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Best Mirrorless Cameras Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated: Feb 22, 2019

When you sit down and look at all of the industries in the world, and even if you narrow those down to just consumer industries, not many of them move as fast and as frequently as the digital imaging sector. Automobiles might be the only market that could outpace the camera market. This speed and ferocity usually means that there are a lot of hot trends, and a lot of bandwagons to leap to and from over time.

The most recent innovation in digital cameras was started by Sony, and their impressive resurgence in relevance thanks to their line-up of full-frame (sensors) mirrorless cameras. Finding a way to put a full-sized 35mm digital sensor in a camera body that is half the size of “professional” DSLRs shook the industry. Now, every brand is getting on board and releasing their mirrorless lines unto the world.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 312 hrs of research

icon
  Sony a7 III Full-Frame
99/100 our score
Use
99
Features
99
Value
99
Sony a7 III Full-Frame
Why is it better?

Electronic Rangefinder

Affordable Price

Premium Quality

Full-Frame Sensor

Silent Shutter Mode

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
  Sony a7 III Full-Frame
Test Winner: Sony a7 III Full-Frame
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Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
13k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
312
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Use Features Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
Use
99 %
Features
99 %
Value
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$1,998.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Use
98 %
Features
98 %
Value
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$748.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
Use
98 %
Features
99 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$497.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
Use
98 %
Features
97 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$3,196.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Use
95 %
Features
96 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$595.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.7
Use
95 %
Features
99 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$3,650.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Use
92 %
Features
95 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$1,799.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Use
90 %
Features
92 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$538.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Use
90 %
Features
89 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$297.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.7
Use
90 %
Features
88 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.10.20)
Amazon Link
$748.90

10 Best Mirrorless Cameras

1. Sony a7 III Full-Frame

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99
  Sony a7 III Full-Frame
Amazon Link
Use
99
Features
99
Value
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$1,998.00
Pros:

Electronic Rangefinder

Affordable Price

Premium Quality

Full-Frame Sensor

Silent Shutter Mode

Cons:

No Full Flip Screen

Poor Charger

There is no way that we can get away with making a list that picks up the ten best mirrorless cameras on the market without giving the king chair to the granddaddy of the business (not that it’s old). The Sony a7 III isn’t the first full-frame mirrorless camera ever made, but it sure was the first one to set fire to an entire industry trajectory, as well as single-handedly saving the Sony imaging company.

The Freshest Face
If you couldn’t tell by the number in the name, this is the third iteration on the Sony a7 line-up, and comes in at number one by being the newest version of the iconic camera line. By default, it’s superior to the previous versions thanks to Sony’s ideals and design principles. Always on the improving upswing, the a7 III is the sharpest tool in one of the smallest packages, the entire marketplace over.

Full Frame
It’s important to note, as we work through this list, that not all mirrorless cameras are full-frame. A mirrorless camera is just a direct feed to your sensor, from the lens, while all viewfinders will be digital or off-center pass-through. Which is why camera’s like the Sony a7 III stand-out even more. This full-frame camera brings a whole lot of high-rez glory to a minimal package.

Cost and Value
In a surprising twist of fate, the Sony a7 line-up went from a premium priced, difficult decision to pull the trigger on, but now that Canon and Nikon have released their mirrorless cameras for almost twice the price, the tag on the a7 III doesn’t feel so steep. It’s almost solely responsible for the industries focus on small packages with big guts, and deserves to be a top choice on anyone’s list.

2. Fujifilm X-T100

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
  Fujifilm X-T100
Amazon Link
Use
98
Features
98
Value
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$748.00
Pros:

Very Small

430 Frames Per Charge

Bluetooth Transfer

Three Way Tilt Monitor

24.2 Megapixel

Cons:

Lower-Tier Fujifilm

Can Feel Too Small

If you’ve read our recent Fuji cameras buying guide then you’ll sure know all about this amazing feast of a camera, and we’re so in love with it we’re going to put it above almost everything else on this list. It’s a stunning example of pure wondrous craftsmanship without the skimp on form-factor, and technological purity.

Historical Grade
Fujifilm, the camera company, has been refining and leading the charge of beautiful stills photography for nearly a hundred years at this point, which means that on a consumer level, buying into Fujifilm camera equipment comes with 80+ years of development prowess. Which includes their finely tuned 24.2 Megapixel APS-C sized digital imaging sensor. It’s top of the class, and is a mainstay in their T-Series line-up of cameras.

