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Best Mirrorless Cameras (2021): Find One That Fits Your Photography Needs

If you’ve been wanting to level up your photography skills, investing in a mirrorless camera is one of the best ways to do so. Not only are mirrorless cameras equipped with the latest technology such as high-res sensors, snappy burst shooting, and seamless connectivity, but they’re also more compact and portable than DSLRs. That said, choosing one for yourself is a daunting task because the options are endless. To help you out, we’ve rounded up the top mirrorless cameras in the market so you can get one that fits your budget and photography needs the best.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Comparison Chart

NameFujifilm X-T200Sony A7R IVPanasonic Lumix S1
 Fujifilm XT200 chartSony A7R IV chartPanasonic Lumix S1 chart
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Sensor Size APS-C CMOSBSI CMOSFull-frame CMOS sensor
Image Resolution24.2MP61MP24.2MP
Video Resolution4K4K4K
Maximum Continuous Shooting Rate8fps10fps150/180fps
Monitor3.5-inch fully articulating touchscreen3-inch type TFT3.2-inch TFT LCD monitor
Lens MountFujifilm X mountSony E mountL mount
Weight370g665g1.02kg

Fujifilm X-T200

The Fujifilm X-T200 is the best mirrorless camera for beginners.

Fujifilm XT200 design
The Fujifilm X-T200 has powerful features that are easy to use.

If you’re just starting out in the world of photography and feeling a little intimidated, the Fujifilm X-T200 is a good starting point. This dedicated beginner camera is easy to set up and use but shouldn’t be underestimated because it has all the features you need to take great shots. Compared to its predecessor the X-T100, it has improved autofocus, packs on more processing power, and has a more impressive touchscreen. And as you can expect from Fujifilm cameras, it boasts of amazing dynamic range. To top things off, its retro design is too beautiful to pass up.

But as great as this entry-level mirrorless camera is, it’s not without drawbacks. While it does come with a viewfinder, it’s not very enjoyable to use because the joystick is placed in an awkward position and the eye sensor isn’t very reliable. You’re better off using the touchscreen to frame your shots. Another con you should take note of is its subject tracking feature. You can’t count on it to be accurate all the time, plus you can’t use it in video mode.

Sony A7R IV

The Sony A7R IV is the best mirrorless camera for landscape photography.

The Sony A7R IV is compatible with a wide selection of lenses.

The first few versions of the Sony A7R came with a lot of issues but fortunately, the company really came through and released the Sony A7R IV with most of the concerns resolved. We think it’s one of the best full-frame mirrorless models from Sony to date, thanks to its highly capable 61MP BSI CMOS sensor, long-lasting battery life, and compatibility with a wide selection of lenses. By wide, we mean you can use it with ultra-wide lenses, super telephoto lenses, and even third-party lenses from other manufacturers. This makes the Sony A7R IV a particularly great mirrorless camera for landscape photographers.

While we do recommend it for landscape photography, there are some inconvenient things about it that could hamper your shooting experience outside. For starters, its design is not the most ergonomic so you might find it a but unwieldy. Also, its menu is not very user-friendly and could definitely use some organizing.

Sony A7 III

The Sony A7 III is the best mirrorless camera for streaming.

Sony A7 III design
The Sony A7 III can record and stream 4K videos at the same time.

If you’re a professional streamer who’s looking to upgrade your gear, you can consider adding the Sony A7 III to your arsenal. This high-end full-frame mirrorless camera is capable enough to record and stream 4K UHD footage at the same time. It gets plus points too for having an FE mount which allows you to use some of the most impressive lenses out there. Also, streamers will love the fact that the Sony A7 III has features just for them. For example, instead of having to remove the battery to charge it, you can do so in-camera with the use of a USB. This makes it so much easier to juice up your camera in between streaming sessions.

You do have to know, however, that the Sony A7 III’s powerful features come at a very steep price. Remember that you have to fork over additional money for lenses too. So instead of jumping the gun, definitely go over your budget and think things through first.

