Best Mirrorless Camera For Beginners 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Nikon Z50 2. Fujifilm X-T30 3. Olympus Mark III
Nikon Z50 Best Mirrorless Camera For Beginners Fujifilm X-T30 Olympus Mark III

In the current world, smartphones come equipped with good cameras that can click decent pictures. If you are not casual about your photography and don’t want to be limited to small sensors and fixed lenses, then a compact Mirrorless camera is a good option.

With a Mirrorless camera, you’ll get the kind of next-level control you need when taking your photography a notch further.

In this guide, we have listed some of the best mirrorless camera for beginner that won’t cast a hole in your pocket and are easy to use. Many of the models listed in this guide offer APS-C sensors, but some of them feature faintly smaller, Micro Four Thirds sensors.


Don’t worry if you’re a beginner and not familiar with technical terms.This guide contains other relevant information about Mirrorless cameras. The first section of our guide is dedicated to important factors to consider before your purchase, and the next is the product review section. In the end, we’ve mentioned a list of popular manufacturers of Mirrorless cameras and some FAQs.

Important Features To Consider Before Buying The Best Beginner Mirrorless Camera

So what should you look out for in a Mirrorless camera? This section is extremely important for beginners as the information mentioned here will make the buying process easy and you prioritize your needs easily and buy accordingly.

We have chosen 12 features that make a Mirrorless camera shine. We’re not trying to suggest that you should only purchase a camera that offers all 12. This is just a list of a few important things to look out for if you want to make sure you’re getting the most advanced technology that will help you capture what you want.

1. High-Resolution Viewfinder

For quite some time, professional photographers disdained electronic viewfinders. They were usually found in compact cameras only, lacked color precision, were far different from the amazing optical finders featured in DSLRs, and were tunnel-like.

But mirrorless cameras began to gain popularity, as companies tried to make them better by equipping them with high-resolution panels, and increasing their refresh rate.

Today, you won’t find any difficulty in buying the best mirrorless camera for beginners as their images are more lifelike than ever. Currently, the most preferred electronic viewfinders are the 5.76 million-dot examples found on the Panasonic SI and SIR models.

Fujifilm X-T3, Canon EOSR, and Nikon Z6 feature the 3.69 million-dot units that are also pretty stellar. We recommend you to not opt for a camera with 2.36 million dots, aim for higher and a magnification of around 0.76x or higher.

2. Sensor-Based Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a feature in mirrorless cameras as well as compatible lenses, and both are successful. However, sensor-based stabilization is preferable for several reasons. You gain from the stabilization even if the lens you’re using has stabilization built into it. So, you don’t have to bother about purchasing a lens with this feature included.

Many company’s mirrorless lens’ range is still developing, so if you buy an older range of lenses, there’s a chance that they won’t have built-in stabilization. But if you’ve bought the best beginner mirrorless camera that has image stabilization built-in, you don’t need to buy lenses that offer the same.

If your camera model features image stabilization, you can use older, slightly more exotic lenses, without any worries. Some lenses were released before this feature was even available on camera lenses.

3. Two Memory Card Slots

Conventionally, most mirrorless cameras are equipped with a single card slot, and that has worked just fine. So, why the need for two card slots now? There are a few reasons; first, with two card slots, you don’t need to worry about camera memory. Once one memory card fills, you can carry on shooting with the other one.

This also gives you the added benefit of being able to leave the first card in the camera itself, rather than needing to remove it and store it somewhere else. Most new models allow you to save the same data on both cards at the same time. This is a great advantage because your data is safe in the other card if by chance one memory card fails or gets corrupted.

Two memory card slots are a great benefit to professional photographers who cover important events like weddings and formal functions. You can also adjust the setup to your particular way of shooting so that one card records JPEGs, and the other records raw files or videos.

4. Hybrid Autofocus

Hybrid AF systems combine two incredible focusing technologies: contrast-detect AF and phase-detect AF. This dual approach enables systems to gain from the precision of the first, combined with the speed of the second. Mirrorless cameras that feature both perform better across a wider range of shooting scenarios.

Hybrid AF systems do well at keeping track of subjects in motion; for example, they are great for covering sporting events and other action-based photography.

They are also suitable for video recording, as they can smoothly move the focus from one subject to another, and this is possible because of the phase-detect AF that grants speed.

