Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Sony Alpha A6000 2. Sony RX100 II 3. Olympus Mark II
Sony Alpha A6000 Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500 Sony RX100 II Olympus Pen E-PL9

A good mirrorless camera is the closest substitute for a DSLR. These cameras are perfect for amateur, as well as professional, photographers. Be it the light weight or the easy-to-change lenses, the cameras can easily fit your travel back and are best for capturing the memorable moments in your life. The price tag is also not an issue as you can find the best mirrorless cameras under $500.


What Makes Mirrorless Cameras Special?

Mirrorless cameras, as the name suggests, don’t require a mirror to form the image. The absence of the mirror makes it much lighter than a DSLR. The word “mirrorless” can be misleading, but not all cameras without mirrors are called mirrorless cameras. Confused right? The term “Mirrorless” cameras is used to describe the digital interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs).

The mirrorless cameras are generally smaller than a normal DSLR, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the former cameras have smaller lenses than the latter. Suppose if the lens is 300mm, then a full-frame DSLR and a full-frame mirrorless camera can utilize the same lens.

The popular conception that professional photographers don’t use a mirrorless camera is a myth. Many people associate mirrorless cameras with poor image quality, but image quality has nothing to do with mirrors. It is correlated with the lenses and sensors used. This fact alone proves that mirrorless cameras are a great option for professional photographers.

Key Points of Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500

The myth that mirrorless cameras are light in weight is no more applicable to all the mirrorless cameras. The initial Olympus Pen-F used to be light in weight and handy, but the recent models are bulkier than the initial versions. But the question is, will you be able to find mirrorless cameras that are below $500 and equipped with all the features you need? Well, the answer is yes.

You can find the best mirrorless cameras under 500 that have all the features you need. Apart from being handy and light in weight, the mirrorless cameras don’t burn a hole in your pocket. These cameras are cheaper, compared to a DSLR, and in some cases, better. It all depends on the brand and region of manufacture.

Are Mirrorless Cameras Worth The Hype?

Mirrorless cameras have been doing rounds in the tech news lately for their compact design and image quality, but are they worth the hype? The answer is yes, these are worth the hype, and worth every penny.

Apart from being handy, the mirrorless cameras have no complicated mechanism or delicate mirrors. The cameras also feature image stabilisation , which provides a better image quality. Instead of mirrors, the mirrorless cameras employ an electronic viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder is nothing but a small, high-resolution LCD screen.

The mirrorless cameras are “What You See Is What You Get” cameras. Unlike DSLR cameras, you can see the effects of adjusting the settings of the camera in real-time.

This helps you decide the appropriate settings to capture the moment. The feature is possible due to the electronic viewfinder employed in place of a mirror. The manual focus feature is another remarkable feature of mirrorless cameras; this feature is helpful for capturing photos in the nighttime.

Factors To Look For When Buying Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500

Mirrorless cameras are unique for many reasons. Therefore, apart from looking for the usual features in a camera, there are some additional features you need to look for when buying a mirrorless camera.

1. Lens Systems

Interchangeable lenses are a specialty of mirrorless cameras which no other compact cameras have. This lens system makes all the difference, and if you haven’t tried out any cameras with interchangeable lenses, you will be surprised by the difference in the image quality.

The typical point-and-shoot cameras usually have a built-in lens that gives you the optical zoom function. But, you will not have much control over the selective focus function.
Cameras with no mirrors have a major advantage over the cameras with mirrors.

In mirrorless cameras, the absence of a mirror in front of the sensor allows for a shorter flange focal distance. This is the distance between the plane of the sensor and the lens mount. This short distance provides another advantage.

You can use lenses with large flange focal length, provided you have the right adapter with you. So, in a simple sense, apart from the dedicated interchangeable lenses, you are free to use your SLR’s lenses in the mirrorless cameras, but you need to have a compatible adapter.

2. Sensor Size

The sensors featured in a mirrorless camera are smaller than those employed in a DSLR, but are larger than the sensors employed in a point-and-shoot camera. Most of the mirrorless cameras have an APS-C sensor. You can also find mirrorless cameras with a full-frame sensor.

One of the significant reasons for the compact size of the mirrorless camera is the small-sized sensors. These sensors perform better at night than day, and therefore mirrorless cameras are best for capturing the nightlife.

If image quality and size (in low light as well as daylight) are of utmost importance to you, then you should look out for mirrorless cameras that feature a full-frame or an APS-C sensor.

