DSLRs sometimes become complex to understand the art of excellent still/videography. Then, in this regard, the world moved towards mirrorless cameras that have a smaller size, easy portability, much-advanced technology, and much more.
So, the question is, have you come across mirrorless cameras?
If yes, then you might know that picking the right mirrorless camera for your purpose is still like finding a needle in the ocean. As they cost the same as DSLRs, I am just diving into this situation with a list of the best mirrorless camera under 1000 dollars to save YOUR precious time and investment.
While every category of the camera needs some basic understanding and precautions, Mirrorless cameras are also a passenger of the same bus.
From cheap and low-end cameras to full feature-packed high-end devices, I have tried to give you a shot of the top 8 best budget mirrorless camera gadgets for a satisfying purchase. But before moving towards this list, first, check out some factors that should be well observed before making any purchase.
- 1 Best Mirrorless Camera Under 1000$
- 1.1 1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II – Best Mirrorless Camera under 1000
- 1.2 2. Panasonic Lumix G7KS 4K – Best for YouTube – Beginners – Vloggers
- 1.3 3. Canon EOS M100 – Best for Video and Photo
- 1.4 4. Sony Alpha a6300 – Best For Beginners:
- 1.5 5. Fujifilm X-T20 – Mirrorless Digital Camera:
- 1.6 6. Sony A7II – Best for Full Frame
- 1.7 7. Nikon DX-Format Z50 – Compact Mirrorless Camera:
- 1.8 8. Fujifilm X-T30 – Affordable Mirrorless Camera
Best Mirrorless Camera Under 1000$
1080/30 fps HD
4K ultra HD
4K UHD 2160p
4K UHD 2160p
4K DCI 2160p
1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II – Best Mirrorless Camera under 1000
When moving in the compact and affordable mirrorless camera genre, this Olympus boy is quite famous for the particular purpose. Originating from the M series, it’s an updated version of the E-M10 Mark I version with a slight improvement in EVF, design, in-body stabilization, etc.
This camera is something which you can take as an upgrade from point and shoot camera. So, when you plan to move from point and shoot cameras for better exposure to your photography skills, this M10 Mark II welcomes you under a budget of 500 bucks.
As a modernized version, the aesthetics are quite similar except the shuffling of the mode dialer button from left to the right side. This update gives you a much better experience to change your camera settings with an easy approach.
As well, the pop-up flash and on/off button placed on the left side so you can manage these sorts of things with your other hand.
The EVF has been improved with a much advance and bigger OLED 2.36M dots resolution. Additionally, the EVF is super bright even in brighter sunny days. So, you want to use it for street or outdoor photography; it won’t give you a blinder effect.
However, watch out for rainy or stormy weather as it doesn’t hold weather-resistant abilities. Yet, being the best cheap mirrorless camera under 500, this lack is surely negligible.
Moreover, Mark II gives you an electronic shutter, which means you are now just able to have a silent shutter. While in the streets or outdoors where you want a camera shutter to remain silent, it’s an ideal pick for that reason.
Furthermore, in comparison to the previous 3-axis stabilization system, now you get a better 5-axis in-body stabilization for better video and image stability for moving objects. And more, this gets much enjoyable with the sharpest 37 points AF (autofocus).
Consequently, whether you have outdoor sports activities or indoor parties, the results are un-shaky and much more stable.
This 16MP camera comes with a 14-42MM lens and you can note here, this is not a full-frame mirrorless camera. With such lens size, you got a 3X zoom with no compromise on video and image quality. That’s what Olympus is good at in a much-limited budget.
Interestingly, this Olympus model shoots in FHD at a rate of 25- 60FPS. For slow-motion effects, you can better tune this frame rate to 60FPS, and it finely crafts the moments in a much slower fashion without any lagging.
The Olympus EM-10 Mark II is a touch screen model with tilt features in both directions (85 degrees upward and 45 Degree downward).
Incredibly, it has an eye control feature, which allows you to control the autofocus while using the EVF.
Yet, this feature looks bit daft, but when it comes to its practicality, it decently works. So, for this camera, you can also capture stills with the touchscreen.