5. Top-Plate Display

Top plate display is a feature usually reserved for mid-range and top quality mirrorless models, and while they are not very important, they can be extremely useful. They offer you a fast snapshot of camera and shooting settings, without you having to check out the LCD or the viewfinder.

Also, they can illuminate, which allows you to view them even in low lighting conditions. Some of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners with top-plate LCDs are Canon EOSR, Fujifilm X-H1, Panasonic S1R, and Nikon Z6 and Z7.

6. Vari-Angle And Tri-axis Tilting Screens

The LCD screens featured in most mirrorless cameras today can be adjusted away from the camera body in one of the three ways. The first method allows you to physically pull the screen towards you and tilt it up or down.

This helps a lot when shooting from the ground or up high, but it is also the least flexible option as such screens can’t be adjusted to face forwards. A few popular cameras use this method, like the Nikon Z6 and Sony A7 III.

The second method allows for the broadest movements like a full 180-degree spin and can be adjusted to face forwards. This system has the screen mounted via a tiny hinge located on the side of the camera, like the Olympus OM-D E-MI Mark II and the Canon EOS R. This system also helps to protect the display when the device isn’t in use by folding it to face the camera body.

The third method is the latest one. In this system, the screen can be moved in all directions; up, down, left, and right. It is like the first one, but you can also pull it sideways. This design can be seen on the Fujifilm X-T3 and Panasonic S1. This method is best suited for portrait orientation when shooting up high or down low.

Which type of screen you opt for is determined by how and what you choose to shoot. Beginners usually prefer the first system, but professional photographers may need a broader range of motion for videography, group shots, etc.

7. Eye Detection

Face detection became an important part of a mirrorless camera’s feature set a few years ago, but recently, camera manufacturers have put efforts to advance their AF systems more by adding eye detection features.

Currently, the best beginner mirrorless cameras can detect human and animal eyes both and even continue to track them as the subject moves. It is a great feature if you’re fond of your pet and like clicking its pictures.

This allows you to make sure that the eyes are clear and focused, without you having to place a small focusing point over that area accurately. Now all you need to do is ensure the feature is enabled.

8. Silent Shutter

DSLRs have for long been equipped with mechanical shutters and some mirrorless cameras also feature them, but they can be a bit noisy when in use, especially when you are clicking rapid bursts of pictures. Manufacturers have now developed electronic ‘silent’ shutters which allow you to carry on clicking pictures discreetly when you need to.

Nowadays a lot of mirrorless cameras feature electronic shutters. These are perfect when photographing inside a sacred place of worship, a museum, a formal business event, or when you are trying to get a picture of your little one sleeping.

Although some mirrorless cameras still don’t offer this and some may do but only on a specific scene mode. If you think this feature might be useful to you, then particularly look for a model that is equipped with an electronic shutter. Prioritize what you want and then look out for the same.

9. Weather Resistance

Whether you only tend to click pictures in bad weather occasionally, or your main focus is landscape photography, nature, wildlife, or anything that needs you to be outdoors for extended periods of time, knowing your camera can resist any kind of weather is important if you want it to stay protected.

Many mirrorless cameras available today on the market like the NikonZ6, Canon EOS R, Panasonic S1, etc. flaunt some kind of protection.

While they are not absolutely water resistant, they can provide resistance against droplets or splashes of water and they’ll be guarded against rain, dust, and cold temperatures. Just make sure the lens you are using also offers the same amount of protection as your camera.

10. High-Resolution Mode

The sensors inside mirrorless cameras usually range from 12 MP to 47MP, and even higher when medium format cameras are considered. That is more than enough for many, but some models provide a little trick that allows them to develop photos at 80MP or 96MP, or higher.

Such high-resolution modes work by capturing a plenty of pictures at once and then combining them together. You will need a tripod in order to do this, but the results will be definitely incredible. This feature is very important as only a few of us want to print big pictures.

However, it lets you capture more details than you otherwise would be able to. So, if you are into landscape photography or are in the habit of printing pictures the size of a lorry, then this feature is ideal for you as it makes enlarging and extreme cropping far easier.

11. Video

Video recording is definitely an important feature to consider. It is an area where both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are pretty much neck to neck when it comes to quality.

Mirrorless cameras offer video shooters and vloggers more flexibility as compared to DSLR cameras. But both kinds of cameras let you shoot full HD videos, and some new models can also now shoot 4K.