But if you are on a look-out for a compact mirrorless camera that offers a fair number of features and is better than your point-and-shoot camera, then a mirrorless camera with a smaller sensor would be the best choice.

3. Viewfinders

Another factor to consider when buying a mirrorless camera is the viewfinder. A TTL viewfinder helps you view the same thing which the lens is viewing/seeing.

Electronic viewfinders are employed in mirrorless cameras instead of TTL (optical viewfinder) viewfinder. This is to compensate for the absence of the mirror. In normal mirrored cameras like DSLR, the view which the lens sees is directed to the viewfinder with the help of a mirror.

The focus peaking is one of the main advantages of an electronic viewfinder. Another advantage is that the EVF is capable of giving you the exact depiction of the view captured in terms of the contrast, color balance, and exposure.

The electronic viewfinder has its disadvantages. The EVF is responsible for draining out the battery of the mirrorless cameras. The EVF is also characterized by a short lag time between the visuals you see and what the lens is capturing.

But in recent times, the lag time has become almost negligible. You can also attach an external electronic viewfinder to a mirrorless camera via a horse show adapter to enhance the quality of the images captured.

4. Image Quality

The image quality of the camera is always defined by the talent of the person capturing the picture. A very good photographer can capture an award-winning photograph with a camera that has minimum features. But you need to find the right mirrorless camera that has features with which you are familiar.

If you are fumbling with a camera that has too many features, perhaps it isn’t your cup of tea. If you are a beginner, then start with a good mirrorless camera that gives you a fairly good picture and has a minimum number of features.

Once you are good enough with it and want to upgrade your skills, you can go for the latest mirrorless cameras.

5. Autofocus

Mirrorless cameras use contrast detection to autofocus. In this method, the contrast between the pixels on the sensor is measured until and unless the camera finds the measured contrast enough to ensure that the image is in focus.

As the method requires a continuous measure of the contrast, it is comparatively slower than the autofocus methods employed in other cameras, and you would find it difficult to capture the picture using autofocus in lowlight.

You will also find it difficult to focus on moving objects with a mirrorless camera.
If you want lightning-fast autofocus in your camera, then you should probably go for mirrorless cameras that come with a hybrid autofocus system.

In this system, the autofocus function is realized using a combination of phase-detection and contrast-detection methods. If you go for a mirrorless camera with the hybrid autofocus system, the price would be higher than mirrorless cameras that employ the contrast-detection method for autofocus.

6. Video

If you are going gaga over a DSLR for its capability to capture high-quality videos, know that mirrorless cameras, too, have the same features. Some mirrorless cameras can even shoot videos in 4k.

As mirrorless cameras use the continuous contrast-detection method, you can focus easily and continue to maintain the focus. You will also be able to control the depth of field via aperture, and you can manually focus your image.

If you are used to capturing videos with point-and-shoot cameras and planning to switch to mirrorless cameras, the video quality is going to be a thousand times better. The compactness and lightweight of the mirrorless camera allow you to shoot videos for hours on a stretch without straining your hands.

The mirrorless cameras come with different video qualities. The budget mirrorless cameras also have a fair video quality, and you won’t be needing your point-and-shoot cameras anymore. As the video quality of the camera increases, the price increases accordingly.

7. Wireless Function

Mirrorless cameras with wireless functionality have taken the market by storm. These cameras would often come with a partnering app compatible with android as well as iOS.

These apps would allow you to control the camera from your smartphone. As mirrorless cameras with wireless functionality are the latest entrants in the field, the price range is slightly higher than the mirrorless cameras without wireless functionality.

Some cameras allow you to control the only basic features like live view and shutter control via the smartphone. While the latest mirrorless cameras can be controlled completely with your smartphone.

You can also transfer the captured images and videos to your smart device from the camera via the app. Near Field Communication is another specialty of mirrorless cameras that comes with wireless functionality. The NFC allows you to connect the cameras to the nearby smart device with the help of a tap.

8. Durability

If you are a professional photographer, then the durability of the camera should be of deep concern. You can own several durable versions of the standard mirrorless camera. These versions will have a stronger camera body than others and will also cost you a small fortune.

However, if you are a novice, durability need not be of deep concern. You can choose whichever model you want, but make sure you store and take good care of the camera as well as the lenses.

9. Battery Life

Usually, people blame mirrorless cameras for their short battery life. It is a fact that DSLRs have longer battery life than mirrorless cameras. But the difference is less pronounced.

