Do you want a compact camera with the picture quality of a DSLR? Are you tired of holding heavy devices while taking photos? If so, you need a mirrorless camera to help you in this task.
In this article, we will tell you all about the best mirrorless camera for beginners. This guide will explain the following topics as well:
- Types of Photography Cameras
- Difference between a DSLR and Mirrorless Camera
- Benefits of a Mirrorless Camera
- How to take the best photos?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Photography is a hobby and profession for millions of people all around the world. The advancement in technology has allowed greater number of users to pick up cameras and start taking photos or making videos. Modern cameras can do most of the work for you but still, you need to know which product to choose as there are so many cameras out there. Mirrorless cameras are great devices for both beginners and professionals because they are handy to use and loaded in features!
What is a Mirrorless Camera?
As its name suggests, a mirrorless camera does not have a typical reflex mirror found in other cameras. It makes use of a digital system for display which is also called an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). The light which enters the camera is directly projected to the digital screen which acts as the image sensor. The first mirrorless camera was released in 2008 called Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. Previous to this, there were some cameras that had range finders in digital state but they still had a conventional sensor for images. During the past 12 years, all major camera brands have released mirrorless devices which we will explore below.
Difference between DSLR and Mirrorless Camera
The Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera is well known to everybody and is considered to be the standard for professional photography. However, in recent years, mirrorless devices have grown in popularity so let’s have a comparison of both types to see the strong and weak points of each.
|DSLR Camera||Mirrorless Camera|
|Large in size||Compact size|
|Heavy devices||Light cameras|
|Use mirror to reflect image on sensor||Use electronic viewfinder as an image sensor|
|Long battery life||Relatively less battery life|
|Better autofocus capability||Focus is not very high due to single autofocus system|
|Established market and community (Have been in the market for almost 25 years)||Not well known since they are only 12 years old. Many parts of the world do not prefer these devices as yet|
|Shows the exact image captures on display||The image displayed may not be equal to the captured one|
|Higher choice of lenses and accessories||Limited choice for lenses|
|Extremely fast shutter speed||Extremely fast shutter speed|
|Some low end DSLRs may have focus issues while video recording||Better for video recording due to great phase detection|
|Large market share – preferred by photographers generally||Market share is still very limited – US and Europe have around 10% share in this camera type|
|Dimensions: 8.40 x 8.00 x 6.90 inches|
Weight: 4.40 lbs
Sony Alpha a6000
|Dimensions: 4.72 x 1.77 x 2.64 inches|
Weight: 12.2 ounces
Canon EOS M50
|Dimensions: 2.3 x 4.6 x 3.5 inches|
Weight: 13.7 ounces
|Dimensions: 5.67 x 9.61 x 6.14 inches|
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Panasonic Lumix GH5
|Dimensions: 5.83 x 7.56 x 6.14 inches|
Weight: 1 pounds
|Dimensions: 3.32 x 4.44 x 3.21 inches|
Weight: 15.7 ounces
| Dimensions: 4.88 x 2.76 x 3.82 inches|
Weight: 13.8 ounces
|Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 6.4 inches|
Weight: 3.1 pounds
Olympus OM-D E M1
|Dimensions: 2.7 x 5.3 x 3.6 inches|
Weight: 1.1 pounds
Canon EOS M100
|Dimensions: 1.4 x 4.3 x 2.6 inches|
Weight: 10.7 ounces
10 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners in 2020
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a premium range mirrorless camera having an old school design. However, you must not be deceived by its simple design because it packs lots of features inside. The sensor is 24.3 megapixels with Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS 3 system. The high end X-series processor can focus your images in only 0.06 seconds and a continuous image capture of 14 frames per second (fps). The highly fast autofocus allows users to cover 75% of the vertical area in a single shot. Therefore, if you are a beginner at photography and got shaky hands while holding a camera, no need to worry with this device!
Other key features of this device are:
- You can set from 6 different focus options depending on the scene of the image.
- The device is very tough because it is made from magnesium material which is 25% stronger than the previous models from this brand. Therefore, you can use it in rough conditions as well.
- Fujifilm has introduced special hardware to provide greater stability in images through the accelerometer and gyro-sensors.
- It has a highly advanced electronic viewfinder having a resolution of 3.69 million dots and display lag time of only 0.005 seconds
- 3 inch LCD display that can be tilted at 3 different settings
- Simulation feature for video recording
- 4K video recording with slow motion feature as well
- Ability to control options through mobile application
- Automatic shutter timing reduces the light flicker in images and videos
This camera costs $1300 but the long list of features does justify this price. Overall, it is one of the best mirrorless cameras for professionals in 2020.
The Sony Alpha a6000 is a sleek, mirrorless camera with a resolution of 24 MP. The lens size is 16-50 mm while the ISO range varies from 100 to 51200. The highlight of this device is its 11fps shooting capability because it is one of the highest in the camera industry. Coupled with this is the autofocus function with up to 179 points phase recognition. Inside the camera, there is the Sony BIONZ X processor which produces extremely clear and vivid photos. The other main features are listed below:
- It has great connectivity through in built Wi-Fi and NFC. You can share the images directly from your camera to your smart phone or computer
- All controls which are found in a typical DSLR are found in this device
- Full HD video recording
- The electronic viewfinder OLED has a 1.4 million dots resolution
- There is a 3 inch LCD display with 921000 dots resolution and tilt feature
- The Play Memories application can be used to download apps for various features in the device
This device can be purchased at $498 which makes this one of the best mirrorless cameras under $500.
