best mirrorless camera for beginners
Mirrorless cameras are a great option for beginner photographers. We research and testing to find that the best mirrorless camera for beginners. Here New looks at some of the best mirrorless cameras available for beginners
As technology continues to grow, we’re seeing the rising popularity of mirrorless cameras for numerous reasons. For one, their photo and video quality is unmatched by many, and paired 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 mirrorless cameras for beginners, not only if you’re just starting out in photography and want a camera that’ll last you in the long run, but for those who are interested in what these things even are. We found 6 to give you options through numerous price-points, shapes and sizes.
What is a mirrorless camera?
A mirrorless camera is a bit different from DSLRs. Instead of a single-lens reflex, it lacks a mirror reflex optical viewfinder (hence the name, of course). Light passes through the lens straight into the image sensor. They were first announced around the mid-2000’s, however haven’t become too popular until the past few years.
The benefit? Mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter yet still gives you some previews through your lens. Like point-and-shoot cameras, the versatility they bring due to size is tremendous; however, the quality really demolishes any old-fashioned digital camera out there. It’s a nice balance between a traditional smaller-sized digital cam and quality of a DSLR.
Picking the best mirrorless camera for beginners
- Your budget – We saw in our best mirrorless cameras under $500 that there were only a few located within the lower-end of the price-range, so keep in mind these things aren’t exactly “cheap”. This is one of the main reasons people still prefer DSLR cameras nowadays in both digital photography as well as videography. However, price isn’t always everything — as you continue reading, you’ll see how amazing these cameras are. In fact, it may even inspire you to save up some more cash before making your purchase.
- Overall specs – Keep these key features in mind before you read the model summaries: megapixels (we recommend nothing less than 16.0 MP), type of sensor, processor (how fast the camera processes light data recorded by the sensor — the faster, the better of course), ISO range (level of sensitivity of your camera to available light), and type\strength of the autofocus system within (typically the more AF points the better, although any mirrorless camera is going to have a great system).
- Video? Although most have this feature already, we recommend grabbing a mirrorless camera with video even if you don’t plan on filming right at this moment — you never know if it’ll come in handy. If however you were seeking a mirrorless camera with video for sure, we’ll specify which models allow you to do so (note that most are 1080p HD, although if you want 4K video resolution it’ll cost you quite a few more dollars).
- Additional features – As our previous overall specs tab helps keep in mind what necessary factors you want to look for, some have additional, but not too necessary features as well. These include Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, filters and effects, special LCD screens, and more.
- Extra gear – Does your mirrorless camera already come with a lens? Thankfully you won’t have to buy one separately. Some come as ‘body only’ (without a lens) so keep in mind you may need to factor this into your budget (some lenses come even more expensive than the actual camera itself!). Aside from the lens, do you have your photo editing software already? What about a tripod, carrying case, external microphone and more?
Sony Alpha A7R II
Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 42.4MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,228,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 5fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert
Despite being small enough to fit in unnoticed amongst other CSCs, the Alpha 7 series of cameras have a full-frame sensor. That means the sensor is the same size as a piece of 35mm film, which is good news for image quality and depth of field control. The A7R II has proved especially popular because it has a pixel count of 42.2 million, so it generates huge images that have bags of detail, and noise is
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert
Fuji’s update to the X-T1 may look similar at first glance, but there have been some big improvements and perhaps the biggest of all is the autofocus system. It’s a huge leap forward compared with the system found in the X-T1, with AF tracking of moving subjects now much more precise and swift, while the level of sophistication and customisation is impressive too. Add in 8 frames per second burst shooting, a clever double-hinged rear display, bright
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,037,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.5fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate
We loved the original E-M10 for its size, versatility and value for money, but the E-M10 II adds features that take it to another level. The old camera’s 3-axis image stabilization system has been uprated to the 5-axis system in Olympus’s more advanced OM-D cameras, the viewfinder resolution has been practically doubled and the continuous shooting speed, already impressive at 8fps, creeps up to 8.5fps. Some will criticise the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor format
Sensor size: APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) | Resolution: 24 MP | Viewfinder: None | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,037,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.5fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate
we present the a5100. First and foremost, the entire line of Sony’s Alpha mirrorless cameras are becoming some of the most popular in the market (we have quite a few in here for a reason). We chose this particular model since it is in our opinion their best all-around as well as most reviewed by users around the net to give us some confidence when it comes to knowing it holds up to its name. This
Coming in a bit cheaper than our previous pick, we’d recommend this one if you wanted to save a few extra dollars while still grabbing a camera that’s worth it when it comes to quality. With its 16.3 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor, ISO in a decent range from 200 to 6400 (that can be expanded up to 12800/ 24600) and excellent flash system, you can count on great image sharpness even in dim light settings. An auto focus of 49 points also contributes to excellent image quality. Its 3 inch LCD screen that can be tilted enables easy and intuitive usage of the camera. Besides excellent images, you can also take high-definition 1080p video with as much
Sony Alpha A6300
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 921,600 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate
You don’t have to go full-frame to get the benefit of Sony’s great camera technology and this APS-C format model makes a great choice for enthusiasts looking for an alternative to big, heavy SLR. One of the challenges for CSC manufacturers has been to make their autofocus systems as good as the ones in SLRs. The A6300’s comes very close, especially in bright light; it’s able to track moving subjects around