Best mirrorless cameras under 1000 - header

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Mirrorless cameras are all the rage in photography today and buying one can be both exciting and daunting. Due to continuous innovations in the camera market, there are several quality mirrorless cameras available in the market. Mirrorless cameras are far from cheap But you can get a high-quality mirrorless camera with a budget under $1000.

I think it’s important for one to have some criteria when choosing mirrorless cameras in this price range. For this reason, I included only cameras with good autofocus, 4K videos, an easy upgrade path as well as a wide selection of lenses in this video. After countless hours of research and testing, I was able to come up with the list of the best mirrorless cameras under $1000 available on the market today.

You’ll find a brief description of the cameras below, their pros and cons, and also a buying guide that will help you choose the camera that best meets your needs. After all, a camera that might be a smart investment for me may not make sense for you and vice versa. Continue reading to learn more about the best mirrorless cameras under $1000 available on the market.

The 7 Best Mirrorless Cameras Under 1000 Dollars for 2021

Canon EOS M50 Mark II Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS M50 Mark II (Black) + EF-M 15-45mm & EF-M 55-200mm is STM Bundle

$929.99
$879.00
 in stock
9 new from $879.00
1 used from $1,004.95
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

The Canon M50 Mark II is a quality budget mirrorless camera that comes with some features that can compete with high-end SLRs. There is the 24.1 MP CMOS sensor which alongside Canon’s renowned Dual Pixel AF technology make the M50 capture photos of stunning quality. The minimal form factor is another excellent feature as it makes this camera easy to store, carry/transport, and deploy. And this ensures you don’t miss shots.

I like that the M50 is capable of shooting videos in 4k which gives your videos a beautifully cinematic look. The Full HD 1080p format is also available and you can also use the smooth slow-motion effect using high-speed 120p in HD. Wireless connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC, allows you to easily send your media to your smartphone.

Battery life is good, especially when you are using the eco mode. The articulating touchscreen LCD is a nice touch and the adequate manual controls will easily please serious photography enthusiasts without overwhelming beginners. Other features include a microphone input, built-in flash, and GUIDE mode.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.57 x 3.46 x 2.32 in / 11.6 x 8.8 x 5.9 cm
  • Weight :  0.86 lbs / 390 g
  • Resolution: 24.1 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO: up to 25,600
  • Video: 4K UHD

Pros

  • Small and compact with good ergonomics.
  • Stunning image and video quality.
  • Good performance in low light situations.
  • Good focusing performance.
  • Easy to use interface.

Cons

  • No USB charging.

Sony Alpha a6100 Mirrorless Camera

Sony Alpha A6100 Mirrorless Camera with 16-50mm Zoom Lens, Black (ILCE6100L/B)

$1,119.95  in stock
1 used from $1,119.95
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

The main strength of the Sony a6100 is its impressive image and photo quality, solid battery life, and class-leading autofocus. Sony incorporated its APS-C sensor that’s usually put in its premium mirrorless camera in the a6100.

Sony’s flagship A6600’s autofocus system can also be found in this camera leading to an outstanding continuous tracking capability that’s fast and reliable for both photos and videos. So you can see that the a6100 has some really premium features.

This camera is small and compact as you’d expect and this brings a lot of conveniences when it comes to transport and storage. Image quality is impressive thanks to the 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor and the BIONZ X image processor that can shoot up to 11 FPS while using autofocus tracking.

It’s also easy to work with RAW files on this camera. Videography is no joke on the a6100 as it’s capable of shooting 4k videos up to 30 FPS and in 1080p up to 120 FPS. The fact that this camera is very easy to use makes it a fantastic buy for beginner and advanced photographers.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 2.64 x 2.32 in / 12 x 6.7 x 5.9 cm
  • Weight :  0.86 lbs / 390 g
  • Resolution: 24 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO: up to 32,000
  • Video: 4K

Pros

  • Minimal form factor.
  • Superb tracking focus.
  • Stunning image and video (crispy 4k) quality.
  • Good performance in low light.
  • No 4k video recording limit.
  • Good battery life.

Cons

  • There is an additional crop when shooting in 4K.
  • Plastic body/build. Also, it has no weather sealing of any kind.

