Many photographers wonder if they should adopt the Mirrorless Camera that has become very popular today. Some photographers aren’t sure if a Mirrorless Camera is a better substitute for their traditional DSLR. Concerns may be for image quality and other functionalities. Prospective buyers also face the dilemma of choosing the best mirrorless camera for beginners.
The mirrorless camera combines convenience with quality – that is, eliminating certain inconveniences of the DSLR while retaining its great features. For photographers aiming to balance convenience and quality, Mirrorless Cameras is currently the best bet.
This article helps you understand why the mirrorless camera is great as a photography tool, and what you should look for in the best mirrorless camera for beginners or seasoned photographers alike. All these you will learn from the Buyers’ Guide section. We also present a review of the top ten best Mirrorless Cameras for beginners, to save you time searching.
We strive to make our review as objective as possible. The review combines knowledge from expert sources and user feedbacks to select the best mirrorless cameras for beginners. This is a more objective approach to finding products that satisfy buyers. If most or all buyers are satisfied, you probably will be too.
Editor’s Choice: Panasonic Lumix G85 Mirrorless Camera
This is our choice for many reasons. Despite some cameras in this review matching the Panasonic Lumix G85 in functionality, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is the cheapest as long as cost/benefit is concerned. For all the great features and a tone of extras, it costs significantly less than most, if not all, mirrorless cameras reviewed here. Plus, it is among the best mirrorless cameras for beginners.
10 Best Mirrorless Camera for Beginners Comparison Table
Canon EOS M50
Sony Alpha A6600
Panasonic Lumix G7KS
Panasonic Lumix G85
Sony Alpha a7IIK
Sony Alpha a6000
Sony a7R III
Nikon Z 50
Panasonic Lumix FZ80
6000 x 4000
6240 x 4160
4K UHD 2160p
1920 x 1080
22.3 x 14.9 mm
APS-C Exmor CMOS
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Micro Four Thirds
35 mm full-frame image sensor
23.5 x 15.7 mm
6.17 x 4.55 mm
01. Canon EOS M50
The camera comes with EF-M 15-45mm Lens with an airbag package and a free 64GB SanDisk SD card, and a host of other accessories. The Canon camera features a 4K video and image resolution, powered by a top brass electronic viewfinder. The AF has Eye Detection, and the camera has a 24.1 MP and a Micro Four Thirds sensor size. The camera shoots at 10 fps and has a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600. It also features a 2.36 million Dot 3.0″ OLED Electronic Viewfinder. This is the best canon mirrorless camera you can get.
It has Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC, and Bluetooth, and comes with a good number of extras like a cleaning kit, lens filters, wrist straps, lens pouch, and a cute bag to hold everything together.
- High image and video quality
- Great AF
- Lots of extras
- Very affordable pricing
- Highly customizable functions
- Ergonomic design
- Shoots at up 24fps
- Not so good battery life
- Kind of limited lens offering compared a few other models by Canon
02. Sony Alpha A6600
This Sony Alpha mirrorless camera is a 4K camera that shoots up to 11 fps in continuous mode depending on your setting. It uses a new Z battery that can last up to 800 shots and happens to be among the first APS-C cameras to feature Eye Detection AF for video recording. The image and video quality for both JPEG and RAW is great. The camera also has in-body image stabilization and excellent low-light performance.
- Long battery life
- Eye AF excellent
- Great image stabilization
- Can lock dials
- A dedicated video record button
- Back button hard to reach
- Touch screen works only for AF
This mirrorless camera uses a back-illuminated sensor with a resolution of 26.1MP and a unique filter array similar to X-Trans CMOS sensors. The feature allows it to control moiré and false color without using an optical low-pass filter. The camera also boasts a 3.69 million Dot high-resolution EVF with a magnification of 0.75x and a display time lag of merely 0.005 seconds. A 100fps display allows for real-life monitoring of movements and focuses positions. The camera can also shoot continuously at up to 30 fps.
This is one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners. It packs so many cool features that it’ll be impossible to capture everything in a short review.
