If you're thinking about getting into sports photography, whether professionally or as a hobby, a mirrorless camera is definitely worth considering. Mirrorless cameras are far more functional than standard digital cameras. Neither Ultra Zoom nor DSLR cameras offer the excellent benefits of a mirrorless camera.
Compared to many digital camera types, mirrorless cameras have the most up-to-date technology. They are also much slimmer and are more lightweight than older cameras. A couple of the other features that make owning a mirrorless camera so great are powerful autofocus and excellent video footage.
What Exactly Is a Mirrorless Camera?
Also known as a MILC, or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, these state of the art devices rely on a removable lens and digital display systems to capture the most excellent quality photographs.
Mirrorless cameras don't come with optical mirrors or viewfinders like older digital cameras. Instead, their viewfinders are electronic displays that show what is seen by the cameras' sensors.
One of the greatest things about mirrorless cameras is the fact that they are compatible with scores of interchangeable lenses. They can even be fitted with adapters that allow you to use older lenses from other cameras.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mirrorless Cameras
When you are making a major purchase, you should be as well informed as possible. This requires asking the right questions. To help you gain a deeper understanding, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions people have about mirrorless cameras.
What is the difference between a DSLR camera and a mirrorless camera?
In comparison to the digital cameras of yesterday, such as DSLR cameras, a mirrorless camera is much easier to operate. They’re also smaller in size, don't weigh nearly as much, and are practically silent when shooting.
Perhaps the most significant difference, however, is that the mirrorless camera uses a digital viewfinder that displays exactly what the sensors see. There are no movable mirrors, prisms, or optical viewfinders on mirrorless cameras.
What is the advantage of having a mirrorless camera?
Some of the main advantages of mirrorless cameras are that they have lighter and more compact bodies. They also operate smoother and faster. In addition, they are better at capturing videos.
Are SLR and DSLR lenses compatible with mirrorless cameras?
As previously mentioned, mirrorless cameras are highly compatible with most digital camera lenses. All you need to do is purchase an adapter which converts the lens mount to fit your mirrorless camera. These can be purchased online as well as at almost any brick and mortar camera store.
Do mirrorless cameras take better pictures than other digital cameras?
Due to their state of the art on-chip focus sensors, mirrorless cameras do indeed take better quality photos than many other digital cameras. They also capture higher-end videos as well. Because most digital cameras have mirrors up while recording video they are slower and less accurate than mirrorless cameras.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Mirrorless Camera
As with any major purchasing decision, there are some important factors to consider before you take the plunge and spend your hard earned money. Here are a few of the most critical aspects you should think about before deciding which mirrorless camera is right for you.
How do you plan on using the camera?
What you plan on using the camera for, and how often, will make a huge difference in which camera you should buy. If you plan to capture and create larger images, including doing cropping or zooming on said photos, you’ll want to focus your search on a full frame high megapixel sensor.
If you’re going to be taking photos strictly for social media or a personal photo album, then you don’t need to worry about a camera with the highest megapixels. Another question to ask yourself is if you plan on using a tripod or not. If not, you will want to search for a camera that has built-in image stabilization.
Lens compatibility and resolution
One of the significant benefits of a mirrorless camera is its ability to work with a massive variety of lenses. Regardless of what brand of camera you currently own, if you have lenses they are more than likely compatible with any mirrorless camera you may be interested in investing in.
Another crucial consideration to make when thinking of purchasing a mirrorless camera is the sensor size. The larger the sensor size, the more versatile the camera. Likewise, a smaller sensor will result in more generic capabilities.
Mirrorless cameras use EVFs or electronic viewfinders. Unlike ordinary digital cameras which use optical viewfinders. The main difference between the two is that EVFs are known to lag a bit. They also use up a considerable amount of battery power. However, as technology continues to advance, these inconveniences are becoming less of an issue.
The amount of memory space supported is another crucial consideration to make before purchasing a mirrorless camera. If you’re an avid photographer, you will more than likely need to invest in additional storage. That means you’ll need to purchase compatible memory cards, an expense beyond the base price of the camera.
Overall Price Range
Due to the significant number of mirrorless cameras currently available on the market the total price range is quite variable. A standard mirrorless camera body costs anywhere from $400 to slightly over $1,000. Add a few accessories and a lens or two, and you're looking at closer to $3000 to $5000 or more.
How We Reviewed
We dedicated quite a bit of time conducting online research about mirrorless cameras to bring you the most accurate information available. We searched photography forums, buyer's guides, customer reviews, manufacturer product descriptions and more.
