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best Camera for Control Freaks – Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm’s X-S10 is two-thirds the cost of the X-T4, but it uses the same sensor, processor and autofocus system as the flagship body. (That would be the 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4.) And unlike many X Series cameras, the Fuji X-S10 is only the second to include in-body image stabilization (after the higher-end X-H1), so handholding stills and video is more effective than ever. It weighs in at just over a pound with batteries thanks to partial magnesium construction. It may not be weather-sealed to a pro’s standards, but the camera is well built and feels solid in the hand. Speaking of hands, sometimes the smallest cameras are uncomfortable to hold. But the X-S10 remedies that with a more pronounced handgrip, keeping the body small and light but also ergonomically comfortable. 

55mm, f/7.1, 1/250s, ISO 160 – Velvia Film Simulation (Photo by William Brawley)

Speaking of styling, the X-S10 is no slave to retro looks so much as it’s retro-inspired: familiar to those who want traditional controls without forcing the throwback vibe often seen on other Fujifilm cameras. Better still, those controls have been changed in favor of a PASM mode dial approach that’s easier to use for anyone unfamiliar with Fuji’s traditionally quirky method of adjusting exposure modes. For those looking to test the extremes of stills and video, the X-S10 offers some settings totally unique among its peers. These include a shutter speed range from 1/32,000 to 900 seconds, 240-frames-per-second full HD (for super-slo-mo video), and a 20-frames-per-second burst of stills using the electronic shutter. It can also capture 4K video at 30p without cropping, and the microphone input and included USB-C headphone adapter are helpful too. Fuji’s “Film Simulation” options are also a neat way to create different looks without additional processing in post, while RAW capture options offer more control.

Shortcomings: Lacks weather-sealing. No dedicated headphone jack nor 4K 60p video that more advanced video shooters might desire.

Estimated Street Price: $999 – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best Image Quality on a Budget – Fujifilm X-T30

There’s good news for those who like the image quality of the Fujifilm X-T3: you’ll also like the image quality of the X-T30. In 2018, we rated the X-T3 as the year’s best overall camera and many of its features are shared by the more affordable Fujifilm X-T30. This trickle-down tech includes hybrid AF and the same 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor and X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU. These position the retro-styled X-T30 to provide high quality in a small camera at a low price. Standout features are improved image quality at high ISOs and crop-free 4K video, as well as 10-bit log output when recording to an external recorder via the HDMI out. 

21mm, f/7.1, 1/15s, ISO 250 (Photo by Jeremy Gray)

Some users complain of less than optimal ergonomics, and hard-charging photographers may not appreciate the less-rugged build quality and lack of weather sealing, while the lack of IBIS makes handholding video a real challenge. But the X-T30 makes up for it in other ways. Like the aforementioned X-S10, the X-T30 includes several useful color modes including Fuji’s classic array of “Film Simulations.” For those who want to capture fast action, burst mode options include 8fps with the mechanical shutter, 20fps with the electronic shutter, and even 30fps with a 1.25x crop that produces 16MP image files.

Shortcomings: Less comfortable ergonomics. Lack of in-body stabilization is a problem for video. 4K Video limited to 10-minute clips.

Estimated Street Price: $799 – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best for Transitioning from a DSLR – Nikon Z50

When you choose a camera from a longtime industry leader like Nikon, you expect to get a camera that’s comfortable and easy to use. The affordable mirrorless Nikon Z50 is no exception. With its 20.9MP APS-C (DX) sensor, the Z50 isn’t winning any resolution competitions, but it’s no slouch for most users. What it is doing, however, is making it comfortable to capture quality images with good dynamic range on a camera that’s compact yet still feels familiar to those used to working with SLRs. For those who might still be holding on to their DSLR for fear that compact mirrorless systems may not fit quite right, the Z50 is a great way to test the waters of a move to mirrorless. Not only is the camera comfortable, but with all of the buttons and dials placed just so, the camera is incredibly intuitive, too. Employing the large Nikon Z mount, the Z50 is set up to use Nikon’s best lenses specially made for mirrorless, which provide uncompromised image quality in a smaller form factor. For photographers who want to shoot in the dark, the Z50 features expandable ISOs to a whopping 204,800 as well. It can capture 4K video too, but with a 1.5x crop.