Canon is a trusted camera brand by professionals and this device proves it very well. The EOS M50 is a 24.1 MP camera with a lens size of 15-45 mm. The device has advanced autofocus system that allows almost 80% of the area in image to be selected at any point. It can detect the eyes of a person and also track the movements of a continuously changing subject in the scene. The inside of this camera is even more compelling with the DIGIC 8 series image processing unit that allows extremely fast and efficient operation. The 3 inch LCD is both tilt able and flip able on the opposite side to improve viewing angles.
The viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 million dots that is very high compared to other mirrorless devices. You can record realistic 4K videos with this camera and even make slow motion scenes or cinematic sequences in 120p. Connectivity is the strong point for this camera because of the in-built Wi-Fi so that you can instantly share your captures content to your smart phone, tablet or computer. Using the proper applications, they can be uploaded on the Internet directly which makes it easy to share the photos and videos wherever you are. Listed at $498, this is one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners!
4- Sony a9
This mirrorless camera has been a key player in the industry due to it being the first device with fully stacked CMOS sensor. This allows users to capture up to 20 fps and accurately focus on the subjects of the image. Underneath the skin, the BIONZ X processor keeps the device running at optimum levels. The most prominent features of this camera are listed below:
- 693 points phase detection which can cover almost 93% of the image scene
- Image stabilization possible using 5 axis
- 4K video recording
- 3 inch LCD screen that can be extended outwards
- Multiple memory card support
- Can capture almost 500 images in full charge
- 68 million dots resolution EVF that provides life-like image
- ISO range of 100-51200 to adjust sensitivity in professional photographs
- NFC feature for easy sharing of data
This camera is a premium device and its price tag of $2600 shows it explicitly. However, there are no second thoughts when saying that this is one of the best 4K mirrorless cameras out there today!
This is a 20.3 MP high resolution mirrorless camera with a 12-60 mm lens size. This product focuses on both images and videos because it excels in both categories. It has 2 special modes for photos at 6K 30 fps and 4K 60 fps which allow users to capture the tiniest of details in high clarity. It can record 4K videos at 60p as well as 50p and has even slow-motion option to enjoy each and every moment. The highlight of this camera is its 10 bit video recording in 4K resolution which is perfect for landscape scenes. Additionally, you can produce highly stable photos with its 5 axis stabilization technology.
Users will have a 3.2 inches sharp LCD display which can be flipped to 180 degrees so that maximum number of people can view the images at a single time. In terms of connectivity, you have a 3.5 mm audio jack along with USB C port. If you do not like to connect wires, you can pair this device through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well which brings awesome versatility to this camera. Priced at $1300, this is one of the best entry level cameras that enthusiasts can purchase today!
6- Kodak PIXPRO
The Kodak PIXPRO is a 16 MP digital camera that has a lens size of 24mm. Built in white colour with black touches on the knobs, handle and lens, this device looks very stylish and unique from other cameras. You can zoom up to 42 times with this product and capture the minutest details in any scene. There is a 3 inch LCD display but it cannot be moved or rotated. It has automatic face recognition for humans as well as animals. There are separate modes for landscape, food, beauty and portrait.
You can record videos at 720p with this product. It has optical image stabilization as well to help you with shaky hands while holding a camera. Users can put a normal SD card in it however, it does not support micro SD card. Also, there is no wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The device can be purchased at $159 which makes this one of the best beginner mirrorless cameras out there!
7- Nikon D3500
If you are looking for the best mirrorless camera for beginners, check out the Nikon D3500 because you will surely enjoy it. It has a resolution of 24.2 MP and a lens size of 18-55 mm. The high ISO range of 100 to 25600 allows you to adjust the settings for optimum result in various conditions. It has an EXPEED image processing system that computes the pictures quickly and efficiently. The device can focus on 11 distinct points that cover most of the area in the frame so that you can pinpoint any specific location. The shutter speed is reasonably fast at 5fps.
You can record full HD 1080p videos and view them on the 3 inch LCD screen which is fixed in place. Connectivity is possible with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC so you will have no problem in controlling the camera and sharing the content on the go. Moreover, if you download Nikon’s SnapBridge application, you can instantly share the pictures on your smart phone and operate your camera through it. Priced at $380, this is an ideal choice for beginners in photography because it is high in features and affordable as well!
The Fujifilm X-T3 is a 26.1 MP camera that comes with an updated X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. It uses special design that eliminates the need of low pass filter allows enhanced colours in images and videos. The latest image processor of X-4 series improves the camera’s abilities in autofocus, image stability, video simulation and shutter timing. You have the choice of 16 modes for simulation so that you can adjust the colours and scenes according to the requirements. The electronic viewfinder is loaded with pixels as it has a 3.69 million dots resolution.