Wireless Image Transfer
Thanks to an industry leading internally developed low-energy Bluetooth technology, the Fujifilm X-T100 provides users with an insanely fast, and well balanced wireless image transferring without much hassle at all. It’s truly the twenty-first century way of transfering images, and works like a hot darn here with the Fuji x-t100.

Cost and Value
There is an abundance of very clear reasons to love and adore Fujifilm products, especially if you’re looking for something compact, and brilliant. With the X-T100, you’re buying into one of the nicest mirrorless camera systems on the market, and it’s relatively near the bottom of Fujifilm’s line-up. This is probably the strongest budget-friendly mirrorless camera available today.

3. PANASONIC LUMIX G7 4K

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
  PANASONIC LUMIX G7 4K
Amazon Link
Use
98
Features
99
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$497.99
Pros:

4K Video Recording

Vlogging Ready

Stills Capture From Video

Premium Quality

Budget-Friendly Price

Cons:

4K Video Recording

Vlogging Ready

Stills Capture From Video

Premium Quality

Budget-Friendly Price

Before we truly get into the expensive, and absolutely fresh mirrorless cameras on the market, we thought we’d share one of our other favorite, astoundingly capable budget-friendly mirrorless cameras on the market. That is, the wonderful G7 4K from Panasonic Lumix. This, the ruggedly handsome (but kind of brilliantly bulky) mirrorless camera brings a whole lot of power to the table, and costs less than almost everything on this list.

Videos Recording
Part of the reason why the Panasonic Lumix line-up has survived as long as it has -- actually, it’s probably the ONLY reason it has survived -- is because the Lumix cameras are so incredibly light, and almost all of them have the capabilities to record lossless videos in 4K image resolutions. This makes them insanely ideal for cinematographers, vacationers, and vloggers. There is also a full-tilt screen on the Lumix G7 making it easy to frame a vlog or self-tape. It’s truly wonderful, as a complete package.

4K Photo Mode
One of the biggest obvious drawbacks to carrying around a video camera as your main unit is that you often miss the the quick-to-approach opportunities to capture unique and amazing photographs. Well, Panasonic wanted to ensure that never happened with the Lumix G7, so they designed their 4K photo mode, which allows users to pause 4K video at the exact perfect frame, and steal that berfect still image from video.

Cost and Value
At roughly the cost of a cheap television, the Panasonic Lumix G7 might be the most highly functional, and gorgeous vloggers delight on the entire market. Add to that the fact that it’s a mirrorless camera, so it’s light, and that it’s budget-friendly, so you can buy more great and accessories, and you just cannot go from with the G7 pick.

4. Nikon Z7 FX-Format

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
  Nikon Z7 FX-Format
Amazon Link
Use
98
Features
97
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$3,196.95
Pros:

45.7 Megapixel

Huge Lens Compatibility

Extremely Small body

Premium Quality

4K Ultra-HD Video

Cons:

Extremely Pricey

Needs Firmware Update

Just in the past two years, every other major camera brand leading the regular consumer market announced and released their own amazing mirrorless cameras to contend with Sony’s a7 series that has been ruling the marketplace for a long while. Nikon, after announcing their Z6 to the market, quickly followed it up with the far superior (and full-frame) Z7 series mirrorless cameras. They quickly became the most premium consumer-level full-frame mirrorless.

Stunning Full-Frame
Thanks to an astounding leap forward in hardware development, Nikon’s jaw-dropping Z7 FX-Format sensor is an absolute star in the field of full-frame deliciousness. It can capture up to a crazy 45.7 Megapixels of image data (need we remind you that this is a monstrous sensor, in a mirrorless camera body) with all the additional software technology we’ve all come to expect from Nikon. Match that with Nikkors beautiful line-up of glass and you’ve got a killer combo.

Lens Mount
One thing Nikon didn’t want to do when they announced and released their absolutely fresh full-frame mirrorless camera, was to leave all of the Nikkor lens fans in the dark. Which is why the Nikon Z7 body has a Nikkor mount that can accept their new Z lenses, but also over three hundred Nikkor F-Mount lenses. That’s a whole lot of history, and a giant tonne of glass to choose from when you equip this Z7 to your kit bag.