50mm, f/1.5, 1/80s, ISO 450 (Photo by William Brawley)

Shortcomings: Not a lot of megapixels. No in-body image stabilization.

Estimated Street Price: $860 – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best for Traveling Light – Panasonic GX9

A “Dave’s Pick” and the editors’ choice for best intermediate camera in 2018, the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 remains one of the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000. With its 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS Sensor that also lacks an optical low-pass filter, the GX9 delivers maximum sharpness. With a 12-60mm kit lens attached, it’s a compact and versatile camera that’s great for traveling light. The camera offers other favorite features, such as an articulating touchscreen LCD, a tilting electronic viewfinder, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization claimed by Panasonic to provide an additional four stops of handholding capability. That’s also an aid to travelers as sharp photos are possible in low light without a tripod.

32mm, f/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 200 (Photo by William Brawley)

Available in black and silver versions, the GX9 may lack the weatherproofing of its higher-end counterparts, but it’s a compact and affordable way to produce quality image files—and that’s always a winning combination. Fun features include Sequence Composition mode, which is a cool way to make composites of multiple images in-camera. Think Eadweard Muybridge-style action sequences without ever touching a computer.

Shortcomings: No microphone jack or headphone jack, and 4K video is cropped. Battery life leaves a little to be desired, and the EVF is not OLED.

Estimated Street Price: $998 w/ 12-60mm lens – Check current prices at B&H or Amazon

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Best Entry-Level Micro Four Thirds – Olympus E-M10 Mark IV

The Olympus E-M10 Mark IV is a 20.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds camera that weighs just 13.5 ounces, battery included. In this update to the popular E-M10 Mark III—which was rated IR’s 2017 best intermediate mirrorless camera—the Mark IV adds a few features that make the camera more versatile and user-friendly. First is improved ergonomics, with a new grip that makes the compact body easier to hold. Next is a tilting LCD that opens up a wealth of new camera angles, including waist-level shooting and, for those so inclined, selfies. The updated face and eye-detecting autofocus system helps produce sharper images, while the OLED viewfinder shows the full frame at high resolution. Five-axis in-body image stabilization provides up to 4.5 stops of compensation, and it’s all done with a nod to old-school styling and the manual dial controls many photographers have come to prefer. 

200mm, f/4, 1/400s, ISO 250 (Photo by Dave Pardue)

The E-M10 Mark IV offers 28 camera modes, including several uniquely useful modes like multiple exposures, live composite, HDR, silent shooting, automatic exposure bracketing, autofocus bracketing, and even digital shift—a kind of simulated tilt/shift compositional control for photographers who want to photograph architecture while minimizing the keystone distortion that often occurs, all without the need for post-processing after capture. The E-M10 Mark IV is capable of 4K video capture at 30p, features a large OLED EVF, 15fps burst mode, and good manual controls for those who prefer a retro-inspired (and to some, more user-friendly) tactile dial experience. It’s even got a built-in pop-up flash!

12 Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000 in 2022

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In a world where everything is becoming smaller, lighter, and faster, mirrorless cameras have become the name of the game. Many DSLRs are considered outdated and bulky. Consequently, the best camera manufacturers, like Canon and Nikon, have started focusing on their mirrorless lineup.

