The best mirrorless camera for 2024: top picks for every budget

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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The best mirrorless camera is the one that works for you. We’ve tested a huge range of mirrorless cameras, and one thing is clear: there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s why our round-up reflects the variety of the mirrorless market, from entry-level stills cameras to flagship hybrids. In putting it together, we’ve tried to include a top pick for every type of photographer, whatever your skill level and budget.

If we had to select an overall winner from our in-depth testing, we’d choose the Sony A7 IV: with a sharp full-frame sensor and supreme autofocus, it’s all the mirrorless camera that many people could want. It delivers the goods in pretty much any situation, which is why we also rate it as the best camera overall. Then again, it might be more – or less – than you need.

Our guide is designed to give you honest answers in your search for a new mirrorless camera. We’ve spent extensive hands-on time with each model, to get a feel for all the factors that make a camera great: how it feels in the hand, how it performs in different settings, and what the resulting images actually look like. Based on this assessment, we’ve rated and ranked our favorites, explaining exactly how and why we think they excel in their own way.

Written by
Tim Coleman
Written by
Timothy Coleman

Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo and video industry, and most of those in the world of tech journalism. Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related, including mirrorless cameras from the likes of Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm and Panasonic. He notes, "the mirrorless camera market has never been healthier. From entry-level hybrids to high-res workhorses, competition is fierce across all categories. When putting together this list, we've tried to cater to every kind of photographer."

The quick list

The summary below will give you an instant overview of the best mirrorless camera options for every type of photographer. When you find one that ticks the right boxes, you can follow the links beneath each entry to jump down to our full write-ups.

The best mirrorless cameras for 2024

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best mirrorless cameras in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best mirrorless camera overall

The Sony A7 IV camera sitting on a wooden bench

The Sony A7 IV (above) is currently our top pick for the title of best overall mirrorless camera. (Image credit: Future)
The best mirrorless camera for enthusiasts

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 33MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,037K dots
Autofocus: 759-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive 33MP sensor
+
Class-leading autofocus
+
Vari-angle screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavily cropped 4K footage
-
Complex for beginners
Buy it if:

✅ You need a true all-rounder: If you mix it up between photo and video regularly, the A7 IV is a top mirrorless camera choice.

✅ You're switching from a DSLR: With superb autofocus for photo and video, the A7 IV represents a big upgrade from most full-frame DSLRs.

Don't buy it if:

You shoot a lot of sports and wildlife: The Sony A7 IV can't do it all and there are faster specialist cameras out there for pro action performance.

❌ You need a discreet travel camera: At 1.5lb / 658g and with a sizeable grip, the A7 IV is somewhat hefty compared to other mirrorless cameras.

The Sony A7 IV is a truly modern hybrid camera. It’s overkill for beginners and more expensive than its stills-focused competition, but it’s also a versatile workhorse for anyone who want to shoot a mixture of photos and video. In our tests, we found the A7 IV to have class-leading autofocus skills (although Sony has since launched the pricier A7R V with its new AI autofocus chip and improved subject detection). It's buffer depth proved seemingly endless as well, meaning the camera can almost indefinitely maintain its maximum burst speeds. When using a CFexpress card, it swallowed 9fps for over a minute (or 6-7fps when continuously shooting raw). 

The A7 IV's new 33MP full-frame sensor doesn't dramatically improve image quality over the A7 III (the higher resolution also means fairly prevalent noise above ISO 6400), and there's a heavy crop on 4K footage. A price bump means it no longer occupies the same entry-level price bracket as its popular predecessor either, but upgrades like 10-bit video and a Bionz XR processor make it a much more powerful option. As a complete package, the Sony A7 IV is a solid all-rounder which could be the only mirrorless camera you'll ever need.