Cost and Value
One of the problems with the current high-tier consumer mirrorless camera market is that these old and renowned companies coming into this game late are charging a heaping truckload of money for their new, and admittedly rather exciting full-frame mirrorless cameras. The price of the Z7 will shock some of you, but it’s imperative to note that it’s the most powerful consumer-level mirrorless camera available right now.

5. Sony Alpha a6000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
  Sony Alpha a6000
Amazon Link
Use
95
Features
96
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$595.00
Pros:

24 Megapixels

Hybrid Auto-Focus (179 Points)

3-Inch LCD Screen

Premium Quality

Budget Priced

Cons:

E-Mount Lenses Aren’t in Production Anymore

Won’t Feel Great In Large Hands

If the Sony a7 series is the key to the Sony kingdom, then their wonderful a6000 mirrorless digital camera must be the gate around the moat. It’s the pocket-sized mirrorless that refreshed Sony’s line-up, and kept them out of the dirt. It revitalized their line-up. It made mirrorless cameras cool again, and bridged the gigantic gap between consumer DSLR cameras, and point-and-shoot pieces of junk. The a6000 is Sony’s golden egg.

Amazing in APS-C
There aren’t many people on earth that would believe you if you showed them a Sony a6000 -- in it’s complete, shockingly small body -- and told them that the APS-C sensor in this miniature camera has a 24 Megapixel capability. It’s abnormally powerful for its size, and has reshaped a lot of what the world comes to expect from these kind of gap-bridge digital cameras. It’s a pocket powerhouse.

Sony E-Mount
Another thing that is super uncommon in the gap-bridge consumer digital cameras is the addition of removable and adaptable lenses. Most “vacation shooters” and pocket cameras have fixed lenses that hide away behind a shutter. The Sony a6000 has a beautifully expandable lens library, thanks to having the Sony E-Mount built-in. This means that your little powerful pocket camera can use up to a few hundred other Sony lenses.

Cost and Value
When we say that cameras like this are budget price, but that’s in comparison with the rest of the digital camera marketplace. The Sony a6000 isn’t going to replace your full-frame gear. Or anyone’s professional-grade camera kit. But it can pack a heavy punch in those times where all you need is something easily portable and sharp. It’s a brilliant product for the price, and the size. It’s kind of shocking.

6. Leica CL

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.7
  Leica CL
Amazon Link
Use
95
Features
99
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$3,650.00
Pros:

Extreme Premium Quality

Leica Standard / Make

4K Video Capture

Astounding Lens Line-up

Full-frame Sensor

Cons:

Extreme Premium Quality

Leica Standard / Make

4K Video Capture

Astounding Lens Line-up

Full-frame Sensor

It’s all in the little red dot. It’s a symbol. An icon. It’s the significance of an age-old company always on the front-lines of ridiculously crisp and powerful imaging software. For those new to the camera game, or just stuck in the consumer-friendly realm of cameras (either digital or analog), Leica is the Luxury private jet of the photography world.

Everything With The Red Dot
Something that folks often misinterpret when they are vetting companies, brands, and line-ups, is that the popular and expensive brands are that way for a reason. Brands like Leica, aren’t just about the name. It’s about the years of meticulous quality control, and material development. It’s about making astounding leaps in image capturing over the course of a near century-long dominance in premium cameras. Buying into Leica is buying care, convenience, and some of the highest quality

Best Glass In The Bizz
There are so many places to focus on the Leica cameras brand that one can pick out of the crowd and say “this is what makes Leica cameras brilliant”, and that makes it hard to pick two stand-alone things to promote on this spot. But the glass, oh boy the lenses, they are astounding lenses. The glass produced by the Leica company is some of the greatest in the entire business, bare none.

Cost and Value
We spoke a whole lot about the empecible build and quality of all the parts of a Leica camera, and with that (and the red dot that marks a clear sign of greatness, and a tad bit of pompous attitude) comes a very high price. It’s important to note that Leica cameras are not for amateurs, or even semi-pros. Leica cameras are for serious still photo work, and prove to be worthy of that responsibility at every turn.