Compared to DSLR cameras, what mirrorless ones improve upon is the way they shoot and not necessarily what they can shoot. You can more easily maintain focus on moving subjects in your frame using a mirrorless camera as they focus using continuous contrast-detection.

DSLRs also use contrast-detection focusing technique when recording videos or when taking in live view. But because it is an inherent technology within a mirrorless camera, it is generally more responsive and clear.

If you are upgrading from point-and-shoot cameras to a mirrorless one, then the video quality you are going to get is definitely going to be way better than what you’ve been seeing. Mirrorless cameras allow you to manually focus your shot as well as control the depth of field via the aperture. This in turn gives you better creative control and higher-quality files.

The smaller size of mirrorless camera means that the device’s light weight allows you to shoot longer without getting tired than shooting video using a DSLR. If you are a professional videographer or a YouTube vlogger, you’d definitely require a camera offering professional video capabilities.

In that case, we recommend you to consider getting a mirrorless camera that records video in a high-quality format, like the AVCHD or XAVCS and one with which you can pair external headphones, earphones, video monitors, recorders, microphones, etc.

12. Wireless Functionality

Nowadays, mirrorless cameras offer wireless capabilities that are truly incredible. Most cameras with Wi-Fi feature also need you to download a partner app for either iOS or Android configuration. By downloading the app, you can control the camera from your smartphone or tablet.

These apps allow you to have full control over shutter speed, live view, aperture, ISO, and other settings that you would usually need to adjust on the camera. Same cameras allow you to transfer photos directly to a smartphone from your camera, or to your favorite social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Another amazing Wi-Fi function it offers is Near Field Communication (also known as the NFC) which allows cameras to connect with one another or any other smart device to share data. This is very helpful when you are with friends and want to share images instantly.

Everyone has different priorities and budgets, so we’ve tried covering different kinds of models to offer some variety. The first few models mentioned on this list of best mirrorless cameras for beginners are all-rounders. The all-rounder cameras include mid-range models that equally match the DSLRs with regards to features and performance.

A few of the models are a bit expensive one for those who don’t mind spending much. Such models are great for new vloggers and influencers looking for the best options to make videos for vlogging.

Most of the models mentioned on this list are inexpensive and simple to use, ideal for those starting out in photography and looking for not-so-expensive mirrorless cameras. The top 15 best mirrorless cameras for beginners are listed as follows.

Top 15 Best Mirrorless Camera for Beginners 2021

1. Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50 Best Mirrorless Camera For Beginners

The first model on our list of best mirrorless cameras for beginners is the Nikon Z50. It offers amazing handling experience, incredible 300-shot battery, and allows you to make 4K videos. It is definitely one of the most intriguing new cameras to rise from the present escalating mirrorless camera wars.

It is a mid-range all-rounder mirrorless camera that is easy to operate, making it ideal for beginners. Launched in the late 2019, this APS-C model proved quickly to be way more than just a stripped-back Z7.

The company has managed to introduce a satisfying stocky hand grip onto this small frame from an excellent handling experience, while also including all the features that mirrorless cameras often flaunt like the 11fps burst shooting and HD quality 4K video.

You get a 16-50mm pancake kit lens with the camera to capture different kinds of images. The only downside is that it features a single memory card slot, which can be a problem for those looking for more storage space.

Still, it is a great model considering its price, which has been particularly tailored to undermine similar offerings from other brands like Olympus and Panasonic.


2. Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30

This compact mirrorless camera by Fujifilm is equipped with a 26.1 MP X-Trans sensor and powerful AF. With the X-T3 model (mentioned ahead on the list), the brand brought out the highest resolution APS-C sensor currently available on the market and one of the most efficient autofocus systems. Fujifilm filtered down this technology to produce a smaller, less costly, and lighter model, called the X-T30.

It combines an affordable price, lightweight body, and powerful photographic tools to offer you the best, even if you are on a limited budget. It offers amazing external shutter speed, allows you to make 4K videos, and offers a variety of aperture controls. It is a good option for both vloggers and regular stills photographers.

Its video features are not as good as the X-T3’s, but if you are looking for a compact, yet powerful mirrorless camera that is inexpensive as well as delivers great performance, then look no further than the X-T3. The only pitfall is that it doesn’t feature in-body stabilization.


