Best Cheapest Mirrorless Camera

If you’re looking to take photography seriously, then it’s likely that smartphones and compact cameras just won’t cut it anymore.

Why? For starters, they’re usually limited by small sensors and fixed lenses that don't offer the kind of next-level control that you need when taking your photography that little bit further.

So, what do you need? A mirrorless camera, of course!

Mirrorless cameras are just the ticket for taking your images to the next level, the only problem being the price.

In this guide, however, we've picked out the best mirrorless cameras that should fit your budget, won’t break the bank and hopefully won't be too confusing on how to decode them.

Mirrorless cameras are great investments in the long run as they utilize different types of lenses. Usually, they come with a general-purpose 3x ‘kit’ zoom lens which is perfect to get you up and running.

However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably find it beneficial to invest in some other types of mirrorless lenses including macro lenses, super-wide-angles and even some old lenses you already have lying around.

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In this roundup, many of the mirrorless cameras we have selected feature APS-C sensors, but some of our favorites have slightly smaller Micro Four Thirds sensors.

All types of mirrorless cameras offer a significant step up to the quality that a smartphone or compact camera could ever offer, so any choice you decide to go for will be a wise one – but don’t worry too much about technical jargon just yet, we’ll cover everything you need to know in our buyer’s guide.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm II R Lens (Silver)
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm II R Lens (Silver)
  • Built-in 5 axis image stabilization for sharper images
  • 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62X magnification
  • Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
  • 8.5 frames per second burst shooting
  • Focusing points/Focusing points selection mode 81 area multiple AF (Contrast detection AF), 37 area multiple AF (Phase difference detection AF); All target, group target area (3x3 area), single target(Standard target size/small target size)

The E-M10 Mirrorless camera embodies the phrase ‘go big or go home’ – and is exactly the reason why it is our top pick of this article.

Taking the fuss and faff out of the photo taking process, this camera is able to take stunning images with its top notch 5 axis image stabilization sensor which will help to create crystal-clear shots that you can be proud of. 

Not only for photos, this stabilization sensor will also aid in the recording of videos, which means that even if you film handheld (which can sometimes result in the video appearing a little shaky) you will be able to achieve professional-quality 4k videos that won’t look as though it’s come from a ‘found footage’ film.

Here are some key specifications that set this camera apart from the rest:

  • Aspect ratio: 1:33 
  • Recording format: DCF2.0 Exif 2.3
  • High speed AF system with 121 point contrast
  • SD card, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-II, UHS-I card compatible
  • Pixel capacity: 16.1 million pixels

Best Cheapest Mirrorless Camera – Comparison Table

Best Cheapest Mirrorless Camera – Reviews

Our Pick
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm II R Lens (Silver)
Our rating:

Promising so much more than just sharp images, the Olympus OM-D-E has a number of really cool features that we have to talk about.

It's equipped with a clever silent mode that will disable all shutter sounds, which may come in handy for times when you don’t want to disturb whatever it is you are taking a picture of, while a burst shooting option means that every moment will be caught on camera – no matter how fidgety your subject is!

The E-M10 Mark III is also equipped with a clever and innovative TruePic VIII image processor, so you can count on impressive image quality, even in dimly lit settings.

Even if you’re a novice when it comes to taking shots, you’ll feel comfortable if you’re using an interchangeable lens camera for the first time!

Pros
  • Excellent stabilization system
  • Sleek, elegant style
  • Silent mode
Cons
  • 16 megapixeles which may disappoint some photographers

Sony Alpha A6100 Mirrorless Camera
Our rating:

Ensuring you’ll never miss a moment, the Sony A6100 features a vast array of superb features that will help you capture special memories and portraits.

It features a smart touch-sensitive screen and innovative auto-focus for consistently clear and sharp images, while Al-based subject tracking ensures that any active subjects will be kept in constant, steady focus (image or video) which makes this camera a particularly ideal choice for those looking to capture sporting events or wildlife.

Not only that, real time eye AF will also provide continuous eye tracking when shooting portraits in motion, which will allow you to prioritise either the left or right eye in both animals and humans for beautifully focused portraits, time and time again.

Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • High quality, premium features and controls
  • Real time tracking
  • APS-C sensor for superior image resolution
Cons
  • The viewfinder is not very big

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera Kit with EF-M 15-45mm Lens, Black
Our rating:

Worthy of a spot on our roundup, this clever and compact all-rounder is a great budget-friendly EOS M series camera that has the added benefit of an integrated viewfinder, not to mention a high quality lens featuring an 8.3x optical zoom.

With the help of this smart feature, you’ll be able to view your subject as it appears to your camera lens without fear of the sun getting in the way, while its compact and sleek design allows for a streamlined shooting experience thanks to its large EVF and vari-angle touch screen with a touch and drag option. 

Not just for photos, you will also be able to enjoy modern and hassle free shooting thanks to its DSLR sized sensor and DIGIC 8 that will allow you to create amazing 4K movies.

Pros
  • Easy to set up and get started with quickly
  • Good for beginners
  • Great viewfinder
Cons
  • The material may feel a little cheap to some

Fujifilm X-A7 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/XC15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ Lens, Dark Silver
Our rating:

With a stylish retro look, a ton of features to delight the creative and a 3.5 vari-angle touch screen, we’re huge fans of the Fujifilm X-A7 Mirrorless Digital Camera. If you’re upgrading from a simple smartphone, you’ll love the large touchscreen LCD, while the 24.5MP sensor will help to achieve crystal clear, sharp photos as well as stable, 4k video recordings.

With a host of filters and different shooting modes, you’ll be able to let your imagination run wild, while a built-in bluetooth and wifi feature makes sharing at the tap of a button easy as pie.

Plus, if you’re a beginner or a photographer looking for a camera to do the hard work for you, this mirrorless camera is a great choice thanks to its manual dials and intuitive smart menu that will make using it a breeze.

Pros
  • 24 megapixels
  • Scene position optimisation mode
  • Light trail mode
  • Pop up flash support system
Cons
  • No viewfinder

Panasonic LUMIX GX85 4K Digital Camera, 12-32mm and 45-150mm Lens Bundle, 16 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera Kit, 5 Axis In-Body Dual Image Stabilization, 3-Inch Tilt and Touch LCD, DMC-GX85WK (Black)
Our rating:

Looking for a camera that is going to give you professional performance? If so, the Panasonic Lumix won’t disappoint! This Four Thirds Camera will deliver impressive results even though it is nearly half the size of a regular DSLR.

It contains a top of the range image stabilization feature with an added LUMIX 2-axis lens O.I.S with a brand spanking new 5-axis in body I.S that will capture crystal clear images and non-shaky videos.

For added comfortability, this camera features a familiar quick-access thumbwheel for ease of use, while an easy to electronic viewfinder will help you view your subject without any issues such as glare from the sunlight.

Offering greater flexibility in those more tricky shooting angles, a tilting LCD display will make shooting all types of images a breeze, while RAW file processing can easily be developed thanks to the ability to adjust colour, exposure, contrast, highlight, shadow and even noise reduction without having to upload it to a computer or smartphone.

Pros
  • Built in EVF
  • Comfortable and small design
  • Tilting touch screen
Cons
  • The autofocus occasionally struggles to lock

Best Cheapest Mirrorless Camera – Buyers Guide

Though mirrorless cameras have been around for quite some time, it has only been in recent years that they have begun to gain a lot of popularity – with lots of professional photographers swapping their DSLR for a mirrorless alternative, but what sets them apart from other cameras in the market? Keep reading to find out:

Lens Systems

Mirrorless cameras differ from other types of cameras as they have interchangeable lenses that allow for greater versatility when it comes to the types of images you can take.

When using a mirrorless camera, you’ll find that because there is no mirror inside the front of the sensor there is a very short focal flange distance (or the distance between the lens mount and sensor).

Thanks to this shorter distance, lenses that have a large focal flange length are compatible to be used with a mirrorless camera with an adapter. You can even use SLR lenses!

However, it is worth noting that if you do choose to use an adapter for some of your older lenses, you may find that you cannot use any autofocus which may be a problem for some professional photographers.

Of course, there’s a vast array of mirrorless lenses available to purchase on the market that will cater to your every need! It all comes down to what you are looking to get out of your photography work.

Sensor Size

Many mirrorless cameras feature an APS-C sensor (which is what we like to class as a middleweight, falling in between a DSLR and standard click point and click camera) which makes them a lot lighter than DSLRS.