What we discovered was the best ten mirrorless cameras currently available one. We then compared each product, looking at specifications, features, benefits, prices, and warranty options to select the very best one.
The Top Mirrorless Cameras
Without any further ado, here is the list you've been waiting for, the top mirrorless cameras of 2018.
The first item on our list is one of the highest recommended mirrorless cameras for sports on the market, period. It comes with a 20.4MP sensor, a quad-core TruPic VIII image processor, and an additional quad-core processor dedicated solely to the autofocus system. The cameras mechanical shutter shoots at 18 frames per second (fps), while the electronic shutter shoots at 60 fps.
- New 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
- New TruePic VIII Dual Quad Core Image Processor, Autofocus Points - Phase Detection: 121 (121 Cross-Type),Contrast...
- 60 frames per second S-AF, 18 frames per second C-AF (silent electronic shutter)
It also comes with built-in 5-axis image stabilization and shoots 4K video at 30 fps. The camera comes with dual memory slots as well as built-in Wi-Fi. It also has a weatherproof body and a long-lasting battery.
The downsides to this amazing camera are its high cost as well as its awkward menu setup.
This easy to use mirrorless camera is a favorite with sports photographers all over. It has a BIONZ X image processor, shoots at 20 fps, and an impressive electronic shutter speed of up to 1/32,000sec. Its manual shutter has burst speeds of 5 fps and a max shutter speed of 1/8000sec.
- World's first Full-frame stacked CMOS sensor w/ integrated memory
- World's first1 blackout-free continuous shooting up to 20 fps
- Powerful flash lighting at guide number (gn) of 45
The camera comes with 5-axis image stabilization, 3.68 million dot EVF, and a 3-inch LCD touchscreen. It also shoots 4K video at 25 fps and has excellent battery life.
The main drawbacks are that the autofocus area is not shown on the viewfinder when using the joystick and the touchscreen is not very beneficial.
The X-T20 is the new Fujifilm flagship. The camera comes with an X-Trans CMOS II sensor, an X Processor Pro image processor, and a 24.3MP capability. It shoots 4K video and the manual shutter shoots at 8 fps, and the electronic shutter shoots at 14 fps. The camera also comes with a 1.04 million dot LCD touchscreen and a robust hybrid autofocus system. The viewfinder has a 2.36 million dot resolution.
- 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter and X-Processor Pro
- 5.0Fps Live-view shooting, start-up time of 0.4sec., shutter time lag of 0.050sec. And shooting Interval of 0.25sec
- 3.0" tilting Touchscreen panel for operation at almost any angle
The biggest downside to the Fujifilm X-T20 is that it has a lacking battery which doesn't last as long as the battery in competitor products.
The only Canon to make our list of 2018’s best mirrorless cameras is the EOS M50. The main features are a 24.1MP resolution, 10 fps shooting and 7.4 fps with adjusted focus between shots, and 4K video. It comes with Auto Light Optimiser, DIGIC 8 processor, NFC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options. The viewfinder is a 2.36 million dot 0.39-type, and it also comes with a 1.04 million dot 3-inch LCD screen.
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast, accurate autofocus that helps you get the photo you want right as the moment happens
- 24.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 8 Image Processor delivers incredible color, clear details, and stunning...
- Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD has a flexible tilt range ideal for high-angle and low-angle shooting, and reviewing your...
The main drawback to this particular camera is its poor manual focus. It also has a lower quality viewfinder due to its overly high amount of contrast.
The second Fujifilm mirrorless camera to grace our list is the GFX 50S. It is the perfect piece of equipment for professional photographers who’re looking to invest in a mirrorless camera. The main features include a massive 51.4-megapixel sensor, a removable 3.69 million dot EVF, and a 3.2-inch touchscreen. It isn't very fast, at three fps, but is an extremely high resolution. The camera is also absolutely weatherproof.
- 43.8mm x 32.9mm, 51.4 MP CMOS sensor, boasting Approx. 1.7x the area of full frame sensors + x processor Pro
- Operating temperature -10°C - +40°C (+14°F - +104°F)C.Compact and lightweight body with high rigidity due to the...
- Detachable 3.69M-dot organic EL electronic viewfinder
Downsides of the camera include a touchscreen lacking many options, low performing autofocus, and it is not so great for capturing action such as sports.
The LUMIX G85 is the only Panasonic to make our list. It has a sleek, compact design, 4K video at 30p and full HD at 60p, 16MP, EVF, and 3.5mm port for an external microphone. The camera also comes with 5-axis body stabilization and LUMIX 2-axis optical stabilization, giving it a dual image stabilization. It is weather, splash, and dustproof and has TTL type built-in flash.
