The 10 Best Mirrorless Cameras to Buy in 2018

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Sony Alpha a6000 mirrorless camera was designed for speed – it can shoot an amazing 11 photos in just one second. This premium camera boasts 24.3 megapixel detail (ideal for enlargements) and the world’s fastest autofocus so you won’t miss a detail in that crucial shot. Two quick-access dials let you change settings in a flash so you can adapt to a fast-changing environment or try out different settings on the same shot. Compact and lightweight, Sony boasts that the a6000 is about half the size and weight of a typical DSLR though it still has the same size APS-C image sensor, proving you don’t have to sacrifice quality for portability. Change out the lenses or the mounting system for a camera that can do it all.

Best Budget: Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera Kit

The EOS M10 camera combines a lightweight, compact design with the power and image quality that makes Canon a brand trusted by photographers all over the world. The EOS M10 features an 18.0 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and the DIGIC image processor, elements that help the M10 capture sharp details in photos even when the light isn’t ideal. The M10 is compatible with EF-M, EF, and EF-S lenses made by Canon for their DSLR cameras too making this a versatile body that can help you achieve a wide variety of different types of shots. Plus, the M10 comes with easy-to-use and automatic settings that are really great for newer DSLR users who are still trying to learn about all the features of their new cameras. Creative Assist can help users adjust brightness, background blur, vividness of color, contrast, warmth, and even filter effects. The built-in intuitive touch screen on the 3.0 tilt-type LCD monitor makes it easier to capture great selfies or to adjust focus too. 

Take a peek at some of the other best DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras under a $1,000 you can buy.

Best for Novices: Sony a5100 16-50mm Mirrorless Digital Camera

New to the world of mirrorless cameras? Help yourself get adjusted with the Sony a51000. It features a helpful 3-inch flip-up LCD screen that helps you frame your shot (or achieve a great selfie).  Ease into learning about your camera’s features by using the included PlayMemories Camera apps. They automatically adjust your settings based on the type of shot you are trying to achieve – everything from portraits, detailed close-ups, sports photos, time lapse, or motion shots. Better yet, the built-in Wi-Fi means you can share photos directly to your smartphone or tablet for quick editing and sharing. Connecting is a breeze – simply touch your camera to the compatible NFC device you are using to connect them. You can even frame an image on your phone or tablet’s screen then click the camera’s shutter to capture the image, which is nice for novices still learning how to set up their favorite shots. The Sony a5100 may be good for beginners, but it isn’t short on performance. It boasts ultra-fast autofocusing, 179 AF points and 6 fps, plus 24.3 megapixels for beautifully detailed photos. 

Best for Casual Photographers: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G7KS DSLM

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G7KS DSLM
Courtesy of Amazon.com

When trying to find the perfect pick for a casual or first-time photographer, you’re going to want something that doesn’t break the bank, yet produces great photos and videos. In the mirrorless camera category, the best pick is the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G7KS.

The DMC-G7KS has a 16-megapixel sensor and intelligent image processing that produces images you’d normally find on larger DSLR cameras. It also has a high-resolution OLED viewfinder for framing your photos or you can use the tilting and swiveling three-inch LCD touch display to get any angle you desire. One other thing we love: you can take burst photos while recording 4K HD video, so no matter what or where you’re shooting, you can get the perfect photo.

Amazon reviewers have fallen in love with this camera, with especially high praise for great picture quality and 4K video shooting capabilities. They also said this camera works great for a variety of shooting situations, including portraits, landscapes and wildlife.

Best Splurge: Canon EOS R Mirrorless

The customizable EOS R is Canon’s response to the mirrorless camera’s success in the market, first pioneered by the Sony Alpha several years ago. The camera has a full-frame 30.3MP CMOS sensor and a phase-difference detection system with the 1D X Mark II’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The result? A total of 5,655 focus positions, covering 88 percent of the frame horizontally and 100 percent vertically. If you want to capture a longer moment, the camera has strong video recording capabilities as well: it can record internally at 4:2:0 8-bit with Rec. 709 color space and externally at 4:2:2 10-bit with Rec. 2020.

Along with featuring a 12-pin connection, the camera has an ISO range of 100 to 40,000, some of the best on the market, and it can autofocus down to -6EV, which is excellent for low-light or nighttime shooting. However, it does lack in-body image stabilization, which can be found in many of its competitors.

