The 7 Best Mirrorless Cameras to Buy in 2017

Take your photography skills to the next level

The mirrorless camera market has really matured in recent years, having reached a point where they’re no longer limited to the realm of camera geeks, professionals and aficionados. With compact, lightweight designs comparable to traditional point-and-shoots, as well as interchangeable lens functionality (like those founds on bulky DSLR cameras), you really have the best of both worlds. If you like this new approach to camera making, which is only expected to continue in coming years, check out this list of the best mirrorless cameras.

Best Overall: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
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Olympus is one of the top camera makers in the world, having come into its own alongside the soaring popularity of mirrorless shooters. With a few highly impressive cameras under its belt, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II may be the reigning king of mirrorless cameras. There really isn’t much missing from this camera. It’s rugged and compact, yet elegant and simple to use. It’s got an articulating, camcorder-style LCD, high-end Full HD (1080p) video recording with image stabilization, a massive 2.35-million dot electronic viewfinder, and a super impressive 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor with a 40-megapixel High-Resolution Shot Mode. And you get access to Olympus’ lens market, which is certainly among the bets and most vibrant. The OM-D E-M5 Mark II is pricey considering that it doesn’t even include a lens. For an extra $700 you get an Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens. All in all, though, if you’re in the market for the best, this is where you start.

Best Budget: Samsung NX3000

Samsung NX3000
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Finally, a mirrorless camera that won’t put you in debt (hopefully). The Samsung NX3000 is every bit just as good as a mirrorless shooter from Leica or Olympus, with a few technical shortcomings that will prove unnoticeable to your average intermediate photographer. It can also come with your choice of either a 16-50mm Power Zoom (an extra $100) or 20-50mm Compact Zoom lens. Samsung is somewhat new to the interchangeable lens market, but its presence cannot be denied, and the NX3000 proves it. It features a 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor; WiFi and NFC connectivity for quick sharing and uploading, as well as smartphone-based remote control; Full HD (1080p) video recording; plus a number of smart shooting modes, filters and controls. It’s a well-designed camera that should continue to provide high-quality images for years to come. You may be disappointed by Samsung’s limited lens market, but it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, especially at this price point.

Best for Novices: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
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“Novice” isn’t a term most people would use for a camera that starts at $650 and does not even include a lens. But that’s the thing with mirrorless cameras: While they are more compact than their DSLR counterparts, they’re not necessarily simple. You should probably have a solid grasp of photography before diving head first into the mirrorless category. If you feel you’re ready to make the jump, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II may be for you. With all the mode and control dials located on the righthand side, it’s designed to accommodate beginners. The menu may be a bit confusing, as is the case with most Olympus cameras, but it’s easy to start up, always at the ready, and always able to deliver some high quality images. It’s got a 16.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, a three-inch tilting LCD, 5-axis image stabilization, an OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF), burst shooting up to 8.5 fps and a bunch of shooting modes and focus features that allow mirrorless newbies to quickly adapt to the new realm of interchangeable lens cameras.

Best for Casual Photographers: Fujifilm X-A2

Fujifilm X-A2
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The mirrorless category can be a bit daunting if you’re new to interchangeable lenses. While there are plenty of $400-$500 mirrorless devices that any novice or intermediate photographer could appreciate, the craft of photography is not necessarily made easier by them. You really need to be devoted to it to learn the ins and outs of proper shooting. The Fujifilm X-A2 is another entry-level mirrorless device with a few nods to traditional design, making it an obvious choice for photographers who are looking to step up their game while also holding on to some of the web-focused perks of a smartphone. The three-inch tilting LCD is a nod to selfie-takers, and the one-touch wireless image transfer allows for quick and easy transfers to your phone. The hardware specs are also on point, with the 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and the included 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 II kit lens. Plus, you get access to Fuji’s spectacular line of X-mount lenses. This is a solid camera for entry-level shooters who don’t want to have to upgrade any time soon, even as they reach the advanced level.

Best for Video: Sony Alpha A6300

Sony Alpha A6300
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If you’re going to spend more than $1,000 on a mirrorless camera that shoots video, shouldn’t you expect it to conform to the latest resolution standards? Surprisingly, not many of them do. The Sony alpha A6300 does, and it would probably be listed as one of the best mirrorless shooters around even if there were no video options. This thing is a top performer by all respects. The Internal UHD 4K & 1080p video makes it a veritable high-end camcorder as well as a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It’s got a 24.2-megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, a super fast autofocus speed of just 0.05 seconds, up to 11fps continuous shooting, and a sturdy, weather-sealed magnesium alloy frame. It’s also got a tilting rear display, a built-in flash, WiFi and NFC connectivity, as well as an extremely high maximum ISO of 51200, meaning it will perform well in all lighting conditions. Oh, and did we mention it shoots 4K video?

Best Lens System: Fuji X-T10

Fuji X-T10
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The Fujifilm X-T10, on its own, is probably one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market, capable of competing head-on with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Sony Alpha A6300. But one leg-up that the X-T10 has is its compatibility with Fujifilm’s X-mount lenses, which are among the best in their class. These are high-end lenses from a high-end camera maker, and the X-T10 is your entry point. So in addition to offering one of the most robust lens markets around, the X-T10 is pretty much a deluxe camera. It features a 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor, a 2.36-million dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF), a compact magnesium frame, a built-in pop-up flash and ISO sensitivity up to 51,200. It’s also got a slew of professional controls and shooting modes, advanced filters and continuous shooting at up to 8 fps. To be clear, this is a professional camera with professional lenses.

Best High-End: Leica M (Typ 240)

Leica M (Typ 240)
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If money is no issue and you prefer the design, familiarity and luxury of classic film cameras, the Leica M (Typ 240) is the best mirrorless camera money can buy. It looks like an old film camera, but it’s actually one of the most elegantly designed digital cameras you’ll find. It’s got a full-frame, 24-megapixel CMOS image sensor, a scratch resistant display cover made of sapphire glass, a huge 2 GB image buffer, and a manual optical viewfinder. And it performs as well as you’d expect from such an expensive camera. Images are impressively detailed at every ISO, aperture and shutter setting. It’s splash and dust resistant, has lens support for almost every lens on the market thanks to its adapters, and it just looks great.


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