The Olympus is a nice entry-level edition for the intermediate photography enthusiast to start their journey with a much-advanced product in a minimal budget.
The improved EVF, In-body stabilization, and improved video features are the hallmark of this E-M10 Mark II version.
2. Panasonic Lumix G7KS 4K – Best for YouTube – Beginners – Vloggers
I genuinely believe some people love their brand consciousness nature, and for that, here is another Panasonic G7KS 4K mirrorless camera very similar to the previous Olympus boy. Well, this camera is also designed for beginners, YouTubers, or intermediate vloggers and also comes in a very nominal budget so its called Best Mirrorless Camera for YouTube.
Specifically, this camera creates competition with the Canon M50 camera. And then, luckily, it beats its rival in design and built quality.
If you are looking for a superb/well-built quality and easy-to-use camera, Panasonic G7KS is that ultimate steel. The built quality gives you feel that you are holding up a premium camera worth more than 1500 bucks.
On the other side, usability is another crunch with more than 10 dedicated buttons for easy functionality. For informal access to functions, this camera comes with specialized functions buttons like ISO, Photo Mode Dialer, Aperture, etc.
So, you don’t have a dig and locate into the MENU for setting up these functionalities. A time-saver Feature!
Further, on the design side, the external microphone port has been placed far from the 3-way articulating screen, so flipping and rotating the screen doesn’t get disturbed or interrupted.
This may seem a non-issue for you, but many higher-end cameras lack this sense.
So, coming to the technical specs, this camera has a micro ¾ sensor of 14-42MM, which is slightly smaller than the APS-C sensor.
Despite this fact, this 16MP camera gives you a premium image and 4K video quality. Also, it gives you a 7FPS burst mode in RAW format, so you enjoy more space.
I know, many cameras do more frames in burst mode, for this price point you can negotiate this point with premium in-body 4K video. This 4K video gets recorded at 100MB per second rate, which is surely a notable deal for this category of cameras.
Well, other than 4K video, it also does a 1080P FHD video shooting at a rate of 24-30-60FPS. This flexibility in the FPS rate able you to manage your video according to your mood.
A unique Cinema Looks feature has been given in the video mode to add color profiles to shoot on. This feature lends you a helpful hand at post color grading and tone tweaking.
Therefore, you are shooting outdoors with some of the cinematic intent; this could help you in a great way.
This Lumix G7KS has a face tracking sharp autofocus feature. For YouTubers and Vloggers who want their camera to keep their faces locked during video modes, it fulfills the exact purpose.
Nevertheless, on wide-angle moveable objects conditions, it lags a bit and struggles to keep the target locks with effective speed.
The fresh entrants in photography, video shooting, Vlogging, or Youtube like thing will find this G7KS model a premium choice to get started with a tight pocket. Also, if you are not finding it easy to use camera models, it fits into your purpose.
3. Canon EOS M100 – Best for Video and Photo
It’s a fact that even much-advanced smartphones don’t give a feel of a professional camera. So, if you want to step up from your smartphone and be in the budding photographer’s category, this Canon EOS is a most compact mirrorless camera with impressive image and video performance.
If you are a guy who is just starting to learn photography basics and hate the cameras full of buttons and dials, Canon is a perfect intuitive alternative to these reasons. Here is Best Mirrorless Camera for Video and Photo.
The all-metal body with minimal, basic buttons and touch screen allows you to interact with your camera more efficiently. The touch screen halfway tilts to 180-degree up-ward, which makes it also usable for low profile outdoor shoots.
Likewise, the small and compact size allows you to take its services when you are in travel or tourism mode.
This best-rated mirrorless camera comes with a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor with a stock 15-45MM Lens. Factually, this is the same lens that comes with T6i and T7i DSLR, and this time you get this lens in a much smaller camera.
Anyways, if anyone asks about the image quality, this is Canon Family member, and obviously, there is no question at all about image quality. The still images quality with its typical impressive color reproduction and nice shallow depth field it comes head to head with its much bigger rival Sony A5100.
Also, the low-light performance is gorgeous even without the Flash on.