Read our in-depth Sony A7 IV review


The best mirrorless camera for beginners

Best camera for photography Canon EOS R10 camers sitting on a wooden bannister

(Image credit: Future)
The best mirrorless camera for most beginners

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 24.2MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 2.95-inch articulated touchscreen, 1,040K dots
Autofocus: 651-area AF
Max continuous shooting rate: 15fps (mechanical), 25fps (electronic)
Video: 4K at 60p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight
+
Modern autofocus abilities

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body image stabilization
-
Crop on 4K/60p footage
Buy it if:

✅ You're shopping for your first proper camera: From its versatility to its handling, the Canon EOS R10 ticks all the right boxes for beginners buying their first serious camera.

✅ You want an affordable camera for action stills: Despite its mid-range price, the EOS R10 benefits from top-tier autofocus performance and burst shooting speeds.

Don't buy it if:

You want a wide choice of native glass: One of the major drawbacks of the EOS R10 right now is the lack of native lenses for Canon's RF mount.

❌ You mainly record video: Though the R10 can produce nice uncropped 4K/30p video, the lack of audio port and image stabilization mean this isn't a vlogging camera.

There are cheaper mirrorless camera for beginners, but none that can match the versatility of the Canon EOS R10. From our tests, two features set the Canon EOS R10 apart for learners: its 15fps burst shooting rate and powerful subject-tracking autofocus, which operates across 651 AF points. These two features combine to make the R10 a fantastic performer in a range of scenarios, particularly when subjects are fast moving. We found it particularly good at tracking the eyes of subjects.

It’s not a perfect camera for beginners: we found the EVF a little small and also noted the lack of image stabilization, a feature which is offered on rivals like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV (below). Then again, we also found that the R10’s low weight and deep grip make it a forgiving camera for novices to use. We also noted positively in our review the helpful presence of an AF joystick. The only major drawback is the lack of native lenses currently available for Canon’s RF mount. In all other respects, the R10 is a versatile option for photographers getting started.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R10 review


The best mirrorless camera for pros

The Sony A7R V camera sitting on a wooden floor

If resolution matters most, the Sony A7R V (above) is a powerhouse with all the pixels any studio or landscape photographer could need. (Image credit: Future)
The best high-resolution workhorse for professionals

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 61MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 21,400K dots
Autofocus: 567 PDAF + 425 CDAF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 1fps
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Expert
Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 61MP
Viewfinder: 9,440K dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch articulating touchscreen, 2,100K dots
Autofocus: 693-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps
Movies: 8K at 24p
User level: Advanced

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent autofocus
+
Impressive ISO handling
+
Versatile 4-axis touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
4K video only up to 60fps
-
Demands high-quality lenses
Buy it if:

✅ You're a landscape, portraits or studio photographer: With class-leading full-frame sensor resolution, image quality is excellent.

✅ You need Sony's best autofocus: AI subject detection AF provides more reliable autofocus for more subjects in more scenarios.

Don't buy it if:

You don’t own the best lenses: A 61MP sensor is unforgiving of any lens deficiencies, so you'll also need expensive high-end pro lenses.

❌ You don’t need 61MP: Do you need 61MP? If not, you'll save a packet by opting for the A7 IV instead. 

At 61MP, the Sony A7R V has the same class-leading resolution as the A7R IV before it. But thanks to a new sensor and powerful Bionz XR processing engine, our review found that the A7R V is a better camera overall. Paired with high-quality optics and up to eight stops of image stabilization, we found it capable of capturing outstanding detail. We found image quality to be excellent when shooting detailed subjects, making the A7R V a fantastic choice for landscape or studio pros. 

In our tests, its AI-powered Real-time Recognition AF wasn’t foolproof, but it could reliably lock onto a range of subjects, working particularly well with people – even in wider scenes. Its articulating touchscreen provides useful flexibility when it comes to framing, while the EVF is as sharp here as on the A7S III. If you want a high-spec full-frame powerhouse and don’t mind paying for it, the A7R V is a serious step up from its predecessor. But if you can’t afford the best glass, want to shoot slow-mo 4K video or simply don’t need such high resolution, you might find better value in the A7 IV.