With a significant advantage in portability, video features, and quick autofocus, mirrorless cameras — especially the intermediate level ones – offer more value. As a result, the umbrella of mirrorless cameras under $1000 is a rather crowded category in 2022. This list will help you make the right choice.Editor’s PickNikon Z 5 Camera Body, BlackBest ValueFujifilm X-T200 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/XC15-45mm Kit – Dark Silver

  • 24MP full-frame image sensor
  • 4K UHD video recording
  • dual SD card slots
  • 273 point autofocus system
  • weather-sealed
  • optional NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR lens
  • 24MP APS-C image sensor
  • 4K video up to 30 fps
  • retro-style body
  • film simulation color profiles
  • HDR video mode
  • digital image stabilization

$1,296.95Price not availableView on AmazonView on Amazon

If you need to know what to research before investing in a mirrorless camera, then take a look at our camera guide for beginners. Though mirrorless cameras aren’t always lighter than DSLRs, they’re sure smaller in volume. They’re perfect for hikers and carry-on only travelers who need to squeeze in extra stuff such as books about travel or a laptop for photography.

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12 Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000

1. Fujifilm X-E4

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Looking at the Fujifilm X-E4, one would be fooled into thinking that it’s a basic point-and-shoot camera. Packed with Fuji’s new APS-C CMOS 4 sensor, the camera offers a resolution of 26 MP in a body that looks gorgeous and can fit into your pocket.

Given the excellent sensor and Fujifilm’s renowned color profiles like Acros and Classic Chrome, you will be more than happy with the JPEGs.

If shooting in RAW, the image quality only improves. The rangefinder-esque looks, a responsive touchscreen LCD, and a good battery life make the shooting experience more enjoyable.

Fujifilm X-E4 image, source: mono chrome

For videographers, the Fuji X-E4 offers 4K video up to 30 fps, with an option of recording 10-bit files if using a micro-HDMI cable. The only significant flaw with the X-E4 is its autofocus tracking abilities. Although single-point mode and zone focusing work well, fast-moving subjects like your pets and children may pose a challenge. Also, the camera lacks weather sealing, image stabilization, and a lot of customizable buttons.

If you are in the market for a highly compact camera with excellent image quality that can take good photos on ‘Auto’ mode, you don’t need to look further than the X-E4.

2. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

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The Canon M50 Mark II is a popular choice for vloggers and photographers looking for a simple, user-friendly experience. The M50 II features a 24 MP APS-C sensor, a DIGIC 8 processor, and an enhanced Dual Pixel AF system.

You should consider this camera for the Dual Pixel, as it gives you steady subject tracking and focus pulls by easily reaching the articulating rear LCD. It is faster than the phase-detect AF of the viewfinder and allows the camera to work like a smartphone. The M50 Mark II will appeal to Youtubers and vloggers with direct live streaming.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II image, source: Henry Söderlund

Although there is 4K video, it comes with compromises. You cannot use Dual Pixel AF here, and there’s an x1.5 crop. Also missing from the camera is weather sealing and image stabilization. In contrast, the 1080p video mode is impeccable, and you can record slow-mo videos with 120 fps. The image quality is great, although boosting shadows brings in some noise.

Designed with Canon’s Dual Pixel AF, unique colors, and a shooting speed of around 7 fps in a mirrorless body, the EOS M50 II is an excellent choice for photography enthusiasts and Youtubers. It will preserve space while hiking or traveling and deliver image quality close to more expensive models.

3. Fujifilm X-S10

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Without the usual PASM dial, Fuji cameras required you to adjust the dedicated aperture and shutter dials to move from aperture-priority to shutter-priority to manual mode. The 2020-launched X-S10 changes that, and also offers the much-awaited in-body stabilization, fully articulating screen, and a chunky, comfortable grip.

The body of the X-S10 is more DSLR-like and looks less ‘vintage’ than other Fuji models. But that’s not a bad thing, because the camera is quite ergonomic and almost all the buttons are customizable. Even the build quality is excellent, although not weather-sealed well.

Fujifilm X-S10 image, source: Transformer18

The 26 MP CMOS 4 sensor, 4K video, 8 fps shooting speed are all standard features nowadays. However, Fuji sensors provide slightly better colors and dynamic range. Including the rotating touch LCD and 5-stop image stabilization makes it an excellent travel camera. All your lenses will be stabilized with this.