Panasonic Lumix S1

The Panasonic Lumix S1 is the best mirrorless camera for videos.

Panasonic Lumix S1 design
The Panasonic Lumix S1 can record 4K footage in low light conditions.

For those who prefer shooting videos over taking photos, you should definitely include the Panasonic Lumix S1 in your list of prospects. This full-frame mirrorless camera is a video-focused model, ditching the megapixels for impressive video resolution. With it, not only can you record 4K videos but you can do so in low light conditions without any problem. It packs a lot of processing power too, able to record 4K 8-bit with 150 to 180 fps when you put it in cropped mode. You can also pay for a software upgrade so that you can record in 4K 10-bit. To top it all off, the Panasonic Lumix S1 is equipped with incredible IBIS so you can expect extra smooth footage.

As for cons, it’s one of the bigger and heavier mirrorless cameras out there so it scores low in portability. But it does house a full-frame sensor and a large image stabilizer so that explains its size. Another downside is that its autofocus system isn’t as solid compared to other models.

Nikon Z5

The Nikon Z5 is the best mirrorless camera under $1,500.

Nikon Z5 design
The Nikon Z5 has an excellent autofocus system and image stabilization.

For those who find the prices of mirrorless cameras unreasonably high, the Nikon Z5 proves that you can enjoy more or less the same features without having to shell out as much. For less than $1,500, you get a mirrorless camera with a full-frame 24MP sensor, an ergonomic, weather-proof body, and reliable image stabilization. But what really makes the Nikon Z5 such an amazing steal is its excellent autofocus system. Not only does it have 273 selectable AF points, but it’s also equipped with Nikon’s top-notch face detection and 3D subject tracking.

But because the Nikon Z5 is on the more affordable end of the spectrum, expect there to be some cutting of corners. The most obvious shortcoming is the camera’s video mode. While autofocus works great for photographs, it’s not as seamless when you’re recording videos. You’ll notice some focal plane distortion, plus the footage isn’t as sharp or accurate in color. With that, it’s safe to say that the Nikon Z5 works better as a stills-only camera.

Verdict

There’s a mirrorless camera out there for you regardless of your skills, needs, and budget.

Fujifilm X-T200

Best for beginners

Fujifilm XT200 verdict

Sony A7 III

Best for professional streamers

Sony A7 III verdict

While the mirrorless camera market is a massive one that can be quite confusing, it just goes to show that there’s one out there that’s perfect for you. If you’re just starting out in photography, we can’t recommend the Fujifilm X-T200 enough for its ability to make powerful features easy to use. As for the professional streamers out there, the Sony A7 III is a worthwhile investment. Not only is it highly capable, but it’s equipped with streamer-friendly features too.

Meanwhile, landscape photographers will find the Sony A7R IV handy for its compatibility with a wide selection of lenses, while videographers will like the Panasonic Lumix S1 for its excellent video resolution and image stabilization. Lastly, those on a tighter budget will appreciate the Nikon Z5 which retails for less than $1,500.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which mirrorless camera is best for beginners?

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a good starting point. This dedicated beginner camera is easy to set up and use but shouldn’t be underestimated because it has all the features you need to take great shots.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which mirrorless camera is best for streamers?

The Sony A7 III is a worthwhile investment for professional streamers. This high-end full-frame mirrorless camera can record and stream 4K UHD footage at the same time, plus it has an FE mount which allows you to use some of the most impressive lenses out there.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which mirrorless camera is best for video?

The Panasonic Lumix S1 is a full-frame mirrorless camera that’s video-focused. With it, not only can you record 4K videos but you can do so in low light conditions without any problem. It also has excellent image stabilization for extra smooth footage.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which mirrorless camera is best for landscape photography?

The Sony A7R IV is great for landscape photography, thanks to its highly capable 61MP BSI CMOS sensor, long-lasting battery life, and compatibility with a wide selection of lenses.

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.