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.

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.

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.

“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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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