You may be able to capture 500 shots with a normal DSLR, and with a mirrorless camera, you would be able to take just 400 shots. But as technology advances, you can find mirrorless cameras that can capture up to 700 shots in one go.

The lower battery life of the mirrorless cameras is due to the fact that mirrorless cameras employ electronic viewfinder due to the absence of mirrors. If you are a novice, then 400 shots in one battery charge cycle are more than enough. If you want to have a longer battery life, you can go for mirrorless cameras with longer battery life.

10. Weight

Usually, mirrorless cameras are popular for their compactness and lightweight. But the latest models are comparatively heavier than the previous model. If you are planning to buy a mirrorless camera that can easily fit in your travel handbag, then it is better to go for the conventional lightweight models.

The myth that as the features increase, the weight increases is not true in the case of mirrorless cameras. Some brands emphasize the build of the camera, and therefore, the weight is contributed by the body of the camera.

11. Flash

Not all mirrorless cameras in the market have a Flash, but in most mirrorless cameras, you can find an external option via a “hot shoe” (the hot shoe is a type of slip in adapter) to attach the flash. This is extremely helpful as you can buy a flash of your choice and attach it to the camera.

Even though the external flashes aren’t as comfortable as built-in flashes, the former helps you capture beautiful shots, as the light from the flash bounces off a hard surface in a large margin. The external flashes won’t corrupt your photos by causing harsh whites that are usually caused by the in-built flashes.

12. Image Processor

The image processor chip can be considered as the most valuable and important component of a mirrorless camera. It is this chip that decides how fast the camera would be able to process the light that was captured earlier by the sensor installed on the camera.

As the processor becomes faster and powerful, the shutter-burst speed also increases proportionally.

Highly powerful processor equipped cameras can shoot nearly up to 15 stills in a second and also record a 1080 p video at the speed of 60 frames per second, providing a clearer and better video. Without much ado, here is the list of the best mirrorless cameras under 500.

Top 15 Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500 2021

1. Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000 Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500The Sony Alpha a6000 is an entry-level mirrorless digital camera that features a 3.0-inch LCD screen. The autofocus lag is drastically reduced in this model and features ultra-fast autofocus. The camera also has 179 Auto Focus (AF) points.

Auto Focus points are used by the camera to focus on an object in the frame. The camera has an in-built pop-up flash in-built, and also has a hot shoe adapter slot to attach an external flash.

The camera is compact and extremely lightweight. The body is made from graphite and provides sufficient protection against accidental falls. The camera features a high-resolution APS-C, 24MP sensor.

The camera comes with wireless functionality and lets you connect your smart device to the camera with the help of Sony’s mobile app. The Near Field Communication (NFC) feature makes the camera more user-friendly.

The OLED, electronic viewfinder helps you compose the captured image with commendable image quality and ensures 100% coverage. The OLED EVF does not need backlight like an LCD. The camera’s BIONZ X processor lets you capture stunning pictures even at low light. The powerful processor lets you capture videos at 1080p at 60 frames per second.

One of the overwhelming aspects of the camera is that it features quite a number of features that can leave you confused. Also, the noise reduction feature employed can be excessive at times. An underwhelming aspect is the focus point; the selection adjustment seems to be very old-fashioned and doesn’t suit the appearance of the camera.


2. Sony RX100 II

Sony RX100 II

The Sony RX100 packs a CMOS sensor of 20.1MP. The camera is designed to work in low light conditions, and the photos captured during the night are par excellence. But the same performance isn’t showcased during the daytime or in bright light. You can see a significant reduction in the quality of the pictures.

The camera features wireless functionality, and you can control all the features of the camera from the dedicated Sony app. The camera has a hot shoe adapter slot, and you can easily attach an external flash, an electronic viewfinder, or a microphone to improve the performance of the camera.

The 3.0-inch LCD helps you see the captured image clearly. The screen can be tilted downwards up to an angle of 45 degrees. You can also tilt the LCD screen upwards up to an angle of 84 degrees as well.

The customizable function button is another specialty of this mirrorless camera from Sony. The function helps you access the recently used function and settings. In this way, you can easily click pictures without having to set the controls again and again.

The underwhelming aspect of the camera is that even when it claims to have a sensitivity range up to ISO 12800, the pictures captured at ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 are not up to the mark.

Also, compared to its predecessor, RX100, the Sony RX100 II autofocus function lags a little bit. The camera takes almost 2.5 seconds to focus and shoot the pictures.

