If you are a photography enthusiast taking their first step into the world of photography, you might want to start with a beginner-friendly camera. When it comes to digital photography, there are two types of cameras you can buy: DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras.
With their prices and end-results matching top-notch DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras are gaining popularity with beginners and professionals alike. Mirrorless cameras are sleek, lightweight and less bulkier than DSLRs. They are easy to travel with and just like DSLRs, you can use different compatible lenses with them.
All top camera brands are coming up with different mirrorless cameras that offer plenty of options to choose from. And if you are looking for a mirrorless cameras to begin your photography journey with, this list will help you pick the best mirrorless camera for a beginner like you.
Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners
1. Sony Alpha a6400
Sony’s venture in mirrorless camera world has been highly rewarding for photographers. Hand down, the Japanese camera maker has some of the best mirrorless cameras you can buy. And the Sony Alpha a6400 is one of them.
Sony Alpha a6400 features an advanced 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor with BIONZ X image processing engine. With its expandable ISO range of 100 – 102400, this Sony mirrorless camera provides excellent lowlight performance.
Sony claims that alpha6400 has the world’s fastest autofocus speed of just 0.02 seconds. Along with its crazy autofocus speed, this Sony camera offers wide 425-phase/425-contrast detection autofocus points over 84% of sensor. For those who love to capture continuous shots, this mirrorless camera provides up to 11 fps continuous shooting with continuous autofocus and auto-exposure.
Beside their excellent still-photography performance, Sony’s mirrorless cameras have gained popularity for their video results, too. Alpha a6400 can shoot eye-popping 4K HDR videos with QFHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Its 180-degree tiltable touchscreen LCD is something vloggers would love.
A 16-50mm kit of Sony Alpha a6400 costs about $1000. There are other kit options available.Buy from Amazon
2. Fujifilm X-T30
If you are wondering whether mirrorless cameras are here to stay, then look at Fujifilm’s camera lineup. The Japanese camera maker offers plenty of mirrorless cameras in different price range. So far their bet on mirrorless future is paying, not only for the company but for photographers, too.
Fujifilm has some of the best mirrorless cameras to choose from and X-T30 is the company’s mid-range camera aimed at beginners and experienced photographers. X-T30 is a stripped down variant of Fujifilm’s professional X-T3 camera. This is another gamble from Fujifilm that plays well with photographers — Either choose the power-packed high-end model, or pay less to compromise a bit on features, but still have a camera that offers the same performance like its high-end version.
Fujifilm X-T30 features a 4th-generation 26.1 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU. Its processor used a unique X-Trans color filter array that reduces moire and false colors without needing an optical low pass filter. With its improved autofocus capabilities, Fujifilm X-T30’s sensor offers 2.16 million phase detection pixels which covers the entire frame, enabling quick and accurate auto-focusing.
With its mechanical shutter, X-T30 can shoot up to 8fps continuously in full resolution while its electronic shutter supports blackout-free continuous shooting of up to 30fps with 1.25x crop. Beside its impressive autofocus and continuous shooting capability, X-T30 supports 4K video recording at 3810 x 2160 pixels which is downscaled from 6K resolution of 6240 x 3510 pixels. For those who are into movie shooting, this little mirrorless camera also supports DCI format (17:9), F-Log recording and 4:2:2 10bit output via HDMI.
What sets this Fujifilm mirrorless camera apart from other cameras is its ease of use offered via control dials, its retro look and feel and 16 film simulation modes.
At just $999, Fujifilm X-T30’s 15-45mm kit makes a wonderful option for beginners.Buy from Amazon
3. Canon EOS M50
Canon’s EOS M50 is a budget-friendly mirrorless camera ideal for beginners. Powered by a 24.1 Megapixel APS C CMOS sensor and a fast DIGIC 8 image processor, this mirroless delivers beautiful pictures rich in color and sharp in details.
Canon EOS M50 offers an improved Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system which allows you to quickly lock focus on the subject. Its electronic viewfinder features 2,360,000 dots offering high amount of detail when capturing an image. The 3-inch vari-angle LCD with touchscreen has a flexible tilt range providing handy high angle and low angle shooting.
Although a decent budget-friendly camera for still photography, Canon EOS M50 is not an impressive video camera. It shoots 4K UHD videos but at 24p which may not be what you are looking in a camera if you are focusing on shooting a lot of videos. Instead of 4K, you can choose to hoot in 1080p Full HD which is still a go-to standard for high definition videos.
At just $599 with a 15-45mm kit lens, Canon EOS M50 is an affordable mirrorless camera for beginners who are just entering the photography world.Buy from Amazon
4. Panasonic Lumix GX9
When you have had enough of Sonys and Canons and Nikons, you can safely set your eye on a Panasonic Lumix camera. Along with a 20.3 Megapixel MOS sensor Panasonic Lumix GX9 features a tuned three-dimensional color control to detect hue, saturation and brightness for stunning imagery.
Panasonic has packed this mirrorless with 5-axis dual image stabilization which combines an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) with an I.B.I.S.(In-Body Image Stabilizer). With image stabilization built in the body itself, you don’t have to rely on a lens to provide you stability while shooting.
Lumix GX9 offers a 3-inch 1240k-dot touchscreen which tilts 80 degrees up and 45 degrees down and provides 100% field of view. It has a custom multi autofocus mode to let you quickly select focus block by touching the screen. Moreover, the 2760k-dot live view finder of this Lumix camera is also capable of 90-degrees tilt.
In the video department, this Panasonic mirrorless camera features 4K videos at 30p — something which video enthusiasts will appreciate.
At the current price tag of $797.99 (after a $200 discount) for a 12-60mm kit, this Panasonic Lumix camera provides great value for money.Buy from Amazon
5. Sony Alpha a6000
With Sony pioneering the mirrorless camera market, here’s one more camera from the brand that makes an ideal choice for beginners.
Sony Alpha a6000 features a 24 Megapixel APS C CMOS sensor with BIONZ X image processor. It’s capable of shooting at ISO range of 100 – 25600 expandable to 51200. Its hybrid autofocus system provides 179 point focal plane phase detection and 25 contrast detect points which is impressive at its price.
Sony has equipped this mirrorless camera with a 1.4 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder, which they like to call Tru-Finder. This OLED EVS delivers 100% frame coverage and a wide viewing angle of about 33 degrees thanks to an optical system with four double aspherical lenses. Its 3-inch 921,000 dots LCD tilts 90 degrees up and 45 degrees down for convenient shooting.
In video department, Sony Alpha a6000 produces Full HD videos in cinematic 24p which still makes a good quality beginner-level video shooting.
Available at $648, Sony Alpha a6000 with 16-50mm kit lens is a good start in the world of photography.Buy from Amazon
Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners: Summary
The mirrorless camera market is on the rise with some photographers believing that mirrorless is the future. We don’t want to be a judge of that because both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have their pros and cons. But one thing is for sure – every brand is racing into the mirrorless camera market.
With all-rounders like Sony Alpha a6400 and Fujifilm X-T30, mirrorless cameras are gaining polularity thanks to their end-results which are at par with good old DSLRs. Moreover, they are sleek and lightweight which makes them easy to carry.
If you are just taking your first step into the world of photography and if you think mirrorless cameras are your thing, this list will help you choose the best budget-friendly mirrorless cameras under $1000. If none of these cameras caught your attention, you may want to checkout the bestselling mirrorless cameras on Amazon for more options.