back to top

16 Best Mirrorless Cameras to Buy in 2021

A- A+

Subscribe Below to Download the Article Immediately

You can also select your interests for free access to our premium training:

Your privacy is safe. I will never share your information.
Related course: Photography for Beginners

Mirrorless cameras are all the rage right now. They’re the talk of the photography world, and they are dominating the headlines. All the major brands are producing excellent mirrorless machines.

But with so much information about mirrorless cameras flying around, it can be confusing. It’s easy to get lost in a maze of features and specs. But we’re here to guide you through.

Whether you’re a beginner, enthusiast, or professional, we’ll help you find the best mirrorless camera for you.

Photo by Nadeena Granville

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

DSLRs were considered the peak of digital camera technology. But now the tide is turning, and mirrorless cameras are starting to steal the headlines.

Their mirrorless design means they don’t have the mirror and shutter mechanism that is a signature feature of SLR cameras. With fewer moving components, it means they can be more compact and quieter when shooting.

They are also pulling away from DSLRs in terms of quality and specs. Mirrorless machines are now breaking records for image resolution and autofocus systems.

Many of the major camera brands are putting a lot of focus on the mirrorless camera market. There are some great options out there. But which camera is the best?

Photo by Federico Bottos

Best Mirrorless Cameras in 2021

This is our list of the best mirrorless cameras to buy in 2021. The list features cameras to meet different levels and needs, so let’s dive in and find the best camera for you.

Beginners

1. Fujifilm X-T200

  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Resolution: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3.5-inch, vari-angle touchscreen, 2,760k dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
  • Max burst speed: 8fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a great place to start our list. It’s compact and robust. It has an retro body design. And it’s a affordable mirrorless option for a beginner.

Not only does the camera look and feel good. Its performance is excellent too. The X-T200 has an APS-C crop sensor with 24.2MP of resolution. This isn’t groundbreaking. But you’ll get sharp images that will impress your friends and family.

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a great all-rounder. The 8fps continuous shooting speed is great if you want to try your hand at action or sports photography. And the 4K video resolution is more than capable for vlogging. You’ll find it a big improvement from smartphone recording.

The vari-angle touchscreen gives you the freedom to try different shots. No matter what the angle, you’ll be able to frame the shot perfectly.

It’s versatile and easy to use. And the quality is excellent. The Fujifilm X-T200 is the best mirrorless camera for beginners in 2021.

2. Nikon Z5

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Resolution: 24.3MP
  • Screen: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040K dots
  • Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
  • Max burst speed: 4.5fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

If you are new to photography but looking to go straight for a full-frame camera, the Nikon Z5 is the best mirrorless option.

The full-frame CMOS sensor has a resolution of 24.3MP. Compared to high-end full-frame units, this doesn’t sound like much. But for a beginner, it’s more can capable.

The 273-point autofocus system is quick and effective. It’ll render sharp images even when your subject is on the move. The autofocus is the best of its kind in this price range.

One downside is the burst mode, with a continuous shooting speed of only 4.5fps. But the 4K video capture is great for when you want to capture footage on the go. It’s perfect for short videos and vlogs.

The Nikon Z5 is the best entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera on the market. It has a compact body but is high-performance when it comes to quality. It’s great for stills and video.

3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

  • Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
  • Resolution: 20.3MP
  • Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037K dots
  • Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
  • Max burst speed: 15fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV may not be one of the top hitters. At least not on paper. But it is an excellent mirrorless camera for beginners.

Micro four thirds cameras are often misunderstood. They have a smaller sensor, which means the resolution is lower than many competitors. But this Olympus still packs a punch when it comes to image quality.

The autofocus performance is basic. But you won’t find a burst much quicker than 15fps. Certainly not in this price range. And the 4K video capture is good too. It’s also easy to move and share photos with Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV hasn’t exactly redefined photography. But it is an excellent mirrorless camera for beginners.

4. Sony A6100

  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Resolution: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 2.95-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921,600
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch EVF, 1.44 million dots
  • Max burst speed: 11fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

The Sony A6100 marks a step up from the older A6000. Not every detail is improved, but there is enough to make this one of the best mirrorless cameras in 2021.

The tilt-angle touchscreen and viewfinder are the same as the older sibling. They still hold up, but some improvement would have been appreciated.