Another aspect that needs improvement is the body of the camera. As the body is too polished, it provides very little grip and can easily slip from your hands.


3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus Pen E-PL9

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a spectacular mirrorless camera that comes with exceptional features. The camera can be considered an entry-level mirrorless camera. The photo quality of the camera is commendable, and you can upgrade the image quality if you go for a better lens than the lens kit provided.

The JPEGs produced through ISO 800 and ISO 3200 are usable, but the quality drops through ISO 3200. The captured photos tend to look smeary and appear to have blunt edges.

The colors captured by the camera are vibrant, and the camera manages to capture some difficult reds and pear greens with perfection.

The sensor-packed in the camera helps you capture crisp images, but some images appear to be over sharpened. The camera is able to capture videos in full-HD, but the noise reduction feature doesn’t do the function.

The camera is a good substitute for an entry-level DSLR, but don’t expect more. The camera would make for a perfect camera that can be carried around during your vacation to capture the lovely moments but won’t be sufficient enough to satisfy you if you are a professional.

The continuous shooting feature is a disappointment and could have been improved.


4. Olympus Pen E-PL9

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IIThe Olympus PEN E-PL9 comes with a 3-inch LCD screen and in-built flash. The camera supports wireless functionality and helps you connect your camera to your smart device via Bluetooth.

The camera allows you to shoot high-quality videos in 4k. The vintage design of the camera is another plus point and the design provides enough grip as well.

The shutter mechanism of the camera is par excellence and you won’t be able to find such performance in this price range in other cameras. The ultra-fast speed of the autofocus function is another specialty.

The camera would automatically change its settings to selfie mode if you flip the screen down. This happens, both in the video as well as an image mode. The high-speed continuous shooting (8.6 frames/second) is a notable feature of this entry-level camera.

The camera features 16 Megapixel sensor and in-built 3-axis image stabilization. This enables you to take clear pictures even when you are in movement. The image quality is commendable and gives you good quality images even in low light conditions.

The new setting incorporated in the camera takes into account different scenarios like nightscapes, closeups, motion, and scenery. Thus, according to the scenario selected, the camera adjusts its features to get a better shot.

The major letdown of this product is that it doesn’t incorporate a viewfinder. The ISO limit is only 25,600 and beyond that, the pictures appear smeary and soft. The sensor spec is also very primitive for the price.

If you are in search of a good entry-level mirrorless camera that helps you capture good images, then this one from Olympus will be a great choice. But if you are planning to sharpen your photography skills, then this isn’t the ideal camera for the purpose.


5. Canon G9 X Mark II

Canon G9 X Mark II

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II features a 1-inch image sensor that delivers a clear image with absolute precision. This camera is one of the smallest mirrorless cameras that features a 1-inch sensor.

For the size of the camera, the 3-inch touch LCD screen appears quite big, but at the same time, makes it comfortable for users who are used to capturing images with their phone.

This mirrorless camera from the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark range can be considered one of the best mirrorless cameras under 500 at the entry-level. The camera is extremely handy and 8.1fps image capture, which is quite good for an entry-level camera.

The camera supports wireless functionality and you can easily control the camera from the dedicated Sony app. The autofocus function’s speed is quite remarkable.

The camera starts, focuses and captures in just 1.5 seconds. The focus of the camera locks in just .05 seconds, which can be considered as lightning-fast speed when it comes to consumer-level mirrorless cameras.

The underwhelming aspect of this camera is that it is quite pricey when compared to its competitors.

Also, when coming to the technical aspects of the camera, the product offers only short zoom and when zoomed, the aperture is quite narrow. Another major drawback is that the camera doesn’t support 60fps video option.


6. Canon G7 X Mark II

Canon G7 X Mark IIThe Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II gives a tight competition to the entry-level DSLR cameras. The camera is best for a beginner and comes with a slightly higher number of features than a point-and-shoot camera.

The camera features a durable metal chassis and has a powerful 1-inch image sensor that provides you with clear images even at dim light.

The G7 X Mark II has a zoom range of 4.2x. The lens starts the zoom function with an aperture of f/1.8 and after the lens has been zoomed to its maximum, the aperture narrows down to just f/2.8.

Thus, this feature underlines the compactness of this model. The close function is possible at a maximum of 2 inches.

The brand has done its maximum to reduce the frame size of the camera and make it much more compact by squeezing in as many controls as possible.