Read our in-depth Sony A7R V review


The best mirrorless camera for video

Panasonic Lumix S5 II camera on a table with view of the front

A worthy successor to the S5, few mirrorless cameras offer the video features and value found in the Panasonic Lumix S5 II (above). (Image credit: Future)
The best compact full-frame hybrid for video

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.2MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,840K dots
Autofocus: 225-area AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 7fps
Movies: 6K at 30p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Effective image stabilization for handheld work
+
Phase detection AF for video

Reasons to avoid

-
1.5x crop on slow-mo, wide-angle 4K video
-
AF subject detection simpler than rivals
Buy it if:

✅ You want to accelerate your video prowess: The S5 II is feature-packed for video, with open gate 6K 30p recording, a range of codecs, and superb image stabilization. 

✅ You make video for social, too: The S5 II's uncropped video is perfect for multi-aspect videos for social.

Don't buy it if:

You love slow-motion video: The S5 II's 4k / 60p video incurs a 1.5x crop, which is a little restricting for wide angle slow motion video.

❌ You love a good-looking camera: Design aesthetics are subjective, but we think the S5 II’s DSLR style is dated. 

The Panasonic Lumix S5 II is a worthy successor to one of our favorite video cameras, the S5. Like the S5, the S5 II is ticketed as a hybrid, but video is where it excels. In our tests, we found its 6K/30p footage rich and detailed, with wide dynamic range. Its video chops are bolstered by 10-bit recording across almost all resolutions, plus the ability to record uncropped footage using the sensor’s full 3:2 aspect ratio – useful for cropping content. We also found it sturdy yet comfortable to handle during testing. Happily, its compact design doesn’t compromise the physical controls.

The S5 II is Panasonic’s first mirrorless camera with phase detection AF for video. Combined with effective image stabilization, we found it produces sharp, stable video even when shooting handheld, although the 1.5x crop on 4K/60p video is a shame. The Panasonic Lumix GH6 is a more travel-friendly video powerhouse with a Micro Four Thirds sensor, while serious videographers will be drawn by the Lumix S5 IIX. Nevertheless, the S5 II is a fantastic full-frame hybrid for high-quality video.


The best crop-sensor mirrorless camera

The Canon EOS R7 camera sitting on a stone step

(Image credit: Future)
The best APS-C mirrorless camera from Canon

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 32.5MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Autofocus: 5,915-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 15fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (electronic)
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Hobbyist / professional

Reasons to buy

+
Speedy burst shooting
+
Impressive autofocus
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited native lenses
-
No 4K/120p video mode
Buy it if:

✅ You're a wildlife or sports photographer on a budget: Canon's subject-tracking and eye-recognition autofocus is game-changing for enthusiast action photographers.

✅ You also want a compact-sized all-rounder: The EOS R7 with 18-150mm kit lens is a compact package ideal for travelling.

Don't buy it if:

You’re want decent lens choice: Rival Sony and Fujifilm APS-C mirrorless systems have a superior selection of lenses.

❌ You need full-frame: There are lots of advantages to APS-C sensors especially for wildlife, but many people will simply desire a full-frame camera.

The Canon EOS R7 is like one of the camera giant's full-frame EOS R cameras, only with a smaller APS-C sensor. For the price, it's impressively powerful, particularly if you're fan of shooting wildlife or sports scenes. That's because it boasts 15fps burst speeds (or 30fps if you switch to the electronic shutter). Our tests found that the EOS R7 can indeed hit these speeds, though you don't get the deep buffers found on full-frame siblings like the EOS R6, so it can't sustain those speeds for quite as long.

