The good thing about the Mirrorless cameras is they are gradually spicing up the market by taking a fair share as users are finally realizing the actual worth of these devices.
By telling this, Sony stood up as “Top Seller of Full Frame” last year (Not promoting any brand). Seeing this, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and other horses of this race have also jumped into the scene. So do expect a brutal Brand’s war here.
Consequently, with such competition in the market, the hunt for a Best Mirrorless Camera is not less than a pain in the neck. The camera market’s top guns are continuously launching new Mirrorless camera series/models to capture the buyers.
However, if you are an old school DSLR’s fan and planning to board on a new boat, the math of acquiring a best value Mirrorless camera will surely twinge your head.
Keep your mind at Peace!
I am placing some of the best performing devices that would be a good investment deal for your photo/videography setup. From mid-range devices for intermediates to the best full-frame mirrorless cameras for Pros, I have tried to spice up your selection with the best models for your treat.
Additionally, I have already shared a bunch of starter Mirrorless cameras for beginners under 500, which you can check if you are wholly a newbie.
So let’s begin with the products;
- 1 Best Mirrorless Camera 2021
- 1.1 1. Panasonic LUMIX GH5 – Best Mirrorless Camera
- 1.2 2. Sony A6500: Best Auto-Focus Mirrorless Camera
- 1.3 3. Nikon Z50 DX Format: Best Mid Range Video Mirrorless Camera
- 1.4 4. Canon EOS RP: Best Entry Level Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
- 1.5 5. Sony α7R IV: Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
- 1.6 6. Nikon Z6 Full-Frame Mirrorless: Best Low-Light Mirrorless Camera
- 1.7 7. Fujifilm X-T4: Best Full-frame Mirrorless Camera for Filmmaking
- 2 The Bottom Line – Hitting the Right Spot:
- 3 FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Best Mirrorless Camera 2021
1. Panasonic LUMIX GH5 – Best Mirrorless Camera
Undoubtedly, this OSAKA, Japan-based manufacturer, has the most versatile camera lineup and GH5 comes out a most obvious nomination for the best mirrorless camera for video. As we discuss the giants of the mirrorless market, this device hails from the MFT lineup that may suspect your thought for once.
However, don’t go at MFT thing; the camera introduces some beast and innovative features for video content creations, cinematics, and vlogging like a thing.
With 4K at 60FPS, limitless recording, 6K+ photo, and absolutely a stunning battery life, it’s such a strong all-around performer for stills and video capture.
Straightforwardly, coming to the picture quality, the camera is a bit old variant introduced 4-5 years ago after GH4 success, yet Panasonic firm updates have exponentially improved its photo quality.
Besides the Post Focus, 4K Photo, and Focus Stacking, the camera brings its powerful sensor in charge and captures the 6K photo. Though the term is a bit misleading, and you shouldn’t assume it actually hit the 6K mark.
The logic behind it, in 6K photo mode, the camera shoots a 1-sec 6K video burst for 30FPS. Afterward, you can extract the stills of 18MP from this short video clip, and that would be your 6K photo.
Panasonic has induced astonishing video capabilities to live up to video content creator’s expectations. The camera can shoot 4K at 60FPS along with FHD at 120FPS pitch. And combining a limitless recording feature here, there is no barrier of time for 4K videos.
In my scenario, I even recorded 4K videos even for 1 hour and 40 minutes before the battery drained out. That also shows Panasonic is out of the “Poor Battery” league with such prolonged duration recording.
Anyways, with a built-in time-lapse feature and ability to do a 12FPS burst, GH5 performs like a supersport capturing camera. Also, the 2.0 5-axis IBIS system addition places your mind at peace while driving this Lumix variant through handheld mode or a gimbal setup.
Apart from all these goodies, you’ll also experience a speedy, accurate, and versatile AF system powered by DFD technology. The AF system rapidly picks the object; however, it faces a bit lagging issue in the low light (almost darkness) situation. The AF only uses the 225 contrast-detect points that admirably do the perfect AF job nearly every time.