One thing that lacks in this camera is the inclusion of 4K video mode. Yes, it doesn’t hold that feature, but FHD 1080P serves a pleasant and soft video at the rate of 24-30-60FPS with its DIGIC 7 processor.
Typically, the 60FPS does a pretty smooth slow-motion video shoot.
While you are looking for a camera with the most intact and crispy autofocus, this camera holds canon most advanced DUAL-PIXEL AF technology.
Technically, the canon has divided the autofocus into 3 settings:
- Face-Tracking AF: Standard AF that detects the face and locks the target.
- Smooth Zone AF: Creates a zone and focus all objects which land in this particular zone
- 1-Point AF: Create AF points and works according to these.
With all these autofocus settings, you have much versatility and flexibility in your hands to enjoy even in outdoor and sporty modes.
Canon M100 is an updated version of original M10 with better image processing, quality, and color tones.
For the photography enthusiasts who resist the big bulky DSLRs in traveling and outdoor photography jobs, it’s a great compact and portable package with impressive performance.
4. Sony Alpha a6300 – Best For Beginners:
Sony Alpha A6k Series is quite popular in the market due to its toughness and fabulous performance. This specific a6300 got introduced in 2016 as an entry-mid level Best mirrorless camera for beginners, YouTube content creators, and travelers.
With the launch of Sony a6500, camera lovers still admire this one as best mirrorless camera under 1000 bucks in Sony A6000-series lineup.
The camera comes out with a magnesium alloy body that reduces its weight but not the durability. The toughness and robustness are remarkable, thus resists all types of scratches and minor cuts on its body.
As an outdoor or traveling gadget, Sony A6300 is really powerful at the water, dust, and moisture resistant abilities.
So, when it comes to extreme weather conditions, it extremely does well what it supposed to do.
This 24.2 MP camera has gotten packed with an APS-C sensor with a 16-50MM lens. Moreover, you’ll find an extended range of ISO from 100-51200 to perfectly enjoy the low-light scenarios even without the absence of a full-frame lens.
Usually, camera fanatics concerns hard about 4K video mode in a camera. Sony a6300 has read out their concerns and has literally come with an embedded 4K video recorder without overheating issues.
In an average room temperature like a 27-28 degree, it does a 4K recording for a duration of 30 minutes without raising its temperature to a concerned limit. Where many competitors of the same categories lag at these parameters, this camera stands tall with great pride.
Besides, the 4K video is being recorded at 30FPS, while the FHD or 1080P goes at 120FPS. So, you admire the tremendous slow-motion videos; Sony a6300 has a great smile for this.
This Sony gadget comes with O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilization) rather the In-body Stabilization. So, it’s the stage where it lacks a bit, but as long as you are a gimbal user, things go super smooth.
But then, Sony secures the lead with auto-continuous face detecting autofocus with 4D 450 AF points. Truthfully, this is one of the best autofocus mechanism in the market offered by SONY.
With such AF capabilities, this camera also does an 11FPS burst mode without any disturbance in the images.
That makes 0.05 sec for each image capture, and it’s an incredibly winning edge of SONY in the mirrorless camera category.
In addition to this, the daylight photo and videography becomes handy with 2.4M Dot XGA OLED EVF with 120Hz fast-tracking. With such a frequency rate, the EVF empowers a smooth display without any delay or lag.
As Sony a6300 doesn’t offer a touchscreen, you’ll see lots of buttons on the camera body. Plus, the screen is not articulating, so it gives dual way tilt.
Sony is primarily a premium choice for intermediate level users with an average budget. The awesome build and materials quality provides the longest life span for the ultimate value of your money.
Also, the super-sharp AF and extended ISO make it the best sports and low-light performer.
5. Fujifilm X-T20 – Mirrorless Digital Camera:
So, after the entrance of X-T2, Fujifilm launched this X-T20 camera with some significant improvements in the sensor and design. Also, the company made this camera economically more approachable for mid-levels photo lovers.
For a fact, this X-T series camera gives more purpose to photography rather than video. Specifically, this gadget comes with 24MP X-trans CMOS 3 Sensor with X PRO Image processor. In addition to this, you also get an 18-55MM APS-C lens that produces F2.8-4.0.