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless CameraOur Top Pick

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera, Black with Fujinon XC15-45mm Optical Image Stabilisation Power Zoom Lens kit, Black

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

The Fujifilm X-30 s a wonderful mirrorless camera that combines a travel-friendly size with impressive performance. This put together with the beautiful design, great stills, and cracking video makes this camera a little gem.

The X-T30 comes with a APS-C-sized 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor which has been designed with a backlit architecture. And the effect of this is that the X-T30 gather light as effectively as possible, a big advantage for photographers that tend to shoot outdoors in bright light, particularly with wide-aperture lenses.

This camera is capable of capturing videos in 4k in addition to 1080p resolution. I like that 4k videos can be captured at a maximum 30p with 10-bit 4:2:2 output through the HDMI port. This is definitely a big deal in the video department. You’ll find the X-T30 very engaging to use as it comes with plenty of controls.

Also, the menu is very user-friendly thanks to the less intimidating menu system. I like that this camera offers a good-sized electronic viewfinder and the LCD screen can be easily adjusted to simplify shooting from awkward angles.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.65 x 3.27 x 1.85 in / 11.8 x 8.3 x 4.7 cm
  • Weight :  0.84 lbs / 383 g
  • Resolution: 26.1 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4
  • ISO: up to 12,800
  • Video: 4K DCI/UHD at 30p, 25p, 24p

Pros

  • Compact size and great build quality.
  • Excellent 4k video.
  • Impressive and fast autofocus system.
  • Plenty of customization options.
  • User-friendly interface.

Cons

  • Grip not ideal for larger lenses.

Nikon Z 50 Mirrorless Camera

Z 50 DX-format Mirrorless Camera Body w/ NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

$996.95  in stock
14 new from $996.95
8 used from $788.95
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

The Z50 marks Nikon’s debut in the mid-range mirrorless market. And the impressive features packed in the Z50 compact body makes it a very strong debut. This camera is a great buy for people that want to switch from a Nikon DSLR, simply love the brand, or seeking a powerful mid-range mirrorless camera.

While Nikon incorporated the smaller APS-C sensor in the Z50, the company didn’t reduce the size too much and this is because Nikon prioritized form and handling when designing this camera. Still, the Z50 is compact enough to serve as a travel camera.

The generous grip of the Z50 makes it very comfortable and the two well-positioned command dials make it easy to take control of this camera. The high-resolution viewfinder and tilting screen are downright amazing, and the image quality is superb. Video quality is also top-notch as this camera can shoot 4k videos at up to 30 frames per second.

There’s also the in-built Wi-Fi and Bluetooth which works with Nikon’s SnapBridge app and makes it easy to send files to your smartphone. And the micro USB port makes in-camera charging possible.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.65 x 3.27 x 1.85 in / 11.8 x 8.3 x 4.7 cm
  • Weight :  0.84 lbs / 383 g
  • Resolution: 26.1 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4
  • ISO: up to 12,800
  • Video: 4K DCI/UHD at 30p, 25p, 24p

Pros

  • The compact size makes it great for travel.
  • Great grip and handling.
  • Easy to use.
  • High-quality photos and videos.
  • Impressive viewfinder and screen.

Cons

  • Limited native lens range.

Panasonic Lumix G100 Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera, Lightweight Camera for Photo and Video, Built-in Microphone, Micro Four Thirds with 12-32mm Lens, 5-Axis Hybrid I.S, 4K 24p 30p Video, DC-G100KK (Black)

$747.99  in stock
14 new from $747.99
3 used from $600.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

The Panasonic G100 is one of the most compact interchangeable lens cameras with a fully articulated LCD touchscreen you’ll find on the market today. It comes with a wide variety of video-centric features that will make vloggers and creatives swoon over it. The G100 also takes high-quality stills thanks to the 20.3-megapixel sensor that renders details superbly.

This camera will produce punchy photos that are rich in contrast in good light and its performance in low light is passable. I like that the G100 can shoot in raw as this gives you more possibilities when editing photos. You also get to record lovely 4k videos at 30 frames per second. There is also the option to record Full HD video at up to 120fps for dramatic slow-motion clips.