On the display part, the manufacturer has decided not to disappoint you here. The 3.2” bigger LCD is fully articulated that is pure from a blinder effect in sunny situations. Supporting this cause, the EVF secure 3.5M dots resolution that keeps the camera’s reputation high.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 has always remained a strong contender in the list of best video mirrorless cameras. For the vloggers, filmmakers, and videographers out there, it wins the most versatile combination of excellent video capabilities, including the most demanding 4K at 60FPS, dual IBIS system, and limitless recording. Finding these lucrative specs under a midrange budget camera is a splendid option for video content creators.
2. Sony A6500: Best Auto-Focus Mirrorless Camera
When Mirrorless cameras were getting into business, Sony hit the spot with the A6K series that brought a mountain of positive reputation to Sony’s portfolio. Sony A6000 was the best starter mirrorless camera in a competitive budget, whereas the a6300 ruled the market for a much longer period.
Remarkably, the Sony A6300 was a splendid hit by the manufacturer, and things looked overwhelmed when a6500 faced the market response. The 1000+ USD camera sees a significant upgrade in speed and performance with a better BIONZ X chip, the same expeditious AF system, densely saturated EVF, and a minor touchscreen haul.
And not to forget, this model brings the SONY as the best APS-C camera manufacturer with a 5axis IBIS system.
Yes, it is the first camera in Sony’s lineup to introduce a 5 stops In-body image stabilization system.
The image quality has seen minor improvement from its sister model and alongside, the video performance takes the FHD mode to 120FPS into its feature list. The 4K mode still roams with 30FPS, yet the 20mins recording limit is somewhat unimpressive for such a caliber device.
One thing to note here, as this is an APS-C camera, so you’ll face a crop factor. The FHD at 30/60fps provides the full-width resolution; nevertheless, you have to swallow a 1.17x factor at 120fps. Likewise, in the 4K mode, 24/25FPS shows full-width results, and 30FPS causes a 1.23x crop effect.
Plus, the 11fps burst rate is a pretty good number that cuts down to 8FPS when shooting with continuous AF.
SONY has always been known for its crunchy AF setup. This 24.1 MP CMOS sensor camera inherits the “Almost” same AF setup from a6300 – that means the same outstanding and stunning performance. While playing with the moving and stationary object, the camera is rapid enough to capture the scene in a minimum of 0.05 sec.
A minor improvement in this department is you get a 425 phase-detection and 169 contrast-detection AF system. Sony has placed 7 different AF modes that sometimes add complexity for some folks, but this move’s major intent seems to provide versatility in the AF department.
Moreover, the a6500 carries the face and eye detection features with an addition of a touch-screen panel to use the AF system more casually. The touchscreen overrides the focus objects when you play with the sceneries in this way.
As we are talking about the LCD, this part tilts in both ways – UP and down. Resolution is somewhat below average, covering only 922k dots resolution, which is a bit disappointing.
The good part is, the EVF section has blossomed with great improvements. The EVF gathers 2.36M dots to give you the most realistic view without lagging.
However, it would have been a terrific move to see 2 slots for memory cards rather than one slot.
Nonetheless, overall it’s the best midrange mirrorless camera covering the intermediate photographers.
Sony has made some discreet moves after the prevalent a6300 model to make it a best value mirrorless camera for beginners to intermediates. With the quickest AF acquisition, new IBIS system, and valuable EVF performance, it’s a top mirrorless for street photography and a perfect sports capture solution. Yes, the price factor is a bit of concern for those who generally have $1000 bucks in their pocket. Yet, that is just a number in the longer run.
3. Nikon Z50 DX Format: Best Mid Range Video Mirrorless Camera
You might know this DSLR’s giant entered the Mirrorless market with Z6 and Z7 variants that are full-fledged full-frame boys not built for those who have a short budget in their pockets. So, Nikon identified the point where there was vacant space to settle down in, and Z50 shined in the market.
The camera comes with a DX-format setup, typically an APS-C sensor type thing, with a 20.9MP CMOS sensor – a relaxation for pixel-peepers.
Technically, the Nikon Z50 comes with EXPEED 6 image processor (rivals the Canon’s DIGIC 8) that triggers explicitly the Canon EOS M6 and Sony a6400 for competition.