One major development is the 425-point autofocus system. It achieves sharpness in a nano-second. And it can track your moving subjects. With an 11fps continuous shooting speed, the A6100 is versatile and usable.

It is more expensive than the A6000. But the improvements do make the A6100 worth the extra cost if you can stretch your budget.

5. Panasonic Lumix GX85

  • Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
  • Resolution: 16MP
  • Screen: 3in tilting, touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: 2,100K dots
  • Max burst speed: 8fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

The Panasonic Lumix GX85 isn’t the most recent release on the list. But it still holds up as an excellent mirrorless option for beginners.

Micro four thirds (MFT) are smaller than APS-C and full-frame sensors, so don’t be alarmed by the 16MP resolution. The image quality is still excellent. And the MFT format can give twice the focal length of a full-frame camera.

Panasonic has an excellent range of compact lenses to go with the Lumix GX85. And the camera itself also has a compact body, making it an excellent option when you’re travelling.

One feature that sets the GX85 apart is the 5-axis in-body image stabilization system. Something not often found in an entry-level camera. And it will help maintain excellent image quality in tough conditions.

The Lumix GX85 has been around for a while, and it has been surpassed in some respects. But it offers great value for money. It’s hard to find a mirrorless camera at a better price.

Photo by Prasanna Kumar

Enthusiast

1. Fujifilm X-S10

  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Resolution: 26.1MP
  • Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
  • Max burst speed: 20fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

If you’re looking to upgrade from a beginner camera to something more serious, the Fujifilm X-S10 is an excellent option. The specs and features, and price, make it one of the best mirrorless cameras for enthusiasts.

The 26.1MP image resolution is solid without being mind-blowing. But the X-S10 does have features that make it stand out from the crowd.

The X-S10 boasts an excellent 5-axis in-body image stabilization system. It enables the shooter to go hand-held. Your image quality is maintained without having to rely on a tripod. And the burst mode has a continuous shooting speed of 20fps. That’s a big jump from the beginner models.

There’s even something for photographers that miss the film photography aesthetic. With the 18 film simulation modes, you can give your images a retro look. You get the quality of film with the convenience of digital.

2. Nikon Z6

  • Type: Full-Frame Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
  • Resolution: 24.5MP
  • Screen: 3,690k dots, 100% coverage
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Max Birst Speed: 12fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K Video UHD at 30p
  • User level: Enthusiast

Nikon is famous for the quality of their DSLRs. But this full-frame mirrorless camera upholds the high Nikon standard.

The 24.5MP sensor produces stunning images. And the in-body image stabilization system maintains that quality in busy or low-light conditions.

The Z6 also boasts a 273-point phase-detection autofocus system. It’s a sophisticated system that helps you get the shots you need. Poor conditions and movement are less of an issue.

It also has a 12fps burst mode for continuous shooting, more than most DSLRs. And the 4K video resolution is good too. These features, along with the weather-sealing, makes it a versatile action camera.

One downside is the limited range of lenses. The list of Nikon Z-mount lenses is still considerably smaller than that of F-mount lenses. Nikon are bringing out new Z lens options, but it’s slow going.

3. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

  • Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
  • Resolution: 20.4MP
  • Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: Electronic
  • Max burst speed: 30fps (Digital Shutter), 10fps (mechanical shutter)
  • Max video resolution: 4K Video
  • User level: Enthusiast

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a crop-sensor camera that is making heads turn. At first glance, the specs don’t seem all that special. But some features are outstanding.

20.4MP resolution is powerful for a micro four thirds sensor. It can complete with larger APS-C sensors. And the 121-point autofocus system is fast and reliable.

The in-body 5-axis in-body image stabilization will also ensure sharpness and clarity. You can use this camera with confidence in all environments.

But the real point of difference is the burst mode. The standard shooting speed is 10fps if you use the mechanical shutter. But if you switch to Pro Capture mode, you get a staggering 30fps of continuous shooting. That’s with 14-shot pre-buffering too.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 MIII is small but packed with features. The smaller sensor size does deter some photographers. But it’s the best micro four thirds mirrorless camera in 2021.