7. Canon EOS R

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
  Canon EOS R
Amazon Link
Use
92
Features
95
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$1,799.00
Pros:

Works With All Canon Lenses

Premium Quality

Insanely Fast Auto-Focus

4K Video

Full-Frame Sensor

Cons:

Only One SD Card Slot

Touch-and-Drag Auto-Focus *shudders*

Mere weeks after Nikon announced that they were designing and releasing a full-frame mirrorless camera, Canon held a “last minute” press conference to also announce their own and this is it. It’s quite a work of engineering, and manufacturing, and takes the cake on almost everything in Canon’s mainline set of cameras. It doesn’t, however, beat out other full-frame mirrorless options by the big names, which is why it fell so low down this list.

High-Speed Focus
One of the best things about Canon cameras has always been their top-of-the-line development of computer run auto-focus systems, and their brilliant little full-frame mirrorless Canon EOS R is another fine example of their ingenuity and ruthless advancement of their internal products. The Dual Pixel sensor has upwards of 5,500 different manually selectable auto-focus points and can snap in on a point in 0.05 seconds.

Mount Adaption
The Canon camera company -- out of Japan -- has a long-standing reputation for making amazing digital and ocular lenses. Some of the best on earth, in fact. And with the adoption of a new platform (mirrorless full-frame), they wanted to ensure that previous Canon owners didn’t have a ton of now useless lenses on their shelf. So they developed three different EOS R mount adaptors that will make any Canon lens you own work with this new mirrorless powerhouse of a camera.

Cost and Value
Again, we’re at the part where we have to talk some folks off of a ledge because companies like Canon, Nikon, and Sony tend to price their top of the line camera equipment in the multiple thousands of dollars range when they are first released. It’s a scary purchase. But as with the Nikon, and the Sony versions, Canon is a brilliant company with a trustest history of making stellar cameras. It’s worth almost every penny they ask for it.

8. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
  Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Amazon Link
Use
90
Features
92
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$538.00
Pros:

8.5 Frames Per Second Burst

5-Axis Image Stabilization

Simplified Inputs

16 Megapixel Cropped Sensor

Budget-Friendly Price

Cons:

Only HD Video

Cropped Sensor Can Be Undesirable in 2019

Olympus is another very historied Japanese imaging companies still alive today. Much like all of the other Japanese camera companies we all know and love today, Olympus started in both Thermometers and Microscopes before moving into satellite imagery, and even grander telescopes. Eventually, Olympus followed the rest of the industry and was actually a heavyweight contender in the beginning era of consumer stills cameras. Now, with the likes of their OM-D Mark II, they’re still making stellar cameras today.

Serious Without Complications
Everyone has been there. There’s a relationship that is going well, and you really want things to get more serious, but you don’t necessarily want to add all of the complications that come with more, into your life. Well Olympus has your back. Just outside of their “Pen” line-up, the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a brilliant mirrorless camera that truly takes a leap above point-and-shoots and pocketable cameras. But all of the modes, dials, and nonsense is stripped away. Simple controls, a handful of features, and all done brilliantly.

Value in Stepping Down
It’s true! There are newer versions of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark series cameras, and that might mean you head in that direction. But we’re here to tell you that the Mark II can do almost everything the Mark III and beyond can do, all while spending less than half-a-grand on a fantastic piece of kit. There’s a ton of value found in taking a step away from the newest and brightest.

Cost and Value
The value of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is so high that we specifically mentioned it as one of the talking points of this product. So that means there’s is a little bit less to discuss here, and now. But don’t ignore this section, because then what am I writing all of this for? It’s sure not because I enjoy stretching out an entire paragraph for no reason.

9. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
 PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80
Amazon Link
Use
90
Features
89
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$297.99
Pros:

Premium Build

Very Fine Low-Light Performance

Large Comfortable Body

Ultra-Zoom lens

Shockingly Cheap

Cons:

Premium Build

Very Fine Low-Light Performance

Large Comfortable Body

Ultra-Zoom lens

Shockingly Cheap

And we’re back on our Panasonic train, because we just absolutely love this brand of cameras, even if it’s technically considered lower-tier at this stage in the current era of consumer imaging hardware. But all of the things we truly adore about the Panasonic Lumix G7 can be found here -- sure, in their infancy -- and you can see all of the wonders coming down the pipe with Panasonic.

4K Video
It’s hard to conceive of these days, that one can walk into a technology or camera store and walk out with a out-of-the-box camera, capable of shooting 4K Video, for just a few hundred bucks. Well, that’s because the Panasonic Lumix Fz80 isn’t all that new. In fact, it was one of the first and most radical designs of a consumer 4K video camera around when it launched, changing the future of what folks expected from their mirrorless cameras in terms of video performance.