Nikon has introduced Z50 as a cut-down variant to its full-frame cousins. However, the cut-down has not only shown in price but the size. And along with a 180-degree flip-down screen, it majorly targets the videographers, travelers, and Vloggers.
Narrowing down the image quality, the latest image processor is speedy enough to process good quality images. The lagging issue you face in some of the parallel DSLR’s variants has been polished in this model.
Yet, the only thing that may disappoint you is the lack of an IBIS system. To cover this lack, Nikon has given a built-in Vibration reduction like the setup in the Lenses that come with this model.
But then, the camera really set extraordinary standards for its rivals by producing uncropped filming. Where Sony and Canon do a minor to the major crop factor, Nikon Z50 has full-width videos even on a higher frame rate.
Notably, this camera covers a maximum of 30FPS for 4K and 120FPS for FHD mode that obviously is a treat to produce creamy slow-motion videos. The camera also enables you to achieve a good 11FPS burst rate that shows a drastic cut down to 5FPS when it comes to Live AF.
On the AF part, the advanced 209 phase-detection AF system is also here that facilitates you with Face/eye detection setup. The Eye detection system works reasonably well for moderately close distances and gives you an option to choose between the subjects.
Apart from this, Nikon has implanted 6 AF modes with the most straightforward approach to use them.
On the display part, the touchscreen LCD carries 1.04M dots, and it tilts down to 180-degree along with a 90-degree tilt-up. The tilt down mechanism seems a bit weird and impractical; however, to give vloggers an unorthodox approach, Nikon has done this with an innovative intent.
Along with this, the camera has been embedded with 2.36M EVF that is also a cut-down part comparing 3.26M resolution in the Z6 model. Nevertheless, the performance is supreme, and you’ll enjoy the realism while playing with the EVF.
Yes, the Z50 is a scaled-down variant of its bigger brothers; though, it’s a great compact setup to attract videographers, travelers, and vloggers. The impressive video capabilities, sophisticated AF setup, and authentic EVF performance bring this model to the list of the best camera for filmmaking at a much competitive price. Besides, the flip-down screen is a great tool to live your vlogging passion.
4. Canon EOS RP: Best Entry Level Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
What wanders into your mind when it comes to “Full-Frame”? Surely, you’ll think of a hefty budget for a spec-packed camera. However, Canon executes the in-executable. With EOS RP, Canon has made a fusion of two different things, “Entry-level” and “Full-frame.” This fusion hasn’t changed the world order but somehow given a purpose of joy for the folks, dream of a full-frame camera on an affordable budget.
With the superior picture quality, light-weight, compact size, full-frame sensor, typical great AF setup, and some excellence in the EVF section, you can enjoy these perks with this device. And bear in mind, 26MP resolution is a balanced number comparing the full-fledged Full-frame devices.
Coming to the camera intent, Canon shows some biases when it comes to photography. The picture quality isn’t out of this world but excellent enough to put a smile on your face.
It competes closer to EOS 6D MK II, and overall it enjoys a better image detailing and sharpness because of the improved DIGIC 8 Image Processor.
Along with this, this little boy also captures 4K videos; nonetheless, you should note it’s not a video-centric camera.
It can shoot 4K video on the charge of 24/25FPS, but to a strange thing, the 30FPS isn’t available this time. For this lack, don’t forget it’s an “entry-level full-frame.” Moreover, you can expect a 1.6/1.7x crop ratio while shooting a 4K video. Other than this, the FHD feature lives up to 60FPS with no IBIS system to enjoy.
Expectedly, you can expect the absence of IBIS due to its size, weight, and definitely the price tag.
The canon RP inherits the same great AF quality from its bigger brother EOS R – expect a sharp speed and accuracy. Nonetheless, the AF system only holds phase-detect points, and the company claims it makes a 0.05-sec object acquisition making it really fast and rivaling its neighbor Sony.
Furthermore, the Canon has implanted the native CMOS Dual-Pixel AF setup in this starter pack, but you can’t utilize it for 4K videos. Additionally, if you are planning to do a sports/outdoor shoot, take a bit and watch out for its burst rate that only makes up to 5FPS and 4fps in live AF.