4. Fujifilm X-T4

  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Resolution: 26.1MP
  • Screen: 3,690k dots, 100% coverage
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Max burst speed: 15fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K Video
  • User level: Enthusiast

The Fujifilm X-T4 is an excellent all-rounder in the mirrorless division. It has the power and functionality to please the most enthusiastic photography enthusiasts.

The first improvement you notice from the previous X-T3 model is the battery life. You can now capture 600 shots with one charge.

The burst function has also increased from 11 to 15fps. It’s not groundbreaking. But a noticeable upgrade when you need a mode for continuous shooting.

The X-T4 is packed with other great features. The autofocus and image stabilization systems are both fast and reliable. And the 4K video is good enough for professional vloggers and videographers.

The Fujifilm X-T4 is an excellent mirrorless camera. But there is a heavy price tag. Despite the X-T4’s better performance on paper, the Fujifilm X-S10 offers better value for money.

5. Panasonic Lumix S5

  • Sensor: Full frame CMOS
  • Resolution: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.84m dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots
  • Max burst speed: 7fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (6K Photo Mode)
  • Max video resolution: 6K Video
  • User level: Enthusiast

When you look at the specs for stills, you might think the Panasonic Lumix S5 looks a bit pricey. But what is camera does offer is specialist video features. So if you’re a videographer, this could be the best mirrorless camera for you.

If you are using the S5 for stills, the image resolution is still excellent quality. The autofocus system is also solid.

The mechanical burst mode is a bit slow at 7fps. But this camera has a trick up its sleeve. If you switch to 6K photo mode, you’ll get 30fps of continuous shooting. The image quality does take a hit, as this mode only has 18MP. But that’s still a high-quality image.

The video quality sets the Lumix S5 apart. It shoots 4K/60p 10-Bit 4:2:0 video, something that’s hard to find in the same price range.

The Panasonic Lumix S5 is expensive. And if you only need a camera for stills, there are better options. But if you need video as well, the S5 is one of the best mirrorless cameras for videographers.

6. Canon EOS RP

  • Sensor: Full Frame
  • Resolution: 26.2MP
  • Screen: 3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040,800 dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Max burst speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K Video
  • User level: Enthusiast

The Canon EOS RP has been around for a few years now. In some respects, it has been surpassed. But if you’re a Canon user looking for a mirrorless camera, the EOS RP is still one to go for in 2021.

The full-frame image sensor gives you stunning images suitable for publication. The 26.2MP sensor is still has a higher resolution than many newer cameras.

The EOS RP has a continuous shooting speed of only 5fps. Not ideal for sports or wildlife photographers. But vloggers will like the 4K video capture. The video quality isn’t the highest on the list, but still solid.

The EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software is something that keeps this Canon in contention. It allows you to use the Canon EOS RP as a high-quality webcam for live streaming.

The Canon EOS RP isn’t the most versatile mirrorless camera. But it still does some things better than more recent releases. It’s Canon’s best mirrorless camera in the enthusiast category.

Photo by Wassim Chouak

Professional

1. Sony A7R Mark IV

  • Sensor: Full Frame
  • Resolution: 61MP
  • Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,440,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: Electronic, 5.76m dots
  • Max burst speed: 10fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K Video
  • User level: Professional

The Sony A7R Mark IV is at the very top of the mirrorless camera league. In some departments, it is unmatched.

The full-frame sensor has an image resolution of 61MP. That’s right, 61MP. Image quality doesn’t get much better than this. The continuous shooting speed is only 10fps. But at 61MP, you can’t complain.

The A7R M IV is quiet. And I mean very quiet. You can shoot at full burst speed without making a sound. It’s something sports and wildlife photographers will love.

The autofocus is incredible too. It has a 567-point phase-detection system, which can detect and track eyes. It works with both humans and animals.

The battery life isn’t great. But you can change to APS-C mode and shoot at 26MP, which will reduce battery usage.

The quality of this camera means you won’t begrudge the price tag. It’s the best mirrorless camera for professionals in 2021.

2. Canon EOS R5

  • Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
  • Resolution: 45MP
  • Screen: 3.15-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED EVF, 5,690k dots
  • Max Burst Speed: 12fps mechanical shutter/20fps electronic shutter
  • Max Video Resolution: 8K DCI or UHD at 30p
  • User Lever: Professional

The Canon EOS R5 offers something not many other cameras can match. That is professional standard stills and video capture. The EOS is the ultimate all-rounder.