So, with all these specs and including Max 12800 ISO for noise reduction, you get the bold and exposed low-light performance without any grains. Also, the daylight result is no exception with a true definition of colors and better depth exposure.
When you talk about daylight performance, VF is a thing that makes your job easy. Hence, this camera has been embedded with EVF with properties of 2.36M Dot resolution. Additionally, the 3-inch screen is 180-degree tilt-able providing touch focus and zoom with a pattern like your smartphone.
Apart from the touch focus, this device has gotten a range of 91 to 325 AF points for sharp targeting of the subject. This model has also got the same autofocus categorization, just like Sony a6300 (Zone AF, 1-Point, Face Detection) and O.I.S.
Yet, here you can also experience an advanced eye detection autofocusing for enhanced locking of a target.
Similarly, comparing it with Sony a6300, this camera lets you enjoy the same magnesium alloy body materials for exceptional durability and long-lasting life span.
One point you’ll find compromising here is the battery capacity. Fujifilm has really kept low capacity at this domain and allows 325 shots in one go that seems okay for photography.
However, at the videography hand, the battery produces only just 15 minutes at 1080P mode and 10 Minutes on 4K mode.
Subsequently, you have to keep a pair of batteries for this thing.
The X-T20 renders all necessary goodies of connectivity like NFC and Wi-Fi. The Fujifilm camera remote app is sometimes finicky, but it doesn’t affect the performance of the camera.
Similarly, this camera offers you an external microphone, which is a plus point for your outdoor traveling vlogs and shoots. Yet, the microphone jack supports the 2.5MM connector; thus, for your regular 3.5MM microphones, you would definitely need an adapter.
In dire need of perfect photography camera with versatile autofocus settings, quick boot-up, better noise reduction in darky situations, you won’t have any complaint about Fujifilm X-T20 mirrorless camera.
For a plus point, sturdy body materials and built quality allow this device to go hand in hand with you for years.
6. Sony A7II – Best for Full Frame
Finding and grabbing up a full-frame camera under a 1000 mark is quite a difficult task. But not now, as this A7II from the SONY A7 series is the best full-frame mirrorless camera under 1000 dollars ever. When you dig deep into this upgraded model, it throws many good reasons to add this thing into your bucket.
This camera competes directly with Nikon D750 and Canon 5D Mark III, IV. Also, this is an updated version of the original A7 model having improvements in ergonomics such as bigger grip head, focus dialer placement, etc.
For this model, it has also got a full-frame 5 Axis In-body Image stabilization. Stunned? Yes, you are reading a Full frame camera with such image stabilization capabilities just under 1000$ – it’s perfect steel.
The company claims this model carries a 30% improvement in auto-focus speed and 1.5x better tracking performance. Factually, it doesn’t seem like a tall claim because when you get hands onto this gadget, you will surely feel the significant difference in the performance.
For the quickest autofocus, it holds 117 point phase-detection for face tracking and locking.
As this has a 24.3 MP full-frame CMOS sensor, let enjoys a non-cropped wider angle with a 28-70MM lens. In addition to this, it also supports LOG 2 to capture a wide dynamic range of sceneries.
The image quality somewhat has excellent sharpness and definition of colors in broader daylight. In the night scene, the low-light performance is also optimum without any noise and grains due to 100 -25600 ISO.
However, in the video section, its bit struggle with the focus and stabilization. The video quality is soft and doesn’t have sharp depth in the frames giving a limited variety of colors. So, if you are primarily considering this thing for video, it may not suit your objectives.
Besides, it gives you 1080P at 60FPS speed. With that said, this camera also supports XAV CS Codec. I know this becomes extremely technical – Yet, in simple words, it gives a 50MBps rate of 1080P recording, which is quite average.
But then, on some good notes, it gives you an external microphone as well as the external headphone jack. This is something you’ll rarely find in such mid-range mirrorless cameras.
So after roaming around in a market full of APS-C and Third Fourth sensor cameras, this is certainly your perfect spot in search of a limited budget full-frame camera.
Besides the full-frame feature, you should consider this for crispy, crunchy image shots with significant perfection in AF response and improved tracking performance.