Apart from all these ups and downs, Canon has a lot more to offer in the display section. The articulating screen gathers 1.04M dots that is a great thing to shoot difficult angles like a breeze. Plus, the EVF shows great results and has been powered up with 2.36M dots resolution that really makes it accurate, lively, and an excellent performer.
The EOS RP is a versatile, affordable, and compact variant performing as an opportunist in the full-frame market. Though the camera isn’t a high-tech piece yet, somehow, it inexpensively satisfies the “Full-frame Ego.” The fully articulated screen, premium weather shield, and quick AF speed lend a helping hand to enjoy indoor/outdoor photography like a child’s play. And again, above all this, it enjoys the market gap as the best cheap mirrorless camera in the full-frame market.
5. Sony α7R IV: Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
After the A7R III, Sony launched this 4th generation A7R series gadget for the race for the best full-frame mirrorless camera. This high-budget tool gives an ample breathing space for pixel-peepers as the specs sheet has told us it has 61MP.
The 61MP Exmor R CMOS sensor captures the headlines, but it isn’t the only thing that brings this bad boy to attention. Technically, a much-improved AF system, an immensely saturated EVF, more robust build quality, and more refined controls allow you to enjoy the real world’s most dynamic results. Meanwhile, an updated weather shield makes it a fine weather mirrorless gadget.
However, this variant isn’t a super video-centric camera, and if you ask me how? Let’s take a look inside!
A camera with the highest reputation and expensive price tag should have been packed with 4K at 50/60FPS. Yes, the video ability is only restricted to 4K at 30FPS; however, the FHD goes to 120FPS. Additionally, it produces uncropped 4K videos using the full width of the sensor. An APS-C mode roughly crops both 4K and 1080P for extended detailing in video results.
Nonetheless, you’ll be happy Sony has managed to keep the camera uniformed with Real-time AF for videos. What a great sign of happiness for video content creators.
As the Resolution is the talk of the town here, the image quality is undoubtedly stunning. But that’s not only because of high numbers of MP’s count, yet Sony keeps the legacy on high nodes to produce highly detailed results.
The worth mentioning here is Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode, which has the ability to infuse 16-shots prepared with tiny pixel-shifts between each to craft whooping 240MP images. This is way-conditional as it solely works if you have static subjects to shoot or sufficient storage capacity.
And note further, 5.5 EV stop IBIS system has also made it to the ingredient list.
You know the well-reputed Autofocusing has always remained along with Sony’s brand name. This time more aggressive improvements have been made to Hybrid AF with 567 phase detect and 325 contrast-detect points. The AF system covers the frame 99.7% vertically and 74% horizontally.
Besides, the A7R IV also does live animal and human eye tracking.
Sony has done another wonder for the sports and outdoor shooters is to provide 10FPS burst with live AF. The burst number might not catch your attention but logically, making the camera able to do such a kind of burst with such resolution is really a fabulous execution. And technically, Sony has administered that charmingly.
The display part somewhat has its ups and downs. The LCD mechanism doesn’t enjoy full articulation, but only a two-way tilt is for your serving. Another part is the resolution, where the manufacturer has only buttered 1.44M dots, which is a below-average thing for such a caliber device.
But Sony has mastered the EVF with 5.76M dots resolution with 0.78x magnification giving 100% of coverage.
Sony A7R series is a league of big and tough players, and this A7R Mark IV is no exception. With better handling, design, and more robustness in built quality and weather-shield, this certainly poses as the best weather-sealed mirrorless camera. The overall image quality is undoubtedly paramount of excellence; however, as a full-frame contender, the video approach should have been some way different. Nevertheless, this doesn’t disappoint the pixel-peepers.
6. Nikon Z6 Full-Frame Mirrorless: Best Low-Light Mirrorless Camera
2018 was the year when Nikon showed the camera it’s no longer just a DSLR giant by introducing two mirrorless big birds under a Z series – Z7 and Z6. The Z7 was a superior breed with a higher price that somehow overshadowed the Z6, which is also a full-frame boy but slightly less-powered than its bigger brother.
The Z6, in comparison to Z7, has almost the same aesthetics and some scaled-down features; though, it comes with a 2/3 cut in price but still has a power of EXPEED 6 chip.