It’s worth considering what type of photography you are going to be taking, for example, if you plan on taking a lot of low light images then you may want to consider a full frame mirrorless camera as they will perform better in lower light.

If you want a camera to take around with you while travelling, a micro four thirds mirrorless camera will be a good choice as they will be a lot lighter, smaller and easy to transport.

Viewfinders

Another feature you’ll find in mirrorless cameras are viewfinders. This feature allows you to see exactly what it is that the lens is seeing and, as mirrorless cameras do not have any mirrors to help steer the view of the viewfinder, many mirrorless cameras harness the help of an electronic viewfinder.

Just like everything else, there are both pros and cons to using an electronic viewfinder – and the advantages certainly outweigh the restrictions! One aspect that you may find a little frustrating is that there can be a lag between the moment something moves and what you see in the electronic viewfinder.

You may also find that the use of an electronic viewfinder drains your battery significantly. However, you will be able to enjoy the help of focus peaking which allows for real-time focusing that helps to determine critical sharpness when focusing manually.

Autofocus

Mirrorless cameras use contrast detection to help focus on a subject. Contrast detection works to measure the contrast between pixels on the sensor until it detects enough contrast in order to be able to find the image and focus in on it. The only downside is that you may find that it is more difficult to use in low light.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I pick a mirrorless camera?

One reason you might feel tempted to pick a mirorrless camera is because of how versatile it is. Generally speaking, when it comes to a DSLR, there’s only two main manufacturers that you can go to (Nikon and Canon) and their prices are usually pretty steep to say the least.

However, when it comes to mirrorless cameras, there are so many manufacturers offering great quality cameras at a variety of different price points! The great thing about this is that all of these different cameras each offer something individual and interesting to help them stand out from the rest, so you’ll find that each mirrorless camera from a reputable company can hold their own against the rest, meaning that you’ll be positively spoilt for choice.

With regards to our roundup, we’ve done our best to consider all types of mirrorless cameras at all types of price points in order to accommodate to every budget. Though these cheaper models might not be decked out with the latest and greatest, they will make a great choice that you won’t be disappointed in, especially if you’re a newbie.

However, with that being said, it might very well be worth investing in a more expensive option if you’re serious about photography as you’ll save more money in the long run.

What is the difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera?

Ok, here’s where things start to get a little technical.
On one hand, mirrorless cameras are similar to DSLR in the sense that they both allow you to swap and change lenses like on a DSLR. However, because the mirror that you normally find inside a DSLR has been removed, a mirrorless camera can be made much more compact – so oftentimes they are much more lightweight.

Like the name suggests, having no mirror means that instead of optical viewfinders to frame your subject, mirrorless cameras rely on electronic viewfinders.

Be aware, though, that most cheaper mirrorless cameras don't come with viewfinders at all – instead, you compose the photo on the rear screen, just as you do with most compact cameras or smartphones (which may cause issues with glare if placed in direct sunlight).

You'll find that mirrorless cameras are also known as compact system cameras (or CSCs for short), with models ranging from the simple to use beginner models to incredible full frame cameras with an array of different features and controls to choose from.

How much should I spend on a mirrorless camera?

Just because something may be a low price, doesn't necessarily mean that it is good value for money! If you find you quickly outgrow it and need to upgrade very soon, then you'll end up spending even more money.

Some of the cameras here might seem expensive to somebody buying their first camera, but we will have recommended them as something that should last you for many years to come – making them an excellent investment that will undoubtedly save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you want to take your love for photography a little bit further, we can absolutely assure you that you will not regret spending a little bit more in the beginning, because that means you won’t have to splash out any extra cash in a few months repairing or replacing.

Don’t get us wrong, cheaper cameras can certainly do a very good job, but it usually means that you have to lose out on innovative and helpful features and controls that will take your shots from good to incredible – so when considering a mirrorless camera make sure you consider the benefits of a more expensive option.

Put it this way: if you were to buy a cheaper mirrorless camera, you will likely find that an electronic viewfinder is missing, meaning that your shots will suffer as you won’t have the advantage of being able to see in realtime what your camera lens can see, especially on those sunny days when glare might be an issue.

Last Updated on 2020-10-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

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