As the name suggests, mirrorless cameras don't have the mirror like DSLR cameras or the optical viewfinder. However, in other respects those types of cameras are very similar: they utilize same sized sensors, similar interchangeable lens are available, and they deliver equally high image quality.
Mirrorless cameras have been steadily becoming more and more popular in the past few years, including among DSLR camera owners. They are generally smaller and quieter, which makes them not only very portable, but also desirable at events where camera noise might be an issue.
Their smaller size is due to the lack of mirror, which means that the lens can be mounted much closer to the sensor. This allows the smaller camera body design, although mirrorless cameras with a full-frame sensors can still be relatively big.
Mirrorless cameras can sometimes be confused with point-and-shoot cameras. The main difference here is that mirrorless cameras can be used with many different lenses, which brings a whole new world of possibilities. Point and shoots have only one fixed lens you can't change, and usually a much smaller sensor.
One of the main drawbacks of mirrorless cameras is the lack of an optical viewfinder. AIthough electronic viewfinders are constantly getting better and have their own advantages, such displaying the more accurate image of what you're shooting, they are still quite a bit slower than optical viewfinders, especially when shooting continously.
Another limitation of mirrorless cameras is that they need to constantly power both the sensor and the LCD screen while taking photos. That usually translates to shorter battery life and the need for spare batteries.
Read on to see some of the most popular mirrorless cameras today:
Sony a7R II is a full-frame mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens. It has a back-illuminated 42.4 megapixel CMOS sensor with sensitivity up to ISO 102,400 and an in-body 5-axis image stabilization. This results in a superb low-light capability.
Sony a7R II can shoot full-resolution images at 5 frames per second and record 4K movies. Autofocus is fast and precise, thanks to its 399 phase-detection AF points. The electronic viewfinder has 2.4 millions and 100% frame coverage. Sony a7R II comes with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for sharing.
Fujifilm X-T2 is a DSLR-style mirrorless camera with a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor. Paired with X-Processor Pro image processor the camera offers a superb image quality, accurate AF tracking and high-speed read and shooting speed.
The X-T2 is moisture and dust-resistant and can shoot 4K video at 30, 25 and 24 fps as well as 1080p. It features 3" tilting LCD monitor and a very precise and ultra-fast OLED viewfinder. X-T2 has multiple dials, which are relatively large and easy to use.
X-T1 is a premium Fujifilm camera with interchangeable lens. It packs many performance and ease-of-use features into a compact product. It's especially known for its large and superfast electronic viewfinder (EVF), whose 100% frame coverage, 2.36 million dots (OLED) and just a 0.005s delay bring you much closer to your subject.
Fujifilm X-T1 has a 16.3 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor (APS-C) which can rival many full-frame sensors. You can shoot continous stills at 8 frame per second or an HD video at 1080/30fps. It is water, dust and freeze resistant to -14°C or 14°F. (as long as your lens is resistant too)
X-Pro 1 by Fujifilm comes with a 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS APS-C sensor (APS-C), high precision image processing and a 49-area AF system. It can shoot at 6 fps continuously or a 1080 Full HD video.
Fujifilm X-Pro 1 features an original hybrid viewfinder, which allows you to switch between optical and electronic viewfinder. The optical viewfinder is brighter and faster, while the electronic one will give you all the necessary image details, such a focus and color balance before you take the photo.
Sony a5100 is a compact mirrorless camera that delivers a whopping 24.3 megapixels and a very good low-light capability for its size. The autofocus is super-fast and precise with its 179 AF points. It can take photos at 6 frames per second continously and shoot 1080p/60fps HD videos.
This camera doesn't have many control dials, which makes it is specially suitable for beginners rather than professional photographers. Media can be shared via Wi-Fi and NFC, it also has a handy HDMI output. (uncompressed)
Sony a6300 is still one of the best mirrorless cameras out there. It's very compact and light, but packs a 24.2MP APS-C sensor and many high-end features. It can shoot 11fps continuously, and it supports UHD 4K video recording as well as 1080p/120.
The autofocus system is one of the fastest in the industry (0.05 sec), but thanks to the 425 phase detection AF points, it is also extremely precise. This alone is the biggest pro of this camera. Another one is the high-resolution OLED viewfinder (2.4 million dots), which provides superb edge-to-edge visibility. A 3" tiltable LCD is fast and displays a true level to help you take perfectly horizontal photos.
The Sony a6000 is an interchangeable-lens camera with a 24.3MP CMOS sensor (APS-C). Its autofocus system has 179 phase-detection AF points as well as 25 contrast-detection points. It all means a highly reliable focus in most shooting conditions. The a6000 can take 11 frames per second and shoot Full HD 1080p video at 60fps. The excellent electronic viewfinder has 1.4 million dots and offers 100% corner-to-corner visibility.