The 425-point hybrid AF is the only weak spot of the X-S10. While it will work fine in daylight and for slow subjects and landscapes, the tracking is not reliable in tougher conditions. Despite this, the Fuji X-S10 is a rugged camera that can do a little bit of everything and meet the needs of (almost) every photographer.

4. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

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The Olympus EM10 Mark IV is an entry-level mirrorless camera, and although its feature list is not extensive, its price is affordable. At first glance, the small 20 MP micro four-thirds sensor with 121-point contrast-detect autofocus does not seem impressive. The AF tracking is not as reliable as the hybrid systems other cameras offer, and you will probably end up using the central point mode for the best results. There is also no weather sealing.

The standout feature of the E-M10 is its in-body stabilization and a fully articulating touchscreen LCD. Olympus has a wide range of lenses, and not worrying about which ones are stabilized will be great. The camera has a shooting speed of 15 fps and even offers 4K video up to 30 fps along with Full HD at 120 fps, although there are no mic inputs.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV image, source: Henry Söderlund

The E-M10 Mark IV makes sense if you are looking for an inexpensive upgrade from your smartphone camera or a backup for your main body. It is small, portable, stabilized, and a good family camera, as long as you don’t require the best-in-class image quality or lots of customizable buttons.

5. Nikon Z5

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It’s hard to imagine that buying a Nikon full-frame mirrorless camera below $1000 is possible, but the Nikon Z5 has fulfilled those dreams. The Z5 packs a 24 MP full-frame sensor, weather sealing, 273 AF points, and 5 stops in-body image stabilization.

The camera is designed as a complete stills-photography package, and the image quality and the autofocus system are some of the best you’ll find in a mirrorless camera body. Dynamic range is excellent, and even at ISOs like 1600, you won’t see much noise. Additionally, Nikon’s 3D tracking and face detection work wonderfully, and fast-moving subjects won’t be a big deal for the Z5.

Nikon Z5 image, source: Mizrak

The only tiny downside of the Z5 is in the video segment. Although 4K is possible, it comes with a massive x1.7 crop and significant rolling shutter. Further, the AF during video can sometimes seem jittery and slightly abruptly move from one subject to another. Moreover, the Z5’s shooting speed is at a low 4.5 fps.

If you don’t have videography or high-speed action shooting on your list, the Z5 mirrorless is the best choice for under $1000. You will not get a more ergonomic, stabilized, full-frame, weather-sealed body in this class.

6. Panasonic Lumix DC-G100

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Panasonic is known for its video features, and unsurprisingly, the Lumix DC-G100 is made for vloggers looking for their first inexpensive camera.

One of the smallest mirrorless cameras on this list, the G100 comes with a 20 MP micro four-thirds sensor, a bright articulating touch LCD, and 4K video up to 30 fps with 8-bit color depth, along with WiFi and Bluetooth.

Image quality is not the best, although it’s sufficient for general travel photography and casual vacations. Panasonic’s trademarked DFD autofocus system is contrast-detect. It won’t give exceptional results, but again it’ll be sufficient for general users. There’s a ‘post focus’ mode that lets you select the focus point after taking the photo.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G100 image, source: TridentPlus

The DC-G100 is designed for beginner videographers, but there are a few limitations. The 4K is cropped, and there’s a 10-minute record limit. Also, there is no headphone jack or optical image stabilization. The camera’s main strength is the rotating LCD, a Nokia-designed audio system, built-in V-Log, and a 3.5 mm mic input — all great for video.

The DC-G100 is not particularly impressive, but it does well whatever it can actually do. Video quality is great, and if you can work around its limitations, it’s a workable beginner Youtuber’s kit.

7. Fujifilm X-T200

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Another excellent alternative for vloggers, the Fujifilm X-T200 combines Fuji’s retro-style body and color profiles with a portable body and a huge rotating touchscreen LCD. The 24 MP sensor and an updated hybrid AF system ensure that the camera delivers image quality equal to the X-T30.