There is also the possibility to create time-lapse and stop motion sequences with this camera using the intervalometer settings. Panasonic incorporated hybrid image stabilization in this camera and this helps reduce hand-shaking and improve the quality of your shots. Hybrid image stabilization uses a combination of optical image stabilisation and electronic image stabilization to reduce blurriness in photos.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.57 x 3.27 x 2.13 in / 11.6 x 8.3 x 5.4 cm
  • Weight :  0.78 lbs / 352 g
  • Resolution: 26.1 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4
  • ISO: up to 12,800
  • Video: 4K DCI/UHD at 30p, 25p, 24p

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Superb video and stills.
  • Intelligent audio-recording capabilities.
  • Articulated touchscreen LCD.
  • Bright electronic view finder.
  • Hybrid image stabilization.

Cons

  • No headphone jack or USB-C port.

Fujifilm X-A7 Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm X-A7 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/XC15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ Lens, Dark Silver

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

The Fujifilm X-A7 is designed for people that want to upgrade from their smartphones but are not completely comfortable with a camera yet. This is evident in the simplified touchscreen controls that’s very similar to that of smartphones. And this makes the A7 easy to operate for anyone who has used a smartphone before.

Thanks to the modern 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, this camera takes quality photos and can capture up to 6 frames per second. The autofocus system is impressive as Fujifilm incorporated its popular accurate hybrid 425 AF points phase-detect and contrast-detect autofocus system. And I’ve found the autofocus system to be fast enough for most situations.

Videography is no joke as this camera can shoot in Ultra HD 4k video at up to 30 FPS. The videography of this camera is even more impressive when you consider the fact that there is no additional 4K crop in either 24 FPS or 30 FPS.  And there’s room to “upgrade” this camera through better lenses as there’s a wide variety of lenses specifically designed for Fujifilm X Series cameras.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.69 x 1.5 x 1.61 in / 11.9 x 3.8 x 4.1 cm
  • Weight :  0.71 lbs / 320 g
  • Resolution: 24 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • ISO: up to 25,600
  • Video: 4K

Pros

  • Wide variety of lenses available.
  • Easy to use.
  • 4k video.
  • Good autofocus system.
  • Minimal form factor.

Cons

  • 15-minute video recording limit when shooting in 4k.

Panasonic Lumix G7 Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic LUMIX G7 4K Mirrorless Camera, with 14-140mm Power O.I.S. Lens, 16 Megapixels, 3 Inch Touch LCD, DMC-G7HK (USA BLACK)

$897.99  in stock
7 new from $897.99
6 used from $621.93
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 29, 2021 11:21 pm

With it’s slim body, sharp edges, and comfortable grip, the Panasonic Lumix G7 packs the design of a SLR into a lighter, more compact camera body. This camera comes with a 16-megapixel sensor featuring a next-generation intelligent image processor that produces video and photos free from artifacts that degrade image quality.

The video quality is also superb as this camera can record videos in 4k. You can also extra 4k photos from captured footage. There is also the built-in EVF, plenty of on-body controls, a vari-angle rear LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi. I must also mention that RAW files are easy to work with on this camera.

The compact design is another popular feature of the G7 as this camera has a dimension of 3.4 by 4.9 by 3 inches (HWD) and weighs only 14.6 ounces without the lens. I’m a big fan of the fast and precise intelligent autofocus tracking which tracks the size, color, and motion vector of the subject, thereby enabling you to quickly and precisely focus lock. This way, you get to shoot with confidence without worrying about blurry results.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.92 x 3.39 x 3.03 in / 12.5 x 8.6 x 7.7 cm
  • Weight :  0.9 lbs / 410 g
  • Resolution: 16 megapixels
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • ISO: up to 25,600
  • Video: 4K

Pros

  • Minimal form factor.
  • 4K video and built-in EVF.
  • Vari-angle touch LCD.
  • Multiple control dials.
  • Speedy performance and built-in flash.
  • RAW files are easy to work with.

Cons

  • Plastic body.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000 – The Guide

Now that you know the best mirrorless cameras under $1000 available on the market, I’ll be taking you through a buying guide. Here, you’ll learn all you need to know about mirrorless cameras so you can make an informed decision when buying one and ultimately choose the camera that best meets your needs.

What is a Mirrorless Camera?

A mirrorless camera is a type of camera that lacks the mirror you’d normally find inside a DSLR. And it is because of this that they are referred to as “mirrorless cameras”. The absence of the mirror means mirrorless cameras are more compact than DSLRs. Being mirrorless cameras mean that mirrorless cameras have to rely on electronic viewfinders.

The main advantage of a mirrorless camera over DSLRs is compatness. They are also less expensive, have continuous shooting, an accurate preview of the final image, and more scene modes and automatic settings.