Beyond rattling off frames of speeding animals, the EOS R7 offers comfortable handling, Canon's latest subject-tracking autofocus system and and dual UHS-II card slots, making it a camera that will also tempt pro EOS R series fans as a second body. The only downside? Canon has so far only made two native lenses for the EOS R7's APS-C sensor. More should be en route, though, and you can always mount existing RF lenses or adapt older EF lenses from Canon's DSLRs while you wait.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R7 review


The best retro mirrorless camera

The Nikon Z fc camera on a park bench

For fans of retro film camera looks, the Nikon Zfc (above) is a near-irresistible mirrorless camera with modern shooting power. (Image credit: Future)
The best mirrorless camera with retro style

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C CMOS
Resolution: 20.9MP
Viewfinder: 0.39-inch EVF, 2.36 million dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.04 million dots
Autofocus: 209-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps
Movies: 4K (UHD) at 30fps
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning design
+
Handy vari-angle touchscreen
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of native lenses
-
No UHS-II card support
Buy it if:

✅ You love old school cameras: Nikon fan or not, we can agree the Nikon Zfc is a retro-chic beauty.

✅ You want retro style with modern smarts: If you tuck the modern vari-angle touch screen away altogether you can pretend the Z fc is from a bygone era.

Don't buy it if:

You want a bullet-proof body: Inspired by the super-tough Nikon FM2 analog camera design, the Z fc is a casual camera with entry-level build quality.

❌ You need a decent choice of native APS-C mirrorless lenses: Nikon is yet to fill out the lens range for it's APS-C mirrorless cameras, although there is at least the 24mm f/1.7 prime lens now.

The Nikon Z fc is a gloriously retro take on the Nikon Z50, the camera giant's other crop-sensor mirrorless camera. It packs the same specs as the Z50 into a body that's inspired by the Nikon FM2 from the early 1980s – and the combination is a triumph for casual shooters who want a fun camera for travel and everyday shooting. It might lack a weather-proof build and the large grip seen on the Nikon Z50, but we found the Z fc to be a delight to shoot with. 

Its competitive specs, which include a 20.9MP sensor, the ability to shoot 4K/30p video, and continuous AF tracking for people and animals, are also borne out in reality. The only downside? A lack of native lenses. If a wide range of APS-C lenses is important to you, then Fujifilm's X-series is a good alternative – but otherwise, the Nikon Z fc is a glorious mix of old and new. That said, if you have a little extra cash and are looking for a more rugged, full-frame retro camera, then the pricier Nikon Zf is the one for you. 

Read our in-depth Nikon Z fc review


The best value mirrorless camera

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV mounted in a tripod outside in a garden

Olympus may not longer make new cameras, but the E-M10 Mark IV (above) remains a superb option for beginners. (Image credit: Future)
The best value mirrorless camera for beginners

Specifications

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
Resolution: 20.3MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037K dots
Autofocus: 121-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 15fps
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Capable stabilized sensor
+
Compact and accessible

Reasons to avoid

-
No microphone input
-
Autofocus isn’t cutting edge
Buy it if:

✅ You'll invest in a range of lenses: Micro Four Thirds has been around for ages and there's a huge selection of excellent and affordable lenses.

✅ You like to shoot handheld: The E-M10 IV boasts class-leading image stabilization, which can keep your handheld shots sharp at slow shutter speeds.

Don't buy it if:

You also shoot video: The E-M10 Mark IV lacks phase-detection autofocus, a mic input and USB-C port, while video  is capped at 4K/30p, meaning no slow motion recording.

❌ You're looking for the best autofocus: The E-M10 Mark IV's specs are surpassed by some rivals, especially its autofocus chops.

On paper, the E-M10 Mark IV is an easy camera to overlook. But in reality, it’s one of the best cameras for beginners who are mainly focused on stills rather than video. It might lack advanced features such as phase-detection autofocus or a microphone input, but it ticks all of the key boxes for beginners. A compact body and approachable button layout make it an accessible upgrade for smartphone photographers, as do Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. 