3. Olympus Mark III

Olympus Mark III

If you are looking for an affordable mirrorless camera that offers exceptional features and great performance, then the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the one to opt for. It comes with the stunning Pro Capture mode, MFT sensor, 152 raw file buffer, and a variety of lenses.

This camera is equipped with Olympus’s new 20.4MP Micro Four Third sensor. While this type of sensor is smaller than APS-C, but the image quality it delivers is very close than it allows mirrorless cameras to be small and portable.

Other amazing features include 5.5EV in body stabilization, an incredible 30fps Pro Capture mode with 14 shot pre-buffering, Live Bulb modes, Live Composite, C4K and 4K UHD video.


4. Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm is doing really well when it comes to mirrorless cameras. We have already reviewed the affordable and compact X-T30 model by the brand; this one is a bit more advanced. The X-T3 is one of our top favorites because of its reasonable price and great specifications plus features. For instance, it offers good continuous shooting speed (about 15fps with the new mechanical shutter).

There are a few downsides though like it doesn’t offer bigger buffer depth for its burst mode and doesn’t come with in-body stabilization. The brand is going to launch the X-T4 pretty soon, which will definitely be better. So, wait till its launch if you like X-T3 but want a little more.

This model is not equipped with an electronic shutter, which means that it can be a bit noisy when clicking images. If you want a shutter that works silently, then look for a camera with electronic shutter.

Still, at this cost and functionality, the X-T3 is a remarkable option for beginners and pros alike. It is equipped with a 26.1MP sensor for quick focusing, offers autofocus sensitivity down to -3EV and advanced subject tracking.

This camera allows you to make 10-bit 4K videos at up to 60p with 4:2:0 color sampling- which is fantastic for a video crossover camera. Using the X-T3 will feel like you are shooting on an old-school DSLR, with all the features of advanced camera technology.


5. Nikon Z6

Nikon Z6

This is another best mirrorless camera for beginners by Nikon that offers excellent high-ISO quality, lets you make 4K videos, and offers average buffer capacity. It is a bit advanced camera, ideal for professionals and also for camera enthusiasts ready to upgrade to a full frame model.

The Nikon Z7 is more an expensive 45.7MP mirrorless camera, but the Z6 offers the same amazing build quality, in-body image stabilization and controls.

It is a versatile product with a wider ISO range, full frame 4K video and speedy 12fps continuous shooting frame rate. The build quality is no doubt superb as the camera body is made of magnesium alloy and provides extensive weather sealing, and a two hundred thousand shot shutter life.

When you consider it’s affordable cost, you’ll know that the Nikon Z6 is one of the best models available on the market today. The Z-mount lens range is also increasing steadily, but if you don’t want to invest in new lenses you can use any current Nikon DSLR lens via Nikon’s FTZ lens adaptor.


6. Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP

This is the first best mirrorless camera for beginners by Canon mentioned on our list. The Canon EOS RP is one of the most popular mirrorless camera models manufactured by the brand. Its compact size, light weight, competitive pricing, and fully-articulating screen are some of the main reasons for its popularity.

Within a few months after launching the EOS R, Canon has come up with a smaller and cheaper EOS RP model. With this camera you get a 26.3MP full frame sensor, fully-circulating rear screen, and 4,779-point Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus. It allows you to make high-quality 4K videos and delivers crisp and clear images.

One of the best features is its extremely affordable pricing, which makes it the most inexpensive full-frame mirrorless camera on the market. Some users have stated that it feels too small for its lenses, other than that it is a good option to consider if you want to move up to full frame photography for the minimum outlay


7. Panasonic Lumix GX80

Panasonic Lumix GX80

The Panasonic Lumix GX80 can be adapted to the needs of any kind of user; from the beginner that just wants to explore a newfound hobby by relying on the Intelligent Auto option, to the professional who wants full control over all settings such as aperture and shutter speed.

It allows you to record 4K videos and the built-in electronic viewfinder makes it an incredible option for using in extremely dark conditions or bright sunlight. It offers a 16MP camera and features Panasonic’s speed DFD (Depth from Defocus) autofocus system. The tilted screen makes it easy to shoot from surface level.

It comes with the brand’s tiny Micro Four Thirds lenses which makes this model an ideal choice for travelling and vlogging. If you don’t mind getting a camera slightly bigger in size equipped with a larger APS-C sensor, check out the Sony A6000 (which we have reviewed next).