Fixed and Forgotten
We’re always huge proprietors of the simple life around here at the Gear Hunt. Often, we’ll discuss how much the minimalism trend has really improved a whole lot of industries and products. Sometimes, when someone sets out to buy a fantastic camera, capable of recording 4K videos, they want it to be easy. Well, not much can be easier than the FZ80, because it’s got a fixed camera lens. This means you can’t change it. Making it no longer a worry down the road.

Cost and Value
At just a few hundred dollars, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 does a whole lot better at being the “oh my god, I can’t believe it’s that cheap” product that Panasonic has been trying to accomplish with their stellar G-series lineup as of late. It’s ridiculously affordable, and ultra capable. Especially if you’re someone looking to make some movies, record a moment, or hit up some big spots while on vacation.

10. Canon EOS M50

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.7
  Canon EOS M50
Amazon Link
Use
90
Features
88
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$748.90
Pros:

24.1 Megapixel Sensor

Affordable Price

Easy to Use

Beautiful EF-M Lenses

Canon Build Quality

Cons:

Auto-Upload Account Problems

Feels Small In Large Hands

It’s not all that often that big names bridge gaps. That might sound harsh, but it’s kind of true. Especially within the consumer camera industries. Many of the big and popular companies have been succeeding in both the point-and-shoot crowd, as well as the amatuer-to-professional camera users. Which is probably cause for their lack of attempting to make something in the middle. Much like an earlier pick of our,s, the Canon EOS M is an astounding bridge of the waters that seperate those two segments.

Automatic Image Transfer
Along with photographers and videographers across the globe, we’re always amazed by the wireless file transfer technology included in more recent cameras, and it’s something plenty of us can’t live without anymore. Something the Canon EOS M50 does that will help all those intimidated by the file and processing trials of owning and operating a “real” camera, and does it all automatically. Thanks to come ingenious application and cache design, the Canon EOS M50 auto-uploads images and files to a cloud storage account for your easy access on many different devices.

EF-M Lenses
One of the premiere reasons to buy into what Canon is selling in the mirrorless digital camera world is their absolutely astounding EF-M Mount lenses. An offshoot of Canon’s beloved EF-Mount lenses, the EF-Ms are just pure bliss in glass form, and there’s absolutely no denying it whatsoever.

Cost and Value
Though these Canon EOS M-series cameras aren’t necessarily budget-friendly like some of the Panasonic options we’ve seen already on this list, it’s an essential vetting product when anyone ever, for whatever reason, approaches looking for the best mirrorless cameras out right now. The EOS M50 from Canon is pretty affordable, however, because it’s a few models back of their current top-tier small EOS M body, but is a wonderful example of what these big names can do when they shift their focus to bridging gaps.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

The use of a camera is obviously the main purpose in purchasing one -- unless you’re like my old neighbour that wanted to borrow mine in order to impress a potential suitor that they were having over to their abode -- so it’s easy to understand that we put the use of the camera on the top of criteria mountain. Wait. That makes it sound like there is a mountain of different criteria. No, it’s pretty simple actually. Continue reading and you’ll see.

The use of a camera speaks specifically to the types of uses you (the camera operator) can succeed with, given the certain product. This comes down to a handful of factors, and most of them start with what you, the shooter, wants out of their camera. This is a mirrorless camera specific list, which means that if you’re searching for an amazing medium-format shooter for the big flamboyant studio shoots, you’re reading through the wrong list -- sorry to let you know so late in the article.

The beauty of mirrorless cameras is the form factor, and power within them. The modern state of mirrorless camera technology can often put full-sized 35mm (or larger) in a package so small that it will easily fit inside any bag, and even pockets for some models.

Features

The use of a camera is obviously the main purpose in purchasing one -- unless you’re like my old neighbour that wanted to borrow mine in order to impress a potential suitor that they were having over to their abode -- so it’s easy to understand that we put the use of the camera on the top of criteria mountain. Wait. That makes it sound like there is a mountain of different criteria. No, it’s pretty simple actually. Continue reading and you’ll see.