In our tests, we found that the 20.3MP sensor to be plenty capable enough to capture consistently attractive images, while in-body image stabilization works a treat for shooting snaps at slower shutter speeds. The 121-point contrast detection autofocus won’t make headlines, but it does a decent job of consistently tracking faces and eyes. Add classic styling to the mix, plus a handy flip-down touchscreen and an Advanced Photo mode that makes it easy to experiment with complex techniques and the Mark IV proves itself a well-rounded beginner mirrorless option.

Read our in-depth Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review


The best pro hybrid mirrorless camera

Nikon Z8 camera in the hand

A Nikon Z9 in more compact packaging, the Nikon Z8 (above) could be all the mirrorless camera most Nikon fans need. (Image credit: Future)
The best full-frame hybrid for professionals

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 45.7MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100K dots
Autofocus: 493-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 120fps
Movies: 8K at 30p
User level: Advanced

Reasons to buy

+
Same stacked sensors as the Z9
+
Smaller and cheaper than the Z9

Reasons to avoid

-
Lower-resolution EVF than rivals
-
Image stabilization is only OK
Buy it if:

✅ You're ready to switch from your Nikon D850
The Z8 is a natural mirrorless successor to the D850 DSLR with plenty of new tech to make the upgrade worthwhile.

✅ You want on camera that does it all: The Nikon Z8 is highly efficient in any scenario; landscape photography, wildlife videos, whatever you can think of.  

Don't buy it if:

You shoot long video clips: The Z8's video record times are shorter than the Z9 in hot conditions.

❌ You want class-leading detail in your photos: 45MP is plenty enough for most people and most situations, but the rival Sony A7R V's 61MP resolution is better.

The Nikon Z8 doesn’t do much that we haven’t already seen in the Z9. But as a smaller, cheaper version of our camera of the year 2022, it’s one of the most capable mirrorless models you can buy right now. In testing, we found it every bit the capable hybrid camera, producing pin-sharp stills courtesy of its 45.7MP full-frame sensor, with fantastic 8K video to match. It doesn’t rival the 61MP resolution of the Sony A7R V, but the pixel difference makes the Nikon Z8 twice as fast. 

The Nikon Z8 follows the Z9 in excluding a mechanical sensor entirely, and reaps the performance rewards. During our review, we found 20fps burst shooting more than enough to capture action-packed moments, but the Z8 can go all the way to 120fps if you’re happy with 11MP output. We did find battery life a little limited in testing, and in-body image stabilization was simply fine. But by squeezing almost all of those flagship features into a significantly smaller body, at a lower price, we think the Nikon Z8 offers a recipe that will make more sense for most people than the Z9.

Read our in-depth Nikon Z8 review


The best medium format mirrorless camera

The Hasselblad X2D 100C camera front with no lens revealing image sensor

The Hasselblad X2D 100C is an extravagant option that pushes what medium format can do (Image credit: Future)

9. Hasselblad X2D 100C

The best medium format camera you can buy

Specifications

Sensor size: Medium-format
Resolution: 100MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3.6-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,360K dots
Autofocus: 294-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 3.3fps
Movies: N/A
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Stunningly designed and built
+
Exceptional image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
No video modes
-
Middling battery life
Buy it if:

✅ You love simple Scandi design: Hasselblad X System cameras are refreshingly simple and slick.

✅ Color quality is important to you: In addition to its mega 100MP resolution, the X2D's color rendition and dynamic range is outstanding. 

Don't buy it if:

You shoot action: Hasselblad's best autofocus yet and 3.3fps burst shooting is still bettered by 10-year-old DSLRs.

❌ You want a feature-packed camera: The X2D's strength is single-shot photography quality. It doesn't even record video.

While it’s very much a camera for photography purists, the Hasselblad X2D 100C is also the most versatile and accessible Hasselblad to date. It squeezes a medium format sensor into a stunning body that we found surprisingly compact and comfortable to handle. We also appreciated the convenience of its built-in 1TB of SSD storage. That’s not to say it doesn’t occupy a narrow niche: there’s no video, burst shooting tops out at 3.3fps, and even with speed enhancements, its autofocus still lags far behind the latest mirrorless models. And if you like telephoto lenses, there's no obvious option from Hasselblad.