7. Nikon DX-Format Z50 – Compact Mirrorless Camera:
It’s undeniable that Nikon is a giant of DSLRs. Now, as we are talking about Compact mirrorless cameras, Nikon has already raised the competition in under 1000 package by its latest DX-format Z50 camera.
Launched in 2019 as an update of the Z6 model, this Z50 model brings a direct competition with Sony a6400 and Canon EOS M6.
As some of you might don’t know about the DX-format, it depicts the small sensor size in DSLRs. Yet, Nikon with this model has entered the mirrorless camera category as a first such kind of gadget.
This theory about the DX-format sensor is, it’s a small size sensor at 24X16MM. In a comparison of FX, which is a bigger sensor, it does a 1.5X crop to the view.
Nikon z50 is a compact solution for YouTube content creators, vloggers, and traveling enthusiasts. The company claims this mid-range camera is a spot-on fix to all your traveling and outdoor photo and videography needs.
Anyways, cutting a long story short here, this 20.9MP camera has the power of Nikon’s latest EXPEED 6 image processor. This processor is a rival of Canon’s DIGIC 8 Processor with some ups and down in some particular section of the performance.
Well, this camera comes with a CMOS sensor that offers real dynamic depth to images and great rendering to videos. Nikon has also moved this camera from standard ISO (25600) to higher ISO levels 51200. So, expect a tremendous job in the darkest situation and low-light sceneries.
The brilliance of 4K video is there, so you don’t worry it gives a 30FPS in this mode. On the other hand, 1080P FHD at 120 FPS is greatly known for smooth slow-motion videos.
In addition to this, the autofocus is much improved here in the comparison of Z6. Unlike its previous model, it comes with 209 phase-detection points offering both Face and eye detection ability.
Additionally, the burst mode gives you 11FPS continuous perfectly focused shots making each shot in less than 0.05 sec.
Along with the EVF, Nikon Z50 DX-format camera furnishes a bigger LCD display of 3.2” with articulating functionalities. This LCD also flip down 180 Degree, so you enjoy your good time while making Vlogs and taking selfies.
The extra supreme image and video quality make this camera an all-rounder performer in indoor, outdoor, moveable sceneries and traveling niche.
For the beginners who want to step-up their photo and videography game, Nikon Z50 really is a much practical and sustainable choice for their skills growth.
8. Fujifilm X-T30 – Affordable Mirrorless Camera
At the very least, the camera which captured my attention is the Fujifilm X-T30, which is a much compact, cheap, and upgraded variant of Fujifilm X-T3. The previous version somehow cuts your 1500$, yet Fujifilm introduced this device with somewhat identical performance but in less budget. so it’s affordable mirrorless camera.
The Video and Image performance are still as great as X-T3 is widely known for in the industry. Yet, if you are not familiar with the X-T3, this newly 26.1 MP camera has gotten a typical Fujifilm sharp and more dynamic range of colors in both image and video modes.
This performance gets spiced up with 425 AF points that also awards Face and eye detection like goodies. Although, autofocus is not like crispy in terms of performance as it was in its original version. It lags a bit in high or speedy objects.
Nonetheless, in this budget boundary, it still proffers highly competitive performance.
This APS-C Lens camera shoots both 4K and 1080P videos. The 4K at typical 30FPS and 1080P at 120FPS rate while allowing both shooting modes at a speed of 200 MBPS, which is quite heavy quality performance.
But then, Fujifilm just digests 10 minutes of 4K recording in one go. So, for continuous video shooters, it’s a bit disappointing.
Likewise, the Photo Burst mode renders 8FPS, which is a bit average.
Coming to low-light performance, as it gets equipped with the APS-C lens of 18-55MM, the ISO ranges from 100 to conventional 25600. Hence, when the sun ditches you, dark clouds make the situation darker, the brighter environment gets into a low-light scene, Fujifilm perfectly holds your hands.
And then, the built-in Pop-up flash does the rest.
The screen is a tilt in an upward and downward fashion. So, it’s not a thing specifically made for vlogs or such stuff. You can utilize this gadget for outdoor shootings, cooperate videos, or indoor casual usage. Notwithstanding, the screen is touch and also has a mini joystick-like feature to navigate through the menu.