The device supports wireless functionality and you can find the Wi-Fi button at the right side of the camera. The camera comes with an in-built pop-up flash, and the control for the same is located on the left side of the device.

The device comes with an internal microphone and an Electronic viewfinder compensation dial. Unlike the other models in the series, the positive values on the EV dials are placed towards the front of the camera’s body and the negative values towards the back.

The camera has two data ports for data transfer – micro HDMI and micro USB. The main drawback of this camera is that it doesn’t come with a hot-shoe.

Thus, you won’t be having the privilege to use an external Electronic viewfinder on this device. The autofocus function of this model isn’t up to the mark, and the feature often misses the object you intend to focus.


7. Fujifilm X-A3

Fujifilm X-A3The Fujifilm X-A3 Mirrorless Camera comes with an APS-C CMOS 24.2-megapixel image sensor for a better-quality image. This camera can be considered as the best mirrorless camera under 500 available in the entry-level range of Fujifilm.

The camera is equipped with filters that remind you of the Instagram filters. The camera is the best option for an occasional travel camera considering its compactness and ergonomic design.

This reasonably priced camera is sure to amaze you with the image quality and control options offered. If you are planning to upgrade from a point-and-shoot camera, then this is the best camera for starters.

The LCD screen can be tilted up to 180 degrees and the Smile mode is a specialty that no other cameras in this price range have. When the camera is in the smile mode, it automatically clicks photos when a grin is detected.

The camera doesn’t feature an electronic viewfinder, but if you don’t mind your photos being composed on an LCD screen, then this is a perfect camera for you. The camera also gives an amazing battery life of 410 shots in one charge.

You can also shoot 1080p videos with the camera and can be even used to take professional shots if you are quite familiar with the camera controls and camera tricks.

The only downfall of this model from Fujifilm is that some parts might look plasticky. The brand has tried their maximum to give a retro look to the camera. The company should have also taken the same efforts to improve the menu system as well.


8. Samsung EV-NX3000BEIUS

Samsung EV-NX3000BEIUSThis mirrorless camera from Samsung features a 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor so as to provide high-quality images with better resolution.

The camera supports wireless functionality as well as Near Field Communication. So, with a tap of the finger, you can send the captured images to your smart device.

The 3-inch flip-up LCD helps you take stunning selfies without having to strain your neck. The wink shot feature is unique to this mirrorless camera. The feature enables the camera to capture the picture when a wink is detected.

The camera allows you to capture videos in 1080p full HD 30fps. The autofocus feature of the camera is remarkable. The camera focuses the object within seconds, and therefore, you can shoot your images and videos with high precision.

The continuous autofocus function ensures that the camera never loses its focus while shooting videos.

Samsung has focused mainly on the battery life of this model. You can click as many as 500 shots in one charge. Another spec that needs laurels is the remote-control function.

You can easily control the settings via the dedicated mobile app. The camera supports external electronic viewfinder and external microphones that can be connected using the hot shoe.

The underwhelming aspect of this model from Samsung is that its capture range is up to ISO 25,600 only and beyond this, the images appear smeary and blurred.

Another downfall is that the camera doesn’t come with an in-built flash, but the camera does come with an external flash that can be attached via the hot shoe.


9. Panasonic Lumix G7KS

Panasonic Lumix G7KSWith the specs and control features offered by the Panasonic Lumix G7KS, this can be considered as a prosumer level mirrorless camera.

A big thumbs up for the ergonomic design that provides maximum grip and, at the same time, it is handy and compact. The camera can be considered as a close substitute for the DSLRs in the same price range.

You need to be familiar with a mirrorless camera to use this camera. The features might seem complex to a person who has no experience with mirrorless cameras.

The quality of the photos captured in lowlight is remarkable and is detailed through ISO 1600. But the image quality loses through ISO 3200 in bright light.

The autofocus function of this Panasonic model is pretty fast and stays focused even when in motion. This enables you to capture good quality videos in 4k.

The focusing and shooting when in good to moderate lighting takes about only 0.1 seconds whereas, in the low light, it takes about 0.3 seconds, which is still fast when compared to its competitors.

The image-processing of the camera is quite slow. You need to wait about 0.4 seconds in between to capture two consecutive JPEG images. Though this lag is not that bad, it is not good either when compared with the competitors. If you are planning to shoot very shot sequences, the better choice would be to go for the 4k photo mode.

The battery life of the model is a big letdown, as you can capture only 360 shots with one full charge. Also, this model too follows the legacy of Panasonic mirrorless cameras by making use of the proprietary USB connectors, which is a frustrating feature that Panasonic must put at halt.