Panasonic Lumix is the best mirrorless camera for beginners looking for a budget-friendly model who want all the mod cons plus an electronic viewfinder. The only drawback is that its tilt-screen range is a bit restricted. Other than that, it is worth considering for all the features that it offers.


8. Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000

The A6000 mirrorless camera by Sony is another top-notch model which was launched way back in 2014 and still hasn’t lost its popularity. It features an excellent AF system, offers 11fps burst shooting with C-AF and 24MP APS-C sensor.

Since 2014, this model has been upgraded twice by the Sony A6500 and Sony A6400, but the Sony A6000 is much more affordable and is a great entry-level mirrorless camera for a novice photographer.

It features a superb Autofocus system that combines 179 phase-detect AF points and 25 contrast-detect points, together with focus tracking and 11fps burst shooting. The camera is specifically a good choice for anyone shooting action. Although, it can be used to shoot in other genres too due to its 24MP sensor, high-resolution OLED viewfinder, Wi-Fi, NFC, and tilting LCD screen.

Its age doesn’t affect its performance, so don’t worry about its date of launch. The brand keeps launching new A6000-series cameras every other year, so you can take a look at other models too.

The A6000 doesn’t feature 4K video and touchscreen, these are the only drawbacks. Unless you need 4K video features and highly advanced AF, this original 2014 model is an ideal choice.


9. Olympus E-M10 Mark III

Olympus E-M10 Mark III

This is another great mirrorless camera by Olympus that offers 4K video recording, superb image stabilization, and 16.1MP sensor. The OM-D E-M10 Mark III was launched a few years after Mark II, but it is still one of the best cameras for beginners available on the market.

It is not very different from the preceding model, perhaps this is the only downside but there are few different features worth noting. It shares a similar shape to the Mark II but is equipped with a better processor, superior autofocus system, and allows you to record 4K videos. This camera might appear small and light, but it is a real powerhouse.

It features Olympus’s incredible five-axis image stabilization system, tilting rear LCD, and is equipped with a 2.36million dot OLED viewfinder. The 16.1MP sensor may not seem adequate to some as it isn’t quite the latest generation, but image sensor is not everyone’s priority.

As an MFT model, it offers access to a raft of Micro Four Thirds Lenses manufactured by both Olympus and Panasonic. It is rated as one of the most suitable mirrorless cameras for travel.


10. Sony A7R Mark IV

Sony A7R Mark IV

Sony A7R Mark IV offers 61MP resolution for clearer and crisper images, 10fps continuous shooting, and advanced eye autofocus. It is a high-end model and comparatively costlier than other models mentioned on this list. So, it is not a good option if you are on a tight budget and looking for something an easy-to-use model.

The “R” models in Sony’s A7 range are made for high resolution- and this specific model certainly delivers. The previous model launched by Sony was A7R Mark III and it was a standard for some time, but has recently been overtaken by other newly launched models.

The A7R Mark IV has made its mark in the market with its record-breaking 61MP sensor that is probably the highest resolution offered by any full frame camera.

The detail rendition is amazing, though not as clear as numbers might suggest. Sony’s control layout is now getting outdated and complex compared to what other leading brands have done with their new models.

Nonetheless, with its amazing eye autofocus, 10fps continuous shooting, and 61MP sensor, this has become a favorite among professional photographers.


11. Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

After the Nikon Z6, Z7 is an instant classic. It offers great handling, amazing viewfinder, and 45.5MP full frame CMOS (which is quite high for a mid-range mirrorless camera). This high-quality mirrorless camera flaunts 493-point hybrid phase/contrast autofocus, in-camera image stabilization system (IBIS), single XQD card slot, and 4K UHD at 30p.

The Z7 is quite similar in looks to its chief competitor, the Sony A7 series, and shares the same technology as the Nikon D850 DSLR, but is much smaller in size. Nikon is in the process of developing Z-mount lenses, but the Z7 can work with any Nikon DSLR lens using an FTZ adaptor. So changing from an older Nikon DSLR to a Nikon Z mirrorless camera couldn’t be simpler.

The previously listed Sony model offers more megapixels, but the 45.5MP frame CMOS is also pretty good plus the Z7 is ahead in handling and value.