Best for Professionals: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

Courtesy of Walmart 

With a highly-advanced autofocus system and a weather-sealed frame that can handle almost any kind of shooting environment, the Lumix DC-GH5 from Panasonic is equipped for professional use. Even with its compact size, it's capable of competing with larger DSLR cameras. 

The micro four-thirds mount supports a wide variety of available lenses, so you can customize the camera to fit your needs. The Lumix's 20.3-megapixel sensor snaps high-quality photos, and in-body stabilization ensures that even with some camera shake, both photos and video will come out looking great. The camera body also has a plethora of physical controls for adjusting a wide number of settings, giving professionals extensive control and customization abilities. Dual SD card slots provide plenty of storage for all your photos and even 4K video footage.

Speaking of video, the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is capable of capturing 4K video at 60fps. It also has 10-bit 4:2:2 recording and HDMI output. Whether you're shooting still or moving images, this camera can deliver the professional-quality results you expect.

Best for Video: Nikon Z6

You deserve to get the perfect shot — and Nikon wants to help. The new Z6 is a compact, powerful camera that welcomes in a shooting speed of 12fps and a 24mp full-frame sensor. With a short 16mm flange back distance, the Z6 is small and easy to handle, and just as easy to charge: it is the first full-frame Nikon camera that can be charged through a standard USB-C connection. New features like hybrid autofocus automatically switch between focal-plane phase-detect AF and contrast-detect AF for sharp, impressive images, and Auto Area AF allows you to track your subject’s face, even when they’re moving or in crowds.

The Z6 is able to capture cinematic 16:9 4K UHD/30p video and full resolution stills can be captured and converted into a 4K movie using the Interval Timer. Whatever your project, all information, such as focus modes, exposure, and VR settings, are readily available on the viewfinder’s customizable menu, giving you total control. 

Best for Travel: Panasonic Lumix G9

A jack-of-all-trades mirrorless camera that can do everything well, the Panasonic Lumix G9 makes a smart choice for travelers. If you're a photographer that's often on the road, or even just a vacationer looking to capture some unforgettable memories, you'll want a camera that's compact, speedy, and has superior stability. The Lumix G9 fits that bill.

The ultra-fast 0.04-second autofocus lock captures quick-moving subjects while the five-axis gyro, accelerometer and image sensors combine for increased stabilization, preventing "shaky" photos. For additional stability, an optional vertical grip adds both increased control and doubles battery life for all images and video captured with the 20.3-megapixel sensor.

The camera's 0.83x OLED optical tunnel viewfinder is also a beneficial addition because you don't always have to rely on the rear display for framing shots. That being said, the fully-articulating three-inch LCD screen does come in handy for selfies or for capturing footage from a difficult angle. Dual SD memory card slots, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, ensure that travelers can capture all the photos and video they want and then transfer them to a computer or mobile device for immediate sharing with friends and family. 

Best Lens System: Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Fuji X-T10
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Fujifilm X-T20 is one of the newest and most impressive mirrorless cameras on the market today. First, it has a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor that provides outstanding image quality and offers high response times for auto-focus tracking and burst-mode shooting. Next, it has a great control setup, with manual dials for shutter speed, exposure compensation and drive. If you want the camera to do all the hard work, there’s also an advanced SR Auto mode that will take lovely photos.

Now let’s talk lenses. Fujifilm has put a lot of time and effort to build an ecosystem of lenses that work across their different cameras. The X-T20 works with the amazing X Mount Lenses, which offer the perfect equipment setup no matter if you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer.

Best Full Frame: Sony Alpha A9

Sony Alpha A9

Courtesy of Walmart 

Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera, the Alpha A9 is a high-performance full-frame shooter that rivals the best DSLRs. It utilizes a 35mm EXMOR RS CMOS sensor with 24.2 megapixels to get professional-level results, and an eye-popping 693 phase-detection points help the autofocus system capture your subjects in perfect clarity (a boon for any kind of action photography). Another pro: Sony’s Bionz X image processor allows the A9 can shoot up to 20fps RAW in burst mode for up to 362 shots. So if you're the kind of photographer who prioritizes speed, this is a major selling point.

Professionals who need to operate in quiet environments (i.e. wedding and event photographers) will appreciate the whisper-quiet operation of the electronic shutter. And with dual SD card slots, there’s plenty of storage for all your images — and even some 4K video.

A bevy of available lenses makes this camera extremely versatile and suited for all kinds of shooting. And you don't have to worry about your battery unexpectedly dying. The Alpha A9 can handle up to 480 still frames on a single charge, with the option to increase battery life even further with a separately-purchased vertical grip accessory.