This joystick adds fun and uniqueness to explore menus and settings.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is a sort of package that comes with a variety of options in much less price and smaller size. Whether you are a professional photographer, a beginner in photography, or use the camera occasionally. This camera always supports you anytime with its AF accuracy, Bold color collection, and bold low-light performance.
The Bottom Line:
Ah, the tough task just comes to pick the best mirrorless camera under 1000 bucks. Precisely, each device has some strong areas of performance at which it stands with great pride.
Yet, the matter of choosing an all-rounder performer, I see Nikon DX-Format Z50 Mirrorless camera as a Winner, having distinctive characteristics of image and video shooting. Besides, for the purpose of Vlogging, selfies, YouTube content creation, this camera shower great blessings with its bigger 3.2-inch LCD-display.
On the second side, the SONY A7II Full Frame Mirrorless camera joins the race as runner up due to its bit satisfactory performance at the video department. However, having a big sensor, it solely shines as the best full-frame camera under $1000.
Factors to Look at While Buying a Best Mirrorless Camera under 1000 dollars:
Attention Moment – In a budget of 1k$, you can find mirrorless cameras with mid-level features. So, do expect there is a budget limit, and you have to play quite efficiently within this boundary.
Watch-Out for Third-Party Lenses: Camera device might get changed after sometimes, but Lenses play as your long-term valuables and investment. Technically, a high-quality lens might cost you more than a basic camera body.
So, watch out for best price mirrorless camera models that have cream-like compatibility with third-party lenses or deal with interchangeable lens feature.
High-Resolution EVF is a Must Pick: As these types of cameras don’t possess a mirror mechanism; thus, it comes with Electronic Viewfinder rather than OVF (Optical View Finder).
Now, things get juicier here when it comes to the resolution of EVF.
The simple rule is, higher the resolution (measured in dots) more classy will be the EVF performance. Anything ranges from 2.3M+ to 5M+ dots, is a premium pick, and you should consider for a serious grab.
Full Frame vs. APS-C Sensor War: You’ll often hear these terms while making your way through the mirrorless camera category. Full Frame is something like the standard of these camera types with a size of 36X24MM, aka 35MM.
Whereas, the APS-C is a smaller size (23.6X15.6MM) sensor than this full-frame thing and known as Cropped.
Technically, you measure a crop factor in the comparison of a full-frame. Crop factors directly affect the focal length; hence, you experience a more zoomed-in or tapered field view.
Lower the zoom size and broader the view will be. In the case of APS-C Sensor, anything below the 1.5X crop is better to pick.
Big Battery Life Save your day: A truth that absolutely true is that mirrorless cameras are parasitic in nature when it comes to battery juice. Unfortunately, these camera models are not kind on battery life than DSLRs. So, a big battery is an ultimate savior of this situation.
Keeping a budget in mind, anything above 1200mAh would be a decent pick.
So apart from these factors, you can prioritize your points of consideration to weatherproofing, in-body stabilization, Megapixels count, Size, etc.
Bust the Myths Not Your Mind – FAQs
What’s a better full-frame or crop?
Typically, the full-frame cameras are larger lens with broader or wide-angle capturing. Also, the full-frame gadget works efficiently in low lights with higher ISO. So, you can make a judgment. Yes! They are somehow better approaches than Crop.
Is the full-frame necessary?
In case of a limited or much-restricted budget, it’s challenging to find a full-frame camera. Yet, with no limitation on budget, it’s good to go with full-frame.
Is Micro Four Thirds good enough?
You know, Micro Four Thirds is smaller than APS-C. It really depends on your personal preferences, image quality expectation, and your budget.
Do professionals use mirrorless cameras?
It also depends on individuals. Some professionals still prefer DSLRs, while some prefer technology and upgraded features. Plus, DSLRs become heavy and bulky, so it also makes professionals who get fascinated with size, to opt for mirrorless cameras.
Is Mirrorless the future?
Currently, mirrorless cameras seem to be the future of the camera industry. Whereas, the DSLRs still has a lot of market share in the industry.