10. Ricoh GR II

Ricoh GR IIThe Ricoh GR II features an APS-C CMOS image sensor with 16.2 megapixels. The images can be either captured and stored in the form of JPEG or the Adobe DNG Raw form. The external hot shoe helps you to connect an optical viewfinder for enhancing the composition of the captured images.

The camera also features a pop-up in-built flash and if you aren’t satisfied with the lighting of the flash, you can attach an external flash via the hot shoe.

The Ricoh Gr-II gives you high sensitivity through ISO 25,600, all thanks to the GR ENGINE V imaging engine used. The camera can focus and shoot in just 0.2 seconds, which is remarkably fast when compared to the competitors in the price range.

The battery life of this model is a major downfall as it offers just 320 shots or 190 minutes playback time in one full charge. The camera comes with wireless functionality and you can enable the Wi-fi to transfer the media files.

Near Field Communication is also available in this device. The camera allows you to capture videos in 1080p full HD format at 30fps. The continuous autofocus function enables the camera to stay focused even when it is in movement.

The main menu system is simple to understand and quite easy to navigate. The fast-continuous mode is a specialty that needs to be mentioned. The camera takes nearly 4fps at the highest JPEG quality for an endless number of images. The camera is also capable of shooting 10RAW images at 4fps.

The major downfall of this camera is that the autofocus function is quite slow in low light. Also, the extensive menu system can be confusing to users who are new to mirrorless cameras. Apart from this, the Ricoh GR II is a great mirrorless camera to start with if you are planning to upgrade from point-and-shoot cameras.


11. Canon M6

Canon M6The Canon EOS M6 features a powerful 24.2 Megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor to capture high-quality and high-resolution images and videos. The camera can record videos in full HD format and go up to 60fps while capturing videos at 1080p resolution. The 5-axis image stabilization ensures that you get the shot even when the camera is under rigorous vibrations.

The LCD screen is 3-inches in size and has a high quality display. The multi-angle recording is yet another feature of the camera which can’t be found in cameras of this price range. The camera supports wireless functionality and Near Field Communication.

Thus, you can easily transfer the media files to a smart device without the need for a USB cable connection.

The camera also provides high-speed continuous shoot mode and can capture up to 7fps in this mode. The camera doesn’t feature an electronic viewfinder instead employs an LCD screen to compose the captured picture. The camera is handy and light in weight and would be the best option to start with if you are new to mirrorless cameras.

The major downfall of this product is that the ISO range provided isn’t up to the mark and beyond ISO 25,600, the image appears soft and smeary. The camera also doesn’t provide 4k video recording, which is present in the competitors in this range.


12. Fujifilm X-T100

Fujifilm X-T100The Fujifilm X-T100 is a pretty good entry-level mirrorless camera to start with. Featuring a 24.2 megapixels APS-C image sensor, the camera is capable of capturing some difficult colors like bright red and pear brown with much perfection.

The camera also features some interesting artistic filters that oomph the quality of the images. The 3-inch LCD screen is also quite good. The camera doesn’t feature a viewfinder, so this is a good camera to start with if you are not used to a viewfinder.

The lithium-ion battery helps you take up to 450 shots in one charge, which is great for mirrorless cameras in this price range.

When considering the video quality, the camera can achieve very close to 60fps (59.94fps) at a resolution of 1080p.In continuous shooting mode, the camera can capture up to 6 frames per second. The ISO range in lowlight can go as low as ISO 200 and can go as high as ISO 12800 in cases of extreme lowlight scenarios.

The camera does come with an in-built flash. The autofocus function, just like any other Fujifilm mirrorless cameras is super-fast and the continuous autofocus function lets you keep the camera on focus even while moving.

The camera does support wireless functionality and Near Field Communication. You can either make use of Bluetooth tethering or Wi-Fi to transfer your media files.

The underwhelming aspect of this model from Fujifilm is that it is vulnerable to overexposure and the noise reduction capability is very poor. But overall, for the price range, the camera is too good to start with for a novice photographer.


13. Fujifilm XF10

Fujifilm XF10The Fujifilm XF10 is a Digital mirrorless camera that features a 24.2 megapixels APS-C image sensor. This model of mirrorless camera features high sensitivity of ISO even at low light in both RAW and JPEG formats.