- Less bulky than a DSLR, the LUMIX G85 is the compact 4K video-enabled Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless (DSLM) camera with...
- Class leading 5-axis body stabilization that when mated to LUMIX 2-axis optically stabilized lenses for a "Dual IS"...
- 4K Video recording at 30p/24p 100 Mbps plus a 3.5mm port for external microphones. (Full HD 60p 28Mbps)
A couple of significant drawbacks to this mirrorless camera are its low megapixels and that it has no touchscreen display.
It's safe to say that Fujifilm makes some of the best mirrorless cameras to date. The X-H1 is 24.3MP, has a 4K video resolution, and shoots at 8 fps to 14 fps. It comes with an APS-C sensor, a 1.04 million dot EVF, and a 3-inch vari-angle top-plate LCD touchscreen.
- 5.5-Stops In-Body Image Stabilization. Compatible with all XF and XC lenses.
- New High-Resolution EVF - Magnification ratio of 0.75x and 3.69M dot resolution. The VF display is extraordinarily...
- Comprehensive video features - new external film Simulation ideal for shooting movies, f-log SD card recording and...
The X-H1 also comes with an X-Trans CMOS III sensor and great autofocus. This camera is excellent for serious hobbyists as well as professional photographers.
The downside is that it is bulkier than most mirrorless cameras as well as being a bit more expensive than other APS-C sensor type cameras.
The A7R III is another extraordinarily popular mirrorless camera from Sony. The main features include 10 fps continuous shooting ability, 42.4MP, 4K video, hybrid autofocus, and an SLR style body. The camera has a 3-inch white magic screen as well as a 3.69 million dot EVF. It also comes with 5-axis image stabilization, dual memory card slots, and a long-lasting battery.
- World's first Full-frame 5-axis in-body image stabilization optimized for 42.4MP full-frame, 4K movie recording with...
- 2.4-million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder w/ZEISS T* coating, connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi and NFC w/camera apps,...
- Shutter vibration suppression, curtain shutter, silent shutter, Resolution meets sensitivity 42.4MP up to ISO 102,400/4K...
The setbacks to this camera are an invisible AF area when using the joystick and a red screen which only tilts up or down.
The A6000 from Sony is an excellent choice for those who are photography enthusiasts. It’s not a professional grade camera. However, it’s still quite a powerful device. The camera comes with an APS-C sensor, 24.3MP, a 921,600 dot 3-inch LCD tilting screen and a Sony E lens mount. It has a continuous shooting speed of 11 fps, excellent autofocus and 1080p video resolution.
- 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor ISO 100-25600 and Focus Sensitivity Range :EV 0 to EV 20 (at ISO 100 equivalent with F28 lens...
- Operating temperature:32-104°F / 0-40°C.Hybrid AF with 179-point focal plane phase-detection and 25 contrast detect...
- Up to 11 FPS continious shooting, Compatible OS:Windows Vista SP2*8, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 81, Mac OS X...
The main drawbacks are that it is not touchscreen and it does not capture 4K video. Its shooting speed could also be a bit faster.
Last but not least is the YI 4K mirrorless camera. It is the most affordable camera on our list and is perfect for hobbyists and professionals alike. The camera has 20MP, 4K video, a micro four-thirds Sony image sensor and an EVF. It's compatible with over 50 lenses. It also comes with a limited one-year warranty.
- YI TECHNOLOGY: See Everything. With a range of imaging technology products, YI is one of the leading providers in...
- YI M1 MIRRORLESS: A convenient on-the-go camera for professionals and amateurs alike. See the world through a new lens.
- MICRO FOUR THIRDS LENS MOUNT: Our lens mount is compatible with over 50 lenses, all seamlessly interchangeable so you...
The downside to this particular camera is that it doesn't have an LCD touchscreen or dual memory card slots. The camera has a price tag of $350 to $500.
This product is on Amazon. It has a customer review rating of 3.3 out of 5 stars.
Best Mirrorless Camera for Sports
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is the best mirrorless camera for sports, hands down. Its dual quad-core processors and 60 fps shooting speed place it leagues above the rest. Built-in Wi-Fi, dual memory slots, image stabilization, and a weatherproof body set it even further apart from the competition.
As far as more affordable mirrorless cameras go, the YI 4K Mirrorless Digital Camera is the way to go. For under $400, it is loaded with excellent benefits including 20MP and 4K video. It is also compatible with over 50 lenses.
Have you recently purchased a mirrorless camera that deserves to be on our list? Let us know about it in the comments section below.