The use of a camera speaks specifically to the types of uses you (the camera operator) can succeed with, given the certain product. This comes down to a handful of factors, and most of them start with what you, the shooter, wants out of their camera. This is a mirrorless camera specific list, which means that if you’re searching for an amazing medium-format shooter for the big flamboyant studio shoots, you’re reading through the wrong list -- sorry to let you know so late in the article.

The beauty of mirrorless cameras is the form factor, and power within them. The modern state of mirrorless camera technology can often put full-sized 35mm (or larger) in a package so small that it will easily fit inside any bag, and even pockets for some models.

Value

The Value of a product is always something that we want to make sure is very visible. And it’s pretty easy to figure out when you want to. A lot of folks mistake the actual price tag as the only source of information in which to judge a products value, but that’s just the cost. There’s no real inherent value evaluation there. Rather, there is a very simple equation folks can do while shopping to pick up on the natural actual value of a product.

What one needs to do is take all of the criteria that make that product viable. Things like the features, use case, battery life, and more, and match that against the products asking price. This way, there is a clear understanding of what the products value is, rather than basing anything on single factors.

This simple equation brings value, clearly, to everything. Lower priced products have a discernible value because you win in the price department, but they wont have as many features, or as quality of build as the expensive stuff does. The most expensive of the products you vet should have an amazing build quality, extremely diverse use cases, and above all else, be the best and freshest.

It’s always going to be key for all consumers that value be a driving factor in the vetting of products of all kinds.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Check Your Lenses

When you set out to purchase a new camera, no matter the type of camera, you should always keep in mind the items you already own. No one, we repeat, no one, wants to automatically nullify their exsisitng gear, just by purchasing the wrong camera. If your goal, however, is to start from scratch (or "ditch brand" as photographers call it) then please ignore this message.

Mirrorless VS DSLR

A mirrorless camera, as you might be able to surmise just from the name, is one that doesn't require the reflex mirror, which is one of the most important features in DSLR cameras. When you invest in a mirrorless option, you will be able to view your image on the screen of your camera. Mirrorless cameras typically are lighter in weight as well.

Other Factors to Consider

Battery Life

Though the modern camera industry is constantly making strides to improve on pretty much every aspect of the act of shooting images, or recording videos, there’s one aspect of the physical technology that doesn’t seem to be making the speedy climb at the same pace. That aspect is the battery tech.

Lost, somewhere along the road, batteries (and their ability to stay juiced-up) can be a big concern when it comes to owning and operating a digital camera. Ensure that you double and triple check verified owners opinions and accounts as to how the battery life performs during operation.

Brand

We’re not here to harp on which brand is better than another -- unlike most of the photography world, who can’t wait to tell you why you’re wrong about the brand your loyal to -- but the brand name on a camera should be an important factor to consider. Especially if this isn’t your first digital camera purchase. Buying into a product usually means buying into a brand, and there’s no industry that exemplifies this more than digital imaging. Canon users (for example) aren’t necessarily loyal to Canon because they are Canon. Rather, photographers are loyal to brands because it works in their own favor. If you own a dozen Canon lenses, you’re probably going to want to stick with Canon bodies.

Understand the full scope of a brand, and what kind of brand loyalty that will breed is a key factor in the shopping for any kinds of camera.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is this camera waterproof?

a:

We’re going to be the bearer of bad news here and say that almost always, the answer is going to be NO. There are so few cameras on the current consumer marketplace that are completely weather sealed, and this is for two main reasons. One, the manufacturing and design to weather seal a tech system that is made to be modular, is very difficult and expensive. Secondly, weather proofing everything would put a serious damper in the aftermarket parts and accessories business that has gone hand-in-hand with the camera industry for decades. So, it’s safe to assume that your camera is not weather proof, unless the packaging and or product page specify that in exact words.

q: Do the cameras come with anything?

a:

The cameras on this list, and a lot of cameras on the market come with a whole lot of promise. Promise to provide you with the ability to capture beautiful things. As per what comes in the box? That’s a bit of a random question to answer. A lot of premium consumer camera brands sell what is called a “kit” and this box comes with everything you need to get out and shoot right then and there. You get a body, a versatile (but ultimately not that great) kit lens, a strap, a battery charger, and sometimes even more than that. However, this is not necessarily a standard. Sometimes, all you will get from a purchase is simply the body of the camera, and nothing more. This is more than the standard, it’s the expected. If you’re vetting camera options and the one you like happens to come with a kit, consider yourself fortunate.

Sources