Yet despite these drawbacks, we found its manageable form factor and tilt-angle touchscreen made it usable in the real world, while its in-body image stabilization – a first for Hasselblad – eliminated the need for a tripod. Its 100MP sensor can capture pin-sharp stills, while its leaf shutter setup permits greater use of wide apertures with flash portraits. Color rendition and dynamic range are outstanding, too. The X2D is right up there with our favorite medium format cameras. 

Read our in-depth Hasselblad X2D 100C review


The best mirrorless hybrid for beginners

Fujifilm X-S20 camera in hand

A versatile choice for content creators and photographers alike, the Fujifilm X-S20 (above) is a fine choice for both beginners and hobbyists. (Image credit: Future)
The best mid-range mirrorless hybrid for beginners

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 26.1MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,840K dots
Autofocus: 425-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps (mechanical), 30fps (electronic)
Movies: 6.2K 30p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent handling for beginners
+
Impressive set of video features

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively expensive
-
Still no weather-proofing
Buy it if:

✅ You want a camera to last all day: FWith a physically larger battery than the X-S10, the X-S20 has double the battery life and beats rivals.

✅ You want a hybrid mirrorless: Thanks to excellent 26MP stills and 6K open gate video, plus dedicated modes for both disciplines, the X-S20 is a true all rounder.

Don't buy it if:

You're mainly a photographer: The pricier X-S20 massively improves over the X-S10 for video, but for photography there's little in it. 

❌ You love the retro look: The X-S20 is a Fujifilm so of course it looks good, but other models like the X-T30 II pack the retro charm. 

Taking all that made the X-S10 one of our favorite mirrorless hybrids, the Fujifilm X-S20 adds beginner-friendly features while still satisfying advanced users. By inheriting the 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor from the X-S10 and X-T4, the X-S20 benefits from a proven imaging system, while Fuji’s latest X-Processor 5 works efficiently with the bigger battery to extend longevity. The X-S20 enhances things further by offering 6K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit internal video recording, which is more than most casual content creators will need.

Adopting the balanced body of the X-S10, it handles comfortably. Our first impressions found that simplified dials make it easier for learners to operate. A new Vlog mode, plus automatic scene detection and better subject tracking, also ease the way for beginners. We do think many novices will be wary of its increased price tag, with the X-S10 still available for less. We also wish that Fuji had weather-sealed the X-S20. All the same, with a generous feature set – including in-body image stabilization that worked well for handheld shooting in our review – the result is a very capable all-rounder for both stills and video.

Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-S20 review


The best mirrorless camera for action

The Fujifilm X-H2S, one of the best mirrorless cameras, sitting on a wooden bench

The Fujifilm X-H2S (above) offers an incredibly fast shooting experience and a mass of video features. (Image credit: Future)
The best hybrid all-rounder for action photography

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 26.2MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Autofocus: 425-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 15fps (mechanical); 40fps (electronic)
Movies: 6.2K at 30p
User level: Advanced

Reasons to buy

+
Stacked sensor is seriously fast
+
Impressive autofocus tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than many full-frame alternatives
-
Lacks the charm of Fuji’s retro cameras
Buy it if:

✅ You can't afford hybrid full-frame alternatives: We still rate the full-frame Nikon Z9 as the hybrid champ, but the X-H2S has some of the all-round power at a lower price point.

✅ You need the most powerful APS-C all-rounder: The X-H2's stacked sensor and all round speed is unrivalled in the APS-C sensor format.

Don't buy it if:

Sports and wildlife photography isn't your thing: The X-H2S is overkill for most people, while the X-T5 could be a sensible alternative.