It’s well built and durable. And considering its ability, it isn’t heavy. The image resolution is 45MP, which is pretty stunning. You won’t find many DSLRs with that kind of firepower.

This Canon also gives you the option of mechanical or electronic shutters for continuous shooting. The former gives you 12fps, while the latter has an impressive 20fps.

The real strength of the Canon EOS R5 is the video. The video resolution is a whopping 8K. That’s close to movie quality motion capture. It’s not just for vlogs or catching the odd piece of footage here and there. This is professional standard video resolution.

The Canon EOS R5 is the most versatile mirrorless camera in 2021. It will meet the needs of all professional photographers today, with a bit to spare. It isn’t cheap, but the EOS R5 is worth it.

3. Sony A1

  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Resolution: 50.1MP
  • Screen: 3-in tilting, 1.44m dots
  • Viewfinder: Electronic, 9.44m dots
  • Max Burst Speed: 30fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 8K
  • User Lever: Professional

The Sony A1 is regarded by many to be the best mirrorless camera on the market. The specs and performance are out of this world. But the price will bring you back down to Earth.

Image quality isn’t in question. With an image resolution of 50.1MP, you can’t go wrong. The autofocus system is the most sophisticated out there. It has 759 points of phase-detection, which can track at a rate of 120 calculations per second.

The camera uses an electronic shutter that is close to completely silent. And for continuous shooting, the electronic shutter gives you a rapid 30fps. That’s 30fps at 50.1MP, and with the autofocus system working.

The Sony A1 is great for video too. The 8K video resolution is suitable for any professional project. It’s way more than just a stills camera.

The Sony A1 has set the standard for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The numbers in every department are at the top of the table. But it sits at the top of the table for price too. It could be the best mirrorless camera in 2021, if you can afford it.

4. Nikon Z7 II

  • Sensor: Full-frame
  • Resolution: 45.7MP
  • Screen: 3.2-inch tilting, 2,100K dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage
  • Max Burst Speed: 10fps
  • Max Video Resolution: Uncropped 4K UHD up to 30p, cropped 4K UHD up to 60p
  • User Lever: Professional

The Z7 II is Nikon’s finest full-frame mirrorless camera. The specs don’t quite match the Sony or Canon, but it is an excellent mirrorless camera for professional photographers.

The 45.7MP full-frame CMOS sensor will give you stunning results. Perfect for any publication or professional project. And the autofocus is a 493-point hybrid system that works fast to give you excellent sharpness. The system includes eye detection for human and animal subjects.

The video options give you great flexibility as well as quality. You can shoot in 4K Ultra at 60p, 30p, 25p, or 24p. And you can shoot in vivid slow motion at 120p in full HD.

The Nikon Z7 II is a great all-rounder for a professional. It may not match some competitors at the very top of the field. But the Nikon Z7 II is one of the best mirrorless cameras in 2021.

5. Fujifilm GFX 50R

  • Sensor: Medium format (44 x 33 mm)
  • Resolution: 51.4MP
  • Screen:3-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,360,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: Electronic
  • Max burst speed: 3fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD
  • User level: Professional

The Fujifilm GFX 50R is a medium format camera, so it isn’t as versatile as other options on this list. But if you’re looking for a medium format camera, this is the best mirrorless camera in 2021.

The video quality is nothing special and the burst is only 3fps. But that’s not what medium format cameras are about. Their purpose is to capture stunning images with fantastic detail. And that is exactly what the Fujifilm GFX 50R does.

The 51.4MP sensor renders beautiful images. It’s an excellent camera for landscapes and portraits. And the autofocus has 425 points which combine phase and contrast detection.

The camera uses the Fujifilm G-mount lens range. The number of lenses available doesn’t match the amount for the F-mount. But Fujifilm are bringing out more fairly regularly.

It’s not for everyone. But the Fujifilm GFX 50R is the best mirrorless camera in the medium format category.

Photo by Brent Ninaber

Conclusion

That’s our list of the best mirrorless cameras in 2021. There are plenty of great options to choose from. But remember, you need to think about what you need.

What level of photographer are you? What is your budget? And what kind of photography do you enjoy?

But no matter what your needs, you can find the best mirrorless camera for you.

Show Comments (0)