12. Panasonic Lumix S1R

Panasonic Lumix S1R

This is another best camera for beginners from the Panasonic Lumix range. It offers high resolution, fantastic builds and controls, and high-quality 4K video recording. If you need a top quality camera for clicking stills and amazing 4K video features, then look no further than the Lumix S1R, although, the Lumix S1 that we reviewed earlier is slightly better for video recording.

Both the cameras are pretty bulky and hefty devices, and the same goes for the L-mount lenses you’ll be pairing with the camera. Panasonic has paired with Sigma to launch the new L-mount lenses range.

Compared to other mirrorless cameras available on the market, this one is particularly heavy, but that helps to make it feel more balanced with big lenses. It allows room for a variety of external controls, like a top-mounted status display, so it is the best model out there if you prefer proper hands-on control.


13. Sony A9 Mark II

Sony A9 Mark II

Replacing the renowned Sony A9, the Sony A9 II is the fastest and most powerful full-frame mirrorless camera available on the market. It features fast and effective autofocus, lag-free electronic viewfinder, and offers 20fps at 24MP. It promises to be a game changer for professional photographers due to its blistering speed and autofocus performance.

The Sony A9 range is pricier than the A7 one and is originally designed for pro shooters. It can be too fast for a novice shooter to keep up with and a bit complex. So, it might not be the best option for beginners looking for an easy to operate camera.

Mirrorless cameras still have a lot to achieve in the pro sports photography market, where DSLRs manufactured by leading brands like Canon and Nikon look set to rule for some time to come. But the Sony A9 series cameras have convinced more than a few pro shooters that mirrorless cameras can compete well too.


14. Olympus E-M1 Mark III

Olympus E-M1 Mark III

This is the third model of the Olympus OM- D E-M1 range and is the ultimate mirrorless camera for general practice photography. It offers 60fps at full resolution, nearly 7.5 stops of image stabilization, and 80MP Hi Res shot mode.

Its MFT sensor may be smaller than rivals, but when shooting sport, its AF equals the Canon EOS cameras. When shooting high resolution, its 50MP and 80MP options outshine most format models.

Its 60fps burst delivers amazing results when shooting fast frames and when shooting stills, its 7.5 stops of image stabilization performs better than every mirrorless camera on the market. If you want a camera to specifically record sporting events, then we recommend you to opt for the Sony A9 II instead of this one as the former is the best in that dedicated area.

If you require a specialist high-resolution camera, the Sony A7 range and Fujifilm GFX 100 are the best in that fiefdom. But if you want a single professional camera that performs well and can take on all those assignments, the Olympus E-M1 Mark III is the best choice.


15. Fujifilm GFX 50R

Fujifilm GFX 50R

The last model on our list of best mirrorless camera for beginners is the Fujifilm GFX50R that offers mind-blowing image quality, autofocus accuracy, and Max flash sync speed. With a sensor 60% larger than even full frame, this one offers 51.4MP that have room to produce not only super high resolution, but also amazing dynamic range as well as noise control.

Compared to a full-frame mirrorless camera, this one is a bit complicated to use, but many will appreciate the depth and quality of this camera’s photos. The AF system is also a bit slow. Nonetheless, it is the cheapest medium format digital camera to date.

It is not more expensive than a high quality mirrorless full-frame camera. The incredible GFX 100 may have attracted all the headlines, but the GFX 50R is a model that makes medium format affordable.


Best Camera Brands Today

In this section, we have listed some of the most popular Mirrorless camera manufacturers. First, we have mentioned big players like Sony, Canon, and Nikon, companies that dominate the digital photography market and manufacture the best Mirrorless cameras for beginners. Sony has recently become a major manufacturer of Mirrorless cameras and giving a tough competition to the other two top brands.

The next three brands are smaller, like Fujifilm, Panasonic, and Olympus. By the time you’ve read up this section, you’d have learnt all about the major camera manufacturers. This will help you determine the best camera brand for your photography.

1. Canon

Canon is a Japanese multinational corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. Currently, it is one of the leading camera brands known for manufacturing high-quality DSLRs, camcorders, Mirrorless cameras, broadcasting and film equipment.

It was founded in 1937and was the first to introduce a micro-computer in a camera, include eye-controlled AF, and produce an image-stabilized lens available to all the masses. Even as a lot of camera manufacturers have entered the market, Canon has maintained its quality and product line. The company still manufactures its own APS-C and full-frame sensors, lenses, and other camera accessories.

