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What are mirrorless cameras?

A mirrorless camera, better known as Mirrorless Interchangeable-lens Camera or MILC, is a different type of digital camera. This class of cameras features a lens mount which is interchangeable but does not have an optical viewfinder. For this reason, most of the cameras in this class are small and compact.

Mirrorless camera’s interchangeability provides versatility for photographers and its lack of a viewfinder limits this class of camera’s user interface. Other terms used for this class of camera are MSC (Mirrorless System Carmera), CSC (Compact System Camera), and DSLM (Digital Single-lens Mirrorless).

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

When you view your pictures through the DSLR viewfinder, you’re actually looking through the lens. The mirror inside the camera bounce up the light up through a prism, which flips the image the correct way and presents it to your eye. So that when you view the image you’re view it like you see it in the scene.

To put it simply, a mirrorless camera has “no mirror.” The light travel directly through.

Why are mirrorless cameras better than a DSLR?

Because of the mirrorless design, the camera body is much smaller and easier to carry. Unlike traditional DSLR’s, these cameras have been designed differently, thus allowing lenses for these cameras to be smaller and easier to manufacture. Because of this, high quality lenses can be made at lower costs. These savings are passed down to you as a consumer.

Many mirrorless cameras use the LCD screen in place of an optical through-the-lens viewfinder. This allows photographers to get a larger and more accurate idea of what the final image will look like.

There are several manufacturers of mirrorless cameras that produce mediocre or top notch cameras. The cameras from different brands have their similarities and differences. However, the best one comes down to a few criteria – quality of lens, resolution, sensor, price range, overall picture quality, and ease of use.  Based on this criteria, below are the best mirrorless cameras from five major companies.

Sony NEX-3NL/B

Sony-NEX-3NLB

Produced by Sony, the NEX-3NL/B is definitely one the best mirrorless camera from this manufacturer. The NEX-3NL/B is tagged as the world’s most lightweight (coming in at just 1.6 lbs.) and smallest (with dimensions of 5.2 by 5.4 by 6.5 in.) interchangeable lens camera. It comes with an Exmor sensor with 16.1 megapixels that captures top quality images and videos in every detail. It is capable of recording superior quality videos with its 60i or 24p shooting in full high definition.

It has image stabilization for smooth movements, advanced noise reduction for great audio and anti-motion blur for professional looking video outputs. It features a pop-up flash that makes dark images bright, natural and detailed. It also features 4 fps fast capture to catch fast moving objects. Additionally, it has a battery life which can last up to 480 shots, enough for taking pictures from sun up to sun down.

Key Features:

  • 16.1 MP Exmor HD APS sensor
  • Anti-Motion Blur mode
  • Speed Priority Continuous mode
  • Lock-on Auto Focus
  • Up to ISO 16000 sensitivity
  • Retractable power zoom lens
  • Built-in flash

Buy $448-$499

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Olympus-OM-D-E-M5

Created by Olympus, the OM-D E-M5 is a beast. This device comes with a 16 megapixel lens with an image processor, true-pic vi, which allows clear, sharp and natural-looking images, and a sensor, live-mos, that provides rich and tonal images. This camera is considered to be the world’s fastest auto focus camera.

It has an electronic viewfinder providing 1.15x magnification which allows full view of the subject and a 3-inch oled display perfect for viewing the captured pictures and videos. The 3-inch display can be tilted for easier use in capturing difficult angles. It features in-body image stabilization for blur-less stills and videos. It also features 9fps fast capture to catch fast-moving subjects and sports motions. Additionally, it’s built to withstand splash and dust which makes it a versatile mirrorless camera that can be brought wherever you desire.

Key Features:

  • TILTING 3-INCH OLED TOUCHSCREEN
  • ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER
  • 16-Megapixel 
  • 9 FPS HIGH-SPEED SEQUENTIAL SHOOTING
  • 5-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION
  • FAST AF
  • DUST-PROOF & SPLASH-PROOF CONSTRUCTION

Buy $1,199.00

Panasonic GX7

lumix

The Panasonic GX7 is another tough competitor among the other cameras listed. This device is very popular and has high demand from camera enthusiasts around the world. Judging by its specs, no wonder many people love this device. It has a 16 megapixel lens capable of taking 1080p videos and capturing high-definition stills. It has a tiltable viewfinder which produces accurate colors.

Its outer casing is beautifully designed using premium materials. It features precise focus capabilities which produce images with detailed focal point. Moreover, this camera has an image app that allows users to control the shoot, zoom and focus from afar using a smartphone or tablet. It also features NFC connectivity that allows instant sharing and uploading and allows quick connectivity to the camera with just a simple touch of another NFC enabled device (e.g., tablet/smartphone).

Key Features:

  • 3.0″ Tilt-able LCD
  • Light Weight, Durable Magnesium Alloy Body
  • Focus Peaking and Magnification
  • Wi-Fi & NFC
  • In-Camera Stabilization for Non-Stabilized Lenses
  • 16MP
  • Full HD Video1080/60p

Buy $998.00

Samsung NX300

samsung

Built with a whopping 20.3 megapixels that capture every detail and rendition of a subject, the NX300 is an amazing mirrorless camera for professional use. It has a hybrid autofocus system that guarantees blur-less images and videos. It’s built with smart features including email, mobile link, social media upload, direct link, cloud service, allshare, and remote view finder.

It only weighs 9.9 ounces and has dimensions of 1.6 by 4.8 by 2.5 inches. Design wise, this device looks incredibly premium. It also has built in Wifi and it has an Amoled display. Lastly, it offers 3-D recording and picture-taking capabilities. With all its features, this device truly combines versatility, convenience, connectivity, and performance.

Key Features: 

  • 3D Photos and Videos
  • 20.3-Megapixel Sensor
  • AMOLED Tilt Display
  • Full HD Video Recording
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity for Easy Sharing
  • Bundled 20-50mm Lens

Buy $589.00

Olympus E-P5

Olympus-E-P5

An incredible advancement in the mirrorless cameras category, the Olympus E-P5 is another device that deserves a spot as one of the best. It’s built with 16 megapixels of resolution which gives more than enough sharpness, clarity and color precision. Like the GX7 and the NX300, this device offers Wifi connectivity to share photos/videos and control the camera with a smartphone or tablet.

It also contains image editing capabilities with Photo Story, which allows users to create a story from selected photos with its pre-loaded themes. Its excellent image stabilization capabilities allow users to take pictures even in a moving car. Lastly, its shutter speed of 1/8000 sec allows users to take pictures faster than with any other mirrorless camera.

Key Features: 

  • Super Spot AF and Focus Peaking
  • Remote Shutter Release via Smartphone
  • GPS Capability
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Mechanical Shutter
  • 9fps Sequential Shooting
  • 16MP Live MOS
  • Interval Shooting with Time Lapse Video
  • Art Filters and Variations
  • QR Code Connection

Buy $1,399.00

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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