Users can shoot continuously at 30fps to capture fast moving objects. There is even a dedicated sports mode to assist you in outdoor matches, races or similar events. The camera’s autofocus is almost 1.5 times faster than previous models by Fujifilm and has exceptional performance in dark conditions. It can detect eye movements accurately which helps produce excellent portrait pictures. You can shoot 4K videos at 10 bit and make use of the internal memory card to produce high bitrates. Consequently, you can have 200Mbps and 400Mbps recording that is extremely quick.
Due to the 10 bit recording, users can enjoy up to 64 times the colour range and accuracy as compared with 8 bit systems. This makes it one of the best quality video cameras. You can record the video on SD card and view it at the same time. All this information is displayed on the 3 inch LCD screen which can be moved in 3 different directions. You will get a 3.5 mm audio jack and USB C port for connectivity. The price of this beastly device is $1200 and it is surely one of the best 4K mirrorless cameras in the whole industry!
If you are looking for the best compact mirrorless camera, make sure to check this device by Olympus because it fully loaded with features. With the 20.4 MP sensor and 12-200 mm lens size, it will surely add life to all your photos. The autofocus is based on a 121 point detection that recognizes the phase and contrast of the scene as well. This is combined with image stability setup using 5 individual axis and 6.5 steps for shutter speed. Videos can be recorded at 4K resolution.
In Pro mode, you can exactly pinch the moment you want to capture because the device starts setting up the frames as you press the shutter only halfway. There is also a brilliant feature where 8 images can be combined to produce one extremely high resolution image of 50 MP. This is suited for landscape photographs. Additionally, you have silent mode to discreetly take any photos and night mode for low-light conditions. The 3 inch LCD display can be opened at 180 degrees and further moved up or down so that you can view photos from any angle. Available at $1200, this camera has so many features that it needs a separate article for itself!
10- Canon EOS M100
This is one of the best compact mirrorless cameras available on the market today. It has a 24.2 MP resolution and a 15-45 mm lens size. Finished in silver colour, it stands out among other cameras due its design. It has an advanced autofocus system that can be controlled via touch panel. You can manually adjust it and the device can automatically recognize areas as well such as the face or eyes. The LCD panel can be flipped at 180 degrees to the upper side which means that you can take awesome selfies as well!
Underneath the skin, the device is powered by the DIGIC 7 processor which is responsible for the fast and efficient processing of data. In terms of connectivity, you are not missing out on anything because this camera has all Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC so that you can wirelessly connect it with other devices. It comes with a host of optional accessories like lens for wide angle, telephoto or macro photos. Priced at $449, it is one of the best mirrorless cameras under $500 in 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is mirrorless or DSLR better for beginners?
Beginners may find mirrorless cameras better because they are smaller in size and lighter in weight than the DSLRs. Moreover, their controls are fairly simple and anyone can use them without any issue. DSLRs are also not difficult to use because nowadays, people can understand the buttons and functions easily using the online tutorials. However, they are a bit heavy which can cause issues for youngsters who are new to photography.
- Do professionals use mirrorless cameras?
There is a mixed opinion about this question. Some people say that professional photographers still prefer DSLRs because of their previous history and higher choice of lenses. However, there are several well known photographers who are using mirrorless devices and they have expressed really positive reviews for them. So, it is mostly a matter of choice for people because both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have become nearly equal in their features and functionality.
- How long do mirrorless cameras last?
Mirrorless cameras use an electronic viewfinder for the image sensor which needs a little power to operate. Moreover, the LCD screen also needs battery power. Consequently, the average battery life of mirrorless devices is around 300 images per full charge. Some have higher run time as well but they are more expensive. DSLRS, on the other hand, have fairly good battery life and can operate for around 4 hours in a complete charge.
- Do mirrorless cameras take better pictures?
The advancements in camera resolution, autofocus, image stability and lens quality has allowed mirrorless cameras to take outstanding images. They are mostly better in quality than the average DSLRs on the market today. Camera manufacturers have worked on picture quality in mirrorless devices through updated image processors and hardware components which has resulted in excellent photos. However, some high end models of DSLRs still have an edge in their photo results but they are highly expensive and only used by seasoned photographers.
The advancement in camera technology has been implemented both in hardware components and software. Due to this, the industry has become highly competitive due to the influx of thousands of excellent products on the market. Mirrorless cameras are a relatively new phenomenon and most of the people still do not know about them in detail. They have faced tough competition from DSLRs and high end smart phones which have improved dramatically in their camera department.
In this article, we have dived into the 10 best mirrorless cameras for beginners in 2020. All devices are fairly simple to use so they can be used as entry level cameras for people who wish to start photography or just capture their memories forever. The products are compared in terms of their distinguishing features, prices, pro and cons. The prices of the cameras range from $160 to $2600 which is a huge gap. However, you can find the best mirrorless cameras under $500 as well such as Canon EOS M100, M50, Nikon D3500 and Kodak PIXPRO. Users must go through this guide comprehensively so that they can choose the best product!
We hope that you have found everything about the best mirrorless cameras for beginners in this article. If you would like to share your thoughts, please comment down in the section below. We look forward to valuable feedback!