The Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000 [2019]


Author: Polina Raynova - Professional Photographer

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Mirrorless cameras are without a shadow of a doubt a revolutionary breakthrough in the world of modern photography. They offer a fast and effective relief of the burden of bulky DSLR cameras (and I mean burden quite literally!). They deliver cutting edge technology in a pocket size and allow the photographer to focus more on the actual image-making.

Mirrorless cameras are slowly replacing their predecessors and there are a good number of reasons behind this.

After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to consider when choosing a mirrorless camera. Later in the article we’ll do a quick review of 5 of the best mirrorless cameras out there and see why they’re often referred to as the future of contemporary photography.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #1 RATED

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10

  • 5 axis Image Stabilization
  • 14 FPS
  • 350 shots per battery charge
  • 24 MP Sensor


CANON EOS M100

  • Light as a feather at 302g
  • Cheapest camera in our review
  • 24 MP
  • Image stabilization 


FUJIFILM X-T20

  • Built-in Image stabilization
  • 8 FPS is still enough for most action sequences
  • Cool retro look
  • 4K video 


PANASONIC LUMIX G7

  • 3” Touchscreen Swivel
  • 350 shots per battery charge


CANON EOS M50 

  • Best ISO performance - 100-25600 ISO (extendable to 51200)
  • 10 FPS
  • 24 MP 

BUY AT camera pro


Choosing a Mirrorless Camera 

When you’re looking to get the best camera for your set budget, there are a few things to keep in mind. Without any further ado let’s have a look at them!

Purpose of use

What do you need the camera for? This one is question number one and it’s definitely the most important thing you need to ask yourself before buying. You’re into shooting stills and portraits? Then even if you have the camera with the fastest burst mode it won’t be of much use to you.

Sensor size

How many megapixels does your camera have and why it this so important? This feature is very valuable when comes to printing – the more megapixels you have the better quality and size of the printed image you’ll receive. It also matters if you’re planning on cropping your images, as if you have too few megapixels you won’t have much room for mistakes.

Battery Life

Battery life is still one of the weak points of the mirrorless cameras in comparison to the DSLRs (if not the only one). Whatever you’re shooting you generally need as much life in your battery as possible – the more, the better.

How light it is?

One of the advantages of mirrorless cameras is that they’re small (or at least smaller than the DSLRs). But even so there are bulkier models amongst them so you need to know for yourself how important it is for you to have the camera with you at all times and maybe even in your pocket.


Mirrorless Camera Reviews 

#1 ​​Olympus OM-D E-M10 

TOP PICK

BUY AT Camera Pro

The E-M10 is an excellent camera, especially for its price, making it our top pick. It’s mainly cherished for it its ability to record 4K video, but it also possesses a number of other advantages.

It has 5-axis image stabilization with 4 stops, which comes in very handy if don’t have a tripod at the moment, but you need your images to stay as sharp as possible. It also has a built-in flash – something rarely found in cameras from this class.

One thing worth mentioning about the OM-D E-M10 is the 14 FPS which is almost twice as much as in the other models we’re reviewing.

Pros
  • 5 axis Image Stabilization
  • 14 FPS
  • 350 shots per battery charge
  • 24 MP Sensor                                          
cons
  • A bit pricy for what it has to offer
  • Relatively heavy compared to other cameras in the range         

#2 ​​​​Canon EOS M100 

best value

BUY AT camera pro

For its 24 megapixels this camera is incredibly small and handy. It weighs only 302g, but it has a lot to offer to the beginners.

It is equipped with articulating touch screen (very helpful for selfies and vlogging) and a video mode with a resolution of 1080/60p. It also has noise reduction which helps the camera handle low light situations. It’s burst mode is not all that impressive at 6 FPS, however its battery life is a lot for such a tiny machine.

It natively shoots up to 295 shots per battery charge, but thanks to the Eco Mode it could get you all the way up to 410 shots. With that, it may be the best value you can get for this price.

Pros
  • Light as a feather at 302g
  • Cheapest camera in our review
  • 24 MP
  • Image stabilization                                 
cons
  • Only one that does not offer 4K Video
  • 6 FPS                                     

#3 ​Fujifilm X-T20 

BUY AT camera pro

This camera has a very light body, just 383g, and remarkably fast electronic shutter allowing you to truly capture the moment. This feature is indispensable If you are a street photographer or you’re into sports photography and can really make a difference in your work.

Fujifilm X-T20 has 325 autofocus points which is another great advantage and gives the opportunity for very precise composing. It is good in the video department, shooting 4K, and with a 3 axis built-in stabilization it guarantees a smooth video footage.  

Pros
  • Built-in Image stabilization
  • 8 FPS is still enough for most action sequences
  • Cool retro look
  • 4K video                               
cons
  • Only 16 MP compared to other cameras in the range
  • 4/3 micro does not handle noise well enough 

#4 ​Panasonic Lumix G7 

BUY AT camera pro

Released in 2015, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 or the G7 as they call it, is still a great camera if you’re on budget. It is equipped with a 16 MP sensor, built in Wi-Fi, fully articulate LCD touchscreen and 4K video.  

4K UHD has been somewhat of a trademark for the Panasonic range for a while now, so if you’re one of the videographers out there and you’re looking for something to shoot video with without draining your pocket dry, this may as well be it.

The G7 has a relatively good battery life, rounding up at about 350 shots per battery (around 120 more than the Canon EOS M50 for example). One negative aspect of the camera is the lack of built-in stabilization so just bear in mind if you need it when buying lenses.

Pros
  • 3” Touchscreen Swivel
  • 350 shots per battery charge                                                                                                
cons
  • The most expensive one in the range - $999
  • No image stabilization
  • 16 MP                                   

#5 ​​Canon EOS M50 

BUY AT camera pro

This one has been out on the market since the beginning of 2018. It’s a good option for people shooting event photography, sports or scenes that generally involve a lot of action because of its 10 frames-per-second burst modes.

The M50 model uses a 24 MP censor which delivers a very high quality end image with crystal clear details. It is also without any doubt a great performer in low light conditions and it manages to keep noise at bay.

The battery life is quite short in comparison to models such as Fujifilm X-T20 or Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7. It also lacks image stabilization.

Pros
  • Best ISO performance - 100-25600 ISO (extendable to 51200)
  • 10 FPS
  • 24 MP                                  
cons
  • Only 235 shots per battery charge
  • Quite heavy for a mirrorless – 484g
  • Lacking image stabilization                         

verdict

If we need to draw the line and weigh all the pros and cons discussed above, out top pick would definitely be Olympus OM-D E-M10. It combines great battery life with a 24 MP sensor and image stabilization. It also has an outstanding performance on burst mode which shouldn’t be underestimated.

No matter which one you choose, keep in mind that your ultimate task is to pick your camera based on what you need it for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Polina Raynova

Professional Photographer


Polina is a freelance photographer, always on the lookout for creating simple images with deep impact.

She loves observing the details around her and giving everyday scenes and objects a touch of cinematic feel.

Check out her work at www.polinaraynova.com.