- Fast AF with excellent low light shooting
- Shoots 30 fps in 4K
- Deep color science
- Great battery life
- Widely customizable
- Can be noisy
This is an excellent camera in the G series line, sitting right in the sweet spot when it comes to performance, size, and price. The 16 MP sensor is augmented by a high ISO performance and a micro four-thirds sensor size. You can work conveniently with RAW files and shoot in 4K. This camera bristles with controls, though it offers limited manual control for video recording. All functions are within easy reach for quick access. It has a superb grip with accurate and fast autofocus, though the degree of fastness or accuracy depends on the lens. Although not having a weather sealing, the price is acceptable for the camera’s performance.
There is also the high-resolution OLED Live View Finder with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio that makes it highly visible even under direct sunlight. Plus, it does swivel and tilts for better visibility. This is one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners.
- Autofocus is fast and accurate
- Excellent low-light shooting
- Reduced noise
- High-quality image and video
- Great viewfinder and touchscreen
- Shoots fast in 4K
- Not much manual controls for video
- Wi-Fi setup with PC can be challenging
- Uses a noticeable amount of plastic
- design kind of inelegant
05. Panasonic Lumix G85 – Best Mid Budget Mirrorless Camera
This powerful mirrorless camera is fortified with a 16 megapixel and micro four-thirds sensor. The low pass filter results in an almost 10 percent boost in exquisite detail. The camera features top-notch dual image stabilization and records videos in 4K to produce clear shots even in low-light environments. There is the integrated eye-level OLED live viewfinder that is rear-touch enabled, and a 3-inch LCD for adjusting viewing angles for maximum view. You can record 4K videos at up to 30 fps and set your preferred focus after taking the photo.
This mirrorless camera is about half the size of a DSLR but comes with nearly all the benefits of a DSLR.
- Wonderful image stabilization
- Great value for money
- High image and video quality
- Upgraded Shutter and AF
- Not so good in low-light shooting
- 4K only at 30mbps
06. Sony Alpha a7IIK
This is a 5-axis in-body image stabilization full-frame camera – a feature only a few of its competitors can boast of. The 5-axis image stabilization performs great for recording videos of moving objects and even minimizes blur due to the photographer’s motion. The full-frame 24.3 MP resolution supports a normal sensor range of ISO 100–25600, and a good balance of resolving power, gradation, and reduced noise. The camera operates at up to 5 fps continuous shooting, plus a 50Mb/s video recording speed. However, you can shoot at 120 fps at standard HD resolution.
It has a fast hybrid AF with phase detection and a 2.4 million Dot OLED EVF to enable eye-level framing.
The LCD screen can tilt up and down to allow for high and low angle framing. It also lets you quickly scroll through menus and see live previews. You can also connect with a smartphone via Wi-Fi or NFC for more convenience.
- Excellent resolution
- Lightweight and sleek design
- highly customizable functions
- Great value for money
- In Body SteadyShot
- High image quality
- Articulating LCD screens
- Wonderful lens
- Not so great battery life
- Non-silent shutter
- No 4K mode
- No onboard flash
07. Sony Alpha a6000
With a 24 MP and APS-C CMOS sensor, this mirrorless camera produces top quality images and videos. It operates wee at temperatures as low as 0°C and as high as 40°C. it snaps photos at 11 FPS continuous shooting. It has a Hybrid AF with 179-point focal-plane phase-detection augmented by 25 contrast-detect points.
The Sony Alpha a6000 is compatible with Sony α System Flash using Multi Interface Shoe. You can also attach the shoe adapter for flash compatible with Auto-lock accessory shoe. A 3″ LCD about 1million Dots displays information about camera operations. You also get a shoulder strap, eyepiece cup, micro USB cable, and other accessories in the box.
With so much cool and advanced features packed in this camera, you should enjoy a breezy photography life, whether shooting fast-moving objects or stills in dark scenery. It is great for beginners, especially those who want to pursue photography as a profession. Also, share your footage with others via your smartphone by using the Wi-Fi functionality of this mirrorless camera.