The camera features a touch LCD display that is used to compose the images instead of an electronic viewfinder. The camera has an ergonomic design that helps you provide a better grip and at the same time, it is light -in weight and compact. As the camera is an entry-level camera, it provides a minimum number of control features with good customization.

This model is Fujifilm’s take on the Ricoh GR model, and from the spec and price range, it is pretty evident that the brand has done a great job.

The camera features a hybrid autofocus system to ensure that the right object is focused and in order to reduce the lag. But when compared to the counterparts, the autofocus function doesn’t stand out.

The Fujifilm XF10 has quite a number of underwhelming factors as well. The camera doesn’t have a high-quality 4k video recording feature. Even though the company claims the camera to have a 4k/15p video, the quality is really bad and doesn’t do any justice to the model.

If you are to shoot RAW bursts, the buffer fills up quickly. Thus, you will have to move it to the memory before going for another shot.


14. Panasonic Lumix GX85

Panasonic Lumix GX85The Panasonic Lumix GX85 comes with a live MOS 16 megapixel four-thirds sensor. The camera is capable of capturing video in 4K format. The camera also provides ultra HD recordings that can reach up to 30 frames per second. The five-axis stabilization helps you shoot high-quality pictures even while moving.

The camera can reach a shutter speed up to 1/4000 which is quite a good speed when compared to other mirrorless cameras in this price range. This feature allows users to have a wider aperture setting when the light is too bright.

As a 16 MP four-thirds sensor is used, you will have to compromise a little on the sharpness of the objects captured. But the JPEGs look just fine through ISO 1600. As you go beyond ISO 1600, the images appear blurry and smeary in daylight but would be quite satisfactory under lowlight.

The camera would make for a good selection in the entry-level range of mirrorless cameras and would be an ideal choice for novice photographers. The underwhelming aspect of this camera is that the continuous autofocus mode is quite poor.

It doesn’t lock when in burst mode, thus the pictures captured will be out of focus, most of the time. Also, the battery life is low when compared to the other mirrorless cameras in this price range.


15. Olympus E-M10 Mark III

Olympus E-M10 Mark IIIThe Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is the successor to the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and features a 16 megapixel live MOS image sensor that is capable of capturing high quality video as well as images. The camera features 5-axis in-camera stabilization to provide better quality images even in motion.

This version of the Olympus mirrorless camera features a highly powerful image processor that brings about 121 focus points.

The camera is designed to capture quality images at lowlight and for this, the brand is still featuring a 16-megapixel four-thirds sensor, which is nearly half the size of an APS-S sensor. Thus, the ISO range is much lower than its counterparts.

The body of this mirrorless camera is extremely small and therefore, you can get an easy grip on it. But the problem is that the dials and controls take-up most of the space. This might be a barrier while trying to control the camera, but it looks aesthetically pleasing.

The LCD screen is 3-inches in size and is capable of tilting upwards and downwards. The LCD screen is highly useful when you are going for horizontal shots and may not be helpful while taking vertical shots.

The main drawback of this mirrorless camera is that the brand hasn’t updated the sensor from 16 megapixels to 20 megapixels. Also, the harsh sharpening of the images in JPEG format kills the essence of the images captured.


Types Of Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras fall into three major categories, and are categorized based on their features. But this doesn’t mean that if you go for a professional mirrorless camera, you will get a high-quality image. But this simply means that the camera is equipped with all features that a professional will need to capture a good shot.

1. Consumer-Level Mirrorless Cameras

These are the entry-level mirrorless cameras and are best for novice photographers. The consumer mirrorless cameras are equipped with slightly more features than a point-and-shoot camera.

These cameras can also be considered as the closest substitute to the entry-level DSLRs. The consumer cameras do come with interchangeable lenses and are much lighter than an entry-level DSLR.

Instead of an Electronic viewfinder, the consumer level cameras make use of an LCD screen to compose your images.

The image quality may be sacrificed by a bit in this case, but a small sacrifice would give you a much lighter and more compact camera. The sensor employed in the camera is also smaller when compared to the other types of mirrorless cameras.

2. Prosumer Level Mirrorless Cameras

The prosumer level cameras, as the name suggests, are the cameras that have more features than consumer-level mirrorless cameras, but have fewer features when compared to professional mirrorless cameras.

If you are planning to take the leap from a DSLR to a mirrorless camera, then a prosumer level camera would be the most comfortable starting point.

These cameras have better features and provide better control over the image quality than a consumer-level camera. When it comes to the size of the camera, this type of mirrorless camera is slightly heavier than the consumer-level models.