2. Nikon

Nikon is another Japanese multinational corporation, specializing in optics and imaging products. For a number of years, Nikon has been Canon’s chief competitor, with both the companies fighting it out in the beginner and professional camera field. While the latter has persistently claimed the top position, the Nikon Corporation is actually two decades older than Canon.

was founded in 1917 and instantly rose to become a leading optics business. Nikon lags in terms of mirrorless camera adoption and is currently feeling the impact of this shift; while some of its models like the Nikon Z6 and Z7 are considered as great entries into the mirrorless camera kingdom, the company still has a long way to go to successfully compete with camera series manufactured by other brands.

3. Sony

The Japanese multinational conglomerate manufactures consumer and professional electronics, household electronic items, gaming sets, smartphones, etc. It was founded in 1946 and produced its first digital camera nearly after four decades. After acquiring Konica Minolta’s camera division in 2006, Sony’s camera business increased for the good.

The brand is now in a position to compete with other leading camera brands like Canon and Nikon. Currently, Sony dominates the mirrorless industry with its A7 series and is also the largest manufacturer of digital sensors in the world.

It supplies camera sensors to some of the main camera brands like Panasonic, Nikon, and Fujifilm and manufactures some of the best beginner mirrorless cameras. The brand also dominates the smartphone camera sensor market, producing approximately 70% of the world’s smartphone sensors.

4. Fujifilm

Fujifilm is a Japanese multinational photography and imaging company known for its APS-C mirrorless cameras, mirrorless-format cameras, and instant film cameras. Fujifilm ranks as the fourth largest brand in the digital camera market.

It was founded in 1934 and spent a lot of years competing with Eastman Kodak; one of the dominant forces in the camera industry at the time. While all the previously listed brands focus mainly on technical prowess and persistent profitability, Fujifilm is majorly known for its differently styled products and unique method of conducting business.

Fujifilm cares about camera aesthetics as much as quality and has been creating uniquely designed retro-style cameras that offer mechanical dials and decades old film look. The brand is mostly known today for its APS-C mirrorless cameras such as the X-T3 (mentioned in our review list).

5. Olympus

Olympus started its camera business way back in 1936, but was established in 1919 and initially manufactured microscopes and thermometers. Today it manufactures high-quality mirrorless cameras and DSLRs for both professionals and beginners.

Olympus paired with Kodak to design its own camera system, specifically for DSLRs and is known as the Four Thirds System. This was later developed by Olympus with the help of Panasonic into the Micro Four Thirds system, which is now used by a lot of companies.

6. Panasonic

Panasonic was founded in 1918 and began as an electric company. Now it manufactures every kind of electronic item from home appliances to gadgets. It gained its name in the camera industry by introducing the Lumix digital camera, including the incredible Panasonic Lumix S1R and Lumix S1 mirrorless cameras.

The brand paired up with Leica to make full-frame mirrorless lenses, leading to the creation of Lumix Leica lenses. Today, it manufactures some of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners. It invests much of its business in Micro Four Third cameras, developed with the help of Olympus.

FAQs on Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners

1. What Are The Major Differences Between Dslrs And Mirrorless Cameras?

DSLR or Digital single-lens reflex cameras and mirrorless cameras use interchangeable lenses, with features required for pro-level photography. There are a variety of models available for each, from those aimed at beginners to professionals. Both types feature big sensors, allowing them to let in more light and therefore capture more detail as compared to a standard digital camera.

The main difference between the two is that the former comes with a reflex mirror inside it, which reflects light up into the optical viewfinder. With the latter, light directly enters the image sensor and it features an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen to display a preview of the picture.

2. What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Dslrs And Mirrorless Cameras?

Nowadays, mirrorless cameras have become more widely available and are giving a tough competition to DSLR cameras with regards to quality, but there are pros and cons to both. There tend to be a few perks with a traditional DSLR, which is most probably the superior speed when tracking subjects, although this is changing now.

Most DSLR cameras use ‘phase detection’ AF modules in the body of the camera, which make tracking subjects faster. On the other hand, mirrorless cameras depend on sensor-based autofocus, which examines the maximum contrast between image pixels. When the contrast is high, the subject is in focus.