❌ You’re a fan of the Fujifilm retro look: Fujifilm cameras are known for their retro looks, but the X-H2S doesn't have the dials-based design like in the X-T and X-Pro series.

With a stacked sensor that’s seriously rapid, the Fujifilm X-H2S is one of the best mirrorless cameras for action photographers who also want to shoot pro-quality video. Its electronic shutter delivers burst speeds of up to 40fps, while its subject-tracking autofocus makes it easily the best Fuji X-series camera for shooting fast-moving scenes. Videographers are also rewarded with a superlative skill set. The X-H2S can record detailed 6.2K/30p footage internally, with countless color profiles for editing flexibility. In-body image stabilization and a sharp articulating touchscreen complement the package.

We think it’s overkill for photographers who won’t utilise its blistering pace, and there’s no escaping its serious price tag. That said, it’s a more realistic alternative to the Nikon Z9. And while it costs the same as full-frame rivals such as the Sony A7 IV, not other APS-C camera can compete with its feature set or the performance of its stacked sensor.

Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-H2S review


How to choose the best mirrorless camera for you

It's a great time to buy a mirrorless camera, but also a slightly overwhelming one. An explosion in the number of options available at all price points from the likes of Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic and a reborn Olympus means that photographers and videographers have never had more choice. 

So where to start? Sensor size is often a good barometer of a camera's character and shooting style. Models that are built for professionals and keen amateurs will have either a full-frame sensor or a slightly smaller APS-C chip. The latter tend to be smaller and more affordable than full-frame cameras, if not quite as portable as those with Four Thirds sensors (from Panasonic and Olympus).

Other important features to look out for are electronic viewfinders (EVFs), which bump up the price but are nigh-on essential for most photographers. It's also worth considering what kind of lenses you'll need. 

If you like to specialize in a particular area (for example, wide-angle architecture or macro), then check the system you're looking at to make sure it has the right options for you. In the full-frame mirrorless space, Sony offers the most choice right now, while on crop-sensor APS-C cameras Fujifilm has a wide range of options at most focal lengths.

Mirrorless or DSLR: what's the difference?

The mirrorless vs DSLR debate has been a hot topic since the arrival of the first mirror-free cameras. Which is best for you will always be a personal choice, although most manufacturers are now focused on pouring their best tech into mirrorless models. Our dedicated mirrorless vs DSLR guide should help you decide which one is right for your needs, but there are a few key ways in which the two formats are different.

Mirrorless cameras allow you to change lenses like a DSLR. But unlike a DSLR, they don’t use a mirror to direct light onto the sensor inside. Instead, light is received and processed by the sensor directly. Because they don’t need a bulky mirror, they can be made more compact than a traditional DSLR. No mirror to move also means faster potential shutter speeds.

The other key difference is the viewfinder. Where DLSR cameras use an optical viewfinder to help you frame scenes, mirrorless cameras rely either on an electronic equivalent, or require you to compose using their rear screen. While the latter can be problematic in bright conditions, the former is no longer the dealbreaker it once was: modern EVFs are bright and sharp, giving you a realistic preview in real-time, with the benefit of data readouts.

Mirrorless cameras initially featured smaller sensors than DSLR cameras, but today you’ll find a catalogue of mirrorless models with full-frame and APS-C sensors. This means there’s no clear difference in image quality between the best DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

Why are mirrorless cameras better?

Is a mirrorless camera better than a DSLR? There are still quite a few pros and cons to both designs, so if you want to find out more, read our Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras guide.

Mirrorless cameras certainly offer more choice. If you're looking to buy a DSLR, there's only really two main players in the shape of Canon and Nikon. If you opt for a mirrorless camera, the choice of brands is much broader, with the likes of Canon, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus and Leica all offering a wide range of cameras to suit most budgets. 

Right now, every major camera manufacturer has something to shout about, and their latest models are different enough from their rivals to stand out in some way.