- Excellent image quality with the right lens
- User-friendly interface
- Ergonomic solid design
- Great AF
- The digital viewfinder shows a preview in real-life
- Easy to switch lenses
- Somewhat pricy
- Compatible with only a limited number of lenses
- Not so weather-proof as a few others
- Battery not so great
08. Sony a7R III – Best Mirrorless Camera From Sony
This camera has great eye autofocus for high precision tracking of objects even when they are moving, looking down, or away from the camera or a backlit. It uses a fast USB3.1 Gen 1 via a USB Type-C connector for high-speed data transfer to a PC or other devices, including large RAQ data files. Continuous shooting in silent mode at 10fps AF/AE tracking is also available. This makes the camera ideal for wildlife shooting as the slightest sound can scare some animals away.
The 42.4 megapixel of the camera enables you to produce high image quality using different dimensions of resolution up to 4K. The Pixel Shift Multi Shooting delivers the best resolution, texture reproduction, and color fidelity for giving depth of color to the scenery. The 4K resolution is augmented by a broad dynamic range and wide color gamut.
The camera can withstand operating temperatures from 0 to 40 degrees Celsius, and it has a fast image processing of up to 1.8 x.
- High image quality
- Great battery life
- Ergonomic lightweight design
- Super-fast and super-accurate AF
- A great in-built image stabilizer
- Wide flexibility with customization
- Dual card slots
- No top LCD plate
09. Nikon Z 50
With a 20.9-megapixel sensor and a 51200 ISO, this camera produces high image quality with a silent shutter. The image quality is excellent, even in low light. The eye-detection is sharp, and the camera has 20 Creative Picture Controls. It has a sensor size of 23.5 x 15.7mm. The image resolution is up to 5568 x 3712, and it has an ISO sensitivity of 100 to 51,200. The camera can shoot continuously at 11fps.
- Great electronic viewfinder
- Minimal lag
- Great AF tracking
- Great low-light and fast shooting
- Compact and ergonomic design
- Excellent touch controls
- One UHS I SD card slot
- Not so great battery life
- Awkward flip-under selfie screen
- Bluetooth connectivity issues may arise
10. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 – Best Budget Mirrorless Camera
This camera has a 60X (20 1200mm) DC Vario lens with a stable optical image stabilizer. It has 18.1 Mega with a MOS sensor to produce high-quality images. Lumix FZ80 also has a bright F2.8 5.9 aperture range that adds depth of field dimension to pictures taken even in low-light conditions. IT supports a 4K video resolution that lets you produce 4K images at 30 frames per second. There is also the post Focus and focus stacking feature that allows you to change the depth of field or focus point after taking a photograph.
With an ergonomic design that fits perfectly in your hands, this is one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners and travelers alike. There is also a 3-inch LCD giving you access to two controls over certain features and to monitor essential functionalities like battery life and the amount of storage space in the memory card. It has a Wi-Fi feature and is rechargeable through a USB connection.
- Minimal shutter-release lag
- Long zoom
- Super-wide and sharp lens
- High image quality
- Long battery life
- zoom speed not so fast
- kind of steep learning curve
- Non-tilted screen
Best Beginner Mirrorless Cameras 2020 – Buying Guide
The most significant advantage of a mirrorless camera over a DSLR is the weight difference. By not containing a mirror box & prism, and by extension, all the other components that come with them, mirrorless cameras eliminate a significant source of weight. Why this is important is that it spares you the strain of lugging a heavy camera for long shooting sessions, which can wear you out pretty fast. Plus, you won’t have to carry all the extra gear that make accompany DSLR cameras.
Better AF in Live View
High-end cameras use two types of autofocus depending on your choice. You can use the optical viewfinder, which leverages a phase detection autofocus. The other type is the Live View mode, where you look through the rear screen while shooting. The AF (autofocus) is faster and, therefore, better than the Live View mode. Both these features can be found in DSLR Cameras. Only Mirrorless Cameras have a better AF than DSLRs.
With a Mirrorless Camera, you will get faster focus times when shooting from below your waist or above your head. Such a feature is of great importance if you are going to be doing a lot of shooting. Faster focus time is significant when locking onto objects towards the camera’s edges.