Talking about the Z6, the gadget is a versatile video camera, flaunts a 30FPS uncropped video, IBIS system, and a noiseless phase-detection AF system that also detects animal eyes.
The image quality has been a splendid element of this model producing great depth and true colors with the most versatile ISO. The native ISO quality ranges from 50 to 51,200; however, it expands to a whopping 204,800. The Z6 cuts down the pixel game to 24MP, yet the picture quality remains the same as you experience in Z7.
The corner to corner focusing, high dynamic range, true colors, and noiseless operation are great things to notice about its still photography performance.
On the other side of the equation, this thing does an uncropped 4K video at 30FPS and 120FPS for FHD. You can straightforwardly make a selection for full-frame video at 30FPS and a DX-format that does a 1.5x crop.
But in both cases, the sharpest AF system and a native 5-axis IBIS system make sure the video quality doesn’t come under the knife of noise and imbalance.
Specifically, the AF system remains on the high node even after cutting down AF points to 273. Still, the frame coverage displays a high 90% (horizontally and vertically), and you enjoy the highly focused sceneries. Apart from this, the Z6 brings in an eye detection along with an animal eye detection setup.
That clearly means you can enjoy much flexibility, ease, and variety while playing with the objects. And if your work or passion is mostly about to play with sporty scenarios, the 12FPS burst for both JPEG and RAW is an exception here.
On the display part, Z6 offers a high number in this department.
The tilt-mechanized 3.2 inch LCD has been saturated with 2.1M dots that reflect great sharpness even in daylight. It’s quite compromising that Z6 comes only with a tilt mechanism while taking EOS R, Fujifilm X-T30 in its competition (both have a fully articulated screen).
Whereas the manufacturer has done fantastic work on the EVF part.
The EVF has been powered with 3.69M dots resolution with over 80x magnification that doesn’t blackout and lag while playing through EVF. Sometimes, it shows some over-sharpened results though it’s not much on the faulty side.
Competitors like Sony A7 III, EOS R, and X-T30, this model stands well due to its superb low light performance, innovative AF system, and pretty phenomenal video qualities. The price is really competitive, considering the bigger alligators of the market. And that being said, the image quality isn’t compromised about a single inch. Yes, the articulated screen feature is a lack here yet, it has the sharpest results during shiny days. And if you are still not fascinated by the display part, then EVF is another stronghold of this camera.
7. Fujifilm X-T4: Best Full-frame Mirrorless Camera for Filmmaking
So after a long wait, Fujifilm launched an upper variant to X-T3 and the most advanced and latest APS-C model in its lineup. With this model, the manufacturer has done almost all the right things that were supposed to be done in an upcoming model except the same 26.1 CMOS APS-C sensor.
The X-T4 comes with impressive battery improvement followed by an exclusive 6.5 stops IBIS system that exceptionally joins the party and a 4K video at 60FPS that was supposed to be an absolute need in this model. Apart from this, there are many other smart features that are much newer and advanced for this market type.
With so many things to get discussed, let’s start with the video quality first. As mentioned a little earlier, this model does a 4K video at 60fps. However, you would face a minor 1.18x crop factor if you go for 4K up to FPS.
The UHD mode does a 120FPS, but it’s remarkable to see this camera can also extend to 240 FPS here. You can shoot in PAL mode to bring the FHD mode to 200 FPS, resulting in 4-10x much slower motion videos.
Another Wow element here is the burst mode that shows flawless 15FPS shots. The count further extends to 30FPS with an electronic shutter, yet the frame width gets stoned with 1.25x crop factor.
So, considering the video abilities, Fujifilm has somehow tried to edge down the competition with this best 4k mirrorless camera.
Furthermore, there is an advanced 6.5 stops IBIS system that impressively raises the camera’s worth. Along with this native IBIS system, Fujifilm has also introduced a Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) for a more aggressive and extreme approach against videos’ shaking.
You can make a combination of IBIS and DIS to pull most out of the camera during handheld situations. Nonetheless, combining DIS with the IBIS system would add a further 10% crop to your videos.
