Articles Cameras

Mirrorless Camera Buyer’s Guide (2018)

I. ENTRY-LEVEL MIRRORLESS

If you are new to photography, these entry-level mirrorless cameras are perfect to start out with. They usually feature full AUTO mode, Scene Modes, built-in Wi-Fi and lots of creative filters to make it easy to transition from your smartphone camera.

They are also relatively affordable and make it easy to try different camera brands and models to see which system you feel most comfortable using.

They are all guaranteed to give you entry-level DSLR performance and image quality (i.e., much better than what your smartphone camera can give).

Our recommendation here is to visit a retail store to try and handle different camera brands for size, weight, controls placement and even look and feel. Buy what you like and can afford.


 

Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50, black

Canon EOS M50, black

Canon EOS M50 Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Canon EOS M50 (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)


 

Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS M100 Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Canon EOS M100 (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)


 

FUJIFILM X-A5

Fujifilm X-A5

Fujifilm X-A5

Fujifilm X-A5 Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Fujifilm X-A5 (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)


 

OLYMPUS PEN E-PL9

Olympus PEN E-PL9

Olympus PEN E-PL9

The Olympus PEN E-PL9 is an ideal entry-level mirrorless camera. Underneath its stylishly beautiful exterior hides a powerful Micro Four Thirds camera that is as easy to use as your smartphone.

The E-PL9 is perfect for someone new to using an interchangeable lens camera, making the transition from smartphone camera to an interchangeable lens camera as seamless as possible: touch screen controls with sliders allow you to adjust the way the image looks; 16 Art Filters put creativite control at your fingertips; select a Scene Mode to let the camera adjust settings automatically for that scene; and Advanced Photo mode makes taking multiple exposures, HDR, Sweep Panoramas, Live Composite photos and Focus Bracketing Close Up shots a screen tap away. An electronic shutter allows you to shoot silently.

Want more control? You can switch to semi-auto and full manual (PASM) shooting modes, too.

And you don’t have to stop taking selfies either: the E-PL9 has selfie-friendly features: a LCD screen that tilts all the way down to face forward; In-body image stabilization means you can handhold the camera without getting blurry shots due to camera shake; Touch AF allows you to simply tap on the LCD screen where you want the camera to focus; and Touch Shutter will focus and take the picture with just one screen tap. Lastly, Always-on Bluetooth and built-in Wi-Fi ensure that you can immediately transfer a picture to your smartphone for posting to social media.

You can shoot high-definition 4K video, slow-motion video and time-lapse.

There is a pop-up flash and a hot shoe allows you to attach a more powerful external flash, if necessary.

Since the E-PL9 is a mirrorless camera, it is therefore a system camera and accepts all the interchangeable lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, currently at more than 20 lenses ranging from super wide angle to super telephotos. The kit option is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake lens for general purpose photography. If you are seriously into portrait photography, consider also getting the M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 portrait lens. If you rather mostly shoot macro photos, then consider the M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro lens. In addition, you can also use hundreds of legacy lenses via various adapters.

The Olympus E-PL9 is available in white, black or brown.

Olympus PEN E-PL9 Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Olympus PEN E-PL9 (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)


 

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

While the Olympus E-PL9 is for those who are new to interchangeable lens cameras and have only used the camera that is on their smartphone, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III provides many more direct controls for the more knowledgeable camera user.

You can just use the E-M10 III as a point-and-shoot camera since Olympus has worked hard to make its auto and creative modes as easy to use as possible (as on the E-PL9). Or, you can flick the Mode Dial to one of the semi-auto or manual (PASM) modes and take full control.

You also get an eye-level electronic viewfinder, better image stabilization and a bigger RAW buffer. However, you won’t get the in-camera panorama and always-on Bluetooth features in the E-PL9.

Think of the E-M10 III as a mirrorless camera that can be as easy to use as the E-PL9, but with more robust and accessible features for those who want to go further in their photography. And, you can get it for about US $100 less than the E-PL9! Talk about a bargain.

Olympus E-M10 III QuickFact Sheet

Olympus E-M10 III Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)


 

PANASONIC LUMIX DC-GX9

Panasonic GX9

Panasonic GX9

Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX9 Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)


 

PANASONIC LUMIX DC-GX850

Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX850

Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX850

Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX850 Press Release

Full specifications: Manufacturer’s site

Buy from B&H (Thank you for your support!):
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX850 (various kit lens options are offered, all prices in US $)

INTRODUCTION
I. ENTRY-LEVEL MIRRORLESS
II. SERIOUS (ADVANCED) MIRRORLESS
III. ENTHUSIAST (EXPERT) MIRRORLESS
IV. PRO MIRRORLESS