Fujifilm has put a lot of effort into making the T200 a camera for easy content creation. The 3.5-inch LCD utilizes the touch interface beautifully, and there are also three dials on top and lots of customization options for those who prefer a hands-on approach.

The JPEG and RAW image quality from Fuji cameras has always been excellent, and the T200 is no exception. The autofocus system is great, and while it does not match Canon’s Dual Pixel for subject tracking, face detection, and zone tracking do the job well enough.

Fujifilm X-T200 image, source: martyn Dunbar

By far, the standout feature of the camera is 4K video. Down-sampled from 6K, the 4K footage is better than the camera’s 1080p quality, although the ‘digital gimbal’ stabilization cannot be used for this. You also have mic and headphone sockets, along with USB charging and WiFi.

Unless you really need subject tracking in video and super-sharp 1080p video, the Fujifilm X-T200 is a stylish, all-rounder package at an affordable price.

8. Sony Alpha a6400

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Sony’s Alpha series of mirrorless cameras has been a big hit. The Sony a6400 takes that legacy ahead by giving a 24 MP APS-C sensor with probably the best AF system in a mirrorless camera yet.

The camera has a wide grip and a touch LCD that flips up for selfies, but the buttons are not always easy to hit, the menu is confusing, and there’s no front dial. The a6400 is dust and moisture resistant but not as ergonomic and fun to use as cameras from Canon and Fuji.

Both the JPEG and RAW image quality are excellent, and there’s enough dynamic range to let you boost shadows without much noise. Where the a6400 excels is its autofocusing. Based on Sony’s flagship action camera, the a9, the a6400 has a 425 point phase-and-contrast detect AF with ‘Real Time’ subject tracking and eye detection. It is almost instantaneous and works beautifully.

Sony Alpha a6400 image, source: Vladimir Belyaev

There’s a significant learning curve, but once you set it up, you’ll never have to touch the AF settings again. The shooting speed of 11 fps makes the camera a great wildlife photography kit.

On the video side, you get 4K/30 fps with a crop and 1080p at 120 fps, and there’s some visible rolling shutter. There is no headphone jack, but there is a mic input and HLG, S-Log2, and S-Log3 profiles for grading.

The Sony a6400 is not a user-friendly camera and more suitable for enthusiasts who will not shy away from the complex settings. But if you need a rugged camera for fast-moving action, you can rely on its class-leading AF and sharp image quality.

9. Nikon Z50

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The comparatively older Nikon Z50 was the first APS-C mirrorless camera from Nikon. The 20.9 MP sensor and EXPEED 6 processor are the same as the flagship D500, so image quality — especially in low-light and shooting in RAW — will be among the best in class. The magnesium alloy body is rugged and weather-sealed, weighing just about 350 grams.

The AF module has 209 phase-detect points coupled with a speed of 11 fps. While it works well enough for things like static portraits and landscapes, the face/eye detect feature is available only in Auto area mode. Therefore, if you want to control the AF point manually, you’ll have to give up face detection.

Nikon Z50 image, source: BP Chua

Even the subject tracking is available only in the Auto area mode and is not as accurate as Sony or Canon’s Dual Pixel. AF in video is not close to Dual Pixel, and you’ll see some occasional hunting, but the performance can be made better with a few tweaks.

The touchscreen LCD flips down for vlogging, and there’s a mic input, focus peaking, and zebra warning. The video quality is good in both 4K/30 fps and 1080p/120 fps. Only the low battery life and lack of image stabilization get in the way of what otherwise is a great video tool.

Apart from the lower resolution, which may deter photographers who print their images, the Z50 is a great all-purpose travel and video camera.

10. Canon EOS M6 Mark II

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The highest resolution camera on this list, the M6 Mark II features a 32.5 MP APS-C sensor in an ultra-compact body, with a detachable electronic viewfinder. The camera also comes with a touchscreen LCD that flips up, Dual Pixel AF, and an incredible speed of 14 fps.