This method is comparatively slower and also doesn’t function well when it comes to capturing moving subjects, as it doesn’t take measuring distance into account, only the level of contrast.

But technical advancements have led to a lot of changes, as now some of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners feature hybrid autofocus systems, hence, reducing the gap between AF speeds of DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Still, even now DSLR cameras offer better AF speed than mirrorless cameras and this is the reason why they stay favorites of both beginners and professionals.

3. Are Mirrorless Cameras Better For Recording Videos?

While there is no specific reason why a DSLR couldn’t be made with the same video specifications as a mirrorless one, the latter tends to offer some advantages. A mirrorless camera is preferred for recording videos as its electronic viewfinder can be extremely useful when shooting a video in harsh light, while the optical viewfinder found in DSLRs cannot be used in video mode.

Mirrorless cameras are also regarded as live-view-only cameras and due to this they often feature better AF systems as compared to a DSLR in live-view mode. Canon is the only brand that offers an exception to this, with its Dual Pixel AF that is equipped in both its mirrorless and DSLR camera models.

Format is not the only important thing to consider when it comes to video cameras, as you also need to consider a brand’s experience making video cameras.

4. Can A Dslr Lens Be Used With A Mirrorless Camera?

Yes you can, but you’re required to use an adapter. The Canon EF-mount DSLR lenses can be attached to Canon RF and EF-M mount mirrorless cameras using a first-party adapter that offers nearly the same performance. Similarly, Nikon F-mount DSLR lenses can be adapted to Z-mount mirrorless cameras using the Nikon FTZ adapter.

You can also attach Canon and Nikon DSLR lenses to Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras manufactured by Olympus and Panasonic, but this must be done using a third-party adapter and sometimes the lenses may not perform as fast as they usually do on their native systems.

5. Who Makes The Best Mirrorless Camera?

We have already mentioned some of the best brands that manufacture mirrorless cameras. A lot of brands make all kinds of mirrorless cameras today, so if you’re looking to buy your first camera and have had no prior experience, read about different features a mirrorless camera offers.

Prioritize the features that are important to you and opt for the brand that does the best job with them. Some people want great autofocus performance, so some video quality is important or more resolution.

Sony has been manufacturing full frame mirrorless cameras for quite a number of years now, but Nikon and Panasonic have also quickly caught up to Sony. Olympus offers the best image stabilization, while Fujifilm offers great video quality.

6. How To Choose The Best Mirrorless Camera For You?

The criteria when looking for a mirrorless camera are pretty much the same as when you’re looking to buy any kind of camera. The first step is to fix a budget and then read about different features a mirrorless camera offers.

The next step is to determine your experience level. If you are an amateur or new to mirrorless cameras, it is recommended that you invest in a lower-priced model with more user-friendly features like in-camera manuals that explain different settings.

You need to consider the purpose of your purchase. If you want to shoot sports or landscape, you’ll need a camera that can take plenty of pictures quickly, plus one with in-camera stabilization. If you are a frequent traveler and want to click pictures while travelling, then perhaps you’d want a more compact camera that is weather-proof.

Inexpensive cameras can do an amazing job, but when cutting back on cost certainly means that features and controls are missing, so consider again if the saving is worth missing out on something that’ll add to your photography experience.

All The Best!

We hope this guide on the best mirrorless camera for beginners has helped you gain a lot of important information on mirrorless cameras. Some of the cameras listed here may seem costly to a beginner buying a camera for the very first time, but we have recommended them due to their quality build and amazing features.

Just because a camera is affordable, doesn’t mean it represents value for money. If you buy an older model thinking it will suffice you presently, but outgrow it quickly, then you’ll need to upgrade very soon. Hence, it is better to think carefully and spend on a quality camera manufactured by a renowned brand.

If you view your newfound hobby as an investment, it will pay huge dividends if you invest in a good model. All the mirrorless cameras we have mentioned on this guide are suitable for beginners because of their size, user-friendliness, price, and features.

You can look at other models manufactured by the same brands if you feel like exploring more options. Just remember to choose wisely!

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Mathew Daly

Mathew Daly

Mathew Daly, is a 32-year old photographer from Boston. Mathew has been intrigued by photography from an early age ever since he was given his first camera. He started wandering his neighbourhood to capture the beauty in the most mundane of things. He curates interesting buyer guides on cameras and helps buyers make an informed choice. 
Mathew Daly

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