An important specialty of this type of mirrorless camera is that to compensate for the absence of mirrors, both an electronic viewfinder, as well as an LCD screen, is employed to compose the images.

Thus, if you are adapted to optical viewfinders, the transition to an electronic viewfinder equipped camera won’t be a difficulty.

3. Professional Level Mirrorless Cameras

If you are in a quest to find the best mirrorless camera under 500 that would deliver you high-quality images and videos, then your best pick would be a professional level mirrorless camera. These cameras are featured with full-frame or APS-C sensors and usually come with a durable body.

You can shoot large files or burst sequences effectively as these cameras feature high-performance processors. The lag caused due to the contrast-detection autofocus is also highly reduced.

The professional level mirrorless cameras are suitable for capturing professional images and videos as these cameras can support external headphones, monitors as well as microphones. You can even attach external video recorders to the camera.

If you are quite familiar with the control features and aspires to make a leap from the professional DSLRs to mirrorless cameras, then a professional-level mirrorless camera is the closest substitute you would ever find.

The cameras provide full control over the image quality, and you can opt-in for manual adjustments as well. These cameras are built to work efficiently under low light and can capture quality fast-action images.

You can find a wide range of lenses that are suited for professional-level cameras. Before narrowing down to one, make sure the camera supports the image and video quality that you desire.

Once you find the perfect camera, don’t forget to rope in the accessories that help you maintain the camera at its best state. A good professional camera demands a good case to go with it.


1. Why Are Mirrorless Cameras Better?

Mirrorless cameras are usually light in weight and handy to carry around. Many mirrorless cameras available in the market can be used as a substitute for the DSLRs in the same range. These cameras are also cheaper and more user friendly.

Mirrorless cameras are often the first choice of professionals to capture high-quality 4k videos. The electric viewfinder used in the mirrorless cameras is way better than the optical viewfinders employed in the DSLRs. But the only problem is that there are very few selections of lenses.

2. Do Professional Photographers Use Mirrorless Cameras?

Professional photographers who do not use mirrorless cameras is a myth. Many world-famous photographers have switched to mirrorless cameras from DSLRs.

Photographers, including Trey Ratcliff and Phil Norton, made this leap long back. It is the quality of the photographer that is evident in the quality of the images.

Thus, it doesn’t matter which camera you use, what matters is the talent and ability to capture high-quality images with any camera you have.

3. Should I Switch From Dslr To A Mirrorless Camera?

Both types of cameras have their own advantages and disadvantages. Mirrorless cameras, when compared to DSLR, are quite cheap and compact, but don’t compromise with the quality of the shots. Depending on your skills and needs, you can either go for a mirrorless camera or a DSLR.

A camera that has the maximum number of features doesn’t make you a good photographer. If the number of features that matters to you the most, then both the types of cameras are quite good in specs. But if it is the compactness that matters you the most, then it is better to go for a mirrorless camera instead of a DSLR.

4. Is A Mirrorless Camera The Future?

Yes, the mirrorless camera can be considered the future. The whole world is battling between DSLR and mirrorless. While the former seems to undergo very fewer changes, the latter is undergoing numerous changes and is getting mature day by day with a better quality of images, better lens range and enhanced build quality.

So, if you are eyeing to master the art of photography, then you surely need to master the art of capturing photos using a mirrorless camera.

5. Do Mirrorless Cameras Come With Flash?

Mirrorless cameras are available with or without flash. In most cases, you will have to attach a separate flash onto the camera using the hot shoe. In other cases, the camera will be equipped with a pop-up flash. External flashes are always preferred over in-built flash. The former provides better light quality and doesn’t cause any white flash in the photos.

6. Do Mirrorless Cameras Last Longer Than Dslr?

Mirrorless cameras have a shorter life than DSLRs. But as the former is evolving, you can now get up to 700 shots in a single charge. The battery life of the mirrorless camera can be owed to the electronic viewfinder that is used to compose the pictures instead of the mirror and optical viewfinder combination used in DSLRs.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500 – Your pick?

Mirrorless cameras can be considered as the future of photography. As the specs are evolving day by day, professionals are now switching to mirrorless cameras to capture stunning photos and videos.

If you have invested quite a fortune in your DSLR, the transition to a good mirrorless camera can be painful. But know that you can easily use the lenses used in your DSLR in the mirrorless camera as well. All you need to have is the right adapter to attach the lens.

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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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