Compared to DSLRs, mirrorless cameras have the following disadvantages: shorter battery life, a smaller collection of lenses and accessories (though this is changing, and fewer quick-access dials/buttons. Also, the electronic viewfinder of mirrorless cameras can experience delays.

 APS-C vs. Micro Four Thirds vs. Full Frame

Camera sensors come in different sizes. There are three types of camera sensors according to sensor size – APS-C, Micro Four Thirds, and Full Frame. Full frame sensors are the largest and are usually found in DSLRS. The large size of full frame sensors means the camera will also be bigger and heavier. However, the cameras will have a better performance as the larger sensor size allows it to take in more light.

APS-C sensors are smaller than full frame sensors. The advantage of an APS-C sensor is tht the smaller size means cameras having APS-C sensors can be more compact than those having full frame sensors. The smaller size of APS-C sensors doesn’t necessarily imply ower quality as many people may think.

Micro-Four-Thirds (4/3) is the third type of sensor and is a relatively new type of sensor. Micro-Four-Thirds is smaller than APS-C sensors which means cameras have Micro-Four-Thirds sensors can even be more compact than those having APS-C sensors. When it comes to performance, Micro-Four-Thirds are considered to be almost as good as APS-C sensors or even better in some cases

Best mirrorless cameras under 1000 - Guide

What Are The Factors to Consider When Choosing my Camera?

Image and Video Quality

One of the reasons behind the buzz of mirrorless cameras is their high resolution images which is due to the high-quality sensors and image processing software they have. The resolution of most of the mirrorless cameras on this list exceeds 20 MP and the result is photos and videos of stunning quality.

About videography, all the cameras on this list can shoot videos in 4k. Some cameras have restrictions when shooting in 4k like having the 4k video cropped or having a limit to how long 4k videos can be but this is not unusual at this price range. You can certainly record videos in full HD with these cameras.

You can also work with RAW on most of the cameras on this list. Images shot in RAW format have minimally processed data and this gives you more freedom to edit the images later on. Professionals and serious enthusiasts tend to go for cameras that support RAW to have more room when processing their media later. If you don’t know how to use RAW, go and learn about it so you can get the most out of these cameras.

ISO and Low Light Performance

How sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light is determined by the ISO sensitivity which is represented as a range. The general rule of thumb when dealing with ISOs is that brighter scenes require lower ISOs while dimmer conditions means you need to use higher ISOs. However, as you increase the ISO, there is a corresponding decrease in image quality as the image will become more grainy (said to contain more noise in photography lingo). So you should always use the smallest ISO you can get away with.

Modern mirrorless cameras are now designed to produce sharper images with less noise even when shooting at high ISOs.

Image Stabilization

Even if you are not a professional photographer, you most likely would have figured out that steadying your hands is key to taking good pictures even from your smartphone. This also applies when using a camera as hand shaking and vibrations reduce the quality of your image by increasing blurriness.

Image stabilization is how camera manufacturers solve this problem. Usually, camera manufacturers will install image stabilization software or a stabilization mechanism in the body/lens of the camera.

Wireless Connectivity

Social media is all the craze nowadays, right? You take a picture of a beautiful sunset and the next thing is that you want to share it to your Instagram page. Or is it Twitter? Or Facebook? Perhaps you just want to send the picture to your friends and family.

Cameras that have wireless connectivity will make this a lot easier. Thanks to mirrorless cameras having wireless features like built-in Wi-Fi, NFC (near field communication), and Bluetooth, you can easily send your media to your smartphone and then share them to anyone or anywhere you want. Some mirrorless cameras models even have a compatible app that allows you to control the camera from your smartphone.

Features & Functionality

Your photography/videography experience when using mirrorless cameras will become more enjoyable with the different camera modes – burst mode, scene-recognition modes, facial recognition, and so on. Burst mode is a popular mode that takes several pictures in quick succession when you hold down the shutter button.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the very best mirrorless cameras under $1000 available on the market today. While mirrorless cameras are far from cheap, a budget of $1000 will get you closer to what you’d get from high-end mirrorless cameras.

If your budget is lower, you should take a look at mirrorless cameras under $500. But pay extra and go for these models below $1000 if you can and the improved image/video quality, performance, and functionality you’d get will let you know that you’ve made the right choice.

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