While it would be very easy to select 10 high-end models to make up our pick of the best mirrorless camera, we've tried to pick out some more affordable options as well. These models might not be dripping with features, but they represent great options for new users and those on a budget. That said, if you're looking specifically for a budget mirrorless camera, take a look at our best beginner mirrorless camera guide.

So whether you're after a better camera than the one featured on your smartphone or are looking for an advanced, high-end model to push your creativity even further, read on to find out what are the best mirrorless cameras you can buy right now. 

The Nikon Zfc camera sitting on a red table in front of a bookcase

(Image credit: Future)

Are mirrorless cameras good for beginners?

While flagship mirrorless cameras might be designed to fulfil the needs of enthusiasts and professionals, the best entry-level mirrorless cameras offer everything a beginner could ask for at the start of their photography journey.

Many of our favorite beginner mirrorless cameras are lightweight and easy for learners to handle, while still offering the sort of performance that will allow you to grow as a photographer. The exact specs will vary from camera to camera, but the core components usually include a capable sensor and reliable autofocus.

Besides striking a balance between price and performance, most mirrorless cameras are user-friendly for beginners, thanks to their touchscreen interfaces. Even if you’re a complete novice, these should feel familiar if you’re upgrading from a smartphone.

By choosing a beginner mirrorless camera, you won’t generally get all of the more advanced features found on premium models. That sacrifice could be in-body image stabilization, burst shooting speeds, or perhaps the frame rate at which a camera can record 4K video footage. Still, mirrorless cameras remain a versatile choice for new photographers. And because their lenses are interchangeable, you’ll be able to upgrade to different glass as your skills improve.

We’ve picked out a handful of our favorite mirrorless starter cameras in the ‘Novices’ section above, but you can find an in-depth selection by reading our dedicated round-up of the best beginner mirrorless cameras. There you’ll find options for every budget and preference, ranging from the best entry-level all-rounders to video-focused mirrorless hybrids for budding vloggers.

The Sony A7 IV's vari-angle screen flipped forwards

(Image credit: Future)

How we test mirrorless cameras

Buying a mirrorless camera these days isn't cheap, so every camera in this guide has been tested extensively by us. These days, real-world tests are the most revealing way to understand a camera's performance and character, so we focus heavily on those, along with standardized tests for factors like ISO performance.

To begin with, we look at the camera's design, handling and controls to get a sense of what kind of photographer it's aimed at and who might most enjoy shooting with it. When we take it out on a shoot, we'll use it both handheld and on a tripod to get a sense of where its strengths lie, and test its startup speed.

To test performance, we use a formatted memory card (the fastest supported type be it UHS-I, UHS-II, CFexpress A or B, and so on) and shoot in both raw and JPEG (if available). For continuity we use the same camera settings (1/250 sec, ISO 200, continuous AF) when testing the real performance of the camera's continuous high burst mode for high speed photography. We'll also look at how quickly the buffers clears and repeat the test for both raw and JPEG files.

In various lighting conditions, we also test the camera's different autofocus modes (including Face and Eye AF) in single point, area and continuous modes. We also shoot a range of photos of different styles (portrait, landscape, low light, macro/close-up) in raw and JPEG to get a sense of metering and its sensor's ability to handle noise and resolve fine detail.

If the camera's raw files are supported by Adobe Camera Raw, we'll also process some test images to see how we can push areas like shadow recovery. And we'll also test its ISO performance across the whole range to get a sense of the levels we'd be happy to push the camera to.

Official CIPA ratings helpfully estimate the camera's expected battery life but the reality is often different – for better or worse – and so we run our own real-world tests, making sure the screen brightness is in its factory setting. Once the battery has reached zero, we'll then count the number of shots to see how it compares to the camera's CIPA rating. Finally, we test the camera's video skills by shooting some test footage at different frame-rates and resolutions, along with its companion app.

We then take everything we've learned about the camera and factor in its price to get a sense of the value-for-money it offers, before reaching our final verdict.