Just like with the mirror box & prism, mirrorless cameras also omit the traditional optical viewfinder (OVF) used in DSLRs. Some Mirrorless Camera designs replace the OVF with an electronic version known as the EVF (electronic viewfinder). With the EVF, you can have a live preview of how the sensor records an image. You can see the white balance effect and the exposure before snapping a picture. You can also add screen info that can customize, and also be able to activate a magnified view to augment manual focus.
Older mirrorless cameras require that one look through a small EVF to capture an image. For that reason, a lot of DSLR users reluctant to transition to Mirrorless Cameras. However, modern mirrorless cameras circumvent that weakness by introducing high-resolution OLED displays for the EVF. From the OLED displays, you can see a large and bright view of the object with so much detail that it won’t matter to you that it’s an OVF Camera.
The loud thwack sound DSLR cameras produce mainly due to the mirror. It happens when the mirror swings us to let light through to the sensor when you press the shutter button. Because mirrorless cameras don’t have this mirror, you are spared the embarrassment of drawing attention to yourself when snapping pictures, especially on occasions. And generally, silent operation is better than a loud one.
Wide Lens Compatibility
Mirrorless cameras work with different lenses. The Mirrorless Four Thirds mount by itself is compatible with up to 60 different lenses. These lenses offer superb shooting performance, some even better than the optics of DSLRs. High-end Mirrorless cameras have auto-correction of lens distortion and chromatic aberration. Some vintage mirrorless cameras are also compatible with focus M-mount lenses when used with the appropriate adapters.
Important Points for Assessing a Mirrorless Camera
This section describes some features you need to look out for when deciding on your next underwater mirrorless camera. What is described here we consider the essential features of a mirrorless underwater camera for diving. A camera must not have all the features here to be worth buying. There are many functions, a combination of which is suitable for different purposes. The features described here do not form an exhaustive list for an underwater mirrorless camera. You should visit the manufacturer page for more significant details, read customer feedback on the product before parting with your money.
Shutter speed has a significant effect on image quality. Both slow and fast shutter speed has advantages and disadvantages. A good mirrorless camera should be able to adjust the shutter speed accordingly. An example where a slow shutter speed becomes advantageous is when you shoot in the night or a dark scene. What happens is that a slow shutter speed allows more light to reach the sensor because the shutter lock is open for longer than in high shutter speeds. And more light means a clearer image. However, there is a disadvantage to this. You need to be able to stabilize the camera. This can be difficult without the use of a tripod for cameras that do not have anti-shake functionality.
If a camera does not eliminate the effects of shaking, and you take pictures at longer shutter speed without a tripod, the result will be a blurred image. Also, if too much light reaches the sensors, your image will be blurred. What you need is to balance the amount of light and the brightness of the scene. Any imbalance will reflect in the quality of the image. Shutter speeds above 1 second are considered slow.
Similarly, fast shutter speed is necessary when shooting moving objects, exceptionally fast motion. Because you need to capture the image as fast as possible, this is why shooting fast-moving objects in the dark produce poor image quality.
With shutter speeds, you want something that can adjust over a wide range of speed margins. Go for cameras with shutter speeds of at least 1/200th seconds or less, to above 1 second or less.
FPS means “frames per second.” In computers, it is used to measure the rate at which a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) pushes image units (frames) to a monitor. While in monitors, it describes the rate at which a monitor refreshes the image channeled to it.
In cameras, FPS means the number of snaps you can take per second if you press and hold the shutter button. The lowest cameras in FPS are the compact action cameras, most of which shoot at 2 to 3 FPS. DSLRs can shoot at 3 to 5 FPS.
However, the SPF of a camera depends on other features too. They include the time it takes the shutter/mirror system to re-cock and the speed of the in-built memory.
Megapixel and Sensor
Manufacturers have suckered people into buying millions of cameras over the years by spinning the megapixel myth to their advantage. But a lot of photographers have awakened to this subtle deception that “a high megapixel” means a high image quality. Because camera “A” has a higher megapixel than camera “B,” it doesn’t follow that camera “A” will produce a better image quality. Other things contribute too. That is why compact action cameras, even with their double-digit megapixels, are no match for DSLRs or Mirrorless Cameras when it comes to image quality.