The M6 Mark II is excellent for landscape and travel photographers. It is highly portable, and the high resolution and dynamic range is the camera’s main strength. The Dual Pixel is also incredible and makes the camera’s live view mode really easy to use for beginners, and you get a few extra controls like the MF-AF toggle and a dedicated AF-On button.

Canon EOS M6 Mark II image, source: Oleksandr K

However, a few drawbacks are that the viewfinder is a piece that you’ll have to carry separately in your camera bag, and there’s no weather sealing or image stabilization.

The M6 Mark II also works well as a video camera. The 4K is uncropped and comes with Dual Pixel and a mic jack, although using digital stabilization will introduce some crop. The overall quality and focusing mechanism are excellent, but the lack of a headphone jack and an LCD, which gets blocked if you attach the viewfinder on top, makes it only a partial video camera.

For people looking for a high-resolution, compact travel camera that can also shoot great videos, the M6 Mark II is perfect.

11. Sony Alpha a6100

View on Amazon or Adorama

The cheaper and older brother of the a6400, the Sony a6100 is aimed at beginners and contains essentially the same features — a fantastic autofocus system, 4K video, and excellent image quality.

The 24 MP CMOS APS-C sensor captures excellent dynamic range, and Sony has tweaked its processing to improve JPEG colors, something which Canon and Fuji do well. The 425-point hybrid AF is top of the line, and it will be hard to get out-of-focus shots once the camera settings are set as per your needs. But again, Sony’s complex menu and a brick-like body design make the camera less user-friendly.

Sony Alpha a6100 image, source: Мaistora

The inclusion of 4K video at 30 fps and 1080p at 120 fps with 4:2:0 sampling makes the a6400 a good video camera. The screen also flips up for vlogging, and you can plug in a mic, although there’s no headphone jack. With Sony’s AF, you can rest assured that focus pulls and face tracking will be easy.

The specs of the a6100 do not seem mind-blowing in this age of mirrorless cameras, but the camera is highly capable and offers exceptional value at this price point.

12. Canon EOS RP

View on Amazon or Adorama

Unlike the usual EF-S and EF-M mounts of Canon, the EOS RP uses the RF mount and is surprisingly a full-frame mirrorless under $1000. The 26 MP sensor with Dual Pixel has a lot going for it, especially in terms of ergonomics. The RP body is quite compact, and the grip is comfortable; you also have a fully articulating touchscreen LCD.

What makes the camera fun to use is the Dual Pixel AF, making it almost a point-and-shoot. You can simply touch to focus and track subjects, and the 4779 AF points divided into 143 zones support pupil detection.

Unfortunately, the Dual Pixel capabilities are missing in 4K, and shooting at this resolution also introduces a crop of x1.7. Thankfully, vloggers do get both a headphone jack and a mic input.

Canon EOS RP image, source: RG in TLV

In terms of image quality, the full-frame sensor provides a lot of details and sharpness, although the Nikon Z5 and Sony full-frame cameras have a slight edge. Action photographers will be disappointed with the 5 fps shooting speed and also the poor battery life.

For people concerned only about the image quality and the shooting experience, the RP will not disappoint. If you can find the right RF mount lens — or choose to use an adapter with Canon’s other lenses — the RP will deliver outstanding overall performance.


Mirrorless cameras come with a few image camera sensor sizes: full-frame, APS-C, and micro four-thirds. Therefore, before taking the plunge, you must understand the specs of the camera and your own photographic needs.

People wanting a fun and lightweight camera should consider the Fujifilm X-T200 and Canon M50 Mark II, while shooters who demand fast AF and the best possible image quality will lean towards the Sony models and entry-level full-frame cameras like the Nikon Z5 and Canon RP.

Ultimately, choosing the right camera will be more about understanding the camera’s limitations than ticking off a list of features.

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