Consequently, if you were enjoying full-width videos with DIS, now you have to pay a nominal price in the shape of 1.1x crop. Nevertheless, results seem tremendous and exciting with handheld situations.
Well, the camera doesn’t make a stop here. In recent times, the X-T30 got a firm update intended to improve the autofocusing heavily. The same improvement in eye detection and subject tracking hit the X-T40 face, and you don’t get anything fancy here.
But sometimes, all of sudden, it loses the subject, especially in low lights, that is a little weird thing. So does it happen regularly, or is it a manufacturing fault? Not really, I believe.
Momentarily, there is a massive enhancement at the battery department. Mirrorless cameras are battery junkies; Fujifilm has tried to make this statement untrue while enabling this model to produce 500 shots in one charge and 600 photos in ECO mode.
Comparing it with X-T30 390 shots, there is an almost 90% rise in the battery performance that’s a sigh of relief for filmmakers and travelers.
Undoubtedly, the X-T30 was a great camera, but it wasn’t fascinating the camera enthusiasts to a fuller extent due to a lack of an IBIS system. The manufacturer probably took the things more aggressively, so X-T4 has come having an IBIS system as the most vital point to ponder but needs consistency in AF. The versatility in this section broadens its scope for travelers, sport shooters, filmmakers, and outdoor photographers. Additionally, excellent improvements in video abilities and battery spices up the things and make this gadget the best performer in the midrange Mirrorless camera market.
The Bottom Line – Hitting the Right Spot:
Okay, the selection seems a tough job in the end. Factually, it all depends on your purpose. One device that works for me may not work for you as our purpose can vary. So, the better way is to make an assessment first, then go for picking the best mirrorless camera according to your needs.
As you know, I have categorized my camera listing into the midrange and high-end cameras. Hence I am nominating one best all-round performer from each category to help you select your way according to your budget.
- Best Mid-range Mirrorless Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH5
- Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7R IV
Let’s talk about the Panasonic Lumix GH5 first; the camera is an MFT boy yet, shows great courage and responsibility to deliver supreme video abilities. The camera is a solid performer for both video and photography work. However, the videographers admire this gadget the most due to uncropped video, 4K at 60fps, and limitless recording.
And the fun part, being a midrange micro 4/3 camera, it still flaunts a dual 5-axis IBIS system that is not less than any wonder.
And talk about the image quality, the 6K photo mode, post focus, focus stacking, and 4K mode all combine together to give you a versatile photography platform.
On the other hand side, Sony A7R IV is one of the strong beasts of the full-frame market. The camera isn’t a super video-centric gadget yet; the quality manufacturing, striking picture quality, extremely stable AF system are the key survival points for almost every situation. Moreover, the compact design and amazing weather-sealed technology make it superbly viable for traveling in harsh weather conditions.
Notwithstanding, if you are looking for futuristic video abilities in the full-frame category, the Fuji-Film X-T40 has it all. The FHD at a whopping 240FPS rate, much advanced 6.5 stops IBIS system, and additional DIS system will definitely wink your left eye.
Besides, you can check out other devices according to your needs and budget limit. Every camera is a good performer in some particular department, and you can match it with your purpose.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Why are mirrorless cameras better?
Mirrorless cameras are remarkably better performers for their compact size and lightweight body. Video abilities are also pretty glorious. However, the lens selection is a bit narrower. This is where the DSLR’s are still in the trend.
Is mirrorless or DSLR better for beginners?
DSLRs award excellent lens selection and flexibility. So, for beginners who want a versatile photography taste, DSLRs are the best options. Otherwise, if you don’t want to handle a bulky camera setup and complicated camera controls, mirrorless is the perfect match for beginners.
Are mirrorless cameras better in low light?
The answer is subjected to model and brand. However, the general opinion is mirrorless cameras somewhat remain behind DSLRs in terms of low light performance.
Is mirrorless the future?
The Mirrorless category was launched a decade ago, and now it’s really getting into the user’s shoe. So yes, the future is about mirrorless gadgets.
Do professional photographers use mirrorless cameras?
Professionals make a combination of DSLRs and Mirrorless. For different purposes, a particular category device gets into the job.