The megapixel of a camera is still very important. It is a measure of the number of pixels a camera has for producing images: higher means sharper and even bigger images, and vice versa. But pixel sizes vary, and that is where the difference of image quality emerges even among equal-pixel cameras. Pixels just tiny boxes that collect light to form images. As an illustration, if the camera “A” and “B” both have 1 million pixels. Still, the individual pixels in “A” are more significant than the ones in “B,” which means that the camera “A” will produce bigger and sharper images. The bigger-sized pixels will absorb more light, and that means more details of the object being photographed.
Manufacturers use several ways to describe the size of a sensor. They can use inches, millimeters, or other conventions. Being able to read and interpreted the various ways manufacturers describe sensor sizes is key to recognizing the best.
The sensor sizes commonly associated with mirrorless cameras range from Micro Four Thirds to APS-C. you can see sensor sizes like 1/2.3-inch (6.17 x 4.55 mm), 1-inch (12.8 x 9.6 mm), Micro Four Thirds 4/3-inch (17.3 x 13 mm), (22.2 x 14.8 mm) sensors, (23.5 x 15.6 mm), Full Frame (36 x 24 mm) sensors, APS-H (27.90 X 18.60 mm), APS-C (canon) (22.20 X 14.80 mm), APS-C (23.60 X 15.60 mm), 1.5” (18.70 X 14.00 mm), 1” (12.80 X 9.60 mm), and more. To know which one is bigger, you must know the equivalent of each sensor size in inches. You can do that by consulting this Wikipedia page.
Cameras with a high-resolution viewfinder are better because the resolution has a direct effect on image quality. Prefer viewfinders that have at least 2.36 million dots. However, a lower resolution than this can also be acceptable.
Sensor-Based Image Stabilization
Sensor-based image stabilization lets you stabilize the image whether or not your lens has in-built image stabilization. This means you can use older lenses that predate sensor-based image stabilization technology, which is arguably better than the traditional image stabilization functions in cameras.
Dual Memory Card Slots
Dual memory card slots are better for security and file management purposes. You can continue to shoot even when one memory fills up, for you won’t need to change the memory card. The second card automatically starts storing images when the first one is filled up. You can also set your camera to record a duplicate of each image on the second memory card against the corruption of one of the memory cards. It is like having two copies of the same file. Alternatively, you can also save different file formats in on different memory cards – like one card store RAW and the other store’s JPEG files.
Hybrid AF cameras are best at shooting videos of moving objects. It combines two distinct focusing technologies: Contrast-detect and Phase-detect AF. Contrast-detect AF has higher accuracy than Phase-detect. While Phase-detect has a higher speed than Contrast-detect. By combining both technologies, some cameras allow you to enjoy the benefit of both accuracy and speed.
Some Mirrorless cameras are designed to withstand the harshest working condition you can subject them to. Not only that, but the design should also be sturdy and designed to last. A fragile camera can quickly go out of alignment and the least pressure. All that’s required is a good whack on any hard surface or a liquid spill. Looking for cameras designed to be shockproof, shatterproof, fog-proof, snow-proof, dust-proof, freeze-proof, rainproof, and even waterproof is the recommendation on durability. That is because you can work in any condition without worrying about the resilience of your camera.
The LCD of a Mirrorless camera lets you control most functions of the camera. You can also check important info like battery life, exposure, the maximum number of images a card can take, and a host of other things.
Other cool features of a camera include eye detection, tilting screens, battery life, and the accessories that come with it.
We have done our best to present how to select a mirrorless camera. We also provided our pick of the top ten. But there are so many other less important features of a camera that the review does not capture. One or more of those same features could be what a buyer is looking for in the best mirrorless camera for beginners. That is why you must conduct VERY detailed research on each camera you want to buy. Read as much as possible about the specs and read customer feedbacks and expert opinions on the camera before buying. One buyer may reject a camera for the same reason that another is buying.